Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines

Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby ( Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.

Monday, January 21, 2013

#209 A Living Canvas

Whang-Od was the reason we endured two days driving to barangay Buscalan in Kalinga. She's 94 years old, a national treasure of sorts, and the oldest surviving mambabatok (tattoo artist) in that province. She's also a living canvas: on her arms and shoulders are the obras of artists past, inscribed for life and for all to see, for as long as she remains in the land of the living.

We're not the only ones who thought the trip was worthwhile. We arrived to find five tourists queued before us, all waiting for a Whang-Od original. And on her bedroom wall, we found a plethora of pictures and letters from happy customers all over the world. This lady is amazing. We thought she single-handedly put this sleepy village on the global tattoo map. We hope her niece Gessel (Grace) continues in her footsteps, to keep the stream of tourist flowing, and keep the craft of the Kalinga mambabatok alive. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: She's a busy woman. By the time she's ready to have her photograph taken, the harsh mid-day sun was upon us. Not to fear. Sit her under a big tree, or behind the shade of her home. The naturally harsh light will become directional and pleasing. Then shoot away!)

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But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (, one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

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