Whang-od, a Filipino tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan Kalinga, Philippines, is a national treasure. She is the last mambabatok and the oldest tattoo artist, sharing her craft for over 80 years. She’s so in-demand that you can’t just walk into her tattoo “shop” — you have to schedule, and there’s only a specific set of designs to choose from. Her process: manually tapping a needle with an ink mixture of charcoal and water onto the skin. Does it hurt? Of course it does. But given that it would be like having a part of our heritage permanently drawn on your body, the pride is worth the pain.
Thinking of getting a tat done by the great Whang-od? Watch this slow-mo capture and see if you can handle it.
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Video by CARLO TIBAJIA, Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines