Taka of Paete

FILIPINO FOLK ART. Colorful, warm, and whimsical – the taka of Paete have become the epitome of Filipino folk art. They are like the Filipino fiesta painted on papier-mâché figures of dolls in Filipiniana, roosters, carabaos, and fire engine-red horses.

These takas are sold side by side with woodcarvings in shops in this town known for its fine woodcarvers and visual artists.

HISTORY OF TAKA MAKING. The exact history of taka-making in Paete is difficult to trace. Old folks claim that Mexican friars introduced taka-making to the pueblo of Paete some centuries ago as a cottage industry for the female population while the males worked on woodcarving.

This perhaps explains why the taka of Paete is linked with the Mexican piñata. While the piñata is decorated with tear up colored paper, the taka of Paete is individually hand-painted with the happiest and vibrant colors and embellished with floral and fancy designs.

HAND MADE. The art of taka-making begins with the process by hand carving hardwood sculptures that becomes the takaans or the actual mold where layers upon layers of paper are glued, sundried before the papier-mâché figures are hand-painted.

VINTAGE MOLDS. The vintage papier-mâché molds are sought after by antique collectors but the taka-makers in Paete often refused to sell them for their heritage and cultural value  –in other words they are priceless.

BUHAY AT HUGIS PAETE. One of the shops in Paete that specializes in taka and other paper craft is the Ang Buhay at Hugis Paete.

Different sizes and color of horses, carabaos, dolls in Filipiniana costume, tropical fruits and vegetables all made of papier-mâché fill the store from floor to ceiling. There also Moriones masks and masks for Mardi Gras that becomes in demand at certain seasons.

EPILOGUE. Founded by director and production designer Lino Dalay with her 80-year old mother mommy Martha, the store is like a museum of Filipino folk art that showcases Paete’s tangible heritage.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. hello🙂 do you still remember how much they sell a medium sized taka in paete? thanks!

  2. hello🙂 do you still remember how much they sell for a medium sized taka? thanks!

  3. Love this post. keep posting! I always check your blog but keep forgetting to comment!

    • Thank you Albert.

  4. Paete has long fascinated me with its unique arts that did not come about recently – art has been historically a Paetenos way of life that to this day is much alive and consumes her reputation (mabanggit mo lang Paete sining na agad ang usapan) But then again, it must be their drinking water!

    • good to hear from you again Arnold.


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