Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Hills

I am Filipino-American. Both my parents were born and raised in Cavite City, Philippines. The first time I visited the PI, I was quite young and I have no recollection of it. The second time I visited the PI, I was 12 years old and about to enter Junior High. My memories of the Philippines were not, to be honest, pleasant. It was too hot, there were a lot of mosquitos and my mom had us cut off our long hairs for fear of getting lice and promptly got us perms (I will not show you photos of this perm, because it literally looked like a poodle attacked my head).    

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.


  1. It's good that you have a better relationship now with our country of cultural heritage! I know from pictures and from your photos and of our parents that Philippines is a beautiful country. I will enjoy it from that stand point especially since I'm not one for tropical know I'm an urban girl at heart ;-)

    Enjoyed the story about Chocolate Hills! I do love chocolate and the curvy beauty of hills in general!

    1. I'm an urban gal too, so it took a lot to get me to go back there again - but it was worth it. Hopefully, one day we can go back there with the kids.

  2. Hi Rose,

    Thank you so much for stoppin' by my blog and for joining Linkin' with my Ladies Blog Hop. To answer your question, yes, I am Filipino. Pure blood Cebuana. Lol. Philippines is a beautiful Country, indeed. So sad that you had a not so good memories of Phils. when you were 12. Phils. has a lot of places to explore. It is also a cheaper choice.

    See you around, Rose.


    1. Thanks for joining. I appreciated the PI more when I went back with my husband for our honeymoon, he took me to beautiful parts of the PI that I didn't know existed when I went when I was twelve. Cebu was definitely my fave places he took me too. We plan on going back when the kids are little older.

      See you around too!


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