Potipot Island is a small 8-hectare island located near the shore of Barangay Uacon in Candelaria, Zambales. What attracts travelers here are its calm clear water, soft creamy sand, solitude, the sunset, and proximity from the mainland.
The first time I saw the image of crystal clear waters of Potipot Island in the net I vowed to step into this island no matter how far it is. My hubby’s project with his team Froi and Bim in Masinloc, Zambales made it happen. To whisk off the stress, they enjoined us (me, my kids, and Daisy, their sales officer) to spend a weekend escapade in this charming and serene island. They were staying at Harvest Beach Resort in Uacon, situated a few distances from the famous Dawal Beach Resort.
9:30 pm and 11:55 pm bus trips going to Sta. Cruz was both fully booked as we arrived in Victory Liner in Caloocan by 8:40 pm. Alternative routes Iba and Olongapo were also full. Dismayed but still hopeful, “Express Trip” bound for Sta. Cruz opened at 12:05 am. I almost shouted for joy upon paying at the cashier (P432 to Dawal). I was so grateful to the conductor as he called passenger’s attention to each destination. We arrived safely at 5:00 am.
6:00 am – headed to Masinloc market to buy food for our overnight stay on the island.
9:00 am – breakfast in the resort’s restaurant.
10:00 am – fetched by Mang Ilyong, the boatman referred by Norman of the resort with a round trip rate of P400.
Harvest Beach Resort is fronting the enticing Potipot Island. The resort has shallow water and fine brown sand. It was tempting to swim but everybody is ready now to board so off we went on our exciting camping adventure. We were told that some foreigners are not using boats to cross the island, they just swim! Wow!
By the way, Potipot is a sambal word that means a small white island.
When we arrived on the island, we were approached by the caretaker whom he introduced as Macoy. We asked for a beachfront and he accommodated us to a small nipa hut (P500) fronting the main swimming area. Later we pitched our two tents at no extra charge. There’s no potable water to drink on the island. There is a deep well with clean but salty water. There’s no running water in comfort rooms, no store, and no electricity. It’s a boy scout and a girl scout thing!
The boys immediately washed the seafood in the deep well and later grill it. Froi, an active mountaineer brought his camping gear including his cute canister camp stove burner to where we cooked our rice and shrimps.
It was almost 1:00 pm when we feasted our food on a picnic table near our nipa hut (again, it’s free). Can’t help to eat with bare hands. Indeed, we had a heavy lunch!
By afternoon it’s swimming time. It was so wonderful sitting on the sand for it was fine and soft. Shen enjoyed her swim and so with his Kuya and daddy. The water was clear and clean. It wasn’t a summer crowd yet, it’s so refreshing to soak in the water and bask under the sun.
Before it gets dark, we changed our wet clothes and started preparing for dinner. I took picture of my favorite photo souvenir, the “sunset” on the other part of the island. But it wasn’t that picture perfect for it hides in the clouds before it settles down. As I went back, one of the caretakers warned me to safe keep our belongings on sleeping time for there might be some fishermen that will roam in the area and steal. So beware!
My hubby cooked the Iloilo food binakol version of tinola with coconut’s sweet water as the soup. We grilled hotdog for Shen. We were only three groups left to stay for the night. Lucky for us, we weren’t covered completely by darkness because the full moon’s brightness was streaming into the island.
Me and my kids headed to the beachfront while waiting for the food to be cooked. The water was gleaming under the full moon’s yellow glow. Its reflection was so therapeutic, so good for a weary soul. It’s delightful to lose oneself on a serene island like this.
Pao was lying on his back gazing up in the sky. He was enjoying the stillness of the world and so do I. The water was still, the soft noise of the playful waves was music to our ears. Oh, I just can’t get enough of it. It was amazingly beautiful.
How I wish I captured a very good shot of the moon and its stunning reflection. But my photo was as black as my hair. A call from my hubby stopped us in our quiet moments. We’re back now to reality.
All flashlights were on in our dinner. We broke the silence of the night by laughing and sharing stories. There were dogs on guard waiting for food. The boys cleaned up the table and washed the utensils in the deep well.
Social time in nipa hut was the next activity. The bright moonlight cast a shadow to the trees, down to the picnic table, and into the ground. As far as I remember, I saw this fascinating glow when I was ten years old and it did happen again. I was bewitched looking at this magical sight. It was indeed a bright and wonderful night. And I felt so good. Shen slept ahead of us. Later I joined her with joy in my heart.
I woke up first at 6:00 am. It was a bit dark and very cold outside. I took my SLR to capture a sunrise photo. But the sun rose up almost 7:00 am. Happy, I had again my “sunrise”, my other favorite photo souvenir.
We walked around the whole island and were amazed to see lots of spots subject to photography. But it was disappointing seeing diapers and bottled waters floating in the clear water. Circling the whole island took us twenty minutes only. Still not satisfied, I walked around again and this time the sun was now hovering in the sky.
These are some of my photos.
When we went back Froi and Bim were busy preparing for breakfast. The aroma of hot coffee was wafting into the air. Again, breakfast was heavy. We had a refreshing swim after we eat.
Thanks to Norman of Harvest Resort for his good accommodation. He let our valuable things left in the room without additional charge and our van was parked safely. We were so thankful that he let us used their comfort rooms, again free of charge.
My souvenirs: key-chains – 3 for P100, necklace – P100, bracelet – P50. No magnetic fish.
1) If you are on a tight budget, you do not need to rent a room to safe-keep your things along the mainland. There is a seaside in Barangay Uacon where you could look for the boatman to arrange for a boat transfer.
2) Bring lots of food and mineral water for there is no store on the island.
3) No need to bring mosquito repellent for there are no pesky mosquitoes around.
4) No electricity, be sure your cellphones and cameras are fully charged and so your other gadgets.
5) Be a “cowboy”, remember this island lacks good amenities nor posh facilities.
6) If you plan to go there on Friday be sure to buy your ticket ahead of time so you can be sure you can get your desired time of the trip.
Day – P100
Night – P300
Regular Cottage – P500
Big Cottage – P1,500 (P2,000 in summer)
Picnic table and chairs – P100
Boat – P400