Perfect Strangers in One Journey - To Meet Apo Whang Od in Buscalan

Can someone give me around of applause because I am blogging about my long weekend trip to Buscalan, Kalinga Mountain Province! (thank...

Can someone give me around of applause because I am blogging about my long weekend trip to Buscalan, Kalinga Mountain Province! (thank you, thank you, kahit wala naman.)


I was in Cebu for a week to spend quality time with my family and to spend birthday of my sister and mom when Nabilla my friend invited me to go with her to Buscalan for less than a week prior to date. I was surprised that a friend inviting me spontaneously so I said yes.

Honestly, I was not that excited and ready for the trip. It was really raining hard last Friday night our time to get on the road for 12-hour trip from Manila. (Yes.) 

I was impatience that I almost gave up not to go to meet up place because I was having a hard time to booked Uber and Grab-a-Car was a messed! 

12-hour drive. Let's go!

Fast forward... 

When we arrived to Benguet, it reminds me of my last year photo opts: Hello from Benguet! It was sunny that I missed the cold weather last year. But finally I was able to enjoy the view of Banaue Rice Terraces!

"Hello Banaue, I'm back" 

View from where we ate our brunch. 

Souvenir shop

I would love to have this kind of view every morning.



We had no choice, but to start walking from somewhere 15 minutes away from the turning point going up to the Buscalan Village. I was torn between ready and not so ready. Oh man! I don't have any cardio exercise since I moved back here in Manila.

After an hour of hiking, I literally dropped my bag and myself. I was dead tired that I couldn't even catch my breathe. Well. we all do. 

Buscalan Homestay

Portraits for the win! 

Here's Rams invaded our room while we were catching up to one another. 

Choosing tattoo designs

My Godsister Nabilla. :)

We were informed that Apo Whang Od was not in the village for few days already and expecting her to go home the next day with no exact time. There's no cellsites in the area, no mobile phones that you can call or text. Literally, offline.

We had a drinking session, but I missed to try this Coffee Wine! I couldn't even bring this in Manila I don't want to go down the trail with a bottle with me. Next time! 

Good Offline Morning

The next morning, we had a chance to explore the village with our guide Asparo (hope I spelled this correctly.) 

Never failed to do this. Sunrise and coffee always. 

Breakfast time!

Rams, I, Josh

Children of Buscalan Village 

Here are the cuties lined up for sweet treats - chocolate! :) 

Tattoo Sessions

On our first night, some of the participants started to have their tattoo and we were all watching the process, shocks, looks painful for me, a little bit, but better than a heartbreak they said.

Nabi on her second tattoo! OMG! 

Bought a souvenir yey! 

Crossed Path with Apo Whang Od 

I thought we will never had a chance to meet her in person sa t-shirt nalang. :( 

But on our way down to the turning point. 

We met Apo Whang Od on her way home! I was amazed to see her in person and had a chance to greet her. I don't have any chocolate with me because I gave it away already, but she was happy to take photos with us.  

Whang-od Oggay ([ˈɸɑŋ:ˈəd]; born c. 1918) is a Filipina tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines.[3] She is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut Kalinga people and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines. read more.

We all went home happy and with a light heart! 

Rachell taking photos, while Miko taking a photo of her while me taking a photo of them. 
Labo ko. Memalang.

Meet the Buscalan crew! 

It was great to meet all of you in one journey, hope to see you all again. 

Perfect strangers gathered together in one journey to meet Apo Whang Od in Buscalan Village. It was a great long weekend.

When you said "yes" to a new adventure, it will turned out great.

Photo by Mikoy

Thanks Nabi for inviting me and Byaherang Barat for organizing this trip.


(Bag: Terra Peak | Pants: Sassa Activewear | Shoes: Palladium Boots)

All photos are taken using Huawei P9 with Leica Dual Camera

Here's our video from Josh and Mar 


How do you spend your weekends?
Have a great day everyone!


  1. Wow, your trips are always so interesting!!!
    Amazing views and great pics!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


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  2. I've read only Mt. Apo in books since i was in Elementary days, can't wait to be home in Philippines and visit the place. Your pictures is so fun and lovely ^^ thanks for sharing.


  3. The view is breathtaking! Would love to visit that place when I visit the Philippines next year =)

    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  4. What a breathtaking location! I love the Philippines, especially as I am filipino. I'll definitely try visit here next time I go on holiday there.


  5. I've always wanted to go there. Fiance and I wanted to get our tattoos done in Buscalan too. Maybe next year I'll try to sched a travel going up there. :)


  6. Hey Jool!

    I'm in love with the place!
    This is one such amazing trip! Kudos!

  7. lovely :)

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  8. Lol... *clapping*
    This are cool photos I must say!!!

  9. Ahhh you met the legend gyud Jewel!!! Kalingaw ninyo tan-awn oy! Kanus-a kaha ko makalaag og layo nya spontaneous. Haha

    xx, wanderingella.com

  10. 12-hour drive - I don't think I can do that! Looks like you had quite an adventure. :)

    Melissa the Mermaid ♥

  11. I love mountains! It'a a place where I can turn myself off.

    The White Print Blog
    CGrabowska's Instagram

  12. It's fun to read a post like this, I miss trekking in the mountainside with friends. I like your story although I don't think I will travel for 12 hours but at least you got to meet her. Nice post!


  13. Wow, this sounds like such an adventurous & eventful trip! Stunning photos as well. :)


    Looks by Lau

  14. Now, I need to pack my bags and go to Banaue! Your photos are so inviting!! I've always wanted to join groups like Byaheng Barat and meet new people. I'll try it next time. And congrats on meeting Apo Whang Od, btw! I love your blog and all your travels. Let me stay here for a while. :)

  15. Amazing pics!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

  16. The view looks stunning! I hope I get to visit Benguet too. I've heard so many good things about it! ♥ Your trip looks like so much fun and I'm glad you still pushed through with it. You're also lucky to have met the famous tattoo artist! :)

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance

  17. Pag talaga di planado tsaka natutuloy! My friends and I are planning hike Mt. Pico de Loro pero laging drawing :( Haha! Ang ganda ng view dyan, Ate! <333 Buti lagi kang G :)


    1. awww... you should go before the Pico de Loro closed! D:


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