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

  • Marites Gets Whang Od Tattoo

    Apo Whang Od Oggay tattoos Marites, July 2016, on our adventurous trip of a lifetime to Buscalan village in the Mountain Province, Kalinga in northern Luzon, Philippines.

  • Hanging Coffins And Tattoo Artists Of Sagada

    In the Cordillera region of the Philippines is where you can find a small yet famous town known as Sagada. This town of Mountain Province has the famous Echo Valley which was made known to both locals and tourists by its world-renowned hanging coffins. Basically, these coffins are displayed high on mountain cliffs. The Lumiang Cave on the other hand is a burial site where you can find stacked centuries-old coffins.

    The Unique & Interesting Hanging Coffins of Sagada

    People who dwell in the town of Sagada are called Igorots, one of the major tribes in the Philippines. Igorot people have un ...

  • Victor Jay JBoy Gets Tattoos By Whang Od

    JBoy designs his own tattoos for Apo Whang Od to tap into his wrists with a pine baton, using coconut charcoal for ink & kalamansi thorn set in a bamboo holder (left handed, at that). In Buscalan village, Kalinga, Mountain Province of norther Luzon Philippines. July 2016.

  • Whang-od Buscalan Philippines

    "The last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut Kalinga people and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines". Born: 17 February 1917.

  • Meet This Badass 100 Year Old Tribal Tattoo Artist

    There are few things cooler than people continuing to be a badass into their old pensioner years. And while the term "badass" is totally overused and pretty annoying, we feel that's the perfect way to describe Whang Od, a 100-year-old who has dedicated her entire life to tattoos.

    The last remaining 'mambabatok' (traditional tattooist) in the Kalinga tribal community in the Philippines, Od has offered her hand-tapped body art from her hilltop hut to everyone in the neighbourhood – where tattoos used to be compulsory – as well as globe-trotting travellers.

    In a short documentary, direc ...

  • Road Trip Kalinga

    In this post, I will share a few photos from our trip to Kalinga. Our goal is to visit Whang-od, the last mambabatok. We left Cagayan after lunch and took the road to Kalinga. It was a long drive but it was a great pleasure seeing all the wonderful landscapes and somehow getting a glimpse of the life of the people. We arrived at Tinglayan late in the afternoon and spent the night at Sleeping Beauty Inn. We woke up early to continue our trip to meet Whang-od. We went back to the road as the sun was rising and we saw the Sleeping Beauty Mountain. When we were near Buscalan Village, we met two to ...