Tanawan Lookout in Nueva Ecija

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

"Nanay, I want to go back to Bacanatuan (Cabanatuan)!"

Our three-year-old son, Akira, mentioned this earlier today as we were having breakfast. I dunno where the thought came from but I was surprised how our two-day stay in Cabanatuan resonated so much with him that he wanted to go back real soon.

It was an annual tradition for my husband, Christian, and his family to visit his mom's hometown on New Year. It was postponed though during the pandemic. So when the travel restrictions had already eased up, the whole gang went back to Cabanatuan after three years and it was Akira's first time.

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

We only spent two full days in Cabanatuan and it was truly a homecoming as we went around to different houses of relatives to spend time with them and meet the older version of everyone. We also went to farmlands where we imagined our retirement place will be. Yes, even if we're in our early 40s, we are currently thinking about our retirement plans through calculator.me which helps us in our family budget planning.

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

While the adults were busy catching up with everyone’s life updates, Christian and I were looking after the kids who were having fun on rocks, soil, and whatever they could find in the backyard. We also feasted on local delicacies such as rice cakes and longganisa.

Akira, who was born in 2019 and grew up during the pandemic, has already been to Laguna, Boracay, Batangas, and Zambales. As much as we want him to experience our backpacking life before, we were restricted because of the pandemic. This particular trip though is memorable for him as it's his first time traveling with his cousins.

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

It was during our last day when we planned on bringing the kids to a nearby river. But when we heard that there's a construction somewhere near it, it made us abandon the plan right away. Someone mentioned though that we could just probably go to "Tanawan" where you could have a 360-degree view of Cabanatuan and its neighboring towns.

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

So at three in the afternoon, we all went to Tanawan and spent the rest of the afternoon there. The 30-minute ride was scenic as we got to see the quieter side of Cabanatuan. While on the road, I kept on mumbling how huge this most famous city of Nueva Ecija is.


Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

We entered Fort Magsaysay's premises and went on with the journey towards the peak of the hill.

When you reach the top of the hill, there are a number of lookouts that you can choose from.

Tanawan Cabanatuan Laur Nueva Ecija

We settled on Overview Tanawan and paid ₱20 each for the entrance fee (₱15 for senior citizens). The parking fee is from ₱15 to ₱30 depending on the type of vehicle. You may also rent a cottage for ₱100 for 2 hours and they open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

It wasn't a busy afternoon as it was a Tuesday (I can imagine it being so packed during the weekends). As soon as we stepped on the grassy part of the lookout, the kids ran straight to the hills. They even asked us if they could lie on the grass, and when we agreed, they all rolled over it like it was the most natural thing to do.

They were so happy that everyone just watched them as they ran up and down the hills. It was so fun seeing the kids having fun. As we were traveling back home to Manila, the kids were constantly asking us when are we coming back there. They had so much fun that even up to now, the kids were reliving their memories during the trip. It's true what Alexander Supertramp (Chris McCandless)  said in the movie Into The Wild, "Happiness is real only when shared".

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