Feel the heart and soul of the Philippines in Bulacan. Its history and tradition, its land, culture and its people. Truly a melting pot of the past and the present, the old and the new, the countryside and the urbane. Bulacan is noted as the land of heroes, beautiful women, progressive cooperatives, small and medium-scale industries. It is also known for excellent craftsmanship in making jewelries, leather crafts, buntal hats, pyrotechnics, bone in-laid furnitures and garments. Bulacan also has emerged into a reputable resort haven of Luzon. Just a few minutes north of Manila by car, Bulacan resorts provide an accessible and welcome respite from the pressures of city life.
The province's name is derived from the Tagalog word 'bulak' meaning cotton, which was its former principal product. Bulacan started with small fishing settlements along the coast of Manila Bay and expanded into the interior with the coming of the Spaniards. These settlements formed the nucleus of towns that were founded from 1572 (Bulacan and Calumpit) to 1750 (San Rafael). In 1848, the town of San Miguel was annexed to Bulacan from Pampanga. Bulacan was one of the first eight provinces to rise against Spanish rule. The first phase of the Philippine Revolution ended with the signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in San Miguel in 1897 between the Filipinos and the Spaniards, after which Aguinaldo was exiled to Hong Kong. The second phase saw the drafting of the constitution of the first Philippine Republic by the Malolos Congress at Barasoain Church in 1898. The subsequently established republic had its capital at Malolos until President Emilio Aguinaldo transferred it to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija in 1899 when the Filipino-American broke out. When the Americans established a civil government in the Philippines, they held the first election in the country in the town of Baliuag on May 6, 1899. Bulacan is the home province of heroes like Francisco Baltazar (Balagtas), "The Prince of Filipino Poets", Marcelo H. Del Pilar, "The Great Propagandist" and Gregorio del Pilar, "The Hero of Tirad Pass".
Like the rest of Central Luzon, Bulacan's climate consists of two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet for the rest of the year.
Biak-na-Bato National Park in San Miguel. The exact place where the late President Emilio Aguinaldo once took refuge while leading the resistance movement against the Spanish and American colonizers. It contains "palisades" or rows of columns which developed into walls partitioning off the cave into several rooms. Activity Recommended: Spelunking
Barasoain Church, Biak-na-Bato Shrine in San Miguel, Pyrotechnics of Bocaue, dairy delicacy called Pastillas de Leche in San Miguel de Mayumo (Sevilla Sweets), famous ensaymada and inipit of Malolos, minasa of Bustos, crunchy sitsaron of Bocaue and Sta. Maria, vinegar from Paombong, sinigang na ulang, sugpo and tilapia, bone in-lay furniture and Buntal hat of Baliuag, hand-woven and embroidered fabric and hand-crafted decors from Sta. Maria and Bustos, fine terra cotta in Calumpit, Jewelry art of Meycauyan, Pulilan Carabao Festival, Obando Fertility Dance Festival, Pastillas Festival and Sto Nino Festival
Bulacan is in the southwestern part of Central Luzon. It is bounded on the north by Nueva Ecija, on the east by Aurora and Quezon, on the west by Pampanga and on the south by Rizal, Metro Manila and Manila Bay.
How to get there
All buses bound for Northern parts of Luzon pass through Bulacan. Malolos is a near 30-minute ride from Manila. Baliuag Transit in Cubao has buses that leave every half hour for Baliuag and Hagonoy.
The language used in the province is predominantly Tagalog. Other dialects used by the townsfolk are Waray, Ilocano, Bicolano and Kapampangan.
The province of Bulacan is veering away from being an agricultural area to an industrialized one. Its proximity to Manila gives it the advantage as a favored site of industrial establishment including leather tanning, cement bag making, ceramic textiles, food processing, shoe making, and many others. The majority in the rural areas, however, are still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Rice is the principal crop, followed by corn, vegetables and fruits.
