Apo Whang-Od from the Philipines has made history by appearing on the April cover of Vogue Philipines at the age of 106.
Known for her intricate traditional tattoos, Apo Whang-Od more commonly known as Maria Oggay, is said to be one of the last tattoo artists keeping this tradition alive. In 2017, Oggay told CNN, “(My friends who gave tattoos) have all passed away,” highlighting her significance in keeping the mambabatok culture alive. As the times have changed, so has her customer profile. While previously, the Kalinga tribe’s geometric designs were reserved for the native Butbut warriors, these days people travel from around the world on a quest for an Oggay original tattoo.
What makes the geometric tattoos more unique is that the art is only passed down to blood relatives. Oggay was taught by her father and she is currently teaching her grandnieces to keep the art alive. It seems that there is no stopping Oggay as she explains, “As long as I can see well, I will keep giving tattoos. I’ll stop once my vision gets blurry.”