Apo Whang Od is the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines and the last ethnic tattoo artist of their tribe. “Batok” is her technique when doing tattoo to people. It is an ancient technique that is around for more than a thousand years before her. It is more painful compared to its contemporary. The ink that she uses is composed of water and charcoal and it will be tapped to the skin using a thorn’s end of a pomelo or calamansi tree.
The thorn is then attached to a bamboo stick which she taps so that the thorn will penetrate the skin. The thorn is not as smooth as the needle making this process as I’ve said earlier, more painful compared to the modern day process of tattooing. Apo Whang Od taps the bamboo stick with a thorn 2-3 times in your skin making sure that she is getting the design right.
The thorn wounds the skin three times that’s why it is very painful. In the old days, tattoo sessions could last up to 2 to 3 weeks given that natives likes to adore their whole body with tattoos. For her designs, most of it are inspired by nature or geometric shapes that suggests being alive or one with nature. For couples who are aiming to have a couple tattoo, Apo Whang Od can give you more than just your typical king and queen tattoo design. Apo Whang Od can substitute your King And Queen Wrist Tattoos into something more natural and has a deeper meaning.
You and your partner can have “kinilat” or lightning in the Kalinga tribe dialect. This type of “batek” or tattoo is composed of two lines which represents the union of the partners. It is believed that men and women are two parts of one person. The zigzag part is the male part which also represents a river bank while the bank of the river which is the other line with three extensions represents the female part. What does your typical king and queen tattoos would say about that intense meaning? In case you are having doubts whether to have your skin pierced by a thorn by a 95 year old lady, have no fears. Apo Whang Od is tattooing people for almost 80 years. Before accepting tourists and visitors, she first experienced tattooing headhunters and women of their tribe. She also tattooed her tribes warriors and peacekeepers of her village.
Now, local celebrities can be seen adorned by her tattoos as well as foreigners and westerners. Apo Whang Od already taught her grandniece about this ancient art of tattooing ensuring that this art won’t be lost even if she passed away. She is making sure that this art would be forever tattooed on their lineage. Apo Whang Od is also been nominated to be one of the National Living Treasures, a title which is equivalent to the National Artist Award. Netizens urged the Philippine government to give the old lady this title because it surely befits her. For those that would like to try Apo Whang Od’s art, you are much welcome to the Kalinga Province here in the Philippines.
Making a tattoo is a very responsible decision in the life of those that want to have it. You should always remember that tattoo is made for the whole rest of your life and its meaning will be always fallowing you. Our website provides the visitors with some great 25 Incredible King And Queen Wrist Tattoos. Everyone will find here something that will satisfy him, no matter what exclusive taste he has.