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Kalinga's Grace Palicas comes to Manila

You won’t need to make the trip up to Kalinga for a tattoo from the mambabatok.

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A traditional Filipino Batok tattoo is hard to come by. Each year, hundreds of travelers from around the world brave the difficult trip up the mountains of Buscalan, Kalinga in hopes of receiving one from the famed Whang-od, the last mambabatok of her generation.

While many will have to wait to travel up to Kalinga for a while, those of us in the city can still get those coveted tattoos without going too far: new generation mambabatok Grace Palicas is holding special tattoo sessions in Metro Manila from November 30 to December 09.

Portrait of Grace Palicas is often referred to as The Next Legendary Mambabatok.
Grace Palicas is often referred to as The Next Legendary Mambabatok. Photo by Fruhlein Econar.

Grace is Whang-od’s grandniece, and is often called the next great mambabatok. She is part of a new generation of mambabatok in Buscalan, and one of the only two tattoo practitioners Whang-od has hand-picked to personally mentor.

Over the next few days, Grace will host Batok sessions in three participating tattoo shops in the metro: Katribu Tatu in Pasig City (November 30 to December 02), Makati’s Baby Lakay Barbers (December 03 to 05), and Black Angel Tattoo Supply in Cainta (December 07 to 09).

Following GCQ guidelines, all participating venues will strictly require guests to comply with minimum health and safety protocols. Those who are interested are encouraged to contact the respective tattoo shops to book an appointment.

Hundreds travel to Buscalan for a Batok tattoo by Whang-Od.
Hundreds travel to Buscalan for a Batok tattoo by Whang-od. Photo by Fruhlein Econar.

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