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Apo Whang-Od’s Vogue cover wows Hollywood stars

by Izel Abanilla

Recently updated on April 11, 2023 04:58 pm

Hollywood A-listers Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid gushed over the timeless beauty of tattoo artist Whang Od, who recently graced the cover of Vogue Philippines.

They shared Vogue’s April cover on their social media pages, thrusting the last living mambabatok into international fame once again.

Bond-girl Berry encapsulated the magnificence of the portrait in just five words. “Now, this is real beaty,” said the Oscars award-winning actress.

Campbell gave Berry’s post three emoji hearts before sharing the cover on her own Instagram account.

Hadid, meanwhile, dedicated an Instagram highlight for the 106-year-old Dangal ng Hara awardee.

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“This is the best Vogue cover ever,” said Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy.

Filipino celebrities also expressed admiration for the legendary Kalinga elder, who became the first woman to practice the ancient hand-tapping tattoo technique. 

Thousands of fans too agreed and praised the magazine for such a “perfect cover.” 

According to Vogue, Apo Maria “Whang-Od” Oggay symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Filipino spirit.” 

Also known as the “last mambabatok,” Apo Whang-Od holds heritage as the oldest living Filipino tattoo artist. She is often credited for putting Kalinga on the maps as one of the must-visit tourist spot for FIlipinos and foreigners alike. 

She has dedicated 80 years to the art of tattooing and has inked various peoples including head hunters of indigenous tribes. Tattoos or batok among the Kalinga tribe symbolize prestige, honor, and beauty. 

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