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

sign 3

How happy is your birthday?

My journal entry dated 18.07.2012
Flight 5J-799 Cebu Pacific Departure: 10:10 AM NAIA Terminal 3, Gate 112 

There’s nothing to see up in the air. It’s a bit of a long travel. 3 hours is a long ride.  I left Manila without having any dollars in hand. By far this is the trip I am most unprepared.  On the eve of the flight I honestly have not packed anything in my bag.  
Disaster 1: Coming to work I have heaps of things in my to-do list. I came in as early as 6 in the morning to get a head start. To be fair, I was able to get a lot of things done. However, when I looked at my tracker, I was not convinced that I have accomplished a lot. To top it all, just when I had that momentum, my office assistant popped up reminding me of the 4pm calibration session with my team, which on a regular basis takes at least 2 hours! So there goes my productivity! 
Disaster 2: Laundry Delay 
Because I had to log off from work late, I wasn’t able to catch the laundry shoppe’s closing. There goes the packing.  I’ve nothing to pack!  What  ended up doing was juice up all the gadgets that I am bringing…Ippie, Sammie, Nikkie and even my good o’le Kia!  Cables and chargers were packed and the regular garbage in Sergio’s belly unloaded. 
I didn’t realize that it’d take me a long time to finish.  With no clothes to pack, I slept just before midnight.  It wasn’t so much of a sleep.  It was too shallow.  I wake up in every bit of noise!  Happy Birthday??? My alarm finally broke the silence and it was 3 in the morning. I found some warm greetings for my birthday.  It started with an old friend from years ago. Maris actually sent her greeting a minute after 12!  Then the well wishers came rushing in. I couldn’t quite appreciate them at the time because I am pretty much preoccupied with the looming problem of not having anything to put on my backpack…the most important thing! Clothes!  I waited and waited until the laundry shoppe finally opened it’s doors.  I was literally rushing back to my room. I tore the package and grabbed some shirts and unmindful, stuck them in my backpack. I changed my shirt and pants, put on my shoes and raced through the door. I took a cab to NAIA T3 and asked the driver to use the Skyway because it was already 30 minutes past the hour of eight! My flight is due to depart at 10:10 am while gate closes 45 minutes before departure!  
On a positive note, international flights doesn’t have a queue! And so was the line for paying the sky high Philippine Travel Tax!  
Philippine Travel Tax – pegged at P 1,650 
Airport Terminal Fee – P 550 
Immigration Test 
I called it a test because in the recent past, a friend was offloaded from her flight to Thailand connecting to Dubai.  She was asked why she was leaving the country and her travel documents were not honored.  Hence, the paranoid “OC” in me made the passage through the immigration a bit of a nightmare .  Luckily, I only got a frown and a dismissive look from the immigration officer. He gave me my first departing stamp.  I’ve learned my lesson from my last flight to Iloilo: it is better to check in your bulky backpack to avoid finding anything that may delay or cancel the trip. I checked-in my baggage and just left Ippie, Sammie, and Nikkie with me along with a bag of local delights for a friend (Des) from a friend (Wei).  
Happy Birthday!  
Checking in was a breeze.  The nice ground crew called my attention so she can assist me even if her counter was for a different flight.  She was so nice and polite throughout the interaction.  I was very pleased.  Boarding was called and I was the first passenger on the plane! To top it all, I got a window seat directly perpendicular to the right wing! This is what I call a birthday! Love love love!