Bulacan offers respite and gastronomic journey in its exciting destinations – Manila Bulletin
Do you want history, rest and leisure, and good food? Then Bulacan province should be your next destination.
Bulacan has 569 barangays, 21 municipalities and three-component towns that offer the “Tatak Bulakenyo” experience.
Let’s start with Angat, a mountainous and hilly town in the province of Bulacan.
Angat has an abundance of trees which makes it a source of timber and timber materials. The mountainous areas and lands close to the river bank are rich in silica mineral deposit.
The vast area around the Angat River is a very high source of rocks and pebbles used for building and gardening.
The town of Balagtas, formerly known as Bigaa, was renamed in honor of the Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas, born in Barangay Panginay, a Filipino Tagalog litterateur and poet during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. The town’s specialty is bottled sardines.
Baliuag is also famous for Buntal hats. By 1910 hat weaving had become a booming industry in the city with at least one weaver in every household.
By 1920, the production of buntal hats from Baliuag was a major dollar-earning export in the world market, known as the “Pamana hat”.
In 1923, a Chinese businessman from Hong Kong hired Filipino weavers, but the business collapsed when World War II engulfed Asia. After the war, Baliuag rebounded when Joaquin Villones hired 5,000 weavers.
Bocaue, Bulacan, the “Fireworks Capital of the Philippines”, is known nationwide for its booming fireworks industry and has been frequented by thousands of shoppers, especially in preparation for the celebrations of New Year.
The city of Bulakan is the birthplace of Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar, also known as “Plaridel”. He was born in San Nicolas, Bulakan on August 30, 1850, and the youngest of ten siblings to the wealthy Don Julian del Pilar and Doña Blasa Gatmaitan family.
It is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines. It became the capital of the Provincia de la Pampanga, and later became the first capital of the province of Bulacan before being moved to Malolos shortly after the American occupation.
The town of Bustos is home to the Bustos Dam, also known as the Angat Afterbay Dam.
It is famous for the Minasa festival which is traditionally held every two weeks in January. The festival is named after the famous milk biscuit of this city.
The biscuit is called “minasa” because of the literal and actual hand mixing and flattening of the flour mixture or dough.
Minasa cookies are toasted and are the less sweet version of cookies.
Dona Remedios Trinidad
Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT) is known as the last frontier of Bulacan due to its natural surroundings and is the least crowded town in the province.
The municipality was named in honor of Dona Remedios T. Romualdez, mother of First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who was a “Bulakenya” from the city of Baliuag. DRT is an essentially agricultural commune.
Agricultural products such as sweet pineapples are the main source of income for the town and its inhabitants.
Calumpit is known for the famous variation of longganisa which is oilier and garlicky known as “Longganisang Bawang” made with lean pork, pork fat, garlic, bay leaves, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, paprika and possibly chili.
Guiguinto is famous for the “Halaman Festival” which now attracts crowds among the “plantitos” and “plantitas” and is similar to the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio, Sinulog in Cebu and Dinagyang in Iloilo.
The Halaman Festival showcases the city’s industry – the ornamental garden plants and landscape industry – which are now recognized in many parts of the country.
Hagonoy is a fishing town with 7,837.65 hectares devoted to fish farming. It is home to around 1,423 fish pond operators and a place for trading aquaculture products.
The city has a variety of crops which include prawns, prawns, milkfish, tilapia, crabs, mussels, and oysters.
City of Malolos
The town of Malolos is the seat of the provincial government of Bulacan. It is also famous for Ensaymada Malolos, a cheese bun with salted eggs, Inipit, a pressed cream sponge cake, Otap bread and Biringheng Bulacan, originally an indigenous dish of sticky rice with walnut cream. coconut cooked with turmeric.
Marilao is short for “Maria de la O” or Pregnant Virgin of Expectation, the place where you can celebrate the Luyang Dilaw (turmeric) festival. The delicacies that are famous in this city include the best-selling special suman or rice cake made from sticky rice, special morwekos with buko and latik (coconut caramel) and other sweet delicacies like pinipig suman with buko and bibingka with plan de leche garnish.
