Monday, April 29, 2013

Dampang Maliit: The Dampalit Falls of Laguna

The Main falls with the second one in view

The Dampalit Falls in Los Baños, Laguna

Located at the Mount Makiling Nature Reserve, there are two known paths that lead to the falls. There are two trails that lead to the falls. The first one, accessible via a wide cemented path beside the Lalakay Elementary School, slowly narrows down until it can only be accessed either by walking or by riding a motorcycle. The second one goes through the DENR station, having a wide path that is basically designed for nature lovers and mountaineers, has no houses beside the path. Though the latter looks harder, they basically have the same elevation.

The Dampalit Falls, together with the cottages and the natives' "development"
The falls has an entrance fee of 20 pesos per person, excluding infants, and has an additional charge for cottage rentals. 

Abandoned cottages
Quite commercialized, the area surrounding the falls have numerous spaces/tables for families going on an outing and has locals selling goods inside the area. The average price for renting one is 200 pesos to 300 pesos and the foodstuffs have prices that soar above their normal prices back in town. It is an interesting mix surrounded by forests and leveled by numerous small falls that branch out from the higher main falls.

Second falls, with the bridge in view
The second falls directly flowing from the waters above have been modified by human hands, something that I found quite unnecessary. Locals in the area have cemented some of the rocks in the falls to keep them intact and blocked waterways to make small pools, slowing down the flow of water. Despite the large fees, the falls and the area around it is littered by the occasional amount of refuse: Leftovers here and there. 

Dampalit Falls
But despite these minor setbacks and disappointments, with the added discomfort of the area slowly being congested by tourists that do not know how to take care of the environment, the falls prevail... their charm captures anyone's imagination as it trickles down the rocks and from the springs above. The multiple falls, mixed with the numerous rocks of different colors, is one of the things that I loved most about this area, with the added hidden tidbit of the rocky sides of the main falls being home to crabs, that is, if you are willing to risk getting snapped by them while you pursue them.

The place is perfect for photography. Come early to the falls so that there will be fewer people to block the perfect view. Be ready to get wet while taking pictures, though.

Second Falls

Second falls, left side

The flow of the river

Mini falls

Risking my camera for shots

Second falls, middle part

Second falls, left. Long exposure.
Beyond all these nature shots, the second falls is the best one for profile shots of people in different poses.

Test subject for MDF&P

The blogger
Take note, the lower picture exhibits a pose on an area that is very much forbidden by most guides and guards since it is dangerous, risky since one slip would lead to one's death. An after note, there are life guards in the area that ensure the safety of everyone. 

To end this post, I would ask anyone interested in going here to please maintain the cleanliness of the area. It's the least we could do to save Makiling and Nature for the future generations. I just hope that someday, they will use the fund to make the place cleaner. 

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