Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, English
| Central Luzon|
| Cabanatuan, Gapan, San Jose City, Muñoz - Nueva Ecija, Talavera - Nueva Ecija|
Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (Cabanatuan), Central Luzon State University (Muñoz - Nueva Ecija), Araullo University (Cabanatuan), Wesleyan University Philippines (Cabanatuan), Nueva Ecija Colleges (Cabanatuan)
Nueva Ecija ( ) (PSGC: 034900000; ISO: PH-NUE) is a landlocked Province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon Region. Its capital is Palayan City. Nueva Ecija borders, from the south clockwise, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Aurora.
The sprawling and varied geological features of the land now known as Nueva Ecija, includes plains, mountains and rivers, all the requisites for the birthing and sustenance of life itself. The lands very first settlers came upon three mountain ranges to the East, North and West and vast southern plains. All these were sustained by a great flowing river, one whose earliest name was spoken in a now lost tongue, and which was called the Rio Grande de Pampanga by the Spaniards later on. The Great Pampanga River nourished wild, fruit-bearing trees, served as home to an abundance of fish and made possible lush, teeming woodlands that sheltered animals. All these combined must have been paradise in whatever language for the lands earliest settlers, who were able to not only survive but thrive in the surrounding abundance, all within easy reach.
These first settlers included tribes of Ilongots or Italons, Abaca and Buquids. Settlements were built along the banks following the rivers undulations. The Ilongots, meaning people of the forest, were the fierce headhunters and animist tribes who occupied Carranglan and the mountainous terrain of Sierra Madre and Caraballo. The head hunting communities were nestled along the riverbanks of Rio Grandes tributaries in the north. Abaca and Italon were subgroups of Ilongots meaning river settlers. Ilongots survived mainly by fishing and hunting. Food production was a secondary occupation. The agriculture-based community of Caraclans and Buquids were settled in Bongabon and Pantabangan along the riverbanks of Rio Grandes tributaries in the northeast.
When the waves of Malay migrations took place between 300-200 B.C., intrepid travelers and traders set up settlements along Luzons western coast. These early settlements formed the nucleus of the Pampango Empire that was consolidated by Balagtas. The flatlands of the southern portion of Upper Pampanga was a hospitable place for these new Malay settlers. The indigenous tribes were forced to take to the hills in the face of the Malays superior technology.
Barter trade flourished among communities that settled along the great river. The constant riverside trading resulted in both a commercial and cultural exchange between the settlements in vast plains upstream of the Rio Grande de Pampanga. Settlements in Carranglan, Pantabangan, Bongabon and Puncan prospered and grew into more stable communities.
When the Pampango Empire fell into the hands of Spanish forces under the command of Martin de Goiti in 1572, the conquistadores began their long upward trek towards Cagayan Valley and Mountain Province. Their forces passed through the settlement areas of the Upper Pampanga River.
Because of growing territorial domain and Evangelical missions, a command outpost or Commandancia in the Upper Pampanga River area was established. Then Governor-General Fausto Cruzat y Góngora (July 25, 1690 to December 8, 1701) had most likely spent much of his time in the northern outpost in Carranglan and Pantabangan and, baking in the fiercely hot climate, probably waxed nostalgic about his hometown in Ecija, Andalusia in Spain. Ecija, Andalusia was also known as eel sarten or the frying pan because of its intensely hot summers. Thus the Governor-General hit upon the notion to name the outpost Nueva (meaning new Ecija).Both the New and Old Ecija were washed by navigable rivers- the former, by Rio Grande de Pampanga and the latter, by the river Genil.
The province is the largest in Central Luzon. Its terrain begins with the southwestern marshes near the Pampanga border. It levels off and then gradually increases in elevation to rolling hills as it approaches the mountains of Sierra Madre in the east, and the Caraballo and Cordillera ranges in the north.
Nueva Ecija is considered the main rice growing province of the Philippines and the leading producer of onions in the Municipality of Bongabon in South East Asia. It is currently the 9th richest province in the Country.
Nueva Ecija is the largest province and the biggest rice producer of Central Luzon and the Philippines, thus, often referred to as the "Rice Bowl of the Philippines."
