Monday, October 10, 2011

Remembering Pagsanjan Falls

The title is a misnomer. It's not that the place had gone stagnant or inactive, it's just that I have forgotten to talk about it hehehe. Yeah, a couple of months ago I went to Pagsanjan, Laguna and saw its prime tourist attraction, Pagsanjan Falls. Well it's been two months you know, I'm gonna try my best to relive everything.


Well first of all, my friend Dindee invited me to her company's (now my former employer) annual IQA outing. She always does, but this is the first time I accepted the invitation ever since I resigned. I thought it should be a good time to catch up with everyone and it would be really great to check out Pagsanjan. It was indeed great to see her and some old friends from the hospital. I gotta say though, so many people have gone somewhere else and I think I can only remember 4-5 faces when I joined the group. In a way, it felt a little weird to be there. For a moment I thought I'm not gonna have a good time. I was wrong anyway. I had a blast... uhm sort of...

We checked in at Pagsanjan Lodge, I can tell, without doing further research that it's an old resort. According to the locals, it was the biggest resort in town, but yeah, it's old, you can't expect five star amenities. I didn't really spend time examining the place, as soon as I got into our room, I took a shower, greeted some old timers and then I went to back to bed and sleep.

Reception desk of Pagsanjan Lodge

The next day was the best part, the part where we went to see Pagsanjan falls. A quick fact about the falls, it's actually located within the boundaries of Cavinti Laguna, but to get there, you have to take a boat ride originating from Pagsanjan river. So there. Who owns what is not my business, still I wonder who gets the money from the tourists hehehe.

Anyway, going back to the boat ride. what's amazing about it was, the two hour ride didn't seem that long despite the limited movement I could make while in the boat (you can lose balance if you move too much, and that can make the boat flip). I guess it's being one with the nature that's really fun. When you hear nothing but the trickle of the water, the rustling of the trees, the tiny chirps of the birds, the cry of the boatmen (that serves as a horn to warn approaching boats), and well, occasional side comments of my friend. I heard from one of our boatmen, while paddling, that in summer, the level of the water is so low, like neck deep, that locals cross the river by foot.



Another amazing thing about this boat ride are the boatmen themselves. Everytime rapids approach, they quickly jump out of the boat (there are boulders to step onto) to push the boat against the rapids. I would imagine that it takes a lot of strength to do that, well I can tell it's hard, because everytime they got back in the boat, I hear them gasp their heart out.

About halfway through the trip, there was a stopover point, called the Talahib Falls, it's a much smaller falls and it serves as a rest area for tourists and boatmen. There were food and soda vendors but none of us bothered to buy any.

Stopover at Talahib Falls

It was at this point that I regret not bringing any money, I would have wanted to buy our boatmen some drinks, I knew they were tired but I could not impose on anyone else to buy something for them either. At least I knew my friend gave them something at the end of the boatride, that should cover for everything, but sometimes, I feel guilty when I can't do anything for these hardworking fellows.

About half an hour ride after the stopover, the main falls started to loom before us. Growing up in a town that boasts our very own Daranak Falls, my first impression of Pagsanjan Falls was nothing out of ordinary. I thought it looked great, but nothing majestic. But things are about to get better as we approach the waterfalls.


The most exciting part was going under (well not exactly under, but almost) the water falls by means of a bamboo raft and boy was that exhilarating. I can no longer open my eyes when I felt the strong gush of water pour before me. It was cold and quick, the next thing I know, we were inside the cave behind the waterfalls, and it felt like going against a super typhoon.



After a while we started our journey back to the lodge. The boatride this time is a lot easier and faster since we're going along with the rapids.

I got to check some areas of the lodge, they have some sort of an adventure camp site. According to one of the staff there, it's perfect for team building activities. I'm not much of an outdoor stuff fan but I really liked the presence of Rambutan trees. I indulged myself in picking and eating, it was delicious and it felt really nostalgic. I remember a time in my childhood where I would spent time picking all sorts of fruits in my neighborhood and relatives' place (Camias, Indian Mango, Aratilis, Guava, etc.)

Avic, enjoying the Rambutan fruit

unusual insect I found at the adventure camp site

There weren't much to be done afterwards, we had our lunch and prepared to check out. One of the things that made me feel this trip to be incomplete was I didn't get to explore the town itself. Pagsanjan is the tourist capital of Laguna, there's got to be more stuff to check. I would have wanted to see the cultural aspect of the town, but again, who am I to impose the itinerary. I was just invited. At least I get to see Pagsanjan church. It's kinda odd though, because it was closed even though it was a Sunday. Hmmm...


The greatest thing about this trip though, is that I didn't spend a penny! Except for the pasalubong I bought for my family, everything was free. I want to thank Dindee for inviting me here, I enjoyed everything. I hope I could join the next IQA outing again. :)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

God Works Wonders

When I turned on my laptop, I was so ready to make a long post of venting over the week from hell I've had. I've been talking about it with some of my friends but for some reason, the uneasy feeling wouldn't get off my system. I thought, before I let this consume me, I will write about it. I'm sure bloggers knows how therapeutic it is to let ones emotions flow from the mind to the computer keyboard delivered by hands and finger.

I was just so mad. I didn't see it coming, I had forgotten what it felt like to be treated with injustice. I know I've been wrong and I deserve to be censured. But to be all alone and take all the blame for something that everybody else is doing, be put on a spotlight like I'm the worst performer without analyzing the real situation. Whether I'm a victim of stupidity or politics, it sucks. Top it off with an unethical act of tattling. My patience just went off its limits. Professionally I felt defiled, personally I felt betrayed. The latter hurt me the most. I knew in one millisecond that things will never be the same again. I rarely get mad, but I get mad for a good reason and I know that this is gonna stay for a long time.

Another reason is this health scare for a dear friend that I've recently learned. It's just terrifying when I hear something that concerns one's health. Illness is something I will never wish to my worst enemy. I always say, I don't care if I have no money, as long as everyone (I love) is healthy. But just this morning, I was able to talk to my friend, and thank God, it's not really something to worry. One less thorn off my chest :)

And as I was gonna say earlier, just before I logged in to blogger I received a letter from Citibank. A gift voucher that I've been waiting for so long ( I almost gave up I'm gonna receive it) arrived. The good thing about it is I didn't have to pay for anything as long as I won't upgrade the packages. See you Tagaytay in 3 weeks!

Lastly, I finally got successful in downloading the episode 1 of The Mentalist season 4! After 2 failed attempts, it's finally here on my hard disk. The Mentalist is one of the TV Shows I follow, the Season 3 finale was a total cliff hanger, but now it's here, I'm off for a tea time with Patrick Jane.

After a week from hell, I got these blessings that some people may call trivial, but for me are just enough to give me back my peace of mind. Thank you Lord :)