Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
The first thoughts that come to mind when you mention Nueva Ecija to a Filipino, are dairy and carabao. But, it’s also a tourist destination! What exactly do you do in a region that’s primarily known for dairy and carabaos? Sounds like a boring trip, you might say. Not so! There are many great things to see and experience in Nueva Ecija. So when I heard of an opportunity to take a road trip offered by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau through their Lakbay Norte project, of course I jumped on it!
Before the group left for Nueva Ecija, we stopped by the MNTC (Manila North Tollways Corporation). The team showed us how they operate and maintain North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) & Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). After this educational stop, we were off to our adventure:
But before we left, we had the honor of seeing the Jollibee! Jollibee is one of the sponsors of this trip.
First Stop: Minalungao National Park
Minalungao originated from the words “Mina”, which means mine, and “Lungaw”, meaning cave. There is a treasure trove of activities here from zip lining, caving, hiking, bamboo rafting, swimming in the river, trekking to the Cross of 1000-steps, have a picnic and so on. The rock formations are truly marvelous. Minalungao is called the “Hidden Paradise and Mythical Eco-Adventure Destination” in Nueva Ecija.
Address: Sitio Minalungao, Barangay Pias, Nueva Ecija
Contact Person: Ms. Diana Rose Cunano, Municipal Tourism Officer
Telephone number: (63 44) 958-2874 local 104
Second stop: PMP Paradise Farm
Want a taste of the provincial life? PMP (Pablo M. Pagtalunan) Paradise Farm is the place to be for just that. Here, you can fish on a floating bahay-kubo, learn how to make local sweet delicacies such as “palitaw” and “nilupak”, go horseback riding and even try your hand in sheep herding.
What is Palitaw and Nilupak? Both are traditional Filipino snacks akin to rice cakes. Palitaw is made of rice while Nilupak is made of Cassava.
Address: Barangay Nazareth, General Tinio (Papaya), Nueva Ecija
Contact Person: Ms. Diana Rose Cunano, Municipal Tourism Officer
Telephone number: (044) 958-3010 local 104
Directions: It is a 2-hour drive from Angeles City via Olangapo – Gapan Road and 4-hour drive from Manila via SCTEX and NLEX
Third Stop: NFA (National Food Authority) Museum
Rice is the leading food crop of the Philippines, so naturally, there is a museum dedicated to the evolution of rice cultivation. The NFA (National Food Authority) ensures the food security of the country.
It has a collection of different dioramas about the history of rice production. The place is also full of traditional tools that were used to harvest rice.
Address: Maharlika Highway, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Fourth Stop: PhilRice (Philippine Rice Research Institute)
Of course, after visiting the NFA Museum, we had to take a tour of PhilRice – a research institute dedicated to rice! There’s a lot that goes into the planting and harvesting of rice. Here, you learn all about that and get to see what it’s like to be a traditional and modern day rice farmer.
After visiting the museum, we took a short trip to see the PhilRice fields. We had a chance to witness how rice is planted and cultivated.
Address: Maligaya, Science City of Munoz, 3119 Nueva Ecija
Telephone numbers: (63 44) 456 0277 local 570/571; (63 44) 456 0258; (63 44) 456 0285; (63 44) 456 0403
Mobile number: (63 908) 866 1763
Route 1: via NLEX – SCTEX – TPLEX – Pura – Guimba
Route 2: via NLEX – Bulacan – Gapan – Cabanatuan – Talaveras
Find accommodation in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Where to Stay in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
There’s no way you can get to all these great destinations in one day! Here are some places to stay the night:
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Cabanatuan
Unfortunately, our group did not get to stay here. But we did get to eat dinner here.
Address: Sta. Arcadia, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Telephone numbers: (63 44) 958 7777 ; (63 44) 958 7042
Mobile number: (63 927) 804 2929
Directions: From North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), exit Sta. Rita. Go straight along Maharlika Highway. Turn right at Mabini Extension Road (landmark: second Mercury Drug). Go straight until you reach Microtel at the corner of Vergara Road and Mabini Extension Road. The hotel is right beside Avida Residences Sta. Arcadia.
The great thing about staying here is waking up to a traditional Filipino breakfast! Longanisa and Taho – a great way to start the day!
Address: 1179 Del Pilar St., Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Person: Tracy Anne Katsuta, Account Executive
Telephone number: (63 44) 950-8888
Mobile number: (63 917) 620 7611
Crystal Wave Hotel and Resort
Crystal Wave Hotel and Resort is family-owned which is being managed by Rolando San Pedro’s children. It has been redeveloped and offers the best amenities such as Wave Pool, Mickey Mouse inspired Olympic size swimming pool and kiddie swimming pool.
It has water racing slide which is one the longest and highest tower slide in the country. You can also try zip lining, wall climbing and rappelling.
Address: Maharlika Highway, Dinarayat, Talavera, Nueva Ecija
Telephone numbers: (63 44) 411 0834
Mobile numbers: (63 932) 867 5855; (63 933) 863 0138; (63 933) 863 0137
Where to Eat in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Because you gotta eat sometime.
Caffe La Tea
This is not your average coffee shop or tea house. Cafe La Tea is a fusion of sweet treats and comfort foods. A great place to reflect on your Nueva Ecija adventures.
Address: Robinsons Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Chanos Chanos (Milkfish) was founded by Alexander William B. Alfon, a young food entrepreneur. Their signature dish is the baked milkfish.
Address: Philrice Staffville, Barangay Maligaya, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija
Contact Person: Alexander William B. Alfon
Mobile number: (63 925) 737 2152
Puno’s Ice Cream Plant
Puno’s Ice Cream has a wide array of ice cream and sherbet flavors. Flavors range from your usual chocolate and strawberry to the more more adventurous like calamansi, malunggay or Mangga with Bagoong Alamang (Mango with fish paste).
Address: Maharlika Highway, Bites, 3100 Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Person: Gregorio S. Puno, General Manager
Telephone numbers: (63 44) 464 8694 ; (63 44) 463 0818
Mobile numbers: (63 932) 881 4249 ; (63 922) 533 4987
Lakbay Norte 6 was sponsored by Petron, Jollibee & Prifood, as well as DOT Regions 2 & 3, NECVA & CNCVB. This article was written and submitted by Marissa Abao.
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