LOOK: Tattoo artist brings ancient art of ‘mambabatok’ to Antipolo | Inquirer Lifestyle
Screen Grab from Pinto Art Museum/Facebook

LOOK: Tattoo artist brings ancient art of ‘mambabatok’ to Antipolo

Tattoo enthusiasts looking to get inked the “traditional way” may not have to travel to Kalinga province in the Cordilleras to get their fix.

According to a viral Facebook post by the Pinto Art Museum on Friday, Den Wigan, a native of Kalinga, has been using Kalinga’s ancient art form of tattooing to willing customers of the art gallery in Antipolo, Rizal.

The post was captioned, “Den Wigan, from Kalinga has taken residence in PINTO as a tattoo artist. He is the grandson of WHANG-OD, the mambabatok (traditional tatooist) of Kalinga. His grandfather did the tattoo of Whang-od and he learned his art from them. Den brings to PINTO his heritage of timeless artistry!”

However, Whang-Od, the 97-year-old legendary Kalinga tattooist, has no known children, descendants or blood relatives.

Inquirer.net tried to verify Pinto Art Museum’s claim, but has yet to get a response as of this writing.

Wigan, meanwhile, was pictured using charcoal paste and the traditional “mambabatok stick” with a pointed end, while his predecessor used a thorn from a citrus tree.  Khristian Ibarrola


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