‘Dutdutan’ returns to World Trade Center Metro Manila

Tattooing is popular worldwide, but it’s a pre-Hispanic cultural practice in the Philippines, which must be why the annual Dutdutan tattoo festival is held in October, declared by the government as Indigenous People’s Month.

Dutdutan 2022 official poster on Instagram. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FB/Dutdutan Tattoo Convention

The 105-year-old Whang-od Oggay, recognized as the oldest and last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist), is a member of the Butbut people of the Kalinga ethnic group. She heads a clan of adept female tattooists of varying ages.

Dutdutan is Filipino for “pricking” something with a pointed object, which is how tattooing is done. Ink is pricked into the human skin to create graphic art.

The festival began in 2000 and was regularly held at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

The 105-year old Whang-od Oggay is the oldest and last traditional Kalinga tattooist. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/apowangodoggay

It continued on-site at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, though with limited access since the venues were hotels in Cebu and Bacolod.

World-renowned tattoo artists, male and female, have been joining Dutdutan, some from the US, UK and Canada.

The Dutdutan 22: Philippine Tattoo Expo, happening on 14 to 15 October, returns to the World Trade Center Metro Manila. Gates open at high noon till midnight. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
As in the past, the event doubles as a music festival featuring the country’s biggest acts.

Arnel Pineda will perform on the 15th. Gloc-9 and Shanty Dope are also on the roster.

Yara Floresta’s tattoo insipirations are women, nature, and music. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF @yarafloresta/IG

Vivamax talents Christine Bermas, Cloe Barreto, Rob Guinto and Jela Cuenca will have a spot performance at 11 p.m. also on the 15th, and then a bikini fashion show at past midnight.

Tickets are at P700 each. An easy way to buy them is at the clothing stores of Tribal Gear Philippines and Lower Left Manila, the two primary sponsors of Dutdutan. Tribal Gear is actually the event organizer.

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