Of Boatmen and waterfalls. My very first job in movies happened a few days right after I graduated from high school. Hemisphere pictures was hiring crew for a Vietnam movie being shot in various provinces in the Philippines. I got in on the recommendation that I knew how to draw. Which was entirely neither here nor there as I was going to be a grunt weilding a house brush most of the time. That was how I got to work on "Apocalypse Now."
Half-way point. Stopped for lunch by this cascading falls. One of many leading up to the main one.
The last location I worked in my few months stint was the municipality of Pagsanjan (pronounced, Pag-sang-han) where the falls of the same name is located, and also where Martin Sheen's boat inched along to get to Marlon Brando's temple. A typhoon wiped out the set I was working on and the river rose up the jungle canyon walls. I saw the plaster and burlap parts of the temple, soggy and limp, floating down the river with the storm showing no signs of abating. It was every man for himself and soon I was on a bus trudging through floodwaters headed for Manila.
I hadn't been back until now. This last trip home I wanted to finally get to the falls myself and also glide by the location of the set. The boatmen knew to hype this up though it was rather anti-climactic since all that's left are a few stone steps well into be being claimed by the moss and jungle.
The river ride on bancas (wooden boats) is quite exhilirating, traversing 14 rapids against the current! I didn't do any work, the boatmen did all the heavy lifting. Literally. We just sat in the boat got carried over rocks like precious cargo. The Pagsanjan falls at the end of a box canyon is quite a sight to see and the roar of the water completed the spectacle. After you arrive you see that there is an option (an added fee) to be dragged in on a raft right under and behind the falls!
From under the main falls. Camera all wet. Even took some little movies. Check the links below this post for little movies
That was so awesome! I highly recommend that if you were to stop over Manila do get the hotel to arrange a day trip. You'll have a grand time. Be prepared to get wet, and have a spare set of dry clothes waiting for you at your car. Also great rainy or in the heat of summer. Mabuhay!
Pagsanjan movies 1,2 and 3.