The Legendary Apo Whang-Od Inked These Filipino Personalities

The Legendary Apo Whang-Od Inked These Filipino Personalities


These Filipino personalities’ most unique cultural experience is getting tattooed by the 107-year-old legendary Apo Whang-Od.  

The oldest and last mambabatok in the Philippines from the Kalinga province, Apo Whang-Od, recently received the Presidential Medal of Merit for raising “international awareness of our country’s rich cultural heritage.” Her traditional hand-tap method, or “pagbabatok”, has led Filipinos to travel to the Kalinga mountains to tattoo their skin, including these known Filipino personalities.

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Apo Whang-Od at work; Photo: ZEINAB HARAKE (via Facebook)

1. Rhian Ramos

Rhian Ramos braved the 12 to 14-hour journey to reach Apo Whang-Od not once, but twice. On her first trip, she had two designs done: a hawk to symbolize her spiritual relationship with God, and a scorpion done by Whang-Od’s grandniece. The Kapuso actress herself designed the third tattoo: a reminder for her to stay humble and grounded.

Rhian Ramos with her third tattoo done by the artist; Photo: RHIAN RAMOS (via Instagram)

2. Zeinab Harake

Most recently, Zeinab Harake made the journey as well and documented her trip in a YouTube vlog. She says it’s been a long time dream of hers to have Apo Whang-Od leave a mark on her body, and that dream became a reality last February 15. Zeinab had her new ink, Whang Od’s signature three-dot tattoo, placed above the tiger face on her arm.

Zeinab Harake’s soulful journey to Buscalan Village brought her to this moment; Photo: ZEINAB HARAKE (via Facebook)

3. Sheryn Regis

Cebuana singer-songwriter Sheryn Regis and girlfriend Mel De Guia got matching tattoos last 2022 on the back of their necks. On top of that, they also had the tattooist’s three-dot signature ink on their hands. This was Sheryn’s first time getting tattooed, and it was certainly a memorable moment for the couple.

The couple had their matching tattoos etched on their nape; Photo: SHERYN REGIS (via Facebook)

4. Maine Mendoza

Maine Mendoza captures a memorable and significant cultural moment in her life with Apo Whang-Od; Photo: MAINE MENDOZA (via Instagram)

Whang-Od’s three-dot signature tattoo can also be found inked on Maine Mendoza’s skin, vertically placed on her lower leg. The actress even gave insight on the artist’s personality, saying she was “super kulit” and “malakas pa rin”.

5. Kim Atienza

Kuya Kim’s first tattoo was also done by the legendary artist back in 2018 on her 101st birthday and Matanglawin TV’s 10th anniversary. The television personality asked Whang-Od for a cross tattoo to symbolize his relationship with God.

Kim Atienza proudly showcases his cross-shaped tattoo and Apo Whang-Od’s signature ink; Photo: KUYA KIM ATIENZA (via Facebook)

Featured Image: ZEINAB HARAKE and RHIAN RAMOS (Via Facebook)

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