Traditional Filipino tattoo artist Apo Whang Od is in Manila

Photo from Gracia Palicas Facebook page.

It would normally take half a day to visit legendary hand-tap tattoo artist Apo Whang Od at the Philippine highland village of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Kalinga but this week, Whang Od came down for a rare visit to the the 66th Manila Fame, a local design trade show happening this weekend.

Yesterday, her grand niece and apprentice Grace Palicas posted photos of their helicopter trip to Manila.


Posted by Gracia Palicas on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Upon arriving yesterday, Whang Od met her celebrity crush, actor Coco Martin.

Nagkita na sila!

A post shared by Jeff Fernando (@showbizjeff) on

The moment was shared on the actor’s Facebook page.

“I’m happy even though you weren’t able to visit us because now we’ve met,” Whang Od told Martin.

At 100 years old, Whang Od is the last surviving original hand-tap tattoo artist from Kalinga’s Butbut tribe. Local and foreign travelers visit her home more than 400km north of Manila to get a tattoo using traditional tools like a lemon thorn and a water and charcoal mixture.

She has been featured in the New York Times and the BBC and her work has been exhibited in Paris‘ Musée du Quai Branly and the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

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