Pagsanjan Falls is quite well known for Shooting the Rapids which is an exhilirating experience as you ride on a small wooden local canoe that brings you upstream along the narrow gorge to reach the Falls. What makes it special is that 1) the boatmen had to paddle upstream without really using an oar but rather their feet as you can see the guy in the photo doing 2) they had to carry the canoe up the large boulders along the way. Poor boatmen, we thought, as our boat was carrying 3 heavy women, hahaha! 3) precise and accurate maneuvering by the boatmen while our boat went back downstream and this time at a faster pace. Sometimes, I could barely open my eyes (a small error could cause the boat to crash into the rocks)!
As you reach the falls, you will arrive a calm pool of water and breathtaking view of the falls. You have the option to hop on a bamboo raft which will pull you into the Devil's Cave as you pass under the strong current of the waterfall - the locals call this a "natural massage". The water was falling so hard I had to hold my breath as we passed under it. And we had to put all our dry stuff inside a sealed plastic bag.
I went there the first time when I was in my early teens and again just a few years ago. The experience was still as exhilirating as it was :-)
We stayed at La Corona Resort which was ok and clean. And the tour of the falls can be arranged through them as well. Pagsanjan, Laguna is just about 2-1/2 hours drive from Metro Manila.
© 2013 AFAR Media