Discover Bocaue: A Vibrant Municipality in the Heart of Bulacan

Bocaue, officially known as the Municipality of Bocaue (Bayan ng Bocaue in Tagalog), is a first-class municipality located in Bulacan, Philippines. With a population of 141,412 people according to the 2020 census, Bocaue is part of the expanding built-up area of Manila, extending to San Ildefonso in the north. The town is intersected by the picturesque Bocaue River.

Notable attractions in Bocaue include a town museum situated near the center and the vibrant Bocaue River Festival, which takes place annually on the first Sunday of July. This lively celebration commemorates the Holy Cross of Wawa, an important religious symbol for the predominantly Roman Catholic population.
The town derives its name from the ancient Tagalog term “Bukawe,” which refers to a tall variety of bamboo known as “Schyzostachyum lima.”


Bocaue was initially established by Franciscan missionaries as a barrio and visita of Meycauayan in 1582. It gained town status on April 11, 1606, under the patronage of San Martin de Tours. It was the first town to gain independence from the larger Meycauayan, which encompassed the present territories of Meycauayan City, Marilao, Santa Maria, San Jose del Monte City, Obando, and Valenzuela City.

Following the Philippine-American War, the Philippine Commission was tasked with reorganizing municipalities and provinces. In 1903, Bulacan province reduced the number of towns from 26 to 19. Balagtas merged with Bocaue, serving as the seat of government before being transferred to Bocaue. However, Bocaue regained its independence and was reestablished as a town in 1911.
Tragedy struck during the Bocaue River Festival on July 2, 1993, when over 500 people rode the overloaded “floating pagoda” for the Holy Cross of Wawa. The boat sank, resulting in the loss of more than two hundred lives. Unfortunately, no one has been held accountable for this devastating incident, known as the Bocaue Pagoda Tragedy.

On the morning of December 31, 2007, ten fireworks stores in Barangay Turo caught fire, causing a series of explosions and injuring seven people.


Bocaue, located in the mid-southwestern portion of Bulacan, is approximately 27 kilometers (17 mi) northeast of Manila via the MacArthur Highway. It is also 18 kilometers (11 mi) away from Malolos City. Covering a land area of 3,187 hectares or 31.87 kmĀ² (12.31 sq mi), the town is bordered by Balagtas and a portion of Santa Maria to the north, Marilao and Obando to the south, a larger portion of Santa Maria to the east, a portion of Bulakan to the southwest, and a portion of Balagtas to the west.

Traversed by the Bocaue River, which is formed by the confluence of Santa Maria River and San Jose River, Bocaue is part of the Angat drainage basin. This basin, along with its distributaries, is fed by the Sierra Madre mountain range, the primary source of the Angat River. The rivers in Bocaue are home to man-made fish ponds used for fish farming, particularly bangus and tilapia.
Historically, Bocaue, along with Balagtas, Guiguinto, and Pandi, comprised the 2nd district of Bulacan. However, it would later be known as the 5th district of Bulacan.

Bocaue is politically divided into 19 barangays, each consisting of puroks and some including sitios.


The Philippine Stadium, also known as the New Era University Stadium, is a sports stadium situated within the Ciudad de Victoria, a 75-hectare tourism enterprise zone spanning Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan. Boasting a capacity of up to 25,000, it stands as the largest stadium in the Philippines.

During the opening of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the spotlight was on the Philippine Arena. This indoor multi-purpose arena, which serves as the centerpiece of Ciudad de Victoria, stands adjacent to the Philippine Stadium. With a seating capacity of 55,000, it proudly holds the distinction of being the largest indoor arena in the world since its completion in 2014.