Perfect Strangers In One Journey To Meet Apo Whang Od In Buscalan

Can someone give me around of applause because I am blogging about my long weekend trip to Buscalan, Kalinga Mountain Province! (thank you, thank you, kahit wala naman.)

Backstory:

I was in Cebu for a week to spend quality time with my family and to spend birthday of my sister and mom when Nabilla my friend invited me to go with her to Buscalan for less than a week prior to date. I was surprised that a friend inviting me spontaneously so I said yes.

Honestly, I was not that excited and ready for the trip. It was really raining hard last Friday night our time to get on the road for 12-hour trip from Manila. (Yes.)

I was impatience that I almost gave up not to go to meet up place because I was having a hard time to booked Uber and Grab-a-Car was a messed!

FAST FORWARD

When we arrived to Benguet, it reminds me of my last year photo opts: Hello from Benguet! It was sunny that I missed the cold weather last year. But finally I was able to enjoy the view of Banaue Rice Terraces!

TRAIL

We had no choice, but to start walking from somewhere 15 minutes away from the turning point going up to the Buscalan Village. I was torn between ready and not so ready. Oh man! I don't have any cardio exercise since I moved back here in Manila.

After an hour of hiking, I literally dropped my bag and myself. I was dead tired that I couldn't even catch my breathe. Well. we all do.

We were informed that Apo Whang Od was not in the village for few days already and expecting her to go home the next day with no exact time. There's no cellsites in the area, no mobile phones that you can call or text. Literally, offline.

We had a drinking session, but I missed to try this Coffee Wine! I couldn't even bring this in Manila I don't want to go down the trail with a bottle with me. Next time!

GOOD OFFLINE MORNING

The next morning, we had a chance to explore the village with our guide Asparo (hope I spelled this correctly.) Never failed to do this. Sunrise and coffee always.

TATTOO SESSIONS

On our first night, some of the participants started to have their tattoo and we were all watching the process, shocks, looks painful for me, a little bit, but better than a heartbreak they said.

We met Apo Whang Od on her way home! I was amazed to see her in person and had a chance to greet her. I don't have any chocolate with me because I gave it away already, but she was happy to take photos with us.

Achieved!

Whang-od Oggay ([ˈɸɑŋ:ˈəd]; born c. 1918) is a Filipina tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines.[3] She is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut Kalinga people and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines. read more.

It was great to meet all of you in one journey, hope to see you all again.

Perfect strangers gathered together in one journey to meet Apo Whang Od in Buscalan Village. It was a great long weekend.

hanks Nabi for inviting me and Byaherang Barat for organizing this trip.

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