MANILA – Celebrity couple Aiza Seguerra and Liza Dino paid a visit to Apo Whang-od, the oldest “mambabatok” in Tinglayan, Kalinga province.
They went to see her after they learned that Whang-od has been suffering from an illness and refuses to go to a hospital.
In a series of posts on Instagram, Dino happily shared that Whang-od is now doing fine and just needs a nebulizer.
Dino also thanked Whang-od for keeping the practice of the traditional art of “batuk” alive.
“Salamat sa inyong ambag sa sining at kultura ng Kalinga. Isa kang tunay na kayamanan ng ating bansa,” Dino wrote.
As part of their visit, Dino decided to get her very first tattoo inked by no less than Whang-od herself.
“I had no plans of getting a tattoo but after everything we went through, I just had to. No regrets though! It was like a badge of honor to see Apo Whang-Od's art etched on my skin,” she wrote.
In the Kalinga culture, having a "batuk" or a traditional tattoo is a symbol of beauty or bravery. Whang-od uses a thorn, a bamboo stick and wet charcoal to put the design on one's skin.
Due to her popularity as the oldest practitioner of this traditional art, Dino said even other tattoo artists, including those from other countries, pay her a visit to experience the art.