Sunday, May 07, 2006

Origins of the Chocolate Hills

Out of curiousity, I tried to make some research on the origins of the Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

I am lifting this report about the origins of the Chocolate Hills published in the book of my late grandfather, Atty. Zoilo D. Dejaresco Jr., entitled "Life's Poignant Memories".

There is a re-printed article written by Justino R. Romea who was then the Public Relations Officer of the Chocolate Hills Development Committee. This committee was formed to fully develop the potential of the Chocolate Hills of Carmen as a major tourist attraction, which it is today, more than thirty years later.

The article was entitled "Choco Hills Development: a labor of love." This was also published in the Bohol Chronicle, a newspaper also published by my grandfather.

Incidentally, when the Chocolate Hills Development Committee was organized by the provincial government under the governorship of Lino Chatto, my grandfather was the chairman from the private sector.

Part of the article was about the origins of the Chocolate Hills:

"German geologist researches on Choco Hills origin

A German geologist who came to Bohol years ago to unravel the mystery of the now world-famous Chocolate Hills here recently published a scientific paper about this unusual phenomenon which is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world.

Dr. Rer Nat Frithjof Voss, a German geology expert and professor of the University of Hamburg, recently sent a copy of his research about the Chocolate Hills to the Bohol Chronicle editor-publisher who is the chairman of the Chocolate Hills Development Committee.

Dr. Voss had a stint with the University of the Philippines during which he conducted a research on the Chocolate Hills. Staying at the Chocolate Hills for several days in May 1968, Dr. Voss marveled why these hills are shaped in perfect cones.

He disclosed that he found similar hills in other countries but not as uniformly created as the Carmen Chocolate Hills.

Dr. Voss sought to answer some of the geological mysteries behind those beautiful hills through giant pictures in an air-conditioned room at the University of the Philippines.

He explained that through modern equipment, scientists can now study the geological features of a certain area including those under the bowels of the earth.

He claimed that Bohol had been under water some million years ago. The German geologist found that from Carmen down to what is now the coastal area from Tagbilaran to Loay was underwater. The rest of Bohol appeared like a horse-shoe from Maribojoc and Lila as the two ends of the U-shape island.

He said that photogrametry enables geologists to study even the subterranean composition of an area by means of photographs. Modern equipment are so accurate that there is hardly an error of one decimeter for every hundred kilometers of area.

The 17-page scientific paper is published in German. The Chocolate Hills Development Committee is requesting the Science Department of the Unviersity of San Carlos and German embassy in Manila to make a translation of the paper.

Other members of the committee later included Board Member Erico Aumentado, vice-chairman; Provincial treasurer Ramon Bitancor, Provincial Auditor Gil Cagulada, Ex-Mayor Cayetno Decasa, Engr. Sofronio Calatrava, Engr. Ramon Galang, Architect Venerando Dumadag, Engr. Basilio Sumodobila and Justino Romea.

Chocohill's legend: romantic tale of a giant

In the olden days, only giants lived on what is now the wild plateau encompassing Batuan, Sagbayan and Carmen. One of them was Arogo who was young, strong and handsome.

The females among the giants vied for Arogo's attention but he paid no heed to them all. Arogo instead kept away from his fellow giants and would rather lie alone under the bushes, there to seek out among the clouds by day and stars by night the lovely face of a native, Kam-Anggay.
Their fight continued for days until the giants got tired. Today people attribute the hills to that legendary earth-throwing.

Archeologists, however, claimed that the Chocolate Hills formed were through metamorphic process. They said that thousand of years ago, the island of Bohol was entirely covered by sea.

A series of volcanic eruptions caused irregularities at some areas of the sea beds. Water current affected the irregularities giving them their conical shape.

When the island emerged above the water, it retained the irregular surface. This theory has recently been strengthened by excavations which unearthed fossils of marine life embedded in rocks.

Recently, a German scientist came to Bohol to make a research on the Chocolate Hills. He confirmed that Bohol was entirely under water thousands of years ago judging from the fossils he discovered.

He believed that the conical hills were the products of volcanic eruptions."


Anonymous said...

Hi! I am a student studying about chocolate hills. I read in ur blog, dated May 2006, some relevant info that might be helpful to my research. And if its not too much to ask, do you know someone whom I can keep in touch with for some information, maps and stats about chocolate hills? I would really appreciate your help.

Taste & Sight said...

Google "burial mounds, world". i wrote the geological society of the Philippines that they are useless-all they do (they removed them & changed their site after I lambasted them in an email and blog that the contents of their website were incompetent!) is have some kind of induction of officers and videos of employees having some kind of a chamber music, etc-fucking piece of crap these organization! our Chocolate Hills IS A BURIAL MOUND WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED!

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Rachelle Calatrava and I'm one of the grand daughters of the late Engr. Sofronio Calatrava who then is a member of the Chocolate Hills Development Committee. I'm so proud of my lolo. That's why I will follow his footsteps as a Civil Engineer and make Bohol famous.

Anonymous said...

It's very likely that these hills are man made, and technology exists today that can see through the rock to find out for sure without having to destroy what might really just be a geological phenomena. Even if there is no evidence in the mounds themselves, the mounds could be chaff piles from deep underground mining, we still do not know who built the pyramids and when, and certainly this kind of thing would require far less technological means for an ancient society to construct.