When I thought I would finally cap it, my solo trip didn’t end at the last town of Zambales. Circumstances had been so generous to me that I even completed my travel itinerary ahead of time. Had it not for the blistering heat, I would have mooched more in Sta. Cruz. Riding on a bus going north was my last option so I would not miss another island in Candelaria—nothing should I miss on moments where ample time is after me.
I was surprised upon seeing resorts paraded on the highway of Uacon in Candelaria that offer a trip going to Potipot Island—it’s a 10-minute boat ride from bordering resorts. I tried booking in the famous beach house in town but failed due to heavy influx of vacationers. Just to compensate myself, I accepted the offer of a boatman with optimism that I could get a cottage or tent when I reach the island. For the second time, I got denied; cottages were full. Fortunately, I found a place under a tree.
Potipot is located in the wealthy mainland of Candelaria, Zambales. It’s a very small island which can be toured in 20 minutes. The seawater around its whole landmass is pleasant and suitable for swimming; unlike other islands where there are certain portions people can’t wade over. Potipot has friendly sands that do not hurt one’s feet.
It was my second time in the island and nothing has changed eversince I visited it two years ago—the place is still untouched (which is better for me), aside of course from several comfort rooms erected to accommodate the tourists. I somehow got into a non-heated-argument with the caretaker when I asked why their entrance fee has bloated to P100 for day trippers and P300 for those who would stay overnight; before it was only P50 and P100. I wasn’t satisfied with the answer I got so I just went ahead to discover the place some more.
I noticed that the sea was cleaner compared before. Sea grasses were removed for visitors to have more areas to swim. Powdery white sand and turquoise-like water were still impressive and glowing. Surely, one would love to spend more time swimming. However, long-weekend wasn’t the perfect time to visit this place. The prominence of the island combined with its accessibility to neighboring resorts lured vacationers to troop here. But given such case, one can still find a good zone especially those who bring tents.
Stories behind the island
My eagerness to capture things through my lenses has almost brought me to misfortune. I was wandering around the island for already 20 minutes when I realized that I dropped my Iphone somewhere. Where the hell I could find it in an island populated by inflow of people all over the country? Where to start searching? I was alone and I am sure nobody would care even if I lost the most expensive phone in the world. People were there to relax and not to share with my agony and carry the burden of my laxity. Besides, how would I approach them? Should I ask them this way: I lost my phone; can you help me find it? With the euphoric milieu of the island, I was certain that nobody would even bother or most would shrug their shoulders off of me. Right before things turn odder, I headed to the reception area and borrowed a phone so I could call my number and the person (I was saying whoever-he/she-is-with-a-kind-heart) who possibly picks it. Thanks to the good man who entrusted his phone to me, and even assisted me to look for Aify (name of my phone). But things turned worst as I searched through it because my phone was in silent mode—that gave me more headaches. I was forlorn after 10 minutes, scratching my head and screaming the “whatta-day” phrase while convincing myself that everything will be okay and someone who picks it that has no interest of returning it to me might be in need. I think those expressions we offer to ourselves psychologically lift our mood but at the end of the day, it still boils us into despair.
As I was saying the not-to-spoil-moment many times, a person approached me and asked what I was looking for. I immediately blurted out that I was searching for my phone. He then asked me stuff like my phone’s wall paper, casing, etc. I was even prepared to give him the messages stored in it as well as the contacts when he handed the phone to me. “I saw you weary looking for something a while ago,” he added. My face glowed and my mood turned ecstatic when I was reunited with my phone. Of course, I didn’t forget to express my sincerest appreciation to what he had done. Yes, I was very, very grateful to that person. In case you’re reading this blog, you are one worth emulating.
After that incident, I joyfully roamed in Potipot island—this time, with caution. From then, I realized that there are still good people out there. A stranger can be kind to another stranger.
Make sure you bring enough foods when you visit Potipot. There is only one store in the island located at its reception area. They only sell water and other beverages, almost no solid food aside from some junk food. Better bring tent if you want to stay overnight. No tents for rent in the island. No electricity, too. There are cellular signals in the area.
If you want a more comfortable accommodation, I suggest that you stay in a resort in Uacon, then do a day trip in Potipot island. (I will make a separate post of one of the resorts in Uacon where I stayed)
Boat- P400/boat roundtrip. Boat can accommodate 4 persons.
Cottages- P1000/small. There are big cottages for the whole family or big group. I did not get the price of the big ones though. There is a tree house for rent for P5000. (see the picture above)
Entrance- P100/ day tour
How to get to Potipot Island through public transport
1- Ride a Victory Liner bus going to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Terminals are located in Caloocan (near monument LRT station), Cubao and Pasay. It’s a 6-hour drive. Fare is around 300-400.
2- Get off at Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. Candelaria is the 13th town of Zambales from Olongapo.
3- You can walk or ride a tricycle to the nearest resort. From the resort, rent a boat that will bring you to Potipot island. It’s just 10 minutes away.