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The best tattoo. Simply indelible. I got inked/tattoed by Apo Whang-Od.

Sunday, December 1, 2019


Simply Indelible. I got inked/tattoed vy Apo Whang-Od

 My first solo travel on 28 November 2019 to Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Apayao - Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines to get indelibly inked by the best tattoo artist, 103-year old indigenous tattoo master (the only one remaining of the "headhunting" Butbut tribe) known as Apo Whang-od. Apo Whang-od manually used a wooden stick as "hammer" to drive a grapefruit thorn embedded in a stick with a mixture of soot and coconut oil and water with repetitive and constant blows. Fresh wet wipes is used to wipe of blood and clean the skin. 

-Extremely graphic: Video contains scenes with blood on tattoed arm. - No translation for vernacular language/local indigenous dialect used. - Grapefruit thorn used in the tattoo session is non-shareable. Buy your own grapefruit thorn only locally sold in Buscalan.

Apo Whang-od's signature tattoo signature is composed of three dots.  I was quite lucky that day, it was a Thursday that less than 30 tourists/backpackers who were in Buscalan village to obtain Apo Whang-od's signature tattoo.  My guide Manang Lydia talked to Apo Whang-Od after I received my signature tattoo and Apo Whang-Od chose a design which she saw fitting my personality.  Apo Whang-Od gave me the traveller tattoo and took about 40 minutes plus of tattoo session.

When you visit Apo Whang-Od I suggest as a gift is coconut virgin oil since that will help and heal those she embeds tattoo.  From what I read in Buscalan is a tattoo session guideline as follows:

 - Follow your guide's advise.
- Be quiet.  Silence is golden and observe this since Apo Whang-Od needs it to concentrate to her craft.

- Do not block Apo Whang-Od's natural light.
- Avoid profanity.
- Don't be rude.
- Communicate.
- Ask first for permission before taking photos.






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