Nature, Philippines, Visayas

Chocolate Hills: Bohol’s Natural Wonder

The Universe, or God, sometimes has better plans for you, despite of wanting something else.

For days and weeks, I’ve been waiting for an email, a confirmation about a press trip abroad. I remember how a travel blogger friend and me messaged one another every single day checking if one of us has received the email.

Two weeks before that trip, I gave up.

If I really made the cut, they should have contacted me earlier. I remember that night, I told myself that it wasn’t for me. There are other opportunities. Besides, I can travel to that country in the future on my own. I just simply let..it…go.

Then the next morning, I received an invitation.

That’s from Fuentes Manila and Tourism Promotions Board to take part in a fam trip to Bohol and Cebu for 5 days as part of TBEX post tour with travel bloggers from different parts of the world.

So this is it?

This is the much better plan for me?

And with all honesty I can say yes! The trip was awesome, met some amazing people, got some new perspective and learned a lot.

Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
The rain has stopped once we arrived at the Chocolate Hills.

It was raining hard in Manila, so we were lucky to see the sun by the time the plane touched down Bohol.

After the warm welcome from Bohol tourism and meeting our tour guide for two days, Grace, we went to the Loboc River Cruise for our lunch. I’ll do a separate post about Loboc River, but the highlight of our first day was seeing the magnificence of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills!

On our way there, Grace told us some stories about Chocolate Hills. That there’s this legend about a giant who fell in love with a mortal girl. Unfortunately the girl died, and so the giant cried so hard, that his anguish and tears formed into these unusual hills as a lasting proof of his misery.

This time of the year the hills are green but during summer these turn into brown looking little mountains of chocolates, scattered within 50 kilometers square area, and according to research, more than a thousand in number. 

Wow! How these are formed? Geologists said that these are actually marine limestones. So hundreds or thousands of years ago, the place was submerged in water? and our very nice and accomodating tour guide, Grace, who is a native of Bohol, said yes! 🙂

Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
Hello there, Chocolate Hills!

People are not allowed to hike the hills, but there is a an area, a viewing deck, to get a spectacular view of the it,  and you just need to endure 214 steps to get there.

Once you get to the top, it’s definitely worth it. You’ll get a 360 degrees view of chocolate hills. The place can be very touristy but you can get a good spot for taking photos and even for selfies and videos!

Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
ready for the 214 steps?
Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
Hey Kid! 🙂
Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
I have to be honest with you, the place can be very touristy. But it shouldn’t stop you from experiencing the beauty of the Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
Wow!

 

Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
Alam mo yan, kailangan ang selfie hahaha!

The couple, Megan and Scott, behind the kick ass travel blog, Bobo and Chichi, flew a drone!

You don’t have any idea how we all looked so excited by the time the drone was set up and finally took off! Amazing!

Scott was controlling the drone while Ajay, a topnotch photographer, and me watched and learned. We even got a chance to take a peek of the footages, which made me really excited to see the final video. I’ll definitely watch out for that!

Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
wondering where the drone has gone. hahaha!     Scott of Bobo and Chichi  travel blog
Chocolate Hills Carmen Bohol Philippines
The drone has come too close and we went crazy!  hahaha!     Thanks Scott and Megan for the shot.

The Chocolate Hills seems surreal. You know we’ve all been reading about chocolate hills since we were kids, as part of our textbooks and all. At least I am talking about our generation.

And the place got even more popular even for the younger generations because of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol in 2013. There were reports that some chocolate hills have eroded. It was a sad news for the Boholanos and for the entire country.

Being on top, and looking at the Chocolate Hills, didn’t only relieve my childhood dreams and imagination. In a way, I got a sense of relief, and happiness that Bohol has finally stood up from the catastrophe.

*Travel Guide to Bohol? Check this! Bohol Tourist Spots and Itinerary

……………

Chocolate Hills – How to get there?

Of course, we went there through a tour organized by Tourism Promotions Board. But in Tagbilaran, there are a lot of tour guides and tour operators that offer travel to Chocolate Hills.

In case, you want to do it DIY, book a flight to Tagbilaran. Once you’re in the city, go to the bus terminal in Dao and catch the bus going to Carmen. The drop off point is the Chocolate Hills copmplex. Then just walk for about 10 to 15 minutes going to the complex itself.

 

Note: The trip was made possible through the TBEX post tour in Bohol and Cebu by Tourism Promotions Board. Thank you Fuentes Manila and TPB!  🙂

 

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