Apo Whang-Od

Tinglayan, Kalinga

Based in the Mountain Province in Buscalan, in the remote northern Cordillera Mountains and Ifugao highlands of the Philippines, lives the oldest known female tattooist, 96-year-old Whang Od. She belongs to a Kalinga headhunting tribe(butbut). To this clan of fierce Igorot warriors, an ancient history associated with themes of otherness and difference, as well as representations of beauty and powe ...

rful collectivity are an inherent part of contemporary traditions. The Kalinga's commune with nature has created a life that integrates philosophical and geographical independence through creative, agricultural and educational sustainability.

Apo Whang-Od News

  • Still Hurts On The Second Time Apo Whang Od Tattoo

    Still Hurts On The Second Time Apo Whang Od Tattoo

    If you are a tattoo lover and even not, I am positive that you know who "Whang Od" is. She is the oldest, a living legend and the last "mambabatok" from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga who uses an old style of tattooing, called "batok" or a traditional hand-tapped tattooing. She became prominent because she has been featured on some local TV shows, international documentaries, magazines and others. Photos below will show the beauty of Buscalan, Kalinga and their traditional "batok."

  • Buscalan: Paying Homage To The Legendary Whang-Od

    Buscalan: Paying Homage To The Legendary Whang-Od

    From the mountainous Cordillera, nests a small village of Butbut Tribe named Buscalan. Butbut Tribe is known as warriors and headhunters, wherein they were tattooed as a trophy. Eventually, the government prohibited headhunting, but other traditions such as batok or ancient tattooing continue. In this village also found the tribes "celebrity" and the "last" mambabatok, Whang-Od.

  • Buscalan Home Of Apo Whang-od

    Buscalan Home Of Apo Whang-od

    Last November 2017, we detached ourselves from the entanglement of the urban chaos, and raced northwards to the hermit village of Buscalan in Kalinga: home to the legendary Butbut mambabatok Apo Whang-od.

  • Buscalan Around The Village

    Buscalan Around The Village

    It was my 30-ish birthday and I want to do something different. I want to meet Apo Whang-od Oggay, the last Mambabatok (traditional tattoo artist) of the Butbut Tribe in Kalinga.

  • Buscalan Kalinga Travel Diary

    Buscalan Tattoo Village, Tinglayan, Kalinga (September 2017)

    Went to Buscalan Tattoo Village to see the famous last Mambabatok Apo Whang od and get ourselves a traditional tattoo.

  • Apo Whang-od The Last Traditional Mambabatok

    Apo Whang-od The Last Traditional Mambabatok

    It was my dream to be inked by the last traditional tattoo artist of the Butbut tribe, Apo Whang-od Oggay. Back then, tattoos were only given to the members of their tribe especially the warriors. She turned 100 this year (2017) between February and March. They said that they do not have exact birthdays.