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Nueva Ecija (2023) – Journey Up

Nueva Ecija, finest referred to as the “rice granary of the Philippines,” is an underrated tourism vacation spot. Apart from fast visits for work or stopovers in some cities like Cabanatuan Metropolis, we often simply go by means of the province throughout highway journeys on our option to different locations within the North.  

We’ve taken highway journeys to Dingalan in Aurora passing the cities of Laur and Gabaldon. We’ve additionally pushed by means of the zigzag mountain roads of Bongabon on the way in which to Baler. Throughout earlier motorbike rides, we often simply stopped on the vacationer markers, welcome arches, and the views of mountains on our option to the coastal cities. 

It was attention-grabbing to find a number of the new points of interest within the province, throughout a latest Lakbay Norte media familiarization tour. Under are a number of the vacationer spots that could be of curiosity to highway trippers, motorbike riders, and cyclists on the lookout for new locations to go to for his or her post-pandemic weekend getaways.

Bali-inspired picture spot at Camp Paraiso in Bongabon

The place precisely is Nueva Ecija?

Nueva Ecija is a landlocked province situated within the Central Luzon Area. The province is bordered by Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Viczaya, and Aurora. The previous capital and the province’s largest LGU Cabanatuan Metropolis is accessible through the North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), exiting in Tarlac. Relying on the visitors and route you are taking, journey time from Manila takes about three to 4 hours. 

For bikers and motorbike riders who can’t use expressways, the same old route is through AH26 or the Pan-Philippine Freeway. Coming from the North (Quezon Metropolis), Nueva Ecija is the subsequent province you encounter after Bulacan.

The place to go in Nueva Ecija

Lumang Gapan

One of many latest points of interest in Nueva Ecija is Lumang Gapan, often known as “Little Vigan.” This can be a row of ancestral homes and a brand new outside meals park referred to as Tagpuan sa Lumang Gapan that’s turn into a hangout place for locals and vacation spot for vacationers. The realm was renovated in 2021 as a part of a tourism venture in to revive curiosity within the metropolis’s historical past. A number of of the well-preserved homes right here belong to celebrities. 

The road is a fast detour from the city heart and intersection in Gapan and there’s no entrance charge to go to, so vacationers can simply swing by on their option to different locations. These with vehicles and bikes must park on the aspect avenue close to the church, however cyclists can convey their bikes, so the previous homes supply a singular picture op within the space.

Dupinga River & Labi River

For locals, the refreshing rivers flowing from the mountains within the province supply locations for picnics to beat the summer time warmth. A number of bridges within the province supply quick access to motorbike riders and bikers to chill off throughout their rides. In Gabaldon, locals usually hang around close to the bridge at Dupinga River, which options pure flowing water, shallow, child-friendly swimming pools, and rustic cottages.

Labi River in Bongabon, which affords a wider wading space and extra nipa hut cottages for hire, can also be a favourite weekend vacation spot. The riverside space is about an hour away from the capital of the province alongside the Nueva Ecija-Baler Highway.

Gabaldon Falls

Gabaldon Falls is a 10-foot excessive waterfall with a pure pool the place you’ll be able to take a dip. The falls might be reached by a 20- to 40-minute hike from the parking space by means of an uphill gravel path, paved stairs to the picnic grounds, rocky terrain, and small stream crossings.

In keeping with native guides, there’s no entrance charge to go to, although a small ecotourism charge could also be charged sooner or later. Vacationers can convey their very own meals and drinks solely on the designated picnic grounds to maintain the precise waterfall space and path free from litter.

CAFGU Shrine

The CAFGU Shrine is a newly opened pilgrimage web site within the city of Laur, situated on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Situated inside the nation’s seventieth Infantry Battalion within the seventh Infantry Division, this shrine is a 34-foot excessive white cross atop a hill, accessible by means of a nature path and stone steps.

The shrine was named after the Citizen Armed Power Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and cadres whose efforts led to the success of the shrine’s building. The hills surrounding the world additionally supply an ideal playground for cyclists, with bike trails throughout.

Pantabangan Dam

For these passing the Pantabangan route in Nueva Ecija going to and from Baler, Pantabangan Dam affords a scenic picture op cease. Pantabangan Dam is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Pampanga River situated in Pantabangan.

The multi-purpose dam gives water for irrigation and hydroelectric energy  era whereas its reservoir, Pantabangan Lake, affords flood management. The reservoir is taken into account one of many largest in Southeast Asia and likewise one of many cleanest within the Philippines. 

Carron Dreampark

Carron Dreampark is the largest amusement park north of Manila, situated at Bgy. Sto. Cristo, San Isidro, about half-hour from Gapan.

