Potipot: Luzon’s Exile Island
I personally declare this island islet as Luzon’s exile spot… it’s like God grabbed a handful of soil and dropped it near the coastline of Zambales. Potipot Island is located roughly 1 km from the mainland shore of Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. Uacon is about 240+km from Manila by road.
It’s basically all about the white sand that completely surrounds the whole island, the calm clear waters, the lush vegetation and trees that provide shade along the beach and its proximity to the mainland that allows visitors to reach the island by boat in 5 minutes.
Camping in the island is popular, however they recently placed huts made of bamboo and nipa (day rental is PhP150).
There are a couple of other beach resorts in Uacon besides Dawal. They are just adjacent to each other. Dawal happens to be the popular one though and, actually, people in Candelaria and Masinloc refer to the Potipot Island area as “Dawal”. You can plan on staying in Dawal or Isla Vista but there are other low cost resorts along the stretch of coast. (PhP2000-PhP3000/room, can accommodate uo to 5 people)
Getting to the island is easy as there are boatmen who hang around the beach near the resorts or at the fishing village several hundred meters north of Dawal and get a banca to the island. Rate for round trip is P300-P400 per banca that could ferry up to 6 people. They are also willing to help you cook/grill lunch in the island. We added P200 on top of the rental as tip, and they really appreciated it.
Note: Potipot is also refered to as Putipot or Pulipo by other maps and references.
Take a Victory Liner Bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales at the Pasay, España or Caloocan terminal. Ask the conductor to drop you at Dawal in Uacon in Candelaria. Call the Victory Liner office to ask for the specific route and for the last departure time. Prepare to wait as the buses stop to get passengers in every opportunity. Travel time takes 6 hours from Manila to Dawal. Last trip going back to Manila is 7:00pm.
From Balintawak, Quezon City take the North Luzon Expressway, exit at San Fernando and drive towards Olongapo City. Enter SBMA and exit at the Kalaklan gate. Go straight to the town of Castillejos until the San Narciso junction. Turn right at the San Narciso junction to enter the town proper and then pass by the towns San Felipe, Cabangan, Iba and Masinloc. After Masinloc head to Candelaria but use the national road instead of heading to the town proper. Along the national road you’ll see the signs of Dawal, Sunbloom and other resorts in Uacon.
The popular activities in the island include swimming, picnic or simply chilling. After we grilled the tilapia that we bought from a local fisherman, we grabbed something to drink and a good book came in handy to cover Monette’s face while sleeping under a camachile tree along the white sand bar. I also tried feeding a school of fish with the loaf bread we brought in.
Please excuse the photos, these are the only salvaged frames from my other P&S camera. Apparently someone deleted… or accidentally deleted (Stup***!) ALL photos I took on my SLR during this trip. Aaargh!