Whang-od's grandniece Grace Palicas comes back to Manila to share Kalinga's tattoo art

Published July 1, 2021, 11:29 AM

by John Legaspi

Can’t travel to Kalinga to get tattooed by a legend? Here’s your chance

Grace Palicas (photos from her Instagram account)

In our pre-pandemic times, getting inked by Kalinga’s pride, the mambabatoks of Butbut, is one unforgettable quest. After all, the art of batok is traditionally known as a rite of passage for ancient Filipinos, a ritual that documents their achievements through ethnic symbols made with natural dyes, a calamansi thorn, and bamboo stick.

While going on a hike in Buscalan is not an option to take now due to our health climate, the art of batok comes to Manila with the help of Grace Palicas. Known to many tourists that have made a trip to Buscalan, Grace is the grandniece of the Kalinga tattoo master and Dangal Haraya awardee Whang-od. Since the age of 10, the new-generation mambabatok has been learning the craft from the master herself.

In a series of social media posts, Grace shared that she’ll be traveling to Manila for a series of tattoo sessions this July. Her first visit this month will happen from July 2 to 4, 2021 with Artcoholic Tattoo and Arts in Makati City. From July 9 to 11, 2021, the “next great mambabatok” will be at Katribu Tatu in Pasig City.

Photo from Grace Palicas

Photo from Katribu Tatu

Due to the pandemic, Grace put a highlight on health safety measures on her tattooing process saying, “I adjust my art with some hygienic item to make my art more safe for everybody.”

Likewise, interested participants are expected to observe health safety practices and are encouraged to make early bookings to have a session with Grace. Tattoo enthusiasts can visit @katribu_tatu and @artcoholicph.official on Instagram for more details.