Bocaue, Bulacan

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Municipality of Bocaue
Bayan ng Bokawe
Bocaue Municipal Hall
Bocaue Municipal Hall
Official seal of Municipality of Bocaue
Nickname(s): Fireworks Capital of the Philippines
Map of Bulacan showing the location of Bocaue
Map of Bulacan showing the location of Bocaue
Municipality of Bocaue is located in Philippines
Municipality of Bocaue
Municipality of Bocaue
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°48′N 120°56′E / 14.800°N 120.933°E / 14.800; 120.933Coordinates: 14°48′N 120°56′E / 14.800°N 120.933°E / 14.800; 120.933
Country  Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Province Bulacan
District 2nd District
Founded 1582
(as a barrio of Meycauayan)
Incorporated April 11, 1606
(as an independent town)
Founded by
  • Dayang Panginuan
  • Fray Juan de Plasencia OFM
Barangays 19
 • Mayor Eleanor J. Villanueva-Tugna (Liberal)
 • Vice Mayor Aldrin B. Sta. Ana
 • Sangguniang Bayan ng Bocaue
 • Total 31.87 km2 (12.31 sq mi)
Highest elevation 30 m (100 ft)
Population (2015)[3]
 • Total 119,675
 • Density 3,800/km2 (9,700/sq mi)
 • Poverty rate Increase 4.2%
  • Bocaueño (male)
  • Bocaueña (female)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3018
Dialing code 44
Income class 1st class, urban municipality
Electricity Manila Electric Company
• Consumption 109.20 million kWh (2003)

Bocaue (Filipino: Bukawe, Tagalog pronunciation: [boˈkawe]) is a first class urban municipality in the province of Bulacan, Philippines.

According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 119,675 people.[3] With the continuous expansion of Metro Manila, the town is now part of the metropolis' built-up area, which reaches San Ildefonso at Bulacan province's northernmost part and continues into Nueva Ecija.

There are three road crossings in the municipality, which are heavily congested during the rush hours: Lolomboy, Wakas and Bocaue road crossings. The Bocaue River runs through most of the town.

Among its tourist attractions are a town museum located near the municipality's center and the town's river festival celebrated on the first Sunday of every July. The river festival is in commemoration of the Holy Cross of Wawa, believed to be miraculous by the town's predominating Roman Catholic populace.


The town's name comes from the old Tagalog word "Bokawe" (Schyzostachyum lima), which refers to a type of long bamboo.


Bocaue was first established by Franciscan missionaries as a barrio and visita of Meycauayan in 1582 and as a town in April 11, 1606 under the advocacy of San Martin de Tours. It was the first town to be granted independence from the Old Meycauayan, which was then a very large town comprising the present Meycauayan, Marilao, Sta Maria, San Jose del Monte, Obando, and Valenzuela municipalities.

After the Philippine–American War, the Philippine Commission was established, part of whose functions was the reorganization of Philippine municipalities and provinces. In 1903, Bulacan province was reduced from having 26 to 19 towns. The town of Balagtas was annexed to Bocaue, which regained its independence and was reestablished as a town in 1911.

During the Bocaue River Festival of July 2, 1993, around 500 people rode the "floating pagoda" for the Holy Cross of Wawa way beyond the boat's capacity and caused the boat to sink, killing more than two hundred people. Despite the lives lost, no one has been made accountable for the tragedy. This incident became known as the Bocaue Pagoda Tragedy.

Then, on the morning of 31 December 2007, ten fireworks stores burned in Barangay Turo, causing a series of explosions within the area and injuring 7 persons.


The municipality of Bocaue would be 27 kilometres (17 mi) north-east of Manila if reached via the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Highway. It is at the mid-south-western portion of Bulacan.

The town is bounded on the north by the municipality of Balagtas and a portion of the municipality of Santa Maria; by the municipalities of Marilao and Obando on the south; a larger portion of Santa Maria on the east; a portion of the municipality of Bulakan on the extreme south-western side; and a portion of Balagtas on the western side.

Bocaue is traversed by the Bocaue River, a tributary of the Santa Maria River that is in turn a tributary of Angat River. The main source of Angat River and its tributaries is the Sierra Madre mountain range. Along these rivers are many man-made fish ponds used for raising and farming fish like bangus and tilapia.


Bocaue is politically subdivided into 19 barangays.

