Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Manila because of its excellent beaches, mountains and ancient churches. I’ve been around the province of Batangas but there’s this one exceptional island found at the coast of Nasugbu, Batangas that took my breath away; The Fortune Island. White sand that covers the entire island surrounded by clear, pristine blue water enough to entice you to visit this place. But the main feature that makes the island quite irresistible is the Greek-inspired structure in a clear imitation of the Acropolis in Athens. Thus, it was labeled as The Santorini of the Philippines, named after the island found in the Southeast of Greece’s mainland. It used to be a resort that was exclusive for prominent celebrities and public figures then it shut down in 2006 and reopened in 2013.
Things to do in Fortune Island:
- Sightseeing and Picture taking
There’s a lot to see in Fortune Island. There’s the Grecian pillars and statues; the San Diego Warship museum containing historical artifacts such as Japanese katanas, Mexican coins, Portuguese cannon, and so much more; the remains of the actual sunken warship; and other sights for you to discover. My friends Zy and Jhecka did some photoshoot at the pillars. Most of my friends in Facebook thought I was out of the country and I told them, “Sa Batangas lang yan, hehe!”
- Fortune Island Cliff Diving
Do you have gallons of hormones pumping through your system? Cliff diving is perfect for you! It is a sport that seems to go against our nature. When you jump, you will hope not to die or get chopped off by the crashing waves that await feet below to serve as a cushion. At first I was scared to jump, my friends kept cheering at me but I just don’t have the balls to jump… When I gathered enough courage to take the plunge, I finally jumped.*** It was freakin’ awesome!!!*** After my 1st attempt, I got addicted to it and did it several times. “Ang saya pala talaga.” FYI, there are a number of blue holes found at the northern tip of the island, which lead to an open large cave 80 feet deep.
You will appreciate the underwater wildlife richness with snorkeling! You can bring your own gear or just rent it from the boat man. I suggest you wear an aqua shoes coz it’s kinda rocky. I also spotted little crabs and jelly fishes, but don’t worry they are harmless. In case you get stung, just put some vinegar on your skin and ice cubes. I know this coz I got stung before.
- Hiking to the Lighthouse
There is a medium lighthouse that is 40-50 meters from the shipwreck. Bring drinking water with you for the long walk (about 15-20 minutes). I don’t think we are allowed to enter the lighthouse because the entrance were closed but you can take pictures from the ground.
How to Get There:
Before going to Fortune Island Batangas Resort, it is important to make prior arrangements with a reliable travel agency to guide your way around the island so you can have a stress-free and memorable experience. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to avail their tour packages.
There are three public air-conditioned buses that usually travel to Nasugbu Batangas on a daily basis:
- Coastal Mall Terminal (Paranaque)
- BSC Bus Line (EDSA/MRT Taft)
- San Augustin Bus Line (Cubao)
The fare can range from ₱200 – ₱220 one way with a travel time of at least three-four hours, depends on the traffic. Once you arrive at the town proper, take a tricycle that will take you to Barangay Wawa, Fortune Island Resort PADI Dive Center. Once you arrive at the said place, you will have to pay the Landing fee of ₱300 per head or ₱400 for overnight tour. Round-trip boat transfer from the resort to the island is ₱800. It’s best to travel in big groups like we did (15 pax) to minimize all expenses.
If you’re coming from Manila, there are two routes you can take: via SLEX, or Cavitex. Once you see Jollibee in Nasugbu, just follow the main road and you will see some beach resort where you can park your car overnight.
What to Expect
- No source of freshwater
- No electricity
- Garbage littered everywhere (please clean up after yourselves. Take your trash with you)
- No toilets
- No food outlets
- The sun can be scorching, and there are barely any shade.
- Weak phone signals
Things to Bring
- Bin bags for your rubbish
- Tent, hammock or sleeping bags
- Shoes for hiking if you decide to go to the lighthouse
- Coal or woods for cooking
- Snorkeling gear & aqua shoes
- Potable water
- Insect repellent lotion
- Sunblock lotion
- Wet wipes for your personal business
- Action camera or DSLR
Remember, there’s no accommodation in the island, that means that you have to set up your own tent or hammock. Bring enough food, water, and protective wear against the formidable heat and the broken glass bottles littered in some area. But hey, these are just minor setback, it won’t be called “Fortune” Island if you would think of its “misfortune” condition. Try to see the beauty in everything because there’s a lot to explore in Fortune Island.
photo credit: Jois Guiyab