This old-school theme park affords enjoyable rides and points of interest for youths of all ages, together with bump vehicles, a Ferris wheel, gravity drop, and spinning disk just like these you’d discover in Skyranch. The whole household can get pleasure from wandering across the park, which options 14 rides and eight mini-games. 

Deal with: Carron Dreampark, Sto. Cristo, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Open each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Fb: Carron Dreampark

Minalungao Nationwide Park*

For years, Minalungao Nationwide Park was one of the vital standard pure vacationer spots in Nueva Ecija. This  protected space situated within the municipality of Common Tinio covers an space of two,018 hectares centered alongside the scenic Peñaranda River bordered on each side by as much as 16-meter excessive limestone partitions within the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain vary.

The park is claimed to be one of many few remaining pure environments on this area north of Manila and was previously promoted by the native authorities as an ecotourism vacation spot with easy services for picnics, swimming, fishing, raft driving and cliff diving to draw guests. 

*NOTE: As of April 2023, Minalungao Nationwide Park stays closed to all vacationers. Go to their official FB web page web site for updates on the reopening: 

What and the place to eat in Nueva Ecija

El Resto by Farrah’s Backyard

Situated in Gabaldon on the highway resulting in Dingalan, El Resto by Farrah’s Backyard is a restaurant that provides consolation meals with a refreshing view of the mountains. They provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and low for hungry highway trippers.

Deal with: Brgy, 1188 Pook Magsaysay, Gabaldon, 3131 Nueva Ecija. Open Monday to Sunday 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Fb: El Resto

Krispy Pa Mor

For these on the lookout for budget-friendly eats in Gapan, Krispy pa Mor affords a superb place to cease and eat. This cheerful homegrown eatery serves dishes like Crispy Kare-Kare, Scorching Sisig, Kaldereta, Papaitan, Dinakdakan, Creamy Tofu and plenty extra dishes.

Deal with: Intersection (in entrance of Gapan Metropolis Fuel Station GCG, Pambuan), Gapan Metropolis, 3105 Nueva Ecija. Fb: Krispy Pa Mor.

Aying’s Pastillas de Leche

Aying’s is a homegrown model from Nueva Ecija that has been creating the well-loved Pastillas de Leche (milk-based candies) since 1995. The delicacies constituted of pure carabao’s milk is available in varied flavors together with unique, toasted, ube, particular yema, buko de pandan, caramel, langka, and queso, to call a number of. This makes a terrific memento merchandise to take residence.

Deal with: 7V79+74C, Jose Abad Santos Ave, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. Fb: Aying’s Pastillas

Different native specialties

Nueva Ecija is understood for having among the finest sorts of longganisa. Be certain that to strive the Cabanatuan garlic longganisa for breakfast, a tasty model of the favored native sausage finest served with garlic rice. That is celebrated in the course of the annual “Longganisa Competition” of Cabanatuan.

Different cities of Nueva Ecija are additionally recognized for distinctive dishes together with homegrown model Puno sherbet and the novelty Tilapia ice cream. Nueva Ecija is a significant producer of onion and celebrates a Sibuyas Competition each April, so anticipate plenty of dishes round city that make use of onion.

The place to remain in Nueva Ecija

Camp Paraiso powered by Cocotel

Camp Paraiso is an eco-resort within the mountains of Bongabo excellent for tenting, glamping and nature stays. The cabins right here will attraction primarily to nature lovers, trekkers, backpackers, and native households who wish to benefit from the nice open air. We stayed within the cozy cabin good for six pax, however the resort additionally has Kubo huts beginning at P800/night time.

The resort has three infinity swimming pools crammed with pure chilly water flowing from the mountains of Aurora. Apart from staying in a single day, friends also can go to on day excursions for swimming (from 7:oo am to five:00 pm). Weekdays – P120, Weekend – P150/particular person.

Picture from Camp Paraiso

Friends can get pleasure from nature actions like trekking, swimming, tenting, glamping, picnic, yoga, stargazing, forest bathing, waterfalls chasing, river trekking and bonfires. A brief path all the way down to the riverside results in an space with Bali-style hen’s nests, picture spots, and a swing.

Deal with: Sitio Camp Martyr, Brgy. Labi, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. Fb: Camp Paraiso

Many due to Camp Paraiso for internet hosting our keep for the #LakbayNorte media tour!

Sevilla Paradise Resort

Another choice is Sevilla Paradise Resort, an eco-resort the place you’ll be able to benefit from the mountains, the bushes, the chilly breeze and spring water in Bongabon. This new resort affords mountain views and funky swimming pools, the place friends can escape from the summer time warmth.

Deal with: Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. Fb: Sevilla Paradise Resort

NOTE: Visits to the newer vacationer spots in Nueva Ecija have been made attainable by the Lakbay Norte 2023 media familiarization tour.

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