Apo Whang-od is a force of nature, an icon of tradition and resilience in a world that values speed, convenience, and disposable culture.
She is a well-known Filipino traditional tattoo artist who hails from the Kalinga province in the Philippines.
Even though I don’t have a tattoo, I think people who are able to keep art and culture alive are legendary.
Apo Whang-od is renowned for her traditional hand-tap tattoos, which she has been practicing for over 80 years. Apo Whang-od was born on February 17, 1917, which means she turned 106 years old on February 17, 2023.
Despite her age , Apo Whang-od continues to practice her craft and has become a cultural icon in the Philippines.
Her skills and techniques have been passed down to younger generations, ensuring that her legacy and the art of traditional hand-tap tattoos will be preserved for years to come.
In the age of digital disruption and instant gratification, Apo Whang-od stands out as a living testament to the power of craft, the importance of cultural heritage, and the beauty of slow, deliberate work.
With her bare hands and a thorn, Apo Whang-od has created some of the most intricate and stunning tattoos in the world, a feat that has earned her international recognition and admiration.
In a world where so much is disposable and fleeting, Apo Whang-od reminds us of the value of tradition, the importance of history, and the beauty of handmade craftsmanship.
Her work is not just about creating beautiful designs on the skin, but about telling the stories of her people, their struggles, their triumphs, and their way of life.
In an era of disruption and uncertainty, Apo Whang-od stands tall as a beacon of strength and resilience, a living embodiment of the power of culture, tradition, and craft.
In his book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin argues that the most successful and valuable people in any field are those who are able to create and contribute in unique and valuable ways.
Linchpins are the ones who are not easily replaceable and bring a level of skill, creativity, and passion to their work that sets them apart.
Apo Whang-od exemplifies this principle by dedicating herself to her work and passing on her skills to the next generation.
By being a linchpin in her field, she has not only created a valuable contribution but has also ensured the preservation of a cultural tradition that might have otherwise been lost.
Her legacy will endure long after she is gone, a reminder of the enduring beauty and significance of the human touch.
Apo Whang-od is a linchpin.