Chocolate Hills in Bohol
In the center of the Philippine island of Bohol lie around 1300 curious pointed hills named ‘The Chocolate Hills. Their height varies from 30m to 120m compared to the flatlands around. The origin of the name remains a mystery. Some say the Chocolate Hills are so called because they turn brown between seasons, others say that it’s because they look like a box of chocolates when viewed from above.
Origins of the Chocolate Hills:
There are three rumours around the Chocolate Hills origin. The first legend tells of two bickering giants. They battled long and hard, flinging giant boulders at each other. After days of fighting both giants collapsed exhausted. Their exhaustion caused them to forget about their feud and they became great friends. However they were so busy getting along, they didn’t tidy the boulders which they left to become the Chocolate Hills.
The next story is a little more romantic. A giant names Arogo fell in love with a mortal woman in Bohol. After she died, as happens to all mortals, Arogo was so upset that he cried tears over Bohol, which solidified to become the Chocolate Hills
The Third story involves a giant carabao – a swap dwelling buffalo. This carabao kept eating the villagers’ crops. In an attempt to put an end to this the villagers gathered all the rotting food they could find and left it in a huge pile. The giant carabao ate the rotting food however its stomach couldn’t handle the rotten food and he was ‘violently ill’. His ‘explosive feces’ covered the island of Bohol and became the Chocolate Hills.
For those who don’t believe in giants, the Chocolate Hills are formed from limestone rocks, eroded by a combination of rail, and ground water. The base of the Chocolate Hills is known to flood, and the area has an abundance of natural rivers and springs.
Getting to Chocolate Hills
The main transport hub in Bohol is Tagbilaran. After you’ve got yourself here you’ll need to take a bus heading towards Carmen City. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at Chocolate Hills. The journey itself takes around 1 hour 45, and costs in the region of 50 Pesos (1usd), although this does vary depending on the bus company you use.
You won’t miss the entrance, it’s very well sign posted however you’re not permitted to actually climb the hills. instead you’ll have to settle for the viewing platform located at the entrance!