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.
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:
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.
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.