Where to Go in Bulacan for Sweets, Eats, and Firecrackers this Holiday Season

Tired of the same old food spots in the Metro? Need to go get some fireworks for the New Year? Head north to Bulacan for finds steeped in tradition. By Carlo Pamintuan and MD Pilar

Just an hour away from Manila through the North Luzon Expressway or even the McArthur Highway, the province of Bulacan presents an array of choices for those looking for either a food trip beyond the same old restaurants and food parks in the city or a different and quick out-of-town trip for the upcoming Christmas break. Aside from the best deals in fireworks and firecrackers, which Bulacan is known for, the province offers fun diversions for the holidays.

Food binge in Bulacan

We usually consider the holiday as an excuse to indulge, so while you’re at it, consider taking a trip to Bulacan to visit some of its popular restaurants and eateries.

For longtime favorites, try Popular Puto and Cotchinta in Marilao. Founded in 1947, this restaurant has been a favorite in the province not only because of their puto (puti and pula) and kutsinta but also their dinuguan. After you’ve had your fill of food here, make sure to grab a paper bag to share or an entire bilao to bring to your next potluck.

Cafe Apolonio and (right) a bowl of Pancit Marilao at Pancitan ni Aling Simeona

Have a delicious local spread at Cafe Apolonio in Bustos where you can have sumptuous kare-kare, lengua estofado, and sinigang na salmon. Housed in a bahay na bato that was built in 1858, the cafe offers an outstanding backdrop for a hearty meal.

For proudly Bulacan fare, try the Pancit Marilao served at Pansitan ni Aling Simeona. A variation of the pancit palabok, Pancit Marilao uses ground rice fried in pork fat instead of pork. It also uses kamias to sour the noodles instead of the traditional calamansi. You should also sample itik in Nina’s Fried Itik Restaurant in Plaridel, Bulacan. You can get it fried or saucy as caldereta or adobo.

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Some sweet pasalubong

The province of Bulacan is also known for its sweets, the most popular of which is inipit. Inipit is a sponge cake of flour, milk, eggs, and sugar. The soft texture of the cake and the creamy custard in between it makes this delicacy a favorite in the province.

Stop by at Eurobake in Malolos as they’ve been serving the original inipit de leche since 1945. It’s a time-tested recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Sevilla Sweets

If you go to Bulacan, chances are that people you know would ask your for pastillas as pasalubong. Well, Vita’s by Sevilla Sweets in San Miguel, Bulacan is the house that pastillas built. However, do not limit your shopping to pastillas alone. They have other yummy products such as silvanas, macapuno rolled in buttermilk, polvoron, kalamay latik, and otap.

Light up the holidays!

Bulacan, where pyrotechnics traces its roots in the Philippines, is recognized in the country as the place to go to for fireworks and firecrackers. You can imagine how the towns of Bocaue, Santa Maria, San Rafael, and others get busy especially as New Year’s Eve approaches.

There are around 500 manufacturers of pyrotechnics in Bulacan. You can narrow down your search at Gov. F. Halili Avenue in Bocaue, which is lined with several shops selling firecrackers and fireworks, including Dragon Fireworks, Viva El Toro Fireworks, and J. Navarro Fireworks. There’s also R&F Fireworks in Binang 1st Street.

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If you prefer to light up the holiday season quietly, you can also shop for Christmas lanterns in Bulacan. San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, recently earned the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest lantern parade during the city’s “2nd Tanglawan Festival.” While neighboring Pampanga is better known for parol or Christmas lanterns, you can also find some in Bulacan. Golden Bloom Orchids, known for, yes, their orchids, also creates a modern take on the parol.

Aside from all these great places to find food, sweets, lanterns, firecrackers, and fireworks, Bulacan is fast becoming an option for those looking to live away from the busy streets of Manila. Avida Parkfield Settings Pulilan is a great option as it is located at the very center of Bulacan province. The development offers 22 hectares of masterplanned convenience with wonderful features such as generously-spaced pocket parks and open spaces, in a secure and private atmosphere.