The first Augustinian mission in lowland Nueva Ecija was Founded in Gapan City in 1595. It is home to a Roman Catholic church of Byzantine architecture built from 1856 to 1872.
Historic Barrio Labi (Bongabon)
The resthouse of the Quezon family is located in this barrio, along the National Highway going to Baler, Aurora. It is also the place of death of Mrs. Aurora Quezon, wife of former Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon.
Tabacalera of San Isidro
Centuries-old brick walls of the Tabacalera in San Isidro remain as witness to the Novo Ecijanos 100-year oppression, from 1782 to 1882, when the province became the center of the tobacco monopoly in Central Luzon and was thus restricted from raising other crops.
Gen Luna Statue and Marker (Cabanatuan City)
A statue of Philippine hero General Antonio Luna astride a horse stands at the plaza in front of the cathedral on the exact spot where the brave general was assassinated in 1899 in the city that adopted him subsequently.
Apolinario Mabini Marker (Cuyapo)
Site of the arrest of Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini, known as "the sublime paralytic," by the Americans on December 10, 1899.
Owned by revolutionary leader and Novo Ecijano General Manuel Tinio. Built during the early Commonwealth period, it features ornately designed turn-of-the-century furniture and a life-size figure of esteemed Nove Ecijano Don Kapitan Berong in stained glass.
Sedeco of San Isidro
The Grand Sedeco house in San Isidro, which General Emilio Aguinaldo frequented, marks this gallant town that has proven time and again to be cradle of Filipino heroes. It was here that General Frederick Funston planned the capture of Aguinaldo, first President of the Philippine republic, during the Philippine–American War.
Wright Institute of San Isidro
One of the first high schools established outside Metro Manila during the American period.
Located in Capintalan, Carranglan, the five-hectare area blessed with a cool climate houses the monument of General Dalton and a tower that borders the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya. Uphill is a World War II memorial in black marble where a historical account of the war had been etched in English and Japanese.
Camp Pangatian (Cabanatuan City)
Began as a military training camp for twenty years until converted into a concentration camp for allied prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation. A popular tourist destination among war veterans by way of the WWII Veterans Homecoming Program.
Churches of Nampicuan, Carranglan, and Pantabangan
Church ruins of identical Augustinian architecture can still be found in the three upland missions.
Declared as a national park, it features a breathtaking view of the narrow but deep Penaranda River. On both sides of the river bank are 16 meter high limestone walls. The ridge formation of white sculptured limestone walls shows the might of the great river.
General Luna Fall (Rizal)
The easternmost barrio of Rizal nestled uphill on the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range boasts of one of Central Luzons hidden treasures: a towering waterfall of more than a hundred feet descending widely across a rocky mountain wall into over twenty pools of varying levels and depths.
Mt. Olivete (Bongabon)
A hundred-step stair leads to the church built by the Adarnista spiritual community on the mountaintop. Frequented by pilgrims who bathe in and drink the water of its springs believing it to be medicinal.
Maintained by the Kalanguya tribal community from Ifugao, its rivers and low-lying hill are ideal for hiking and communing with nature. A gateway to the Cagayan Valley, it was a strategic location during WWIIs liberation period. Tunnels, war artifacts, and stories of gold digging abound in the area.
Located in San Jose City, it is ideal for picnics and bathing especially during summer.
The lure of Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. The ten-feet falls are surrounded by huge rock formations and rippling ice-cold water. Located within the 200-hectare Sabani Estate Agricultural College.
Church of Penaranda (Nueva Ecija) – The church of Penaranda was erected in 1869 by Fr. Florentino Samonte. Construction was continued by Fr. Candicho San Miguel from 1879 to 1881 and by Fr. Santos Vega from 1887 to 1889. From 1889 to 1891, the parochial house of bricks and wood was built by Fr. Valentin Gatode la Fuente. Fr. Alvaro Callega built the original church with thatch-roof and stone walls
Diamond Park (San Jose City)
Strategically located at the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, it is a haven for picnics and sightseeing. Its hundred-step stair leads to lamp-lit pagodas nestled on hilltops and offering a panoramic view of northern Nueva Ecija.
