Fashion trends change day after day, and you can literally see this on the streets. Since the streetwear style has entered the worldwide mainstream, most enthusiasts have embraced this trend. With its cool versatility and mix-and-match style, streetwear fashion provides a creative outlet for wearers to show off their individualities and make a statement.
Tattoos that were once seen as a symbol for rebellion or self-destruction are now considered as a beautiful body art used for creative expression. Tattoos today have never been more in fashion, not only on our bodies but also our clothes, and tattoo-inspired clothing have found a home mainly in streetwear fashion in the Philippines.
Here in the Philippines, we take pride in the rich history and traditions behind our tattoos. At 103 years old, our very own Maria “Whang-od” Oggay is the country’s oldest ‘mambabatok’ (Kalinga tattooist), and today, the legendary Filipina tattoo artist is still actively doing her part in keeping the tradition alive. She was the last ‘mambabatok’ from the tribe of Butbut that originated in Buscalan, Kalinga. Inked in her skin are meaningful designs with rich stories to tell. Many travelers, locals and non-locals, would endure the cold weather and a 14-hour trip to the mountains just to be inked by her.
Whang-Od’s Tattoo Art
Whang-Od Oggay or Maria Oggay is a traditional tattoo artist. She was born on February 17, 1917 in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. Her father was also a master tattooist in their region, and it is through his guidance and training that she was able to master her craft from the time she was 15 years old and no 80 years later.
In the tribe of Butbut, Whang-Od honed her skill in hand-tapped tattooing (batok). These tattoos are earned by warriors and headhunters by protecting the village or by killing enemies. For men, tattoos are designed to symbolize courage and bravery. Women were also inked but mainly for aesthetic purposes, as tattoos symbolize elegance and beauty.
Whang-Od needs only a few things for her sessions. The tattoo ink is made up of charcoal and water. Once the ink is mixed in, she begins tapping it deep within the skin using a thorn of pomelo tree or calamansi attached to a 12-inch-long bamboo stick. For reference, she provides sample designs that carry certain meanings.
The ‘mambabatok’ tattooing can only be passed through lineage according to their tradition. Otherwise, the tattoos may become infected, Whang-Od believes. Although Whang-Od never got married and has no children of her own, her grandniece Grace is under her training so the ‘mambabatok’ art will continue to live.
New Era’s Whang-Od Portrait Collection
In keeping our tattoo traditions alive, New Era PH has collaborated with Whang-Od for a new line of streetwear caps and shirts featuring Whang-Od’s portraits. Through this collaboration, New Era has shown their commitment to support and uphold Filipino artists. This is one of New Era’s vaunted brand values.
New Era’s second release of The Whang-Od Portratin collection features three (3) SKUs of headwear including 9FiIFTY, 9FORTY, and reversible bucket, plus two (2) shirts.
The 9FIFTY is crafted in Cardinal Red with Whang-Od’s outline embroidered in the front panel. Her 3 signature dots are also embroidered at the rear panel.
The 9FORTY boasts Whang-Od’s colorful illustration on the front panel and the left side of the visor contains her 3 dot signature.
The reversible bucket features an embroidery of Whang-Od’s signature on the cardinal side. The other side comes in white with Whang-Od’s image in tie-dye on the form of watercolor application.
The Whang Od White Short Sleeve shirt features a sketch portrait of Whang-Od with a golden embroidery of her name at the bottom right of the artwork.
The Whang Od Navy Short Sleeve shirt features a watercolor portrait version.
Whang Od Collection release date on December 15!
New Era x Whang-Od Portrait Cap Collection will be available on December 15, 12AM at NewEraCap.ph and at 10AM at all New Era stores nationwide.
The New Era x Whang Od Portrait Shirt collection will be available first for pre-order at NewEraCap.ph. Delivery for the shirts will start by December 19.
Whang- Od Collection is not included in any sale campaigns or promo online or at our stores.
Shop at New Era Cap PH for more styles of the best hats in the Philippines.
Visit this page https://neweracap.ph/ for more inquiries or call at +63 966 442 2432.