Chipping Through History
Paete Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
July 25th, 2008 – by: Isabetlog
The drive was quite a pleasant one and we passed through several towns whose charms I had never noticed on family trips to Pagsanjan and Pansol. There main street was lined with beautiful ancestral homes similar to those in Bohol.
We arrived after about another hour and sure enough, the place was teeming with people. Paete is a very small town that has only one main road from which smaller streets branch out. At least, from what I saw. We made our way to the UNESCO-listed Heritage Shop where we were expected to do an interview with the store's proprietor. The tiny street was packed with stalls selling all sorts of things from clothes to toys, trinkets to second hand mobile phones, pot and pans to home made snacks.
As we stepped inside the shop, we were greeted by our guy, Mr.
Paete has had a long-standing history with a chisel. The town itself is named after it (paet, meaning chisel) and it was this relationship with the instrument that attracted the Spaniards to settle in this modest little town in Laguna. The Paeteños were forced into carving church altars that were shipped out to Spain, Italy, New York and other parts of the world. The Philippines has retained close to 400 of these altars. Aside from altars, they also carved religious figures, busts and urns.
Recently dubbed as the Carving Capital of the Philippines, Paete continues to preserve its heritage by carving anything they can get their hands on today.
After the interview with Mr. Dalay, we were excorted to their factory.
With business out of the way, we attempted to visit the Church. Unfortunately, it was closed due to the ongoing fiesta but the grounds were still a site to be enjoyed. There was a mini carnival set up in the town plaza and an arnis competition going on. We only had enough time for a quick refreshment and it was time to hit the dreadful expressway once again.
This may not have been the best of trips in terms of adventure and excitement, but what everything I took back with me was well worth the traffic. If you can, please do look out for the November issue of Flow Magazine :)
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