One of our readers got our attention regarding travel agencies who treat Whang-od like a “theme park” or “attraction” that you go to for a specific price tag.
According to M. Manaig:
I really do not know how to go about this letter pero since you guys are a very reputable travel website/page na a lot of people subscribe to, I think kayo yung tamang tao na lapitan ko with this “situation”. Kindly tell me if I’m crazy for saying this but don’t you think it’s appalling how this person/company is treating Whang-od like a tourist destination? I personally find it offensive kasi it’s like they are treating her like she is an attraction in a theme park and getting inked by her is the main attraction.
I get that this will be good for the village’s tourism but do they even know that the influx of people wanting to get inked could deteriorate Whang-od’s health? Another thing is, alam ba ng mga taga-Buscalan na may nagpo-promo ng ganito and if so, sana man lang eh hindi lang yung promoters ang makinabang dun sa “tourism” na dinadala ng company nila.
Whang-od is a national treasure not an attraction.
Thank you for hearing me out.
Whang-od is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattoo artist) and the oldest tattoo artist in the country. In doing tattoos, she uses a mix of charcoal and water tapped into the skin using the thorny end of a calamansi tree branch. This process is known as batok, a conventional tattooing technique that is believed to go a thousand of years back.
Due to he status of being the last mambabatok, some politicians and many netizens are lobbying her to be recognized as one of the National Artists of the Philippines.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts on this?