~ Leap Of Faith ~




The Collins Family
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Pagsanjan Falls

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Today we went on another Grayline tour to the Pagsanjan Falls of Laguna. The drive to our destination was a 2 1/2 hour drive south of Metro Manila. The drive itself was very eye opening. Wes and I barely said a word to each other as we just looked out the window at the living standards that the people of this country endure every day. Today, we truly witnessed how the poorest of the Philippines live. Sadly, most of the homes were made of things that Wes and I throw away...holey plastic tarps, old towels as curtains, and scrap metal pieces as roofs. Several had old tires on top to keep the metal pieces down. We passed tons of road side stands selling anything from cocunuts to escargo and saw many rice fields and harvested rice drying on the side of the road. I think many of my pictures will speak for themselves.

The highlight of our day was getting to "Shoot the Rapids" on a native banca (canoe). Wes and I have taken many canoe trips back in Missouri, but this is an entirely different type of boating than we have ever experienced. Our boat was first attached to another banca that actually had a motor. They took us a little ways upstream and then we and our 2 boatmen went to work maneuvering our boat upstream through rocks and boudlers between steep gorges. They worked their booties off to get us all the way upstream to the falls. I was sweating profusely in the boat and I was just sitting there. Our boatmen said they only do one tour a week because it is so strenuous. Once we reached the falls we were able to swim around a little. Wes and I also were able to take a ride on a bamboo raft that has a rope connected from the rock shore to inside the cave under the falls. They pulled us right underneath it. Now I know why we had to wear those dorky hard hats the whole time. Once we passed underneath the 300 foot falls, we were able to swim around in the cave opening. The scenic view of smaller water falls and lush green tropical vegetation throughout the boat trip was beautiful.

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Here we are with the other couple in our tour group. They were from Moscow...and quite an interesting pair.

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About half way we stopped at a nursery to walk around and stretch out our legs for a few minutes.

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The caretakers of the plants live inside the garden center along with all the plants.

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We were served lunch as soon as we arrived. First up, clam soup. Just seeing the looks on the faces of the couple from Moscow was priceless. Wes was the only one who would try a piece. These were little river clams with the shells, and clams soaking in what looked like river water. Wes did get sand/dirt in his teeth on his first bite, so he too was done with it after that. On our actual lunch plate we did have rice and some sort of noodle and vegetable side that I thought was pretty good. Wes and I were the only ones who ate anything from our plates. The couple from Moscow wouldn't touch it.

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You gotta love the orange life vests and the hard hats. :)

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A water buffalo just hanging out in the river.

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Another motored canoe had a line of boaters attached bringing them back from the lower end of the Falls.

The following pictures are sites that we saw along the river banks.
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The way our two boatmen could balance one foot in the banca and then push off rocks to maneuver us upstream through boulder rocks was very impressive. None of the guides wore any type of shoes or gloves for their hands. I can't figure out how they didn't stub their toes numerous times.
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This picture is for Jaidyn. She is always jabbering about something and has earned the name Jabber Jaws Jaidyn and for short we just call her "Triple J". We had the tour guide pull over just so we could take this picture.
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For dinner tonight we were craving some Mexican food so we decided to eat at Mexicali which is not far from the Intercontinental Hotel. I would give a better description of our eating experience, but my stomach hurts just thinking about the few bites that I had from my plate. Just wanted to let all of you who may be traveling soon that this is not some place for Mexican food that we would recommend.

Tomorrow is our big day! I hope I sleep tonight. I can't believe that after all this time of waiting that we will finally get to hold our son. The feeling is indescribeable. I don't care how tired I am tomorrow night, I will be sure to post a few pictures of Levi.

8 comments:

Renee and Brian said...

It sounds like you and Wes and quite the adventerous day. The waterfall was beautiful. It is amazing to think of how many people live day in and day out. It makes you so thankful for all that you have.
I imagine that right now you are finding it hard to sleep as you're thinking of how close you are to finally holding Levi. I will be thinking of you guys all day! Enjoy this special moment that you have waited so long for!! I look foward to lots of pictures of your beautiful little boy with his Mom and Dad!

Julie said...

Wow you guys are so adventurous! That is great. I hope you got some sleep, but I know it was probably pretty hard to do. Thanks for the head's up on the Mexican food. I'm so happy that your day has finally come, hug that boy lots!

Janice et St├ęphane said...

My goodness, you sure have kept busy. That picture of Wes and the Moscow girl is hilarious!! They look totally grossed out!! I can't wait to experiment! I can't believe it's already time to unite with Levi. I hope you enjoy every second of it and I can't wait to read all about it.

Cheers!
Janice

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you and Wes are making such wonderful memories and sharing them with all of us. I am counting the minutes along with you until you have Levi in your arms. You are on many prayer lists. I am also counting the days till you are home. XXOO

Amber said...

Sounds like you and Wes are having quite the adventure :0) The waterfall looks beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing with us! I love reading about your experiences in the Philippines. It's sad to think of the poverty there...that will be hard to witness. I'll be thinking of you guys tomorrow...very soon, you will be holding little Levi in your arms :0) Wishing you all the best!

emilie said...

Sounds like another eye-opening day. On a lighter note--too bad about the Mexican food. I never tried to find Mexican restaurants there, so let me know if you find a good one. But, since Spain governed the Philippines via Mexico for many years, there are definite influences in some of the dishes there (e.g. tamales and champorrado), though with a Filipino variation of course. Check out Sentro in Greenbelt 3 if you get a chance. The food there is exceptionally good. Our best wishes for tomorrow!

Allison Family said...

Love, love, love the pictures! You guys are so much more adventurous than we were...makes me wish we would have tried some more things but we only had one day until we met Jay-R. Looking forward to the pictures of Levi and hearing all about your experience!

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