April 2014

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"A person came close. He gently grabbed Kin-ay's arm and showed me her name. Wow! That was a lovely way of telling her name!"

That was the day when I encountered a living cultural museum. April 7, 2013: a date marked in my memory, tattooed on my heart, adopted by my DNA. She's a beautiful old woman. Her name is Kin-ay, a Kalinga tattooed woman whom I met for the very first time in this space of opportunity.

Kalinga Tattooed Woman

The reptilian-look arm is tantamount to beauty in her culture.


I've met a lot of tattooed women, some are gangsters, some are achievers, but Kin-ay's tattoo has this design that can beat all the hippest tattoos in town. 



Unlike Fang-od, she does not have the skill of tattooing but she has this charisma to make every Kalinga tattoo hunter's heart to jump with joy.

Kalinga Tattooed Woman

Her tattoo is a sign of bravery.


I've met some tattooed women in BONTOC but this group of tattooed women in Kalinga is yet another desire my culture-lustful body is fantasizing.

So upon I stepped on a Kalinga soil for the very first time, I saw Kin-ay. I saw her tattoos marked on that skin with love. Also, she's the first tattooed woman from Kalinga I've ever met. 

Seeing her was like I was transported to a different space and dimension. She is a festival herself, a grandiose event, a living masterpiece. My eyes were witnessing a grand cultural show in the person of her. That's how I reacted for the first time. You know, my first time experiences are the most memorable.

Kaling Tattooed Woman

A closer look of that lovely tattoo

Kalinga Tattooed Woman

Her name is marked on the posterior aspect of her forearm


Her name was tattooed on her skin. I asked her name but she didn't answer me. I knew, she can't understand my Ilocano tongue. A person came close. He gently grabbed Kin-ay's arm and showed me her name. Wow! That was a lovely way of telling her name! K I N - A Y.

My very first exposure in Kalinga was priceless, to think that this is just the start of the journey of meeting the last tribal tattoo artist in Kalinga.

Kin-ay belongs to an endangered culture. Soon it will be extinct. The culture of tattooing is waving goodbye. The younger generation of Kalinga women has learned to let go of the culture.

Kalinga tattooed Women

My photo with her. I paid her 20 pesos for this photo.

Kalinga tattooed Women

I met Kin-ay for the second time

Kalinga tattooed Women

She puts on a traditional headwear and porcelain necklace

Kalinga tattooed Women

She looks like a Westerner here, isn't it?


Our first meet-up with Kin-ay never became the last. The second chance was so generous. She still wears that turban and her necklace.

Usually, a necklace like that is made of porcelain they used to barter with the early Chinese traders in the lowlands.

Kalinga tattooed women

She's a cultural queen in Bugnay


It's been a year since the last time we met. How is she now? Is she still healthy and fit? Is she still living? I don't know. All I want to do is to go back there because I have a surprise for her.

I hope she'll still be alive for our 3rd meet-up. Otherwise, the surprise will be of no value anymore. /end
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Tinglayan #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Tinglayan

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MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *PEOPLE*

[TINGLAYAN] ► Fang-Od (Whang-Od): The Last Tribal Tattoo Artist of Kalinga

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TEASER ▬ She is unwittingly ending a tradition she is not supposed to end. She's ending the tradition not by her choice but by the call of our ever changing society.

[BONTOC] ► Of Old Age and Traveling: Meeting an 81-year-old Solo Backpacker

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TEASER ▬ This moment made me arrive to the realization that the passion for traveling is age-independent and the possibility of traveling solo around the world in old age is not a theory.

[BONTOC] ► The Last Generation of Overt Igorots in the Cordilleras

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TEASER ▬ Each second counts, and each second that has passed means losing another second of their generation.

[BONTOC] ► Finding Shelter in Alab's Mt. Data: Happy Memories with Strangers

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TEASER ▬ By time, I may forget them, so, I have to write a story about that experience that I may still remember those precious memories every time I do the recalling of happy moments.

[BONTOC] ► Cultural Experience with the Ammutan/Muyadan Tribe of Manabo

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TEASER ▬ There was a language barrier but the mere fact that I am witnessing a portion of their culture has made me think that these people are simply unique and blessed!

[VIGAN] ► Meeting the Oldest Palaspas Weaver for Palm Sunday at 74 years old

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TEASER ▬ All I can see to the face of Lola Conchita is the sincerity in her craft—that she loves it so much in spite of her age. She started weaving Palaspas when she was 64 years old and at that age, she finds the "need" to do it to earn for a living.

[BANTAY] ► The Trike Toploader Kids of Sallacong

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TEASER ▬ I was following their way and even the sunset will signal that they have to take a rest for now, the sunrise will again come tomorrow giving them new strength, new hope and a new day to gather more woods for their daily living.

