Photowalk: Paete, Laguna

18 April 2011


Photowalk: Paete, Laguna


Photowalks with my photography classmates from Photography UP Batch 25 have always been adventurous, informative, and fun.


Our first walks were at Wawa Dam in Montalban (click here to read the Wawa Adventure), Binondo Church in Manila (click here to read the Binondo Photowalk), and Manila Bay (click here to see the Manila Bay sunset).


Our first photowalk for 2011 was supposed to be our first wildlife photo adventure ever. However, the light rains and gloomy weather were our excuses for not pushing through with it, hence the photoshoot turned to a hang-out-in-my-house-while-food-tripping adventure. We swore that the next photoshoot will push through…and it did at Paete, Laguna.


En route to Paete. Getting Lost beside the Sierra Madre Mountain Range which we did not mind at all given the scenic view.

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Paete is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines located at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

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Paete is known for its Paete Church.
“In 1580, Juan de Palesencia, a Franciscan friar built a friary in Paete. Its stone church and its convent were built in 1846. In 1717, Rev. Francisco de la Fuente led the construction of a stronger church, which was later destroyed by the earthquake of 1880. The church was reconstructed in 1884 by Rev. Pedro Galiano which was filled with century-old paintings and woorden statuaries. It was destroyed by an earthquake on 20 August 1937 and has since been rebuilt.


Paete Church blends a distinctly local style with Western baroque style. All the religious images were carved and/or painted by the residents of Paete long ago.”


The Paete Church Facade
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Paintings and Murals Inside the Church
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Stone Church Texture Outside
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Flowers Around the Church
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Tatlong krus on the Sierra Mountains
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The town is made famous by craftsmen highly skilled in woodcarving.

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“Paete has come a long way from what Jose Rizal describes as that town from whose “carpenter shops” were issued images “even those more rudely carved” (chapter VI, Noli Me Tangere ). Even now, its inhabitants (called Paeteños or Paetenians) continue with their centuries-old tradition in carving and painting. Rizal would feel proud of the town’s masterpieces, evident in statues, pulpits, murals and bas relief found in churches, palaces and museums all over the world—among them the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, the Mission Dolorosa in San Francisco, the San Cayetano Church in Mexico, the St. Joseph’s shrine in Sta. Cruz, California, various churches in the Philippines and the Ayala Museum in Makati, Philippines. The official town hero is not a statesman nor a soldier but a woodcarver, the master artisan Mariano Madriñan, whose obra maestra, the life-like Mater Dolorosa, was honored by the King of Spain with a prestigious award in Amsterdam in 1882.


The town was proclaimed “the Carving Capital of the Philippines” on March 15, 2005 by Philippine President Arroyo. It is also believed that the modern yo-yo, which orinated in the Philippines, was invented in Paete. ” –

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Paete is also known for its paper mache, also locally known as taka.

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Many descendants of these skillful artisans have found a niche in the culinary world. Ice sculptures and fruit and vegetable carvings done by the hands of Paeteños abound on buffet tables of cruise ships and world-class hotels and restaurants.


Ice Carving in Action
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Other artwork aside from woodcraft are found in the several art galleries in Paete.
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Little Girl Guarding Her Mom’s Mangoes
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Aside from sharing thoughts and insights about photography and the latest post processing trends, we also had lessons on Filipino.


No Parking
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One Way
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The town is located at the northeastern part of Laguna, along the shores of picturesque Laguna de Bay. We had fun shooting Laguna de Bay in as much as taking shots of Paete.

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For a Living
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Playground by the Bay
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Paete – a little town in Laguna (but big in culture and religion).


Photowalk: Paete, Laguna
Address: Paete, Laguna, Philippines
Telephone Number: NA
Budget: varies on transpo and food

Feel free to leave your comments.

Explore the world we live in,

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Mai Pascua


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