While people were partying on the shores of Boracay for the Labor Day long weekend, I set out with a few friends and officemates to take on yet another camping trip. Coming from my first camping experience at Nagsasa, I thought I would be prepared.

But nothing prepared me for a practice session of staying in hell…(dun dun dun dun)

Fortune Island 2

The target: Fortune Island at Nasugbu, Batangas. A mere 30min. boat ride to a once flourishing resort back in the mid 90s. Abandoned for some time, it is now open to the public and boasts of an Acropolis-inspired structure as its crown jewel along with the rest of the decaying structures of the has-been resort.

This island is NOT for camping. I repeat, IT IS NOT FOR CAMPING. We found that out the hard way…

There is no source of water whatsoever (aside from the sea obviously). At least there was a deepwell stream at Nagsasa that can be used for bathing. Fortune Island had NONE. And in the sweltering summer heat, that’s synonymous to burning in the fires of hell. Or at least the first ring of hell…

We were unfortunate to end up in the part of the island where the beach was rocky and sloping. Imagine planning to go to the beach to cool off. But it’s more than 10 meters away from your camp site. Before you even get a chance to get to the beach, you have already burnt your feet on the hot sand. Then you have to go back. But this time it’s uphill. Second ring of hell, people…

Third ring: The camping side of the island is right smack where the sun rises. So at around 6am, expect the sun to cook you up like a sunny side up egg in no time. It’s irritating, specially if you’re not a morning person like me.

There are not much trees in the camping areas of the island. The back part has a lush forest, but the camping beach area has only a few shrubs. In the moments when there’s no sea breeze and the sun is mocking your existence, your only repose is…kinda none. So pack a lot of wet wipes, water, a fan, and something to think about: Kool Fever packs. That’s a lifesaver.

Last but definitely not the least, the place is dirty. Trash everywhere left by tourists, restrooms that can’t be flushed because of lack of water, the place was filthy. In Nagsasa we made it a point to carry back all of our trash back with us. Nothing to be left. We did that in Fortune Island as well, unfortunately (NOT A PUN) most tourists don’t.

The other less than nice experiences we had were all a product of circumstance. No water source. Sweltering summer heat. No shade. All permissible to an extent. But the amount of trash left by tourists and the lack of education about it. Not cool.

The Acropolis structure was kinda cool though. So was the cliff diving area. But other than those two, Fortune Island may not be the best island to relax in. Even for a day trip. Won’t be returning any time soon.

PS I really should clean my camera lens…kunwari effect na lang.


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