August 9, 2013

0786 PHILIPPINES (Central Visayas) - Chocolate Hills Natural Monument (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

The Chocolate Hills are located in Bohol Province and is a rolling terrain of haycock hills, mounds of a generally conical and almost symmetrical shape. Estimated to be from 1,268 to about 1,776 individual mounds, spread over an area of more than 50 square km, these cone-shaped or dome-shaped hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone, that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. The domes vary in sizes from 30 to 50m high with the largest being 120m in height. They have been declared the country's third National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006, under the name Chocolate Hills Natural Monument.

Regarding the formation of these hills, a legend say that once existed a gluttonous giant named Miguel, that eats everything in his path. One day he came to a plain and saw a beautiful young woman named Adrianna. To win her affection, he needed to lose weight, so he excreted everything he ate. In the end, his fecal matter covered the land and he won Adrianna's affection. It is only one of the many legend about these hills. The true is that these hills are geomorphological features called cockpit karst, which were created by a combination of the dissolution of limestone by rainfall, surface water, and groundwater, and their subaerial erosion by rivers and streams after they had been uplifted above sea level and fractured by tectonic processes.

About the stamps
The first stamps, depicting Marmorated Cone / Conus Marmoreus (2p), are part of a huge set of definitive stamps, Marine Biodiversity, appeared in successive series since 2010, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp is part of the series Save the Tamaraw, issued on January 30, 2013. The Tamaraw (Bubalus Mindorensis) is a small and shy buffalo, also known as wild dwarf buffalo. They are endemic land mammals found only in the island of Mindoro, which has been tagged as the "Land of the Tamaraws". It is the mascot of every FEU athletic team. The series is compound of two stamps with the same face value (10 PHP):
• an illustration of a Tamaraw with an aggressive look, in green and yellow, colors symbolizing the FEU community
• a Tamaraw in its natural habitat at sunset - it's on this postcard

Chocolate Hills - Wikipedia
Chocolate Hills Natural Monument - UNESCO official website

sender: Jay Betito (direct swap)
sent from Naga (Cebu / Philippines), on 17.07.2013
photo: M. Kutrowski

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