A Tour of Gapan with Mayor Emerson Pascual

Gapan City , Nueva Ecija province -Philippines

Lakbay Lakad Pamana together with the participants of the Gapan Culinary and Heritage Tour arrived past 8:30 am at the Divina Pastora Shrine . Gapan City is planning to open their old historical center to tourist .

group photo

The group was warmly received by Gapan Tourism officers , Mayor Emerson ” Emeng” Pascual of Gapan, AHP Gapan City -Chapter President Mr. Ramon Valmonte and even some residents joined the heritage tour.

Uy family ancestral house

Uy family ancestral house used to be known as Cayetano de Borja ancestral house.

group photo 

 Ms. Cristina De Vera  , Ena Galang and cousin 

Gapan City Hall

Gapan City hall  compound is sprawling with clean hall ways. The cityhall was inaugurated in 2006 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo .

City Agriculture office 

Techno Pinoy and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office

Office of the City Mayor , New Gapan City Hall, Maharlika Highway , Barangay Bayanihan , Gapan City , Nueva Ecija 3105

+63( 44) 4860125

 

 

Delightful Dining Experience at Rustica Restaurant in Gapan

AH26, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija province -Philippines 

Lakbay Lakad Pamana and the rest of the participants have tried one of Nueva Ecija ‘s  iconic restaurant , In fact the restaurant started in Cabanatuan and it had a branch in Gapan City.

Rustica Restaurant ( Gapan )

It is said to be frequented by celebrities , balikbayans and local residents . The restaurant is spacious and an events center.

interior

The restaurant had a sitting capacity of between 200 to 350 with a function area at the second floor.

Rustica -Gapan menu

There are also lauriat or value style meal for those who wanted a sampling of their dishes. Lauriat 1 Php 3,450  Lauriat 2 for Php 5,300 and Lauriat 3 for Php 5,550 ideal for group of 5 to 8 people .  The group ordered 2 lauriat meals .

Italian cheese stick 

fried liempo / lechon kawali with lechon sauce

chicken teriyaki with vegetables

sauteed beef  broccoli 

adobong sugpo sa aligi ng talangka

singang 

Note : The only downside for this restaurant is some of the waiters tend to mix some orders. We would like to ” Thank ” the office of Mayor Emerson ” Emeng ” Pascual and local tourism officer for the accommodation to the group .

Rustica also had branch in Concepcion , Tarlac

Contact:  (044) 958 0994

There is also a Rustica FB site

A Visit to the Ancestral House of Senator Juan R.Liwag of Gapan

Gapan City , Nueva Ecija province -Philippines

Senator Juan R. Liwag was born on June 12, 1906 to  Mr. Diego Liwag and Ms. Isabel Ramos, Juan Liwag finished his elementary schooling as valedictorian at the Gapan Intermediate School. Pin Gapan, Nueva, Ecija. He finished his high school and liberal arts at the University of the Philippines. He completed his law course in the same university as class valedictorian and copped second place in the 1932 bar examination.

family portrait and intricate lattice works on wood 

He started his government service in 1945 as prosecutor in the department of justice. Mr. Liwag was named Judge-at-Large of the Court of First Instance four years later. In 1950, He was appointed District Judge for Albay and Catanduanes part of Bicol provinces. He married Ms. Consuelo Joson with whom he had four children.

Senator Juan R. Liwag photos and memorabilias

In 1952, he was appointed Solicitor- General, a position he held until 1954. In 1961, he was appointed Undersecretary of Justice. He became Secretary of Justice on May 19 of the same year. He was elected Senator in 1963 and served up to 1969.

