Landlocked in Central Luzon, Nueva Ecija is a sprawling province known as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines”. It was originally settled by the Ilongot people and was later home to the Pamapango Empire, which fell to Spanish forces in 1572. In 1896, the province provided a setting for the “Cry of Nueva Ecija”, a revolutionary battle led by General Mariano Llanera.
Things to do in Nueva Ecija
Whether you want to explore lively urban centres or come face-to-face with native wildlife, Nueva Ecija is sure to impress.
Sightsee in Cabanatuan. Nueva Ecija’s most populous city is Cabanatuan, which has been nicknamed the “Tricycle Capital of the Philippines”. At its heart is Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Cathedral with its beautiful stained glass ceiling window. You can stretch your legs on the leafy walking trails of Freedom Park and pay your respects at the Cabanatuan American Memorial, which is located on the site of an Allied POW camp.
Explore Aurora Memorial National Park. North-east of Nueva Ecija is Aurora Memorial National Park, which is named after the First Lady of the Philippines, Aurora Quezon. It encompasses lush rainforests, rivers and springs in the Sierra Madre Mountains, which extend along the east coast of Luzon. Aurora Memorial National Park provides an important habitat for native wildlife and birds, including the Luzon water-redstart and the endangered Philippine eagle.
Relax on the shores of Pantabangan Lake. Sprawling across the north of Nueva Ecija is Pantabangan Lake, which is one of the largest reservoirs in Southeast Asia. Backed by rugged mountains, it’s a popular setting for fishing and is ringed by scenic walking trails. For elevated views across the lake, climb to the grassy summit of Mount Kaanducian.
Getting around Nueva Ecija
Nueva Ecija is just over three hours’ drive from Manila and 3.5 hours from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular buses connect to Cabanatuan and jeepneys travel throughout the area. Renting a car or moped is the most convenient way of getting around Nueva Ecija.