Bulacan isn’t like any other province in the Philippines. Boasting of rich cultural and historical heritage, it prides itself as the birthplace of the First Constitutional Democracy in Asia. It is also home to some of the nation’s most noble heroes and national artists.
With more than 20 municipalities and 569 barangays, the “Northern Gateway from Manila” is jampacked with enough sights and attractions to keep you on your feet for weeks. But if you’re just planning a short trip to the region, we’ve listed down the best things to do in Bulacan.
1. Dance in Obando
Bulakeños sure know how to throw a party. Regardless if it’s on the streets or even in a church! In Obando, Bulacan, locals honor the town’s three patron saints by dressing up in costumes, singing, cheering and dancing on the streets. They even continue the revelries inside the church! But what makes this fiesta very unique is the fertility dance.
Hoards of couples visit the annual three day festival (May 17-19) to supplicate the saints to conceive a child. Couples dance on streets asking the spirits to enter the women’s wombs. Definitely a street party like no other!
2. Go Spelunking in Madlum Cave
Madlum Cave is one of the two caverns found in the Biak na Bato National Park at San Miguel, Bulacan. Known as a historical and ecological attraction, the park is famed for being a hideout of revolting forces during the Spanish colonization and is also where the Malolos Constitution was established by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.
But aside from its historical attributes, not many know that Biak na Bato is also best for adrenaline junkies.
One of its best attractions is Madlum Cave, which requires not only trekking but some swimming, rafting, crossing makeshift bridges and contorting as well to see the breathtaking limestone formations. You may call up the Provincial Tourism Office at (44) 794-96567 for more details on tour guides and schedule.
3. Bike up to the “Baguio of Bulacan” while soaking up the view
If you want to enjoy a cooler weather but Baguio is just too far a drive, you can take a trip to Norzagaray, Bulacan’s Barangay San Lorenzo. Known to locals as “Hilltop”, the area is a frequent cycling route and is famed for its chill weather and fresh air.
Dubbed as “Baguio of Bulacan”, Hilltop also offers a breathtaking view of the Cordillera mountain range and the Angat dam.
While a ride up the site is free, locals offer little huts on the side roads for bikers and tourists to rest and enjoy the breeze and the view. For those who want to stay overnight, The Guesthouse of Hilltop offers non-locals a rental inn for less than Php1000 per night.
4. Visit Casa Real Shrine
Just a short jeepney ride away from the Malolos City center is this historical heritage. Casa Real Shrine is the former tribunal and seat of government during the Spanish occupation.
Built in 1580 as a residence and office for the Gobernadorcillo of Malolos, it also became site to the Imprenta Nacional — the printing press that published some of the most iconic revolutionary materials during the era including La Independencia.
Today, it serves as a museum under the National Historical Institute. It houses relics from the First Philippine Republic including an original reproduction of the Noli Me Tangere from 1887, as well as copies of published newspapers from the Spanish era. Casa Real Shrine is open daily except Mondays, from 8am to 4pm. Entrance is free.
5. Try out Filipino Heroes’ favorite recipes
How many chances does one have to dine with a national hero? Very little if not none. But at Bistro Maloleño in Malolos, you can have a taste of what the Philippines’ heroes had for dinner before they went to battle.
Bistro Maloleño serves authentic Bulakeño dishes while also featuring a unique menu called “Food of Our Heroes”. The bill of fare offers favorite recipes of local heroes, especially those hailing from the southern province.
Some of their specialties are Nilagang Manok na Puti na may Asparagus (Php275.00), believed to be a favorite of Emilio Aguinaldo; Pochero ni Plaridel (Php350.00), the Filipino version of Spanish stew and favorite of Marcelo H. Del Pilar; and Tempura ni Mariano Ponce (Php225.00), the head of the Propaganda Movement in 1896.
Located at Capitol View Park, Malolos, Bistro Maloleño is open from 11:00am to 10:00pm.
6. Cliff-dive at Verdivia Falls
Not many know about the hidden treasure of Dona Remedios Trinidad Bulacan — the Verdivia Falls. Named after its “verde” or green-hued waters, Verdivia Falls is a short trek from Barangay Talbak but is worth the sweat.
With the sound of rushing cool waters flowing through the virgin stream and the greeneries enveloping the area, the site looks like a scene out of a movie!
Aside from swimming in the cool waters, cliff-diving into the safe unchlorinated stream is one of its main attractions. Entrance fee to this natural wonder is dirt cheap at just Php10.00 per head plus Php200.00 for the tourist guide (max of 10pax). Locals of DRT, however, request that tourists keep the Verdivia Falls and its surrounding area clean.
7. View religious relics at Barasoain Church Ecclesiastical Museum
Visiting museums is one of the top things to do in Bulacan, but if there’s one must-see exhibit in the province it would be the Barasoain Church Ecclesiastical Museum. Located in the historical Barasoain Church compound, the religious exhibit is one of two museums in the area.
