PH’s Oldest Tattoo Artist Whang-od, to receive National Living Treasures award
97-year old Kalinga Tattoo Artist Whang-od Oggay is set to receive “Gawad sa National Living Treasures” award from the Philippine government.
WHANG-OD. The oldest traditional tattoo artist in the Philippines. (Image by Jorge Fernandez, grabbed from bbc.com)
As the oldest traditional “mambabatok” or tattoo artist in the Philippines, Whang-od Oggay became known for her way of tattooing which is the “batok,” using ink composed of ink and water mixture, and is being tapped to the skin by using thorns of pomelo or calamansi tree.
According to a Manila Bulletin report, Ferdinand Isleta of the National Committee on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), they are still finalizing the documents for the award to be signed by President Duterte.
Born in Tinglayan, Kalinga, Whang-od is a member of the Butbut tribe who started tattooing when she was 10 years old. At present, she is teaching her grandniece the traditional art of tattooing, the painful method that dates back to a thousand years ago.