• Kalinga,  Philippines,  Pinaytraveller,  Whang Od

    The Tattooed Women of Kalinga

    In the  last five years or so, the last living Kalinga tattoo artist of her generation, Apo Whang Od, has received so much attention both in the Philippines and the rest of the world. Her village is now a seeming pilgrimage site with tourists scaling its mountainous terrain in the hopes of receiving her three dots–the only tattoo she can give these days because of her health and failing eyesight. Indeed, Whang Od has become a rockstar of sorts, the poster girl of a thousand-year-old art form that was almost on the brink of extinction. But visit Buscalan and you’ll realize that Whang Od is only one of the many…

  • Asia,  Kalinga,  Philippines

    Kalinga Tattoo Gone Wrong

    After I published my story about Getting Inked by Whang Od a couple of years ago, I’ve received numerous e-mails and private messages from people from around the world asking for more information about Buscalan and the famous tattoo artist, Apo Whang Od. I am glad that tattoo enthusiasts have found their way to Buscalan and have received their precious ink. But not all experiences are created equal. While some tattoos heal quickly, some get infected. For instance, it didn’t take long for my tattoo to dry up. But my husband’s took a longer time to heal. He also had fever for a couple of days and the swelling only…