Unlike other galleries, the Barasoain Church Ecclesiastical Museum serves as reliquary for municipal antiques and religious artifacts from the late 19th century. It has five galleries and offers a modern light and sounds show. The Barasoain Church Ecclesiastical Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 8am to 4pm. Entrance to this Malolos City heritage site is free.
8. Dive into Water World
Known as the biggest resort in Bulacan, Jed’s Island Resort offers a larger than life water experience. It has 30 swimming pools, a stylized waterfall, a fishing lagoon and humongous cartoon sculptures making it perfect for the family. Perfectly located along McArthur Highway in Calumpit,
Bulacan, Jed’s also has a full range of recreational facilities — from a basketball court to a billiards hall, videoke machines (‘cause Filipino love to belt it out!) to a viewing tower (the highest viewing point in the town).
What makes this place a must on your things to do in Bulacan list is the price — day tour is only Php150.00 for adults and Php120.00 for kids. Cottages and overnight suites are also available in the area starting at Php300.00.
9. Delight your taste buds with Exotic Pinoy Dishes
If you’re an adventurous foody then Plaridel, Bulacan is the place to be. A food stop called Nina’s Fried Itik Restaurant serves up unusual yet incredibly delicious dishes in town. Located at 358 Santala Street, Nina’s is famous for its Itik recipes (dark-feathered ducks).
You can try out their iconic recipes including Fried Itik (Php170.00), Fried Hito (Catfish) for Php160.00, Crispy Dinuguan (Php180.00) and Adobong Itik (Php170.00). Nina’s Fried Itik Restaurant should be a must add to your things to do in Bulacan list.
10. Get wet at the Calumpit Libad Festival
Prepare to get soaked as the annual festival celebrates the Feast of St John the Baptist by dousing water on passersby — aka “baptizing” the patrons. A procession on the river is held every month of June with beautifully decorated pagodas, or barges, carrying the parishioners and devotees of the saint.
Enjoy the fiesta with townsfolk from every village of Calumpit as they sing, dance and get wet. They get to party in the streets at night too! Bring yourself and extra clothes, and the locals will gladly have you onboard their barge for free!
11. Stop over at Bulacan Pasalubong Center
With over two dozen municipalities, Bulacan is not only rich in culture but in culinary legacy as well. And if you want to taste all the best of the province in one roof, Bulacan Pasalubong Center is your go-to place. It offers all the best Bulacan-made products — from food to novelty.
Don’t forget to score pastillas made from Carabao’s milk from San Miguel, Bulacan, creamy inipit from Malolos, crunchy chicharon from Sta. Maria, intricate hand-made jewelry from Meycauayan, and the famous sukang Bulacan from Paombong. You can find Bulacan Pasalubong Center at the Provincial Capitol Compound in Malolos City.
12. Join the Santacruzan
In Bulacan, they do beauty pageants differently. Ditch the fancy, decorated stages because they bring the extravaganza to the streets. The Santacruzan is a famed procession in the Philippines which caps Flores de Mayo — an annual festival held every May.
It’s celebrated all over the province as commemoration for the religious-historical search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena and Constantine the Great.
The Santacruzan is highlighted by glamorous ball gowns, flower-decorated arches and spotlights following each belle as they parade through town. Whether you get to be chosen as one of the participants or just a spectator on the streets, you’re sure to be awed by this glamorfest.
13. Dine at Lee Foo Panciteria
Lee Foo Panciteria has established itself as the must-dine spot if you’re looking to satisfy your cravings with Chinese food. Serving delicious and affordable meals to Bulakeños for over 35 years, locals have made the restaurant an icon in the province.
Aside from signature Chinese dishes like Sweet n Sour pork and Shanghai Rolls, their Pancit Canton (Php125.00 for two) and Canton Tostado (Php160.00 for two) are must tries as well. Lee Foo Panciteria has several branches in Pulilan and Guiguinto, Bulacan.
14. Visit the Largest Indoor Arena in the World
In 2014, Bulacan also became the new hub of Sporting events in the country with the inauguration of the Philippine Arena. The multi-purpose gigantium covers over 100 hectares and can seat 55,000 people. Aside from being home to some of the biggest sporting events in the country — PBA games, boxing, matches, international football competitions — it also hosts community events and recreational activities.
Every Saturday night, Zumba classes are held on the grounds, while locals are encouraged to bike and jog around the area. A night market opening at 4pm also welcomes locals and tourists who want to unwind and have a great Bulacan experience.
15. Rappel down the Eiffel Tower in Norzagaray
An hour-drive away from Manila is a little patch of Paris. Adventure Resort in Gulad, Tigbe has the iconic Eiffel Tower right in its compound. The iconic Paris structure serves as a rappelling tower with an anchor point of 40ft. Perfect for adventure seekers, it also has a 40 foot-high zipline, a wall climbing facility and a mudslide.
For kids and those who just want to relax, swimming pools and a garden can also be enjoyed.
Enjoy a fun experience and check out other tourist spots to visit, restaurants to try and more in Bulacan. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!