This aerial photo of Captain's Peak Garden and Resort in the town of Sagbayan in the province of Bohol shows a large swimming pool among the picturesque Chocolate Hills. This photo was posted on the resort's Facebook page, but was taken down on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, after the photo went viral.
PHOTO BY LEO UDTOHAN

MANILA, Philippines – If Senator Nancy Binay had her way, she would want the controversial Chocolate Hills resort demolished.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Binay said Captain's Peak Garden and Resort is an eyesore as it is located among the famous hills – a favorite tourist spot.

“He said [Environment] Secretary Loyzaga said earlier that they are listening to this Captain's Peak issue, but to me – the structure itself, the appearance of the fringe is very painful. Among the hills, right? For me, this structure should really be removed,” she said.

(Environment Secretary Loyzaga said earlier that they are listening to this issue of Pico do Capitão, but to me – the structure itself, its appearance is a mess. Among the hills, right? For me, this structure should really be removed.)

READ: Chocolate Hills Resort 'temporarily closed until further notice'

Senator Cynthia Villar, in turn, said that not demolishing the resort could pave the way for more individuals and companies to build more structures in the protected area.

“If you are not tough, many more will do this,” Villar told reporters at another news conference also on Wednesday.

(If you're not tough, there will be many more.)

READ: DENR stops operation of Chocolate Hills resort

“We have to be strict now because they will come and more will be built. Pagkatapos nyan, protected area legislated by wala nang [at] it has simply become commonplace. It is no longer a legislated protected area,” she added.

(We have to be strict now because they will come and more will be built. After that, there will no longer be a legislated protected area and it will become just a common place. It is no longer a legislated protected area.)

Villar then cited Las-Piñas-Parañaque Pantanal Park as an example, saying they never built businesses in the area.

“We built a museum, we built a visitor center, we built a restaurant, but there is no one to manage it because [it’s] just a place to eat when there is a case,” she said, noting that it would not be pleasant to see businesses in protected areas.

Chocolate Hills was declared the third National Geological Monument of the Philippines on June 18, 1988, “in recognition of its scientific value and geomorphic uniqueness,” according to the UNESCO website.


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“Similar to the formations found in Java, the conical, almost symmetrical, same-sized hills known as the 'Chocolate Hills' are aesthetically more extensive. These were the elevation of coral deposits and the result of the action of rainwater and erosion”, states the entry on Chocolate Hills on the UNESCO website.

“The hills are located in the cities of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan and consist of about 1,776 mounds of the same general shape. During the dry season, when rainfall is inadequate, the grass-covered hills turn chocolate brown, hence the name in reference to a branded sweet,” he further states.



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