Thursday, May 13, 2010

Potipot Island Getaway - Getting There

If you want to read all my posts on this wonderful island, just click the following link below:



That little oblong-shaped island from afar is Potipot Island, as seen from the beach of Dawal Resort in Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. This is where we rented a boat for only Php 400 round trip.

Potipot Island is about 1 km. or so from Uacon, which is the mainland, located in the town of Candelaria in Zambales. From where we were in Alabang, it took us abot 6 hours to get there, which included a 30-minute stop at one of the gas stations along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and another 30-minute stop at one of Mhuillier branches in Olongapo to get some money via Xoom. That particular gas station along NLEX, Petron Lakeshore, is the most beautiful of all in that area not only because it has a lot of food places to dine at, but it also has this huge pond at the back, lined with lush coconut trees along the banks, which used to be public before. But it's now a private property so we weren't able to come near it. Anyway, looking at it from afar was pretty refreshing enough. When Peter and I travel, we make sure that it's not just the destination that counts but the journey as well.

So we stopped for a while so Peter can get coffee. Unfortunately, the power was out at that time and no shop was selling brewed coffee. So we explored the location for a bit before heading off to Zambales via Subic.

After a while, we headed to our destination. The ride was pretty far for us considering we already took the SCTEX, Subic, Kalaklan gate routes to make the ride shorter. The trip going to Potipot Island included long stretches of roads where we saw many rice fields, rivers, bridges, and lahar. Since there was no traffic, I opted to open the car windows and just enjoy the view...

Anyway, if you want to reach Potipot island using your own car, here’s what you do:

If you’re coming from Balintawak, Quezon City, you of course take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), then you exit at SCTEX or San Fernando to get to SBMA , go through Tipo tunnel, exit at Kalaklan gate, and go all the way to Olongapo. Then, just go straight. You will pass by the following towns: Castillejos and San Narciso. Once you reach the San Narciso junction, turn right because turning left would bring you to Pundaquit, San Antonio where there are nice gray sandy beaches with waters good for surfing. Anyway, you should turn right at the junction and enter the town proper of San Narcisio. You will pass by the following towns after San Narcisio: San Felipe, Cabangan, Iba, Masinloc and Candelaria. When you go to Candelaria after Masinloc, you should use the national road and not head to the town proper of Candelaria. You will know you are using the national road when you see signs of Sunbloom, Dawal and other resorts of Uacon. You can go to any of these resorts. Most have bnacas you can rent for Php400, the cost of a round trip transfer to Potipot island 5 minutes away.

If you want to commute, here’s what you do:

Take the 11:00 pm IBA bus trip at Victory Liner in Pasay Terminal. This is their last trip for the day. Fare is around Php240 or so. There’s also another bus that leaves at 11:15 pm but this one is only up to Olongapo. Once you reach Olongapo, you transfer to a bus that heads to Iba. You won’t have to worry, because the earlier 11 pm bus usually waits for the 11:15 pm bus once it gets to Olongapo. Once you reach Iba at around 5-5:30 am, you take another bus that heads to Sta. Cruz. This bus passes by Candelaria and the access road to Dawal beach resort. Then you can just walk. Bus fare from Iba to Dawal is around Php60. In Dawal resort, you can either rent a room to make sure you have a place to stay for the night unless you want to camp at Potipot island. Then you rent a boat for Php400 which can carry up to 6 people, and you’ll be on the island at around 8:00 am. The ride from Dawal beach to Potipot Island is only 5 minutes.

Parking fee near Dawal Beach is Php100. That was where we rented a boat and asked the boatman to come back for us the following day since we will be camping on the island the rest of that weekend.

The water was a bit choppy since it was already 3pm when we reached Dawal beach. Good thing that Potipot island is only 5 minutes away from the mainland of Uacon. Potipot Island, here we come!!!

To be continued...

For more photos of the sceneries along the way, please click the link below:

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