I’ve been missing a lot of long weekends already because my job calls for a 24/7 duty, especially on busy seasons, where most of those long weekends fall. When we (me and my office tropa) finally got the chance to enjoy the May 1 long weekend, we decided to go to Pagsanjan Falls, in Laguna.
“Mabuti pa ang biglaang lakad, natutuloy!” We didn’t prepare much, all we wanted was an activity during the long weekend, so off we went to Laguna! Good thing, we didn’t have to commute all the way to Laguna because my friend’s bf got a car, we only had to share for the gas.
We were supposed to meet up at 6am at Ayala MRT station to take the bus to Alabang, where my friend and her bf will wait for the three of us (me and two other friends). Unfortuately, one of my friends, woke up at 6am already! So we had to adjust. She took a cab from QC and picked us (me and my other friend) up at Ayala, and off we went to Alabang by cab. Damage: almost P450 (including toll)!!! Lesson learned: Don’t oversleep!!! My friend’s counter-motto: “Okey lang ma-late, basta nakatulog!” Stressful! :) What’s more stressful was: she wasn’t able to prepare her rolled-bread-with-bread-crumbs specialty for breakfast and cook beef teriyaki for our lunch!!! :(
Starting point: Convergy’s Alabang
08:00-11:00 (almost 3 hrs) – Alabang to Pagsanjan, Laguna (town proper), traffic was awful!; we met up with my friend’s tito, who’s from Cavinti. He gave us the instructions and the rates for the Pagsanjan trip.
11:15-11:45 (30 mins) – Town proper to Cavinti. We registered for the trip. While we wait for the trek to start, we were given info on the history of Pagsanjan Falls. It was then that we knew that its former name was Magdapio Falls, where two sweethearts (I forgot the name though, forgive my disinterest in history! :)) committed suicide, love-related reason :).
Trek To and Down Pagsanjan Falls
12:00-12:50 (about 50 mins) – We simply wanted a little adventure that we opted to walk to reach Pagsanjan Falls, instead of taking the banca!
P150-exciting trek to and down the falls + raft ride. A P10 discount is given to residences of Cavinti! :). Though we’re not from Cavinti, my friend’s tito is a local and was a former councilor, so we were given the discount! :) A different rate applies if you choose to take the banca going to the falls; i think it’s around P1,150 –>banca to and from Pagsanjan Falls + raft ride.
Before we started the trek, we put on a harness! It was my first time to wear such a thing hehehe and I was wondering why we had to wear such, when we are just supposed to walk down a long staircase! That was what I thought! It’s a good thing that the stairs are cemented. During the walk/trek (whatever!), we had to “rappel” down two vertical staircases! Tadah! [see Photos 1 and 2] so that’s the purpose of the harness! As a first-timer, I was quite nervous, that I might fall straight down to Pagsanjan Falls! hahahah! :) Thank goodness we managed to keep our trembling knees and reached the bottom safe and unharmed.
01:00-02:00 (1 hr) – Took our lunch, courtesy of my friend’s culinary skills! We had CPA (no, not my profession, but Chicken-Pork Adobo!) for lunch, sarap! We were sweating and craving like pigs after the trek! :) (yakk! kidding!) After eating our hearts out, we gave the extra food to the bankeros (sweet di ba?? nyahaha!)
Raft Ride To and Underneath the Main Falls and Inside the Devil’s Cave
02:00-2:45 (45 mins) – We were asked to put on our neon-colored lifejackets for the raft ride. Raftsmen pulled the rope whose endpoint is nailed at the Main Falls. It was a smooth ride and our excitement grew as we were approaching the falls! We were screaming as the water dropped down to our heads, para kaming naghe-head-bang sa lakas ng bagsak ng tubig! :) The water was refreshing, we got to swim in the Devil’s Cave. (It was called as such because of its opening that resembles that of a devil’s face.)
As observed, the raft ride lasts for just a few minutes for tourists and other local visitors. But if you know someone from Cavinti (like my friend’s tito, who was a former councilor of Cavinti), you will be given the chance to stay underneath the cave for a little longer, and experience the massage of the waterfalls! :)
We were asked to lie down on the raft with our faces down, and get ready for the oupouring of the water on our backs. It could have been better if the water fell on our spines, but it didn’t! Our leg muscles were the target, and the “waterfall massage” was real painful!!! hahaha! :) It felt like the water was tearing our skin off our legs!
But ’twas a fun experience though, and we got to scream at the top of our lungs like “tama na, kuya! masakit!“.
Shooting the Rapids
03:00-03:45 (45 mins) – P800 – banca ride [2 downstream rides + 1 upstream ride, just for experience’s sake]. After the raft ride, we proceeded with our next activity, Shooting the Rapids. We got to experience shooting the rapids (I honestly don’t get why it’s called shooting the rapids! haha!) during the downstream ride. Accordingly, there are about 14 rapids all in all. It was an exciting experience as we had to sail through a very rocky river!!! I am amazed by the skill of the bankeros in gliding and dragging the banca amidst big rocks! I am also impressed by the durability of their bancas for having to stand the “rough sail”. Based on my reading, nowadays, the bancas are locally built using fiberglass. Ah kaya pala! :) .
There were actually a lot of bancas rowing the stretch of the river. I just realized it when we were on our way back to the Pagsanjan proper when all bancas lined up towards the “docking area” (hehe don’t know how to term it :) ). We then went to the house of one of the bankeros (which happened to be a friend of my friend’s Tito) to change our clothes.
It was a fun experience indeed! =)
Below are some pics that we had during this trip: (click on the images for a full view)
 Putting on our harness
 Starting off with our “trekking” :)
 Us–a pose after bathing under the Pagsanjan Waterfalls
 Shooting the Rapids–on our way down to Pagsanjan Proper