The Legend of The Philippine Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills. I don’t know about you, but that really sounds like a dream come true. I hope you are now sitting at your desk, imagining a world where the hills are made of chocolate, where you have to be careful that on a hot day that your dream doesn’t turn into rivers of chocolate instead of your dream come true. Either way, yum.
On the small island of Bohol in the Philippines, this dream has become a reality. Okay, well, it’s not actual chocolate, but it’s still pretty cool.
The 50 square meter area on the island of Bohol is believed to have anywhere from 1,268 to 1,776 chocolate hills, or in geological terms “conical karst topography.” Scientists seem unable to agree on the exact creation of these round hills, but the most common belief is they are leftover limestone deposits from a time when the rivers and streams were high above the current sea level, and over time, rainfall and flowing water created the dips and valleys on the island.
Even the legends surrounding the birth of these chocolate hills are conflicting. One popular story explains that the hills are the aftermath of a big fight between two giants who threw many stones at each other before giving up.
A funnier legend, usually reserved for those young at heart, tells how the surrounding towns had all their food stolen by a giant water buffalo. The people then placed all their rotten food in one big pile for the buffalo, who became sick after eating it. He defecated many times and left behind large mounds, which dried and became the chocolate hills.
What makes these hills so beautiful is that they seem unable to grow any plant life except for a harmful weed called cogongrass. During the dry season, the weed turns brown, giving the hills their famous name.