Recommended Itinerary Of Must - See Tourist Spots in Norzagaray, Bulacan You Should Visit


It's been a while since I last visited the province of Bulacan. It was over a year ago, I joined fellow bloggers and media on a 2 day and 1 night stay to cover the celebration of Fiesta Republica 2015 initiated by the town mayor. You can click here for to read it. Last Sunday, I have the opportunity to come back through Rence Chan, a blogger friend and Lakad Pamana, a group operating heritage tours to Bulacan and other provinces headed by Mr. Gilbert Dino. Like my previous visit, this whole day trip of seeing Norzagaray's different interesting places to promote its local tourism has the blessing of its current mayor Fred Germar. 


Photo courtesy of Lakad Pamana's Gilbert Dino
We left around 7am and arrived by 9am. Bulacan, particularly the town of Norzagaray is just about 2 and a half hours away from Metro Manila. However in terms of landscape, I was surprised by the huge difference. It's like I was transported in a remote province immediately - I see the lush mountains of Sierra Madre,  plantations of crops, old man riding on top of a carabao, women bathing and washing clothes in an improvised spring.

To someone who spends so much time in a crowded city like the Metro Manila, these sights are something to behold. What is the best thing about it is that you don't have to take an overnight butt - cracking bus ride or be whisked away on a plane ride, the town of Norzagaray is just a couple of hours in Manila. This is perfect to those who have limited time to be on an out of town trip with a tight budget.

Places to see in Norzagaray, Bulacan
Photo courtesy of Lakad Pamana's Gilbert Dino
Our first stop over is the Pinagrealan Cave. A cave with a beauty comparable to the other two caves I have visited: Underground River in Puerto Princesa Palawan and the Sumaguing Cave in Sagada. Unlike these two, Pinagrealan has a historical importance. This used to be a hideout of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and General Pio del Pilar. Caving inside Pinagrealan only takes about 45 minutes and the water is only up to waist deep so no need to take a boat. Though it's a smaller cave, you'll be surprised of how rich it is inside. I saw lots of bats flying the moment we entered the cave, crystal formation and the cold atmosphere is such a relief from the heat of the sun outside.

You can also check HERE a blog post written by Rence Chan: A Visit to the Historic Pinagrealan Cave in Norzagaray, Bulacan

Entrance fee, Php50 plus headgear and flashlight, Php50. Total of Php100
To be honest, I have never been to any water reservoirs before and I dont even know where are these. This trip made me learn that two of Manila's biggest dams: Ipo Dam and Angat Dam are found in Norzagaray, Bulacan! 


We only passed by to Ipo Dam but able to get up close to Angat Dam. Our driver slash tour guide Roy Vincent Santiago, a local from Norzagaray even mentioned that in the history there is a battle of Ipo that happend here. I never expect that water reservoirs look so stunning. I tell you, never ever leave Bulacan without seeing these! I can't say much about Ipo Dam since we only watched it from a distance but it is equally mesmerizing. 

Angat Dam

The Angat Hydroelectric Dam is a promising local spot in Norzagaray that doesn't need much introduction. It holds Manila's 97% of water. There is an entrance fee of Php 25 to get around. Aside from the dam, there are a few things to see inside like the trail, bamboo plantation and getting to know the Dumagats. They are a group of indigenous people who live near the Angat river. There is a museum to be constructed and so much more to discover in the near future inside Angat dam.


Bitbit River
It's summer here in the Philippines right now. The scorching heat of the sun is really getting intense. The temperature is around 35 degrees and more. What better way to combat  the heat than go swimming? Our last stop was the Bakas River. I swear I have never seen a river as long as this one that is filled with locals swimming all the day! After all the entrance is free. They only need to rent a bare nipa hut cottage that includes a long table and bench for Php 150 / per day. There are small improvised toilet where one can change clothes for Php 5 per entry. 

Bakas River

Bakas River is a certified swimming destination to locals. It is so long that it flows from different towns that include Bustos, San Rafael, Baliuag, Plaridel, Pulilan flowing to the nearby province of Pampanga. The water is only up to knee deep during summer so this is perfect to kids who would like to bask in the sun more.  


