[Trending Now] Tattoo Artist Whang-Od Nominated For National Living Treasures Award!
Whang-od , the last original mambabatok (tattoo maker), has just been nominated for the National Living Treasures Award by the National C...
Whang-od, the last original mambabatok (tattoo maker), has just been nominated for the National Living Treasures Award by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA).
The National Living Treasures Award, or the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (Gamaba), is equivalent to a national artist award.
It was confirmed by Ferfinand Isleta, the NCCA-Cultural Communities & Traditional Arts Section chief, who said the documents are in the final stage of being signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The 97-year-old mambabatok was known for her original, traditional, and indigenous way of making tattoos. She uses a thorn plucked from either a calamansi or pomelo trees with a combination of charcoal, ash, and water for her ink.
She started tattooing when she was just 10 years old. People, mostly foreign tourists, endure a 10 to 12 hour trip from Manila just to flock their way to her home in Kalinga to get inked from by Whang-Od. People are worrying her skills might not get passed due to the low demand for traditional inking. Fortunately, her granddaughter serves as her apprentice in the traditional art.
The Gamaba is awarded to those whose skills in a Filipino traditional art has reached a level of technical and artistic excellence, and has been given to the present generation.
Whang-od is the third Gamaba recipient from the Cordillera region. The first ones were performance artist Alonzo Saclag and casque-maker Teofilo Garcia.