Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pagsanjan Falls

"While popularly known as the Pagsanjan Falls, locally they are "Magdapio Falls" since their actual location is not in Pagsanjan at all but in the adjacent town of Cavinti.

The Pagsanjan Falls has a strong flow of tourists visiting the area, tourists are ferried to the famed falls with a traditional Filipino Banca Boat for a small fee. The only passable route to it is the Bumbungan River of Pagsanjan. To reach Pagsanjan Falls, tourists or visitors have to ride these boats, manned by skilled Pagsanje├▒o boatmen (bankeros).

The base of the Pansanjan falls is a natural pool, allowing great swimming and diving. There are some caves to explore around the area which are known for their acoustics. Behind the waterfalls there is also a small cave which you can enter. The falls are also famous for its massage, where people get 'massaged' under the falls."

SG-JJJ Resort

resort from the river


shower and toilet 1

shower and toilet 2

info hut

Without any specific plans (more on this later), we ended up in SG-JJJ resort. The resort has shower facilities so you can take a shower after the Pagsanjan trip. This was a big plus! The boat ride with cushion and life vests costs 660 pesos. The resort charges an extra 40 pesos for the use of their shower facilities. All in all, the entire trip would cost 700 pesos. However, this does not include the tips your two boatman would be asking from you. We gave each boatman 100 pesos each - though they were requesting for more. Granted that their job was difficult, strenuous and dangerous, it's called a "tip" - and it's not required! I guess I wasn't happy that they were asking 200 pesos each. Yeesh! Anyway, we stuck to our guns and just gave them 100 pesos each.

tug boat

last turn

From SG-JJJ resort, your canoe will be tugged until the last turn where the rapids will start.

laundry 1



laundry 2
It was a good 20-25 minute tug where you can absorb the sights and sounds of riverside life. There were a number of resorts, homes and resthouses lining the river. There were also people doing their laundry along the shore. I also saw a boy crossing the river while pulling a horse. If elephants can swim, horses can swim too!

Part of the adventure is watching our boatmen manuever the canoe upstream. Aside from their wooden paddles, they were also using their whole body to push and pull the canoe upstream! It was an amazing display of skill and dexterity.

Since it was the rainy season, there were also a number of smaller water falls along the way. It was amazing! Furthermore, I never thought that there is still thick jungle in the Philippines.                      

Talahib Falls

canoe carpark

pay toilets
You know you have arrived when you see the canoe parking lot. You have to keep your hands inside the canoe because it can get smashed between the canoes. We were also disappointed to discover that we weren't looking at Pagsanjan Falls (i.e. Magdapio Falls). Instead, we were at the mini-falls before Pagsanjan Falls called Talahib Falls. We couldn't proceed to Pagsanjan Falls due to the high water level caused by the continuous rain.

"Another waterfalls, Talahib Falls, situated about 900 meters downstream of Magdapio Falls serves a first stop for the upstream boat ride. Talahib is a sitio of Brgy. Caliraya, hence, the town of Lumban hosts this waterfalls. This waterfalls is also called First Falls while the Magdapio Falls is called Main Falls. The Talahib Falls area has a souvenir shop, barbeque stand and most important, a pay-toilet for PhP10 per pee." -continued

It looks like I'll be coming back to see Pagsanjan Falls.

group picture
The group picture was taken while we were on the raft that was taking us directly under the water falls. It was a very painful massage! But hey, we were in the same raft with other school children so we needed to show some courage hehehe. The raft ride costs 90 pesos each. Again, this does not include the tips for the men who were pulling the rafts towards the waterfalls.

travel advisory

travelling shoe
1. We went to Pagsanjan without any specific plans. A persistent and annoying motorcycle rider stopped us and showed us the way to SG-JJJ Resort. All this time I was thinking that the motorcycle rider was employed by the resort. But the resort staff informed me to just go directly to their resort next time and to avoid any of  these annoyances along the road because all they're doing is asking for commissions from both the resort owners and the tourists. Please take note of the travel advisory picture above!
2. Be prepared to give a lot of tips for both your boatmen and the raft men! If you're unlucky enough (like me) to encounter #1, then you have to give them a tip as well.

1 comment:

andiboi said...

nice blog, it is informative :D
...we'll be in Pagsanjan next week, supposed to be yesterday
keep on doing what you do man...
keep on writing the good stuff! 'or sumthin to that effect' :D