New country souvenir, the Philippines, with Geocache of the Week: Hugs and Kisses

EarthCache
GC69MEA
by neoren
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
4.5
Location:
Philippines
N 09° 47.884′ E 124° 10.114′

Today, we released a new country/regional souvenir for the Philippines. If you have found a geocache in the Philippines, you automatically receive the souvenir on your profile.

The Philippines is a country as well as an archipelago in Southeast Asia. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of about 7,640 islands. The Philippines is defined by its secluded white beaches, emerald rice fields, and turquoise waters. You can also find colorful graffiti-splashed jeepneys, the most common form of transportation throughout the larger cities. The rolling chocolate hills in the Bohol province are some of the Philippines’ most famous landscapes. Legends of how the hills came to be are told throughout the country. 

Image by issaluna.

Since the Philippines are made up of so many islands, the best way to experience the whole country is to island-hop. Each island is uniquely different and provides geocachers with different terrain to explore and play on. The small island of Boracay is best known for its sandy beaches. Here you can search for the first cache placed in the Philippines, GC2E5F. Later you can beach comb and fish in the bright turquoise waters.

Image by Traun_Biker.

To the north of Boracay, you will find the largest island in the Philippines, Luzon. Mount Pulag is one of the most famous mountains in the country and can be found on this island. At the peak of the mountain, is GCD0FB, a popular Virtual Cache for those seeking extreme heights and daring adventures. It takes a full day to reach the peak, but once you arrive you will truly be standing in the “Playground of the Gods.”

Image by Zagloba.

Traveling south to one of the more central islands you may find your way to the island of Bohol. This island is known for its coral reefs and, more popularly, the unique geological formations that take over the island, the Chocolate Hills. There are over 1700 hills and only two of them developed for tourists to experience. The Chocolate Hills are home to our Geocache of the Week, Hugs and Kisses GC69MEA. This EarthCache leads geocachers to the top of one of the developed Chocolate Hills to learn about how the hill and landscape was formed. 

The name of the Chocolate Hills comes from their appearance in summer where the lush green grass turns into a chocolate brown color. In the fall the hills are fully brown and look like chocolate kisses, hence the name of the Geocache of the week, Hugs and Kisses. 

Image by Jan Rais.

Once you make the nearly 394 ft (120 m) climb to the lookout tower at the top of the hill, you are ready to start making your observations for the area. The cache page describes the phenomenon of the hills and how they came to be. You will be able to read all about the different limestone formations that have developed over time on Bohol. Limestone is mostly made up of Calcite and Aragonite and is formed when these minerals come in contact with water that contains dissolved calcium. These hills are fantastic examples of limestone and its unique properties.

Image by Jan Rais.

Geocachers are able to log GC69MEA through observation of the soil and landscape around them and describe what they see, including how the soil looks and feels. They must then take note of all the different limestone types and study the surrounding hills to identify what variety of limestone the hills are made of. Before geocachers end their journey and head back down, they must take a photo of themselves or of a personal item with the iconic Chocolate Hills in the background.  

Whether you are wanting to find a tropical cache on the beach or strap on your hiking boots to climb one of the tallest peaks in the country for a smiley, the Philippines is the perfect location for geocachers to visit and explore.


We know geocachers love country and regional souvenirs and we do too! We are releasing at least one new country/regional souvenir per month starting in January 2019. These new souvenirs will be featured alongside Geocaches of the Week in each region and shared on the third Wednesday of each month. Check out all of the Geocaching souvenirs here.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Mackenzie is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest she loves finding new geocaches and exploring the area. You will typically find her out on the coast discovering new lighthouses.