The NCCA recognized the Kalinga tattooist […] KAYAW TATU | Reviving the rich culture and traditional hand tapped tattoo of Kalinga. My pleasure, i hope you enjoy! Rhea and Rhenalyn even offered curved designs of “faith, hope, love” which I think is hardly tribal (it comes with a heart shape!). Whang-Od is the last traditional Kalinga tattooist in the world. Why booking a creative vacation so be ticked off your bucket list! Wontedly it was teenage Kalinga girls like Lasoy who were expected to have tattoos as a symbol of their strength, coming of age and beauty. See more ideas about Tattoos, Filipino tattoos, Traditional tattoo. The best way to get to Kalinga is via Bontoc. The “prayer” design wasn’t too intricate so it took me only around 30-minutes to finish. Quite a few people have that dream of hiking up into the Kalinga tribes and getting a tradition tattoo by the one and only Whang-Od. The point is something can be done to save this rare and beautiful ethnic art form, but where and how needs to happen now because it is not yet too late. A mambabatok often displays a wooden plank of Kalinga tattoo designs for visitors to choose from. Whang-od Oggay has seen some changes in her time. Though notorious to have lovers, Apo Whang-Od does not have a direct descendant. “Fi-ing” means tattooing male warriors, as a badge of honor for protecting villages from enemies. To promote the event, Governor Floydelia R. Diasen drafted an executive order encouraging the participation of the entire province to observe indigenous month with the Diddiga as its highlight. The design is marked onto the skin using long strips of straight grass, dipped in simple a mixture of charcoal and water. But luckily there will be young people and tattoo fans of new generations trying to preserve and renew the traditional Kalinga tattoo designs. The Truth About Why I Started Haute Culture Textile Tours. Subscribe here and never miss a post from my fashionable adventures around the world. It is recommended to read the book “Filipino Tattoos: Ancient to Modern” by Lane Wilcken. As with most cultural practices, time changes peoples perception of traditions and can result in prejudice. Photobook Philippines Review: App, Website, & Voucher Codes. Some placement of the designs on women display their social status, such as in Lasoy’s case being the eldest daughter, but generally speaking, singular female tattoos are not known to have important cultural context. Traditional Tattoos | © David Stanley /Flickr Kalinga body art and tattoos have a long, rich history, that inextricably ties it to the life and culture of the indigenous community. The tattoo tools themselves are made from an instrument constructed in bamboo and razor-sharp lemon thorns. Learn more about how my travel and personal stories by subscribing below :), © 2015 FOLLOWYOUROAD | All rights reserved, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Masungi Georeserve: What to Look Forward to, Mt. Problem is she is totally exploited now, and that is not nice. The massive commodification of traditional Kalinga tattoo altered the indigenous culture of the Butbut. Elle also got the mayor of Tabuk (Camilio T. Lammawin, Jr.) involved by inking his first tattoos – a traditional Kalinga designs on his wrists. A closer look at this surreal town on top of the mountains will make you … Sometimes, tourists have their Kalinga tattoos done by another mambabatok and have Apo Whang Od put her signature. Hi, I'm Sam! However, many do not know that there are many other tribes in the region who also practice such tattooing. At 92 years old, time is running out for her to pass on the time-honoured hand tapping technique and tribal motifs to her 13-year-old granddaughter and apprentice. Two things I want to be when I’m older: to be wrinkled and inked. Whang Od lives in Kalinga province located in the mountainous area in the northern Philippines and is the last mambabatok —a traditional Kalinga tattooist. We bathed in cold water and slept on floor mattresses, a welcome opportunity to rest. Killing the enemy in battle and defending the village was the only way a Kalinga man could earn his social stripes, henceforth giving him special privileges and lifelong respect. Regional Director Marie Venus Q. Tan venusqtan@gmail.com, dotregioncar@gmail.com, Department of Tourism – CAR Baguio Tourism Complex, Gov. In general Christianity and commercial careers frown upon tattoos and adornments, making it difficult to earn a living and express your identity creatively. Hi Dyesa! Of course, those Kalinga men who possessed tattoos played a significant role in their communities. Apo Whang-Od, the celebrated Kalinga artist often referred to as the “last mambabatok” (traditional tattooist) of her proud and ancient community in the Cordilleras, was in Manila last week at the invitation of the organizers of the 66th Manila FAME trade … into the homes and hearts of local communities. Off camera Lasoy reminisced about the headhunting days. Nowadays, there are no more headhunters to be tattooed. But there were no regrets. Their names are Rhenalyn and Rhea. She learnt this difficult art from her father, when she was 25-years