Kalinga Tattoo

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Whang Od at work

I’d read up online about people’s experiences with Whang Od – they were invariably called stuff like “Getting Inked by Whang Od – last living Kalinga tattoo artist” and referred to the spirituality of both the pilgrimage to reach her and that of the experience generally. Many talked of meeting her in peaceful tranquillity on a remote platform overlooking the rice paddies and told of how she had spoken with them and then decreed which tattoo they should have, as though she had some sort of mystical insight into their personality and was bestowing upon them something particular to themselves and their life journey. Load of bullshit. more

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Manila, Manila…

…if you were coffee, you’d be quadruple strength instant, oblivious to milk, taken scalding hot straight to the back of the throat. Edgy, loud, grimy, proud; shy you are not. Your colours just visible through the smog like a dream of breeze through the sweat. As we wait, endless, for movement through traffic that does not crawl so much as grind painfully over the melting tarmac, like an ant with one leg. But slower. more