The chocolate hills of Bilar, Bohol is a magnificent natural wonder. The picturesque sight of this group of wonderfully shaped hills has been an iconic symbol of the province. Unlike your typical hills, their unique formation, number and form make them stand out.
Visiting the Chocolate Hills
After checking out the man-made forest in Bilar, we went straight to Bohol’s iconic wonder, the Chocolate Hills. These hills turn into colossal Hershey-kisses-like chocolates during the dry season—when the grass covering them turns brown. Their total number is 1,268.
To enjoy a great view of the Chocolate Hills, you need to climb one of them. One of the hills was converted into a viewing deck with an entrance fee of P50.00 per person. It’s a long way up as you need to climb its 213 concrete steps. But once you get up there, you’ll feel that it’s worth every calorie.
Upon reaching the top, we can’t help but be in awe of their beauty. Their bump-free curve is very exquisite. There are plenty of hills here in the country but none of them are as nicely shaped as these. These hills truly deserve to be the symbol of the whole province.
I remember my wife realizing that she left our camera in the restroom after reaching the top of the viewing deck. She had to run all the way down to check if it was still there or if someone stole it already. We’re very thankful to the honest lady maintaining the restroom that found it and gave it back to her. It’s people like her who make the country proud and the tourists happy. So my wife climbed up again but she used the flat walkway this time because she finds it less steep and less tiring compared to the stairs.
Based on a scientific explanation of its origin—the Chocolate Hills are conical karst hills, called mogote, which were created by a combination of the dissolution of limestones by rainfall, surface water, and groundwater and their subaerial erosion by rivers and streams after they had been uplifted above sea level and fractured by tectonic processes.
Four legends about the origin of the Chocolate Hills
1. There were two giants fighting by hurling boulders at one another which became the Chocolate Hills. They later became friends but forgot to clean their mess.
2. A giant named Arogo fell in love with a mortal named Aloya. When Aloya died, Arogo couldn’t stop crying and his tear drops formed the Chocolate Hills when they dried up.
3. A giant carabao plagued the town and ate their crops. So the town folks baited the Carabao with some spoiled food which made its stomach hurt making it leave a mound of feces that formed the Chocolate Hills after drying up.
4. A glutton giant named Miguel fell in love with a young woman named Adrianna. To win her love, he worked on losing weight by discharging everything he ate. The fecal matter became the Chocolate Hills.
The varying stories about its origin only prove that its uniqueness and beauty made it a talk of the town since the time of our ancestors. Now, its beauty is still being talked about not just in a small town, but by people across the world. This national treasure has been declared a heritage site in 1988 and is now on the list of the government’s protected areas.