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www.pagsanjan.org
Text excerpts from the book:
PAGSANJAN, In History and Legend
(1975 Edition)
By Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide

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THE LEGENDS OF PAGSANJAN

      The people of Pagsanjan have a rich folklore which is part of their cultural legacy from their forefathers. It consists mostly of interesting legends which have been handed down orally from generation to generation and are happily preserved to the present day. Seven of these legends are the following: "The Legend of Pagsanjan Falls," "Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Bandits," "The Legend of San Isidro Hill," "The Legend of Doña Pascuala Cave," "The Buried bell of Kawa-Kawa,: "The Legend of the Golden Cow," and Why the Lanzones Are Sweet."

The Legend of Pagsanjan Falls

      The Pagsanjan Falls, which foreign visitors acclaim as "enchanting" and "gorgeous", is rich in legendary lore. Long, long ago, recounts one legend, there were no falls. There were only the foliaged highlands, the twin rivers, called Bumbungan and Balanac, and the alluvial delta (where the town of Pagsanjan now nestles). On the eastern bank of the Bumbungan River lived two old brothers named Balubad and Magdapio.
      For many years, the two brothers enjoyed a rustic life of peace and happiness. But one day calamity struck. A terrible drought brought ruin and death. No rains came for successive months. The soil became dry as tinder. The blooming flowers and food plants withered and died. The birds, deer, wild hogs, monkeys, and other animals disappeared. The rivers, creeks, and mineral springs dried up. Not a single drop of life-giving rain fell from heaven.
      Balubad and Magdapio suffered immensely. Day and night, they prayed for rain, but the gods did not heed their prayers. The older and weaker of the two brothers, Balubad, died of thirst. Magdapio, with a sorrowing heart, buried him on the slope of the mountain overlooking the river delta. This mountain is now called Balubad.
      Left alone in a waterless world, Magdapio agonizingly trekked to the upper region of the arid riverbed. He reached the high rocky cliffs, after an arduous journey. To his utter disappointment, he found no water.
      "Ye gods!" he sobbed bitterly, "Where is the water?" In despair, he angrily hurled down his big cane among the rocks.
      Suddenly, a spring bubbled on the spot where the cane fell. Rapidly it grew bigger. The fresh waters roared down the canyon walls, soon becoming a booming waterfall. Amazed at the miracle, Magdapio fell on his knees and thanked the gods. He drank the cool water until he felt new energy surging in his blood. Thus emerged the world famous Pagsanjan Falls.
      Originally, the waterfall was named Magdapio, after the legendary patriarch. In the summer of 1902, An American Presbyterian missionary, Reverend J. Eugene Snook, happened to visit the Magdapio Falls. He was enchanted to see the falls and was thrilled by "shooting the rapids." Upon his return to Manila, he wrote a story of his visit to the falls which he named "Pagsanjan Falls". His story, with an accompanying photo of the falls, was published in a popular Manila newspaper, The Cablenews American, and was widely read in the city and in the provinces. Thus the waterfall came to be known as Pagsanjan Falls, a name which has gained fame in the tourist world.

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