Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My First Trip for 2014 in Potipot Island!


 Hey guys! I am back! I know I haven't been posting lately due to my impending resignation to my current place of employment. It seems hard to swallow that after three years of working - might I say happily working with Koreans I have mustered the courage to resign as an online English teacher. 

Its not that I don't want to anymore but I just want to explore my boundaries as an individual and I would like to also experience life without getting stuck to a desk job. 

But nuff said about that I am here to show you my recent trip to... POTIPOT ISLAND! *confetti splash*


I don't really know much about this place but I was tempted to go because that is one of my life long dreams- to travel and see the world..or for now the rest of the Philippines. 

I will surely do more of these soon so let's start first with Potipot Island shall we? 


According to my good friend google, Potipot Island is called the 'little boracay of the north' why you ask? Mainly because of its pristine blue waters, fine white sand and being a 'hidden' jewel of Zambales.

 This is a virgin island which means that they don't have electricity nor major infrastructures in the island which is perfect for campers that would like to experience the simple way of life - for at least a day or two.

 I am not an experienced camper but I am up for an adventure in this little virgin island. But if you don't want to sleep under the stars and experience darkness, this may not be for you - But a must try! 

You may opt to commute on the way to Potipot or choose to get a tour group. I would suggest a tour group if you are traveling with several others because its quite cheaper. I also have a recommendation for this which you can check out below.  


As getting a tour package, it would include your transportation, boat transfer and also camping gear rental if you don't have those or you don't want to carry a heavy camping tent with you.




Travel time would be about 5 to 6 hours depending on the traffic. I suggest travel around midnight so you would arrive at Candelaria, Zambales around early morning so you could also buy your food which is fresh.


We had about 3 stop overs on our way. First one is in Petron Subic Freeport station since most of us need to answer the call of Mother nature and also to have a coffee break. Most of my travel buddies were snoozing away on the way while I was wide awake. I am always like that on trips since my excitement gets the better of me.


Next stop is at a gasoline station since again most of us need to answer the call of mother nature. That was actually a short stop since we really had to go.


Last stop before potipot island is Masinloc Market in which we bought the food and drinks we will be having on the island. 


We arrived at our last stop at about 10AM since we need to marinate the meat and have a prep talk on the things to do on the island and also photo op of the island from afar. The island is only about 5 to 10 minutes away from the mainland so you will still see civilization while you lay down under the stars at night hehe!



 If you are traveling on a budget, you can rent your ride to and from potipot island for about 400php ( USD / Euros) According to the care taker, The rate is pretty much the same for peak and off peak season, but I think you can still haggle it.



Upon arriving to the island, you will be greeted by the pristine waters and fine white sand of the beach. I tell you its like paradise after that heart dropping boat ride since the waves were quite high that time so on the way I was already praying to the heavens that please wag nyo pataubin yung bangka namin! (please don't let our boat capsize!)

Mandatory selfie shot! LOL
We chose to have tents instead of renting some cottages. Most cottages costs at about 1000 Php ( USD/ Euros) there are also small make shift tables you can use for free in the island.


Cottages range from only a table and chairs to those that have a room in it, that would costs more actually so I suggest just opt for a tent to lessen in your budget. Also if traveling on a budget, there is an entrance fee on the island of about 100php for day trip and 130 php for overnight. This is for the maintenance of the island and for the care takers as well. 

As I said earlier, this island is a virgin island which means there is no major infrastructure but they have a water pump and bathroom which you can use to change or take a bath.


 Personally, I was quite shocked that they don't have running water and the bathroom that is near us was not clean so I actually had to hold my bathroom urges for #2 since I don't think my system will be able to stand the smell.

But aside from that, the island is actually a good place to spend some R&R for at least a day or two.

Also please keep in mind that at night there are NO LIGHTS NOR ELECTRICITY which means you have to bring your own lighters or better charge your gadgets if you will be spending overnight here. I actually experienced my camera dying on me that night which gave me a little heart attack.