The interior of the house is furnish with hardwood furniture and fixtures 

There is also a mini-library located at the ground floor . The ceiling is made from pinukpuk , iron sheet ceiling which is among the prominent features of the house . The ceiling is painted white.

collection of spoons from different parts of the world

staircase going to the second floor

Prior to his election in the Senate, Liwag served in various capacities in the executive and judicial branches of the government. He was also one of the most outstanding senator during his time.

art deco -style architecture 

The house had a nice large garden , similar to those found in old houses with large sprawling trees , manicured lawn , orchids , plants , some dogs and gooses. There is also a grand staircase with initial DL – This was probably from initials of his father . The house was built around mid-1920’s.

Architect Amie Singcuenco-Balatbat admires the large specimen sized-Cymbidium finlaysonianum and Aerides quinquivulnera naturalized on a coconut palm

Lakbay Lakad Pamana together with Mr. Ramon Valmonte ( local historian , professor , heritage advocate ) and a couple of guests were able to tour inside the house of the senator .

The house is private, hence a prior permission must be secure for those who wanted to visit .

Note : photos are taken by the author with permission .

For those interested in joining the tour , Call Or Text 0923 346 7575
Email: lakad_pamana@yahoo.com.ph

Gapan Culinary and Heritage Tour FB

References:

(Valenzuela, Rodrigo: “Know Them – A Book of Biographies; p. 102-103, 1966.)

Profile :Office of the Solicitor General

Senate : Senator Juan R. Liwag

Mr. Ramon Valmonte : http://monvalmonte.com/liwag/

A Taste of Native Delicacies of Gapan, Nueva Ecija

Gapan City, Nueva Ecija province -Philippines

Lakad Pamana together WalkwithChan, Mr. Allan Martinez of Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista atbp.  , Mr. Emil Carreon ( PTV channel 4 reporter and executive producer ) small group of local social media from nearby province of Bulacan and  Gapan City heritage advocates paid a courtesy call to Mayor Emerson ” Emeng ” Pascual  , the local tourism officers and local media .

courtesy call to Mayor Emerson ” Emeng” Pascual of Gapan city 

The group was warmly received by the Mayor and his staffs. The group was treated some sampling of well-known Gapan ‘s native delicacies . We were simply amaze to know ,what can the city can offer to local and even foreign tourists.

L-R Mr. Gilbert Dino , Mr. Emil Carreon of PTV channel 4 , Mayor Emerson Pascual and Mr. Ramon Valmonte ( Gapan City Advocate and Local Historian ) 

For those in doubt what Lakbay Lakad Pamana is or the advocates behind this , Lakbay Lakad Pamana is composed of several local heritage advocates like Mr. Gilbert Dino who had over 28 years experience with a well-known bus company and a local lifestyle blogger. Mr. Allan Martinez – one of the key founders of Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista atpb. a local heritage advocacy group based in Quiapo. The tour was initiated by Dr. Tessie Obusan in 1987.

The author is also active conducting small scale personalized tours for friends , relatives and classmates since high-school days.

sampling of native delicacies 

The group had one common goal , which is to help promote local tourism, industry , beautiful ancestral houses , culinary heritage and helping indigent communities thru local tourism.

sample of native kakanins

The group got a sampling of Gapan’s native delicacies with maja blanca ala Gapan, maja ube , maja de pandan , espasol, ginataan sa bilo-bilo or sampilot , suman , local ice cream brand Puno’s ( Ube -cheese flavor and langka cheese cashew , pancit canton , ube , sweetened tamarind balls or minatamis na sampalok by Bien’s Sweet Products, lumpiang ubod with special sauce.

Ginataan sa Bilo-bilo is locally called Sampilot, We liked the ginataan, It is cooked in thick coconut milk .

espasol

Espasol or Baye-Baye is a type of squarish or cylindrical sticky rice with powder which is common delicacies in Laguna, Batangas and Quezon . The espasol made in Nueva Ecija taste different from the ones from Laguna .

