Kalinga’s oldest tattooist Whang-od wants to meet her crush Coco Martin

5/17/2017 12:50 PM
by: Gary Ann Lastrilla

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In an Instagram feature by the international news organization NY Times, Kalinga’s oldest traditional tattoo artist Whang-od revealed that she has a crush on “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” star Coco Martin who she hopes to meet.

“Although people line up to see her, Maria (her real name) says she’s still waiting for a visit from her celebrity crush, the Filipino actor (Coco Martin),” it said.

According to the feature, Whang-od “contents herself with a life-size cardboard cutout” of the actor for now.

Meet Maria Fang-od Oggay. Maria is a ritual #tattoo artist of the Butbut tribe of the Kalinga ethnic group in the northern Philippines. People travel from as far away as Mexico and Slovenia to come to see her at home in Buscalan, a mile hike from the nearest dirt road through foggy forest and centuries-old rice terraces. On an average day, Maria finishes 14 #tattoos before lunch — not a bad day’s work for someone said to be 100 years old. A century ago, tattoos for Kalinga women were decorative. They represented beauty and status. Men earned tattoos through acts of bravery, notably through ritual headhunting. Maria has single-handedly kept the ancient tradition alive, and in the process transformed her remote village into a mecca for tourists. Every morning, she mixes an ink out of pine soot and water. She threads a thorn from a bitter citrus tree into a reed, crouches on a 3-inch-high stool and, folded up like a cricket, hand-taps tattoos onto backs, wrists and chests. Although people line up to see her, Maria says she’s still waiting for a visit from her celebrity crush, the Filipino actor @mr.cocomartin. For now, she contents herself with a life-size cardboard cutout. Visit the link in our profile to see more of @jeszmann’s photos of the woman keeping a #Philippine tradition alive. #tattoostyle

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Whang-od became popular as she is the last “mambabatok” or Kalinga traditional tattoo artist at 100 years old. She would often get featured on international news organizations while tourists and celebrities like Rhian Ramos, Drew Arellano and Liza Dino would visit her for a tattoo.

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