Rich-filled tradition of people from Tabuk
I got the chance to visit Kalinga when I was invited by Charlie, my cousin’s boyfriend then (now husband, they married recently) to accompany them in their 3-day homecoming and welcome visit in Tabuk. Admittedly a quiet, sleepy town that awakens with the sound of tribal music proudly showing to the guests their rich culture and tradition – at least that’s how I best remembered Kalinga. Nothing matches what I experienced in Kalinga to this day. Unlike other tourist attractions in the country wherein you’ll do typical tourist stuff – see attractions and take pictures, we learned to be receptive, and respectful of their traditions. Even if it means foregoing our safety net hearing and witnessing grotesque tribal rituals. Unlike other people who travel to see and experience the world (but mostly, to brag to friends the places they’ve been), I travel to learn, and to an extent, live uncomfortably depending on the resources made available to me. Why? Because only then you will be grateful of the things you have at the comforts of your home.
My first trip in Kalinga might not be comparable to yours if you decide to go, since we were lucky enough that the boyfriend’s roots is in Kalinga, and they proudly showed us their tradition and stuffed us really good for 3 days. Hopefully my photos and description would make you itch to visit Kalinga at least once in your lifetime.
5 Reasons Why I Would Visit Kalinga All Over Again
1. Whang-Od, and portrait session with Appo Tulisa of Tinglayan tribe.
Up in the mountains, Apo Whang-Od in Buscalan is only a heartbeat away. But we are on a tight schedule, and I tagged along for my cousin’s welcome visit and not for my personal reasons. We have to visit Tinglayan municipality to visit some of the relatives not residing in the city of Tabuk.
Instead of Apo Whang-Od, I am happy to say I had a portrait session and selfie with an elderly tribe. A far more enriching experience, since Apo Whang-Od is becoming mainstream already. With language translation from Charlie, I mustered enough courage to ask Appo Tulisa if she’s willing to pose for a portrait shoot. I was elated when she agreed! After which, I asked Charlie to take our picture. She was so cool and so game about the whole thing.
Tribal tattoos pose a significant achievement for the tribes. For the men, it means honor and high status. For the women, an ornament. Majority of the people heard of Kalinga because of Apo Whang Od and her tribal way of making tattoos. Apo Whang Od may be larger than life, and through my story, I hope to instill a sense of curiosity and cultural connection to Kalinga bigger than the legendary mambabatok.