Laguna Church Series: Saint James the Apostle Church, The Artisan's Church
The church was built on 1846 after Fr. Juan de Palesencia established a friary in 1580. However in 1880, the church that was built by Rev. Francisco de la Fuente in 1717, which was known to be much stronger, was destroyed by an earthquake. Church reconstruction was led by Rev. Pedro Galiano, and filled with centuries old paintings and wooden images. In 1937 the church was again destroyed by an earthquake, and once again rebuilt.
A special point of interest in this church are the San Cristobal paintings of Jose Luciano Dans. There are actually two paintings. The first one was a San Cristobal with distinctively Filipino features. However the parish priest was not happy with the painting, and instructed Dans to paint another one on wood, which was placed on top of the first. The people of Paete believed there was only one painting until recently, when cleaning the second version's back, and discovered the original.
The images are truly works of art. Some of them even have mechanisms that make the body parts move. Joel Aldor of Illuminati Tours tells us that one of the images has it's eyes suddenly close to dramatize Christ's death on the cross.