The only time I remember Nueva Ecija was when I was in high school, when during a test I chose Pangasinan as the rice granary of the Philippines, the answer was Nueva Ecija. And because I don’t want to write more about the test, how it went or even my test score, this is about Nueva Ecija.
The first time I visited Nueva Ecija was eight months ago, I even celebrated my 21st birthday there and the last time I’ve been to Nueva Ecija was just a month ago. Originally, I came from Visayas, Calbayog City, Samar to be exact. I speak Waray Waray and no I don’t dance Budots. I speak Tagalog in a very trying hard kinda way, still confused when to use “susunduin and kukunin”, I never knew “Kukunin po kami mamayang hapon” sounds both creepy and funny to them.
I’ve found out that Nueva Ecija have the best tasting delicacies and because food is life, think I fell inlove. Nueva Ecija’s version of Pakbet must be one of the inspirations of the song Bahay Kubo, the Tilapia Ice Cream was out of this world and adobong Palaka was just exotic at its best. Rice coffee made me speechless, until now.
But it wasn’t just the place, and believe me it wasn’t just the food that caught my heart.
Something so close to my heart.
Most of us like traveling, moving from one place to another, the love in motion that we keep on looking for in different places, but deep within us, oh how we all love to be home, and yes I’ve found a home in Nueva Ecija.
I’ve realized that home is not just the place we were born and raised, home is the people, home is the feeling. I am grateful that I’ve found a home in Nueva Ecija and more than anything, what keeps us going back home… is family.