Other interesting places to see in Norzagaray,  Bulacan


There is a 5 - story replica of the  Eiffel Tower inside Adventure Resort nestled in the quiet barrio of Sitio Gulugod, Tigbe. Entrance fee is Php 125. This isn't a typical resort because the inside is huge that there's a lot of events that can be held here: wedding,baptismal, team building, bridal shower, seminars anniversary and a lot more.Some parts of Adventure Resort look so natural and a piece of art itself like the La Colina Garden, Mariposa Pavillion and Clubhouse. 


The Municipal Office of Norzagaray, Bulacan is closed when we got there since it is Sunday. It is smaller than the usual I have seen compared to nearby provinces.  I wish it was open so we can see the inside and if they have a museum where they post archives of important matters and historical photos of the town. In front of Norzagaray's municipal building, there's a park currently being renovated and a monument of  Sinfroso de la Cruz, one of the town's local heroes who fought against the colonizers hundreds of years ago.


In the monument there is a marking that says " Mga Nagpagal ng Dahil sa Bayan ng Taong 1896 - 1900" and lists the names of about 20 folks of Norzagaray who fought and died during world wars. 

Where to eat in Norzagaray Bulacan?


Lunchtime, we dropped by to a headquarter of the Mayor where we met him briefly. We were served one of the lutong - bahay meals I kinda miss back home in my town: fried dalagang bukid, rice, ginataang munggo, fried chicken and fried pork. We were so hungry actually from waking up as early as 4 am to going on a whole - morning of touring around Norzagaray. Nothing's gonna beat a food cooked in a local's home! 

Filipinos have a soft spot when it comes to crispy pata, sizzling sisig and anything fried or grilled chicken and pork.  When you are in Norzagaray, check out JL Jamie’s Crispy Pata and Restaurant, conveniently located at the street near Norzagaray Municipal Hall. Love their food so much especially the crispy pata (deeply fried pork for Php 550) and the isaw (fried chicken large intestine for Php 120). Whew! Just be very careful and eat moderately to those who have heart problems.  

They have been frying and grilling for a decade how so I guess this ten years may have helped them perfect the taste that all locals want in their plate. Some exotic food that you can try here in JL Jamie's are crispy ulo, adobo kambing, kinilaw tanigue and sizzling mixed seafood.  One more reason that makes JL Jamie's restaurant in Norzagaray is that it has been featured in different local tv shows. I have seen a few posters inside the restaurant like the Byahe ni Drew of GMA and another one in ABS - CBN. 

Sice of watermelon, arroz valenciana and bowl of sinampalukang manok

We went on to meet Mayor Fred Germar and Maricar San Pedro who works in the mucipal hall in San Pedro's Pavillion. It is also very timely that there is a birthday celebration. We were able to sample a few dishes by Torres & Joaquin Catering Services. I personally loved their sinampalukang manok, arroz de valencia and sherbet - a frozen dessert made of fruits plus slices of buko meat.  To those who are looking for a private caterer, I would definitely recommending Torres & Joaquin to serve you great food.


You can also click HERE Dennis Dy Ko's review: LAKAD PAMANA: NORZAGARAY tour


Would like to thank so much for having me tour around Norzagaray, Bulacan: Mayor  (wearing white shirt with green collar), Ma'am Maricar (local tourism officer), Rence Chan (fellow blogger friend) and of course Mr. Gilbert Dino of Lakad Paman (wearing red shirt). They will be organizing a tour package there by May 1. Unfortunately I am in Cebu by this time. To those who would like to join, you may click the official Facebook event of Lakad Pamana's Isang Araw sa Piling ng mga Dumagat here.

7 comments

  1. puntahan natin ang pinagrealan cave hehe next time

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  2. ganda ng blog maam. magkita kita po tayo muli sa mayo uno.

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    1. sayang, im off to cebu :( next one sama ako hehe

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    2. Hanggan sa muli nating pagsasama -sama

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  3. What a beautiful place! Will surely include this in our bucket list. :)

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