Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Not-so-Fortunate Day at Fortune Island, and Some Do's and Don'ts

This should have been entitled "The Best Backdrop for a Goddess-like Photo Shoot."  But then again...

Taking a break from the electioneering hullabaloo, Bhogs and I decided to go away for a day!  Go-away in the sense that we had to leave the kids (and the dogs) behind for a day and spend some "just the two of us" time.  

We've been meaning to do this since last year when I joined a Facebook travel group. It was where I saw Hulugan Falls and followed some blogs who featured it. It was indeed a blessing to see someone posting tour packages for Fortune Island and kept me looking for that perfect timing.

Going there on a weekday was what we thought would be better, as many knew about the island already and millennials have been stoking on it every weekends.  It was indeed a good decision.

All we budgeted was P 2,000 for each of us for the whole day, and that's P 4000.  Do you think it was worth it or was it too much.  Well, go ahead and read on.

The tour package offered to us was P 1500, included Van transpo, boat transfers from Nasugbo resort to Fortune Island (back to Nasugbu) lunch and island entrance fee.

What really attracted me to this island was the the ruins at the top of the hills.  Said to be the Acropolis of Batangas, the Athens of Batangas, the island with the Greek-inspired ruins. etc.

The day went really early.  Bhogs and I took the package but drove all the way to Nasugbo instead of going with a group.  We met the travel group at the resort at Brgy. Wawa at 6:30 am after driving from home at 3:30 am via Aguinaldo Hway to Tagaytay.

With that we only paid P 1200 each for the package.

Here are what beckoned us...

The blue sky, blue sea, the ruins on the hill and the excruciating heat of summer.

But there's so much more...

There's garbage everywhere, no water to wash even your hands, no tables and chairs (well you can borrow from the caretaker) no restrooms nor bathrooms, not even a sturdy shed to roof you from the sun's rays.

However, I was able to have that long-awaited photo opportunity with a spectacular view.

Much have been said about this island which used to be a nice resort way back when the Leviste's were still the owners.  The 27-hectare island lies about 14 kilometres off the coast of Nasugbu in Batangas and will take you an hour of boat travel.  Being a storm path, the island really took its toll and have suffered major devastation, which is now apparent.  What used to be gorgeous buildings are mere decaying wood and cement, vandalized and awaiting havoc to strangers.

Frankly, after our pictorial (hahaha, for the trying-hard ones), and lunch prepared by the organizers of the trip, we would have wanted to go back to the mainland.  If it weren't for the umbrella-tree that sheltered us and the cool breeze, I could have lost my cool and Bhogs could have been stricken with migraine.

So here are some Do's and Don'ts, so you can enjoy the island better.

  • Do come early, on a weekday preferably so there are less people, which can be hard to manage when you want a clean photo palette.
  • Do bring your cameras and gadgets 
  • Do bring your large brimmed hats, caps, sunglasses and yes, even your umbrella
  • Do lather on sunscreen with highest Sun Protection Factor for the face and for the body
  • Do bring lots of bottled drinking water
  • Do bring lots of food, there is no store where you can buy in the island
  • Do bring first aid kits and medicines for there is no facility for such
  • Do bring garbage bags to keep all your trashes
  • Don't expect too much on the whole island, but mind you, the beach was great and the water was pristine and clear.
  • Don't expect any lifeguards, or security guards or other people to help you with some issues, there's only one person managing the island
  • Don't leave any trashes anywhere
  • Don't be too crazy on the top of the hill, there is no safety grills around, but for those who dives, it's a good spot.

You can actually spend a night there too, but make sure to bring your complete camping kit, coz, no one will provide for you.

There's no electricity too, and please never think of setting up a bonfire or a fire pit to cook your food on the beach, it will damage the white sand and the rocks on the beach.

The island has lots of potentials, with great coral reefs around but beware of occasional blast fishing.

All in all, we enjoyed the day, meeting nice people from the group we joined.  This island can be best for that Grecian-themed photo sessions advisable for weddings and debuts.

You can contact Ms. Grace Lagos of Travelista to schedule a tour here, her cell phone number is  09204600522.  Add her in Facebook and message her.


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