While we were on our Ilocos trip, Janine of Wowtrippers asked us when are we going back to Butuan. When she learned that we still had two days to spare, she suggested a road trip to Laguna after a day of rest. The cool thing about Wowtrippers is that they treat us like friends. Since this was an unplanned road trip, no additional fees were collected. We just pitched in for the van rental and paid for entrance fees and all. They even contributed their share! We would have pitched in for their share, too, but it was our last day of our trip to Manila. We were running low on budget.
We have no prior expectations for this trip since we do not know the itinerary. We just knew we were visiting some falls like Pagsanjan.
Our first stop was in Panguil, Laguna. We visited Ambon-ambon Falls. No, it was not the regular trek-and-pose-for-picture type of trip.
We trekked and crossed bamboo bridges.
We waded the river.
We “climbed” boulders.
We rode a raft.
Funny story about the raft: Only 5 passengers are allowed. My 5 friends went ahead (see picture below). When it was our group’s turn, I walked confidently to the middle and found myself sitting comfortably until I felt that I was sinking. Woah! Was I that heavy? I tried to maneuver myself with my legs up. Poise forgotten. I was laughing my ass off.
We swam. There are ropes to hang on to for those who do not know how to swim. (Me!) Below is my friend trying to show me how to do it. Nah, she was posing for the camera.
No, this is not yet the falls.
After another river trek and a few meters of swimming (using the rope), we finally reached Ambon-ambon Falls.
But wait, there’s more! On our way back to the starting point, we dropped by the river tubing area. River tubing is an activity where a group rides on connected lifesavers (salbabida). It was a fun activity!
All the trekking and swimming made us hungry. Prior to trekking, we paid the guides to cook for us. There were no utensils so we had a boodle lunch. Yum! We even had soup. We took turns in using the cut-up plastic softdrink bottle.
We were already full so off we went to our next adventure: Pagsanjan Falls. No, we did not ride the fancy boats to get to the falls. We used the alternate route where we walked 589 steps downhill (It should be called “downmountain”!).
We had to rappel twice. No, the rope did not break even with my weight. We asked Toto of Wowtrippers to take a photo of us. He already rappelled down. He climbed up again. We told him he should not have climbed up because he could take the photo from down there. He replied that the angle is better from the top because our faces will be seen. From the bottom, all the photos will be of our behind! Oo nga ano?
When we reached the ground, we rode the raft going to the falls.
Notice how happy we are? Notice also that the Korean tourists had life jackets on and helmets on their heads while we only had a rope to hang on to. Ha! The happy poor people still had fun.
My friend, Mau, had a photoop with the colorful Pagsanjan boats. This easy route costs P1,250 per person. You get to help the boatmen earn their living. They only get a fraction of the amount. I am not sure where the rest of the fee goes.
After this is another 589 steps up. I suddenly regretted the times when I did not exercise. HA! Each step was a challenge.
It was already getting dark when we reached the top. Time to go home!
We had dinner at Isdaan in Calauan, Laguna. It is also a nice place for picture-taking.
By the time we got to the pension house, I hit the sack without changing clothes. I was that tired.