My wife, my daughter, and I went to Pagsanjan just to experience the thrill of shooting the rapids. Since we do not know anybody there, we took a barangay tanod as our guide and advisor. We did not know that you have to go to one of the small inns or hotels accredited by the local government in order to ride the boat to the the falls. We thought we heard that it was going to cost us 250 pesos per person for the boat ride which we thought was reasonable.
Upon reaching one the inns which the tanod recommended, we were asked to wait for the boat that will take us to the falls. The owner of the inn explained the rate. It is going to be 1250 pesos per head! He broke it down to the rental of the life jacket (50), plastic helmet (50) toll fees, use of the raft (250) near the falls, banca rental, etc.. Since we were already there wearing those life vests and helmets, we could not back out anymore. We just thought that since this will be a once in a lifetime experience, so be it..just pay.
The boat ride was thrilling but we don't think it is that death defying for the boatmen. We were more scared of the slim banca tipping over since it does not have outriggers. We were also irked by the boatmen's constant reminder about tipping, that they trained hard for the job, etc. We also did not want to take the raft ride very near the falls. We were also there on a day when we could not reach the main falls! They told us it was dangerous because the river level is high because of a recent rainfall.
In summary, I would not recommend this to an average Pinoy family. It is evident that this overpricing is driving local tourist from away from the falls. We saw mostly Korean tourists who could easily afford the 1250 per person rate. Besides, why should I pay for the raft ride near the falls if do not want it in the first place? It is built in to the 1250 package rate. Also, the whole experience lasted less than 90 minutes.
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