FORTUNE ISLAND

by - 11:53 PM

The swell of the sea was alarming under the scorching heat of the sun.  There was no typhoon.  Huge passenger and cargo vessels pass by our outrigger boat as we silently hope that we be docked on an island at the soonest possible time.  The sights of vessels vanished.  We were in the middle of the ocean, of a vast dark blue ocean when suddenly there were no floating objects except our boat.  Out of nowhere, the course of the wave's current drastically changed and the boat capsized.  Days have passed and we found ourselves alive in a tropical island paradise.  

I was awakened while on board the outrigger boat and realized the imagination was so vivid that hearing and reading travel stories towards this new island destination will do no good.  It was a one hour travel ride to unveil this new destination.

Yes, I was lead to one of Luzon's mysterious island not as a survivor of a shipwreck but as a wanderer.  This is the Philippines and this is the Fortune Island.



As soon as we docked on the island and my restless feet touched its fine white sand, predicaments of embarking a costly trip and stories of horror that haunts in the island vanished.  The island was simply one of a kind, none of the same structure I can think of in the Philippines.  

The remnants of a great architectural landmark was visible from afar.  The Fortune Island was once an exclusive island resort owned by the former Governor of Batangas, Jose Antonio Leviste, which only the rich and the famous can afford to experience.  Along a 20-meter stretch of pristine white sand beach, aligned rest houses faces the water.  The island resort also once featured a salt-water swimming pool, clubhouse, cabana, basketball court, helipad, desalinator for freshwater consumption, and a small serpentarium.




But the current status of the island resort, its dilapidation and the uselessness of the amenities and facilities that once catered to the rich and the famous has a charm of its own.  To each its own, but on my perception, the natural beauty of the island still overpowers the man-made infrastructures once built in the island.

We were lead by our boatman to the farthest end of the island for us to pitch our tents and settle for the overnight stay.  We were situated closest to the famed replica of a galleon which sunk on December 14, 1600 and shipwreck was discovered near the island in the year 1992.




The island is the site of modern shipwrecks as well.  The MV Kimelody Cristy, a passenger ferry owned and operated by Moreta Shipping Lines Incorporated caught fire and sank off Fortune Island as it was on its way to Mindoro, leaving 17 people dead and 16 people missing.  In the year 1998, close to my birth date, specifically September 18, the M/V Princess of the Orient, a passenger ferry owned by Sulpicio Lines sailed during  typhoon on its way to Cebu City from Manila and sank off Fortune Island resulting in the deaths of 70 people.

With these information on hand, most were hesitant to discover the island and experience the ghost stories come to life.

There is no electricity in the island, thus, if one opts for a luxurious stay in the island, it's better to be home and be contented of browsing the net for photos of the island.  We pitched our tents beside a monument with human bones preserved inside.  According to locals, the bones belong to a woman, where remains were found during the construction of the resort and believed to have been roaming around the island at night.


With our mandatory drinking spree I was situated next to the human remains and for intoxication, I cannot attest if the ghost stories were indeed true.  And we stayed until the wee hours of the morning.  It was a feeling as if we had a drinking spree with the woman guarding the island.

With an ultimate camping experience and imaginable castaway-like venture, there are no catered foods served unlike how the resort was experienced decades ago.  Thus, estimates as to the food consumption of the group is essential but with fellow travellers armed with hidden culinary expertise, island living is brought to a different level.

our chefs
 

The Fortune Island is known for its Grecian pillars, situated at the other side of the island from where we were situated.  The cliff of the island was decorated to a different dimension of the usual tourist attractions of the country.  Anyone who has the opportunity to grasp at its photos would always ask,  Is this in the Philippines?  With the resounding YES.  Indeed, this is the Philippines.




This part of the island is the most photographed, be it of whatever concern the visitors are in the island. From pre-nup photos to cosplay of being a goddess or god of the ancient empire of Greece, the backdrop of the Fortune Island would be a good site for photography sessions.

Photo by Oyis Estanislao
Fortune Island is indeed something.  There must be something with the name that makes the visitors fortunate --- fortunate of having to spent a time in the island unwary of time and just pure relaxation.  There are no boring moments in the island for whatever your preference will be.  If one opts to be melodramatic and just drink on one corner, you will be given of what you ask for.

The powdery white sand of Fortune Island is a discovery despite the notions of having a treacherous sea that surrounds the island.  The clear waters of the island entices every diver, swimmer and beach bummer to maximize your intention to exhaust the stay in the island.

rich marine biodiversity is a good site for snorkeling

the island is a haven for divers as well 

I was walking at the shores of the island when the young boy asked me for their picture to be taken while they show off the shells they have collected
date date pag may time
The Fortune Island tagged as the island of mystery of Luzon is indeed worth the discovery.


Mandatory expenses to ponder upon:

Boat rental - PhP6,000.00 for overnight stay
                    PhP4,000.00 for day tour
Entrance fee per person:  PhP 400.00
bus fare from Manila (Buendia) to Nasugbu: PhP163.00 per way



The best time to go the island is from the months of February to May and even locals advise that journey to and from the islands be made before lunch time as safety precaution.





This is my entry to the May 2014 Pinoy Travel Blogger's Carnival hosted by Mervin of Pinoy Adventurista with the theme:  Luzon Lovapalooza






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5 comments

  1. We have been eyeing this island for quite sometime now but the schedule of the group won't meet. Hopefully soon. Ang ganda ng mga photos your honor.

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  2. Wow. This is really awesome. Beautiful island. Your photos are stunning. Excellent writing. I immediately felt I need to go visit this island. The place looks deserted. Were there other tourists when you visited?

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  3. mandatory drinking session... alam na... :P

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  4. Yay! ang gaganda ng mga kuha... Kilala mo pala si Oyis! :)

    ReplyDelete