Think there’s not much to see in Nueva Ecija, aside from rice fields and carabaos frolicking in rivers? Well, think again! As someone who lived in this tranquil yet sunny province for 16 years, I used to think the same. But you know what they say — there are always new and exciting places to explore in the Philippines (if you know where to look). And the Colosboa Hills in the quiet town of Cuyapo prove just that!
This underrated destination in Nueva Ecija has been making waves on Pinoy social media lately, and we totally get why! Brimming with verdant rolling hills and lush trees, with the majestic Mount Bangcay in the backdrop, it has been nicknamed the ‘New Zealand of Central Luzon.’ And yes, we’ve got the photos and testimonies to prove it!
A well-kept secret among locals
Okay, clearly it’s not that much of a secret now. But even back then, Colosboa Hills has been a go-to among locals for scenic biking and/or hiking trails! After the province shifted to MGCQ (modified general community quarantine), more locals came by to this pasyalan. After all, it’s one of those under-the-radar places where social distancing is completely doable.
Note: It’s pronounced kolos-’bo-wa.
BTW — we’ve chatted up Nestor Lazo of the Cuyapo Bikers Club, who helped catapult Colosboa Hills into mainstream consciousness. You see, it was his team who ‘discovered’ this spot back in 2011, when they were scouting venues for an upcoming mountain biking tournament as part of their town fiesta! This explains the winding trails you’ll find among the hills.
“Very refreshing para sa aming bikers noong una naming nakita ‘yung lugar. Dati, gubat pa lang ‘yang Colosboa Hills, so mga tao mismo at kalabaw pa lang ‘yung makakadaan. Mula rito, naisipan naming gawan ng bike trail para lalo siyang pasyalan,” Nestor shared.
What to see and do in Colosboa Hills
Aside from biking, hiking, and jogging, Colosboa Hills is also a good picnic spot when the weather is nice and breezy. You might even spot some cows grazing — just like on the pastures of New Zealand! But, of course, make sure not to leave any trash behind or disturb the animals.
Some of you might be wondering — ‘how Instagrammable is the place, really?’ Well, we don’t know about you, but this treetop shot definitely looks cool!
Nestor also shared with us that there’s a nearby tanggal (a natural pond), where you can try your luck at fishing. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can go hiking up Mount Bangcay nearby! Though, you might want to get a local guide for safety.
“Maaantig ka talaga sa lugar, lalo na’t hanap ng mga tao ngayon ay fresh air at malalawak na lugar kung saan madaling mag-social distancing,” Nestor added as a final note.
Also read: The Nueva Ecija Pantabangan Dam Reveals a Sunken Old Town
Have you ever been to Colosboa Hills before? Or are there similar hidden gems in your own province that you’d like to share? Go on and tell us in the comments!