April 25, 2013

Potipot Island: A Perfect Beach Bumming Paradise

Other destination in Zambales
It has been a long time since my family or should I say clan had an outing. It has been customary for us to go out of the city once every year to dip into the salty water to quench the heat of summer. Usually as most family do, we were doing it every summer. I love to reminisce about that. I was young then when these family outing was held annually. This has changed in line with the economic stability of each family, my mom, tito’s and tita’s. As each family got bigger and bigger the chances of going out of town was very limited. 



But then this year has a new light. With a little persistence from the few housewives, all agreed to have a vacation for the whole clan!!! Yey! With a big L300 Van, all 30 of us, children and adults squeeze there for seven hours long journey to Sta. Cruz Zambales. Do not try to imagine how we looked like inside. Hehe… kids are sitting on the floor, the adults has a kid on their laps,  and all you hear are laughter and punch lines to ease the stress of the travel. There were times that some kids complain but the hope and dream of dipping into the white sand of Potipot makes it more sensible to sacrifice for seven hours.

Did I mention that it was the first time my girl friend Phoebe joined my family in a trip? In any event actually. Yes she did!!! With a little apprehension that her parents won’t allow her or she might be out of place she joined my crazy funny family on the trip. With little space given on the Van, she was forced to (or I forced her hehe) sit on my lap. It was so painful for the both of us so we decided to take the bus when we reached Bataan. So in the middle of the darkness we were waiting for a bus bound to Olongapo. Then from Olongapo we took an ordinary Victory Liner Bus, which I think the only decent bus in Zambales, bound to Sta. Cruz Zambales. All of it costs us Php225 each (35 + 190). Bus ride from Olongapo to Sta. Cruz is four hours.



 Our Boat Going to Potipot


We arrived at Brgy. Naulo, Sta. Cruz Zambales at exactly 10am. The conductor was pretty accurate with his estimate time of arrival. Our host together with my family members who went ahead of us welcomed us so warmly with drinks and food ready before us. A rock star beach food such as grilled pork, grilled fresh fish was set before us with rice cooked on a native stove. A happy informal lunch was the best appetizer for the much awaited Potipot getaway.

We though we needed some fine relaxing moment by the beach before we could actually set off for the paradise Island of Zambales. Besides the sun was shining to its finest making the afternoon more laid back and bed or hammock inviting. We sat at the foot of a short coconut tree facing the sea. Looking at the kids who were more than a decade below of me makes me reminisce the moment my cousins and I wont allow our parents to stop us from becahin’ even though the sun was making more unpleasant to swim. Those were the days and those days where being passed on to this generation of our family.

Interrupted my reminiscing moment was the call to take the five seating fishing boat to take us to the Island I was craving for almost a week or so. But before we departed we all made it clear the payment. Since the boat we rode were not the commercial boats to Potipot the owners of it who were fishermans agreed to take us there for Php300.00 two-way. Each boat as I have said has the capacity of five to six depending on the passenger riding it so each must pay Php50 back and forth. Fair enough, right? 





The 20 minutes ride was the moment of excitement and thrill. Excitement because the end of the travel is you got to see the island. Thrill because of the waves which will make you dizzy or enjoy the bumpy ride on the boat. That depend on your type but I prefer the latter. 








The moment of truth arrives when the fisherman’s boat finally dock on the harbor less island. You got to soak your feet onto the crystal clear water brought to you by the white sand to start your beachin’ in Potipot. When we all went down, the boat man went back to the main island to fetch other members of the family.

The island did not fail me. Though it didn’t exceed my expectation as I expect (wow too much expectation huh) the island was a perfect for beach bumming. It is comparable to the white sand of Boracay, Panglao and Palawan (Best beaches I’ve been so far). Though the dried sea grass on the shore makes it looks a dirty beach still the white sand will entice you to roll your beach body and cover yourself with white sand. 






We first secured a spot where we can leave our things before going to water. There are cottages available but I wasn’t able to ask how much it cost because I was too exited to dip my body into the water. I forgot that I am a blogger hehe… If you are like us who wants to spend less but enjoy more there are tress all over the island and on beach front where in you can leave your things and have a nice beach bumming moment. I would advise you to know where the sun rise and sun set to get away from the direct heat of the sun.   




