The Other Way to Pagsanjan Falls

The Other Way to Pagsanjan Falls
After my arrival from India a few weeks earlier, I found my feet becoming itchy again.  I agreed to my friend’s invite in visiting the famed Pagsanjan Falls.  I have been to Pagsanjan town a couple of times but never have I laid eyes on the actual falls itself.  Who was I t turn down such an invite?  And so me and my seven friends enjoyed its cool waters one very happy Monday.
Among seven of my travel buddies, I only know three of them personally.  I missed Chino so much that the moment I saw him I guessed I ignored the others to whom I should have said hello first (#peace!).  I smiled at Jherson’s and Arjay’s familiar grins.  Then I admired the online stars in the persons of Jeffrey and Glen. Lastly, two young men were initiated in our loud circle of travel bloggers sitting at the corner of McDonald’s Sta. Cruz, Xander and Richard.  Their muse arrived a little late, but not too late. 
We headed towards Pagsanjan town proper to meet Kuya from the local tourism office. We bought packed binalot lunch and top-loaded towards Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park in Tibatib, Cavinti, Laguna.  It was my second time and the 30-minute ride towards the falls was a very enjoyable experience for all of us.  I suddenly remembered my very first on-top-of-the-world ride back in Camarines Norte.  Incidentally, that was when we were also heading for waterfalls.
Back:  Xander,  Richard, Glen
Middle:  Arjay, Chino
Front:  Glen, Jherson and me

Since I was one of the last who agreed in joining this inexpensive day tour, I did not have much information on what awaits us.  All I know is that the expenses are within budget since I could not afford spending thousands considering I just had a major trip.  We paid the Php 270 entrance fee upon arrival.  

Compiled by RJ
Meeting our guide, I was surprised when we were told we will be doing a bit of trekking and rapelling too. It has been quite some time since I participated in this kind of physical activity.  I got a bit excited when I saw we were to descend a 90 degree ladder!  Walking under the lush foliage and listening to the soft hum of birds reminded me that life is really uncomplicated when we look at it in a simple way. It was pretty easy going down to the falls but going back up was a different story.  We literally had to climb up this very same ladder.  There were actually two sets of ladder, the other one taller and much steeper than the first.  No auto-pulleys, the people in charge just ‘pulls’ you up as you climb.  Just imagine the power you need to have in your arms and legs.  Whoa!  I remember climbing up the second ladder back up, I almost wanted to give up but I just kept telling myself just a few more rungs and it will be over.  After which, Jherson and I decided that we need to start exercising again.
Rusty, straight and steep
Chino from the top

We were greeted by this view upon reaching the river leading to the falls.  Though not as grand as I am expecting it to be, tourists are still aplenty during our visit.  These boats come from the Pagsanjan jump off point where each head costs at around Php 1200.  

Geographically, the Pagsanjan Falls is within the boundaries of Cavinti, Laguna but the popular canoeing ride originates from Pagsanjan.  Cavinti locals call this Cavinti Falls or Magdapio Falls.  

And we finally meet
Not so far from where we standing, I could already hear the rushing and crashing of the waterfalls from the mountains.  The screams of the tourists can also be heard all over. Well, we said to ourselves, what the heck were they screaming about?  We found out why after taking our lunch.
The boatmen, or shall I say the raftmen (hehehe) were really amazing in pulling and guiding the raft towards the back of the falls.  Funny I now think that they did not scold us from screaming all the time.  We really had a fun time during the whole ride. 
The gang in the cave beneath the falls.
 The water was freezing cold!


After resting for a while, our team went back to the town proper.  Since it was still early, I asked them to try Aling Taleng’s famous halo-halo.  For history buffs, you can also take a photo of the Pagsanjan Church and the numerous old houses lining up the National Highway and Mabini St. For those who have more time, you can also camp and much on the yummy banana chips of Villa Socorro Agri Eco-Village and Resort.

Though not as exhilirating and exciting as the more popular canoe ride, it helped us understand now what they say. It is the people you travel with that makes a trip more worthwhile.  It is the journey not the destination.   I was glad I went on with the trip as planned. I not only gained new memories but more importantly, new cool friends as well. The other way to Pagsanjan Falls taught me that.  And in deed it was true.



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