Betis’ 1st open national furniture, wood carving competition set


    CLARK FREEPORT – A small rural community here made famous by its  artistry is now the venue of the first open national competition for the  country’s wood furniture makers and carvers. 

    The village of Betis  in Guagua,  Pampanga, which gained world prominence for its woodcarving industry,  will be the venue of   he first “Dukit Festival” set on December 23  to 28.

    Guagua Mayor Dante G. Torres  said the competition,  which will be held at the famous Betis Church, will  showcase the creations of top wood furniture makers and carvers from Paete in Laguna, Rizal, Ifugao, Isabela  and other known hubs for topnotch artisans,  including Betis, in the country. 

    Former Central Bank Governor Jaime C. Laya, National Artist Ben  Cabrera and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos will topbill the panel of judges for the competition,   ores said. 

    The judging and awarding of winners will be held on Dec. 28 with  Pampanga Gov. Lilia  Nanay Baby”  Pineda and Department of Tourism Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico as  special guests,  he mayor added.

    The master in ecclesiastical art,  Wilfedo “Willy” Layug, is actively involved in inviting   artisans from all over the country to join the competition, Torres also said in last Friday’s  weekly media  forum “Balitaan” hosted  by the Capampangan in Media, Inc. (CAMI) in cooperation with the Clark  development Corp. (CDC) and Social Security System (SSS) at the  Bale-Balita here.

    Besides bolstering   etis’ image as the home of high-quality furniture and  work of arts made from wood, Torres said the   competition is also intended to heighten the national awareness  on the importance of replanting trees in  your denuded forests and protecting the remaining forests if only to help dampen the impact of climate  change.

    Torres said he was also hoping  that with this event, Guagua’s wood furniture and woodcarving   industry would get a sufficient allocation of materials once the government fully  implements its total log  and policy. 

    Betis has been widely known for its woodcarving (dukit in the local dialect) and furniture- waking   radition that began even before the arrival of the Spaniards.  The industry prospered during and after the   spanish colonial period, highlighted by the creation and production in large number of the elegant  “sillion  e fraileros” of the friars  that later became the common “luklukan” or chair of a family patriarch. 

    The  hapening of the Suez Canal in  the 19th century further buttressed the high reputation of Betis in the  wooden furniture and décor with its  artisans creating a full ensemble of interior decorations.  Torres said   he event is expected to create awareness to help Betis develop into a major destination for local  and foreign tourists.  



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