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If artisans from Betis, Pampanga designed dresses
When it comes to intricate work, the woodcarving artisans of Betis, Pampanga are in a league of their own. After all, it is said that the tradition of using a chisel and mallet in Betis is as old as the town itself.
Even before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, people in Betis were well known as blacksmiths, carvers, ship builders, and carpenters. And when the conquistadors came to the Philippines with the Catholic faith, the town’s artisans eventually used and furthered their talent in what is now the magnificent heritage church of Betis.
Established in 1607, the Baroque Church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2001.
The main door of Betis Church features intricate carvings portraying the “Gates of Paradise.” Once inside, religious frescoes on the ceiling and wall murals that are very much like those of the Renaissance masters in the Sistine Chapel show more of the masterpieces of Kapampangan artists.
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