BRIEF HISTORICAL PROFILE OF BULAKAN, BULACAN
Bulakan is one of the oldest towns in the Philippines and the first capital of the Province of Bulacan before it was moved to Malolos shortly after the American Occupation.
The Municipality of Bulakan lies in the southwestern part of the province of Bulacan and is surrounded by a number of proximate municipalities. It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of Guiguinto, on the south by Manila Bay, on the east by the Municipality of Bocaue, on the west by the City of Malolos, on the northeast by the Municipality of Balagtas and on the southeast by the Municipality of Obando. It is about thirty five (35) kilometers away from the City of Manila.
Approximately, 72.90 square kilometers or 2.7284% of the total land area of the entire Province, which is 2,672.03 square kilometers. It ranks tenth (10th) in terms of land area among other municipalities in the province.
The Parish of Nuestra Señora dela Asuncion has a baptismal book entry as early 1572, it is a precious artifact of the town that for almost 400 years it was not destroyed by fire, war, or even putrefaction. On the first page, it is written that the names of the barrios of the town of Bulakan were Bagio, Bulakan (Camino Real), Daan Estacion, Matungao, Cupang, Banban, Dapdap, Parian, Balubad, Pitpitan, Maysantor, Acsajo, Paniqui, San Nicolas, Nagdasig, Calungusan, and Taliktik. After 400 long years, changes have been made to the old barrios that consist the town: Bagio became part of Bagumbayan in 1731, Tibig existed in 1735, Dapdap was renamed Sta. Ana in 1741, Nagdasig became part of Tab-Ang in 1744 and now San Francisco, Parian was renamed Sta Ines in 1765, Bulakan (Camino Real), Daan Estacion, Paniqui and Calungusan were created into one barrio and was named San Jose, Barrio Pitpitan occupied Acsajo, Cupang was joined to Maysantor now Maysantol, Banban became Bangbang and now Bambang, Perez existed as separate Barrio of Taliktik now Taliptip, and with the same old names for the barrios of San Nicolas, Matungao and Balubad.
The 14 Barangays that now consist the town: 1. Bagumbayan; 2. San Francisco; 3. Balubad; 4. San Nicolas; 5. Bambang; 6. San Jose (Poblacion); 7. Matungao; 8. Sta Ana; 9. Maysantol; 10. Sta Ines; 11. Perez; 12. Taliptip; 13. Pitpitan; and 14. Tibig.
The name Bulakan was derived from the word “Bulak” which means cotton in English. When the Spaniards first came to our shores to colonize us, they found cotton among others, growing abundantly in many places in Luzon, particularly in Bulakan. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, Bulakan, as well as the rest of the towns of Bulacan province, consisted of small scattered settlements of villages, each then was called “balangay” or “barangay” a word derived from the name of the boats used by the early seafaring Malays who went to various islands of what is now called the Philippines. These predecessors of our ancestors settled in different parts of the archipelago, and their villages and barangays were each headed by a petty chieftain who bore the title of “Gat” as in Gat-Maitan, Gat-Salian, and Gat-dula; and “Lakan” as in Lakandula. These early settlers lived along the seashores and rivers, thus they were called “taga-ilog”, meaning people who dwell near the rivers or other waterways. From this term “taga-ilog” came the word “Tagalog”. The early Tagalogs were peaceful, honest, industrious and hardworking and were engaged in farming, fishing and handicrafts, especially weaving. From the original thriving native settlements or villages called “barangays”, the Augustinians discovered most of the towns in the Province of Bulacan.
Another account of the discovery of Bulakan town points to Fray Agustin de Albuquerque, OSA, as the first minister and founder of the town of Bulakan.
The town of Bulakan, being the first capital of the province, was the hub of economic activities and the inhabitants enjoyed excellent trade with Manila, primarily due to its proximity to the city and accessibility through its wide and navigable river. By the year 1591, the town of Bulakan had 1,200 tributes or 4,800 persons, one Augustinian convent and one Alcalde Mayor who had jurisdiction over the towns of Malolos (became independent in 1673), Caluya now Balagtas and formerly Bigaa (became a separate town in 1596), and Guiguinto (became a separate town in 1915).
Bulakan was also the scene of the battle between the Spaniards led by Simon de Anda y Salazar and the British led by Captain Slay on January 18, 1763. The British sent an expedition of 400 British, 300 Malabar Negroes and 2,000 Chinese allies. The Spaniards with the natives of Bulakan made a gallant stand but were defeated. Captain Slay’s command, however, over the town did not last long because a huge group of about 8,000 Filipino guerillas led by Spaniard Jose Pedro Busto battled for nine days long in front of the church up to the foot bridge against him, and they made Captain Slay to retreat to Manila. In this fight, the Bulakeños had shown for the first time an extraordinary love for their Motherland. The British dream of conquering the rest of the country had gone astray because of the marvelous fight made by Bulakeños.
The town still enjoys trade and commerce with neighboring towns and Manila with whom she shares a coastline, a place which is replete with historical and glorious past.