“Shooting The Roughly Blazed Paths” To Pagsanjan Falls

Located in the province of Laguna, Pagsanjan Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines and, undoubtedly, one of the major tourist attractions of Southern Tagalog. I had known Pagsanjan Falls since elementary days because it was repeatedly introduced to our Social Studies, not to mention its numerous insertions in our oral and written exams on tourists attractions of the Philippines. I had then admired the beautiful images of the falls from books and post cards. Given the chance, I would seize the opportunity to get there right away but we were financially hard back in the days that asking for money from my parents–for traveling–is no different from castigating them. That was the scene stored in my memory card almost twenty years ago. The longing was left into the barren soles of my wandering feet that long.

My gratitude to the scar left by the fangs of the travel vamp two years ago for it had paved the way to resurrect that longing at the right place and time. That longing of The Wandering Feet (& Mind) was satisfied in November last year. Many thanks to the daredevil woman, Ms. Ron Hubsch, who gave me a coveted slot for this trip to Pagsanjan Falls amid the almost discouraging tears of the howling rain on our way to the place.

Prior to this trip, I read some blog posts about the thrilling activities to do there and I learned that the best is “Shooting the Rapids“.

Shooting the Rapids, according to pagsanjan.org, is a river adventure ride for the return (from the falls) where passengers via the native canoes wind through boulders and roaring downstream with the velocity of an express railway train. Sounds so much fun! Therefore, I secretly planned to do it if possible putting into consideration that I was with a group of girls. Well, I knew that some of them can do it like Ms. Hubsch, who will not think twice for sure. But, certainly, not all the girls would dare try it as far as they are concerned.

It took us one hour and forty-five minutes to reach Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park of Barangay Tibatib at Cavinti, Laguna from Manila. This marked the start of the journey to Pagsanjan Falls which is located somewhere at the bottom of Cavinti’s high elevation at 400 meters above sea level. That statement implies a deviation from my usual routine, which is to trek up or ascend for the aim.

Immediately, we proceeded to the hut where the guides for hire stay. After the easy negotiation by the team leader, Ms. Hubsch, we requested getting into the Devil’s cave which is right behind the gushing waters by riding the raft. Unfortunately, the guide told us that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do it more so “Shooting the Rapids” if we suggest trying it. The reason is that the heavy rain, which was stomping on our way there, made the falling waters and the rivers swell in considerable sizes. Simply put, other than merely viewing the beauty of the falls, there’s no other available activity because it was dangerous for that time to do any of the adrenaline-pumping activities. I had to forget both riding the raft and Shooting the Rapids then. Thereupon, we, or should I say, I, decided to shoot the roughly blazed paths down to the falls instead.

The muddy and not-so-paved roads on our way down explain why I modified the most sought-after activity, “Shooting the Rapids”, to “Shooting the Roughly Blazed Paths...”

In addition, expect the thrill of rappelling down a 672-step steel ladder.

I was no longer surprised to see the color of the rivers visible along the way. At first, it seemed unattractive but looking on the bright side, the chocolatey waters is actually a unique beauty. Very attractive to me, at least on the photo below.

You can also see cascades on the way. The view of plummeting waters is just a delectable sample of what awaits the hungry eyes.

After about one hour of shooting the roughly blazed paths, there we were face to face with the majestic Pagsanjan Falls and the thrillingly astonishing views around it.

Trivia: Pagsanjan Falls has an indigenous name — Magdapio Falls — and is located in the hilly and mountainous town of Cavinti, not in Pagsanjan. That is why on February 10, 2009, a move by the ruling body of the town of Cavinti was submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan (legislature of municipalities in the Philippines) proposing the renaming of the falls to Cavinti Falls. (Reference: cavinti.gov.ph)

Though the falls looks not that gigantic on the photo above, it actually is. As a matter of fact, it has an astounding height of 97 meters based on the information I read about it on pagsanjantour.blogspot.com.


