Want a taste of Greece without securing a Schengen visa? Check out Fortune Island, off the coast of Nasugbu, Batangas.
The island was first owned by the former governor of Batangas Jose Leviste. He opened the resort in 1995 and it was said that only the rich and famous could enjoy the place. However, the resort filed for bankruptcy and is now being owned and ran by Korean businessmen. That’s where your entrance fee goes.
I haven’t heard of Fortune Island before until I was invited by my bestfriend with her friends. Her invitation was very timely. I just had my heart broken that week and I needed to take a breather and get my mind off from everything. I wanted to be near the ocean and smell the salty air. Her friends (who I believe became my friends as well) were also a fun bunch of people that I really had a great time.
What to bring:
Just remember that this is not a resort club with fancy rooms or restaurants. This is a DIY island wherein you pitch tents, cook your own food, keep your own trash, you get the picture?
- Food (Rice, seafood, bread, noodles, canned goods)
- Water (Lots of it! No fresh water on the island)
- Kitchenware and Utensils (for cooking and eating, go for the disposable ones)
- Garbage bags (for your trash, and don’t leave it there!)
- Lamp, flashlights or candles
- Powerbanks (No electricity!)
- Mosquito repellent, sunscreen (the heat is burning)
- Speakers (for your socials night or chill moments)
- Wet wipes/alcohol/sanitizers (Lots of it!)
- Face mist (for a fresh face)
- Dental kit
How to get there:
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I was just dragged out from my bed at 5AM and I slept through the whole trip going to and fro.
- Go to Coastal Mall and line up for the bus going to Ternate, Cavite.
- Travel time was around 1.5 hours.
- From there, we rode the tricycles going to the public market before we proceeded to get on the boat in Nasugbu.
- Yes, we rode the tricycles going to Nasugbu. It’s different from the Nasugbu Hway. It’s in the other side like hello from the other side.
- From “I’m not sure where that place was” jump off point, we got on the boat going to Fortune Island, it took us almost two hours before reaching the island. (I was so stressed out because I was so sleepy and there were no handles or railings in the boat for us to lean on, so if you sleep, you’ll fall off and goodbye world!) *wink
We went the same way back.
What to do:
Pitch your tent. Find a spot in the island wherein you can setup your tents and cooking area. Make sure to pitch under the trees or any shades as the heat can get really bad that even your tent would want to melt right then and there.
Cliff-diving. There are two spots for cliff diving – one is for the beginners with weak knees and the other is for the ones with braver hearts who could swim and not die (and since I didn’t try it, I don’t have a picture, boo you). So guess who was able to check one off from her bucketlist? Totes me, baby! Woot woot!
Sunrise-watching. I love sunsets and sunrises! These are the only chances I have to get a glimpse of such wonders so I make sure to wake up early and say hello to Mr. Sun.
Star-gazing. Who doesn’t love lying around the sand, looking at the sky and identifying different constellations or even debating whether it’s a shooting star or an airplane while listening to some chill EDMs from Spotify? I don’t have a picture of it myself, but our friend Aye took some good photos and you just can’t help but be amazed how good our God is to create such wonders.
Freshly-hatched-baby-turtles-watching. Say what? You probably haven’t heard of that but we must have done something good in our past lives that God gave us a surprise in the middle of the night.
And lastly, my favorite —
Take lots of photos. Oh come on! Greece is one of my dream destinations and this is the closest that I can get or have to that beautiful country, though I wasn’t able to maximize this part as it was baking hot. We were thirsty to survival level that we had to go back to the tent and drink lots of water.
But don’t get me wrong, aside from the scorching heat of the sun, the Greek-like ruined structures were just astonishing. I wish I could have wore a flowing dress and took photos like a goddess who came down on earth (ehem, Artemis, ehem).
Summary: I liked Fortune Island in the sense that it’s a good place to start the cowboy lifestyle. This was my first time sleeping in a tent, cooking food outdoors and surviving two days without fresh water to take a bath to. But what made this trip memorable was the friends and the experience I gained.
I checked one off from my bucket list by jumping off a cliff. Seriously, it’s a lot to take in since I’m scared of the water and I’m not even sure if I would resurface. As I check off items from my bucket list, I’m also defeating one fear each time. So this one was a fear of the ocean, baby steps. Baby steps.
I cried my heart out at 2AM without anyone judging me or pressuring me to talk about it. I had moments to clear my mind and try to put things into perspective. I realized I could survive in that environment but thank God, He put me in a better one.
What I didn’t like though was the number of people flocking to the island. It was very crowded, ugh. Also, there weren’t any fresh water or toilet to take a pee or a poo in case nature calls for it. Trash were everywhere. Where did our 400php entrance fee go? And the heat was just deathly. Until those Korean businessmen figure out how to make it a little better and comfortable for everyone, I don’t see myself going back.
Other than the above-mentioned dislikes, Fortune Island is a place worth going to for conquering fears and testing friendships (lol, talk about cooking and stuffs).
Thank you Cha and friends for tagging me along!
Bus Fare (Ternate-Coastal Mall) – 162.00 (back and forth)
Tricycle Fare (Ternate-Nasugbu) – 400.00
Boat (Overnight) – 5000.00 (Divided into nine)
Landing Fee in Fortune Island (Overnight) – 400.00
Food and drinks – 350.00
An all-around amazing guy they fondly call “Konsehal” Chris. He’s actually a Konsehal so there’s no doubt that you will be safe with him.
Call him up at 09154729531 –
Disclaimer: We went last May 23-24 so this entry is apparently six months late. You might want to visit Fortune Island before the summer so it wouldn’t be so populated.