‘A humbling experience’: Coco Martin recounts meeting with Apo Whang-od, promises to visit her

Image from Coco Martin's Facebook account
  • Actor recounted meeting with Kalinga’s last living traditional tattooist
  • He described it as a humbling experience, vowed to visit her in her hometown
  • He also revealed what tattoo she would have wanted to inscribe on him

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the controversy brought on by her visit, actor Coco Martin said he was nevertheless happy to have met Kalinga’s last living traditional tattoo artist Apo Whang-od when the latter graced the recently-concluded FAME trade fair in Manila.

“It was a humbling experience,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “We offered her food during the get-together. We prepared fish and vegetables for her because that’s what we thought she would like to eat, but she only ate rice and a little salt, then drank water. I guess that’s her secret to staying strong and healthy. It also helps that she lives in a stress-free environment.”

Martin said he presented Whang-od who is a big fan of him with a jewelry set and promised to visit her in Kalinga once he finishes his work in ‘Panday’.

“I got her matching necklace and earrings. It was hard to think of what to give her,” he said. “I also made a promise to visit her when I’m done working on ‘Ang Panday.’”

The actor added that he would have also wanted a tattoo from the legendary artist but understood that she was already tired from her trip.

“She was already too tired from traveling. She rode the helicopter and experienced terrible traffic when she arrived in Manila,” he said.

As to the design, Martin said Whang-od told him she would have inscribed a warrior design on him.

“Whang-od decides what to draw on your skin. She once told me about wanting to draw a warrior of some sort,” he said.