Tuesday, July 30, 2013

158. Santo Stories: LA MUERTE DE SAN JOSE of Paete and Pampanga

The dramatic tableau of La Muerte de San Jose (Death of San Jose) belongs to the famed woodcarving Cagandahan Family of Paete, the country's carving capital. Master carvers from this family include the 1952 Art Association of the Philippines awardee, Isaac V. Cagandahan, who created the "Orasyon", and Paete Arts Guild member, Glenn Cagandahan. 

This processional tableau shows the dying San Jose, comforted by Mary and Jesus and attended by a bevy of angels. It dates from the late 19th century.

In the 1900s, a member of the Cagandahan family, Basilisa Cagandahan, became the second wife of a Kapampangan man, Irineo Jose. As a gift to her husband, she had this smaller replica of their Paete's La Muerte de San Jose made. They are exact copies, only done in smaller scale.

This version now is in the care of the Tantingco Family, relatives of the Cagandahan-Jose Family. It is kept in its own storehouse in Mabalacat, Pampanga,  and is still regularly used for procession, especially on his feast days, March 19 and May1.

The twin images now serve as a link to two families, united in marriage, but divided by geographic locations--one in Pampanga, and the other in Paete, which incidentally, are two major carving centers of the Philippines.

(Pictures and info courtesy of Arwin Paul Lingat, Robby Tantingco, Rhea Jose Mateo)

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