Sunday, January 23, 2011

Land of the Carved 2: The Paete Church

* the façade of the church of Paete

* the church’s belfry

* side entrance to the church

* view of the pews and aisle

* the church’s dome from the inside

* the church’s main retablo

* Trailer Pransis taking on a serious pose

A visit to Paete would be incomplete without visiting the church of Paete. Besides, it is one structure that stands out in the midst oft this town.

The Church Origins

It is likely that the construction of the first church in town was administered by the Franciscan missionaries. The first church, along with the convent, was erected on 1646. But this was destroyed by 1717, prompting Rev. Francisco de la Fuente to construct stronger one in the same year. But this one was destroyed too by the earthquake of 1880. Another one was built in 1884 by Rev. Pedro Galiano O.F.M. but this one was once again destroyed by an earthquake in August 20, 1937.

Those details are from the then Philippine Historical Committee. But inside the church, posted on one of its walls, is a note by a certain E. C. Quesada (probably related to the owners of the Kape Kesasa Art Gallery and Café found in Paete?). It was stated that in 1840, Fr. Luis de Nambroca remodeled and reconstructed the façade, giving it a “modern” look.

* another retablo

* and another, this one with Christ as the centerpiece

* the Christmas decoration inside the church

* a statue of the Sto. Niño lavishly decorated in this one

* a carving of a saint (help me identify it, chance reader) on a rostrum

* a pulpit seemingly out of place; I wonder if it has entrance for the preacher

The Paete Grounds

I shall try to look at this short history of Paete church from a scientific viewpoint. Perhaps the place in which the church is located is really prone to earthquakes?

This question led me to rummage through my files again and see a map published by NAMRIA. The cropped photo you see above is from a Ground Shaking Hazard Map of Laguna published by NAMRIA. The hazard data was from PHIVOLCS. There are no active faults within Paete or its surrounding areas but the red color in the map signifies susceptibility to PEIS (PHIVOLCS Earthquake intensity scale) Intensity VIII and above.

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