The big waves were relentless as we headed back to mainland Batangas. I informed everyone about the waves but I guess being on board the boat that go head-to-head with the big waves spelled out the difference between expectations and reality for a couple of our companions. It took us an hour longer to head back as if the island wanted us to stay just a bit more within its embrace. It wanted us to keep pressing for our luck at Fortune Island.
Once known as the “it” place of Manila’s high and mighty, Fortune Island now stands in beautiful disarray as a quick beach destination off the coast of Nasugbu, Batangas. Interestingly, the name of the island contradicts the misfortunes that happened on the island and its surrounding areas. Apart the closure of the luxury resort after 11 years of operation, the surrounding waters were also the sites of 3 shipwrecks – the San Diego Galleon that sunk in 1600, the MV Melody Cristy that caught fire and sank in 1995, and the MV Princess of the Orient that sank in 1998.
At present, the resort facilities that once accommodated Manila’s affluent society has been left at the mercy of nature. The stretch of white sand is still there to enjoy together with remnants of the resort’s architectural highlights that now serves as a huge come on for off-beat travelers.
We rolled the dice and definitely got lucky discovering the four aces of the island.
Ace of Diamond: A Photographer’s Playpen
The prime attraction of Fortune Island are the Grecian structures along the cliff side of the island. The structures have deteriorated after the resort closed down subjecting it to natural forces. The “deterioration” give a natural touch to the ruins. It is the most photographed area of the Fortune Island and has become its poster image. In fact, the ruins is the major come on of the island.
Since it is the most photographed area, there is a huge chance that you will have a hard time looking for that window where the area is clear of visitors. But with a bit of patience and luck, you will be rewarded with a great backdrop for your captures.
There are other areas in the island that you can also play with your camera. The rock formations below the Grecian structures offers a good full view of the island while the cliff behind it offers a great view of the blue waters behind this was infamous island.
Ace of Spade: A Huge Playground to Explore
Getting your feet onto the white sand shores of Fortune Island is an adventure in itself and the adventure continues on within the island. Kids and the young-at-heart can make sand castles by the beach and enjoy the cool breeze. The wind from mainland Batangas is strong and flying a kite by the beach is possible. Too bad that I did not bring one.
If you are up for a hike, you can hike up the hill where the lighthouse is located. You can head up to the top of the hill of the island to get a 360-degree view of the island and its surrounding areas.
The cliffs at the back of the island is a great place for adrenaline junkies. One can try to test their wits by jumping off a cliff that is about two floors in height into the clear and calmer waters of the Fortune Island. The area also serves as a docking area for boatmen when the waves get rough at the beach front.
The adventures that you get on the island prepares you for the adventure of conquering the big waves when you head back to Nasugbu so get ready to ride.
Ace of Clover: A Place Where Peer Pressure is Acceptable
Fortune Island is a great weekend escape for the “barkada”. Like what I have said earlier, getting to and from the island is an experience in itself that would have everyone in the peer group talking and chiding with each other. It is a great weekend road trip escape that will definitely get you to bond with friends in a very fun and entertaining way.
The island does not have much tree cover so make sure that you bring a tent with you. It will also serve as a good shelter from the sun’s heat if you are afraid to get a tone darker. In my case, I prefer enjoying the summer sun while sitting comfortably on an inflatable lounge. If your peers are up for it, you can also spend a night on the island but be forewarned though that there are no restrooms or showers on the island.
While everyone is at it, get the booze out and start sharing stories over a couple of cold beers. You can also fresh seafood from the locals that they will be more than happy to grill for you. Grilled fish and a cold beer are a great combination over shared stories. You see, in Fortune Island, it is never too early to get a little tipsy. That is if you brought in enough drinks to be shared around.
Ace of Heart: Sand, Sea, and Sun – Just Perfect!
At the end of the day, Fortune Island gives you the complete ingredients of a great summer weekend. It is a beach destination so it is best enjoyed with the beach chill vibe – the survivor way. I enjoyed getting a bit of a tan just watching the waves hit its shoreline. Interestingly, the waves at the beachfront were simply wild that taking a dip was also exciting – getting smashed by its cool waters.
I love the fact that I could just hang around with friends and enjoy watching the day pass by. I mean there is nothing more to do in Fortune Island but to simply hang out and enjoy the beach scene. We had the sand, we had the rough waves of the sea, and we had the sun. It was simply a good day to be at the beach.
Post Travel Notes:
It is interesting that what you see in the pictures of Fortune Island just shows you a part of its landscape. It is a huge island where you do not have to fear getting lost because it is easy to find your way back. Again, everything in the island is experiential – getting there, going around, and leaving. I guess it is the experience that really caps off the memories that you make in Fortune Island.
It is a good quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The rustic ambiance of the island make it unique despite the lack of facilities. Too bad though that the island was not able to maintain the facilities of the once flourishing resort but I guess it is also its main draw at this time. Funny though that the Fortune Island that was once the playground of the country’s rich and famous is now an attraction among “normal” Filipinos.
In the way that I phrased it to a friend, Fortune Island is where the normal Filipinos are enjoying the leftovers of the country’s elite. It was their loss, anyway.
Getting there: Our group opted to take a road trip to Nasugbu, Batangas via the CAVITEX and passing through Naic and Ternate. Once in the vicinity of Nasugbu, you can proceed to Fortune Island Resort where you can pay for the fees and rent a boat to the island.
Alternatively, you can opt to take a bus to Nasugbu, Batangas. Once in Nasugbu, you can take a trike to Fortune Island Resort.
You can reach Fortune Island Resort at +639155047166.
Budget Allocation per head: Php1500 per head for 8 pax.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.