Carmen, Bohol

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Skyline of Carmen
Map of Bohol with Carmen highlighted
Map of Bohol with Carmen highlighted
Carmen is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°49′N 124°12′E / 9.82°N 124.2°E / 9.82; 124.2Coordinates: 9°49′N 124°12′E / 9.82°N 124.2°E / 9.82; 124.2
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Bohol
District 3rd district of Bohol
Incorporated 1 March 1869
Barangay 29 (see § Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Ricardo Toribio (UNA)
 • Vice mayor Pedro Budiongan
 • Town Council
 • Total 248.04 km2 (95.77 sq mi)
Population (2010 census)[2]
 • Total 43,579
 • Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6319
IDD: +63 (0)38
Income class 2nd class
PSGC 071212000
^ by final order of Governor General Jose de la Gandara

Carmen is a second income class municipality located in the heart of the province of Bohol, Philippines. It comprises 29 barangays with an area of 248.04 square kilometres (95.77 sq mi). According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 43,579.[2]

The world-famous Chocolate Hills are the main tourist attraction of this town with 1,776 hills. Aside from the hills, there are forests, caves and waterfalls to discover.


Carmen was originally part of the municipality of Bilar and called Imbaya, after the name of a stream in the settlement. During the Spanish time, it was inhabited by not more than fifty families. In 1868, the people of Carmen petitioned for its independence since its population grew to an unprecedented number. The town of Carmen was founded on March 1, 1869 by final order of Governor General Jose de la Gandara and renamed at the same time in honor of the Lady of Carmel of Spain. In 1874, the town of Carmen had its separate parish with Father Pedro Nolasco San Juan as the first parish priest.

Being influenced by Spanish culture and tradition, all barangays of Carmen have a patron saint as well as a Spanish name, who are celebrated in an annual barangay fiesta.

In World War II, Carmen served as the stronghold of the guerrilla resistance movement and the local civil government because of its strategic location. Even at present, the municipality still serves the same purpose of being the provincial center of dynamic activities.

In 2013 a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook Central Visayas region with its epicenter within Carmen municipality.


Carmen comprises 29 barangays:

  • Alegria
  • Bicao
  • Buenavista
  • Buenos Aires
  • Calatrava
  • El Progreso
  • El Salvador
  • Guadalupe
  • Katipunan
  • La Libertad
  • La Paz
  • La Salvacion
  • La Victoria
  • Matin-ao
  • Montehermoso
  • Montesuerte
  • Montesunting
  • Montevideo
  • Nueva Fuerza
  • Nueva Vida Este
  • Nueva Vida Sur
  • Nueva Vida Norte
  • Poblacion Norte
  • Poblacion Sur
  • Tambo-an
  • Vallehermoso
  • Villaflor
  • Villafuerte
  • Villarcayo


Population census of Carmen
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 34,573 —    
1995 36,797 +1.17%
2000 40,713 +2.19%
2007 43,153 +0.81%
2010 43,579 +0.36%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][3]

The Chocolate Hills[edit]

Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol

The Chocolate Hills are considered one of the natural Wonders of the World, composed of 1,776 cone-shaped hills. The origin of its name comes from the fact that the hills turns brown in the hot summer days.

The Chocolate Hills Complex is the main destination for best viewing of the Chocolate Hills. It located in brgy Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol. The complex is composed of two chocolate hills developed years and years ago and has been transformed into a complex complete with a cemented road going up, restaurant, conference room, swimming pool, activity area with water fountain, 200+ steps with covered deck rest stops along the way and metal railing to aide the climb up to the 360-degree Observation Deck, Virgin Mary Grotto, with tall pine trees to shade the steps. The Chocolate Hills Complex also developed new building structures with different accommodations to cater to visitors that wish to stay overnight in the middle of the Chocolate Hills. Unfortunately the complex including the lookout area was severely damaged by the 2013 earthquake.

The origin and myths[edit]

Carmen, Bohol

There are several myths and beliefs as to how the Chocolate Hills came into existence. One myth is that of two giants fighting, throwing dirt balls against each other, that is why the chocolate hills are uniformly shaped that transformed into cone-shape hills after several rains. Another myth is that of a giant sobbing tears into the ground creating the hills formation.

The accepted scientific explanation is that the Chocolate Hills where formed from the seabed and coral reefs which gradually rose up and were drained. Rain then washed away the softer areas creating the hills which are mainly composed of limestone.


  1. ^ a b "Municipality of Carmen". Province of Bohol. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City and Municipality: Central Visayas: 1995, 2000 and 2007" (PDF). National Statistics Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2011. 

Online resource[edit]

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