Philippines Travel

Governor’s Rapids: A Piece of Cagayan River in Quirino

A governor drowned in the rapids,” the old woman explained, “So that’s where it got its name.”

I nodded in understanding as I sipped my ube shake that did nothing to quench my thirst. I didn’t bother Googling the meaning behind its name and thought that 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), the longest river in the Philippines. For easy reference, let’s stick with Governor’s Rapids in this article.

Governor’s Rapids can be found in the municipality of Maddela, Quirino in a village called, Divisoria Sur. Here, you can go on a boat tour or river-tubing adventure. Passing through the rapids is best enjoyed by the river tubing. We spotted some tourists free floating on top of the tubes. We passed on this activity because we were carrying our gadgets. Nevertheless, the boat ride proved to be just as enjoyable.

Read: Quirino Province: A Prelude to an Awesome Long Weekend

After the trip, I realized that we overpaid for the river tour. We paid a total ofย Php 450, when it should have been only Php 270 for 3 pax, including the entrance fee. Note that we only had a boat ride and didn’t include river tubing in our activity. I cannot for the life of me figure out why we had to pay more. So before you commit to anything, make sure that all terms are clear.

The river is wide, the water a color of moss, and it is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs with jagged edges. We were in awe; who would have thought that there is such beauty hiding in this landlocked province.

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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, which according to our boatman, is where TV personality, Drew Arellano, took the plunge during his Quirino visit

governor's rapids cagayan river quirino

The boat was steered by a father-and-son tandem. My friends called the young boy “kuya” whenever they ask him to take our photos. I found it extremely weird that they would call a kid the title that we use for a big brother.

Do you want to visit Quirino? Read my travel guide here

The boat docked on the rocky shore; we alighted to take some photos.

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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 prior to going to the Governor’s Rapids. 

Having traveled in the most touristy places in the Philippines, it was a bit disconcerting to be somewhere where I didn’t have to wait in long queue or fight anyone for a good spot for a photo op. The weather was kind, rolls of clouds covered the sky, allowing for a dry day yet safe from the fierce heat of the sun. All in all, the experience was rather pleasurable, peaceful even.

governor's rapids cagayan river quirino
Booking.com

The Governor’s Rapids is arguably the most popular destination in Quirino and one you shouldn’t miss.

Rates
Entrance fee: Php 10
Boat ride: Php 80/pax
River tubing: Php 80/pax



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Comments (17)

  1. Suruchi
    Suruchi

    Philippines’s is such a rich beauty. Every time I read a post on it, my urge to visit it increases and those limestone cliffs are really fascinating me. Your pictures are amazing too.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      I hope you get to visit Suruchi. We have so many things to offer and I hope that when you do pay us a visit, you would check out Quirino. It’s not as popular to tourists but I promise you that it’s worth it.

      Reply
  2. Myrthe
    Myrthe

    Every time I read something about the Philippines, I regret not going there when I was in Asia. The river looks very quiet and the surroundings look stunning. I love your photographs, especially the colors. Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      I understand that my country is not that popular with tourists compared with our neighboring countries. I do hope you find a time to visit my little country. I’m sure you will love it Myrthe ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. Jerny
    Jerny

    I remember when you told us to go to Quirino and there you were with two other ladies ๐Ÿ™‚ swerte nyo din because the weather was okay that time, mejo bagyuhin daw sa Quirino.
    Hey, let me know when’s the next sched for this. I think Pancake said you were planning to go back, right?

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Surprise! Hahahaha… Yes I’m planning to go back and include Cagayan in the itinerary. Will let you know.

      Reply
  4. Indrani
    Indrani

    Each time I read about Philippines it is some place absolutely new! Such a lot to discover there. The rocky shore is indeed a great place for photography. I think I wouldn’t want to miss caves even if it is repeat… who knows you may find some treasure there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Now that you mentioned it, I do feel some kind of regret that we didn’t visit that cave.

      Reply
  5. Arni
    Arni

    I have never seen this part of Cagayan River before and it’s absolutely stunning. Lovely photographs! I recall boating along Cagayan River somewhere closer to Tuguegarao when I was 12 and I remember being scared because it seemed narrower than the one you took and could tip over anytime. There was an old man steering the boat but we managed to finish the boat ride without any problem. This was decades ago so ..I’m sure it’s not like that anymore now.

    Reply
  6. maegan
    maegan

    Oh this would be so fun! Also, your pictures are beautiful! What a great way to see the place you’re visiting!

    Reply
  7. Anne
    Anne

    First of all, I am completely in love with your photography. The boat ride sounds (and looks) very pleasant. I know the ride is 2-kilometer, but I was wondering if the exploration of the caves segment was included, approximately how long is the tour?

    Reply
  8. Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss

    Wow, what a great adventure that you have here. I haven’t tried this one yet, only river trekking, but not river tubing. The water is very clean which would surely entice me to swim if possible and the stunning view is really beyond compare. I’ll surely bookmark this for a future reference, since I haven’t visited this place yet. Thank you so much Marge for sharing this with us.

    LaiAriel R. Samangka

    Reply
  9. Sandy N Vyjay
    Sandy N Vyjay

    The Cagayan river looks so very tranquil and the place is well preserved. The river cruise sounds really like a wonderful and serene experience. The cave exploration is something that I would be interested in. I bet the caves are filled with eerie bats.

    Reply
  10. Rishabh & Nirali from Gypsycouple
    Rishabh & Nirali from Gypsycouple

    This looks like a great find. Any place as beautiful as this especially without the tourist hordes is right up there for us. Looking forward to reading about Quirino. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  11. neha
    neha

    So beautiful. Like you said, you ended up paying more. I would like to know how to determine the actual cost that’s worth it? Is there any government agency operating which will regulate the cost or any tour operator that is reliable?

    Reply
  12. MICHAEL SORIANO
    MICHAEL SORIANO

    So Cagayan river extends up to Quirino? That’s very long. I already forgot the information about this river after my history class long ago. The river tour I think is very exciting but if Ill be the one riding the boat, I would definitely be very scared, I don’t know how to swim.. hahaha

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Yes, Cagayan River traverses Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, and Cagayan. That’s how long it is. Don’t worry about not knowing how to swim. They provide life vests to tourists.

      Reply

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