More of our summer family outing.
From Lipa City, we again traversed the Star Tollway and headed towards Pagsanjan which prides itself as the “Tourist Capital of Laguna.” Except for the monstrous traffic in the crowded university town of Los Banos, our ride proved to be enjoyable as it provided scenic views of various Laguna towns with its giant trees, rice fields and quaint food stalls. Driving through the Philippine countryside just makes my knees weak and leaves me in awe at the beauty around me. It is in times like these that I forget the beautiful tulip gardens of Holland or the lushness of the American Midwest. Pilipinas all the way!
Photo shows our group posing in front of the old arch which welcomes visitors to Pagsanjan.
I must say am impressed with Pagsanjan. It is very clean and has a character of its own. It beautifully blends the old and the new as one can see with the existence of Spanish-era ancestral houses side by side the modern well-maintained bungalows. The local government would do well to preserve Pagsanjan’s ancient flavor to keep the tourists coming here.
Anyone would consider “shooting the rapids” as the highlight of their visit to Pagsanjan. I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy it the first time because I related to the predicament of the boatmen. It was impressive to see that they had to negotiate the craggy, oftentimes big rocks with the utmost dexterity of their hands and feet while their bancas were moving at full speed. But I thought the whole practice was inhuman and reeked of hard labor.
Nonetheless I had accepted the fact that the whole trade was a good way for the boatmen to earn a living, never mind if they themselves complained about their job.
So the secret really is to just savor the view. After all, the Pagsanjan River is sandwiched between what appears to be two majestic mountains. There’s really nothing quite like it even though the St. Paul Underground River experience in Palawan is more “amazing.”
Standard fee for “shooting the rapids” is P660. However, I recommend that after your boat ride, you pay the extra P90 to be able to ride the raft that would go to The Falls itself. It is quite scary going near the falls and having its strong currents wrap your body. But nothing else is as refreshing. Trying the “raft ride” completed our Pagsanjan Falls experience!