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Aklanon Artist Pays Tribute To Apo Whang-Od, The Last ‘Mambabatok’ in PH

  • Aklanon Painter honors country’s oldest mambabatok
  • Apo Whang-Od poses for a picture with the Aklanon artist who painted her

Many of us will surely not mind climbing up the mountains of the Cordilleras just to get inked by the world-renowned mambabatok Apo Whang-Od. Why not? She’s a living history. She possesses the art and culture of Kalinga.

The highest of honors

A Facebook post originally uploaded by Nathan Perez have been an ongoing buzz lately. Through his post, he named Ted Francis Rowan as a ‘Young Aklanon Painter Honors Oldest Mambabatok’.

Whang-Od is known to be the last mambabatok of the Butbut Tribe in the Philippines. However, for this one magical moment, is is her that was inked on a canvas. Rowan, a fresh graduate from Visayas has painted a portrait of Apo Whang-Od and delivered it personally to her.

It was a dream, according to him, to finally meet the oldest living traditional Kalinga tattooist personally. He admitted that he got mesmerized by the Whang-od’s admirable contribution in Philippine Arts and Culture as she preserves the beauty of traditional body inking.

Whang-Od is never known to portray different emotions. She has this always-blank faced persona. But this time, when he saw Rowan’s creation, she cannot help but smile. She really appreciated the gesture.



The two posed for a picture, and the beauty of this photograph was; a young artist meets an art legend. It is really a nice feeling to see older generations pass by the culture to the younger ones.

Written by Denis Santos

A Journalism student who considers nature as his second home. Likes to travel on a budget, and believes tofu and nuggets come hand in hand.

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