[DAGUPAN] ► The Beki Faith Healer at A.B. Fernandez Avenue

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TEASER ▬ His goal now is to instill acceptance. On how he will receive acceptance in this society with set of rules and standards depends on the fruit of his actions.
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

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"If there is no concept of poverty, there shall be no poverty. But poverty has been introduced by greedy kingdoms while the little kingdom dwellers of the mountains recognized its presence."

Each destination is a new learning realm; and every new destination is a kingdom of new great encounters! A troupe of resilient human beings make their way to defeat the kingdom's foes. Their ingenuity has made the kingdom to still flourish despite of the many threats for survival. Aside from typhoon dragons and a battalion of fear riding on horses of uncertainty trying to attack their kingdom, a multitude of dreams has motivated the people to fight the foes. Armed with determination and bullets of inherent skills and expertise, the people use the chariot of their culture to live a life filled with a good fight of faith.

Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] Father and son: a tandem fight of faith


Buscalan, aside from being a PARADISE IN THE CLOUDS

[TINGLAYAN] Buscalan Rice Terraces Kissed the Clouds

TEASER: "This is my story about the Buscalan Rice Terraces. At first there is a foreplay with the clouds but it always ends up with a satisfactory finish."
, it is also a kingdom of immense cultural display. This cultural realm takes pride of its GREAT QUEEN OF THE INK

[TINGLAYAN] Fang-Od (Whang-Od): The Last Tribal Tattoo Artist of Kalinga


TEASER: "She is unwittingly ending a tradition she is not supposed to end. She's ending the tradition not by her choice but by the call of our ever changing society."
who puts intricate marks of fairy tale permanent on the skin of friendly ambassadors of peace from other kingdoms of the planet.

These marks are old-age symbols of the kingdom's glorious past now being defeated gradually by an influential weapon that easily spreads and attacks from the air. They ride on an ultra-modern spaceship of the modern world.

They easily penetrate the heart of every family in the kingdom through hippie sounds and both still and moving images of glitz and glamour under the guise of subliminal queens coming from the kingdom of pop culture. Unknown to the people of the kingdom of Buscalan, some of their enemies are already living with them, at home. If the people of the kingdom has survived from physical defeat of the imperialist platoon of the kingdoms from the West, the latest weapon seems to be tricky disguising in the form of entertainment. That said, the unique features of their kingdom is now being replaced by the culture of the pop kingdom. The pop queen has killed the ink princesses. The Great Queen of the Ink is actually the last reigning cultural ruler. Physical death is waiting to dethrone her.

A KINGDOM OF BLACKSMITHS

Part of the fight of faith in this little kingdom located atop the mountains of an Archipelago in the East is to turn stones into fire, then stones again. This is a physical weapon they craft for their survival. The people of this kingdom don't use this in physical fights but they rather use it to fight a much tricky enemy of the war - that is poverty.

Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] Crafting a kingdom weapon for the war


Poverty is a concept introduced by the kingdoms from the West. The financial system of the world is based on central banks controlled by money rulers of the money kingdom. The money kingdom is so huge that its imperial force is widespread. It has changed the concept of living in the little kingdoms including Buscalan.

The money kingdom has turned governments into a form of business. Alter-egos of the financial kings and queens have deprived the little people of their life, culture, property and even liberty. The simple life, where there is no need to spend the notes (of no real value) of the money kingdom has changed.

Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] Trained to face the war in the kingdom


The imperialists tricked the people of the smaller kingdoms. The mode of trade has changed, now in the form of paper with the value printed therein. The trees of the mountain kingdoms have been cut down to make these paper notes of no real value. The real people who are able to dig and mine gold and silvers from beneath the earth have become slaves in exchange of papers they use to sustain the needs of their families back in their little abode.

Those who dig out the gold with physical effort become poorer while those who have the paper notes become richer. The industrious people of the smaller kingdoms has become defeated. The weapon is too strong that all they have to do is to be a slave of their enemy poverty to survive the challenges of their kingdom abode.

THE CONCEPT OF POVERTY

In little kingdoms where life is simple, the concept of poverty does not really exist. Living a simple, happy and peaceful life is all what it takes to be a kingdom citizen. Happiness is a wealth. Simplicity is a virtue. Peace is a norm.
Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] This man fights the war with stones shaped by fire


Come the Western concept of poverty - that is the absence or scarcity of notes in possession. The simple kingdom life has replaced by material desires and greed. Those who plant rice and mine the earth are the real wealthy people for being able to possess sacks of rice and gold. But the concept of West kingdoms changed the perspective.