Yes, I have missed Shooting the Rapids and seeing the Devil’s cave, but I have learned to see that it is not those stirring adventures or activities that make the whole experience sufficiently important. It is being able to feast on the beauty of the place. A place that is truly worth preserving. A place with lush green surroundings and cascading waters that bring so much hope. A hope that will inspire the inhabitants of the earth to appreciate and respect Mother Nature more so that we can still share this beauty to future generations.

For more information (how to get to the place, tips, sample itinerary, tour packages, etc.), please click these sites: www.lakwatsera.com, www.chasingphilippines.com and pagsanjantour.blogspot.com.

… on our way back …


56 thoughts on ““Shooting The Roughly Blazed Paths” To Pagsanjan Falls

  1. I can feel my heart racing as you guys went up and down that narrow stairway. I admire your courage and “fearless” factor. What a thrilling and fun event for you and your buddies. The view , just breathtaking. I saw a small falls in Bacolod in the past but this one…..just spectacular. Make me proud to be Pinoy. There are so much beauty in our land , I wish people will take care of it more, value and appreciate it more….


    • Exactly, I hope people will have the same take on this. I mean, understanding that these beautiful places are actually reminders or inspiration for doubling our efforts to help Mother Nature in her biggest battle today.


  2. WOW… You’re taking your wandering feet at the next level,huh.I am melting with envy seeing the beautiful set of photos you have posted here. looks you’ve got a lot of fun together with your peers..Sigh. I hope I can take a glimpse of it too. I salute you, Bro.Truly its more fun in the Philipppines..


  3. Sony such beautiful pictures! I am amazed by all the brilliant colors of green. And even though the heavy rains played with the color of the water and the falls they are still absolutely amazing. I don’t think I could have made the ‘up’ part 🙂 What am I saying? I don’t think I could have done any of it! That is why I am lucky to have found your blog to see these beautiful places!


    • So is your place I’m sure. Well, let’s not stop hoping we can get to places we want to be at the right time. I know the universe will conspire if we really want something, right? 😉


    • Good thing I checked out the site attached to your comment or it would have been deleted permanently because it fell under spam. But the thing is, the site is about The Ultimate Philippine Travel Resource. So why shouldn’t I keep it? I believe it will be helpful if the site is promoted here too. 🙂

      So dear readers, you might want to check this site out in case you’ll visit the more fun Philippines:


      It will help you easily navigate what’s in store for you in the Philippines.

      Thank you Shery a.k.a. Belladona for sharing the site here.


  4. Now that’s a place that is truly worth preserving. The lush beauty of the natural surroundings is amazing… even the chocolaty waters are uniquely beautiful. Great photos! Maybe you’ll get to “Shoot the Rapids” next time.


  5. Great post Sony. Beautiful pictures. You must had a great time in this place. This post remind me of my hometown. Which is near a forest with lots of waterfalls. And from my schooling days, we all friends have enjoyed a lot visiting those places. Looking forward to seeing more such posts with beautiful photographs from you.


    • And I can’t wait to share my next post for the same. I admit, I am more inspired if fellow bloggers who are as erudite as you tell me that they do anticipate for my next post. For that, thank you!


  6. Heya thats really very amazing place , one must enjoy in the arms of nature , greenery and I liked your photo clicks way too much. I hope I could explore this place one day in my life :). Thanks


    • The caretakers of the place are doing a great job so I am confident to say that it will still be as green as what you can see on the photos by the time you’ll set foot in there. Thanks!


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  8. This is a true tropical oasis that leaves me speechless Sony! I can’t get over how gorgeous this hidden paradise is. I love the cascading waterfalls. This astonishing place is truly worth preserving. Nonetheless, I know that you must have had a blast during your visit there despite the weather. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing. It inspires me to want to visit one day. 🙂


    • Now, I must say I am proud of my more fun country more than ever. And it’s all because of you … all of you my dear friends … people in India, America, Switzerland, China, Korea, and so forth … I love you gals and guys!



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  10. Pingback: Romanticizing The Ruins Of Cagsaua Church | Stories of The Wandering Feet & Mind

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