old girl and then she decided to dedicate her life to the old art of tattooing believed to be almost one thousand years old. It was only acting like this that could justify men being rewarded with tattoos. Kalinga tattoos are inspired by objects seen in daily life, such as rice terraces, ladders and centipedes. The 102-year-old artist applies permanent hand-tapped tattoos (a concoction made from pine soot and water) with a few simple tools: a bamboo stick, a thorn from the pomelo tree, water and coal. Inside a coconut shell is charcoal mixed with water inside pierced into the skin with a sharp thorn needle from a calamansi tree. The whatok of the Kalinga are known for their symmetry and elaborate tattoo designs. The tattoos that these warriors possessed were not just meant for decorative purposes. I discovered your blog yesterday and think it’s brilliant. Some Kalinga tattoo meanings are more modern such as symbols for a “traveler”, “compass”, “prayer”, and even the arrow. Thank you , © 2020 - Haute Culture. Nov 30, 2015 - Explore Claudia Cojuangco's board "Whang Od | Kalinga Tattoos | Traditional Tattooing", followed by 164 people on Pinterest. What once was beautiful is now considered too bold, and therefore can hinder one’s chances of change from rural life. Pack Road, Baguio City Tel. If you click on a link, we earn a little money at no extra cost to you. She is often described as the “last” and oldest mambabatok(traditional Kalinga tattooist) and is part of the Butbut people of … creative heritage textile techniques from indigenous artisans. Whang-od Oggay (who also goes by Whang-od or Maria Oggay) is the Philippines’ last and oldest “ mambabatok” (traditional Kalinga tattooist). This 103-year-old woman named Whang Od Oggay is the oldest traditional tattoo artist in the Philippines. The fern tattoo is pretty popular with the ladies. This internationally acclaimed tattooist has single-handedly ensured the survival of her generation’s art for the next. I requested to have my tattoo at my left inner arm. Ethnic Pride : Wear your identity© Send me a tweet, or email me via sam@followyouroad.com. Some placement of the designs on women display their social status, such as in Lasoy’s case being the eldest daughter, but generally speaking, singular female tattoos are not known to have important cultural context. World-renowned Apo Whang-Od is the last practising traditional Mambabatok in the whole region. Whatok is the Kalinga term for the traditional tattoos, or inscriptions found on their skin. The tattoos for women indicate initiation into adulthood and full participation in the social life of the group. She was known to be the last mambabatok (Kalinga tattooist) until her granddaughter started embracing the traditional art of Kalinga tattoo. Kalinga women are strong and would kill their husbands if caught cheating.” There is no doubt in my mind that she is not joking, despite the smile on her face and the intermittent chuckles. Whang-Od is the oldest living mambabatok or traditional tattoo artist, and until recently, the only one left in Kalinga. Don’t even think about leaving home without travel insurance. You can buy your bus ticket to Bontoc here! Having had a tattoo before, the pain was more tolerable — but the position of my tattoo is on tender flesh. Click here to get your Philippines guide. Perhaps it’s a form of tokenism or commercialism, but Apo Whang-Od’s choice to continue tattooing has helped preserve the thousand-years-old art. The stages of a Kalinga warrior’s tattoo were as follows: back of the hand and wrists; arms and forearms; shoulders and breast; back; stomach; a “belt” across the juncture of chest and belly; a band across the throat; cheeks. Covid-19 Travel: Caring for yourself & others. Due to the long lines and the handful of tourists daily, Apo Whang-Od rarely does full-on Kalinga tattoos, let alone chant or do fortune-telling. However men’s tattoos are meant to have symbolic significance, as specific motifs are saved only for men in order to communicate their bravery, battles won and how many people they have killed. Information and education can be widely distributed about diversity at the touch of a button. Reducing your environmental impact when travelling. She has been tattooing the Butbut people of Kalinga since she was 15. Whang-od Oggay , also known as Maria Oggay, is a Filipino tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. No. It was in NYC that according to Lasoy’s granddaughter, Dionica, where a curator of a world-famous museum approached Lasoy in the street offering her $1000 for every square inch of her skin after she had passed away. Love your writings of your travels and experiences in the Philippines. 93-years old Fang-od is the last of Kalinga artists making traditional tribal tattoos (batok) using an orange thorn needle attached to a bamboo stick. Lasoy, 84,  did not mince her words when replying to my first question, “What does it mean to be from the Kalinga tribe?”