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JADSpirits Travel Log

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JADSpirits Travel Log

Daday's Kitchen

Daday's Kitchen
Daday's Kitchen

6 Things to Fully Enjoy the Enchanting Potipot Island of Zambales

Potipot Island is known as the “Little Boracay” of the North. Located in Candelaria, Zambales, the island is a 10-minute ride from the mainland shore using a motorized boat.  It was already creating a buzz among local and even foreign travelers because of its pristine beach, powdery sand and clear water…we have yet to visit Boracay so there is no point of comparison.
Enchanting Potipot Island_vibrant af
It was two days before the first weekend of April this year and one of those times that we felt like going away…somewhere quiet and tranquil. Our initial plan is to go to Pangasinan to a public but unknown resort recommended by a friend of Jonjie. I called my brother Aster and told him about it and invited them to join us, if they do not have plans for the weekend.

Friday night, while we are preparing for the trip, Potipot Island suddenly came to my mind and mention it to Jonjie. Actually, the island was included in our 2013 “planned” trip so we already have a bit of information on it. Jonjie checked the net for some more details, compared the distance against the Pangasinan resort and then…Potipot here we come.

1.  Boat Transfer and Entrance

There are motorized boats available for rent to bring you to the island and pick you up at the agreed time. Small boats at Php400 for a maximum of 4 persons. If more than 4, you have to take 2 boats or a bigger boat, if available, for a higher rent. You can try haggling but we were informed that the rental fee is the same across the area.

We embarked at the eastern shore (near below the pointed tip of the island as shown below). And since it’s weekend, there are already many visitors, mostly in big groups. One of the caretaker approached us and asked details as to: number of persons in the group, day or overnight trip. Day trip is Php100 per person and Php300 for overnight trip.

IMG_6627_vibrant af1

2. Accommodation

There is no resort in the island, but cottages, nipa huts and tents are available for rent. Several beach resorts though are available along the mainland shore providing accommodations and arranging trip to the island with other amenities such as kayaking or banana boating.

Upon arrival, we immediately look for a suitable campsite, facing the swimming area, and found the perfect place between two trees with wooden table and chairs in the middle. We come prepare for the night with two tents, a hammock, flashlights, also sleeping bag and blankets (it can be a bit chilly sleeping in an open area).

The islands has no electricity but we were able to rent a light that lasted the entire evening…an improvised light bulb with a car battery for a power supply. One proof of Pinoy’s ingenuity and business acumen…worth Php500.

The Campsite @ Potipot Island _vibrant af

The Campsite at night @ Potipot Island_bueno

The Campsite...early morning @ Potipot Island_vibrant af

3. Food and Drinks

Make sure you have enough food for meals, snacks to munch, beverages and supply of drinking water, especially if you are going to stay the night. We even bought cooking utensils. One thing we forgot are marshmallows…

There is a store on the island but only sells snacks and beverages and on the mainland, only a few stores are in sight. 

But there is “Aling Minda” whom can you can call or text for practically almost anything…and then she will send it through the next boat trip to the island. She is a caretaker of one of the vacation houses near Dawal; Beach Resort and can be contacted through her cell phone 09393233459. Even the car park, boats and the overnight light were courtesy of Aling Minda.

The food and the company @ Potipot Island_bueno

4. Swimming gears and don’t forget the sun block

It pays to bring swim gears such as goggles, snorkels, body boards, floaters, especially if you have children, along with you. Daniz the “mermaid” will only come out of the water during mealtime. In one point, we noticed a commotion near the shore…a group of people is pointing to someone near the borderline (safe point to swim). Who else will it be but Daniz,..we assured them that she’s okay…that she can swim. Whewww…
The Merdaid @ Potipot Island_buenoThe Mermaid taking a nap @ Potipot Island_afHungry Mermaid @ Potipot Island_bueno

5. Camera

Camera cell phone. digital camera, DSLR…it does not matter. Just be ready to shoot and click the scene that unfolds before your very eyes.

  • Stunning sunset at the island

Words are not enough to describe the setting of the sun and the feeling that it brings me…so I hope the pictures below are enough to say it for me.

Stunning sunset of Potipot Island_bueno af

Stunning sunset of Potipot Island_vibrant afStunning sunset of Potipot Island_vibrant af

Stunning sunset of Potipot Island_vibrant

Stunning sunset of Potipot Island_vibrant af

  • Beautiful sunrise

I woke up before the sun rises and saw my husband and my “mermaid” daughter already enjoying a morning swim.

Beatiful sunrise of Potipot Island_buenoBeatiful sunrise of Potipot Island_bueno  Beatiful sunrise of Potipot Island_bueno

Beatiful sunrise of Potipot Island_bueno

Beatiful sunrise of Potipot Island_bueno

  • Other favorite snapshots of the island...

Boats drop-off and pick-up point @ Potipot Island
Boats drop-off and pick-up point
Night shot of the mainland shore @ Potipot Island
Night shot of the mainland shore
"The Early Riser" @ Potipot Island
"The Early Riser" (taken before sunrise...unknown girl)
The Bench @ Potipot Island
"The Bench" (basic accommodation at the island)
The Beach Bum @ Potipot Island
"The Beach Bum"
"It is Time..." @ Potipot Island
"It is Time..." (uwian na)

6. Walk around the island 

Explore the island leisurely by walking. It is about 1.37 kilometers, for 30 minutes.

Be by yourself for some solitude. Or with somebody you love for some quiet moments together. The best time to do it is in the afternoon to witness the setting of the sun on the other side of the island. The most photographed area, with the driftwood, can also be found on that part of the shore.

How to get there


By car
  • From Manila, take NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), then SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) bound for Subic and take the interchange located between the Dau and Sta. Ines Exits of the NLEX and proceed to the SCTEx Clark Logistics Toll Plaza. When in Subic Freeport, take the Kalaklan Gate to Subic. Getting lost should never be a concern because Zambales has only one highway all the way up to the North, crossing all towns of Subic, Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Narciso, San Felipe, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba. From Iba, head for Masinloc and take GOVIC Highway towards Uacon, Candelaria.
  • “For those commuting, you can take the bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. This way, you alight directly at Dawal. Buses are available at Victory Liner in Espana and Caloocan. Last bus leaves at 11 pm. Our trip only took 5 hours so we were there around 4 am. If you're leaving on a Friday night, make sure to buy tickets early in the morning as there are a lot of passengers and seats are scarce (or there's none at all) if you buy in the evening. Ask the bus conductor to drop you off at Dawal Beach Resort.”