Tattooing in the Philippines - Why Pintados are surfacing again

Filipino-American wrestler-bodybuilder-actor Dave Michael Bautista, Jr or BATISTA-The Animal, sporting a Philippine emblem tattoo Photo by: Ernie Pena
Filipino-American wrestler-bodybuilder-actor Dave Michael Bautista, Jr or BATISTA-The Animal, sporting a Philippine emblem tattoo Photo by: Ernie Pena
Philippine Islands Tattoo
Philippine Islands Tattoo | Source

Even before Spanish regime, TATTOO has been part of the tribal life of the early settlers in the Philippines.

It is derived from the Tahitian word, TATU or PINTADOS (Filipino word) for The Painted Ones.

Why tattoo? I, for one, has not been engaged to tattoo session because my job didn't permit me to have one. Some companies link tattooing to some criminals which should not be the case.Well, we often see incarcerated persons or prisoners having tattoos on their bodies but we should stereotype tattoo on that level.

Tattooing is an art that my forefathers embraced and handed down from generation to generation. Modern gadgetry and technologies make it the most-sought-after decorative art on skin.

Tattoo is:

  1. part of tribal life;
  2. self-expression;
  3. tribal form of rank and accomplishment;
  4. has magical quality, so they say.

If you're an avid reader on World histories, tattoo is not only prevalent among tribes in the Philippines. It is also present among Polynesian people, like Samoans & Tongans; likewise with most African tribes.

European tribes, like the Celts were also tattooed people that occupied the UK for a long time.

The Lost Tribes of PINTADOS - inthe annals of Philippine History
The Lost Tribes of PINTADOS - in the annals of Philippine History | Source

Getting to know more about Pintados and the present festival

To commemorate the long lost tribe of Pintados, the province of Leyte in the country decided to put up a festival on June for a month-long activities.

It is now called Kasadyaan Festival, a cultural-religious celebration in Tacloban based on the body-painting traditions of the ancient tattooed "pintados" warriors. In 1986, the Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed by the people of Tacloban to organized this festival in honor of Sr. Santo Niño.

The ranks of these warriors and their families were shown through the accumulation of tattoos on their bodies.

I used to hear tales of those fearless men, the Painted Ones, defending their tribes at all cost from invaders.

Pintados festival in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines

PINTADOS Festival at Tacloban, Leyte every June 30th
PINTADOS Festival at Tacloban, Leyte every June 30th | Source
Administering Tribal Tattoo
Administering Tribal Tattoo | Source

How tattoo is administer

Tattoo can be permanent (for life) or HENNA (non-permanent) that lasts for 10 days. Even children like henna tattoo. Some can be bought and you can personally transfer it on your skin. The materials used are biodegradable and don't leave rashes to the skin.

Professional tattoo maker should be your service provider to avoid:

a. infection
b. allergies
c. HIV transmission
d. hepatitis

The use of needle should only be executed once to avoid such post-tattoo ill-effects.

Tattooing these days is made easy through the use of modern machines. The safety of every client is secured by the owner or operator by showing the  sealed needle first and the colors or skin paints to be used.

Pain endurance is tested first because part of the session is the accumulation of blood on the part of the skin being decorated or tattooed.

Michael Madsen, Hollywood actor whose movie credits include: Kill Bill, Donnie Brasco and Reservoir Dogs
Michael Madsen, Hollywood actor whose movie credits include: Kill Bill, Donnie Brasco and Reservoir Dogs | Source

Recommendations

In greater Metro Manila, www.yanniks.com, is one of the leading tattoo maker, with its official tattooo maker, Bryan Saltiga. His customers ranges from:

1. Michael Madsen - Hollywood actor who visited the Philippines and get tatooed by him.
2. Manny Paquiao - the 8th-time titlist in professional world boxing, now a congressman in Sarangani
3. Other artists in the Philippines who are tattoo enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, you can find an array of tattoo art at PinoyTattoos.com if you're interested to undergo the session anytime soon.

Everywhere you go in many key cities in the country, expect of tattoo shops that often frolic the main thoroughfares of downtown areas.

Many tourists are also tempted to try it, whether it's permanent or henna tattoo.

PHILIPPINES TATTOO c/o chocopillows

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Comments 8 comments

earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Tattoo is part of Filipino culture. Some girls are also decorating their bodies with it. You know; it's some kind of bragging rights if you have some tattoos on your body.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Just hearing for the first time that tattoos is part of a countries culture.Well, i don't think that seeing tattoos in female body is very ideal and besides it doesn't talk good about that person nor matter how you see it.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@earthbound: Yes, it's part of Filipino culture.Our forefathers used to emblem their bodies of tattoos with regards to their ranks in the society.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@crystolite: Some females make their tattoos subdued. The minimal art on lady's ankle, for example, makes it enticing to know her better. :D


thesailor profile image

thesailor 5 years ago from Seven Seas

Some Filipino seafarers are forced to remove their tattoos because some agencies didn't permit them to have such thing on their bodies.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@thesailor: Some people can't accept that having tattoo is not the barometer of one's character. They're stereotyping the traits of those tattoo lovers that should not be the case.


Arian Rey profile image

Arian Rey 5 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

I'm interested to acquire tattoos on my body. Thanks for this hub; I might try it later.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Arian Rey: Good luck on your endeavor to try tattoo painting. Some regretted having tattoos on their bodies. If you're willing enough to try it, they why not.:D

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