Chocolate Hills: Know the True Secrets Behind Bizzare Hill in the Philippines Named after Chocolate
Occupying the middle of the Bohol island of the Philippines, the chocolate hills are a bizarre as well as a popular attraction. These are unusually shaped hills with an extraordinary landscape, unique to this small island.
The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are spread over a vast area and covers Sagbayan, Batuan, Carmen, Bilar, Sierra Bullones, and Valencia towns. However, most of them are found in Sagbayan, Batuan, and Carmen, the latter having the most uniform conical hills. The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are not only two, preferably consists of more than 1268 (some state of being 1766) cone-shaped hills and baffle numerous geologists due to its strange formation.
These conical hills are not huge and barely reach the height of 120 meters, though most of them reaching the height between 30 and 50 meters and scattered over an area not exceeding 50 sq. Km. While it might appear to be endless when viewed atop the hill in Carmen town. The viewing deck gives you an all-round view of the hills with bare eyes and becomes more majestic when viewed from a plane.
Travelers and geologists exploring the view report the hills to appear thousands of molehills dotted out from verdant surroundings. These symmetrically shaped conical mounds got their names due to their property of changing the color that turns brown and looks like endless rows of chocolate kisses.
Legends of Chocolate Hills:
The formation of the hills is well explained with three legends narrated by the locals. The first legend is about a feud and fight between two giants who started hurdling the rocks at each other until they became tired after which they ultimately became good friends, thereby forgetting the mess made by them.
The second legend speaks of a giant, Arogo who fell in love with Alaya, a simple mortal dwelling in the earth. After her death, the giant kept on weeping, failed to stop himself, and his dried tears became the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Though most of the travelers believed the two legends, they found the third one to be least appetizing. The legend narrates about a giant carabao or water buffalo who went on destroying and eating the crops of the villagers.
The townsfolk failed toe sacrifice any good food and piled up the spoilt food for the carabao to eat. While the giant could not bear his hunger, he ate all the spoilt food without even thinking. However, the giant failed to digest it and left behind mounds of feces, which later on dried to form the hills. The uniqueness of these limestone chocolate hills lies in grass coverings and the similarity in the shape of the cone through the difference in their sizes. The hills get the color of chocolate with the withering away of the grasses during the dry season.
Grass species thriving on the hills include Imperata cylindrical and Saccharum spontaneum and several Compositae and ferns. Some lush green trees with verdant rings grow at the base of the bare cone-shaped hills, increasing the beauty of the site. Rice and corn cultivation is carried out along the flatlands surrounding the hills, giving an impressive green backdrop for the Chocolate Hills. Some geologists state that the hills are conical karst topography, which means they are grass-covered limestone that was once a part of the marine floor. However, massive uplifting of the coral deposits and effects of rain, water, and erosion created what you see today. Sometimes considered as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the formation had been declared as the 3rd National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences on June 18, 1988.
This was done in recognition of the unique characteristics, the scientific importance, uniqueness, and high scenic value and is considered among the protected areas of the country. The Carmen-LGU government operates and owns the complex, which has a restaurant, a viewing deck, souvenir shops, and a hotel with a swimming pool.
Enroute Chocolate Hills:
Wondering how to visit the Chocolate Hills? We have your query resolved. Buses bound for Carmen town or Sagbayan are available at the Dao Terminal in Tagbilaran City and drop off at the junctions leading to the resorts. In Carmen town, the road leading to the resort from the intersection is only a 10-minute walk along a winding uphill road. Vans are the most common means of transportation, though, especially when traveling with a group. Keeping aside the convenience and comfort, visitors can visit more places in a short period as waiting for buses or public rides is time-consuming. Interested in watching how the hills got their name? Visit the hills during the dry months to find chocolate kisses on them.
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