 Since the province is one of the largest producer of rice and its -by products , the possibilities are endless.

pancit canton ala Gapan

Pancit Canton is cooked with the use of local vegetables and is not soggy .

ube

Ube Blanca– This is a type of pudding made with purple yam or locally known as ube . Ube  scientific name is Dioscorea alata and is made into several popular desserts and ice cream. This is also best with coconut milk

Puno’s ice cream ( ube cheese flavor) 

Nueva Ecija had also a lot of carabao milk production – hence by-products like carabao’s milk , kesong puti , pastillas de leche , ice cream among others.

Puno’s ice cream ( langka  cashew cheese) 

Puno’s ice cream is one of the well-known ice cream makers of the province .

minatamis na sampaloc

Another interesting delicacy is the sweeten tamarind balls or minatamis na sampalok by Bien’s Sweet Products.  After all the native delicacies and gastronomic treat that the group had tasted ,  one must not miss buying when they are in Gapan. Eating plenty of food can makes a person sleepy during the long trip back to Manila and having sweet/ sour minatamis while during the trip will lessen the ” Umay” and help digestion .

The store/ home outlet is located at Purok 5, 220 Perez Street, Santo Cristo Sur , Gapan City , Nueva Ecija province

Contact Details: 0933-491-85-84 / 0926-409-7501

*Note : Lakbay Lakad Pamana together with, KKB, the author and in cooperation with the local goverment of Gapan City  , Nueva Ecija will be having a whole day culinary and heritage tour on September 24 Saturday .

Here is the FB Event Page, for those interested in joining the whole day tour :

Contact : Call Or Text 0923 346 7575
Email: lakad_pamana@yahoo.com.ph

Puno’s Ice Cream FB

Philippine Carabao Center

Website: http://www.census.gov.ph/

A Visit to the National Shrine of La Virgen Divina Pastora

Three Kings Parish, Delos Reyes Street,  3105 Gapan City , Nueva Ecija province -Philippines

The Divina Pastora’s two centuries of existence has given rise to legends on the origin of the image – that it was found floating on a river, or discovered under a tree. The fact is the image did not have a supernatural but rather historical origin.

The exterior of the church is plain while its interior formerly has a central retablo with niches dedicated to the Epiphany of the Lord and to the Virgen La Divina Pastora.

National Shrine of La Virgen de Divina Pastora

Near the end of the 1700s in Gapan, there lived a woman named Doña Juana Valmonte, one of the eight children of Don Bartolome dela Cruz Valmonte, said to be Gapan’s first gobernadorcillo in 1747, and Doña Eulalia Fernandez — the couple from whom all the Valmontes descended.

church marker

The Parish Church of the Three Kings in Gapan is considered the oldest and biggest colonial church in Nueva Ecija. In 1986, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines declared this church as the National Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora.

interior

A spinster, Dona Juana was a woman who could be considered much ahead of the ladies of her era. She lived in the family farm, serving as its overseer, in Barrio Callos, named after a tree species that abounds in the place that, at that time, was a part of Gapan but is now within the jurisdiction of the adjacent town of Peñaranda.

This central retablo however was torn down in the 1970s due to infestation of termites. It was replaced with a modern style sanctuary dominated by a huge image of the Crucifixion, arguably the largest in the province of Nueva Ecija. Only the two side retablo are maintained to this day. Prominently displayed on the left retablo is the original miniature image of the Virgen Divina Pastora which was donated by the Valmonte Family in 1986. The right retablo enshrines the Adoration of the Magi.

church ceiling

Described as a stocky woman, she was said to possess such physical prowess that she could wrestle cattle to the ground when it was time to brand them.

While the palitada of the walls was stripped, the grand painting of the Holy Trinity on the church’s dome has been preserved. Local artist, Isidoro Samonte painted this image in the early 1900s.

angels

We were led up to the church belfry and we saw some bats living

ecclesiastical museum

life sized statue

collection of rosaries from different countries

private chapel

Located within the church is an old house which also served as private quarters of the current head of the shrine. We were allowed an exclusive access to the chapel.

Website links:

http://monvalmonte.com/divinapastora/main.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Shrine_of_Virgen_La_Divina_Pastora