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Apo Whang-od receives ‘Natatanging yKalinga Award” during Bodong Fest

Updated: Feb 16, 2023


Tabuk City, Kalinga – In time for the founding anniversary of Kalinga, the provincial local government unit recognized Apo Whang-od, the country’s oldest mambabatok, conferring her with "Natatanging yKalinga" award on February 14, 2023.


The award was personally received by the 2018 Dangal ng Haraya recipient from Senator Maria Imelda Josefa "Imee" Romualdez Marcos who graced the celebration.


Whang-od was not the sole recipient since Alonso B Saclag, Sr. from Lubuagan, also received same recognition.

According to Provincial Tourism Officer Lorraine Ngao-i, Whang-od along with Saclag did not go through regular search procedure since the two are already well known in their impactful and significant contribution to the country’s culture and arts.


The achievements of the two as emphasized by Ngao-i ‘are already of common knowledge and recognized by National and International Awarding Bodies’ thus the exemption of the two for a meticulous search procedure.


“This award is given to outstanding yKalingas who have made an impact in the national or international field,” Ngao-i added.

Apo Whang-od is well-known for her tattooing skills using a razor-sharp thorn and thick black ink, and her designs represent the tribal community of the yKalingas.


Apart from the said award, Apo Whang-od has also been chosen in 2022 as the top centenarian awardee for her outstanding contribution to national culture and the arts.


The Philippines’ oldest hand-tapped tattoo artist is also among the 14 awardees in 2022 for the first Hiyas Award for Indigenous Art.

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