Well within the heart of Central Luzon, Potipot Island, which is just a few minutes boat ride away from Candelaria town, Zambales, is fast becoming the next alternative beach resort for people who want to get out of Metro Manila’s fast pace lifestyle and traffic jam.
Potipot Island in Zambales (photo courtesy of ple101_98 Flickr)
Well known among the locals for its white sand and clear waters ideal for snorkeling and diving, Potipot Island is just a kilometer away from Uacon, Candelaria and very accessible by “banca” (motorboat) for local and foreign tourists.
Depending on the traffic, buses coming from the Caloocan Victory Bus Terminal can reach Candelaria within six to seven hours.
Bus fare for aircon-buses is pegged at Php 451 per person.
With the going rate of Php 400 per round trip (inbound and outbound), tourists, on landing, can camp, explore, swim and do everything that can be done in beaches.
Upon landing, adult tourists are required to pay a Php 100 “landing fee” while children ages five upwards are required to pay Php 50.
Nipa huts and tents are available for tourists interested in camping overnight for very reasonable prices.
Ice candies, cold drinks and other basic necessities, albeit for a price, tourists have the option of bringing their food and drinks or buy from these vendors who come from all across the island in hopes of making a sale.
Surprisingly for a beach destination, Potipot Island has good wireless internet coverage making it very ideal for “shutter bugs” to immediately post their pictures on their Facebook or Instagram accounts.
And should these tourists tire of swimming, diving and exploring Potipot Island’s sandy white beaches, they also have the option of lodging and resting in one of the many resorts that abound Candelaria for a reasonable rate.
Typical room rates for high end establishments are pegged at around Php 3,000 per night and around Php 1,400 for budget resorts.
And for those adventurous types, overnight stay at Potipot Island is allowed, although tourists must bring their own food and water as no vendors are present at night.
Tourists, both local and foreign, stay an average two to three days and nights, and once they tire of Potipot Island’s tropical novelties, can always head for home and bring as “pasalubong” (gifts) to their friends and loved ones a delectable Zambales treat, very sweet ripe mangoes which are sold for Php 35 to Php 40 per kilogram. (Source: PNA)