Riding Magdalena (river rafting and water tubing)

river rafting magdalena laguna

Let me get this out before the memories fade like the rest of 2014…

Magdalena, Laguna – and I have no idea where it is until yesterday.

Because it is Memorial Day today and we have a long weekend, I kind of stuffed a whole lot in my calendar…I slept late on Saturday night…err not really. I just closed my eyes lying in the dark waiting for my alarm clock to go off a little over an hour after I set it. I came home very early Sunday morning after spending the night at the PETA Theater for Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady: The Musicale by Carlos Vergara.

D’ rafters@McDonald’s Taft
Photo: Jennifer Estrellado

So it was Sunday morning. The call time was 4:30AM  at McDonald’s Taft. I had hamdesal and coffee to officially start my day! I met the team: Dexie (the ring leader), Jenn (the bully), Omie (the muscle man), Ron and Wendy (used to work with the same company) and Darrel (the payroll guy). the original plan was to take the second DLTB bus to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Well, things happen…we boarded the bus at the break of the morning light.

Because most of us were on the same theater last night…we all took that 2 hours of slumber…
Welcome to Sta. Cruz, Laguna!

We arrived safely at the DLTB bus station in Sta.Cruz. Because, we did not pack steamed rice for lunch, we had a little expedition to the town market taking every twist and turns to find an eatery to get ourselves some rice.  On the way, we also got a kilo of Indian Mangoes.

Heading to Magdalena, Laguna was a bit crazy.  The ladies took the trike (tricycle) with instructions to head to Magdalena Town Plaza. So the gentlemen took the second with the same instructions. En-route to Magdalena Town Plaza, just at the boarder of Sta. Cruz and Pagsanjan, we lost sight of the trike where the ladies were boarded. We called and were informed that they were let off at Sta. Cruz Town Plaza instead and they’ve taken the jeep to Magdalena. So when the ladies were gone, we kept going passing along the Pagsanjan Public Market and on to more coconut trees, cool and fresh breeze until we reached a town plaza across a beautiful, old Magdalena Church (sorry, did not have the opportunity to take a photo). The guys took shelter from the unforgiving morning sunshine under the Angel’s Burger stand. And because the trip was rather long, I got myself a Hungarian sausage sandwich and a bottle of Mountain Dew!

Magdalena Church (side-view)
It’s sad that I did’t get any photos of the facade
Photo: Jennifer Estrellado

About 15 minutes we met the ladies! Then we’re picked up by our guide to their residence to get some briefing and paper works (waivers and all that).

The short “Briefing”

After preparing for our journey to the starting point, we boarded the jeep along with the gears!

Excited bunch!
Loading up the Jeepney with the gears!

The trip to the starting point was very short! Made us all jittery all because “ate” from the briefing said we will be dropped from the bridge to get to the raft!…aaaaand nobody said the bridge was this high!

So this is the “drop off” point!
I excel in the art of jump shots

The heat is on! Put those gears on and beat that summer init! The rappelling from the bridge would have been exciting albeit being scary (issues with heights) but we were not ready to get tied and dropped over a bridge!

Loading the raft!
Pre-boarding pose!
Smile! That’s Wendy, Omie and the ring leader, Dexie
and the raft is loaded! Push that raft Kuya!

Under the summer heat the river was calm and cool while the hearts of adventure seekers were restless and eager to meet the rapids. Nature trip can be both calming and exhilarating!  So we started rowing…err paddling the water…

smile smile uli sa camera before we hit the rapids!

While the water  was still calm, the river guides told us that the helmets weren’t just for protection against the rocks (they’re huge).  They have another purpose! Unbuckle your hats and scoop some cold river water, splash it over your head or better yet, shove ’em to your raft mates! Orrr!!! paddle the water over the face of the one sitting behind you!It’s fun!

No water rapids shot! Sorry! While we have water proof camera phones, we do not have a GoPro! Hands were off the paddles and on to the ropes! The rapid waters aren’t at their usual angry mood during summer so it wasn’t too much.  It was still fun though!

After some rapids we came to a rest stop…soaking in the river to cool off!

cam on cam! hahaha pa picture kay kuya while taking a shot of the photographer!
selfie shot daw!
Chill Chill si Omie while some adventurous souls decided to jump off a cliff
Helmet madness!
Because we don’t want to dive…err no talent in swimming
This is Omie chillin’

At the end of the river, there’s a “dam”.  Well it was not so much a dam where energy can be generated.  It’s an irrigation facility. It’s where we had the water tubing activity! Well Darrel had the courage to jump off the irrigation canal…hahaha I was happy riding the “tubing”.

What is water tubing? Well, you don’t really get into a tube but rather ride a salbabida or a truck’s internal tire or the airbag of a tire. Tubing is riding that tire’s air tube down the mossy slope!

Wenn taking the first slide!

Dexie as the second victim!
anyare Ron?

Ron, Omie and Darrel decided to slide without the tube! and because it’s a concrete lined with moss, it’s a slippery slope.  They got some super light dermal scrape that you can dismiss after you’ve seen it! Because I can be fragile (LOL), I decided to go down with the tube! I relaxed after that slide lying on the slope with water flowing all over…

Not the best photo but I’ve got the best feeling under the cascading water…
Omie is happy playing under the water!

After getting our own cool fix under and on the water, we had lunch in a hut atop a hill overlooking the river. We ate on banana leaves  with our packed chicken-pork adobo and mangga (mangoes) and bagoong (shrimp paste) c/o Darrel…

Tired but happy!
The walk…

There is nothing more relaxing than hearing the water flow…it touches your body as it cleanses your soul..

Magdalena White Water River Rafting Adventure
Magdalena, Laguna

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  1. John Dee garbin
    February 4, 2016

    Hi. Love your blog. Do you have any ciontact number? Or how much is the damage for this trip? Thanks. 🙂

    1. backpackinggeek
      February 5, 2016

      Thanks for dropping by, John! This was last summer and I am not sure exactly how much damage we incurred in this adventure but I am pretty sure it was not too much 🙂 Somewhere around P 1,200 inclusive of the transportation cost to and from Laguna. (will get back to you when I get some details from the barkada who organized it.

      Booking Inquiry Contact:
      Mhollywood AdventureTour
      Poblacion Magdalena Laguna
      Cp no. 09282585554


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