The most practical way to get to Bulacan is to travel by land. From Metro Manila, it takes about two to three hours by public transportation. You can travel even faster if you choose to drive there yourself.
To date, bus companies such as Baliwag Transit, Five Star, Golden Bee, and First North Luzon Transit have trips to almost all parts of Bulacan like Baliuag, Bocaue, Calumpit, Hagonoy, and Malolos. In addition, Philippine Rabbit, Victory Liner, and Aladdin Transit also pass by Bulacan via the Tabang exit.
For those coming from other parts of the Philippines or from other countries, the option is either to fly in at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, and ride a bus headed for Bulacan. Another option is to fly in at the Clark International Airport in Mabalacat, Pampanga. From there, you can take a bus or jeep to Bulacan.
How to Get Around
Getting around Bulacan is generally easy and hassle-free. In major highways, public jeepneys are available to take you from one place to the other. Longer commutes between municipalities in the province can be done via UV Express vans. For shorter distances around town, the tricycle is your best option.
What to See
The province of Bulacan has quite a story to tell, which can be seen and felt by visitors when they go around the historical structures and various landmarks around.
For starters, the Biak-na-Bato National Park in San Miguel, Bulacan, is a protected area and national park where the Biak-na-Bato Republic was established as the first republic in the Philippines. At present, the park attracts nature lovers and thrill-seekers in particular given its challenging rock formations, hanging bridges, a system of rivers and trails, and a network of caves such as the Bahay Paniki, Aguinaldo, Madlum, and Tanggapan.
Another iconic Bulacan landmark is the Barasoain Church, located in Malolos City. Also known as the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, the church was built in 1859 and has been known for its grand architectural features and ornamentations as well as the significant role it played in the history of the country. The church is the site of the convention of the First Philippine Congress, the site where the Malolos Constitution was drafted and where the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic was held.
The Basilica Minore Del Nuestra Señora de Immaculada Concepcion is another historic structure in Malolos. Completed in 1817, the Malolos Cathedral, as it is more widely known, once served as the seat of governance of Emilio Aguinaldo, the First President of the Republic of the Philippines. Due to natural calamities and man-made faults, the cathedral went through several renovations over the years but has kept its notable Baroque architecture. Today, the cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Malolos.
Another historic church in Bulacan is the San Juan Bautista Parish Church in the town of Calumpit. It is oldest church in all of Bulacan, having been built in 1572. The church features Baroque architecture, as seen on its façade that exemplifies the hard work of the country’s local artisans. It remains as the grand symbol of faith and Catholicism in Calumpit.
The Marcelo H. Del Pilar National Shrine is a landmark built to commemorate the life of the honorable Filipino lawyer, poet, and propagandist Marcelo Del Pilar. He is also regarded as the “Father of Philippine Journalism.” The shrine features Del Pilar’s monument and tomb as well as his family’s mausoleum, museum, and library. On the other hand, the Battle of Quingua Monument in Plaridel, Bulacan was built to remember the lives of all Filipinos who fought valiantly for the country’s freedom during the Philippine-American War.
A visit to Bulacan is not complete without dropping by some of the colonial houses that give visitors a peek into the lives of well-off families back in the day. The Enriquez Ancestral House in San Jose, the Tecson House in San Miguel, and the Mercado House in Bustos are just some of the noteworthy ancestral houses that history buffs need to see while in the province. The Bahay na Tisa in the town of Balagtas is the home of the “Father of Tagalog Poetry,” Franciso Baltazar and also a must-see when in town.
For those who love the great outdoors, a hiking adventure up Mt. Manalmon is highly recommended. It is located in San Miguel Bulacan and is part of the historic Biak-na-Bato Natural Park. Another mountain ideal for hiking in San Miguel is Mt. Gola. Both mountains are easy to climb so you don’t have to worry if you’re new to hiking. Don’t forget to bring a camera so you can take stunning pictures once you're at an altitude of about 200 meters above sea level.
The Bayukbok Cave is another natural attraction in San Miguel that is also part of Biak-na-Bato Natural Park. Guests can experience spelunking through the cave’s various rock formations. This activity requires physical strength so make sure you are conditioned and prepared enough before signing up. But once you get there, you will be rewarded with a sight of incredible limestone formations and other wonders inside the cave.
For those who would like to swim in soothing and refreshing cool waters, a trip to Bakas River in Norzagaray is recommended. The river got its name from the limestone formation where the water flows, which is said to resemble the “bakas” or foot print of the Philippine mythology character, Bernardo Carpio. Though the waters are clean and refreshing, visitors are advised not to swim near the bank because of the strong and unpredictable current.
