One of the best things about being single and having many friends, is that I’m always the designated “kaladkarin friend” – the person you can ask any time, any day, to join a trip to anywhere and they’ll be like: “Let’s go!”
This is how I found myself in Fortune Island one weekend, tagging along a whole team of people I had just met on the day, who easily became my friends afterwards. A couple things I must note before I start dishing out the details of this trip are:
- I’m the joiner here, meaning I didn’t organize the escapade; so the extent of my knowledge regarding to the finances and logistics are limited to the average cost and the average mode of transportation.
- The more the merrier – the more people you are, the less expensive it was!
To give you some background of the place, Fortune Island is situated a few kilometers off the coast of Batangas, near Nasugbu. The island was scheduled to be renovated and commercialized by its owners, but due to the high cost of maintaining a resort with fresh water in the middle of the sea, the project was abandoned (for more information on that, please see here). The place now has sort of a haunted feeling on one side of the island, wherein an abandoned pool and the remnants of what-would-have-been resort buildings are left.
The main attraction of course now is the pseudo-Greek columns arranged a la Parthenon-style, set up on top of the cliffs on the left side of the beach, where you can take as many pictures as you want to your heart’s content.
How to Get There:
I do believe that there are various options, depending on how many people you have on your group and how convenient you want your travel fluidity to be. On this post though, I’ll be providing details on the transportation for 10pax, with a rented van:
- Rent a van: Super-convenient, more convenient than taking a bus, mostly because if you are 10 people and you all just want to be together, then why not? Also, you won’t have to stick to the bus line’s schedule and it’s just easier all-around.
- Cost: PHP5,000.00 – whole-day rent, but the prices might fluctuate if you “know” the person (you know how it is with us Filipinos). That amount divided by 10pax in total basically puts our fare at PHP500.00 each.
- Get to Wawa Port, Nasugbu: From wherever in Manila you are, it will only take 2.5 hours if there isn’t any traffic. Pro-tip: Leave at around 3:00am or 4:00am to avoid all that. If you’re a tad bit late, and manage to get caught in the rush hour, expect your ride to be 4 hours long.
- Rent a boat: You will need to take a 45-minute Bangka ride to get to the actual island. Depending on the time of day and the season you get there, the waters will mostly be calm in the morning, getting a little bit rougher in the afternoon. But really, it’s a little wavy and it’s kind of “open-sea”, so the people at the front of your Bangka is gonna get wet!
- Cost: PHP4,000.00 – that’s the normal range for a group of 10pax, but it just depends if you make friends. You might get them to lower it to PHP3,500.00 if you’re lucky.
What to Do:
Technically you don’t have to do all the things below, but depending on what you want to do and how long you plan on staying there, here’s what we did:
- Take Pictures: Let’s be honest, the only reason you came here is for the Greek column aesthetic. And in all honesty, I did too. So we can all sit in our very honest selves here. Do note that you’re not going to be the only one who will want pictures at the iconic spot, it’s a tourist spot after all, so be prepared to do some waiting. We ate first and then waited till around 11am for all the other fellow tourists to finish. By that time, the sun was super high up in the sky and no one else wanted to get too tan, so we took advantage! Really hot under the Philippine sun, but that’s what sunblock and sun glasses are for!
- Swim: The place is an open beach. By open beach, I mean it goes real deep real fast, the swimming there is appropriate if it’s not too wavy. The water is a bit colder depending on the time of day, but mostly it’s not like in Boracay where you can keep on walking and walking into the ocean and the water’s still going to be at your ankles. I went two meters in, and the water level was already at my waist.
- Eat: Technically, there aren’t any eating places in the actual island, but if you cooked/brought food, there are places with trees and some shade to set up a table and have a mini picnic
- Camp: I didn’t know you could, but when we got there, we saw people who actually did! Staying there overnight is going to be a real cowboy experience though because it’s not going to be like glamping or anything – there aren’t any functional toilets, nor sources of fresh water unless brought by you into the island.
- Island Hop: This one’s optional, but because we arrived at the island at around 7:00am finished taking pictures at around 12:30pm (we took our time), the boaters suggested we visit the other islands. We paid an additional PHP300.00 each for 3 more islands but it was worth it. Spent the rest of the afternoon island hopping and swimming at tamer beaches (including the beaches you would have access to if you stayed in Punta Fuego).
What to Bring:
The essentials, as I found them to be:
- Water: It’s a MUST. You’re going to definitely need it. Bring like a liter or two, depending on your usual intake.
- Sun block / Sun screen / Sun Caps / Sun Hats / Sun Glasses: basically anything that will protect you from the sun – there is almost no shade in that place!
- Cameras and power banks: Usually your phone camera (depending on your phone) should be good enough, but if you wanna go all-out on the photo shoot, you can take the DSLR too.
- Swimming gear: Rashguards if you don’t wanna go tan, bikinis and your #OOTDs if you want a picture for your Instagram feed. Towels and other toiletries (shampoo and conditioner), etc. if you can too – there are shower stalls in the Wawa Port so you can rinse off the sea-salt off your body.
- Good, thick sandals: The trek up the cliff is a little rocky, and the beach has large chunks of corals, not fine sand (although it is fairly white), so thick-soled sandals will be needed.
- Garbage bags: Play a part in keeping the place as clean as you found it! We want these places to last.
Overall, the place really is a nice location to have a quick summer getaway!
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“I’d love to hear what you think about this travel. Let me know in the comments.”