Welcome to Bustos, a charming municipality located in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. With a population of 77,199 people according to the 2020 census, Bustos is a 2nd class municipality that is now included in the Greater Manila’s built-up conurbation area. Bustos is a town with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine. Join us as we uncover the many treasures of Bustos and reveal why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Bustos got its name from Jose Pedro Perez de Busto[s], a mining engineer from Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain, who served as the right-hand of Simón de Anda y Salazar and was appointed teniente general alcalde (Provincial Governor) of Bulacan. The town was separated from Baliuag by a tragic incident when around 1860, during a rainy Sunday, a group of natives from Bustos with babies in their arms were on their way to St. Augustine Parish Church of Baliuag for baptismal when they drowned after the planceta or raft they were riding accidentally capsized while crossing the wild river of Angat due to the strong water current. This fateful event led the people of Bustos to request and build their own parish church to avoid the crossings in the wild river for community safety. The locals chose Holy Child Jesus (Santo Niño) as their patron saint in honor of those infants that died in the river.
Bustos is located at the center of five adjoining towns of Bulacan Province: San Rafael on the north; Pandi and Plaridel on the south; Baliwag on the west; and Angat on the east. The land areas are mostly rice fields devoted for planting crops and agricultural products. Some farmlands of the town are covered by irrigation systems of National Irrigation Administration coming from Bustos Dam and Angat Dam on the Angat River. Bustos is hailed as one of the largest rice producers of the country and the Central Luzon Region (the Rice Granary of the Philippines), and received the Rice Achiever Award as an Outstanding Municipality in Region III (Central Luzon) and a Hall of Fame award at the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards of 2014 conferred by the Department of Agriculture.
Bustos is, in the majority, an agricultural town. However, the Bustos commercial center in the town proper is still expanding with the influx of more business investors willing to venture into the small but flourishing town. At present, the town has its public market and a few small private markets, business shops, banks, convenience stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores. Bustos has its own trademark product, the finger food minasa. Minasa refers to cassava cookies, made from cassava flour, egg yolk, yeast, butter, and coco milk. It is often compared to the uraro, another local delicacy. Minasa is one of the famous treats from the province of Bulacan traded in the local and global market of Filipino pasalubong products. The word minasa translates to molded in English. The process of preparing minasa is similar to the making and baking of cookies. The only special characteristics of minasa are its shape, which is molded on specially-made wooden molders with intricate designs, commonly floral designs, and its being baked in a hurno or brick stone oven that adds to the yumminess of the cookie. Minasa is said to be a part of the history and culture of Bulacan because of the egg yolks that were left in kitchens during the building of old stone houses that were made of egg whites. Currently, there are stalls all around Bustos selling this local delicacy, making the municipality the Home of Minasa.
Bustos has two parishes under the administration of the Diocese of Malolos, Santo Niño de Bustos Parish Church and San Isidro Labrador Parish Church. Other Christian religious groups, such as Iglesia ni Cristo, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jesus is Lord Church, Ang Dating Daan, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other Protestant groups can be found in the municipality. People in Bustos celebrate a number of Catholic holidays throughout the year. The first church in Bustos has been dedicated to Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus, and there is a feast that is held in memory every third Sunday of January, where the townspeople celebrate it with music and dance while holding images of Santo Niño decorated with flowers and lights with a parade of floats with images of the saint (locally known as Tugyaw).
Bustos is a recipient of the 2017 Seal of Good Local Governance given by the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The town has its public market and a few small private markets, business shops, banks, convenience stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores. Bustos has a rural bank, the Rural Bank of Bustos, which is located at Gen. Alejo Santos Highway, Barangay Bonga Menor, beside the Bustos by-pass road going to Cabanatuan, Nueva