Built in 1974 along the Pampanga River to serve as reinforcement against flood, and provide irrigation, additional electricity in the entire Luzon island, the dam was built by Filipino engineers under the supervision of the National Irrigation Administration. Pantabangan Dam is now one of the most visited tourist spots in the province. The place offers a scenic view of the surrounding area. Tourists will also appreciate the dams engineering wonders.
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
The Philippine Rice Research Institute, located at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, is the central station of agricultural experimentation, it is the only one of its kind throughout the country. It was created to develop and implement a natural rice research and development program, sustain the grains made in rice production and solve location-specific problems of the rice industry. A variety of rice wine is produced at the center.
Central Luzon State University (CLSU)
Located in the outskirts of the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, the 658-hectare main campus of CLSU is famous for its old shady trees, model farm, vegetable and ornamental plant gardens. Nueva Ecija has been referred to as the "Agricultural Central of Luzon."
Agricultural Museum (CLSU)
A socio-cultural arm for information in Central Luzon, it is the first and the only one of its kind in the country. The materials on display are preserved and maintained to promote the cultural heritage of Filipinos in Central Luzon. The museum has six sections: rice and vegetable planting implements; household ingredients utensils; personal apparel; hunting and fishing implements.
Living Fish Museum (CLSU)
Showcases indigenous and tropical freshwater fishes collected form different provinces in Luzon.
Llanera, Nueva Ecija - Asias first and only rubber dam
Tour of agri-based institutions of Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija, including a farming technology tour at the Central Luzon State University and plant tour of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) and Philippine Carabao Center.
Gross Ostrich Farm
San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija - Located in Brgy. Tagumpay, San Leonardo, Gross Ostrich Farm grows, breeds and propagates imported ostriches both for human consumption and for tourism such as sale of decorative eggs, leather wallets, colorful feathers and other by-products. Ostriches reach a height of about 7 – 8 feet, weighs 110 – 130 kg, runs at a speed of 60 km/h, has a lifespan of 50 – 80 years and a breeding life of 20 – 25 years. Tha farm produces fillet meat at P600/kl, steak at P500/kl and stir fry at P400/kl. On-site farm visits to view the "big birds" in their natural habitat are organized for students and professionals alike.
CLSU Concrete Tank Culture for Tilapia
Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija - This one-of-a-kind breeding farm showcases intensive culture of tilapia in concrete circular tanks, with provisions for continuous water exchange and aeration. Each tank is stocked with 6,000 tilapia fingerlings. Estimated output is 1,000 kg. of table-size fish after four months of culture.
Philippine Carabao Center
(Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija) The Philippine Carabao Center was created in 1993 as an offshoot of the Carabao Development Program, through Republic Act 7307. It is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, mandated to "conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of draft animal power, meat, milk and hide, to benefit the rural farmers." Services at the center include: artificial insemination, bull loan, production of quality breeding animals and germplasm, technical assistance and training and carabao-based enterprise development. The center breeds and cross-breeds, through artificial insemination, animals called Murrah Buffaloes, a species of the dairy type from India, Bulgaria and some countries like North and Latin America. This type can produce an average of eight liters of milk daily in 300 days. Top-performing ones can produce 12 - 15 liters per day.
