The weather only worsened as we stopped at the plaza across the St. James the Apostle Parish in Paete. Raindrops peter-pattered on our van’s windows as we hesitated in shooting or waiting it out. The afternoon however was winding down and we were still hoping we’d make a sort of sunset shoot at Lake Caliraya through some miracle.
With cameras tucked under our shirt, we made a dash for Paete Church’s 12-foot high doorway.
The church is solidly made of adobe stones with egg whites for mortar. Founded in 1580, it was rebuilt after earthquakes and calamities in the years 1717, 1880 and 1937.
Paete church was constructed in the Baroque style with numerous bas reliefs, the most prominent of which is that of St. James riding a horse over the dead bodies of non-believers above the arched entrance. Its stone carvings almost remind me of old Inca ruins I’ve seen on travel shows.
Like the church’s façade, its interior is also finished with rough adobe walls. Its wooden barreled ceiling, colorful stained glass windows and faux chandeliers somehow complete its old world look.
Moving towards its gilded altar, one immediately notices its intricacy; Paete is after all known for its excellent wood carvers. The retablo is made by the locals, most notably by Bartolome Palatino and Francisco Macahumpan.
Huge old paintings by Jose Dans, the same artist that did the controversial Judicium Finale painting that depicts women in hell inside Pakil Church, also dot its walls. Unfortunately, I absolutely have no photos of these giants for reasons that somehow escape me now.
I was about to shoot further details of Paete Church’s medium-sized but impressive exterior when the heavens decided to finally pull the curtain on our trip. The rain fell once more. It looked like this adobe church at Paete’s heart was gonna be our last destination. Well, I guess it’s not really a bad place to conclude our mini tour of Rizal and Laguna.
St. James the Apostle Church
Quesada St. cor Almeda St.
Click to View Location on Google Maps
PART OF A RIZAL-LAGUNA LOOP DAY TOUR: Morong Church | Baras Church | Pakil Church | Paete Church