Pre-Hispanic Bulalacao was a settlement for the Hanunuo Mangyans (A semi-nomadic tribe, who preferred to live in isolation rather than stay in large groups) until immigrants from the island of Panay and other neighboring areas appeared. The settlement was then called Calido, in honor of its founder. Through the suggestion of Narciso Pandino, one of the town’s very first Capitanes, it was agreed upon to change the its name Kaburayan, a term used to describe the place, where vines called buray grew.
In the 16th century when Spanish conquistadores took control of the native village, the town was named after one of its patron saints, San Pedro. According to legend, after the period of progress, an epidemic brought by a bird called Bulalacao swept the community. Naming the town after the enchanted bird was the only way to end their misfortunes.
In 1906, the settlement became township, which included Paclasan (now Roxas), Mansalay, Mangaring now (San Jose) and the islands of Caluya, Sibay and Semirara. Thereafter, succeeding “Municipal Presidente” ruled the town until 1940.
In 1916, the seat of government was transferred from Bulalacao to Mansalay where the incumbent Municipal Presidente then came from. This resulted into friction between the original settlers of Bulalacao. In 1929 Mansalay was officially separated from Bulalacao. On the other hand, the islands of Caluya, Semirara and Sibay were later ceded to the province of Antique. And by 1910, Act 3498 separated Mangaring (Now known as San Jose Occidental Mindoro) from Bulalacao. All these separated towns have economically surpassed their origin town of Bulalacao.