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  • Writer's pictureLIVEBAD

Apo Whang-Od: A Fearless and Badass Tattoo Legend at 106

Apo Whang-Od is not your ordinary tattoo artist. At 106 years old, this centenarian from Kalinga Province in the Philippines has garnered international recognition as the oldest living mambabatok, or traditional Kalinga tattoo artist. In April 2023, her unique and inspiring story gained further accolades when Whang-Od appeared on the cover of Vogue, making her the oldest cover model in Vogue history. Apo Whang-Od embodies the LIVEBAD lifestyle, inspiring people to be fearless, take risks, persevere, and embrace the badass in all of them.

Born in the province of Kalinga in the early 20th century, Apo Whang-Od began learning the art of tattooing at the tender age of fifteen. With techniques passed down from generation to generation, she has practiced her traditional tattoo methods for over nine decades, earning her the title of "master tattooist." These methods, known as "batok," involve tapping ink into the skin using a bamboo stick with a lemon thorn at the end. Despite her age, Apo Whang-Od continues to create extraordinary and meaningful tattoos, expressing her passion and dedication to this ancient art form and her cultural heritage.

In a world where modern technologies and innovations have overtaken traditional practices, Apo Whang-Od refuses to let cultural erasure take hold. Instead, she is teaching her form of tattoo artistry to the next generation, ensuring that the legacy of the mambabatok will endure for centuries to come. Her fierce determination and commitment to keeping her culture alive serve as a powerful example of what it means to live a truly badass life.

Breaking barriers and inspiring people across the globe, Apo Whang-Od's appearance on the cover of Vogue Portugal demonstrates that beauty, grace, and strength have no age boundaries. As a woman who defies societal norms, Whang-Od serves as a powerful role model for not just feminists, but for all individuals who seek to challenge convention and embrace their inner rebel. She embodies the LIVEBAD philosophy by staying true to herself, refusing to conform, and pursuing her passions regardless of life's obstacles.

As an icon of perseverance, Apo Whang-Od's story resonates with those striving for authenticity and fearlessness in their own lives. She proves that age does not define one's capabilities and that living a badass life is not restricted to youth culture. Apo Whang-Od's unique and captivating journey teaches us that by embracing risks, following our passions, and preserving our cultural heritage, we can attain a level of satisfaction and fulfillment that transcends age and physical limitations.

Apo Whang-Od's enduring spirit and incredible talent remind us of the importance of courage, authenticity, and tenacity in our pursuit of an extraordinary life. She perfectly epitomizes the LIVEBAD lifestyle, inspiring us all to seize each day and live life as the fearless, badass individuals we are meant to be.

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