What is Carmen's Physical Profile, Topography and Climate

Carmen town is picturesque with its verdant undulating terrain intermittently broken by mountain ranges and plateaus. The topography in the area is generally gently sloping to rolling (with slope of 3-18%) as this category comprises 62% of the total land area.

These areas are predominant in the eastern to northern portion and the southwestern portion of the municipality. Steep hills are predominant in the northern portion of the municipality.

At the southwest portion, the almost uniform-shaped hills known worldwide as the “chocolate hills” stands out in a plain surrounded by rice paddies. These rice paddies are wonderful backdrops to the “chocolate hills” which turn a dark chocolaty brown during the summer months.

Most of the “chocolate hills” are bare except for some grass although the bases of the hills have thick vegetation of tropical shrubs and trees including coconut. Grasslands and coconuts mostly cover the steep mountains and hills at the northern portion.

The eastern and southeastern portions, characterized by a rolling to moderately steep terrain, are planted to corn and cassava. Non-irrigated rice paddies are found on the western and southern parts.

Being elevated, the municipality of Carmen is humid. Relative humidity is lowest in May though with an average of 82% since this is also the hottest month with an average temperature of 29.31 degrees centigrade.

January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 26.81 degrees centigrade, and humidity is the highest in November with an average of 86%. The pattern generally follows the season with humidity being high from June to February when precipitation is high and low and low for the rest of the relatively drier months. Average annual humidity is 84%.

The climate of Carmen is classified as Type IV lying midway between the wet and dry season. Rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. It is affected by the northeast monsoon from October to January; by trade winds from the Pacific February to April; and the southeast monsoon from May to September.

Forests cover an area of 2,452.50 hectares (estimated to be 36.31% of the total land area of Carmen) and have been declared as a natural monument and protected landscape. The terrain where the chocolate hills are located has likewise been declared as a natural monument.

Carmen town is rich in manganese and limestone. The chocolate hills are predominantly of limestone.

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