Started with a flip of a page on my grade school textbook with the topic “Mga Anyong Tubig sa Pilipinas,” Magdapio Falls known as the Pagsanjan Falls was the first on my childhood dream destinations. So when I received an invite from a fellow travel blogger Glen Santillan of Escape Manila, I said yes without any hesitations. I will tick another one on my childhood dream destinations after crossing out the likes of Mayon Volcano and Mount Pinatubo.
The Pagsanjan day trip started at Buendia with a 2-hour bus ride to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. There are two jump off points going to Magdapio Falls: first is by the town of Pagsanjan and the other way is via the municipality of Cavinti. I found out from the visit that Magdapio Falls is actually within the territorial jurisdiction of Cavinti, Laguna. It’s just that the route from Pagsanjan was the first one to be established making the falls more popular under their name. In fact, in February 2009, there was an agenda submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan to rename the falls.
The Cavinti route is an alternative and cheaper way to visit the falls and we chose it since we’re after the adventure experience it offers. You can have the easier way via Pagsanjan wherein you just need to ride the canoes going to the falls but on a higher rate, around Php1250 – 1500.
After buying packed lunch at Binalot sa Dahon in Pagsanjan, we top-loaded on a jeepney going to Cavinti and took another tricycle going to Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park and Picnic Grove located at Brgy. Tibatib, Cavinti for the start of the trekking to the famous waterfall. Entrance fee is Php270 per person which includes the entrance, rent for the rapelling gears, and lifevest (which we haven’t had).
From the entrance of Pueblo El Salvador, we walked for about 10 minutes before the jump off point of the steel trail. A statue of El Salvador Del Mundo guards the start of the trail. It started with a rappel ride going down a few meters which was scary at first since you will be suspended and needed to descend within the circular railings. I called that activity as “The Elevator.” It will be followed by trekking down the steel stairs passing by different trees and some view decks available.
Second rappelling on the trail means you’re already midway to the falls. After that, you need to go down to a steeper stairway with you facing the stairs to control you balance. Extend your patience as you approach the falls and fulfill that childhood dream, to see the world-famous Pagsanjan Falls on your bare eyes.
I didn’t expect more with regards to the view the falls may offer since I already knew from workmates living in Laguna that the falls is not that magnificent anymore. But still, I was captivated by the beauty of the falls. The water was not that clear when we got there since it was raining for a couple of days as per the guides, making the color of the water brownish.
After munching our packed lunch, we tried the raft ride going to the Devil’s Cave, a cave behind the falls. The experience was really great since the raft will literally pass near the spot where the water falls. The water was really cold that made us chill when we reached the cave. It was nice to see the popular falls on its other side.
We decided to leave after getting some ample photos of Magdapio Falls. Some members of our group wanted to go back to Pagsanjan by riding the canoes and shoot the rapids. Unfortunately, they weren’t accommodated since as per the boatmen, only those who took the Pagsanjan route can avail it. I found out that there’s an issue between the tourism offices of both municipalities that if you took the Cavinti route going to the falls, you are not allowed to take the Pagsanjan route going back and vice versa.
Don’t forget to try the famous halo-halo of Aling Taleng before leaving Pagsanjan. If you have more time left, you can also check out the Church of Pagsanjan and their Historic Town Gate.
ITINERARY AND EXPENSES