Wednesday 27 May 2020 12:03:12 PHT

Bared... Chocolate Hills are in Planet Mars

Tagbilaran, Monday, 8 February 2010


  • From environmental activist and wellness guru Zenaida Darunday (who is the executive director of Bohol Nature Conservation Society or Bonaconso): BONACONSO is against the Panglao Oasis reclamation project because it is not environment-friendly, besides Panglao's tourism is about to reach its critical mass. The fragile and diverse marine environment in Panglao has to be protected at all cost. Environment security is the basis and foundation for our economic security. 
  • If you have to watch only one Valentine concert, make it "Pre-Valentine Concert with the Song Writer and the Songbird," which stars real sweethearts Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez on Feb. 12 at the Verdant Pavilion of Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa in Bingag, Dauis town. Tickets are priced at P2,000 for VIP, P1,500 for VIP and P800 for general admission. Door opens at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8. Call (038)-412-3964 and 411-2599 for inquiries.
  • Calling interested applicants to the 31st year of Miss Gay Philippines! Founder-producer Chito Alcid is calling pretty, smart gays to join. Send your photo and biodata to About 25 gays will compete for five major titles on March 17, 8 p.m. at the Music Museum. Famous personalities are invited to the event. Pageant hosts are Dennis Bañez and guest beauty queen. The reigning Miss Gay Philippines is Boom Reyes of Bohol.

    Tracy Remolador Torres:
    I want to make hay while the
    sun shines.
  • Popular hairstylist and make-up artist Tracy Remolador Torres has a busy schedule. No, he is not running for the coming elections, but he is busy for the industry he loves - beauty pageants. He was involved recently in Miss Anda and Miss Ubay and he's looking forward to the pageants in April (Miss Tagbilaran, if there is any) and May (Mr and Ms Teen Bohol, if there is any, too!). Voted as one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Badings in Bohol, Tracy says he wants to make hay while the sun shines.
  • My heart goes out to this young beauty queen and part-time model who can't help but shed tears every time she's asked how her boyfriend is. It turns out that the boyfriend left her for another (younger) woman a month ago. His bf is telling his girlfriend that she's lousy in bed! Ouch! Ouch!
  • The Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy is in need of a regional coordinator (code: DFG 09-RC) and a field officer (code: DFG 09-FO) based in Tagbilaran City. If you are a bachelors degree graduate related to the field of development studies, political science, public administration, business administration or management, knowledgeable in modern office procedures and Microsoft Office programs, with good interpersonal and excellent organization skills, and is an independent team player and can demonstrate skills in training and facilitation in the areas of civic education is desirable, then you are the one they are looking for! Interested candidates should email a cover letter addressed to the Program Manager and CV along with the names of two references by 10 February 2010 to with the position code as the subject heading.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Try singing or listening to this as you gaze upon the stars in a quiet night... you can make a reflection (mag-muni-muni) and you can make a wish if there is a shooting star.

I've been watching the heavens to look for stars and planets as they are visible to our naked eyes in the night sky this February. Stargazing enthusiasts may have a grand time identifying the planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter.

Stargazers can also see the famous equilateral triangle or "Winter Triangle" will be visible throughout the month according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa). The Winter Triangle includes Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion, the Mighty Hunter, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog), and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor (the Little Dog).

There are a lot of boulders, rocks and impact debris at the Concepcion crater at planet Mars. It's the fact that these rocks are sitting so exposed, and aren’t covered by dust, that suggests the crater is very young - well, very young in martian terms, still ancient to us! Bohol has Chocolate Hills, so now does Concepcion crater, too! Photo: JPL/NASA

It's easy to spot planet Mars because our Science teachers told us that Mars is a red planet because its red color has to do with the color of its soil. There are explorations to look for a possibility that there is life in Mars. As of lately, I got curious from a news shared to me by Jeroen Hellingman (who created the famous website that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) is now naming features on Mars after places in Bohol! The features inside the Concepcion crater of Mars are to be named Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Is it, yes, the small island of Bohol will conquer the universe?

Nasa's Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER), is an ongoing robotic space mission involving two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, exploring the planet Mars. It began in 2003 with the sending of the two rovers - MER-A Spirit and MER-B Opportunity - to explore the Martian surface and geology.

Mars has hundreds of thousands of craters. One is "Concepción," a very young 10-meter (33-foot) diameter crater. Last week, Opportunity (Oppy for short) had roved to the edge of a very fresh crater named Concepcion and begun to gather the images necessary for a full-color panorama. This part of the panorama includes half of Concepcion with its blocky ejecta. On the horizon are the hills formed by the raised rims of two distant craters, Endeavour (Opportunity's goal, still about ten kilometers away) and Iazu.

The Road to Endeavor blog (, a blog dedicated to following the Mars Exploration Rover 'Opportunity' said that "Some of the rocks at Concepcion Crater have actually been named the "Chocolate Hills"! Why? Well, according to my great friend and fellow Mars explorer, Rui Borges, the sailing ship, Concepcion, after which this crater has been named, was burned on an island in the Philipines, called Bohol Island, and now, thanks to Rui pointing this out to the MER team, some of the rocks being seen by Oppy are being named after places and features on that island. The island has some hills called the Chocolate Hills, so now does Concepcion crater, too!"

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which fosters international cooperation in astronomy among its member countries and individual scientists, is ultimately responsible for naming land features on planets and their moons. They give names to features near the rovers for convenience. It will probably take some time to land on the official sites.

The late Natalio Dahab Tabacco
(with wife the late Venancia Catay)
was the first Filipino to own a
property in the moon.

Speaking of celestial bodies, the very first moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission was in 1969. Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now legendary words "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind." While the Americans conquered the moon, the same year a Filipino conquered the universe through Gloria Diaz who won the Miss Universe crown in 1969.

And, here is another trivia: The first Filipino to own a property in the moon (the celestial object orbiting our planet Earth) is a Boholano. Natalio Dahab Tabacco, a World War II veteran from Taloto District, Tagbilaran City bought a property at minimal cost. It's the thought that he jumped at the opportunity when the idea was no farfetched. And he had a title to show his claim.

Natalio was the first Filipino International Civil Service Career person hired by the United Nations (UN) during its founding years in 1946 and serving until his retirement in 1978. Tabacco received the UN Peace Medal for Outstanding Service to the UN in 1976. This is the highest Medal of Honor given to an individual working for the cause of international peace through the UN.

It can be remembered that the Chocolate Hills of Bohol was voted out in the New Seven Wonders of Nature. However, the next time you sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," Chocolate Hills are in Mars!


Leo P. Udtohan

What readers think...

Marilyn wrote:
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 10:18:46 PHT
In addition to the "Chocolate Hills are in planet mars", here is the url. It's interesting.

Thanks for the link.--Jeroen.

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