Summer is almost over here in the Philippines. Heck, the news just announced earlier that the rainy season has commenced.
I have been itching to plunge into crystal clear saltwater and feel the sun on my skin. Summer-themed pictures on the feed of my social media accounts only adds to my overall desire.
The remedy: a sorta last-minute accompaniment to my friends’ summer outing today.
Destination: Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas.
The first stop was Fortune Island Resort. Take note, the island itself is a 45-minute boat ride away from the resort.
Our boat came by the name of Korean Express 2. Two groups filled the interior, along with a couple of bags stuffed with island necessities. Life vests, included.
The silhouette of the island became clearer and clearer as we headed for it. The sun had already risen by the time we got on the island. Cottony clouds masked the sun for a couple of minutes before going full-on UV rain on us.
Touchdown, Fortune Island!
Fortune Island is surrounded by white sandy beach and clear blue water. Rock formations dotted the island, a nostalgic reminder of our Borawan escapade exactly one year ago. Corals can be found lying on the shore, waiting for that one person to pick them up and add them to their collection.
Settling down was first on our agenda, although swimming came to a close second. Everyone pitched in to help build a small tent we brought along for our belongings. The securing of the pegs was pretty much the go signal for running down to the beach. With sunscreen sprayed on, we tackled the small waves. Hands in the air; smiles on our faces.
The gang had to take a quick break to eat. Instead of going back to sea though, we climbed up the stairs that seemed never-ending, all the way to the top of the island.
Climbing was well worth it. On top, pillars from a seemingly forgotten acropolis stood proudly against the test of time. My inner Greek fanboy was screaming. The view from atop the cliff did not help with the screaming part although it was spectacularly breathtaking. I felt like the King of the World up there.
Fortune Island’s highlight is its infrastructure reminiscent of Greece. The cliffs and even the topography of the island is as close to a God-made Santorini as we can possibly get here in the Philippines.
Beyond the lion-like statue, with the pillars behind you, lies a slightly hidden cliff-diving spot. The steps are too steep that a single miscalculated step could mean life or death. That wasn’t enough to stop me in my tracks.
The rock formations and the addition of a rope tied on a rock created conditions that were ideal for cliff divers. A mini cave to the left part of the cliff housed a few pieces of garments, making me think twice if there were people nearby. Because there wasn’t, I think.
Our remaining time was spent socializing in the waters. I didn’t have the guts (and time, mind you) to go cliff diving. To make up for that, we took turns diving from our boat. Not that much adrenaline rush but equal, if not, more fun. Also, we passed around a snorkel to view the bottom. Different species of fish swam near the shore, wary of human presence.
The trip was cut short due to the status of the waves. Should we have stayed longer, the risk of battling out huge waves on the way back was apparent. We took precautions and made our way back to the resort.
Overall, for a day trip, it was definitely worth it! A hidden gem among many islands. I had so much fun with Diane (with her relatives making up another group), Iza, and Miggy. I’m glad I got to tag along. Capping the summer season with a well-deserved break and being one with nature.