How to Get Here
There’s no direct plane going to Bulacan, but it’s very close to Metro Manila (around 40 km away). If you’re coming from another country or from Visayas or Mindanao, the most convenient way to get there is to take a flight going to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Metro Manila. From there, you can take a bus at Cubao or Pasay, or drive directly to Bulacan.
Any bus going to Northern Luzon is bound to pass through Bulacan, so that gives you plenty of choices. Cubao and Pasay have the greatest number of bus stations in Metro Manila. Recommended bus companies are Baliwag Transit, where buses going to Central Luzon leave every thirty minutes; Partas, which has 24/7 buses shuttling back and forth from Manila to North Luzon; and Victory Liner, which also handles Central Luzon routes.
It’s a quick drive to Bulacan, taking around 30 minutes to 1 hour, although you might experience delay while in Metro Manila because of the heavy traffic. The most common road taken (whether you’re coming from the north or the south) is the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), or, alternatively, the McArthur Highway.
Best Time to Go
Best Time to Go
Like most of the Philippines, Bulacan has two seasons: wet (June to October) and dry (November to May). The best time to visit would be during the dry season, but you might also want to choose the colder months (November to March) It can get extremely hot and humid during the summer (April and May), especially since Bulacan is a landlocked province and most of its tourist attractions are either historical sites or nature haunts, which involve a fair deal of walking and being outdoors.
What to Do
Hike through Mt. Gola and Mt. Manalmon
Interested in mountain hiking but looking for something that’s not too strenuous? The Mt. Gola and Mt. Manalmon trail caters to newbie hikers. Both of these are mountains--or, well, hills if we go by height--inside the Biak na Bato National Park, and you can choose which you want to try first. The trail going up Mt. Manalmon takes around 2 hours: there are no steep or overly dangerous areas, but it still makes for an exciting climb, since you have to go through the Manalmon Cave (also a bit of spelunking involved!) and the Madlum River. Mt. Gola takes less time to finish, but be prepared for some steep ascents and jutting rocks. The view at either peak reveals the landscape of the eco-park, along with surrounding mountain ranges.
Learn more about the environment
Bulacan is generally rich in nature attractions, but what makes the Angat Rainforest and Eco Park stand out is the sheer biodiversity. It holds around 43 species of birds, 66 species of vertebrates, and more than 290 plant species. The mission here goes beyond tourism: it also serves to foster environmental awareness, since forests are being crowded out and we’ve become more familiar with concrete rather than wilderness. Its diverse animals include the King Cobra, Philippine deer, and Tarictic Hornbill, and visitors often make a beeline for the viewdeck and the Eco-Center. Kids would love the Tarictic Fun Trail, an educational nature trail, while adults can opt to drive around and enjoy the sprawling scenery.
Visit a social entrepreneurship hub
The Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm is a social entrepreneurship hub that’s also a farm, a place of learning, and a home for villagers who were previously homeless. If that’s hard to envision, it’s also because the vision at its heart is one-of-a-kind--it aims to be a Silicon Valley for social entrepreneurship. You can avail of various experience packages, all of which include a buffet lunch with organic, healthy meals. An orientation and walking tour where you get to hear about the story behind GK is also an option, as well as demonstrations of various social enterprises such as Human Nature and Bayani Brew that mostly employ residents of GK. Farming activities are another must-try, and make sure to check out buildings like the Hyundai Center for Green Innovation and the Arch Angel-GK Center for Arts and Culture.
Reflect and meditate at St. Andrew Kim Taegon Shrine
Catholic shrines in the Philippines seem to follow a certain motif: a magnificent, slightly austere church building with arched ceilings and elaborate religious images, sometimes graced with a garden outside. St. Andrew Kim Taegon Shrine somewhat breaks the mold, mainly because of its Korean influence. The large complex could have been the setting of an imperial palace movie as it evokes South Korea, from architecture to lush flowers. For a bit of a background, St. Andrew Kim is said to be the first ever Catholic priest from Korea. He studied at a convent in Bulacan, but died for his faith when he returned to Seoul. The complex cements his legacy, acting as a spiritual sanctuary where people can pray or reflect, complete with a chapel and a meditation room.
Splash around at Galilee Wonderland
Galilee Wonderland doubles as a waterpark and hotel, and it’s definitely among the best resorts in Bulacan, with more than 15,000 likes bolstering its Facebook page. As hinted at by the name, it draws from Biblical themes: one main attraction is the Sea of Galilee, a gigantic pool that also comes with a towering model of Noah’s Ark. Other pools are Ark of the Covenant (for kids), Jordan River (for adults), and The Pools of Siloan (a jacuzzi). The three-hectare resort also contains cottages and other facilities for overnight stays, as well as a garden, spa, and function hall. The entrance fee is very affordable, at around P200 for adults and lower for kids, and it’s a popular weekend place for both events and casual outings.