The fishermen, from the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, said they tossed the bottle into the water just south of San Diego in August 2007 with a message about Bob Dubcich, a friend of theirs who died from a rare form of cancer, KSBW-TV, Salinas, Calif., reported Monday.
The men said they enclosed $20 with the note to increase the chances of someone coming forward after finding it, which they said felt like sending their friend out to sea for a last voyage.
"(We said) if anyone found the bottle, send it back and we'd send you $100 so we made sure we'd get it back," John Saunders said.
Saunders said he and his friends were shocked by how far the bottle had traveled -- to the Philippines.
"To send him on a trip for 10,000 miles was bigger and better than anything we'd ever expected," Saunders said.
The fishermen said the man who found the bottle in the Philippines and sent it back to them has more than $100 coming.
"If he ever comes to America, he's going fishing with us. We're taking him, period," Saunders said.