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Surrounded by fertile rice fields situated at the heart of Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan is a three-hour drive or bus ride from Manila, via the NLEX-SCTEX route. The city is known as the “tricycle capital of the Philippines,” Cabanatuan City is not only the chief trading center of the province which is considered the rice granary of Central Luzon being the largest producer of rice in the country but also famous for its special garlic longganiza or longganisa” Batutay” (local sausage) which I personally love, I don’t usually eat this kind of food but those irresistibly delicious and garlic-rich batutay captivates my palate. Batutay is Available at the local public supermarket or NE supermarkets and foodshops (PhP 190 – 200 per kilo; look for Aling Otya or Aling Mercy’s stall).
Another mouth watering treats when you visit Cabanatuan City, is the sisig (chopped grilled pork) along Burgos Avenue; The city of Angeles in Pampanga is known as the, “Sisig Capital of the Philippines,” but Cabanatuan’s version is surely up for a competition. Truly that Food is the most primitive form of comfort, and deliciously sinful.
Another food to go treats in this area is their lechon manok (charcoal-roasted chicken). Baliwag, Chooks To Go, and other popular lechon manok brands in the metro stand no chance against Cabanatuan’s street chicken roasting shops. And why not, it’s actually cheaper and more flavorful and more delicious. A whole roasted chicken is sold here for only P160 to P170.Try Kalahi’s litsong manok along Burgos Avenue.
Craving for foods that you can only eat during the Christmas season then wait no more because you can taste this authentic Pinoy food at Bhaby Ruth’s special bibingka and puto bumbong in Plaza Lucero across the Cathedral of St. Nicolas of Tolentino.
Cabanatuan City is not among the tourist destinations in the country but their food is a central of their popularity and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture, to add to the simple yet warm welcome and friendly people here, sure makes the place a must-visit. It’s not about what you would see in this place, but it’s how it will make you feel. The city is clean, quiet, and comforting−more like home.
According to Virginia Wolfe “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Come home to Cabanatuan City and explore the many things in my most called 2nd Home.
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