January 21, 2015

Pueblo el Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove: En route to Cavinti Falls aka Pagsanjan Falls

Many of us Filipinos knew about Pagsanjan falls in Laguna. Who didn’t? It’s one of the most famous and most visited waterfalls in the Philippines. It’s written in our history books, taught by our teachers in Sibika at Kultura, and even included in the many exams we took during grade school. But little do we know that the falls is actually located in the boundary of Cavinti. And in 2009, the town of Cavinti submitted a proposal to the legislative to rename it as Cavinti Falls.

Cavinti Falls, like many other tourist destinations, has a folklore too. Filipinos looove stories. The more mysterious, the more it becomes interesting.

When we arrived at Pueblo El Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove (gateway to the falls), we signed the waiver and learned from the staff that the falls, also known as Magdapio Falls, is a story of love, bravery and tragedy of couple Magda and Pio,where it got its name.

Magda and Pio can be compared to Romeo and Juliet. The girl is rich, the boy is poor. Parents are against their relationship and will do anything to separate them. But because they’re too in love, they decided to meet at the cliff, made a vow to forever  and together they jumped off to death, along with their love and promises for each other. And as they fell with tears in their eyes, came the mighty water falls. 

After hearing the story, we then signed the waiver and proceeded to the much awaited endurance trek via Pueblo El Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove.

There are two options to reach the falls, you can either trek and rappel via Pueblo El Salvador or shoot rapids by the river.

Pueblo El Salvador offers different packages:

Package A- Trekking and deck view (P50.00)

Package B- Trekking and rappelling via metal ladder, raft riding, entering the falls (P270.00)

Package C- Trekking and rappelling via metal ladder, raft riding, entering the falls, boat ride exit to Pagsanjan (P1250.00)

Trekking made easy with this path

Yes, I did took a lot of shoeselfie because of it

My buddies who never fail to smile all the way down to the falls

Vertical rappel is another part of the adventure.

There are two vertical rappel we run into, and a steep (the steepest I’ve seen) metal ladder. Both are quite challenging and requires balance and concentration.  But fret not because these obstacles signal that you’re near your destination, the falls. So get those cameras ready and put that smile on.

Selfie before meeting THE Cavinti Falls

And finally, you!

As we arrived, we saw crowd gathered to stand in the line for the balsa (raft) ride. We took a lot of photos as we can.

The water is not really  clear, yes it looked muddy because of the natural soil that gets disturbed during rainy season but you can take a dip and swim in it. And thankfully, it was not that cold compared to Liliw falls also in Laguna, which so far is the coldest I’ve been to. I guess it must be the weather and the waterfalls flowing hard that made us chill.

To access the falls and the cave behind it known as Devil’s cave, one must ride a balsa. This is a necessity and the most exciting part so don’t miss it.

We waited in line, wearing our life vests and again captured the moments as the adventure begun.

GOPR1598

Life vests ON!

GOPR1603

Still enjoying…

GOPR1607

Now see different reactions. Me covering my head, paranoid of what might happen while rafters were pulling the rope to get to the falls

GOPR1633

Then we reached the Devil’s cave.

GOPR1619

Behind Cavinti Falls is the Devil’s Cave

Devil’s cave can really be so evil. Imagine a strong typhoon trying to knock your house down. That’s the feeling! The water falls so strong producing even colder wind.

We stayed inside for like 10 minutes. It was so so cold, I was shaking and shouting yet enjoying the moment.

GOPR1648

Finally a ride back to the ground

Surviving the whole adventure took us more than 2 hours.  It was indeed tiring and energy draining but it was one of a kind adventure I enjoyed a lot.

Tips when trekking to Cavinti Falls via Pueblo El Salvador

  1. Always listen to your guide’s instructions. 
  2. Walk on the center. The sides are usually slippery due to little rain. You don’t want to slip and ruin your outfit so better be cautious.
  3. Bring candy and bottle of water. But please don’t be a badass, put that trash in your pocket or bag.
  4. Wear your trekking shoes/ sandals and only light and comfortable clothes. Also put on sunblock or bring scarf or hat for your protection against sun’s harsh heat.   
  5. When rappelling, wear safety harness as per guide’s instruction. (The rappel may not be that challenging for some but I’d agree, it’s better safe than sorry.)
  6. Don’t forget your cameras, iPad, gopro, selfiepod, whatever you got. The view is picture-perfect and worth your OOTD (outfit of the day) so take chance. Click as many as you can.
  7. Aside from extra clothes, bring personal medicines and first aid kit. Remember, it’s always better when unexpected happens and you’re ready.
  8. Tipping a little won’t hurt.

How to commute to Pueblo El Salvador- Cavinti Falls

  1. From Pasay, ride a bus going Sta Cruz. Fare is P140
  2. From Sta cruz, ride a jeep to Cavinti .
  3. Then tricycle to Pueblo El Salvador.

-----------------------------

This post is part of my series post for #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour, a Tourism Advocacy Campaign to help generate online buzz for the upcoming Cavinti Water Sports Olympics: 1st International Competition happening on February 8-14, 2015. 

The event was fully supported by the Municipal Tourism Office, DigitalFilipino, Pelikula Padayon, Caliraya Lake Mountain Resort, Camarin Resort and Lago Fishing Village.

To inquire more about Cavinti Eco Tours and the upcoming Water Sports Olympics, visit their website www.cavinti.gov.ph or check on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/cavintiecoadventuretour

No comments:

Like Us on Facebook!