There are portions of the beach where in pebble will hurt you. It was a perfect timing actually when I bough an aqua shoes the day before this trip. Hehe… Strolling around the Island would have been a good idea but the sunrays constrained us to do so. After some pictorial with some nice spots In the Island Phoebe and I decided to go back to our base and relax with the sound of water crushing against the sand with the voices of children playing on the shore.



It was the perfect afternoon lying on the fine sand and just let it spread all over your body. There were times that Phoebe was telling me to stop putting sand on my body because according to her it is dirty. Who the hell care if its dirty? I was there to enjoy it. I love the moment when I close my eyes and I am feeling the sea breeze. I was awake then but my body was at total rest from the stress courtesy of the urban life. I was awake but eyes closed while listening to mood of music of my girl friend who has her own beachin’ moment. It was the time I am totally at rest though my thoughts were alive listening to the chitchat of my cousins, uncles and nieces.  



Aquashoes =)












There will be always an antagonist in the picture. A moment where you are having your good time but a person will come only to ruin it. While lying on the sand a man in red came to us asking for an entrance fee on Php100 per head. I know this. It’s a norm in every Island destination in the Philippines which has no formal regulatory authority to manage it. When I was in Sombrero Island in Batangas there was a fee and that time I didn’t question where the payment will go or if it is illegal or not. But this time my uncle did it for us. He just simple asked the guy if they do have a permit and for what for is the entrance fee. He said that all the while he though that the island is a public island. I also asked the guy if they have a receipt to issue. The guy can’t answer us and after a few arguments with my uncle he walked away and never came back.

I will pay if I am required to pay. I will pay if it’s legal and follows the law. But with simple questions that you cannot answer who in his right mind would think that it’s a legal transaction. Its not getting away with obligation to pay, its being fair and transparent to the public. I asked the locals of Sta. Cruz who owns the Potipot Island. And according to the locals nobody owns it. Before it was free to go back and forth to the island but when the incumbent governor assumed office the payment started. If the provincial government is the one implementing it, and I guess they have valid reason to do so why in the world they are not issuing receipt? If the Php100 day camp payment and the Php300 overnight camping is a genuine act of the provincial government I would pay provided they issue receipt. Fees should go to the development of the Island basic infrastructure needs and not in the pockets of anyone else. 

=)


Potipot Island Travel Guide

How to get there:

  1. Take a bus bound to Sta. Cruz Zamlabes/Olongapo
  2. If you happen to ride a bus up to Olongapo only, there is a Victory Liner Station in Olongapo. There are buses going to Sta. Cruz Zambales. First trip is 6AM
  3. Tell the bus conductor to drop you in Candelaria Beach Resorts. AS of research these are the notable resorts which are also the jump off point to Potipot Island 

    • Isla Vista
    • Harvest Beach Resort
    • Sunbloom Beach Resort
    • Dawal Beach Resort
    • Villa Valerio
    • Trinidad Beach Resort
Note: We didn't checked in in any of these resort so I cant give you the rates and their rates in Potipot Package. Candelaria is much closer to Potipot so charging of boat might be cheap. As per our experience, our jump off point was in Brgy. Naulo, Sta. Cruz Zambales. From there we talked to the fishermens to take us to Potipot.

Expenses:  

Transportation

Cubao-Olongapo (via SCTEX) 3 hours = Php245.00
Olongapo-Sta. Cruz (ordinary bus) 4 hours = Php190.00
Boat to Potipot (Good for 6, Two Way) = Php300
Sta. Cruz-Olongapo = Php190.00
Olongapo-Manila = Php245.00
TOTAL = Php920.00 (Assuming you are sis in the group thus split the 300 boat ride)

Food:

Food will depend if you will stay for overnight or just a day tour =)


So there I hope this post helps you. If it does please like it and share it on Facebook. Hehehe

Happy Travels =)


Other destination in Zambales