Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Potipot Island, Candelaria, Zambales

favorite thing to do in potipot: sit on the tree

Pampanga, being central in luzon, does not border any shoreline, and swimming pools are all we can have; None of my folks too have interest in travelling, and so I grew up with Subic being the "beach."
Now that I've grown old enough and I got friends who'd like to get lost every so often, I'd say I am more keen to getting into places.

My beachcapades has started frantically when a friend brought me to anawangin, sometime early 2010. That time, anawangin was getting popular and still comparably pristine. I was amazed, I went back with another group the week after my initial trip.

Getting done with anawangin, the same friends who brough me to anawangin were bragging about Potipot island, which is however farther, and will take us another 1.5 to 2 hour driving from San Antonio, Zambales where anawangin is.

Given another lazy weekend ahead, we've planned a trip to potipot. The plan was to leave at about 8am, but the friend who's bringing the car woke up late, and left pampanga only at around 1pm. The fast and furious driver though, managed to get us to candelaria, zambales by 5pm (250+ kilometers roughly).
When we gott there, we immediately scouted for a boatman. The boatman has advised us though that that exact same day, the entrance charges were hiked from P50 to P100pesos for a daytrip, and from P100 pesos to P300 for an overnight stay. While we intented to do an overnight trip, we thought it was not practical as it was quite late to actually have some activity in the island; plus, there is no electricity in the vicinity. As for the extra P200 that we'll have to pay for an overnight stay, we might as well use that money to get a small room in Dawal Beach Resort.

So, there we go, Dawal Beach Resort Reception. Their most basic accomodation has a single bed with own t/b, enough for the four of us to just spend the night. Besides, we didn't go there just to sleep. Meantime, The same friend who's driving preferred we take a bigger room for comfort (he's kinda 7 years older so we should know where he's coming from :-) . We took a P1800 room with a terrace, has 2 king size beds which we moved next to each other to fit all four us. Once the room was booked, we unloaded our stuff and prepared the food.

After the dinner, some rests, swam, and then booze booze booze. Around 11pm, after the four of us finished the 750ml cuervo and the 2L Alfonso, we ran out of alcohol, and I asked my friend to go with me to find something; But it was quite late for a store to be open. What we found were a group of locals setting up their table and 4 bottles of GSM Blue. They've been inviting us to join but I felt I couldn't be so entertaining to these strangers.

30 minutes back and forth, we still couldn't find some liquor; And for the third time, the locals asked us to sit for sometime, which I thought was perhaps heaven's way of saying "there is no more store open, and your last option is to join them." My friend has left at around 2am, and it was past 5am when I and the locals finished all 4 Liters of GSM Blue...I've totally forgotten my being.

where's my soupppppppp!!!!!

The following morning, my colleagues couldn't wake me up and 12nn was the check out time...plenty of headaches, I had to stand up and wash. We've put all our stuff back to the car and had some soup in the resort restaurant. Thereafter, we took the boat and went to potipot island.
As soon as we got off the boat, as the SOP, we waited for someone to charge us for our day trip. We waited for less than half an hour but none came. we thought they will probably charge us by the time we leave. So...we'll see.

comfort zone A

comfort zone B
As soon as I got to the island, I set up my hammock so I could further my sleep. But as soon I had it setup, just 15 minutes after, my other friend was begging me to lend her my suitable throne. The sand was cool so that's where I slept for the next hour.


When I woke up,,,no wash, no nothing, i jumped right through the beach. Thirty minutes past, I toured the island and as much as I and my friend wanted to have a picture in the fallen tree backside of the island, it was a hightide and we couldn't reach through it. So, we went back to the group.

sun and sand
Then I wondered why it was called potipot. I realized there were plenty of these trees which bore something that smells like poop when matured. Back in college, I remember, we have the same tree sitting next to our Math 11 classroom, and all of us would cover our nose while having the class.

It was nearly 5pm and we had to pack up. We walked to the boat dock station and waited for the person in charge of the collection; Nobody's coming. In as much as we'd like to be honest, everybody seemed like guests. I mean, nobody wearing a vest, id, whatsoever.

camwhore while waiting for the boatman

The boat came and we just assumed, it was our lucky day.

We left the island about 4pm and were back in pampanga by 8pm prior (again, that included a dinner in Chowking Petron Station is Subic). Our trips to zambales were never complete without having a stop by at this fuel station.

*I went back the following week with another group, and we had the chance to talk to some other guests. There was a group of 20+ who paid P300 per head..a whopping P6000 just to bum in the island - a ripoff (To think the island is said to be owned by ex DPWH sec, Gov. Ebdane). From what i've seen, nobody really checks whether people who paid for a day trip actually spends a day trip. The collector should come as soon as you dock, and asks the guests whether they'll be staying overnight or for a day. That should be a hint.
*bring your drinking water. All they have in the island is a pump for washing dishes and comfort breaks.
*if staying overnight, might want to camp your tent instead. There are bamboo cottages where you could sleep, but, we rarely spend on our accomodation for our trips.

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