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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Candelaria, Zambales: A Personal Note For Potipot Island

It's "summer" time again in the Philippines and the weather starts to register its peak temperature. Humidity rises up and what a way to start the day but with an ice cold water. Refreshing! Manila has been too much of a city now - congested, jam-packed, and highly inconvenient. I believe we all wanted to get out of the metro and the most common question is "Where to?".

Potipot Island, Zambales
Potipot Island

Where to in the sense that it should be accessible from Manila, cheap and short-distance land travel, and worth one's precious time. There actually are a lot of good places to chill-out situated just on the outskirts of the metro and will require 3 - 4 hours travel time. The provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Bataan, and Zambales are the places I consider visiting to where traveling can be easily done over-the-weekend.

Zambales in particular, a four hour driver from Cubao, Quezon City, Manila, is teeming with tourist destinations. I'm a beach guy and I find the sound of the sea soothing and relaxing, and I've heard from some friends that Zambales can fulfill this need of mine. Potipot (Pu-ti-pot) Island is where I headed this time.

Potipot Island, Candelaria, Zambales
Potipot Island

I set no expectations, though I read several reviews days before our trip. Quite a fair share of positives and negatives for the comments I've read and I guess it's for me to find out and seek a comment from myself.

The Municipality of Candelaria in Zambales is quite far from Manila and the bus trip roughly takes 6 hours via Victory Bus Liner in Cubao. I don't have problems with longer land travels as I usually sleep throughout the duration of the travel. Together with my travel mates, we departed Manila around 4 AM through a bus going to Olongapo and then transferred to another bus heading to Sta. Cruz. We actually planned to leave Manila via the 3 AM bus but unfortunately there already were no tickets left enough for the five of us.

10:30 AM and we finally alighted Candelaria. The port / boat terminal / banca ride going to Potipot Island is located near Dawal Resort, around 10 minutes tricycle ride from Candelaria Public Market. The tricycle rate is PHP 50 good for 3 persons. Arriving Potipot Island was a bit of heaven to me. At last, I'm no longer in the "mainland" and looking forward to finding some quality leisure time.

Candelaria Zambales Market
Candelaria Market

The sand was not as fine as Boracay and Coron I must say, however, I wish the not-so-fine sand would've been cleaner and well-maintained by the island caretakers. There are few rubbish found on the seashore and I find it not healthy both with humans and with the environment. Visitors pay at least PHP 100 as "Entrance Fee" thus I hope it is being put to good use especially on keeping the island clean.

The waters around the island weren't that crystal clear as some may expect, probably because the water currents are stronger because the island is located on the West Philippine Sea. Again, it's fine with me, just hoping that the next time I visit Potipot, I won't find some plastics floating. :)

Potipot Island in Zambales

The good thing I liked about Potipot Island is that it has lots of trees that serve as shade for overnight campers. Also, you can put up your own tent anywhere in the island, of course at your own risk in finding the right location - Not too near the seashore and not too secluded elsewhere in the island. You can freely sleep on the seashore as well, which actually was the option we chose.

Witnessing the sun setting down was also one of the best sunset scene I've ever seen - the violet-orange sky enveloping the ginormous sun bidding farewell from the horizon. Just dramatic.

Sunset Watching in Potipot Island Zambales

TRAVEL TIP: There's still no electricity in the island so make sure to bring some flashlights with you and you will surely appreciate it's use come night time in the island.

Overall, Potipot Island is just okay for me. Nothing much to see and do and a visit or two should be enough I guess. Comparing to other island destinations in the Philippines, I'll rate Potipot a passing grade - just above the borderline.

Overnight Stay at Potipot Island Zambales
Potipot Island travelmates

Oh I forgot to mention, there are several "friendly" rats at night so make sure to secure your belongings, especially the foods, if you don't want to start the day with a hungry stomach. :)

Keep Traveling!

Browse more information about Potipot, Island from here:


  1. I WAS STUNNED the first time i went there with my class mates from PLM. It was very beautiful for us. <3 yung sea grass lang nag papadark sa tubig but its really "WOW' not to mention the drift woods there, were planning to visit it again. hopefully i can make my own blog and describe how beautiful it is. :)

    1. Potipot Island is worth the travel. Just hoping it is constantly being maintained to preserve the beauty of the place.

      Keep traveling! "",

    2. HI. When was the last time you travelled to Potipot? Does it have electricity already? :-) thanks in advance

    3. Hi! The last time we went there last 2013, there still was no electricity. Keep traveling! "",

  2. And still no electricity today so bring a lot of power bank and led light ^_^




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