. Daughters of the kadangyan(the rich) members of the community are obliged to have their tattoos when they reach puberty. Along the way, we saw water streams, eroded soil, and trees. Elaborate Bontoc Igorot tattoo, ca. Designed & Developed by SoloPine.com. After getting my Buscalan tattoo, we descended to the nipa hut of Apo Whang-Od. Pulag: Beginner and First-timer Tips on Difficulty, Weather, & Location, Ridges and Clouds Nature Camp: Tanay, Rizal Price Rates, ArtSector Gallery & Chimney Café 360º: Binangonan, Rizal Review & Menu, Kalinga Tattoo Meanings: Buscalan Travel Guide to Apo Whang-Od, Treasure Mountain: Tanay Attraction Day Trip Review, Rates, and Blog, Rizal Resorts, Spa, & Hotels: 12 Best Antipolo, Taytay Swimming Pools, Palawan Travel Guide: traveling to Puerto Princesa, Coron, & El Nido. Love the ikat weaving patterns the most!! People are often scared of something that is different, and full sleeve and chest tattoos are not popular elsewhere, but we don’t live in a world of division like we used to anymore. Plus they change thorns per person. At a certain point, my ears rang from the constant drumming of the torn and almost lulled me to sleep. Here’s what I learned about Kalinga tattoo meanings in this weekend trip from Buscalan to Sagada. I don’t condone the actions Lasoy’s mother took by forcing her to have tattoos, but when a national dying art is literally on its last legs before extinction, it is hard for me to understand why a revival of the traditional tattooing has not taken off in Kalinga Province? Some of these Kalinga tattoo patterns are linear or circular. Is a Haute Culture Textile Tour Right For You? Hello! Tabuk – In recent years, there has been a rising interest in the traditional cultural practice of tattooing in the Philippines. Circular ones are commonly placed at the back of the neck or the forearm. She is often described as the "last" and oldest mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) and is part of the Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group. All Rights Reserved. 1900. They may also have the largest number of surviving practitioners of the tradition from the Bontoc, Ifugao, Tingguian and Ibaloy in the Mountain Provinces. The first bamboo stick is used for holding the thorn in place, the other is used to tap the first to pierce the skin. Lasoy is said to have declined the offer. This was a much-awaited trip that gave us more than inks on our skins. I’m glad to find your blog! I answer everything! By now, most of us are familiar with the incredible work of Whang-od, the tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. For linear ones, these are usually placed around the wrists, legs, or arms. The headhunting ended in the 1950s and although tattoos are becoming less and less common in Kalinga culture, they are still an important badge of … At more than 100 years old, she still wields a strong hand for her craft. By sunset, we arrived at the jump-off point and commenced the short but steep climb to the Buscalan Tattoo Village. Kalinga tattoos are inspired by objects seen in daily life, such as rice terraces, ladders and centipedes. Exhausted and hungry from the ride-and-hike, we were greeted by a thermos of Kalinga coffee and the cool Buscalan weather warmed by a bonfire of our homestay. Whang Od is part of the Butbut people in Buscalan, who belong to the Kalinga ethnic group. Click here to get a quote! This post may contain affiliate links. As stated by William Henry Scott in his book “Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture”, the tattoos of the Pintados projects an aura of intimidation and fear towards their enemies, which was a part of their psychological strategy during tribal war and raids. Foremost, this is driven by overcapacity & made even tighter by bandwagon jumpers who outnumber the real aficionados of tattoo & indigenous culture. Sign me up! We recommend Skyscanner to compare all of the airlines at once and find the cheapest, fastest and most convenient flights to the Philippines for you! Yes I do — please message me at fb.com/followyouroad See you there! Some tribal prints represent the mountains or the sun, others fertility and strength. Then thorn tip is submerged in the charcoal solution before rigorously hand tapping the piercing point into the design on the skin. Most native people have left their small mountain villages only to encounter that the traditional beauty and pride practices of their tribe are met with prejudice on the low lands. But on the very long drive to the home of Apo Whang-Od, we knew we probably won’t come back again soon. She is the last and oldest mambabatok, which means a traditional tattoo artist from Kalinga. These are symbolic tribal designs that are taken from nature, such as serpents, eagles, snakes, centipedes, and ferns. Kalinga / Kalinga Tattoos (Batek). Although tribal wars and blood feuds still exist, they are less common. Keep this tradition alive. When it comes to deciphering Kalinga tattoo meanings, it can be quite confusing as the tattoo artists themselves have adopted English and easily understandable names for each design. Leaving late at around 10 PM, we traveled from Manila to Buscalan where... My Buscalan Tattoo Experience. It was past nightfall once we got to our homestay, after seeing so many black pigs and children along the narrow