Bulacan has no beaches but it has quite a number of pools and resorts that you can visit especially when the heat in the city becomes unbearable. Adventure Resort in Norzagaray, Sitio Antonio Wave Pool Resort in Pandi, and Malolos Resort Club Royale in Malolos are some of the properties in the province with quality facilities and attractions that you and your family can enjoy.
Another place impressive man-made wonder to visit in Bulacan is the Angat Afterbay Regulatory Dam or Bustos Dam, which is made of rubber. Its surrounding areas are perfect for a stroll or a nice picnic with family or friends.
Immerse yourself in the history, arts, and culture of Bulacan by visiting one of the many museums found around the province. The Casa Real Shrine was once a printing press and a municipal library. Now, it is a museum that features relics and memorabilia of the 20 Women of Malolos, whose courage and bravery were acknowledged by Dr. Jose Rizal in a letter he penned in 1889.
The Museo ng Bulacan has an impressive collection of articles, documents, and artifacts that narrates the story of the Philippine revolution, while the Baliuag Museum, showcases galleries where visitors can gain knowledge about Baliuag’s historical and cultural heritage. For more artifacts, municipal antiques, and other mementos from the days of the establishment of the country’s first constitution, a visit to the Barasoain Ecclesiastical Museum comes highly recommended.
A stunning sight when passing by NLEX, the Philippine Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena that stands on 140-hectares of land in Bocaue, Bulacan. This landmark, which currently holds the title as the world’s largest indoor arena, is owned by Iglesia Ni Cristo, the third largest religious group in the Philippines. The Philippine Arena is the venue for the group’s church gatherings, live concerts of international performers, and various sporting events and tournaments. The arena opened in 2014 and can accommodate as many as 55,000 people.
Events and Festivals
Almost every town in Bulacan celebrates their own fiesta at different times each year. Participating in these feasts is a great way to see the colorful culture and heritage of every Bulakeño. Some of the highly anticipated festivals in Bulacan are the Baliuag Lenten Procession every Good Friday, the Calumpit Libad Festival every June, the Santa Cruzan in Malolos every May, the Obando Fertility Dance every May, and the Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue every July.
Where to Shop
When it comes to shopping, retail giants SM Malls and Robinsons Malls have put up several shopping centers in most key towns and cities in Bulacan such as Malolos, Pulilan, Marilao, and Baliuag. Other malls to visit in the province include Walter Mart, Starmall, Graceland Mall, and Balagtas Town Center.
For those who want to buy pasalubong, the town of Bustos is home to the delicious delicacy called minasa, a kind of cookie made from cassava flour, egg yolk, yeast, butter, and coco milk. Herschel Candies are also a popular take home goodies as well as the sweet crisp rolls called barquillos. Meanwhile, those who want to shop for fireworks and firecrackers should visit Bocaue where some of the country’s top manufacturers of fireworks are based.
Where to Eat
Like anywhere else in the Philippines, Bulacan is home to quite a number of restaurants that will surely satisfy your cravings, be it for local food or international.
Hapag Restaurant and Events Place is found in Malolos. The place comes highly recommended due to its array of scrumptious and pocket-friendly Filipino dishes. Some of their must-tries are the hapag rice, lechon kawali kare-kare, and their 3-in-1 sinigang.
As its name suggests, Our Kitchen: Where East Meets West has a menu of delectable French, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, and Filipino food. Everything is guaranteed to be delicious and affordable. One of their highly recommended dishes is their sinful pork baby back ribs.
Another favorite Filipino restaurant in Malolos is Citang’s at Kuatro Kantos. Those who love merienda treats like goto, tokwa’t baboy, putong puti, and sapin-sapin will certainly enjoy all of its tasty offerings. Nina’s Fried Itik Restaurant in Plaridel is not one to be left behind. They are famous for their quail or itik dishes. Their fried catfish and crispy dinuguan are favorites too.
If you’re in the mood for some Chinese food, Le Foo Panciteria in Pulilan is where you should go. For those who love coffee and all-day breakfast meals, CAFÉ+ in Plaridel, Coficut Brews & Booze in Baliuag, and Café Nenzo in Meycauayan are some of the recommended places.
Fare: PHP 200.00 to PHP 3,000.00
Bus fares from Manila to various points in Bulacan cost about PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00, one way. Fares will vary depending on the distance and the kind of bus you will take whether ordinary, air conditioned, or deluxe. Meanwhile, domestic flights to Manila and Clark is around PHP 3,000.00.
