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Arts and Culture

'Once in a lifetime experience': Apo Whang-Od asks young tattoo artist to ink her

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
'Once in a lifetime experience': Apo Whang-Od asks young tattoo artist to ink her
Apo Whang-Od (right) getting inked by Diegz Madrona
Diegz Madrona via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Living legend and "mambabatok" Apo Whang-Od gave young tattoo artist Diegz Madrona the surprise of his life when Whang-Od herself had a "once in a lifetime" request to be inked by him with his "machine."

Madrona narrated in GMA News TV show "Brigada" that they were having their photos taken right after getting himself a tattoo by Whang-Od, when the last and oldest ethnic tattoo artist of Kalinga took notice of his tattoo machine, and had a peculiar request from him.

"Nag-picture-picture na po kami, tapos nakita 'yung machine ko, ang sabi ang ganda raw doon sa word po nila. Tapos baka puwede ko raw po siyang tatuan. Tapos sabi ko 'Sige po.' Tapos may dala raw po ba akong gamit? Sabi ko, 'Wala po eh pero puwede po 'yung ink niyo po na traditional'," Madrona said.

The young man was admittedly nervous. "Kinakabahan po ako nu'n. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko pero go na lang ako nang go kasi once in a lifetime talaga mangyayari 'yun eh kaya ginawa ko na po."

He further shared that his hands were actually shaking when he was giving Whang-Od her traditional tattoo.

"Sobrang pumapaling pero pilit kong nilalabanan 'yung pagpaling niya. Tapos nararamdaman din nila o nakikita ng mga nanonood sa amin, 'Uy sir nanginginig ka ah, pumapaling ah.' Ako, parang hindi ko pinapakinggan. Moment ko na ito, gagawin ko na ito kahit ano man ang mangyari. Halatang halata, sobra. 'Yung kaharap mo talagang respetado eh," Diegz narrated.

"Noong tinatatuan niya ako hindi ko naramdaman 'yung sakit kasi sobrang saya ko po eh," he added.

Madrona shared that the experience was truly special and something he would cherish for the rest of his life.

RELATED: Indigenous Peoples Month: Apo Whang-od, Nas Academy reconcile; contract declared 'null and void'

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