The West kingdom has invented television and the internet to market different stuff you can only acquire when you have the notes of the invasive money kingdom. They make it appear that a simple life in the mountains is a bad idea. The money kingdom shows delicious food with toxic preservatives, alcoholic beverages that seem to be a necessity in social gatherings, golden jewelries that actually came from the kingdom citizens who are able to extract them from the earth, and images of beautiful girls to make it appear that the standard of beauty is at least having a white skin so that you will buy their skin-whitening products -- all for the collection of notes: a virtual wealth that has long been made to appear real.

The kingdom citizens of the mountains are now embracing the concept of wealth based on paper. The tricky weapons the imperialist kingdoms have devised have defeated the people of the little mountain kingdom. Their graceful tattoos are gone. The sense of pride diminished while the mindset of other kingdom citizens of the lowlands has also changed -- that tribal tattoos are dirty and shameful.

Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] The war faced by him is a daily battle


The battle against poverty stemmed from the time the people of this mountain kingdom embraced such concept. If there is no concept of poverty, there shall be no poverty. But poverty has been introduced by greedy kingdoms while the little kingdom dwellers of the mountains recognized its presence. Now they're living under such concept; while a generation of materialism is on the rise. From that point, there are more battles to be faced to earn that paper wealth.

TURNING STONES INTO FIRE

Before the introduction of the concept of poverty, the blacksmiths of Kalinga make weapons to physically drive the invaders away. Now, they make weapons only to be converted into money (made of paper) of virtual value.

Local Industry in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga

[TINGLAYAN] Where the king fire defeated the stone warriors


On how the kingdom citizens of Buscalan mountains learned this is something that is hard to explain. The warriors of the war against poverty have defeated the cold stones and turned them malleable; let the same to surrender. The fire of their determination to survive has made them defeat the enemy with stone heart. The video below shows how this blacksmith of Buscalan shape a stone/metal through flame.

YOUTUBE ZONE



Blacksmithing in Buscalan Village of Kalinga is a local industry that involves a virtual war. The enemy is something that cannot be seen, nor be heard, nor be touched, but can be felt. The unseen enemy affects the warriors physically, mentally and emotionally. But the kingdom warriors against poverty are not ready to surrender yet. They can withstand the test. Although the enemy is something that can not be seen but can be felt, they know how to counterattack, like this blacksmithing. The process is tough but they have to do this in the name of survival. They are not giving up. They are not...

...giving up - as tough as a blacksmith, as powerful as fire. And if the people ignore the concept of poverty, they will eventually win the war. Otherwise, they have to learn the strategy of the enemy, for them to survive a war. /end

*BUSCALAN SOLO INVASION SUB-SERIES | 1

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 1/2

TEASER: "I am soliloquizing under the scorching strike of the sun that is adding more agony to my weary self. I hope I am not yet lost. But if ever I'm lost, at least I'm lost in a paradise."
| 2

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 2/2


TEASER: "So I thought the hike is over, but as I took a turn on that road, I saw the other side of the mountain and it doesn't look like I am getting any closer. It goes farther, and farther..."
| 3

[TINGLAYAN] Fang-Od (Whang-Od): The Last Tribal Tattoo Artist of Kalinga


TEASER: "She is unwittingly ending a tradition she is not supposed to end. She's ending the tradition not by her choice but by the call of our ever changing society."
| 4

[TINGLAYAN] 17 Great Memories + First Time Encounters in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER: "Buscalan rose to fame because of Fang-od. But Buscalan is more than Fang-od. It is more than the tribal tattoo."
| 5

[TINGLAYAN] Chewed, Swallowed Frogs in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER: "We talked with joy behind the darkness. That dinner unleashed the real us. The candlelight was a silent witness of our fears, happiness and life's perspectives."
| 6

[TINGLAYAN] There was No Sunrise in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER: "So the sun didn't shine that morning. However, I was able to understand the other side of the story."
| 7

[TINGLAYAN] Buscalan Rice Terraces Kissed the Clouds

TEASER: "This is my story about the Buscalan Rice Terraces. At first there is a foreplay with the clouds but it always ends up with a satisfactory finish."
| 8

Tinglayan #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Tinglayan

Click map to view latest articles covering Kalinga


MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *SOCIETY*

[PANGASINAN] Flesh-Eating Disease: of Prophecy, Hipocrisy and Politics

TEASER: "...though media are very entertaining and informative, our role is to become critical thinkers."

[IFUGAO] Giving the Children of Ifugao a Bright Future

TEASER: "If the smile of your crush or your loved one can make your day complete, I would say a helping hand that will make the children of the rice terraces to continually smile will mean a lot."

[VIGAN] Let's Support Vigan City for the New 7 Wonders Cities

TEASER: "Live with the people of Vigan and love it. From there, you will learn that there are just culture and traditions that can not be explained in words and can not be showcased in festivals that you have to actually experience it for a considerable length of time for you to understand.""/span>
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.