Just like any other towns in the province of Bulacan , the town got its name from a tree called "Bukawe" found in abundance during that time in the said place. Bocaue was just a mere barrio of the town of Meycauayan until 1606 when it was made into a town with Reverend Padre Delos Santos as the first parish priest and administrator. Fire destroyed a large part of the town in 1818, but was later rehabilitated gradually during the American regime.
In 1908-1910, some members of the municipal council headed by Guillermo Puatu unsuccessfully tried to change the name of this town to Balagtas in honor of the Tagalog poet. Francisco "Balagtas" Baltazar. (Bigaa, being the birthplace of the hero merited the name of Balagtas in 1966).
The history of Bocaue is not complete without citing the legend of the Holy Cross of Wawa which has a great significance to the residents of this town as to its founding. The celebration of the feast in honor of the Holy Cross has been made a tradition and a yearly affair. The legend says those centuries ago, a woman was saved miraculously fro drowning by an image of the big wooden cross floating along the flooded river in barrio Wawa this town.The woman, the story goes, was about to sink when she caught a glimpse of the image of the cross. She tried to take hold of it but it moved farther. The woman followed the image until she clung to it and then was able to reach safely the riverbank.
Every year, every 1st Sunday of July, the residents of Bocaue greeted the visitors with the traditional river festival in honor of the said Holy Cross.Today, Bocaue is thriving with cottage industries and many factories billow with smoke. Once, some foreigners visited this place, and they found out that every home is virtually a busy place. Each home turns out goods and many other products, which contribute greatly to the economy of the town. Religious and industrious, the Bocaue people always look up to the great promise of the future.