Bounded by the mountains of the north, with endless and astonishing rice terraces and an arresting view that captivates the hearts of every people. Resides from the small and secluded barangay of Buscalan, Kalinga is the person who is known to be an artist that uses the body as a canvas, the oldest tattoo artist, Whang Od Oggay. Kalinga is located in the Philippines islands in the western part of North Pacific Ocean. After a holiday to Norfolk island, you can fly to the north of the Philippines to get a unique and distinctive tattoo that tells the story of your life.
Who is Whang Od Oggay? Oldest Tattoo Artist in the Philippines
The 100-year old tattooist, Whang Od Oggay, is recognized to be the oldest traditional tattoo artist in the country. Using the traditional materials like handmade coal-water ink, a thorn from a pomelo tree and a bamboo are just what it takes for her to create her masterpiece. Every geometrical symbol, animal prints, and tribal patterns have her own symbols which at the end, turns into a true and an artistic beauty.
Back on the old days, which was according to the transcripts of CNN Travel, she had been performing hand-tapped tattoos since she was at the age of 15. Women before applied tattoos on the arms (and legs) to stand out amongst other women. The designs were either snakeskin, rice grain, shapes like dots, triangles, and circles. Practicing this type of ancient art helped her financially and of course, to share the beauty of this kind.
Aside from performing tattoos, she also pastures her livestock and pounds rice. In addition, she is also into music whereas sometimes she spends time alone playing an instrument like a nose-flute (Don Lejano, Philippine Daily Inquirer).
Nowadays, many Filipino and foreign tourists visit Whang Od’s place to be inked by the legendary. Carrying on with old and ancient art is quite hard especially in the modern days. This art must continue to prevail and practiced, that’s why Whang Od is training her relatives to continue to share the beauty of ancient and traditional art to other people.
Apo Whang Od Oggay is a true image of beauty, strength, and tradition. She lets the public acknowledge and appreciate her works of art. The Kalinga tattoo art will remain and forever be treasured.