At the crack of dawn, scores of mud-covered, barely dressed devotees make their appearance, asking for alms and candles form the wide awake town folks. This practice mimics a biblical myth about St. John the Baptist, who was said to have done the same thing in his lifetime. A special mass culminates the occasion, reinforcing its spiritual nature to the people of Aliaga.Ragragsak Ti Guimba, Guimba, Nueva Ecija
Guimbas official festival which begins at February and ends at March. Preparations for the festival normally starts at January. The long festival includes Ms. Guimba, Mr. Teen, Ms. Gay, Basketball Competitions, the Opening Band, the Opening Mass, and the main attraction, the Ragragsak Ti Guimba Street Dance Competition. There are also minor events such as cycling competitions and others.Holy Week Rituals of Puncan, Carranglan
The unique Holy Week rites of (Puncan)Carranglan one of the oldest towns in Nueva Ecija, are woven in folklore. Aside from the differing dialect, Pangasinense, widely used in Puncan, its distinct Lenten rituals include a hide-and-seek routine between the "Flagellante" and "Hudyo," a childrens parade, and a choreographed version of Christian penitential rites in which participants with charcoal-smeared faces beat bamboos.Kariton Festival, Licab
Kariton,which means rig-cart drawn by carabao, is celebrated during the annual celebration of the founding anniversary of Licab town on March 28. Kariton plays a significant part in the history of Licab. Don Dalmacio Esguerra, the towns founding father, used kariton when he left San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte until he finally settled and found this town in Licab. In fitting recognition of the significance of this very important farm equipment, the LGU of Licab adopted "Kariton Festival" as the towns official festival. The event features a parade of colorfully dressed kariton floats, Search of Outstanding Licabenos, Agri-aqua trade fair and beauty pageant.Baybayanting Festival, Lupao
Baybayanting is a one-of-a-kind cultural tradition of Lupao, Nueva Ecija. It is a unique cultural presentation of the people of Lupao every 25 July to honor their patron – Señor Santiago. or Saint James. Its a cultural presentation that features the war between Muslims and Christians. This peculiar cultural tradition is presented every year by selected and well-trained members of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a Christian sect founded by a Filipino priest. Baybayanting is a choreograph fighting which is usually performed by 9 pairs of fighting Filipino warriors and Spanish conquistadores. Performers use real bladed weapons unlike the Zarzuelas that uses wooden swords.Araquio Festival, Penaranda
Araquio Festival is a unique and one of its kinds in the Philippines. This festival is Nueva Ecijas very own theatrical-cum-religious presentation similar to "zarzuelas" during the Spanish regime in the country. The Araquio Festival is traditionally held in the month of May in the town of Peñaranda. The festival dramatized the spread of Christianity in the country and the war between Christians and Muslims. Festival performers, 16 performers in each Araquio group, sing, act and dance while a brass band plays. The choice of songs and choreography varies, but the script has remained the same since the tradition started.Tanduyong Festival, San Jose City
Prides itself as the "Onion Capital of the Philippines" and is a leading producer of onion, garlic, rice and vegetables. Every year, on the fourth Sunday of April, the people of San Jose dance through the main street in a colorful, enchanting celebration of the blessing of the harvest. On festival day, the streets are filled with contingents of dancers outfitted in striking, multi-hued native costumes. Exotic rhythms of improvised musical instruments fill the air as the dancers gyrate and sway to the beat of life. Special activities included are: beauty contest, tourism and trade fair, awarding ceremony and cultural shows.Pagibang Damara, San Jose City
Fiestas are time to celebrate. A time to take some break. It is a time to give thanks for bounties received for the whole year. A time to get together. A time to play and re-energized. They offer a respite for people who work the entire year . And restore inspiration for another year ahead.
Hundreds of years ago, here in Central Luzon, landlords in the haciendas made the farmers build the "damara", just before planting time of palay. A "damara" is a makeshift shelter made from kawayan (bamboo) and nipa, built at the center of ricefields as a protection from the suns heat or from rain. Over the years, it has been tradition that after all the harvests were safely brought home, the "damaras" are demolished ("ginigiba"). People then start celebrating together for the bountiful harvest.
In 2008, with rice as its primary produce, San Jose City conducted its First Rice Festival, adopting the centuries–old festive tradition. However, unlike in older days, wherein people celebrate separately in their Barangays, San Jose City now celebrates as one big family. The after-harvest celebration has become a multi-sectoral effort, collectively prepared, funded out of contributions (from the public and private sector), and participated in by all sections of the city.Tsinelas Festival, Gapan
Slippers or Tsinelas made in the city of Gapan, Nueva Ecija find their way all over the country, lending credence to the citys claim to be the Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines. Gapan commemorates their major industry with the Tsinelas Festival on the anniversary of their cityhood. Beautifully crafted slippers await festivals-goers in a slippers bazaar along the highway. The major attraction of this festival, however, are the pairs of gigantic slippers displayed in a parade of Floats.