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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bohol Tour » Chocolate Hills and the Nine Choco Wizards

I’m back! I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a few days to enjoy our weekend stress-reduction trip to the famous Philippine destination – Bohol! We availed the Philippine Airline’s promo fare a few months ago and booked a package tour to Bohol in the Central Visayas.

One of our major destinations - the Chocolate Hills, an unusual geological formation found in Bohol, in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. These cone shaped hills are the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol and were featured in the Philippine Department of Tourism’s top list of Philippine tourist destinations. It has been declared as the country's 3rd National Geological Monument on June 18, 1988 in recognition of its scientific value and geomorphic uniqueness. Isn’t that cool?

The Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck
We immediately climbed the 214 steps – err no, we took the “for disabled” steep, flat and winding route going up the Chocolate Hills Observation Deck inside the complex where all visitors go to admire the excellent view. Although it was raining, the view was still awesome! 

Hmmm! It looks like women’s breasts 
The hills look like giant bahay ng nuno sa punso (mole hills), or for the green-minded like us, we say it look like virgin women's breasts. I observed that the Chocolate Hills are consistent in their cone shape. According to the official website of the Province of Bohol, the number of hills reaches at least 1,260 but may be as many as 1,776. The Chocolate Hills encompasses a 20 square mile (50 sq km) area creating a sea or rolling terrain of these amazing hills. The height of the hills varies from 98 to 160 feet (30 to 50 m) with the largest hill reaching a peak of 390 feet (120 m).

The unusual thing about these hills is that, it is a natural phenomena - some think it is man-made. Geologists believe that the hills were formed from marine limestone on top of a clay layer. 

The Green Chocolate
 

Cloudy day at the Chocolate Hills - quick shot before the heavy rains

The Chocolate Hills are actually grass-covered limestone. Therefore, depending on the season, the Chocolate Hills changes its color, varying from green to chocolate brown. September is a rainy season, so what we saw are sea of green hills and not the choco-colored hills we are expecting.

Chocolate Hills Camwhoring

If you really want to see the choco-colred hills visit the Chocolate Hills during summer because the grass dries up, turning brown which is where the name Chocolate Hills was derived. The dried up brown hills will look like a sea of “chocolate kisses.” Great for souvenir photos.

The Two Gay Giants – The Chocolate Hills Myth (according to the choco wizards)

The official myth narrates that one day there came two contesting giants. The giants fight a mortal combat and throw mud balls at each other. The fight continued and of course, like all other Alamat (Filipino myth), you know what happened next.

Another legend says that the hills are enormous tears wept by a heartbroken giant.

But wait, here’s our version of the story:


Two gay giants, lazily eating hill-sized Hershey’s chocolate kisses saw a hunk-good-looking giant. They fight over the hunk and throw the hill-sized Hershey’s chocolate kisses at each other. Then that’s it! Over the years, the chocolate kisses became the Chocolate Hills! LOL!

Were the Chocolate Hills worth the trip?
The Nine Choco Wizards riding a broomstick
The Wizards - Yodz, Bar, Aldan, Chuck, Anjho, Sarena, Grace, Abby and Weng
When we arrived at the viewing complex, there were other tourists, mostly Koreans stepping out of buses and tourist vans. Wherever we went, there were other tourists roaming around. I tried not to think about them and just enjoy the awesome view.

Definitely yes! The Chocolate Hills are really worth the long trip. It’s different when you are there, admiring the nature’s natural wonders rather than just looking at it on postcards. However, it would be more amazing if the viewing deck is not that crowded.

Yodz Notes: More of our Bohol Tour


This is only one of the major destinations/activities on our Bohol tour. In separate posts, I’ll feature other minor Bohol destinations such as the tarsier viewing, Bayoyoy the dwarfman, old churches, man-made forest, hanging bridge, historical places (blood compact site), Hinagdanan cave, Bohol Bee farm and Python viewing.

Also part of our Bohol tour, that deserve a special blog post is the Loboc River Cruise Buffet Lunch and our awesome Panglao Tour (snorkeling, dolphin watching and island hopping.)

More of Bohol this week. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Have you been to Bohol already? Please share your travel experience  or any thoughts on the comments section.

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More of our Bohol Tour on these series of posts

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References (for mentioned facts and figures):[all Retrieved 22 September 2010] by yodz
» Seven Natural Wonders of Asia “Chocolate Hills”
» Wikipedia Article “Chocolate Hills”

» Chocolate Hills Natural Monument – UNESCO World Heritage Center
» Bohol - Philippine Department of Tourism Featured Destination
» Woods, Michael and Woods Mary B. 2009.  “The Chocolate Hills” Seven Natural Wonders of Asia and the Middle East. Minneapolis:  Twenty-First Century Books, p. 64
» Dominique Grele, Lily Yousry-Jouve 2004. “Bohol” 100 resorts in the Philippines:
places with a heart. Mandaluyong City: Asiatype, Inc.

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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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