LOVE LAGUNA: Laguna Art and Handicrafts Appreciation

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Laguna is only around 1.5-hour drive from where I live, but it has been a while since the last time I visited this province. I realized that they have so much to offer aside from family and barkada destinations like Enchanted Kingdom and Caliraya, that I am missing out quite a lot! 

During my recent trip to Laguna, I learned that there are a lot of other homegrown arts and handicrafts unique to their towns and municipalities that we Filipinos should support and be proud of. Here are some of them:

1. Wood Whittling and Shaving, Pakil

The Municipality of Pakil, Laguna is proud of their delicate version of woodcarving. Kayas, or the art of wood shaving and whittling, is meticulously done using three types of wood that are known for its soft pliable texture and can only be found in Laguna. The folk artisans of Pakil carve out interesting shapes with fine details, including angels, swans, and fans. To keep this traditional art alive, they also encourage apprentices.

2. Wooden Bags, Paete

Speaking of wood carving, we also visited the "Carving Capital of the Philippines" Paete! 70% of the town's livelihood comes from their handicraft industry. We visited a supplier that produces really beautiful wooden bags for big brand names. You can see how unique and well-made these Paete wooden bags are! Hoping to own a Paete wooden bag someday.

3. Wood and Metal Sculptures, Paete

Another sculptor that we visited in Paete uses different materials to produce detailed sculptures that are great home displays. Sculptor Glenn Cagandahan demonstrated how he keeps his human sculptures look realistic yet raw by using his bare hands in adding details to the hair and body. Paxie told me he already saw Sir Glenn's works before in Megamall, a testament of how distinct this Paete native's works are that you'll easily recognize them.

4. Barong Tagalog Embroidery, Lumban

Another intricate craft in Laguna is pagbuburda, or their embroideries. From the Traditional Barong Tagalog, to saya, kimonos, gowns, and other tapestries, they create intricate patterns on delicate fabrics by hand or machine to create wearable art pieces. LumbeƱos are proud of their craftsmanship, even celebrating “Burdang Lumban Festival” to showcase their best embroidered pieces through a trade fair.

5. Water Hyacinth Products, Pila

Weaved bags and textiles are well-known products of our country, including the water hyacinth crafts of RolyoLikha and Sarilikha of Pila, Laguna. Water hyacinth is a type of weed abundant in this municipality, put into good use by the creative people of Pila. With the durable yet flexible and easy to clean features of water hyacinth fiber, they created home and fashion products that are highly sellable to local and international market. Some of these products are handbags, chairs, baskets, mats, mirror frames, home decors, etc. 


The Provincial Government of Laguna just launched their newest campaign to boost the tourism of the province. Dubbed as #LoveLaguna, this campaign highlights Laguna as an art, food, culture, adventure, and nature destination. There's so much to see and experience!

Provincial Governor Ramil Hernandez with provincial mayors during the launch of #LoveLaguna tourism campaign:

We also visited the “Likhang Laguna” trade fair called located at the Town Municipal Hall:

Soon, they will also have a dedicated website and phone app to serve as a one-stop-shop for all things Laguna. Guests, both local and international, can now easily plan for their next Laguna adventure based on their interests .

When this site up, I will make sure it won't take long for me to go back to Laguna. I love the chill vibe during our whole stay, and would like to discover more of their art. I hope Laguna will also offer simple crafting classes for their guests, an add on premium to tourists heading to their workshops and showrooms. Aside from that, I'd also like to see more of their new resorts, and discover Instagrammable food destinations too. Exciting times ahead! 

With my friends Rodel, Paxie, Rod, and Alex during the Love Laguna launch, and some souvenirs from our Laguna trip--orchids, wooden products, etc.

Visit Love Laguna on Facebook for more information and updates!

Watch more of this trip here:

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