Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Chocolate Hills, Philippines

Bohol is the focal island of Bohol Province and the 10th largest island of the Philippine archipelago. You’ll observe that Bohol is a tropical paradise of natural beauty with a mild coastline of white sand beaches skimmed with coves – purely a heaven for divers and snorkelers. Bohol’s most eminent natural attraction is the Chocolate Hills, which is covered with small grass & conical shaped hills scattered by the hundreds over an area of over 50 SKM. In fact there are between 1,260 to 1,776 individual mounds, ranging in height from 30 to 50 meters with the biggest being 120 meters tall. The hills are covered with beautiful green grass; actually turns brown during the dry season, making them look like dollops of chocolate. The site is on UNESCO's tentative list for World Heritage Site, but the Chocolate Hills are now threatened by quarrying activities. 

The Chocolate Hills are well composed of limestone and subsequently covered with topsoil and grass. Their origin is not precisely understood but according to the most recognized theory they were shaped when limestone weakened by rainfall, surface water, and groundwater was fractured and uplifted by tectonic forces and consequently eroded by rivers and streams. Such geomorphological features are often called cockpit karst, and Chocolate Hills is considered to be a significant example of this topography. Between the hills lie well developed flat plains that contain plentiful caves and springs. One of tourist has observed the real mounds are somewhat weird; if you go down to the base and have a look, these stuffs simply rise from nowhere. 

Most normal hills generally have a mild slope that starts them off, but these hills sit there on grounds which are totally flat farmland, and they abruptly 'exist'.” Various urban legends and myths surround the formation of the symmetrical hills, and one story involves two feuding giants who hurled rocks, boulders, and sand at each other. The fighting continued for days, and exhausted the two giants. In their exhaustion, they overlooked about their feud and became friends, but when they left they be unable to remember to clean up the mess they left behind. One more romantic legend says about a giant who fell in love with a girl, but when his darling died the giant cried intensely. His teardrops gave upsurge to Chocolate Hills. Moreover another less romantic story expresses about another giant who, in order to win the heart of gorgeous young woman, excreted all over to lose weight and in doing so formed those Chocolate Hills.