Notable People of Filipin@ Ancestry
Apo Maria Whang Od
Apo Whang-Od, who is in her 90’s, is a well known mambabatok, (tattoo artist), and the last one among the Kalinga. However despite what everyone says of her being the last one and when she dies the Kalinga tattooing tradition dies with her, that is false.
She is currently training her young granddaughter (through one of her nieces), Grace Palicas, who is now 17 years old. Her strong interest 7 years go in preserving the tattooing tradition among the Kalinga, a tradition that has died out over years of colonization among the rest of the Philippines especially among the Bisayans who were called the Pintados, “the Painted Ones”, by the Spaniards as they were known to be covered in tattoo’s all over their body, will keep the tradition alive once her lola passes away.
Apo Whang Od is well known to the Filipin@ diaspora, especially toward those interested in tattooing, in particular traditional Filipin@ tattoo’s. Starting from when she was 16, she learned the art from watching her father before her.
Today despite her old age, she still dedicates her life to continuing the tradition, tattooing both other Filipin@’s and foreigners, as well as inspiring a new generation on studying and reviving our old traditional tattooing culture.
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