City of Meycauayan
The town of Meycauayan is known for its jewelry industry.
The city is known as the jewelry capital of the Philippines due to its assortment of small artisan businesses engaged in the production of jewelry from precious metals like gold and precious and semi-precious stones, including lab-grown diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls.
About 97% of jewelry manufacturing businesses are sole proprietorships, with the oldest being established in the 1950s.
Norzagaray is the location of the Angat Dam which sits on the lower realms of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The dam is an important source of water and electricity for the National Capital Region.
Today, the city is developing rapidly in terms of commercial and economic status with great tourism potential.
Bakas, on part of the Angat River, is recognized as one of the busiest places in the locality, especially during the summer.
Obando is famous for the Fertility Festival honoring the patron saints San Pascual, Baylon, Sta. Clara and Nuestra Señora de Salambao in May.
Childless couples take this opportunity to intercede in heaven and dance to please the Virgin of Salambao, San Pascual and Sta Clara. Young girls and single people who want husbands and wives also dance for their friends. Farmers also thank the Virgin for their bountiful harvests.
Pandi is the youngest town in Bulacan. The current site of the municipal building was then surrounded by high and massive walls similar to the famous walls of Intramuros.
During the Philippine Revolution, Pandi played a vital role in the struggle for Philippine independence. It was in Kakarong of Sili that about 6,000 Katipuneros from different cities of Bulacan, led by General Eusebio Roque, known as “Maestrong Sebio”, gathered and the “Republic of Kakarong” was organized shortly after Balintawak’s cry.
Paombong is nicknamed the vinegar capital of the Philippines. It is famous for its vinegar extracted from the sap of sasa (nipa) known as “Sukang Paombong” in Luzon and other parts of the country.
Among its main industries are the planting of Carabao grass, Bermuda grass, Bluegrass and many others which are used for gardening and landscaping.
Plaridel annually celebrates the Salubong Festival every December 29 by hosting St. James, the equestrian replica of the Grand. The city is one of the first settlements to be established in 1590 under the name “Encomienda”.
The parish church of Santiago Apostol has a unique Moorish architectural style among Augustinian churches in the province.
It was here that the silver and jewelry of San Agustin in Intramuros, Manila was kept during the British occupation in 1762-1763.
The city of Pulilan is famous for its Carabao festival. Here you will see carabaos parading who will kneel as they pass through the parish church of San Isidro Labrador in honor of the town’s patron saint. Rice production and livestock/poultry rearing are the most common agro-processing activities in Pulilan.
San Ildefonso is known as the vegetable basket of Bulacan and the leader in the production of fresh vegetables like ampalaya, eggplant, pechay, squash, pepper, tomato, okra and other well-known vegetables in region 3.
It is home to Yuka Saso, 2021 US Women’s Open Golf champion, Filipino-Japanese golfer and two-time Asian Games gold medalist in individual and team events.
San Jose del Monte
San Jose Del Monte City is the 18th most populous city in the Philippines and home to the largest resettlement areas in the country such as Sapang Palay which spans 36 barangays, Pabahay 2000 in Barangay Muzon and Towerville Minuyan Proper.
Most of the city’s population came from former informal settlers along the creeks, esteros, riverbanks and railroads of Metro Manila.
The Tanglawan festival is famous in the city with the Tanglawan dance, a joyous routine showing their source of life as farmers dedicating their performance to Saint Joseph. The major agricultural crops in the city are leafy vegetables, root crops, pineapple, mango, and coffee beans. There are 60 commercial livestock and poultry farms in the city.
Sta. Maria is the “capital of Chicharon” where you can find the best fried pork belly Chicharon and different types made not only from pork, but also from mutton, beef, chicken and fried vegetables.
San Miguel, Bulacan is famous for its sweet candies made from 100% pure Carabao milk called pastillas.
San Rafael attracts many tourists each year during the city’s pride celebration – the Festival of Angels – in honor of its 2nd patron Saint Raphael. It is a colorful celebration in honor of the Seven Archangels every September 29.
The festival is highlighted with a parade attended by children from public and private schools in the city dressed in angel costumes that look like angels have descended from heaven into the city of San Rafael.
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