Egypt may boast of its pyramids. But the Philippines may have one leg up its North African brother; The Chocolate Hills of Bohol. The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are a famous Philippine tourist attractions. 1,268 pyramid shaped hills, averaging 98 to 160 ft high (30 to 50 meters), dot the landscape covering around 20 square miles (50 kilometers). The tallest of the hills is 390 ft high or 120 meters.
At the end of the dry season, the hills turns chocolate brown, hence the name.
Until now, experts have not agreed on how the hills were actually formed. Some say from volcanic rock. Others say that marine formations from ages ago helped shaped these natural beauties. Even UFO conspiracy theorists like David Icke has claimed that this are of extra terrestrial origin.
One thing that really baffles me is that up to now, people do not know the exact number of hills there are. The latest claim is 1268 hills. But others say that there are more, around 1776. It is pitiful that even the basic process of counting the hills has not been done properly. Hopefully, the latest count is accurate.
At one time, a faction of the communist rebel group, The New People's Army had a Chocolate Hills Command. They formed the group to fight for the land rights of the farmers in the area.
Also, there were reports that some of the hills have been levelled off due to mining and quarrying done by individuals and small scale miners.
Despite these, Bohol and the Philippines may have some good news:
On May 16, 2006, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) submitted the Chocolate Hills to the UNESCO World Heritage for inclusion in the list of Natural Monuments because of its outstanding universal value, falling under criteria vii – superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.
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