* the church main altar
Trips to the peaceful town of Paete in Laguna will never be tiresome, that’s for sure. With its long history of wood carving industry, one may not be surprised at all to discover new things, no matter how small they are, whenever you come to visit the place. Our trip to Paete this time was a revisit, having come to the town several years back.
* Juico Final painting
* interiors view of the Paete church
What we saw is a major repair enterprise primarily for the big artwork entitled “San Cristobal” executed by the Paete artist Jose Luciano Dans in 1850. It was removed from its place and was seemed placed on the church floor for the eventual repairs. A small tarpaulin, sponsored by the Philippine Women’s University in Santa Cruz, Laguna, mentions the following note:
* Jose Luciano Dans’ “San Cristobal” painting in need of repairs
* Jose Luciano Dans’ “Langit, Lupa, Impiyerno” and its details
“Diyoses ng San Pablo / Parokya ng Santiago Apostol / Paete, Laguna / SAGIP SAN CRISTOBAL PROJECT A project to help, protect and preserve one of the country’s oldest and largest mural. This project aims to save Paete Roman Catholic Church’s San Cristobal Paintings (fresco & wood). The art was made by Mr. Jose Luciano Dans, the first visual artist in the Philippines without formal education and a native of Paete. The large painting (on wood) shows a fair skinned Caucasian St. Christopher (San Cristobal) carrying the Child Christ across the river. The painting was made in 3.5 x 5 meters in joined planks of wood and is dated about the year 1852. Amusingly during the church renovations in the 1980s another older St. Christopher was found painted directly on the wall behind the wooden planks of Dan’s masterpiece. It was possibly dated to the eighteenth century (circa 1780) making it very peculiar in fact. Despite of all the odds presented in this article, the Parochial Historical and Cultural Heritage Commission, with the help of National Historical Commission of the Philippines looks forward for help and support for the restoration project of one of the Philippines’ treasure arts.”
* church façade
Aside from this one, the church still looks the same with all the other paintings seen inside. It’s like nothing has changed significantly even way back its budding period.
* Pambayang Tanghalan at Sentrong Pangkultura and some repairs
Outside repairs seemed to be the activity of choice of the people of Paete for we saw some fixtures getting some makeover. In the end what are worth studying are the natural events which nearly destroyed the town as well as some tidbits of local history.