Fang-od, herself, prepared what she would be using for the tattooing session – a small piece of metal for drawing, charcoal, a thorn, a stick where the thorn would be attached, another stick that would be used to support embedding the tattoo on the skin, and two stools where she and Tara would be sitting on.
I first saw Fang-od lying on her home’s wooden floor. Fang-od got up, welcomed us to her home, and prepared coffee and lunch for us. And, while partaking the prepped meal, we had a conversation with her, with Manong Francis as our translator, about tattoos and the preservation of the tradition.
Day 3 of our trip. After eating breakfast, which our host family prepared for us, Tara and I went on to pack the things that we were going to bring to Buscalan, where Tara would be getting her tattoo from Fang-od. Since Fang-od is living up a mountain, I suggested to Tara that we just bring my bag and have her stuff inside, too. Then, we could request Manong Francis to carry it for us on our way up.
I got to the bus station 10 minutes before its scheduled departure. Typical me, I did everything last minute – INCITEGov first draft (sent 4:15 PM), packing (done 6:15 PM), withdrawal of pocket money (done 6:20 PM), picking up of books from Glads’ for the kids of Guina-ang (done 6:25 PM). Good thing there was still no one sitting on our reserved seats!
The last two weeks had been amazing for me. I learned a lot about myself. I got to face fears. And, there were a number of new experiences I never thought I’d ever have.