The Philippines has one too many islands and you can never go wrong whichever it is you would choose to explore. In our time where travel is the in-thing and almost everyone wants to fulfill their wander-list/lust, finding that one beautiful spot where you can quietly commune with nature and simply relax is too difficult. We now live in a world where information travels faster than the speed of light that once an unfamiliar destination surprisingly pops up on Facebook, we’re only counting days before it gets too crowded. While some people appreciates seeing new faces to befriend with, there are those people like us who prefer peace and quiet and all the good things that come along with it. So amidst tons of tempting new destinations surfacing the internet, we instead chose to scour through the old and all-time favorites some people may have forgotten but definitely worth rediscovering. And we thought one of our best options is Potipot Island in Zambales.
Zambales is known for its famous coves Anawangin, Nagsasa and all others but not much of its islands. In fact many of these islands are still pure and unknown to most of us. Among the numerous islands scattered along the coastal waters of Zambales is Potipot, a not so new destination I bet you’ve heard about it before that it rings a bell in the far corner of your memory. This island is so small you can explore the entirety of it in less than an hour. Its shoreline covered in sugary white sand engulfed by crystal turquoise water is such an alluring beauty to behold. Surrounding the islands are the verdant mountains of Zambales that serves as a stunning backdrop to an equally beautiful subject.
Despite the threat of commercialization, it’s amazing to see that over the years Potipot Island has gone through so little development. It is to this date still in its natural form. Electricity is still powered by generators. Water is still sourced from deep wells. No fancy hotels around but only native cottages to get visitors through the night. And that’s how it supposed to be. We already have one to many big cities to enjoy the comfort of this modern world. It wouldn’t hurt if we spare these islands the serenity they deserve.
WHY GO TO POTIPOT ISLAND?
- Potipot Island boasts of a stunning beach with clear turquoise water and white sandy shores of sugary sands and rough coral stones.
- It is one of the few islands which is devoid of any signs of commercialization.
- It offers a beautiful and relaxing view of Zambales’ formidable mountain ranges.
- It is not too crowded so you can enjoy a moment by the beach without nuisance.
- It’s easy to get to and is really affordable.
- If you are looking for some peace and quiet then this is definitely your much sought trip this weekend.
HOW TO ENJOY POTIPOT ISLAND?
- Photo Ops. The island is so stunning you’ll have fun exploring while snapping it and yourselves some photos.
- Star Gazing. Enjoy a bottle of tequila by the shore under the million stars. If you are feeling more patient then you might as well wait for the milkyway to appear.
- Play Cards. Nothing beats playing cards to kill those boring awkward moments. Show off your skills in poker or tong-its or whatever floats your boat.
- Beach Volleyball. Bring out your inner Alyssa Valdez and spike your way to a fun moment at the beach. Of course, you’ll need to bring your own volleyball.
- Snorkel. Dive into the water and discover what Potipot Island can offer.
- Sunset Viewing. Witness one of the most beautiful sunsets. Make sure to secure you the best spot to snap your best shots.
IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE YOUR TRAVEL
- Bring your own food and water since those sold in the island are kind of expensive.
- There’s a public market in Uacon where you can buy your ration but note that it sells limited goods.
- Kitchen and grilling area is available.
- Electricity is only available during the night but you may charge your phones and gadgets in one of the stores in the island for P50.
- The 2-way boat rental fee is P400 and is good for 5-6 people.
- Entrance Fee is P100 for overnight stay. No additional charge for pitching tents.
- Cottages are available for rent at a rate of P1000.
- Please be considerate of other visitors. Don’t be too loud especially in the wee hours.
- Dispose your garbage properly. As much as possible, put your food and water in reusable containers. Avoid bringing plastics you will need to discard at the end of your tour.
- Reservation is not necessary but is an advantage especially in high season.
HOW TO GO THERE
- Commute – From Caloocan Station, ride a Victory Liner Bus to Sta. Cruz (7hrs ; P450). Alight in Uacon, town of Candelaria just in front of Petron Station. From there, ride a tricycle to the port (15 minutes ; P15). Just tell the trike driver you are going to Potipot Island. Once at the port, hire a boat to take you to Potipot Island (15min ; P400/boat)
- Private – Drive to NLEX continuing to Rizal Hwy in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Take the exit toward Olongapo City from NLEX. Follow Olongapo – Bugallon Rd and Zambales – Pangasinan Rd to Uacon in Candelaria. Once in Uacon, ask the locals for further direction to the port or better yet secure a contact person who can assist you when you’re there.
RESORTS AND ACCOMMODATION NEAR POTIPOT ISLAND
If you don’t feel staying in the island overnight and wishes to sleep comfortably somewhere else, these resorts and hotels should take care of you.
Potipot Gateway Resort
Address: Sinabacan, Candelaria, Zambales,
Phone: 0917 554 8554
Rama Beach Resort
Address: Km. 189 National Rd.,, Binoclutan., Botolan, 2202 Zambales
Phone: (047) 252 9978
BUDGET, ITINERARY & OTHER INFO
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (15 Pax ; Overnight & Rented Van)||2-Way Van Transpo @ P9000 - P600
2-Way Boat Tranfer @ P400/3 - P80
Cottage @ P1000 - P66
Entrance Fee - P300
Food Contribution - P300
Total <<>> P1346
|SAMPLE ITINERARY (Overnight)||Day 0
2300 ETD Uacon-Candelaria, Zambales
0600 ETA Uacon-Candelaria, Zambales | Breakfast
0800 Port to Potipot Island
0815 ETA Potipot Island
0830 Set Up Camp
0930 Explore the island
1100 Prep Lunch
1300 Free time
1700 Prep Dinner
2200 Lights Out
0600 Wake Up
0800 Explore Island. Photo Ops. Swim
1100 Pack Up
1200 Port. Lunch
1300 ETD Manila
|THINGS TO BRING||Food
First Aid Kit
|ENTRANCE & OTHER FEES||Entrance Fee: P100 Daytrip ; P300 Overnight
Cottage: P500 Daytrip ; P1000 Overnight
Boat: P400/boat good for 5-6 people
|CONTACT PERSON||Rapoy Hermogino - 09106147887
There you have it lovelies. Tune in for more travel guides to affordable and uncrowded beaches near Manila. Until next time. Ciao