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 …