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About softail

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  1. I was up in that area about 11 years ago and I saw several older men with full chest tattoo, made me think....just how did he qualify for that? Was up there in January, didn't seem to be as prevalent as before. The old traditions seem to be slowly fading away. Hardly any houses on stilts either. Was a little disappointed.
  2. (CNN) — Surrounded by lush rice terraces and undulating landscape, the mountain village of Buscalan is home to just 200 or so households. It rests in the Kalinga province of the Philippinesand is about a 15-hour drive north of Manila. Yet thousands of tourists come here every year to meet Whang Od Oggay, the Philippines' oldest mambabatok -- or traditional Kalinga tattooist. Roughly 100 years old, Whang Od has been performing the ancient art of hand-tapped tattoos since she was 15. "The tradition will continue as long as people keep coming to get tattoos," Whang Od tells CNN Travel. "As long as I can see well, I will keep giving tattoos. I'll stop once my vision gets blurry." A symbol of beauty and strength Traditionally, the hand-tapped tattoos were earned by indigenous Butbut warriors. "Once they've killed someone, they are eligible for a tattoo," explains Whang Od. "Everyone knew when one of the warriors has killed someone because he would announce it to everyone." And for women? Tattoos were considered an aesthetic accessory. "Back then they would say: 'Go get a tattoo so you would look beautiful,' " recalls Whang Od of her teenage years, when friends covered her arms and legs in tattoo sleeves. But now that the warriors have died out, the hand-tapped tattoos are open to anyone -- and Whang Od sees a steady stream of international clients, etching about eight tattoos a day. Each symbol -- ranging from lines to circles, animals and tribal prints -- carries a deeper meaning. Some designs represent the mountains or the sun, others fertility and strength. "I like it when tourists and visitors come here because it helps us out [financially]," says Whang Od. "I hope visitors keep coming." MORE: Volcano has danger, beauty -- and golf! How she does it Whang Od follows a millenniums-old technique, using just a few tools: a thorn from a pomelo tree, a foot-long bamboo stick, coal scraped off a pot, and water. That's it. With intense concentration, she paints a design on the skin using the homemade coal-water ink. Tap by tap, she uses the thorn and bamboo stick to push ink deep into the skin, drawing blood. With this simple technique, Whang Od creates meaningful geometric designs -- but not without the pain commonly associated with modern tattoos. READ: Exploring the Middle East through tattoos Tattooing the future Keeping the art alive is more complicated than it seems. The art can only be passed down to blood relatives, following the belief that the tattoos will become infected otherwise. Though she doesn't have children of her own, Whang Od has been training her grandnieces Elyang Wigan and Grace Palicas for several years. "[My friends who gave tattoos] have all passed away," says Whang Od. "I'm the only one left alive that's still giving tattoos. But I'm not afraid that the tradition will end because [I'm training] the next tattoos masters." Even though the art is in good hands, the centenarian doesn't plan to go anywhere anytime soon. Her secret to living to 100? "I don't eat canned goods, foods with oil, foods with preservatives," Whang Od says. "I only eat organic foods like leafy vegetables and beans." http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/philippines-oldest-tattoo-artist/index.html there is also a nice video to go along with it but I have no idea how to post it
  3. I think this is the best most informative thread I have ever read on any forum. Real boots on the ground experiences that are neither bitter expats or rose colored glasses new bees just honest "this is how it is" posts. Thanks
  4. Manila airport

    Just came thru terminal 1 on Jan 23, painless experience. No waiting at immigration, baggage no problem. Clean and orderly.
  5. Annoying Brother In Law

    At this moment my wife is chatting about the health of her sister. The topic is how much is the sisters treatment for her cancer. The husband is a trycicle driver. If we send $500 dollars, will it really make a difference. I doubt if it will, what should we do?
  6. Just a question. Remember "lovestowinalot" a former member? Ask him how he is doing.
  7. Basic Questions About Getting Started

    Good luck on finding a noise free environment. The Philippines is all about noise and commotion.
  8. Ok, if I have this right. He is moving to a 3rd world country that he knows little about to marry a lady that he has been chatting to for the last 5yrs but has never had the opportunity to hold her hand. And to top it all off he will have no independent income but she has agreed to support him. Now that is what I call a plan. Doug
  9. Another How To "help" Or Not Help Topic

    What we have done and it has worked well for the last 6yrs. Twice a year we send a box or two of clothing , household items, school supplies etc. We picked out the young lady that seemed to have the most potential and hard working parents who didn't have the means, to pay for schooling. Other than that the only requests we have had for help has been emergencies that come up and that has only been a time or two. Just lucky I guess I think the key is to keep expectations low in the beginning and have a supportive wife. Doug
  10. Guitars

    Lots of guitar shops on Mactan. Here is the website for Alegre Guitars: http://wn.com/Alegre_Guitars_Cebu_Philippines If it is against the rules to post there website the mods should feel free to delete it. Doug
  11. Npa Ends The Dreams For......

    Just another case of ....rent.....don't buy. You just never know how the situation will change and bags will need to be packed. Sorry to here about your friend and his dashed dream. Doug
  12. Problems With Filipinas

    The guy sounds like a narcissist to me, doesn't sound like he has any concept of what it takes to have a healthy relationship, only driven by basic instinct. Doug
  13. Problems With Filipinas

    I'll share a few of my experiences from my dating days. I'm from Seattle USA and spent about 11yrs dating the local women and found out that they just weren't what I was looking for. Now mind you these are all ladies I met in the Seattle area not in the RP. I happened on a Thai gal and dated her for a while until she made the announcement that we would be getting married and because we loved each other there would be no pre-nup , seeing as she had nothing to bring to the party alarm bells sounded and that ended that. Next I met a Filipina gal, things were going great, thought I had the right one until she was asked to leave the country because she had too many husbands, I have to say that was a real shocker, back to the drawing board. Next I met another Filippina, gorgeous gal, was talking marriage until I started to sense that something was wrong, she seemed withdrawn somehow, found out she was cheating on me, sh&t, another one down the toilet. Finally one day I was chatting on Yahoo Messenger and this gal sent me a message, a Filipina gal, we chatted for awhile and decided to meet that evening for dinner. We agreed to meet at a local Fred Meyer store because she was of course leery of meeting a stranger she met online. As I was sitting there waiting I saw this Asian gal walking my way, I couldn't take my eyes off of her, she saw me, we made eye contact and that was it.....here we are been married 6yrs and couldn't be happier. I should mention we have an 11yr age difference. The point I am trying to make is even with one on one daily face to face contact is it extremely hard to find a compatible partner, I simply can't imagine how hard it would be to find the right lady with an almost exclusive online or phone relationship with perhaps a couple of 3 week visits thrown in. Combine that with all the cultural differences, you have a real task on your hands. Doug
  14. American National Parks Senior Pass

    Thanks for the tip, I had no idea us old guys got a break. I downloaded the form and will be sending it in tomorrow. I noticed that at the top of the form it says "expires in 02/2014". Doug
  15. What Would You Do?

    Like Paul Harvey used to say....."and now the rest of the story" :e3358: Doug