Grecian pillars, European feels, an abandoned island. Who would have thought that this spectacular island is only 2-3 hours away from Manila? I’ve been eyeing this island on Google Maps since 2013. The place that time is not yet known to tourist. You would only find few resource online on how to reach the place. Recently, I was shocked on how it’s mobbed by people. Search it on Google and you’ll be surprised by the number of entries and post on how to arrange your DIY trip or even get an offer for day tour or overnight camp from travel agencies.I’m happy to end Summer with my well off friends, who by nature, has the same infection of lust for wandering. Thanks to the #CasualTurtles, Levi, for organizing this trip. Our budget for our overnight trip only cost us P1500. We hired a private van, owned by our high-school friend to fetch us to and from our drop off point in Nasugbu, Batangas. Before sailing aboard, we made sure that we are all equipped with our beach essentials. There’s no decent store in Fortune Island. Grilling and bringing in your packed foods or cook set would be ideal (just be mindful of your acts to preserve the beauty of the island). Thanks to Nanay Ely too, one of the coordinator in Fortune Beach Resort ( drop off point to Fortune Island) for coordinating everything. We sailed off at around 7 in the morning and reached Fortune Island at around 8-ish. The island was flocked with tourist (it was a long-weekend holiday, so that explains it) but I was still astound on how wonderful the island is. Batangas, still has a lot to offer. The clear blue water, the white grainy sands, the pillars from the background is one hell of a package for a good summer vacation.
It was freaking, scorching hot. Getting sun-burnt is fine (sometimes, being the self-proclaimed island girl, I am), but the heat was un-explainable. The sands can actually grill off your feet (that rhymes, lol). We looked for a shady spot to settle down our things and cook our food. Since we don’t want to end up going home with skin cancer, we decided to pitch our tent in that old and wrecked lounge-kind-of-waiting-area-veranda-looking shit of the infamous resort. Fast Fact: Fortune Island was once a resort for rich filthy people way back then. Due to its pricey accommodation and fees, it faced destitution and the Korean owner decided to abandon the resort. Up until now, the ruins and the remnants of this once astonishing resort somehow remains intact. It was turned over to the government and is now owned by the Leviste’s.
After lunch, drinking spree and games, we went straight to cliff diving. This is what Jack Daniels can do to your system. I’m glad to have friends with so much energy despite of being awake for several hours. The cliff is by far the highest I’ve jumped to. It took me 10 minutes to get that insane courage. But I think I enjoyed it too much since I jumped 4 times. Haha!
Surprisingly, we decided to end the night with a good sleep. No late night booze for us (full Tita/Tito mode on). Actually, we tried, but these teeny-lgbt-neighboring campers were drunk and was screaming their hearts out for some unknown reason. I mean, it’s fine to slay the night especially if you can’t control your emotions, but these guys were uncontrollable and notorious. I think I’m just getting old, but how about drawing out even a small respect from their drunk bastard bodies knowing that everyone on their surrounding was trying to get a decent rest. *sigh*
Anyways, we decided to maximize our time the next morning. We swam, took pictures and went cliff diving again. The island itself is a gift from nature. That clear blue water is next to impossible. The natural cliff is equally attractive too. The Grecian-Roman-Medieval theme kinda gave me a unique vibe. I somehow felt that I was somewhere far from the Philippines. Everything was picturesque.
It’s just so sad to see how exploited and abused the surrounding area is. There’s garbage everywhere. By the way, there’s no comfort room here. This is “find your own cr”. The 400 pesos landing fee that we paid includes 3 piles of freshwater for your “call of nature” needs. I hope that the caretaker would be stern enough to maintain the natural beauty of this place. And let’s not forget that WE also need to be responsible of our own garbage. Please do not litter and destroy the island. Let us all learn how to preserve and protect Earth’s innate beauty.
Happy Summer 2016!