Paete, Laguna, a town famous for its skilled woodcarvers and woodcrafts, was founded in 1580 by the Rev. Juan Plasencia. Its first stone church and convent was built in 1646 but was destroyed in an earthquake in 1717. Another church was constructed in 1717 but was also destroyed in the earthquake of 1880. The church built in 1884 was again, destroyed in the earthquake of 1937. At present, buttresses support the church to make it structurally sound. Since the 1970s, the present church has been undergoing restorations and renovations.
In the past, all religious images inside the church were carved and painted by the local residents of Paete, showcasing their mastery and skill of woodcarving. But maybe due to several earthquakes in the past, these masterpieces were destroyed along with the church. Santiago or St. James the Apostle is the patron saint of Paete.
Useful information: "The main entrance, fronting the plaza, is generally locked. Entrance to the church is through a side door (which has unfortunately been remodeled and outfitted with historically inaccurate decoration)."