MANILA -- Three years after getting her first traditional tattoo, Rhian Ramos returned to Kalinga to get another one from the province's oldest mambabatok or tattoo practitioner, Whang-ud.
This time, she got a bigger more intricate design.
Just last week, the 26-year-old actress once again braved the 17-hour road trip to Kalinga and two-hour trek to the mountain-top village to get a personalized tattoo on her upper leg.
"I'm just so grateful they agreed to this request. A little old, a little new," Ramos wrote as caption.
According to the actress, she personally created the design and had it illustrated by Whang-ud's grandniece Gracia Palicas.
Despite the long queue of tourists waiting to meet her, Whang-ud personally tattooed Ramos.
In 2004, Ramos traveled to the village of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Kalinga to get a traditional hawk design permanently inscribed by Whang-ud.
She also acquired a scorpion design from Palicas.
Meanwhile, in an Instagram post, Ramos encouraged returning tourists to bring prints of their photos when they come back to the village.
"When visiting Buscalan, take a bunch [of photos], have them printed, and mail them back to your tour guide. Or bring the prints when you come back," she wrote.
Whang-ud, who is now believed to be a hundred years old, is the last practicing traditional tattoo artist of Kalinga. Her worldwide popularity began in 2009 when tattoo anthropologist Lars Krutak went to Buscalan and did a documentary for Discover Channel.