Paete is a quiet little town in Southern Luzon, famous for wooden sculptures, hewn by sharp a instrument. Whence the name paet or chisel. The sculptures serve as molds for paper mache, producing a colorful array of various animals folk figures in native attire.
Paete is known for its rich summer harvest of an indigenous fruit, the "lanzones". Artistic talents abound in Paete, some of whose names ring loud in the registry of Philippine contemporary art.
Among those up and coming artists is Romeo Montes. Working assistant in a sculpture studio. Montes has now stretched his artistic wings. His venture into painting augurs well. On his canvases, Montes portrays images of Paete as the classic Philippine hometown: striking still lifes of the "paet"; a typical noonday meal of bangus (milkfish), ripe tomatoes and salted eggs; rich profusions of the national flower, the sampaguita. Montes's version of the Mother and Child theme is the "inay" and the "bagong silang" (newly born). In these paintings Montes simultaneously captures the joy and—realistically speakin—the weariness of maternity.