  • Antipona
  • Bagumbayan
  • Bambang
  • Batia
  • Biñang 1st
  • Biñang 2nd
  • Bolacan
  • Bunducan
  • Bunlo
  • Caingin
  • Duhat
  • Igulot
  • Lolomboy
  • Poblacion
  • Sulucan
  • Taal
  • Tambobong
  • Turo
  • Wakas


Population census of Bocaue
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 67,243 —    
1995 69,718 +0.68%
2000 86,994 +4.86%
2007 105,817 +2.74%
2010 106,407 +0.20%
2015 119,675 +2.26%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]


The Bocaue Public Market

Bocaue's town center is about 27 kilometers north of Manila if reached via the North Luzon Expressway and the Bocaue Exit (in Barangay Turo). The town is the middle route for this highway that provides fast transport to Metro Manila from where it begins at Mabalacat, Pampanga.

The town's major industry is fireworks-making, which has earned it the tag "Fireworks Capital of the Philippines". Among the prominent firecracker stores located in Bocaue is Eat Bulaga Fireworks, owned by Rommel Eustaquio, named after the longest-running noontime variety program in the country.[4]

Culture and Arts[edit]

A small art gallery beside the town poblacion's McDonald's restaurant, called Twenty-Twenty and owned by the town's ophthalmologist and her art photographer husband, sells works by a number of Bulacan painters. Nationally-known Bocaueños in the arts include choreographer Francisca Reyes Aquino, TV actress Jewel Mische, and art magazine editor Jojo Soria de Veyra. Lauro Delgado, a former veteran character actor of Premiere Productions from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, is also a Bocaue native born in Barangay Bunducan.

Bocaue is also famous for its Bocaue liempo, crispy pata, sinuso (pork breast), chicharon (deep fried pork chips), rellenong bangus (stuffed milkfish) and various sorts of rice cakes, as well as embroidered barong Tagalog and Filipiniana outfits.

The Francisca Reyes Aquino Shrine, under the management of the Philippines' National Historical Institute, is a shrine erected in honor of Francisca Reyes Aquino. Aquino was a recipient of a National Artist Award for her significant contributions to the development of Philippine dance. The shrine was erected on the compound of Lolomboy Elementary School in Barangay Lolomboy.


Saint Martin of Tours Parish Church of Bocaue

The St. Martin of Tours Church, Bocaue|St. Martin of Tours Church of Bocaue, otherwise known as The Diocesan Shrine of Bocaue, is one of the oldest churches in the province of Bulacan. The reputed Mahal na Krus ng Wawa (Beloved Holy Cross of Wawa) is kept here.

The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa is a festival held on the first Sunday of July, observed in honor of the Holy Cross of Wawa (Mahal na Krus sa Wawa), a relic believed to have saved the life of an old woman drowning in the Bocaue River. The main feature of this fiesta is what is called The Pagoda, a gaily-decorated structure riding on a huge bangka, which glides along the town river carrying people from all walks of life who would enjoy the ride while religious music is played and while feasting on sumptuous food.

Other religious populations in the town include those from the Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, Aglipayan, Adventist, Baptist, and Mormons Christian sects. There are also a number of Evangelical, Pentecostal, Members Church of God International and Charismatic churches, ministries, fellowships and groups. The practice of Islam could also be found in the municipality.

Sports and Recreation[edit]

The Philippine Stadium also known as the New Era University Stadium is a sports stadium located inside the Ciudad de Victoria, a 75-hectare tourism enterprise zone located in the towns of Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan. With a capacity of up to 25,000, it became the biggest stadium in the Philippines so far upon its completion.

The Philippine Arena, an indoor multi-purpose arena and the centerpiece of Ciudad de Victoria, is located just adjacent to the Philippine Stadium. With a seating capacity of 55,000 it became the largest indoor arena in the world upon its completion in 2014.


St. Paul University of Quezon City, Bocaue Extension Campus

Bocaue is also an education center for the Marilao, Sta. Maria, and Balagtas municipalities area. Secondary and higher education is accommodated by the following educational institutes:

  • Academia de Santa Cruz
  • Bulacan Polytechnic College (Bocaue campus)
  • Children of Mary School of Bocaue
  • Corinthian School
  • Dr. Yanga's Colleges, Inc.
  • Integrated School of Montessori
  • Jesus Is Lord College Foundation (main campus)
  • Mother of Divine Assistance College
  • New Era University (under construction until 2014)
  • St. Paul University Quezon City (Bocaue campus)
  • St. Paul College of Bocaue
  • Sto. Niño Academy

Municipal Government[edit]

Sangguniang Bayan (2016-present)



  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Province: BULACAN". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Aldub helps sales of firecrackers sour". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "#PHVoteWatch: Luck to decide new Bocaue mayor". Rappler. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 

External links[edit]