Inside a wood-carving studio

I recently accompanied my cousin’s husband visit a woodcarver’s shop.

Who’s the woodcarver?

His name is Paloy Cagayat and he’s from Paete, Laguna. Paete is known for the quality of its woodcarvings.


They use the wood of the Batikuling tree. Description: a large tree, Litsea Perottetii, of the laurel family, the wood of which is soft, fragrant when fresh, easy to work, and not subject to the attacks of termites, or white ants. It is one of the most useful woods of the Philippine Islands, and is used for making writing-desks and other articles, taking the place of pine.

Batikuling Wood "Paoly Cagayat" "Paete, Laguna, Philippines"

Batikuling Wood. Taken at the workshop of Paoly Cagayat of Paete, Laguna, Philippines

Some of the woodcarving tools around the workshop:

"Paloy Cagayat" "Wood Carver" Laguna

Paloy Caguiat's Tools

The workshop contained several objects that unmistakeably belong to a woodcarving workshop.

"Paloy Cagayat" model woodcarving

Model at Paloy Cagayat's woodcarving workshop

"Paloy Cagayat" "Wood Carver" Paete Laguna Tools

Paloy Cagayat's Tools

C-Clamp Batikuling Woodcarving

A C-clamp that holds the feet of a statue together as the glue hardens

Woodcarving "Religious Statue"

This appears to be the head of a religious statue.

I didn’t meet the man himself. Instead I met his son, Franco, whose work has already been featured in a popular local car magazine.

"Franco Cagayat" handcarved woodcarving car model

Franco Cagayat, Paloy's son, showing off a handcarved model. The Maybach is a refined Mercedes Benz.

He came out inside the pages of the May 2011 issue of Top Gear, a popular car magazine in the Philippines.

"Franco Cagayat" "Top Gear magazine" May 2011 issue "Video: Get to know Top Gear Philippines' May 2011 Car Culture star"

Franco Cagayat, Top Gear magazine, May 2011 issue

"Franco Cagayat" "Wood Carver" Paete Laguna

Another model by Franco Cagayat. The Spyker is a Dutch-made exoticar (

Religious Statues

Have you ever wondered how many religious statues there are in the Philippines? It seems there’s an altar or two in every house. The population is 80% Catholic and religious statues are a big part of Catholicism. Little wonder then that religious statues would become a woodcarver’s bread-and-butter.

These heads may become angels.

"Paloy Cagayat" "Wood Carver" Paete Laguna Female Heads

Paloy Cagayat, Wood Carver, Laguna -- Two Female Heads

"Religious Statues" "Paloy Cagayat" woodcarving shop "Paete, Laguna"

Shelved Religious Statues at Paloy Cagayat's woodcarving shop in Paete, Laguna

"Religious Statue"

A sad looking statue

"Paloy Cagayat" "religious statues" woodcarving

Paloy Cagayat produces a lot of religious statues.

"Paloy Cagayat" "religious statues" woodcarving

From the Last Supper by Da Vinci.

"Paloy Cagayat" "religious statues" woodcarving "religious statue" Madonna

An army of Madonnas!

"Paloy Cagayat" "religious statues" woodcarving "religious statue" Madonna

More Madonnas! A squad of Madonnas to pray for your sins!

How to enlarge these images

"How to" enlarge images

How to enlarge these images


5 responses to “Inside a wood-carving studio

  1. What’s the address of Mr. Paloy’s workshop?


  2. I just want to know how or what is the process where in I can order a statue of Jesus?


    • Please reply me as soon as possible through my e-mail or my roaming no. 639174982148 because I will use these statue this coming holy week,
      thank you & God bless,


      • Hello Edgar,

        Wrong number! I met the sculptor, Caloy, in 2011. I don’t keep in touch with him nor does he keep in touch with me. Your best bet would be to go to your local mall and look for a statue of Jesus. Or you could look for Caloy’s contact info and email him directly.

        I hope that helps Edgar.


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