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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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March 10, 2017

laguna | luisiana : hulugan, talay, and hidden falls

Hulugan Falls

Photos of Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna started flowing through social media a couple of years ago when a mountaineer posted shots of another "hidden gem" in Laguna (the province is blessed with countless waterfalls). Pretty soon a steady stream of weekend warriors make the slippery hike down to the falls.

Today it is difficult, but still possible, to take photos of the falls on a weekend without the crowds.  There is a cemented road now leading to the trail head. Its good that the barangay has started to make the trips more organized by enforcing guides (equipped with two-way radios) and putting up a first aid station near the trail head.

Hulugan Falls
Hulugan Falls
There also is a *standard* route now that starts with two smaller cascades above Hulugan. Hulugan (which literally means "where things fall off") is the third and the tallest among the three.

You have to be early to beat the crowds on a weekend. Our group started hiking about 7AM and did the reverse route by going straight down to Hulugan along a very slippery trail of boulders and mud with  makeshift bamboo handrails on some sections.

Hulugan Falls

Hulugan is a challenge to shoot during the rainy season when the falls is full.  The spray felt like light rain and your equipment gets drench in seconds.  Water on the filters and lens ruins the shot so you'll have to wait for that lull when the wind dies down for a brief moment (no more than 10 seconds!).

It was a series of shoot/wipe/check shot/wipe/shoot until we got the shot(s) we wanted or until we decided we had too much of the water spray already.

Talay Falls

Talay is a two-level cascade upstream of Hulugan. Its the first stop when you are going via the "standard" route. There are makeshift bamboo tables near the second level so its perfect for a quick picnic.

Talay Falls (2nd Level)
Talay Falls

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls
Hidden Falls

Upstream of Talay is a beautiful cascade aptly named Hidden Falls. Its basin is hidden behind huge (and slippery!) boulders and there is only space for a small group there.  Its no more than a 100 meters above Talay but climbing over wet and moss covered boulders can be tricky.
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