Overnight in Potipot Island
I made a lot of friends because of my love for traveling and there will always be those whom you share a special bond with. So we (I along with 3 more friends) hatched a plan to stay overnight in an island (qualifiers included: should be reached by land travel, not crowded, chill-out place) for some bonding time.
January 23-24, 2010
Meeting time’s supposed to be at 11pm because the last trip bound for Zambales is around midnight. It was a Friday and traffic was heavy. That was why even though Abby and I left Makati (we just had to attend a dinner on that night too ^_^) around 10, we were barely able to catch the last bus. We literally had to run for it!
That bus ride was quite memorable. It was packed! Packed enough that not finding seats wasn’t enough. There was barely room for us to stand in. I seriously thought that I will have to stand for the whole 5-hour trip! Good thing it was for only 2 hours (!). The fact that I was catching up stories with good friends sort of made the whole thing more bearable. After a couple more hours, it seemed like we were the only ones left when the bus conductor informed us that it was our stop, Dawal.
It was still dark (4:30am-ish) and very cold (for which I was happy that I brought a jacket along) when we got off the bus. We met a man whilst walking and he asked us if we’re going to Potipot Island. Turns out that he and his wife rent out their boat to travelers as well as provide cooking utensils if you ever need some. It was then agreed upon that he’ll bring us to the island and fetch us the next day all for 400php with a pot of rice thrown in the deal. :D
We then proceeded to the marketplace to buy some food, drinks, firewood and we had our first meal of the day there, freshly cooked arroz caldo. Yum!
I thought Potipot Island was near Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove so I was sort of expecting a landscape similar to those two (think: pine trees, streams) that’s why when I saw the island, I turned to my friends and was like “Yan na yun? The usual tropical island with coconut trees?” I blame it on the fact that they’re both in Zambales which is no reason at all come to think of it. They laughingly answered “yes” but turns out it wasn’t just your usual island whatever that means. I hate not doing my research! :)
There are huts for rent in the island but we opted to camp out. First agenda then is to choose our campsite and to set up our tents.
Afterwhich, we set out to do different things. They slept while I was enjoying having the island to myself (not counting the caretakers and my sleeping companions).
The day (more specifically the afternoon) was spent swimming, hanging out, lazing around, taking pics and trying to prepare for dinner and the night. Though we weren’t the best campers and we had some boo-boos, it was loads of fun! We even had a mini bonfire and ate burnt marshallows. hehe
The next day was special for us as we had an agenda even before going there: We were going to clean the island! Or at least try to pick up the litters along the coast. We ended up collecting around 2 garbage bags worth of plastic and other-trash-other-people-left-behind. The island’s caretakers were grateful for our help and we were more than happy to do our small part. :)
That being done, we did some last minute swim and photo op before heading back to the mainland and to metropolitan Manila. :)