Bulakan: A Tapestry of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Bulakan, officially known as the Municipality of Bulakan (Bayan ng Bulakan in Tagalog), is a first-class municipality in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. It has a population of 81,232 people, as per the 2020 census. Situated 35 kilometers (22 mi) north of Manila, Bulakan holds the distinction of being one of the oldest towns in the Philippines. It was previously the capital of the Provincia de la Pampanga and later became the first capital of the Province of Bulacan before being relocated to Malolos during the American occupation.

Regarding the use of “c” or “k” to refer to the municipality, the New Provincial Administrative Code of Bulacan (Ordinance no. C-004) of 2007 clarifies that “Bulakan” represents the municipality and the first capital of the province, while “Bulacan” refers to the province itself. The name “Bulakan” is derived from the Tagalog word “bulak,” which means “cotton” in English, as the region was once abundant in cotton plants.

The Historical Tapestry of Bulakan

Bulakan, steeped in rich historical significance, has witnessed and actively shaped the narrative of the Philippines. As the first capital of the province, Bulakan bestowed its name upon the entire region, following the tradition of other early Philippine provinces like Cavite, Cavite; Tayabas, Tayabas (now Quezon Province); and Batangas, Batangas. It thrived as an economic hub, establishing robust trade links with Manila, thanks to its close proximity and navigable river. In 1591, an early census recorded a population of approximately 4800 individuals. The town was governed by an alcalde mayor and administered by an Augustinian convent. It comprised several barrios, many of which underwent name changes or mergers over time.

The BulaqueƱos, the early inhabitants of Bulakan, made a living through agriculture, fishing, and various handicrafts, particularly weaving. However, the town’s significance extends far beyond its economic prowess. Bulakan became the setting for a monumental battle during the brief British occupation of Manila. Despite the valiant resistance of local inhabitants and Spanish forces, they were ultimately defeated by the British, led by Captain Slay. Nevertheless, a determined group of Filipino guerillas, under the leadership of Spanish commander Jose Pedro de Busto, engaged in a fierce nine-day battle that forced the British to retreat to Manila.

Symbolic of the town’s deep-seated Catholic faith is the ancient Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. It proudly holds the distinction of being the second oldest Roman Catholic church in the province and served as the birthplace of Flores de Mayo, a feast honoring the Virgin Mary. Although it lost some of its former prominence with the establishment of the Diocese of Malolos, the church stands as a testament to the region’s rich religious history. Today, Bulakan continues to prosper through trade and commerce with neighboring towns and Manila, cherishing its vibrant coastline and the wealth of historical significance it embodies.


Bulakan, a municipality nestled in the southwest corner of Bulacan province, is surrounded by several neighboring towns. It shares borders with Guiguinto to the north, Manila Bay to the south, Bocaue to the east, Malolos to the northwest, Balagtas to the northeast, Meycauayan to the southeast, and Obando to the southwest.
Located approximately 35 kilometers (22 mi) from Manila, Bulakan encompasses an area of about 72.90 square kilometers (28.15 sq mi), which constitutes 2.7284% of the entire province’s land area. In terms of land area, it ranks tenth among the other municipalities.

The aforementioned information remains unaltered, but this revised version aims to enhance word choice, sentence structure, readability, and eloquence while preserving the original meaning.

Bulakan is comprised of 14 barangays, of which Barangays San Jose and Bagumbayan are classified as urban by the Philippine Statistics Authority, while the rest are considered rural. In Barangay Taliptip, there exists a quaint village called Pariahan, which grapples with the challenges posed by sea level rise and land subsidence.
These barangays are governed by elected officials, led by the Barangay Captain and the Barangay Council, whose members are known as Barangay Councilors. Elections for these positions are held every three years. Each barangay is further divided into seven puroks, with some also encompassing sitios.