Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour (First Day Wrap Up)

Wazzup Pilipinas!

To continue with our stories of our #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour, we head off towards our first destinations for the day on board a jeepney (the best way to tour the Philippines) after having a filling breakfast of hotdog, eggs, "dinuguan" (amazing  dish) and "puto," plus a short orientation from Ms. Nitzshell Dela Torre of the LGU Tourism Office of Cavinti held at the Bumbungan Eco-Park.. There was also a short stop at the Kalakal (Pandan Weaving Center) to get our "sambalilos" to protect us from the sun and rain before finally reaching the Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park.
The #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour is 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. Several activities were lined up for two days and surprisingly, even though there were a few hiccups along the way, we managed to do most of it as planned, plus an added bonus visit to the Japanese Garden.

Our visit at the Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park was a surprising pathway towards the majestic Cavinti Falls, otherwise known as the Pagsanjan Falls, but geographically should be called Cavinti Falls since its located in Cavinti, Laguna. But it wasn't easy getting there from our point of origin since we had to take several flights of metal stairs and ladders going down into the very bottom where the Cavinti Falls is located.

I made a video coverage of our #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco Adventure Tour compiling almost everything we did. It will be too long if I put everything in just one video so I decided to divide them on a per day basis. What you will see here now are highlights of our adventure including the interviews for day one.

Bumbungan Eco Park -shot taken from the bridge
Bumbungan Eco Park
I thought they intended to put that tree but it turns out the storm washed it there
"Almusal" Breakfast of hotdog, eggs, "puto" and "dinuguan" plus coffee and water
Several handmade products at the Kalakal (Pandan Weaving Center)
A "banig" in the making
Miss Nitzshell showing off a "sambalilo"
A lady weaver demonstrating weaving
Every lady wearing "sambalilo" - then later changed them to the smaller designs - followed by the men
At the Pueblo El Salvador Eco-Park

On our way down to the "El Salvador del Mundo" statue
But it wasn't just the 589 steps of metal stairs or ladders that tested our endurance, because our guts and courage were also put to the test doing a couple of rappelling. We had to endure two instances of rappelling down into the depths below supported only by a harness and a rope while a man lowers us safely. Though, after learning that the man has been doing it for 9 years already, it was still a scary sight to behold.

El Salvador Del Mundo
Our first rappelling down below
Smile for the camera! They deserve a break.
More climbing down on metal stairs
Our second rappelling down to the waters of Cavinti Falls
It was thrilling to experience it for the first time as it isn't everyday we get to risk our lives falling down to the unknown. It was crazy, but I must have felt a lot better after I've seen our companion's mobile phone accidentally fell from the top. They got the phone back but its batteries were no longer retrieved. We're still not sure if it's still working after that several feet of fall since we need new batteries to run it again. At least it wasn't us who got into an accident. A phone can easily be replaced but our limbs, bones, or worst, our lives will definitely leave an unfortunate lasting mark.

9 years of tough work can be visibly seen as the man easily brings us down using his own strength
Colorful boats down below used to reach Pagsanjan
Lots of tourists this month and for the coming months until end of summer time
The majestic Cavinti Falls (aka Pagsanjan Falls)
The rewarding part is after all the stressful trek, we get to finally see the stunning wonder of nature that will leave you saying "Wow!" This is where we get wet and wild. Our chance to have a close encounter with the Cavinti Falls!

Most Filipinos are very familiar with the very popular Cavinti Falls, aka Pagsanjan Falls, as well as foreigners who would always include this particular tourist destination as one of the many favorable places to visit in the Philippines. The fun part is going through the waterfalls and letting the water hit you from above. Others would panic, others would run out of breath, others would scream out loud, while others would probably laugh to their hearts' delight, as it is indeed an awesome adrenaline rush!

We also tried the raft going through and under the waterfalls
Embracing nature like its my mistress

The hardest part is leaving the Cavinti Falls due to time constraint. We have a schedule to follow, more places in Cavinti to visit, many more people to meet, and cannot afford to stay long at this paradise even though we are soaking wet and cold from the water.

We were then faced with another trial - climbing back up on the same path!

Fried Tilapia with fresh tomatoes for lunch after an exhilarating adventure

Now that we are against gravity, it was a lot harder to  return to where we started. But we were motivated with the thought of seeing more wonderful sights within Cavinti, plus the hearty lunch of "Pritong Tilapia" and "Chicken Adobo" waiting for us back at the Pueblo El Salvador Eco-Park point of origin.

Stairs. It's More Fun at Cavinti. That's what I can say after the excruciating climbs - downwards and upwards. If you want to challenge yourself, go to Cavinti and experience this adventure!

Camarin Resort hanging bridge
The last parts of the first day tour was a visit at Camarin Resort where they toured us around even though it was drizzling and unbearably cold. We were treated with afternoon snacks of sumptuous "pancit" and "pichi-pichi" while some youth performed a cultural dance for us. There was a bonus song number from the obvious star of the show who was very good looking and talented.

#CavEAT Bloggers crossing the hanging bridge of Camarin Resort

Viewing Caliraya Lake at Camarin Resort
Viewing tower at Camarin Resort
Tree houses with hanging bridges at Camarin Resort
The pool at Camarin Resort
Look at the astounding view of nature
Cultural dancers performing to entertain us with dance and song numbers while we eat
Pancit and Pichi-Pichi (sarap) for merienda

Dinner time: The Kaldereta

Dinner time: Tinuto is like laing with sapsap fish inside

Dinner time: Pinais is made up of "hipon" and coconut

The day ended, well almost, with a dinner of "Pinais" (made from coconut and shrimps), "Tinuto" (made from Taro leaves, coco milk and fish) and Kaldereta at the Oliveros Resort owned by the honorable Mayor Milbert Oliveros, who we personally met and chatted with for a few minutes.

The Honorable Mayor Milbert Oliveros welcoming us to Cavinti

He had to go because they have a "Baranggayan" event happening that night. Some of us wanted to be there as well but I guess everyone were just too tired to leave the comfort of their improvised beds, and the fact that we had a hard time taking a bath to freshen up due to the cold breeze that never left us throughout the night.

Look who's busy playing all night

After a few hours playing billiards, talking about all kinds of stuff, and desperately trying to sleep amidst the cold, silence finally came in at around 11:30 pm. Everyone went to bed, not sure if everyone got to sleep, but many of us were definitely suddenly awaken and rattled by the 3 am earthquake. Lol! Now that's another thrill that caught us during our short doze.

Watch out for the Second Day Wrap Up stories as we explore the Cavinti Church (Transfiguration Parish), the Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort, Lumot Lake, the Lago Fishing Village, and the Japanese Garden.

I'm also working on the videos that I plan to divide into two parts: One will focus on the people and the other on our tour of Cavinti.

The #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour was organized by Herald C. Bebis for the Municipality of Cavinti headed by Hon. Mayor Milbert Oliveros. The event is fully supported by the Municipal Tourism Office, DigitalFilipino, Pelikula Padayon, Caliraya Lake Mountain Resort, Camarin Resort and Lago Fishing Village

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