The small town of Paete was founded as a Christian settlement around 1580 by Fray Juan de Plasencia and Fray Diego de Ongresa. This urban was first a visita of Pueblo de Lumban.
Pueblo de San Lorenzo was Paete’s first name, as derived from the first Patron Saint San Lorenzo Ruiz, given by the missionary priests. Year 1600 when Paete was separated from Lumban then became part of Pangil. But in 1602 Paete stood alone as Pueblo de San Lorenzo, with Pakil on its North, and Longos, San Juan and San Antonio on its South, as Paete’s Barrios.
It was in 1669 when the barrios in the South became Pueblo de Longos – now Kalayaan. And on 1676, Pakil stood on itself, leaving Paete without any barrio.
Although very small compared to its nearby towns, Paete became well known by its woodcrafts, its people – the artisans, and its rich culture. After liberation, Paete became distinguished for wooden shoes (bakya) beautifully handcrafted and chiseled in various remarkable designs. This lucrative industry unfastened several additional crafts, like woodcarving, furniture making, papier mache, paper pulp, resin and countless notable creations from the town declared as the Carving Capital of the Philippines on March 15, 2005 under Presidential Proclamation No. 809.
Paete is an inland town of the Province of Laguna located at its northeastern part. It is about 113 kilometers away from Manila, bounded on the north by the Municipality of Pakil, on the east by the Province of Quezon and on the west by the Laguna de Bay. Its geographical coordinates are 14 degree 220 latitude and 121 degree 290 longitude
Paete has a total land area of 6,301.625 hectares including the uplands of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The Poblacion consists only of 201.861 hectares. It has nine (9) barangays, all of which are situated within the Poblacion. The mountain areas are divided into sitios, which are grouped and assigned to the urban barangay.
A large portion of the town is upland and hilly occupying 90% of the total land area.
The Corporate Seal of Paete is composed of chisel, wherein Paete name had been derived; the Square, the quality of its citizenry as just, truthful and hopeful; and two (2) bunches of Lanzones Fruit.
On October 16, 1993, the Municipal Council of Paete, Laguna passed and approved Resolution No. 280 S. 1993, which started the adoption of Chisel, Square and Two (2) Bunches of Lanzones Fruit, as the emblem or corporate seal of Paete, Laguna.
The Municipality of Paete based on the 2000 census conducted by NCSO has a total population of 23,011. The total number of household counted is 5,611, with an average of five (5) individuals per households.
Paete’s overpowering enticement to local and foreign tourists is unremitting, exemplifying its major tourist attraction – the woodcarving industry. Through the Local Government Unit’s projects and programs, the administration and its tourism council team up, for the sightseers and visitors to sense and experience startling journey to the town, to smile and to shop, to learn and to be astounded.
The Roman Catholic Church, which was built during the Spanish time (1645), is located at the heart of the Poblacion with spacious patios in front of it. Repairs were made in the past but the original design (baroque) was preserved.
Wa-wa park, located along the shore of Laguna lake; a precise spot to witness a number of beautiful sunsets. Natives and visitors gather around here to play, to meet people, to mingle, to enjoy boat rides on colorful bancas or to go fishing.
Lenten Season, foreign and local tourists visit Paete during the Holy Week to observe the celebration of the Centurion, witness the reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ being done on Holy Thursday. During the night, people observe the moving statues of saints’ procession depicting the Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross.
Salibanda, the feast of the Santo Niño’s (Holy Child) celebration can be observed during the month of January. Sunday processions of the Sto. Niño highlights their thanksgiving rites through the devotees’ dance wearing their red clothes as water gushes from the spectators and neighbors.
Matabuncca Falls and Tatlong Krus along the range of Sierra Madre mountains atop the town where tourist spots are heritage legacy for the people.
Paet-Taka-Lanzones Festival – During the 3rd week of September, a one-week grand presentation of all the major handicrafts and the well-known sweet Lanzones, highlighted with cultural shows and a grand parade.
Kite making and flying competition – During the month of May master craftsmen of Paete make use of their talent in making beautiful kites and display their flying skills in an annual competition at the Wa-wa park along the lake shore.
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION
Transportation and transport utilities were developed. A number of private vehicles, bus companies serve the province to Manila. It normally takes two to three hours from Paete to Manila, traveling on the well-paved roads
Communication plays an important role in the development. Paete has different communication services namely: Telegraph, Telephone System (PLDT AND Digitel), Cell Sites (GLOBE and SMART) and a local radio station (RADIO NATIN).
Radio and television program aired in Metro Manila clearly reach town. Newspapers, magazines, comics and other bulletins are also available in the municipality. All these forms of communication channel makes the resident’s well – informed and up to date in terms of both National and International issues.
Postal services in the municipality is being carried by the Postal Service Office located at the ground of the Municipal Building.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIES
Paete, in fact has a large concentration of handicraft industries such as woodcarving, paper mache, paper pulps and resin molding. More than 88 woodcraft factories with an estimated annual income of P 18,000,000.00
This handicraft industry provides 70% of the population’s livelihood.
AGRICULTURAL AND TRADITIONAL ENTERPRISES
Although the town of Paete is considered as industrial town, still by and large, on agricultural produce and supplies 38.14% of the area is devoted to agriculture.
The soil is suitable for fruit trees, rice, vegetables, root crops and coconut. Poultry, livestock rising and fishery also provide additional income.
These traditional enterprises make the town self-sufficient.
The First Laguna Electric Cooperative Inc. serve the Municipality of Paete’s electricity.
FLECO has its main office at Lumban, Laguna its power is supplied by the National Power Corporation connected to its plant in Caliraya. Its substation has a capacity of 2 – 5 MVS.
Paete has its own water system. The Paete Waterworks System provides the Municipality of Paete of its need of potable water. There are a total of five (5) major springs, 2 are located at Ilaya del Norte, 1 at Ilaya del Sur, 1 at Quenale, and 1 at Macumbo with a total combined flow rate of 23 litters per second. As of to date there are about 4,000 households being served by the Municipal water works.