Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor April 14th, 2017 Posted in Philippines, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 2 Comments

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!

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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:

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

But before we left, we had the honor of seeing the Jollibee! Jollibee is one of the sponsors of this trip.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

First Stop: Minalungao National Park

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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
Directions:
Route 1: via NLEX – SCTEX – TPLEX – Pura – Guimba
Route 2: via NLEX – Bulacan – Gapan – Cabanatuan – Talaveras

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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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by booking.com

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.

Harvest Hotel

The great thing about staying here is waking up to a traditional Filipino breakfast! Longanisa and Taho – a great way to start the day!

 

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by booking.com
Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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

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Where to Eat in Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Because you gotta eat sometime.

Caffe La Tea

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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

Chanos Chanos (Milkfish) was founded by Alexander William B. Alfon, a young food entrepreneur. Their signature dish is the baked milkfish.

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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).

Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Photo by Martin San Diego

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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2 thoughts on “Awesome Things To Do in Nueva Ecija, Philippines

  1. Thank you so much for featuring Minalungao National Park in your wonderful blog. Although our province is landlocked, there are other interesting places to visit and many things to experience in Nueva Ecija. Ecotourism, Religious Tourism and Farm Tourism can all be enjoyed in Nueva Ecija. There are also historical sites, cozy homegrown restaurants and beautiful resorts in Nueva Ecija. Mt. Bulaylay (has the longest zipline in the province) in the town of Cuyapo, Pantabangan Dam (one of the biggest is Southeast Asia) and Mt. Kaanducian in Pantabangan town, Mt. 387 (a.k.a. as the Chocolate Hills of the North) in the town of Carranglan, Mt. Sawi and Gabaldon Falls in Gabaldon town, Silangan and Deesap Falls in the town of Bongabon (a.k.a. the Onion Basket of the Philippines) and so on are some of the favorite ecotourism destinations in Nueva Ecija. The Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora in Gapan City (a.k.a. the Footwear Capital of the North), Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus in the town of Nampicuan, St. Joseph Cathedral in San Jose City are some of the Roman Catholic churches in the province that are worth visiting. The Science City of Munoz is where several national headquarters for research and development are located such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center, National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center, etc.. The city of Cabanatuan, the biggest city among the 5 cities in Nueva Ecija, is the death place of General Antonio Luna. His monument is located in front of the cathedral (Plaza Lucero) where he was assassinated. Another historical site in Cabanatuan City is the Camp Pangatian War Memorial where hundreds of prisoners of World War II where detained and liberated after a successful rescue mission by American soldiers and Filipino guerillas (immortalized in the Hollywood movie, The Great Raid). Cabanatuan is also known for its delicious native sausages (Longganisa). “Batutay” of beef Longganisa, garlic pork Longganisa, Hamonado pork Longganisa, etc. are some of the delectable flavors to savor. Hapag Vicenticos is a famous Filipino restaurant in Cabantuan that has been featured in and travel shows (Biyahe Ni Drew, Kris TV, etc.) and travel blogs. Puno’s Ice Cream and Sherbet, which has also been featured in travel shows and blogs is the best homegrown ice cream brand in Nueva Ecija. Its plant is located in Cabanatuan City. The capital city of Nueva Ecija, Palayan City, which houses the largest military reservation and training ground of Philippine Army in the country (Fort Ramon Magsaysay) is where the Aquino-Diokno Memorial is located. Benigno Aquino and Senator Jose Diokno were imprisoned. The progressive town of Talavera is where the biggest and most colorful branch of Isdaan Floating Restaurant is located. Talavera also boasts of the first wavepool resort in the province, the Crystal Waves Resort and Hotel. Nueva Ecija is also regarded as the Milk Capital of the Philippines. Milka Krem in Science City of Munoz, DVF Dairy Farm and Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperative in Talavera town are some of the producers of dairy products made from fresh Carabao milk such as cheese, ice cream, flavored milk drinks and milk candies. This month, another tourist destination in Nueva Ecija will soon be available. Highland Bali Villas, Resort and Spa located in the town of Pantabangan overlooking the stunning Pantabangan Lake, will be the most prestigious resort in the entire province. Our unique festivals are the Taong Putik Festival in Aliaga town and Araquio in the town of Penaranda. Fun is never-ending in Nueva Ecija as almost all the municipalities and cities in the province has its own festival. Get to know Nueva Ecija, explore Nueva Ecija! 🙂

    1. Wow Mark! That’s awesome! It’s like reading another informative blog/article regarding Nueva Ecija. I was just planning to take my family to Minalungao Park, but now I have a whole itinerary to easily spend a day or two there. Thank you!

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