I was told that Apo Whang-od’s 3-dot signature was a symbol of three generations of ‘mambabatok’— herself, her niece and her grandniece. It was probably her way of making known her legacy and her tribe’s continuing practice and tradition.
I loved the fact that it has been generations of women doing it for the village. I could only wish for it to remain that way.
After getting inked, we actually stayed around until Apo finished the last person in line. We just basked ourselves in the mundane. It was really nice to just sit and listen to the tapping of her sticks as she did her art.
I remember fangirling again. I lowkey just observed her after her day’s work was done. She did her own accounting. She cleaned up her station herself. She picked up all the gifts that we visitors gave her and started walking home. One by one she shared those gifts to the houses she passed by until I don’t she her holding any more. She just quietly walked home, checked her livestock the moment she got in and she went on with the rest of her day.
I was just tattooed by that woman. It was really humbling just to see her. I will forever remember her story through my tattoo. I couldn’t be anymore proud to carry her signature.