What To Do In Nueva Ecija This Summer

Summer Destination: Nueva Ecija

Summertime … and the living is easy.

How’s your summer going so far? Are you keeping hydrated in and out? Have you decided where to spend your company outing? Or are you simply a wanderlust looking for more destinations to explore?

Say no more, because Nueva Ecija is the largest province in Central Luzon and a perfect summer destination to tour around! Some people haven’t even set a foot in there! It could be the perfect getaway from the city’s hustle-bustle and make your own little discoveries.

The travel time from Manila to Nueva Ecija via Cabanatuan City is approximately three hours, by car (or by bus, it’s cheaper) through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). Unfortunately, there are no commercial airports yet in Nueva Ecija as to date. So, there’s no chance to take planes and you can just enjoy the scenic road trip for an added rush to excitement.

It has five component cities namely: Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan, and San Jose. Nueva Ecija is mainly well-known for its seemingly endless rice fields, hence its nickname: “The Rice Bowl of the Philippines”.

Cabanatuan City

Cabanatuan City serves as a point for most transportation for getting around Nueva Ecija and most hotels, inns, and restaurants are also located in Cabanatuan City. So you can look around for a place to stay and replenish energy by checking out the eateries.

Dubbed as the “Tricycle capital of the Philippines”, Trykes or Tricycles being their major means of transportation. Cabanatuan is also known as the “gateway to the North”. It was Nueva Ecija’s old capital.

The City’s historical sites include: the Cabanatuan railroad station; Camp Pangatian (Cabanatuan American Memorial), and Freedom Park, in which a monument is erected in dedication to General Antonio Luna.

They also hold a Bantau Festival to celebrate its anniversary that showcases Cabanatuanos history, culture, beauty and craftsmanship. Of course, the very popular Longganisa Festival during the festivities is one of the highlights and a must-go for foodies.

Palayan City

Palayan City has become the province’s new capital in 1965, and has since been a developing city that has been bustling with the development of the technology-business park, Palayan City Business Hub.

You can check out some of the hub’s summer attraction, like kayaking and fishing at Magsaysay Military Reservoire or Fort Mag, where a knockout man-made lake is located.

You can also enjoy a game of bowling at the bowling center with your family and friends at Fort Mag, as well as relax and delight in the swimming pool area. Kick off your shoes and let your hair down to savor the unperturbed rural living.

Other athletic activities, like trekking and biking, are also allowed at Fort Mag to further enhance your summer experience in Palayan City. Be sure to watch out for birds and other amazing stuff that the tranquil nature of Nueva Ecija has in store for you.

If you happen to be a meditation junkie, the Divine Mercy Prayer Garden is a serene spot where you can spend some time to do some personal and spiritual reflections.

The glorious view of the mountains where you can watch the sunrise (and sunset) is sure to calm your stressed-out spirit from the city’s fast-paced life style. Here, you can absorb the much longing for peace and calmness and regenerate your tired soul

The Divine Mercy Garden also features the station of the cross and a splendid stone sculpture of the Divine Mercy. The garden truly is an Instagram-worthy spot to visit and take photos for keeping awesome memories.

Gapan City

In Gapan city, delight in one of Nueva Ecija’s heritage areas like the Roman Catholic Gapan Church and its Byzantine architecture, built around 1856 to 1872 and has been declared as the province’s first National Cultural Treasure. Its historical charm stands beside the old Municipal Hall, which was also built around that era.

Don’t pass out the chance to take pleasure in the enthralling legacy of Gapan church.

In a protected area in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, you can visit the famous Minalungao Park. The park is an eco-tourism that offers breath-taking landscapes and pristine surroundings, lined with immaculate rivers.

Explore the subterranean caves and be awed by the unique rock formations. There are facilities also for visitors to have a picnic, experience some rafting and cliff-diving.

San Jose City

San Jose City, dubbed as the “Onion capital of the country”, you can find the Palapapas Falls that is perfect for picnicking and swimming. It’s located in Barrio Manicla.

There is also the Diamond Park in San Jose, which is a haven for adventure-seeking travelers with its marvelous landscapes, rivers, and hills. Don’t forget to gear up for a climbing activity because the hilltop offers a stunning panoramic view of Northern Nueva Ecija.

Hey, you might want to visit the rice fields that stretch as far as your eyes can see! After all, you are in the country’s “rice granary”. Take the time to appreciate how your “extra rice” is grown and enjoy the cool and fresh breeze of the countryside.

There is so much more to explore in Nueva Ecija, a single-day stay won’t be sufficient.  Although, the province is not a well-promoted and priority summer destination, it’s abundance in rich culture and wonderful nature can contribute to your bucket list.

Make your summer this year a memorable one by going to places you’ve never been to. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreens and sunglasses now!

Sport a glowing tan from your summer trip with a wide smile on your face. Don’t forget to hashtag #NuevaEcija and #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines on your Instagram posts!

Kath Borja
Content Writer

Kath Borja is a fanatic of Logic, Science, Arts and Literature. An advocate of peace and feminism. Moon worshipper. Writer, performance artist and master of ceremonies.

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