I first came to Nueva Ecija when I was 11 years old. I had just graduated from Grade School then. My parents decided to move there because my dad got a job in Manila. It’s where I spent three years of my High School Life and I have to say, it remains to be one of my most unforgettable experiences to date.
Life in the province was very different from the life I have here in Davao, but there is something about it that fills me up with so much joy. It’s peaceful and simple, yet filled with many happy memories that I cherish dearly up to this day.
One of the my fondest memories, of course, was studying there and spending time with my maternal grandparents. They are the sweetest! And like most grannies, they always spoiled my sisters and I. My Ama (grandpa, RIP) used to bring us to and pick us up from school with his super cool tricycle, while Inang (grandma) would indulge us with food, especially fresh fruits. I remember them keeping a box of ripe mangoes under their bed, freshly picked from the tumana (farm), and we can just easily grab one every time we want to.
I really missed living in Nueva Ecija, which is why when my mom told us that she wanted to go home and visit Inang, my sister and I got so excited. We went there last year and it was like going on a trip back to memory lane. Everything felt so nostalgic that I wanted to stay a little bit longer.
I’ll let these photos speak for themselves. =)
Ahhh, Malagkit na Mais (Sticky Corn). This type of corn is hard to come by in Davao (in the city proper, at least), so you could just imagine my excitement. I literally shrieked when my Tita (Auntie) brought this out during our visit. We used to always have this at home when we were living in Nueva Ecija.
This Belfry at the church beside our school holds a really funny memory. It was during my junior year. My friends and I decided to go up the Belfry just for fun. While looking down, one of my friends called out some of our teachers and they got so angry, they placed us all in detention! We ended up cleaning the biology laboratory after school hours. Instead of being scared that we might get suspended, we just kept laughing at our own silliness. It was so hilarious that I still smile whenever I think about it 🙂
When I first came to Nueva Ecija, I had a very strong Davao Tagalog accent (now known as Davao Conyo). During my freshmen year, my classmates would always tease me because they thought my accent was funny. I was that girl with a weird Tagalog accent. My tongue caught up eventually after a few months. Ano kamo?
I may be a loud and proud Dabawenya, but Nueva Ecija will always hold a special place in my heart. After all, it is my second home and I cannot wait to be back soon, hopefully! ❤