Mommy I’m scared!, screamed Marco the only kid in our group when the powerful waves almost took over our boat on our way to Fortune Island, the Greek like abandoned Resort in Nasugbu Batangas. We were aware of the strong waves during rainy season but not sailing beneath the scorching hot summer time. The sea was calmed only within half an hour from the time we left the black sand beach of Brgy Bucana. Little did we know that the MV Princess of the Orient, suplicio lines and Moreta Shipping lines sank off Fortune Island. We were really terrified and thankful that we survived the waves. We safely docked on the seashore despite the strong current of the water. The Grecian Pillars on the top of the hill and the pebbles and white sand stretches along the island greeted us.
The resort is still attractive despite of the abandonment. Chris the caretaker told us that the resort is long owned by former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste and currently has been taken care of a Korean. According to him, there was a museum dedicated to the San Diego Dutch war ship that sank off Fortune Island. Now there isn’t much left of the said Museum. He affirmed that one can marvel the sea through diving for only Php2500 with instructor already. Hence, you must have a diving license to do this. He stated that the former Governor created a replica of the San Diego Galleon which still stands magnificently on the island itself. Long before the island have been neglected, the resort was operational. It includes electricity and they used refined water, maintained toilets, helipad, swimming pool, cabanas, basketball court, the Grecian Pillars and statues which can be reached through stairs and pristine white sand without some rubbish as what we can see now.
While the rest of our friends were swimming, my buddy Par and I walked throughout the island. The bungalows were half destroyed, cottages remain deserted, windows shattered, drained swimming pool as its center piece, some part which has been reclaimed by nature and the only left is Chris the caretaker with his two dogs namely Fortune and Tin Tin. Fortune Island, once place to escape for leisure have been cast off. I could imagine this resort on its blooming days during the late 90’s. We walked closely to the San Diego Replica, the facsimile’s position in the heart of the island. It appeared to me as if it was the black pearl ship minus the lateen sail which Captain Sparrow and the white crabs dragged off on the shore of the Caribbean. Anyhow, it looks fantastic and a bit creepy if you peek intimately.
Rusts have taken over the toilet and whose floor is now covered in blanket of dead leaves. No more electricity and water. We stayed in a somewhat Pavilion where chairs, tables and hammocks were still available to utilize. There is a simple grill tool available there don’t expect it to be fancy as long as you have enough charcoal, lighter and meat, you’re BBQ is good to go. Unfortunately when we arrived in Nasugbu the wet market was closed and the only option that time is to buy Grilled Chicken at Andoks. We had lunch in the island and it was like we owned the resort. We were the only guest around and the best part was we shamelessly wore our two pieces despite the obvious fat bellies. No one’s watching except perhaps the Greek Gods if there are any?
It’s not easy to swim there even strong swimmers can be pull by the powerful flow of the water. It even hit me right on the shoreline and it hurts to slam on the coast since the sand has so many pebbles on it much worse if you will be punch by the waves on big rocks. One must submerge under each approaching tough wave but still need to be careful as there are certain areas which tons of big rocks underwater.
The Grecian Pillars which looks like Parthenon from afar appears to be dreamy. We climbed on the edge and it was windy up there. The Greek like columns looks fantastic regardless of the wrecked fraction. The statues along with the columns overlooking the sea were spectacularly a breathtaking view. I can tell the busted pillars and statues were victims of the forces of nature. It looks as if Zeus strikes its wrath through lightning bolt on each of the pillars nevertheless the ruins remains to be my favorite part of the Island.
How to get there?
BSC Lines travels from Manila – Nasugbu daily. Fare is PHP155. Travel time is approximately 3-4 hours. Bsc busses are located along EDSA near MRT Taft Station. You won’t usually notice the bus terminal, please be reminded that it’s located at the back of 24 hour Mcdonalds and Sogo hotel. The first trip is 3:00 AM. Tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off in Nasugbu Jollibee and Meet Mang Dante Contact#: 09394895292. From Nasugbu Jolibee, take tricycle to Brgy Bucana, from Brgy Bucana beach, Mang Dante will guide you to the boat; travel time via boat is 1 hour depending on the waves. It took us 1 and a half going to fortune island and 2 hours back to the Brgy Bucana because of the waves.
– Bsc lines to Nasugbu first trip is 3:00 AM
– San Agustin Lines to Nasugbu first trip is 3:30 AM.
– Fare is PHP 155 as of March 2013
– We arranged our boat packages through Mang Dante Contact#: 09394895292. Boat for Php 4000 for 9 pax with no life vest, alternatively you can request for life vest for additional cost. He will secure a permit for you with a charge.
– While on the island, we found out that the Fortune Island Caretaker Kuya Chris offers low priced package compare to Mang Dante. You can contact him at Phone#: 09087225628.
– I don’t recommend visiting the place during rainy season. The powerful waves are dangerous.
– Even during summer the waves are also strong. Please be careful. Always secure a life vest.
– If you are not planning to go on overnight. Please leave early as the waves are stronger in the afternoon.
– Expect some rubbish on the shoreline.
– The coastline isn’t pure sandy; there are tons of pebbles and stones. Make sure to wear your slippers most of the time.
– You can stay overnight in the island as long as you have tents and overnight fee is 300
– Please be reminded that they don’t provide tents, you have to bring your own.
– If you have a diving license, you can dive through shipwreck San Diego war ship for only Php 2500 with instructor. You have to book this at Brgy Bucana fortune resort.
– There is no electricity or functional faucets in the island
– There is no restaurant in the island. You have to bring your own food.
– There is dressing room. Abandoned but can be utilize
– There is smart and globe signal. No signal for sun subscribers.