7th Dukit Woodcarving Festival held

GUAGUA -- Local wood carvers hosted the 7th year of the "Dukit Festival" on Monday to promote woodcarving and attract tourist attention into the different artistic disciplines of the woodcarving industry here.

The event held at Sta. Ursula Betis here was participated by the best woodcarvers of the district.

The event is mostly a private sector initiative led by the Wood Carvers Guild of Sta. Ursula Betis and the Woodcarvers of Betis Multipurpose Cooperative.

Presidential Merit Awardee for Ecclesiastical Art Willy Layug, chairperson for the event, said that the activity aims to attract more of the younger generation into woodcarving.

The Betis District of this town is known for its woodcarving industry that has grown from furniture, religious and installation art.

Woodcarving has become a major industry here generating millions each year.

However, Layug laments that lesser younger people are going into the trade, adding that there are also less attention towards the continuing education of woodcarvers as artists rather than mere craftsmen.

“The event hopes to highlight the creative and artistic aspect of the craft and attract more people into this art form. We hope also hope to bring woodcarving here into a whole new level and bring more attention towards education and improvement of skills of woodcarvers and attract tourists and buyers,” Layug said.

The event featured a competition of some 20 woodcarvers from the town. Mayor Dante Torres helped in raising the prices for the event. The first place winner will bring home P25, 000 while P15, 000 and P10, 000 await the two other winners.

“We hope to make this a community event eventually in the coming years. We will start by organizing the ranks of woodcarvers, furniture makers and religious art makers,” Layug said, adding that woodcarving will be celebrated for its contribution to the community here and providing an avenue for livelihood and creative output of the residents.

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