I am visiting Laguna because of a project I am currently working on for the 83rd NCAA. The need for carved props brought me to this quaint town which lies at the foot of the grand mountain of Makiling.
Paete is home to the lanzones fruit, the ukit (woodcarving, paet means chisel), the bakya (Philippine woodenshoes), the gayly painted papier-mache called taka, the yo-yo and other toys.
Unfortunately, the log ban has started to put a strain to the woodcarving industry. I had a chat with a carver, Amang Conrado Angeles, and he said that a lot of wood that's available is actually illegal and some of them put their careers on the line just to get rare wood.
Of course, for firstimers to a place in any location in the Philippines, one must pay homage to the usual repository of the town's history and art - the local church.
A glimpse of the Sierra Madre - her beauty endures forever.
I am a bit disappointed with the chandeliers. These must be replacements of old ones which may have been destroyed already.
The all-wooden cupola.
Like the chandeliers, I am stumped as to why for a town known for its craftsmanship in wood, the pulpit only looks like this. Again, there must be an explanation. The concrete (yes, concrete!) that's holding it up looks like a fairly new addition.