BATOK Philippine Traditional Tattooing by Mayo Landicho @ Kwayetsut


Inspired by a recurring dream of a woman on top of a high mountain, Mayo Landicho was told by a dream that a woman would play an important role in his life. “I dreamt of her many years ago. I did not know what it meant.”Later on upon deciding to pick up ink and researching about Philippine tribal tattooing, he learned of 95 year-old Apo Wang Od, oldest living traditional tattooist from Northern Philippines. “It is time that I bring my feet to her.” In 2013, Mayo trekked to Buscalan in the Kalinga region where Apo Wang Od lives.

Today, Mayo promotes the ancient tradition of pambabatok (tattooing) that he learned from Apo Wang Od. He says “… she’s funny (Apo Wang Od)… she told me that I could’ve been her husband if I was born much earlier.” At their encounter, he received a centipede mark from her, and for his part, tattooed Apo Wang Od with an alibata mark of the first syllable of her name. “I told her my story. I asked for her blessings. I asked for permission to continue her style and the tradition of hand-tapping.”




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