Only a 30-minute boat ride from the coastal town of Nasugbu, an island adorned in classical Grecian aesthetics awaits. As you approach this 27-hectare (67-acre) rustic island, your gaze will gravitate towards the Grecian columns adorning the rocky outcrop that dominates the island.
Fortune Island was constructed in 1995 as an exclusive luxury resort owned by former Batangas Governor José Antonio Leviste. He steered the project, deciding to build it in a classical Greek style complete with an Acropolis that still sits on a cliff facing the Pacific. Local authorities now contend that Leviste’s ownership of the island was acquired irregularly, since small islands in the Philippines are typically reserved for forestry.
In 2006, for reasons unknown, Leviste pulled out of the project and the luxury resort closed its doors. Aside from a brief lease by a Korean businessman, the island has laid dormant and is now an abandoned, crumbling property.
The island is surrounded by a stretch of pristine white sand and diving sites which in themselves are worth a visit. Only 900 meters northwest of the island, divers can view the wreck of the Spanish galleon San Diego. It was sunk on December 14, 1600, by a Dutch warship when European colonists were vying for control of the region.
Know Before You Go
Dive at your own risk. On the island, there are no bathrooms, running water, or security guards. Bring your own toilet paper, water, food, and garbage bag, and, if you're staying overnight, a tent.
Local entrepreneurs in Nasugbu offer daytime and overnight trips to the island. You can hail a tricycle to "Fortune Island Resort" to take a boat from there. You may need to cross a beach to reach a boat that will take you to the island.
Normally, a day trip including entrance fees to the island costs 5000 pesos ($100). Nasugbu is two hours by bus from Manila.