The Search for Potipot Island, Zambales Part 1 of 2

I thought Zambales is just roughly 3-4 hours drive from Manila. We left around 6:00 am at the Victory Liner Bus Station at Monumento thinking that we’ll arrive at our destination early as well. We thought of visiting different places, churches, park or garden near the resort but to my dismay, it’s past 10:00am and we were still in Olangapo City. Upon reaching Iba, the capital town of Zambales, we were told to ride another bus going to Candelaria. And so we did, I even remember asking the bus conductor if Candelaria is just near, he replied, “Diyan na lang ‘yon.” (“It’s just near.”)

Candelaria, Zambales was our destination. It is approximately 42 kilometer from the capital town Iba. We have seen mountains, bridges, bodies of water and we’re not yet in our destination.
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Mountains around Zambales
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After some butt cramps from our grueling 6 hours of travel, the bus conductor told us that we are now at Trinidad Bay Resort. So we hurriedly get off the bus (at last!) and find ourselves in the middle of a ‘ghost like’ Baranggay of Uacon. I mean, no offense meant but the road was empty, no one’s even outside to ask to for directions except the bus we rode leaving.

There, we found ourselves alone, with no one to talk to for directions.  So we thought “where is Trinidad Bay Resort from here?”

We saw a sign board that says Trinidad Bay Resort pointing across the street. Hoping that we could rely on our instinct and common sense, we found ourselves among the bushes, with a small trail headed towards a residence area. “Wow Mali” moment hit us. Imagine getting your first tan line just by walking around, it was near disappointment.

It’s near the end of the trail and we haven’t seen any trace of sand, only this weird looking cow staring at us. At last, it was the signage we have been looking for for almost half an hour of scorching heat of the sun.

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The place was  great. The owner, (I forgot his name) is a retired worker from the US and decided to build a resort where he can permanently live and spend the rest of his wonderful life. I believe he's blessed because he has the best of both worlds, relax life in a beach resort he owns and getting resources out of it. Hard work really pays off.
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Basketball court inside the resort
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The resort's bar still under construction back in May 2008
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The colorful flags facing the beach
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The author relaxing on one of these nice furniture
For more photos of the Trinidad Bay Resort click here.

It's noon and poor us, we didn't bring any food in the resort. We weren't able to take advantage of the free use of their BBQ area. The helpers even offer their hands to cook for the guests' food. They were really nice. But the kindness enveloping the resort doesn't end there. The owner even offered his car to chauffeured us to the next resort (Dawal Resort) for us to have our lunch. Isn't that too much for customer service? We felt like VIPs. (LOL)

After our gastronomic experience in Dawal Resort, we started looking for bangkeros (boat owners) who can take us to Potipot Island.

Our experience in Potipot Island, Zambales will be posted in another blog.

How to get there

Probably, upon reading my experience going to Candelaria, Zambales, you may think twice of going there. But I swear, those butt cramps will pay off. 

You can ride Victory Liner Bus (from these stations Caloocan, Cubao, Sampaloc ) going to Iba, Zambales. You can check their schedule and their bus rates on their official website

Accommodation

Since we went there last May 2008, the places I remember back then was, of course, Trinidad Bay Resort, Dawal Resort and Alta Nina. I tried researching online and I was able to find this list here. I guess, a lot of resorts are built around the area after we left.

Room Rate: 1,200 Pesos / night (4pax) -- airconditioned room
Look for Aling Mercy
No Corkage fee for foods and drinks
Cell No: 0916-543-9709

DAWAL BEACH RESORT
Cell No. 0920-6651577 or 0919-5730952
Landline: 047-603-0276
Email Adress: reservation@dawal.com.ph

ISLA VISTA RESORT
Km.249, Ealdama St., Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales, Philippines
Cell No(s) (+63)919 244 9084, (+63)905 908 0876
Email Address: isla_vista_resort@yahoo.com

BEACH HOUSE NI DOK 
Look for Karl
Cell No. 09175765116
Room Rates ranges from 1,700 - 5,000 Pesos per night depending on the no. of people

ALTA NIÑA RESORT
Owners: Edgar and Niña Mabalay
Caretaker: Famous Mang Noel
Room Rates: 1,500 Pesos (low season) and P2,500 Pesos (good for 6 people) - aircon room
Landline: 646-8069
Cell No. 0918-9265373

POTIPOT GATEWAY RESORT
Barangay Sinabacan, Candelaria Zambales
Booking Office: 5th floor, JS Contractor Bldg., 423 Magallanes St., Intramuros Manila, Philippines
Reservation: Ms. Melani H. Borra
Landline: (632) 309-0891 to 93
Tele Fax: 309-7325
Cell No.: (63) 09272687128, (63) 09216637433
Email Address: melborra@potipotgateway.com

ELIZABETH RESORT
Look for: Alberto Ebbay (Owner) or Fely Elamparo (Manager)
Cell No.: 09183023386

THE HARVEST BEACH RESORT 
Cell No: +639178650002, +639228313018
Look for: Marina Daringit or Aurora Daringit

STEVE LEE'S RESORT
Cell No(s). +63908 863 4157, +63927 280 6175

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