The Ancient art of Batok
Meet Whang-od Oggay who just turned 100 in February (2017). Many believe she is the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut people in Buscalan Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines. When Whang-od first started tattooing at the age of 15 her primary recipients were headhunters, women of the indigenous people of Butbut and warriors who used to earn tattoos through protecting villages or killing their enemies.
Headhunters and murderous warriors are now a thing of the past and Whang-od now applies the traditional art form to tourists visiting Buscalan. Not as romantic as putting scared ink to the arm of a warrior who has just killed his enemy, but times change and Whang-od wants to keep on doing what she love.