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LOOK: Aiza Seguerra, Liza Diño visit centenarian Apo Whang-od

By: - Content Strategist
/ 02:38 PM February 20, 2017

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Happy 💯th birthday Apo Whang-Od!❤️ Salamat sa inyong ambag sa sining at kultura ng Kalinga. Isa kang tunay na kayamanan ng ating bansa! (Ang groovy nya sa kanyang coco martin shirt!😆) #sagisagkulturasaptv

A post shared by Liza Diño-Seguerra (@lizadino) on


Traditional tattoo artist and centenarian Apo Whang-od Oggay still appears full of life after she reportedly fell ill and turned down hospitalization.

National Youth Commission head Aiza Seguerra and Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño confirmed on Instagram that the last living “mambabatok” is alive and well.

The couple was in Buscalan, Kalinga, to visit the legendary tattoo artist and pay their respects for her contributions to Kalinga arts and culture.

Just like other local and foreign travelers who visit Whang-od, Diño experienced having a tattoo from her.

“Weeks ago, nabalitaan din naming may sakit si Apo Whang-od (we were told that Apo Whang-od is sick) and refuses to go to the hospital, kaya we’re so happy to see Apo today, feeling much, much better! Kailangan lang niya ng nebulizer (she just needs a nebulizer) so we’re getting it for her,” Diño captioned her Instagram picture.

In another post, Diño documented the process of how Whang-od, now 100 years old, inscribed a scorpion tattoo on her arm, a process she described as “excruciating.”


“It was like a badge of honor to see Apo Whang-Od’s art etched on my skin,” Diño explained.  “Proud to say that my first tattoo was inked by no less than our own local pride, the oldest and most revered tattoo artist of Kalinga, Apo Whang-Od.”

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Finally…My very first TATTOO ever!😱 Proud to say that my first tattoo was inked by no less than our own local pride -the oldest and most revered tattoo artist of Kalinga, Apo Whang-Od. People from all over the world flock to this remote villlage in Tinglayan, Kalinga just to see her. Literally, we trekked 2 mountains, crossed a river and walked through ravines barefoot just to get to her house. It was a long journey towards this unique experience of meeting the living legend mambabatok of the Kalinga people. I had no plans of getting a tattoo but after everything we went through, I just had to. No regrets though! It was like a badge of honor to see Apo Whang-Od's art etched on my skin. Seriously though, it hurts like hell!!!!!!!!! This is a scorpion tattoo. I chose this design precisely for what it symbolizes—PASSION, COURAGE AND GREAT STRENGTH. It also means FIGHTER. Hehe! Bagay di'ba? Because of this experience, I'm starting to understand now why people get tattoed. The reason varies, sometimes it's the meaning behind it, sometimes it's to honor someone or something but the core of it is that it should be personal. Thank you Apo Whang-Od! Happy 💯th birthday❤️

A post shared by Liza Diño-Seguerra (@lizadino) on

Whang-od’s artistic creations were featured in the exhibit “Tattoo: Ritual, Identity, Obsession, Art” at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada last year. JB


Kalinga tattoo artist’s work draws raves in Toronto museum

‘Mambabatok’ Whang-od featured in Canadian exhibit

Campaign to declare Whang-od as national artist hits 11k mark

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TAGS: Aiza Seguerra, apo whang-od, Kalinga, Liza Dino-Seguerra, Tattoo
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