“Can I have a kiss?”
In the US, when you say, “Can I have a kiss?” it doesn’t mean physical affection but also means having sweets ever since Milton S. Hershey introduced Hershey’s Kisses in 1907 – a famous brand of candy in the west.
And if Hershey had kisses, we also have one in the Philippines, and not just one but 1,260 giant chocolate kisses which we call “Chocolate Hills“. Unfortunately, it is not a candy but just like Hershey’s, its conical shape and colors can also release endorphins in the brain when you see them.
There were 3 legends that go around these hills but since I am a hopeless romantic, I prefer the one where a giant named Arogo fell in love with Aloya, a simple mortal. Her death caused him so much pain and misery. Devastated, Arogo cried his heart out and when the tears dried, chocolate hills were formed.
Of course, geologists didn’t believe that so a study was conducted. According to them, the chocolate hills were formed million years ago by a combination of the dissolution of limestone by rainfall, surface water, and groundwater, and their sub-aerial erosion by rivers and streams after they had been uplifted above sea level and fractured by tectonic processes. And on 18th June 1988, The National Committee on Geological Sciences declared the Chocolate Hills of Bohol a National Geological Monument.
Chocolate hills sit on Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan in Bohol. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of 50 square kilometers (20 sq mi). They are covered in green grass that turns brown during dry season (April and May) hence, the name.
Bohol is just across Cebu and I was lucky enough to go there with friends. And since it was a Team Building Trip, it was free! #SalesPaMore
It was in the month of July when we visited so the hills weren’t that chocolatey but I was still excited to see it. Stairs after stairs, I reached the viewing deck. There they are! Oh, it’s matcha flavor. haha! 😁
Another place off my bucket list! I had been dreaming to come here since grade school because I only get to see it on our textbooks for Sibika at Kultura, a subject for Philippine history. Seeing them not in postcards makes me so happyyyyyyy!
We also visited other tourist spots. However, Bohol was struck by an earthquake few months ago that some of the heritage churches were left in ruins. So we only visited the ones we can easily go to.
Dauis Heritage Church
This church is one of the sophisticated and complex structures of its kind in Bohol. This was said to be built in 1920’s after the first one was burned in 1795.
Bilar Man-Made Forest
This is a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. This forest was a part of a bigger reforestation project that was created in response to the alarming deforestation in the Loboc watershed. The project started during the administration of Governor Marapao in 1947, which was continued in the succeeding administrations.
With railings made of steel and flooring of bamboo, it sure would move with every step you make, but was fun!
Bohol Python and Wildlife Park
This is a nice place to visit to see the wild animals and your bff. haha! 😝
Pay this a visit and learn how my sisters and brothers turn from caterpillars to beautiful butterflies. Alright? Now, let me go back to my cocoon and let metamorphosis happen. Like please… 😏
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
A foundation that aims to preserve and protect endangered tarsiers, the world’s smallest primates, runs this sanctuary. During your visit, be careful not to be too loud as it stresses out tarsiers and can cause them death. Also, don’t use flash when you want to take pictures.
Blood Compact Site
This marks the location where Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, forged a blood compact or sandugo on March 16, 1565 with Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who represented the King of Spain.
This cave was made of limestone and derived its name from the word “hagdan” means stairs/ladder when a farmer accidentally discovered this and built hagdan when he heard a splash after dropping stones through the holes.
Panglao once housed the Kedatuan of Dapitan (Kingdom of Dapitan), an ancient Philippine polity before the full Spanish colonization in 1563. Now, this island is one of the main tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its white powdery sand and clear pristine waters. It also offers amazing views during sunrise.
There are a lot to see in Bohol actually, like the Abatan River where millions of fireflies settle at night, the Loboc River where you can cruise, the National Museum that features pre-Spanish artifacts, Baclayon Heritage Church that was completed in 1717, Clarin Ancestral House, Sagbayan Peak, Mag-aso Falls, Puntacruz Watch Tower, Balicasag Island, and many more. They also have adventure parks that are not for the faint-hearted. I haven’t tried that yet which makes me want to go back. Also, this time of the year would be best to see the chocolate hills. It would be brown since it’s summer.
I know, I know. I’m far, but I would like to go back.
“Can I have another kiss?”