Bulacan consists of 24 towns with Malolos City as the provincial capital.
Bulacan's population is 1,502,343 and still growing.
Light casual clothes are recommended. An umbrella and a raincoat are must during the rainy season. Adopt to local customs and accept local differences (whether social or cultural). When shopping in a public market, haggle for the cheapest price. Always bring loose change when taking public transport to avoid inconvenience. Learn some local basic phrases. They may come very handy.
The history of the province from the Spanish occupation has been replete with events worthy of recollection. As early as the time of the coming of Legaspi to conquer Manila with two of his subordinate officers, Martin de Goiti and Juan Salcedo, the Bulakeños thru their seafaring brothers from Hagonoy showed their instinctive love of country by helping Raja Soliman, King of Manila, fight the Battle of the Bangkusay Channel.
The history began when a small settlement of fishermen lived along the coast of Manila Bay before the coming of the Spaniards. Later on, these settlers became farmers after moving inwards as they discovered that the land in the interior part was fertile and very much drained by the network of rivers and streams. These settlers grew and flourished into large and prosperous settlement now known as the province of Bulacan. It is believed that flowers bloomed in the region when the Spaniards came. Because of these sprawling green orchards, vegetables and profusely flowering plants, as well as beautiful women, this lovely land had come to be called Bulacan as sort of shortened term for "bulak-lakan" and/or a derivative of the word "bulak" (kapok) which abound in the province even before the Spaniards came.
The signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897 was a brilliant chapter in the history of Bulacan. However, the crowning glory among the series of historical events in the province was the establishment of the Capital of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos. The Malolos Church and the Barasoain Church will be both remembered as the executive headquarters of President Aguinaldo and as the Legislative, from September 10, 1898 to March 29, 1899. It was also in Malolos that the famous and historical document, the Malolos Constitution, was drafted and ratified.
Bulacan is also the cradle of noble heroes, of great men and women. The early people of Bulacan, being descendants of a freedom-loving race, had also risen in revolt like their brothers in other parts of the country. Bulacan was one of the eight provinces, which rallied behind the Katipunan's call for an all-out insurrection against the Spanish tyranny in the late 19t h century. It produced the del Pilars, Balagtas, Tecson, Valenzuela, Torres, Estrella, Ponce, Sandico, Panganiban and many others. The Bulakeños take fierce pride in their history and tradition and they live by these glories. By these glories, they are quick to display leadership and seek fullest commitment to national goals.
Source: History of Bulacan
By Francisco Calalang
LOCATION & PHYSICAL PROFILE
Far East Asia
On the western tip of the Pacific lies the Republic of the Philippines. The country is bound by Taiwan on the north, Indonesia on the south, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore on the southwest, and Australia and New Zealand farther southeast.
The Philippines is strategically positioned at the crossroads of the Asia Pacific Region, serving as the gateway for European and American enterprises wanting to penetrate Asia.
Composed of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines has a land area of 300,439 square kilometers (116,000 squares miles) populated by almost 80 million people. It is a tropical country endowed with abundant natural resources.
The Philippines is at the threshold of full economic recovery in spite and despite of global and domestic economic crisis brought about by a confluence of factors including terrorism, the war in the Middle East, El Niño drought and other natural plagues.
The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) managed to grow by 3.4% a bit higher than the official projections of 3.3%. The agriculture sector grew by 3.9% while the gross value in industry and services exhibited 1.9% and 4.3% growth rates respectively. The prospects of economic performances of the country continue to show positive improvements. The sound economic policies of the present administration have brought an environment conducive to growth and employment as more policies are expected to sustain growth and stability in 2003.
Anywhere you go in the country today, you will see signs of growth and development. Especially when you go to Bulacan, a province that bespeak the glory of Philippines history.
