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Getting Tattooed by a 102 Year Old… WHANG OD

Getting Tattooed by a 102 Year Old… WHANG OD (Philippines Travel Vlog)

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Inking History: A Journey to Whang Od and the Ancient Tattoo Tradition


Hello, fellow culture and travel enthusiasts! As someone deeply fascinated by unique traditions and the stories of people around the world, I’m thrilled to share a remarkable journey captured in the vlog titled “Getting Tattooed by a 102-Year-Old… WHANG OD (Philippines Travel Vlog).” This video is not just about getting a tattoo; it’s about preserving and experiencing a dying art form with one of the last traditional Kalinga tattoo artists, Whang Od, in the Philippines. Her story is compelling and resonates with anyone interested in the preservation of indigenous cultures. Sharing this video felt essential to highlight the importance of cultural heritage and the lengths one can go to connect with history personally.

Creator Bio

The vlog is created by an intrepid traveler and cultural explorer who runs a popular YouTube channel focused on immersive travel experiences. With a knack for storytelling, the creator brings viewers along on adventures that not only showcase beautiful destinations but also dive deep into local customs and traditions, making their channel a treasure trove for those who seek to understand the world through travel. You can follow their journeys and explorations by visiting their YouTube channel at Travel & Culture Chronicles.

Key Takeaways

  1. Endurance and Adventure: The journey to Whang Od’s village is an adventure in itself, involving multiple modes of transport and physical challenges, highlighting the dedication needed to engage with authentic cultural experiences.
  2. Cultural Immersion: The vlog exemplifies how travel can be a powerful medium for cultural immersion, as seen through the vlogger’s interactions with locals and their participation in traditional practices.
  3. Preservation of Traditions: The significance of receiving a tattoo from Whang Od goes beyond aesthetics—it’s a personal commitment to supporting and recognizing indigenous practices and their place in the modern world.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Preparation in Manila: The vlogger prepares for the journey by understanding the cultural significance and gathering items to gift to Whang Od.
  2. Travel to the Village: A detailed account of the travel from Manila to the village, including the challenges faced during the bus ride and hike.
  3. Engaging with Locals: Throughout the journey, there’s a focus on the interaction with locals, sharing meals, and experiencing daily life.
  4. Meeting Whang Od: The climax of the vlog where the vlogger meets Whang Od and discusses the tattoo process.
  5. Receiving the Tattoo: The process of getting tattooed and the significance of each design, narrated with personal reflections from the vlogger.

“Receiving a tattoo from Whang Od isn’t just about the ink; it’s a rite of passage, a piece of her tribe’s history etched forever on my skin.” – Vlogger

Resources Mentioned

  • Traditional Kalinga Tattoos: Explained as an ancient art form practiced by the Kalinga tribe, known for their geometric patterns and nature-inspired designs.
  • Local Gifts: Items like water-resistant matches and candies were purchased as recommended by locals, showcasing respect and goodwill towards the village and its traditions.
  • Travel Guides: Guides on navigating through the Philippines, focusing on remote areas and cultural etiquette.

Personal Best Advice

When embarking on such a profound journey, always approach with humility and respect. Understanding and honoring local traditions not only enriches your experience but also supports and preserves these cultures for future generations. Remember, it’s not just a trip; it’s a learning experience that demands sensitivity and openness.


  1. Who is Whang Od? Whang Od is a centenarian tattoo artist from the Kalinga tribe in the Philippines, revered for maintaining her tribe’s tattooing tradition.
  2. How can I visit Whang Od? Visiting Whang Od requires a journey to her village in Kalinga, which involves multiple forms of transportation and a readiness for adventure.
  3. Is the tattoo safe? Yes, Whang Od uses traditional tools and techniques that have been used safely for generations, though it’s always important to consider personal allergies or skin sensitivities.
  4. What does a Kalinga tattoo symbolize? Kalinga tattoos traditionally symbolize milestones, status, and tribal affiliation, each pattern with its own historical and cultural significance.
  5. How can I support the preservation of such traditions? Engage respectfully, learn about the culture, share their stories, and contribute to local economies without exploiting their traditions.

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