Devex’s photo of the week! This made my Friday :)

One of my former workmates, Yula, contacted me a few days  ago and asked if they could feature in the Global Development Briefing, a photo I took from Kalinga (northern part of the Philippines) as Devex’s photo of the week.  And, although I am kind of shy sharing my works with people, I said yes.  It is, after all, an opportunity to share what I got from my visit to the indigenous peoples communities in the Philippines in December 2012.

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Visiting indigenous peoples communities – how we did it

Tara and I spent some time doing research to really be clear on what we want to accomplish and get for the entire trip.  Tara, being a professional photographer, and me, being a person who loves taking pictures, based our initial list on the images that came up in Google.  We did a search for “indigenous peoples” + Philippines and if a particular picture would catch our interest, we would look it up further.

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Project Breaking Down Barriers: How we got to Fang-od in Buscalan, Kalinga

Based on our research, there are several ways to get to Fang-od’s place in Buscalan, Kalinga.  But, if you wish to follow how we did it, here’s how:

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Project Breaking Down Barriers: Before leaving Buscalan

The following morning, Tara and I woke up with happy hearts.  We had an awesome conversation with Fang-od the previous day, met the very hospitable people of Buscalan in the afternoon, and slept really well on Fang-od’s home’s wooden floor.

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Project Breaking Down Barriers: Village of Buscalan, Kalinga

After Tara got her tattoo, we had coffee with Fang-od and had the opportunity to have another conversation with her. We talked about her life, beyond being the last Kalinga tattoo artist.

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Project Breaking Down Barriers: Getting inked by the last Kalinga tattoo artist

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.

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Project Breaking Down Barriers: Meeting the cutie-pie rockstar lola Fang-od

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.

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