paths. Kalinga tattoo designs are inspired by nature, animals and geometric figures. Is a Haute Culture Textile Tour right for you? 21 April 2020. Find the best travel guides and prices with Lonely Planet! We descended into a nipa hut where two lady mambabatoks were at. with other like-minded textile-loving women. Our home-cooked dinner did not disappoint (somehow, food always tastes better when in the mountains). So if you’re wondering what to expect from a Buscalan trip and a getting a Kalinga tattoo like us, read on. Hi Miss Sam do you have fb accnt po may mga questions po ako about sa kalinga kay apo whang od po . Check out their merchandise: If you have any questions, send me a PM on Facebook. Thank you for your work! If you're new to the blog, you can start here. We never planned on getting a Kalinga tattoo. From right to left: Dominica Gunnawa, Me, Theresa “Lasoy” Gunnawa and Dionica Alyssa Legasi in Tabok city, Kalinga Province, North Luzon, Philippines. Kalinga tattoos are inspired by objects seen in daily life, such as rice terraces, ladders, and centipedes. My chosen Kalinga tattoo design was called “prayer”, which looks like a community with a mountain range backdrop. salamat po. The following illustrations are from the Headhuntr page. Protect your health, luggage and mind. I’m Sam Coronado, just a millennial who is a writer by profession and a traveler by passion. “Fatok” means tattooing women to show beauty and wealth, and the artist is paid with a piglet or harvested rice. I love sewing, travelling and anthropology, so I was thrilled to discover that you combine the three so perfectly! Leaving late at around 10 PM, we traveled from Manila to Buscalan where the traffic delayed in our itinerary for 6 hours. Though not the direct bloodline of tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od, I recommend them for first-timers like me. Kalinga tattoos are inspired by objects seen in daily life, such as rice terraces, ladders, and centipedes. uscalan village to have the last living legend of Philippino artistry scar their skin. Whang Od is a Filipina tattoo artist who is believed to be 102 years old and has been tattooing since she was 15. There are very nice examples of these modern interpretations in the “Kalinga Tattoo” … We recommend World Nomads. Millennials and foreigners alike remain mystified about it. Decades ago, being tattooed meant beauty for the Kalinga women and bravery for the men. (63)(74)442-7014 Tel./Fax (63)(74)442-8848. Batok is a thousand-year tattooing tradition that is a bit more painful than modern methods. Apo Whang-Od is almost synonymous to the traditional Kalinga tattoo art, being considered the last mambabatok. He is fortified in a tattooed skin of centipede scales (ufug). Whang-od Oggay is the last traditional tattoo artist from the old Kalinga generation. By the end of our Buscalan to Sagada trip, our skins were forever marred by soot and blood from a Kalinga mambabatok (traditional tattoo artist). Many may mention Apo Whang-Od from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga as Northern Luzon's tattooing expert. However men’s tattoos are meant to have symbolic significance, as specific motifs are saved only for men in order to communicate their bravery, battles won and how many people they have killed. Kalinga Tattoo Meanings: Buscalan Travel Guide to Apo Whang-Od Long Ride for the Buscalan Weather and Coffee. Her enigmatic tattoos are the main reason travelers from all over the world come to Buscalan. Irresponsible tourism is the culprit in accelerating the destruction of Buscalan. Instead, she inscribes her signature consisting of three dots — symbolizing herself and her apprentices and grandnieces Grace Palicas and Ilyang Wigan. Welcome to … Information Packs on each destination. “Kalinga men don’t cheat.” She said assertively, “They wouldn’t dare. This chief, as evident by his complex markings, took many a head. Tattoos signify acceptance, a sense of belonging, and identity. Today Kalinga tattoo art is popular with tourists but scarcely adorns authentic skin. The artist is often as fascinating as the art. 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Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. “Just because we’re going to Buscalan doesn’t mean we have to get tattoos,” we had said weeks ago. and possibly some sort of financial incentive training program could be offered to a new generation of Kalinga mambabatoks, to learn from Whang-Od before she passes away? Fang Od in her kitchen. Keep this tradition alive, because traditional way of tattooing is slowly fading in many parts of the Philippines. I’m a tattoo artist in Hawaii and tattoo our local Filipino population with many of the old tattoo patterns of Northern Luzon. But you can still get a traditional Kalinga tattoo - right here at Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo, in a simple to do day trip. What greeted us were long lines and people arguing who should go first to take photos with the elder tattoo artist — at PHP 50 per person. We descended into a nipa hut where two lady mambabatoks were at. 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