Category Archives: Bohol

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Let’s discover the “Chocolate Hills” in Bohol Philippines. They’re a collection of more than a thousand limestone Hershey Kisses shaped hills, spread over 20 miles.

Firstly, I’ll answer why they call them the Chocolate Hills. Secondly, I’ll explain how many hills there are and how large. Further, my favorite part, I’ll share the romantic legend behind it the name. Finally, I’ll also include some photos. Let’s begin!

What are they? Scale – by the numbers

There’s a collection of more than a thousand (1,247-1,776, depending on who’s count you go by) limestone haycock hills spread over 20 miles on the island of Bohol, Philippines. In other words, that’s a lot of hills!

Why do they call them the Chocolate Hills?

While the name sounds like something out of Willie Wonka, it’s not nearly as fun.

During the dry season in Bohol, the green grass turns brown and looks like endless rows of Hershey Kisses. This is why they call these the Chocolate Hills.

Apparently “Muddy Hills” just doesn’t have the same ring to it – or tourist draw.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines
They look like mini mountains in Bohol. The hills are cone-shaped or dome-shaped hills. These hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone.

The domes vary in sizes from 100-160 feet. The largest ones grow to nearly 400 feet. Trees grow on the base of the hills but the rest of them are bare. They rest of the hills fill with grass, which turns to dirt in the dry season.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines

The romantic legend behind the name Chocolate Hills (and how they formed)

Next we’ll introduce the legend on how they formed. It’s certainly more fun!

There’s a romantic story of a giant named Arogo who was extremely powerful. Arogo falls in love with Aloya, who was a simple mortal. Aloya’s death caused Arogo much pain and misery, and in his sorrow he could not stop crying. When his tears dried, the Chocolate Hills were formed. Full story of the legend can be found here.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines

See photos of us jumping over the Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol, Philippines.

Bohol Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines - me, Victor, Grace

I didn’t think they were quite as impressive as the hype, but they were certainly interesting! Perhaps they would be more intriguing if they were actually chocolate. We’d settle for chocolate-colored.

Imagine coming up with the branding. It’s great marketing by the Philippines government! There’s hills of dirt and they make tourists excited about them!

Wikipedia does a good job summarizing the science behind Chocolate Hills.

Learn more:

Finally, there is a wealth of good resources to learn more. Here are 4 other good websites. Each has additional facts and photos., Bohol-Philippines, Philippines Travel Guide, TripAdvisor.

My 1st cockfight

I went to my first cockfight, or “Sabong” as they call it (“tupada” if it’s an illegal cock fight), on the island of Bohol, in the Philippines. It’s as brutal as you might imagine – truly inhumane. Two roosters battle until death, or can’t fight anymore. These gamecocks are specifically bred their entire life for these fights. Each cock has a razor sharp blade (“gaff”) that’s 2-3″ long attached to their left leg. They’re fenced in a cockpit, and there’s a referee that seems to have exclusive authority on when to call a winner.

Cockfight - the aftermath. This is all that's left of this rooster. | Bohol, Philippines
Spoiler alert – this isn’t going to end well for one of the gamecocks. After this cockfight this is all that’s left of this rooster

People gather around the fenced cockpit cheer the cock that they’ve just bet on. And as you’ll notice from the below video clip, the betting is frantic!

Cockfight - betting and prefight sizing up | Cockfight in Bohol, Philippines
The predominantly male crowd frantically hustling to get their pre-fight bet in for the upcoming cockfight. There’s also kids in the crowd too.

A guy standing next to us during the fight was telling us how the next fight on the card would be a good one, since both owners are known to raise birds that are tormented into significant aggression. He was visibly excited as he mentioned this. Umm…awesome (sarcasm).

The fight ends when one rooster dies, or is too weak or exhausted to fight (or in the case of the video above, runs away!).

Gamecock battle scars -- Rooster with gaff slices across its body | Cockfight in Bohol, Philippines
Gamecock battle scars — Rooster with gaff slices across its body | Cockfight in Bohol, Philippines

Gamecock battle scars — Rooster with gaff slices across its body

You stay classy, Philippines!