When my husband wanted us to visit the Philippines for our honeymoon, I was hesitant. My husband, like my parents, was born and raised in the PI. He is the most out-spoken proponent of all things Filipino. He loves his native country and it showed. I agreed because I wanted him to show me the beauty of the Philippines that I did not see in the past. I do not want to get too political on this blog about the state of the Philippines, but I do want to show what I learned during my trip back in 2007 - that the Philippines is a beautiful country and there are places that are worth visiting and admiring.
I will be talking about various places I visited on my trip throughout this blog. Today I wanted to focus on The Chocolate Hills.
The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in the Bohol Province of the Philippines. There actually is not a clear consensus on how these hills (which there are at least 1260 of them) were formed, but most believe these are marine limestones which overtime have been eroded by rainwater. Majority of the year, these hills are green, but during the dry season they turn brown thus earning their nickname. The Chocolate Hills are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bohol and for that matter in the Philippines. Currently there is an application to protect them as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are several Filipino legends on how these hills were formed, some involving carabao and fecal matter! but I prefer the tragic story of unrequited love of a giant named Arogo who fell in love with a mortal girl, named Aloya. When he found out Aloya was to marry another mortal, he kidnapped Aloya. Aloya got sick in his care and she died. Arogo was so devastated that he cried giant tears that dried up and became the Chocolate Hills.
Our tour guide was a adorable Filipino guy named Joshua, who told us this story in his broken english. He said Aloya "got so sick, that it was so fatal, you see, that she died." Classic.
Just remember to bring some good walking shoes if you decide to check out The Chocolate Hills, because the best way to see them is to climb all 214 steps up the observation hill.