Prayers please! Apo Whang-od, oldest tribal tattoo artist, is sick; help from Good Samaritans sought

  • Tourist/customer posted picture of PH’s oldest tribal tattoo artist in sickly condition
  • She said Whang-od suffering from “asthma, acute diarrhea and maybe pneumonia”
  • She encouraged strangers to pitch in, help out the legendary artist

MANILA, Philippines – Get well soon, national treasure!

A woman tourist hoping to be a customer of Apo Whang-od instead posted a picture of the country’s oldest tribal tattoo artist lying in bed apparently unwell and asked for donations to help pay for her medicines.

In her Facebook post, Miming Leung Yin-Baker said she had to forego a tattooing from Whang-od after finding her in less-than stellar condition.

“Unfortunately, we will be coming home tattoo-less. Dear Apo Whang Od is no longer in good health,” she wrote. “We think she has pneumonia, she coughs up phlegm and has a hard time breathing. Even though she was too weak to get up, she tried her best to talk to us & even asked what tattoo we wanted from her. But it was clear that she doesn’t have the strength to do so.”

Baker added that the village Whang-od lives in had 10 other all-female tattoo artists and accommodated an average of 400 visitors per week.

In her note at the bottom of the post, Baker left a number Good Samaritans may contact if they want to chip in for Whang-od’s medical expenses.

“It’s not in their culture to just accept money but hey, give it a shot. Call/text 09084792012. Look for Gilbert or Rustom”, she wrote.

To drive the point home, Baker also posted two videos of Whang-od interacting with her as she lay in bed, but as of posting, the videos may have already been made private.

“An emotional prayer for dear Apo Whang Od. Her ink is what connects us to the world. We are so thankful for what she has done for all of us. Get well soon our beloved”; her caption in one of the videos.

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