A town south of Laguna, Paete is just about two-hour ride from the Office of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) of the UP Open University.
Paete’s name was taken from the word “paet” (or pait), which is the local term for chisel, the main tool used in woodcarving. Paete is famous for wood carved items such as statues, images, intricate furniture and other products. In 2005, Paete was proclaimed as the wood carving capital of the Philippines.
From UPOU, you will pass by Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan and a few towns before reaching Paete.
First of the places you must visit is the Church of Santiago Apostol, a declared National Historical Site. It is filled with woodcarvings that Paeteños have carved collectively for many decades, centuries even. This includes the beautifully carved retablo and the life-size Last Supper, complete with the 12 apostles, sitting around the rectangle dining table.
Paeteños are world-class carvers. Many churches in the country have at least an image carved in Paete. The image of the Crucified Christ found in St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome was carved in Paete. They also are now famous as ice carvers, and many are employed in luxury cruise ships as ice carvers.
Paete is also well known for its paper mache products. It is also believed that the first yo-yo, a wooden toy, is made in Paete. They also carved intricate designs on the wooden sole of the Filipino bakya, our traditional footwear.
The carvers of Paete have joined and won in the UPOU Wood Carving Design and Competition organized by the FMDS.