I can finally use summer + beach trip + overnight camping + white sand + beer + grill + budget + getaway + first time + sun burn in one sentence!
Okay, let’s make that one blog post.
We recently had an overnight camping trip and here are some tips based from our own experience. I included things I wasn’t able to gather from other blogs during my pre-trip research, so I hope this can add to the wealth of information online!
POTIPOT ISLAND, Zambales
– Located at Barangay Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales
– A 5 to 6 hour road trip from Manila
– A privately-owned island
– With facilities convenient for campers
– Clear waters ideal for swimming
– Beautiful white sand
– Relatively clean and unspoiled
GETTING THERE AND OUT OF THERE
Like I said, we travelled via bus (Victory Liner Pasay Terminal). Make sure your terminal has a direct trip to Sta. Cruz. Be wary of the departure time and get there an hour before to secure tickets. We didn’t do any of these – haha!
We had to take the 1:30 am trip Olongapo instead (P223 each, aircon) and transferred to its connecting trip to Sta. Cruz (P176 each, non-aircon). We were unsure of that move, but that’s when we wanted our adventure to begin. It turned out to be trouble-free in the end.
It took six hours (and endless nagging at the conductor) before we finally got to our destination. Six hours – as in like going to Baguio six hours!
I suggest you just sleep for the first five hours and wake up just in time to see the beautiful views, and the conductor’s signal to go down.
By the way, Dawal is the name of a famous beach resort where you should be dropped off. Don’t confuse it as the town name. From there, have a 5-minute boat ride to Potipot Island itself.
Oh, going home, just go back to where you were dropped off at around 10am-12nn and wait for a Victory Liner bus headed to Manila. We chanced by a bus bound for Caloocan at around 11:45 am (P437, aircon).
If you’re planning to bring a car and have no stopovers, you can get there in 5 hours. The way mostly consisted of long straight roads so it’s hard to get lost. I hope to come back and bring a car next time.
NOW YOU’RE THERE – Who’s Aling Minda??
Aling Minda is the caretaker of an almost-abandoned house and your go-to person before you head off to Potipot island itself. She has short hair, brown skin, a friendly face and a funny story on how she got wasted one time drinking red wine.
You can also rent/buy other necessities from her – tents, drinking water, ice, beer – just ask!
Contact her if you want to schedule a boat ride in advance.
Aling Minda – 09393233459 (as of May 2013)
SETTING UP CAMP
We got there on a weekday morning, so we had plenty of camping spots to choose from. I think we only had three neighboring tents in the whole island during our trip! Here’s a description of a perfect camping spot:
1. It’s under the shade of a big tree. The big roots and trunk can also serve as a table or chair.
2. It’s near the waters so you’re close to the sea breeze and gentle waves. Also, you can easily watch over your things while you swim.
3. It’s near a water source – like the freshwater pump (poso) or bathroom. Although, we tried washing our plates in the sea!
4. It’s just the right distance from other campers. The privacy is a must, but it helps to know which direction to run for help in case of an emergency.
WHAT TO EAT
There are built-in grilling stations in the island, but we preferred cooking right beside our camping spot.
An exciting part of the trip could be the meal planning. Google away! Don’t forget the two indispensable tools you will need – aluminum foil and barbeque sticks. You can improvise the necessities from these two!
WHAT TO DO
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Considering an escape? Want to think about nothing else but food and sleep? Curious about camping? Ready for an adventure? Please find time – visit Potipot. 🙂