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Betis Dukit Festival!

JOIN! The 1st Betis Open National Furniture and Wood Carving Competition!

PHILIPPINES. As part of the celebration of its Dukit Festival, the Municipality of Guagua in Pampanga, in collaboration with the Betis Fiesta Committee 214 and the Betis Parish Heritage Foundation, is staging the 1st Betis National Furniture and Wood Carving Competition on December 23 – 28, 2014 at the Betis Church. Judging and awarding of winners will take place on December 28 with Governor Lilia Pineda of Pampanga and Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico of the Department of Tourism – Region III as special guests.

This event will feature artists from different regions in the country in a bid to showcase their homegrown talent / skills and propagate the woodcarving industry and products to both national and international market while at the same time promote tourism and travel in this part of the region as a prime destination among local and international visitors. The event is likewise part of the celebration of the feast of St. James the Apostle, the patron saint of the town.

The honorable mayor of Guagua, Dante D. Torres together with committee chairman and highly esteemed master in ecclesiastical art, Wilfredo “Willy” Layug, is extending an invitation for all wood carvers and artisans in the country to register and join the furniture and wood carving competition.

All about furniture making and wood carving industry in Betis, Guagua

The woodcarving and furniture making tradition in Betis, Guagua is an age-old industry. Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, the people of Betis are well-known artisans - blacksmiths, carvers, shipbuilders and carpenters.

Moreover, when Betis became an encomienda in the 1770s, trades with other European and Asian settlements prospered, which consequently acquainted the local people with current trends in many things, then flourishing in Europe and Asia. And from this new development, the people of Betis easily embraced what was akin to their aesthetic sensibilities: furniture making.

As time progressed, the growth in number of the elite was inevitable. Several illustrados in Betis, who were able to visit European countries brought back European influences especially in terms of taste. They wanted the interior of their houses decorated as if they were in a monarchy. The elegant sillion de fraileros of the friars later became the common "lulukan" of the padre de pamilya. And the maker? A Betis mandukit.

It was from this germinal idea of "luklukan" that the whole industry and art of furniture making progressed. And when the opening the opening of the Suez Canal happened in the 19th century, this industry was at its full bloom as local artisans were creating a full ensemble of interior decorations of sala set, grandfather clocks, console and side tables and history as well.

Today, Betis still enjoys a high reputation in wooden furniture and decor, intricately created by local artisans. The name Betis has become synonymous to top-notch woodworks and furniture. The place is often reputed to be the furniture making and wood carving capital of Luzon. A stroll through the place especially prior to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo would reveal the extent of this industry's legacy in the lives of the Betis people. Furniture, carvings, and religious icons often spill out into the backyards from homes that double as small woodworking shops. Once sees sculptors and carvers busy at work all over the place throughout the day.

From Betis, emerged several generations of master carvers, among them the Flores family, whose patriarch Juan Flores contributed greatly to the advancement of this art and industry. Mr. Flores became one of Philippine art masters to achieve a high level of excellence in the use of wood as sculpture medium. In 1971, he was chosen by the government as the country's representative in a three-day competition in Washington, DC. There he won the top prize for his magnificent rendering of a life-like bust of the US Pres. Richard Nixon, besting competitors from all over the globe. (Source: www.guaguapampanga.gov.ph)

For further details, please contact Mr. Alan Mendoza at (045) 900-4496 / 0922-832-8723 or email at [email protected] Deadline for registration is on December 12, 2014. Cash prizes and trophies await the winning entries.

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Department of Tourism - Region III (Central Luzon)
Paskuhan Village, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines
Phone: (63 45) 961-2612 / 5617 / 625-8525
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
Recipient: PATA Gold Intl Award 2001, Kalakbay Natl Award 2001, ASEANTA Intl Award 2002 for Best Ecotourism Project
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