Beyond Minalungao: 7 Fun Activities You Can Do in Nueva Ecija

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

what to do in nueva ecija

A landlocked province in Central Luzon, Nueva Ecija plays one of the major roles in the country's economy. Its geological features are conducive to agriculture, making it one of the most abundant places in the Philippines. Nicknamed the Rice Bowl of the Philippines, Nueva Ecija remains one of the leading supplier of the Filipino staple.

Considering its dynamic landscapes of plains, mountains, and rivers, it's only a matter of time before the province becomes one of the hottest tourist destinations in the country. Of course, it has been on the tourist map because of Minalungao National Park. The contrast of the distinct vibrant waters of the Minulangao River and its soaring limestone formations are a sight to behold. It's no surprise too that it looks so good on photos.

Read Also: DIY Guide to Minalungao National Park

But more than the park, Nueva Ecija takes all its strengths, combining them to come up with some of the most unique activities for travelers. Here are 7 unusual but certainly fun things to do this side of Luzon:
1. Experience Farm Life in PMP Paradise Farm
PMP Farm is owned and managed by retired major Pantalunan. It's the perfect venue to disconnect from the demands of the modern world. A sprawling property that's a combo of ranch-pond-farm-garden and a cheerful motif of pink, PMP Farm delights visitors with activities like horseback-riding, sheep-herding, fishing, fruit-picking, and feasting on freshly made palitaw and other kakanin.
things to do in nueva ecija
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

agritourism philippines

PMP Farm
Barangay Nazareth, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija
+63 942 9714 903

2. Take a Stroll at the NFA Grounds
Where better to know more about our favorite kanin than from the National Food Authority? The NFA maintains a rice museum where many implements in farming, from the plows to the woven baskets used to store palay, are displayed. Dioramas depicting indigenous farming practices are also used to outline the evolution of agriculture in the country. There's also a unique piece of art featured here – a rendering of Da Vinci's Last Supper made entirely of rice grains.
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

what to do in nueva ecija

NFA Grounds
AH26, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 463 1168
Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 5PM; Weekends by appointment

Read Also: The Flavors of Bani

3. Sample Nueva Ecija's Other Greatest Contribution to the Country
Aside from rice, there's another local product that we should thank Nueva Ecija for. Puno's Ice Cream is a homegrown brand of creamy, delectable frozen dairy goodies. Their all-time bestseller Cheese Cashew Macapuno is so addictive, I had three cups of it the first time I got to taste it. Aside from ice creams, Puno also has a line of sherbets. Sherbets are basically a milk-less ice cream, making it light and a little bit healthier. I got to try the Buko with Lychee variant and it made me wish it's available here in Angono.
filipino ice cream brand

filipino ice cream brand
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

Puno’s Ice Cream and Sherbet
Maharlika Highway, Bitas Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 464 8694; +63 932 881 4249

4. Cool Down at Crystal Wave Resort
This weather calls for not only ice cream but a veritable dip in a pool. Beat the summer heat at Crystal Wave Resort. Their amenities could rival more popular resorts: a zipline, wide spaces for camping and team-building, huge pools, and a waterslide. Improvements are also underway for the resort. Better watch out – soon, Crystal Wave will definitely one popular water park.
resorts in nueva ecija
 Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

where to stay in nueva ecija

Crystal Waves Resort
AH26, Dinarayat, Talavera, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 411 0834

Read Also: See the Taal in a Different Light Through Stand-up Paddle-boarding

5. Learn More About the Science of Farming at PhilRice
The Philippine Rice Institute opens it doors to anyone who'd like to learn more about farming. Their Future Rice program aims to make agriculture fun and education by incorporating modern technology a farming tools. By doing this, PhilRice hopes that it will raise the youth's interest in farming. I don't know about you, but farming is already interesting as it is. Add apps and hi-tech tools like a self-planting plow, and it's like you're the Tony Stark of farming.
self-planting plow
Self-planting plow at Future Rice

Philippine Rice (PhilRice) Institute
Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
+ 63 44 456 0277

6. Take a Bite of Tilapia Ice Cream at CLSU
The Central Luzon State University has been a pioneer in developing high-value agricultural products. The most popular of these perhaps is the ice cream made from tilapia flakes. It's unlike anything you have tasted before and definitely worth a try. CLSU also has a museum and a hydroponics center where you can learn about growing crops without the use of soil. You can also go on a bike tour around the charming campus
what to do in nueva ecija
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

things to do in nueva ecija

Guestel Building, Executive Ave, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 456 0107

Read Also: This Place in Cebu Will Remind You of Planet Namek

7. Stock Up on Dairy Products at Milka Krem
No trip is complete without pasalubong and Nueva Ecija's got the perfect place for this. Milka Krem is the last link on a value chain involving the Philippine Carabao Institute and PhilRice. Here, the products these institutions developed are delivered to the masses for purchase. Soaps, milks, yogurt, and other dairy products are available here. Styrofoam coolers are also available here to keep your haul fresh.
nueva ecija pasalubong
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

pasalubong in nueva ecija

Milka Krem
Philippine Carabao Center, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 940 8476
Operating Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 8AM to 6PM

BONUS: Pamper Yourself by Staying in These Trio of Fancy Hotels
Maximize your stay in Nueva Ecija by splurging a stay in Microtel Nueva Ecija, Harvest Hotel, or Top Star Hotel in Cabanatuan City. Both are nice home-base because of its strategic locations. Who doesn't like fresh hotel sheets after a long day of exploring, right?

Microtel Nueva Ecija
Cabanatuan City

where to stay in nueva ecija
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

Harvest Hotel
1179 Del Pilar St. Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija

hotels in nueva ecija
Photo by Martin San Diego for NPVB

Top Star Hotel KM 112, Maharlika Highway, Brgy. H. Concepcion, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
+63 44 940 8080

(If you prefer a budget accommodation, PhilRice offers rooms too, but you have to call ahead to check availability as most are booked for long-term.)

Have you been to Nueva Ecija? What other destinations and activities do the Rice Bowl of the Philippines offer?
This was part of the 6th installment of Lakbay Norte – a project of the North Philippines Visitors Bureau in partnership with Manila North Tollways Corporation, Victory Liner, Inc, Nueva Ecija Convention and Visitors Association, and Cagayan North Convention and Visitors Bureau. Check out my narrative of the Nueva Ecija leg of the 5-day trip over at Ironwulf here, and here

Into off-the-beaten-path adventures? Check out the Spread the Impact series for travel guide to less-traveled spots in the PH!

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