In this Oct. 20, 2017 photo, Apo Whang-od Oggay and Grace Palicas attend the trade show Manila FAME. The STAR/Miguel De Guzman

Whang-Od’s grandniece shuts down ‘exploitation’ claims
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - October 24, 2017 - 10:38am

MANILA, Philippines — The grandniece of Apo Whang-Od Oggay broke her silence Monday on the alleged “exploitation” of the legendary Kalinga tattoo artist during the recent Manila FAME trade show.

Grace Palicas, also one of the tattoo artists who conducted a live demonstration at the trade show, took to social media to clarify the terms of their participation in the Manila FAME.

Palicas addressed netizens who expressed their concern for the over 90-year-old Whang-Od after a photo of the latter circulated online showing her sleeping at a press conference where she was a panelist.

“Sa mga [concerned] about sa pagbaba namin ng maynila kasama si Apo Whang-od Oggay gusto ko po sabihin na may kontratang pinirmahan namin,” Palicas wrote on a Facebook status.

Palicas also confirmed the statement of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, which organized the event, that all the proceeds of the live tattoo demonstration would be given to Whang-Od’s community in Kalinga.

“May talent fee po na natanggap namin. At kagustuhan po naming mag-tattoo sa event,” Palicas said.

“Kung ang alam niyo po ay kinuha ng CITEM ‘yung mga bayad ng tattoo namin ay hindi po. Sa amin po lahat napunta ang mga yun,” she added.

The young tattooist, who is training under Whang-Od, appealed to the public to stop the issue and the negativity.

Whang-Od, Palicas and another tattooist participated in Manila FAME’s two-day live mambabatok demonstration from morning to afternoon last Friday and Saturday. 

The nonagenarian was flown to Manila with the help of the Philippine Air Force and other government agencies.

Two Cordillera officials said they would probe the alleged exploitation of Whang-Od.

RELATED: Cordillera officials to probe alleged ‘exploitation’ of Whang-Od

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