Friday, August 16, 2013

An Island called Potipot

Welcome to the small, secluded and beautiful island of Potipot. Located in front of Candelaria, Zambales coastline, this little wonder has been a quick fix for those who wanted to enjoy pure love affair with nature. There's no electricity and only scarce cellphone signal. While some people choose to sleep on resorts on the mainland in front of the island, we decided to go all-the-way and camped overnight on it.

It may look all jungle but nope, believe it or not, there are huts between those trees.
I'll be honest, I haven't had any interest in going to this island until the day before we went. The real plan was the mainstream Anawangin Cove. I planned this trip as our summer getaway with the whole family and few close cousins. There were 8 of us. The weather did not quite cooperate with this plan since waves got so huge the day before our trip. My contact person warned us that a 30-minute boat ride going to the  cove is just not feasible. A sudden change of plan was decided. We're going to Potipot Island instead. I did some research and yes, it was way safer. Waves in this part of the sea are calmer and it will just be a quick 5-minute boat ride. Downside? Drop off point is 2-hr farther than the original. That means we have to go extra early to reach the 8am boatman appointment. 

We left at around 5am with a lot of necessities in tow. As I've mentioned, we wanted to camp overnight and that means we should be bringing our own food, water and toiletries. For a group of 8 people, that's a lot! Good thing we brought our own transportation as the "park and sail" was also covered by our boatman. The trip took 4 hours give or take, including a breakfast stop.

As I saw a glimpse of the island, I was stunned. I was somehow glad we did not push through our Anawangin Cove plan. Yes it may  not have pine trees and a creek, but the beach made up for it. See why:

Clear turquoise waters.
Long and clean shoreline.
Decent fine yellowish white sand. Not the Boracay kind of fine but it's finer than Puerto Galera, Bolinao and Camiguin's sand bar (as far as I can recall).
What more can I ask for? The water even has some slightly strong waves, just the way I like it! The whole day was burned doing old school beach activities, swimming, having weird contests, laughing, teasing and just plain o'l chatting. And it was fun!

Few things worth mentioning though, typical resort water activities here are non-existent. Don't expect some banana boat rides, jet skis and the like, there are none, zero, zilch, nada. The point here is to beach bum, that's it. The island is so small you can walk its circumference in just 20 minutes or less. There are also no luxurious accommodations, just tents and huts. Also, the beach is as natural as it can get - there are some sharp corals on some point, water elevations are a bit dangerous too as they get real deep on a very close range, there are also insects and rodents at night, the far end of the island smells like fish and bathwater comes from a pump. That may sound intolerable for some, but it rings adventure for me. 

Then came night time. After playing some cards and eating dinner, we decided to call it a night. Of course, my trips aren't quite complete without some horror stories of misadventures. My parents decided to rent a hut to sleep in. It's a very basic hut, it had a small stair leading to the second floor which is a whole sleeping area then the lower portion is the dining area. It's quite huge actually as they say it can fit 20 people. Great deal, except that I wanted to sleep inside a tent. We had two tents anyway so what the hell, might as well use one to serve its purpose. I am more comfortable sleeping inside a tent, feeling the sand beneath it, rather than on a plain wooden floor. Me and my husband were already sound asleep when we were awakened by my mother's shout - she was asking us to go inside the hut as it's already drizzling. I quickly grabbed my things and noticed the floor was already wet and the tent's window was dripping with rainwater. Not again! This is Mt. Pulag's horror story all over again. As we ran towards the hut, the rain went ballistic and soaked me even more. Trying to sleep with wet hair and clothes was no fun at all but wanna know the worst part of that? I checked the time and it was only 9:30pm! Talk about long night!

A great sunrise matched with a sumptuous breakfast erased my rain trauma. 
Right after breakfast, I quickly changed into my swimsuit and plunged again. My desire to swim will always be insatiable. We enjoyed the whole morning in the water, doing more random stuff. Too bad we were almost running out of food and water so we had to come back to the mainland by noon.

Where they dock the boats. Not really a swimmable spot. The sand here is coarser and the look how close the deep water is.
It was a nice bonding with the family after all. It was again proved that a change of plan doesn't always equal to disaster. I know it was not the perfect getaway for my parents as they needed convenience the most at their age, but they were game all through out. I must say I got my bold travel spirit from them. 

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