When going around Bulacan, you will be taking jeeps, tricycles, or vans (UV Express). The minimum jeep fare is about PHP 7.00, the tricycle fare is about PHP 10.00 to PHP 20.00, while the van is PHP 50.00.
Food: PHP 150.00 to PHP 500.00
The great thing about the food in Bulacan is it is highly affordable. Spending PHP 150.00 per meal should already be enough for you to enjoy a filling meal. You can already treat a friend to a feast with a budget of PHP 500.00.
Shopping: PHP 30.00 to PHP 3,500.00
Key chains and ref magnets cost about PHP 30.00 per piece. Souvenir shirts are priced starting at PHP 200.00 depending on the design and quality of fabric. For PHP 225.00, you can already take home a box of inipit from Eurobake. For fireworks and firecrackers, prices go for as low as PHP 10.00 per bundle to as much as PHP 3,500.00.
Accommodations: PHP 800 to PHP 2,500.00 per room
You can already book an overnight stay in a basic room for just PHP 800.00. A stay in a quality hotel starts at PHP 2,500.00 per night.
Activities: PHP 50.00 to PHP 1,000.00
Entrance fees to most museums start at PHP 50.00 per head. The Bakas River has no entrance fee, but renting a cottage by the river costs about PHP 200.00. Spelunking activities can go for as low as PHP 40.00 per person, though the tour guide will cost you a flat rate of PHP 300.00. Guided tours of the city are also available and can go for as much as PHP 1,000.00. For a day trip at the resorts in Bulacan, expect to pay about PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per head.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
Most restaurants already include a 10% service charge in the bill so tipping isn’t really necessary. You can leave a PHP 20.00 or a PHP 50.00 note if you insist on leaving a tip.
||Depart Manila for San Miguel, Bulacan.
||ETA in San Miguel, Bulacan. Have breakfast at Rockwood Café & Restaurant before heading to Biak-na-Bato Natural Park for mountain climbing.
||ETA at the jumping-off point for Mt. Manalmon. Register and begin the trek.
||ETA at the summit of Mt. Manalmon
||Start the descent from the mountain.
||ETA at the jumping-off point. Because of the succeeding activities, it’s best to have lunch at the eateries available in the area instead of going back to town.
||Start spelunking at Bayukbok Caves.
||Swim at the Madlum River.
||Head back to town and check-in at your hotel of choice. Settle down and freshen up before heading out for dinner.
||Have dinner at Batchy’s Lechon & Grill House and feast on chicken or pork barbecue and a hearty serving of lechon after the day’s strenuous activities.
||Head back to the resort and retire for the night.
||Check out of the hotel and depart San Miguel for Malolos.
||ETA in Malolos and have breakfast at Citang’s. Order a steaming bowl of goto and pair it with sapin-sapin and a cup of coffee.
||Visit the Barasoain Church and the Barasoain Ecclesiastical Museum.
||Visit Casa Real Shrine.
||Have lunch at Hapag Restaurant and Events Place. Be sure to try their hapag rice and lechon kawali kare-kare.
||Visit the Bautista Mansion.
||Visit the Bulacan Museum.
||Visit the Basilica Minore de Immaculada Concepcion.
||Have early dinner at Kabisera Restaurant and enjoy a feast of kabiserang manok, steamed tilapia, and krispy sisig.
||Head back to the hotel and relax for the rest of the evening.
||Check out of the hotel. Have breakfast at Citang’s again before heading back to Manila.
||Depart Malolos for Manila.
||ETA in Manila
The average temperature in Bulacan ranges from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius, so expect your visit to be hot especially from March to May. On the other hand, June to November are considered the wet months so rains and even typhoons could be frequent.
Bring light and airy clothes during your trip to Bulacan. A light jacket or a scarf should be good enough to keep you warm during the cooler nights. Always bring an umbrella, cap, and sunglasses with you.
Should you need medical attention, health care facilities are available throughout the province. Most big and private hospitals are located in key cities and towns, while the rural areas have small clinics and health centers. Pharmacies and other drug stores are also available throughout the province. However, it is highly advisable that you bring your own medicine, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Don’t forget to bring insect repellants and bottled water if you will be camping or hiking.
As you go around town, you will be taking jeeps and tricycles, which are open air vehicles. Avoid inhaling pollutants by covering your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or by wearing a face mask.
Bulacan is generally safe and a peaceful place to visit. But just like anywhere else in the world, always be alert and vigilant, especially if you’re traveling alone. Keep your valuables close to you especially your gadgets when in crowded places such as markets. Avoid wearing too much jewelry as well.