Also if you are planning to do a bonfire, better think twice since they actually don't allow it. If you want to cook your meals you can either bring a portable gas range (Korean stores or Hardware stores have those so don't worry) or go to their cooking area which is located at the mid way of the island.





One of the things you can do in the island besides getting your tan on is trekking the whole island. We were told that you can trek the island in 20 minutes...if you have lightning speed my friend. It took us about 45 minutes in which about the latter part of that my friend gave up and returned to our camp while I dog paddled on my way back.


 

I don't know how to swim, but I can try to paddle. I am a lost case without dog paddling LOL.

There are also specific areas in the island where you can swim. You would immediately see them because they have border for those, but if you are not an experienced swimmer *AHEM* make sure to check the depth of the water, it gets deep after about 5 steps in the water.


Overall, I had TONS of fun in this trip. There were some things I would like to point out:
  1. Make sure to CHARGE ALL YOUR GADGETS. Since they have no electricity. Or bring a power bank.
  2. Make sure to bring all camping gear if you don't plan to rent one of their cottages. 
  3. Befriend a local there. Especially those that are selling the souvenirs since they could give you more pointers the next time you plan to visit Potipot island. 
  4. If you are a neat freak - quit it being getting sand in your feet, legs and may be even your underwear will just stress you out.  
  5. Clean after yourself! They do have caretakers but they are not always there to clean up after you. 
  6. Do not be noisy at night. There are still other campers in the island that may be sleeping so its best to be respectful of that. 
  7. They don't have a clean comfort room - get used to it. 
  8. Be mindful of your surroundings - remember that this is an island, not a garbage disposal area. 
  9. Bring light, comfy clothes. 
  10. Have fun! You went here to have fun so do it!
It is my first time to travel with my new found friends and I am so glad I went on this trip. And also this trip would not be possible without Horray zone travels and tours. They specialize in road trips and island trips! Currently they have tours more on the northern part of luzon. They also offer packages for group tours are low as 1800php each! That includes the transportation, boat transfer and camping gear.

If you would like to know more about their tours make sure to LIKE their Facebook page here.

DISCLAIMER: The company mentioned did not ask me to do this okay? I paid 1700php for my share in our group so don't think this is a free trip ok?

I will do a complete low down on all the things you need to know on the next post since this is way too long! but its worth it right?


Make sure to drop me a comment below or suggest a new place I could go off to next! 


Much Love~! 

xx Alice

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for you reply Tine! sorry ngayon ko lang nakita! :D

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  2. Hi, 130 lang po talaga yung overnight fee or 300?

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    1. Yup~ yun din yung price na sinabi saken ng caretaker... pero if you take a group tour kasama na sya sa expenses :)

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    2. Hello, nabasa ko po ibng blog 300 daw po yung overnight. Do you have contact number ng caretaker po, if yes, can i get po? Thankyou.

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  3. Hello Yu! unfortunately wala akong number nung care taker ng island.. I believe day trip is 130 while overnight nga is 300 pero hindi kasi ganun ka clear yung pagkakasabi saken nung care taker.. Thanks for reading my post!

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  4. nice pictures, and great blog. we are planning this weekend to go, but is there any other way to the island? land?

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    1. Hi Melissa! Thank you for messaging me and reading my blog I really appreciate it! Unfortunately there is only one way to reach the island in which you really have to use a boat. I suggest go there around the morning before lunchtime since according to my friend the waves are not that big during that time of day :) hope this helps :)

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  5. This is nice to read and what to expect my friends are headed in potipot on next week and sounds likes it same as anawangin no electricity, tent and beach bumming

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  6. hi po ms. alice.. ask ko lng po kung may kilala kau na bangkero & kung may contact number kau? thank you :)

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  7. hi.. ask ko lng po kung may kilala kaung bangkero & kung may contact number po kau? thank you :)

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