Central Luzon Region
The Province of Bulacan may very well be considered as one of the few provinces in the Philippines that greatly benefit from its geographic location. The province boasts of its strategic location, which is equidistant with the northern and southern parts of Luzon. At the same time, it is proximate and accessible to the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila where most of development impulses originate. Bulacan is one of the seven provinces comprising the Central Luzon Region. It is bounded by the provinces of Aurora and Quezon on the east, Nueva Ecija on the north, Pampanga on the west and Rizal on the southeast and Manila Bay on the southwest.
Dubbed as the "Northern Gateway from Manila," it is in Bulacan where the national trunkline road, Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway, forks in the Cagayan Valley Region in the northeast and towards the rest of North Luzon in the north and northwest. Such accessibility is a key factor that prompted private investors to develop several industrial estates in the province.
Bulacan has also become an important link between the large and consolidated consumer market in Manila and the resource-rich provinces of North Luzon. The province's strategic location is further highlighted in Central Luzon 's regional development as it is expected to play an important role in realizing the "W Growth strategy of the Medium Term Development Plan of the Region."
Bulacan has a total land area of 262,500 hectares or roughly 14 percent of the total area of Central Luzon, the biggest Philippine island, and 0.9% of the country's total land area. The province has 22 municipalities, 2 component cities and 569 barangays. Malolos in the southwestern part is the capital of the province. Of the 22 municipalities and 2 component cities of the province, Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) is the biggest municipality having a total land area of about 93,298 hectares or almost 36 percent of the provincial land total. DRT is followed by the municipalities of San Miguel and Norzagaray with land areas representing more than 6 percent of the provincial total. Obando, on the other hand, has the smallest landmass with only 1,458 hectares or 0.56 percent of the entire area of Bulacan.
Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Subic, and Laoag are the international gateways. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila is the premier gateway. It is served by more than 30 airlines which fly to different cities around the world. The Mactan International Airport (MIA) in Cebu handles regular flights from Japan, Singapore and Australia as well as chartered flights from Hong Kong, the United States and other major travel capitals. Davao International Airport handles regular flights from Indonesia and Singapore. The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and Subic Airfield in Central Luzon service both chartered and cargo planes. Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte services regular flights from Taiwan and Macao .
Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, links Manila to 14 cities in 8 countries. Major cruise liners call on the port of Manila.
By air, Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific provided daily services to major cities and towns. Asian Spirit, Laoag International Airlines, and Seair service the missionary routes. There are also scheduled chartered flights to major domestic destinations serviced by smaller commuter planes.
Metered and fixed rate taxis are widely available in key cities nationwide. Jeepneys and buses are inexpensive ways of getting around most places. In Metro Manila the fastest way of commuting is via the railway system. LRT connects the northern district of Monumento to the southern district of Baclaran with stations situated at major intersections. MRT traverses the length of EDSA and connects North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City, passing through the major arteries of Makati's financial district.
As the islands of the Philippines are separated by different bodies of water, the sea plays an integral part in travel. A range of seafarers are available, from huge cargo ships to small ferry boats; take long trips that last for a day or two with regular ship lines or take shorter ones with ferries. Major cruise liners call on the port of Manila.
Moving around the country by land is easy with national highways connecting the major islands and an extensive public transportation sytem, which includes the exotic Philippine jeepney. Trains, taxis, buses, jeepneys, and trikes are the main modes of public transportation.
The MacArthur Highway traverses the province from north to south. Most major towns can be reached through the North Luzon Expressway. A good number of motor vehicles owned largely by private individuals provide mobility to Bulacan's populace. Aside from five main highways that traverse the province, all roads are widely dispersed throughout Bulacan.
Bus terminals of Baliuag Transit, California Bus Line, Sampaguita Liner and Royal Eagle are in Baliuag, Balagtas and Hagonoy. The main bus lines of Philippine Rabbit, Victory Liner, Aladdin Transit that originate from their main terminals in Manila, Pasay and Quezon City and travel northward to cities and towns in Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, pass through Bulacan via the Tabang exit. read more...