Cagayan River, Maddela, Quirino
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I didn't bother Googling the meaning behind its name so I thought the river is called, Governor's Rapids. A local clarified that it only pertains to a section of the river in which a Japanese governor-general met his demise in World War II. The river is in fact, a piece of Rio Grande de Cagayan (Cagayan River).
Governor's Rapids is located Barangay Divisoria Sur, Maddela. There is an entrance fee of PHP 10 (USD 0.20). Boat tour is PHP 80 (USD 1.60) per head, so is the river-tubing adventure. My friends and I opted to just do the tour because we didn't want to leave our gadgets on the boat given how small it is. Passing through the rapids however is best enjoyed by the river tubing. We spotted some tourists free floating atop the inner tubes and they looked like they were having a grand time. Aside from river tubing and boat tour, the river is deep enough for some serious cliff jumping. You can do this specifically from this limestone formation they call, The Stage.
Having traveled in the most touristy places in the Philippines, I definitely loved the fact that we didn't want to wait on long queues nor did we have to fight with anyone for a spot during photo ops.
The activity will take you on a 2-kilometer boat ride, which includes a tour inside Tenyente Cave. We decided against the cave exploration because we just visited the Aglipay Caves before going to the Governor's Rapids. All in all it was a terrific experience. Who would have thought that there is such beauty hiding in this landlocked province.
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Day 1 of December 27 adventure continues after our tour at mystical caves of Aglipay. We went straight to Governor's Rapids. Found out that this river is tributary to Cagayan River.
As we reached the place, our friendly tour guide (who's a friend of Lea A) assisted us towards the counter where the vests to be used are placed. So we are ready as soon as we all wear the safety vests. I was excited coz I get to see the view of the river. We had river cruising, that took more than an hour. We are a group of 7, and we rented 2 boats assisted by 2 local guides. On the side, we had a quick adventure, its a cliff jump while holding on a wheel and swing til you drop (not my kind of adventure, i tried yet I failed to swing).
After the breath taking view of the river, we are navigated back to the point of origin. We have a quick treking towards the grassy part of the river beds. We waited for the guides to fix the lifesavers that were tied together. Then as soon as we settled to each lifesavers, the guides maneuvered and its like a scary & fun moment. We are advised to hold on tight to the ropes, or else we have to swim the currents of the river. Took less than 10 mins, its fun yet bitin.
P.S Limited pics
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Governor's Rapids is among the unsung natural attractions at the town of Maddela, Province of Quirino. While it's true that the province is yet to claim a spot in the wanderer's map, Quirino promises to be a potential adventure hotspot in the northern corner of the map.
As a quirinian myself, I was astonished not to have heard much of this place before. From afar, it looks like a wounded mountain with a long eye-like slit in the center. This naturally carved viewing deck is reachable through a short boat ride on the still and mystic bluish waters of the river. Inside is like the irony of strength and vulnerability as you get to see the beauty of the rolling mountains through the rough eyes of this rock formation. With another 5-minute sail, you can also reach the cave that houses a mini waterfall inside. It's a gash towards a gush of fresh and cool water to ease a pretty challenging trek.
It may have been a cliche saying that there is no place like home but more often than not, it is true. I've been to a number of destinations across the Philippines but Governor's Rapids holds a certain charm that nips a portion close to my heart
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