Revisited the Mt. Romelo last weekend for its waterfalls (Buruwisan, Lansones, and Batya-batya). This trek yielded both pleasant and unpleasant surprises.
The trail was not very muddy, in a Romelo kind of way. When trekkers say the trail is muddy, it means knee-deep mud. This time it was more manageable, but it does not mean you'll reach the campsite squeaky clean - nobody does in Mt. Romelo.
We started the trek just after sunrise and reach the campsite after close to two hours. The campsite changed a bit since the last time I was there - more cottages now and the stores are well stocked. I took a mental note not to haul up mineral water next time, there's plenty being sold up there.
The best time to shoot Buruwisan is early in the morning when the rest are still preparing breakfast or while other are still trekking up. After putting down our gear, I accompanied a fellow photog (first timer in Romelo) down to Buruwisan.
view heading down to Buruwisan falls
As we approached the falls via a steep trail, the scene opened up like it was the first time I saw it. After countless treks here, Buruwisan still manages to enthrall me. I setup my tripod and took a few shots.
Although it had been raining the previous days, Buruwisan's water volume was surprisingly small. I've seen Buruwisan after a storm (or was it during a storm) and it was raging. This time its more tamed. The falls looked like a column of falling sugar when shot using a longer shutter speed.
All around the area are yellow leaves from the large balete trees. It was a surreal look, like autumn in a tropical settings. I figured the leaves are new, I mean they just fell, judging from their bright yellow colors.
Buruwisan is such a popular campsite you can't really shoot the place without getting crowded after some time. People came soon enough (Buruwisan's catch basin is a popular swimming spot) so we decided to head back to camp. I decided not to pitch a tent anymore and just one of the cottages (300/night rental).
downstream from Buruwisan
After a hearty lunch we went down again, this time we headed to Lansones falls located downstream from Buruwisan. A group of campers pitched their tent at the edge of the catch basin - not a good idea in my opinion. They will be swept like twigs in case there is a flash flood.
mini-cascades near Lansones
Lansones does not share the same "water line" as Buruwisan. Its smaller but equally photogenic as Buruwisan. The mini cascades you'll see if you follow the stream up to Lansones are worth the photographer's time.
While Buruwisan can sometimes give you these nasty water-sprays if you shoot it up close, Lansones is very tame to shoot. I guess its because its in a much tighter place thus there's not much wind.
Its best to shoot in the late afternoon to have a bit of light as it faces the west. Situated under a small gorge covered with a canopy of trees, it tends to be dark there.
We went to Batya-batya the next day but I did not bother to bring my camera anymore. I know the place would be crowded. Of the three waterfalls there, I think Batya-batya is the least photogenic.
And the unpleasant surprise of the trip? Its the hard evidence of authorized use of my photos my the Mayor's office in Siniloan. Some moron reasoned that since they can easily download the photo from the Internet, its already public domain. I guess these idiots have no idea what copyright infringement is.