The Magnificent Chocolate Hills of Bohol in the Philippines

Located in the Bohol Island, Philippines, the Chocolate Hills consists of a group of unusually shaped hills. Some say, that they look like a women breasts, but they really resemble chocolate truffles. Its hard to believe, that this spectacular place is not a man-made, but it is all natural and this extraordinary landscape is unique to Bohol.

The hills are estimated to be more than 1,268. This strange geological formation covers an area of about 20 square miles. The hills are spread throughout the area, that covers the towns of Batuan, Sagbayan, Bilar, and Carmen. The hills vary in size from 100 to 165 feet in height, but the largest of them is about 395 feet tall.

Some visitors may be disappointed to find out, that these legendary hills are not made of chocolate, as the name suggests. These visually stunning hills are just for eye feasting, rather than for taste buds.

During the dry season, the hills uniformly acquire a chocolate brown color. Of course, during the wet season, this awesome natural beauty has a green look because of the green grass. Curiously, no clumps of shrubs or even trees grow on the hills.

The Chocolate Hills have been a geological monument of the Philippine since 1997. It is a protected area. The Chocolate Hills are listed by the Tourism Authority of the country as a tourist destination. The provincial flag and seal of Bohol also feature this natural phenomenon to symbolize the province as having numerous natural attractions.

On May 16th, 2006, the Chocolate Hills were submitted for consideration to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The submission is yet to be approved.

The formation of the Chocolate Hills is still a mystery. Even geologists have not been able to reach a consensus, in regards to the formation of this natural phenomenon. A commonly accepted geological theory is, that the earth lumps were formed as a result of marine limestone, lying on a clay base, that is hardened/impenetrable, weathering for thousands of years.

Science may still be struggling to find an explanation, but the creative Bohol locals have a few explanations:

I. One local legend says, that the hills were formed as a result of a fight between two giants, that lasted days. During the fight, the giants hurled stones, sands, and earth at each other. They did that until they were exhausted and unable to battle anymore. They became friends and eventually left the island leaving the mess behind.
II. A more romantic legend states, that Arogo, a powerful and youthful giant, fell in love with a simple mortal named Aloya. Aloyas death caused the powerful giant grief, misery, and endless weeping. The great teardrops of the giant dried leading to the formation of the Chocolate Hills.
III. Another legend tells of a bull-like animal, a giant Carabao, which used to eat all the crops of the Island. Having had enough, the locals piled up all of their spoiled foods in mounds. Sure enough, the giant Carabao ate all the food and defecated since its stomach could not handle the spoiled food. Emptying his stomach of the spoiled food led to the formation of mounds.
IV. Another romantic legend says, that there was once a insatiable giant named Miguel. The giant used to eat anything and everything. Once he met Adrianna, a beautiful girl, and this inspired him to lose weight. The giant excreted all that he had eaten leading to the formation of large brown hills. This made him win the affection of the girl.
Regardless of the origin of the Chocolate Hills, they are one of the most bizarre landscapes you can encounter.

Remember that the hills are not usually climbed individually. Using a viewing deck gives you an opportunity to marvel at the natural scenery. The Chocolate Hills Complex, a resort owned and operated by the government, is a great viewing station. The viewing station is situated in Carmen, Bohol, about 35 miles from Tagbilaran.

Tourists may visit this place at any time of the year, including during the rainy and dry season.

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