Income Classification: 4th Class
Congressional District: 4th District
No. of Barangays: 9
Land Area: 6,301.11 has.
Registered Voters: 17,282
Newly Elected Local Officials (2016 Election)
Paete is a 4th class municipality in the Province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 23,835 people in 5,101 households. The town, pronounced Pī-té, long i, short guttural ê, is located at the north eastern part of Laguna, along the shores of the picturesque Laguna de Bay. Paete derived its name from “paet”, Tagalog word for chisel, the principal tool used in woodcarving. The proper pronunciation of the town’s name is probably “Pa-e-te”, but natives call it “Pay-ti” (Pi-tè) with the guttural “e” sound at the end. Only when conversing with people not from the place do Paetenians use the tri-syllabic pronunciation, or they would not be understood even by fellow Filipinos. When the American Maryknoll Missioners came to Paete in the late 1950s, they called our town “Piety”. 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).
Paete was founded in 1580 by Spanish friars Juan de Placencia and Diego de Oropesa of the Franciscan Order as part (visita) of Pueblo de Lumban. In 1600, Spanish authorities made it part of Pangil. In 1602, however, the community became a full-pledged pueblo and was christened Pueblo de San Lorenzo in honor of the community’s patron saints. Areas like Pakil in the North and Longos, San Juan, and San Antonio in the South were its barrios. In 1669, these barrios in the south became part of Pueblo development-Longos, now called Kalayaan. In 1676, Pakil also became a Pueblo.
It is believed that the earliest inhabitants were of Malay lineage, coming all the way from Borneo in their swift and sturdy boats called “Balangay”. The town is made famous by craftsmen highly skilled in woodcarving and its embellishment. 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” in March 15, 2005 by Philippine President Arroyo. Many descendants of these skillful artisans have found a niche in the culinary world. Ice sculptures and fruit and vegetable carvings done by dexterous hands of Paeteños abound on buffet tables of cruise ships and world-class hotels and restaurants. Today the town thrives mainly on the sale and export of woodcarvings and taka (papier maché), tourism, poultry industry, farming and fishing.
Paete is an inland town of Laguna located at its north-eastern part. It is about 113 kilometers from Manila via Sta. Cruz route and approximately 90 km. from Manila via Siniloan-Pililia-Cainta route. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Paete, on the east by the Quezon Province, in the south by the municipality of San Juan Kalayaan and on the west by the Laguna Bay. Its geographical coordinates are 14º22’ longitude.
Major Income Sources: Commerce, Trade and Woodcraft & Paper Mache Industry; OFWs working as culinary/kitchen artists in international land and sea-based hotels or luxury liners
Tourist Destinations: St. James the Apostle Parish Church, Tatlong Krus Pilgrimage Site, Matabuncca Falls, Wawa Park
Special Events/Festivals: Paet Taka Festival, Town Fiesta (Feast of St. James the Apostle), Salibanda (Sto. Nino Festival), Holy Week Religious & Cultural Traditions
Address: Municipal Building, J.V. Quesada St., Paete, Laguna
Phone: (049) 501-6490 / (049) 501-6475