ART FIESTA. Carvers start crafting their masterpieces at the festival held Dec. 27-28 as part of the celebration of the feast of St. James the Great, patron of Betis, Guagua, which parish church is dubbed as the “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines.” Photo by Bong Lacson
GUAGUA, Pampanga – In order to create awareness especially among the young generations, the 10th Dukit Festival was held in the village of Betis here.
Betis, which became famous for its Baroque style church, is home to Pampanga’s wood carvers.
Presidential awardee in ecclesiastical art Willy Layug, world-renowned sculptor and true son of Betis, said the Dukit Festival held last December 27-28 featured eight artists from Paete, Laguna and six local talents here. He said the root materials had two artists each where they presented their free expressions. Two artists worked on a piece, he added.
Judges from Manila were invited like prominent contemporary artist Roger Santos, Danny Santiago, Capampangan sculptor Merlito “Noy” Jepte, and painter Ernie Velasquez of Bulacan, said Layug.
Winners received cash prizes from P50,000, P30,000 and P20,000 for the finished materials for the national level and P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 for the on-the-spot wood carving contest national level while the local level had P10,000, P8,000 and P5,000 which had local fruits and flowers as subjects.
He said the festival’s theme was “reawakening” in order to create awareness especially to the young generation and to promote the culture and tradition of sculpting and wood carving.
Mayor Dante Torres said the two-day festival was part of the celebration of the feast of St. James the Great, patron of Betis, Guagua, which parish church is dubbed as the “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines.”
Torres said it is hoped that Betis dwindling wood carving industry will be revived through the Dukit Festival.