These unusual group of shaped hills is located in Bohol Islands in the Philippines. Some say the Chocolate Hills actually looks like a women’s breasts, but really it simply resembles that of a box of chocolate truffles. This spectacular place is not man-made, it’s hard to believe for many, however, it truly is a natural and extraordinary landscape which is unique to Bohol Islands.
There are an estimated 1,268 hills grouped together. This unusual geological formation covers a total area of about 20 square miles. The hills are well spread across the towns of Batuan, Bilar, Carmen and Sagbayan, it varies in size from 100 to 165 feed in height, while the largest of them is approximately 395 feet tall.
These hills are visually stunning and are good for a far sight seeing venture. Many visitors may be disappointed to know that these hills are not made of chocolate rather, as its name my suggest.
During the dry season, the hills uniformly feature a highlight brown color which resembles a chocolaty feel to it, but of course during the wet season, the hills naturally forms a green look because of its grass. Fascinatingly, no trees and no clumps of plants grows on these hills.
The hills have been a geological monument and a protected area for the Philippines since 1997. However, The Chocolate Hills are listed as a the country’s tourist destination by the Tourism Authority of the country. The provincial flag and seal of Bohol Islands also feature this phenomenon to symbolize this province for having various natural attractions. As well on the 16th of May 2006, the country submitted a consideration for the Chocolate Hills to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the listing is yet to be approved by the appropriate authorities.
The existence and formation of the hills is still a mystery till date. Even top geologists have not been able to concur in regards to the formation of the Chocolate Hills phenomenon. A commonly accepted theory by the society is that the lumps were formed as result of marine limestone, lying on a clay base which in turn hardened and weathered for thousands of years in formation.
Science may still struggle to find an explanation for the Chocolate Hills, but the residents of Bohol Islands may have a few of their own explanations to this phenomenon:
1. A local legend has a saying that the hills were formed as a result of the battle between two giants, which lasted for days. During the fight the giants hurled sand, stones and chunk of earth being thrown at each other. They did so until both were exhausted and couldn’t proceed with the battle anymore. They then became friends and eventually leaving a mess which became the Chocolate Hills.
2. A romantic legend has explained a story where by a powerful but youth giant named Arogo had fallen in love with a mortal named Aloya. Whereby Aloya’s death had caused a powerful and deep grief that led to an endless weeping, by which the great teardrops of the giant had caused the formation of the Chocolate Hills after drying.
3. Another legend states that a giant bull like animal, known as the Carabao, used to eat up all of the crops in the island. Having had enough the locals have piled up all of the spoiled crops and piled them up in mounds, by which the Carabao had eaten all of the spoiled crops as food and after defecated since the Carabao couldn’t handle the spoiled food. While when the Carabao emptied its stomach from spoiled food it had led to the formation of the mounds.
4. Another romantic legend mentioned that there was an insatiable giant which goes by the name Miguel who ate anything and everything. Once upon a time he met a beautiful girl named Adrianna who inspired him to loose weight. Whereby the giant had defecated the load of all that he had eaten which led to the formation of large brown hills, which in turn had made him win the affection of Adrianna.
Regardless of the stories and true origins of the Chocolate Hills, it is one of the most bizarre landscapes anyone would encounter. There is a viewing deck with an entrance fee of USD 1 or 50 Pesos, which gives us the opportunity to encounter and experience this marvel of a nature. Remembering that the hills can’t be climbed individually since its protected. The Chocolate Hills Complex, is a resort owned by the local government and managed by them at the same time providing a great viewing station. The station can be reached from Tagbilaran which is about 35 miles from Carmen, Bohol Islands, where the station is situated.
Tourists are welcome to visit the islands anytime of the year during the dry and rainy seasons.