Category Archives: Travel

1 Day in Potipot Island, Zambales

Potipot Island is a remote Island off the coast of Candelaria, Zambales. It’s a 3-minute boat ride from Isla Vista Resort, and some 10 minutes max from other resorts around Candelaria, and maybe 20 minutes from Sta. Cruz, Zambales (this is the last Victory Liner bus stop).

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The water is a beautiful crystal blue, with fine white sand. In comparison, the sand at the coast of Candelaria is smooth and fine, but it sure ain’t white.

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MUST DO:
Before going to Potipot island:
♥ Plan your day. Granted, I’m not one to talk since our plan mostly consisted of “Relax and chill on the beach.” but we did remember to:
♥ Do some grocery shopping for snacks. You can also bring food to grill (and appliances to grill them with). There are no restaurants or food stalls on this island, so you’ll really have to bring your own. Another option is to have a heavy brunch and a good dinner and just have some snacks at the island (which is what we did). We shopped for snacks at the Candelaria town proper, a 10 minute walk and ~30 minute tricycle ride away from Isla Vista.
♥ Double check your things. Remember that it’s a remote island, so it’s a bit of a hassle to go back to get something you forgot, especially if you’re staying at a resort far away.

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That clear blue water ♥

Honestly, that’s basically it. We spent the day lying on the sand, enjoying the sun, and taking a whole lot of photos. I’m putting together a mini Project Life album for this day.

OVERALL POTIPOT ISLAND COST: P369 for one day on the island, sans souvenirs and full meals.

Breakdown:
P169 for my half of the groceries
P50 for my half of the tricycle ride to the Candelaria Town proper
P150 for my half of the boat ride, to and from. The boat ride costs P300 for 2 to 7 people. Our bangkero was Vincent, who we met on the way to Isla Vista Resort. You can reach him at 09465360866.
*I also bought souvenirs on the island, via a traveling seller, that totalled to P425 for 20 trinkets. It’s pretty pricey as far as souvenirs of that type go, but there wasn’t anywhere else I could buy during my trip.

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General Tip:
Bring enough cash! If you’re a foreigner, make sure you already have Philippine pesos with you, as there aren’t any banks or ATMs around the area–both in Potipot or Candelaria! The closest would be an hour’s bus ride away at Iba, Zambales (maybe around 40 minutes by car).

on the road.

I’m on the bus home from a quick trip to Zambales. I’ve got quite a lot to backlog, as I haven’t even blogged about my Cebu trip yet, and some other stories and reviews I had been planning to write.

For now, though, have some Potipot Island, Zambales photos from my trip:

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More photos on my IG, @inmidnights.

[Review] Escario Central Hotel, Cebu City

Escario Central Hotel is an affordable hotel hidden at the back of restaurants, a parking lot, and across a gas station along Escario Street, Cebu City. It’s a jeep ride away from Ayala Mall, two-three rides away from the bus garage, and a cab ride away from the airport.

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If you’re not driving in, you will probably miss the sign. The lobby for the hotel is a small, airconditioned room with couches, a desktop computer, the front desk, and two glass doors–one is the entrance to the lobby, the other opens to the compound of bungalows, or the ‘hotel’ proper. The lobby is not actually connected to any of the bungalows, and is a stand-alone bungalow itself.

This trip to Cebu was my first trip alone, and as such, my first foray into looking up everything–from hotels, things to do, full commuting routes, prices, etc. I primarily chose Escario Central because of the good reviews on TripAdvisor especially regarding the cleanliness (CLEAN BATHROOM. IT IS MY #1 MUST!), coupled with the fact that it was affordable (on a discounted price), and that the location is noted as quiet (and with a nearby convenience store for cheap meals). Traveling alone wasn’t just about my need for independence, to tick an item off my bucket list; I also wanted time to just be alone, without anyone intentionally draining my introvert energy, and catching up on much-needed sleep–as I’m a light sleeper, had been working late nights and coming in early mornings, and I share a room with my sister and her girlfriend, sleep is hard to come by. This hotel, then, seemed like a really good fit.

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Here’s a view of the hallways with the lobby at the end. You’ll have to go through the lobby to be able to enter the compound. Or you could ignore the lobby and go through the tiny opening next to it (right of photo). Haha

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View of the hallway from the lobby. The keys can be claimed and surrendered at the lobby.

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Here’s the front door to my room! Seems neat enough, with clean tile and plants to give off a fresh vibe. The window above that is the bathroom window which is a bit iffy, since you can totally stand on the plant box and peek inside.

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(Photo is in Panoramic view, click to enlarge)

Upon entering, you’ll be greeted with two queen sized beds with crisp sheets.  A white  bedside table is built on the wall between them, with a closed drawer and an open shelf.

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The only decor in the place is the striped center wall, in orange and red. At the foot of the bed is a full-length mirror (yay), shelves with a built-in clothes rack, the bathroom entrance, a flatscreen TV, then the door.

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Here’s a shot of the mirror and shelves.

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The shower is small but functional. My only gripe is there’s no divider (whether a sliding door/panel or a small ledge) between the shower and the toilet, so make sure the shower curtain is closed and you lay a towel parallel to the toilet to avoid accidents.

For amenities, there were two bath towels, a hand towel, complimentary soap, shampoo, and two bottles of water upon check-in. If you get your room cleaned, these amenities will be replaced/replenished at no cost (a fact I didn’t know, since most hotels charge for water, and none of the reviews I read mentioned it. If I knew, I wouldn’t have bought a liter of water from the nearby 7-11).

Overall, my stay in Escario Central Hotel was worth the price. The staff was accommodating and let me check-in early; when I needed commuting directions, they helped me figure out which jeeps to ride and advised me to take a cab when they felt it wasn’t safe for a girl traveling alone (like commuting to the bus station at 3 AM, which would take two-three jeeps). The downside, for me, is the lack of proper security (at night, the staff moves huge potted plants to cover a small pathway between the lobby and compound so people will, pressumably, be forced to enter through the lobby) and the lack of a safety deposit box in the room (you can deposit at the lobby/front desk, though that’s at your own risk). I knew about the safety deposit box beforehand though, so I only brought one gadget (my phone) on the trip.

I stayed at Escario Central Hotel for 3 nights, for P3,333.00 using a voucher code at TravelBook.ph.