Laguna Bay

Shooting the rapids on “Apocalypse now” river

Once upon a time there lived two brothers on the eastern bank of Bumbungan river in Philippines. This region, normally was a green zone with water issues and so life went on happily. On a particular year drought hit and the effects were devastating.

Nothing would grow on the soil. People had to go hungry and eventually became ill. All flora and fauna apparently vanished. Everyone prayed for rains, so did the two brothers. No avail. Eventually the elder brother died of illness and thirst. The younger one took it upon himself to find water for his tribe and walked for days up the mountains. After several days, he still could not locate water so in a fit of frustration threw his stick on some rocks. And surprise, a small spring formed which gave rise to a big waterfall now called the Magdapio waterfall named after the younger brother.

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

There was no way I could have captured the whole length of waterfall without going further up.

He also

How to go to Pagsanjan Falls

This post is an outcome of those queries asking me for directions & tips to visit Pagsanjan falls, pronounced as Pag-san-nyan.
You can also watch a video of the falls to feel how pleasant is the journey.

I give here comprehensive driving directions and tips to visit Pagsanjan town from Manila. You can do the round trip the same day. It is not too complicated really.

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

Some people under the waterfall.

1. Start early, not because

Floating Tax collection office

Picture of the moment:-

Floating Tax collection office


Picture of the moment is a weekly series exhibiting pictures from around the world.

The Pagsanjan waterfall in Laguna Bay area in Philippines is protected by environment department. All the boats that go there have to pay a tax. And what better way to keep a tab on their traffic than to have a floating office ?

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

The tax

Facts & tips about Pagsanjan Waterfall trip

Read here about the trip experience.
1) Pagsanjan is pronounced as Pag-san-nyan.
2) The name of the river is Magdapio.
3) The stretch is of 6 KMs before we reach the falls. First 4KMs are done by a motorized canoe and then the boatmen (they are called banceros) take over and paddle the canoe against the powerful flow.
4) There are at least 10 sets of rapids in last 2 KMs.

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

Some people under the waterfall.

5) There are around 980 boats with

Rowing to Pagsanjan Waterfall is fun

I must say rowing to Pagsanjan (pronounced as Pag-san-nyan) waterfalls at Laguna bay was much more fun than standing under it. Here is my take.
– – – – – – –
“Gentleman first, please” I almost lost my control on those steps to the river. Till now I had always heard “Ladies first” and it has been well programmed into my system so when I heard these words while going down to sit on the boat, it took me off guard.
Okay, I let V to be the guinea pig this time. I adjusted my life jacket and helmet, consoled myself without arguing with the two boatmen. Oh wait ! Gone are the days of wooden boats; it was a locally built fiberglass canoe.

They helped us take our seats on the narrow canoe with me sitting almost on V’s lap and before I realized, our canoe was attached to a motorized canoe which appeared from nowhere. It already had some boats as its wagging tail and then we also became a part. The ‘engine’ canoe pulled us and two more boats got attached along the way. And so our boat train ‘chugged’ forward. 😀
Why motorized canoe? We were going upstream and the flow was strong. We were told the whole stretch was around 6 KMs. The river is not very wide and looked like a canal to me.

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

Can you see how relaxed our boatman is? One motorized canoe was pulling all the boats.

The atmosphere was very