The Great Big Story Features Apo Whang-od In New Video

The Great Big Story (GBS), a New York-based media company, featured Apo Whang-od Oggay in a new video, saying, "people travel from all over the world to get marked by the master." 

"At 101, Whang-od is the last remaining manbabatok -- a tattoo artist in the Philippines using traditional hand-tap methods," GBS captioned to their Facebook post on September 25.


The video is a little over two minutes long. However, it showcases Apo Whang-od's tattooing process and a short introduction about her and why she's so special among travelers around the world.

"In the village of Buscalan, lives a woman who is the last of her kind," the video starts, fitting a description for the living legend. It is noted that the traditional hand-tap method was originally meant for the warriors.

“To apply a tattoo, you first need to get a coal, thorns, and then wipes. The hammer I use is from a coffee tree. The thorn I use is from calamansi or pomelo fruit trees," Apo Whang-od shares on the video.

Meanwhile, Apo Whang-od ended the interview, saying, "this traditional tattoo will last forever".

In June, Apo Whang-od was awarded the Dangal ng Haraya by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

According to the NCCA, the Dangal ng Haraya is given to living Filipino artists, cultural workers and historians; artistic or cultural groups, historical societies, institutions, foundations and councils, to recognize their outstanding achievements in relevant fields that have made an impact and significant contribution to Philippine culture and arts.

As of this writing, the GBS's Facebook video had almost half million views.

By the way, I've started a petition online to declare Apo Whang-od as one of our National Living Treasures. You can sign the petition HERE.

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