MANILA Ė Itís not every day one sees an elderly woman rubbing shoulders with people many decades younger than her at a tattoo show.
And itís even rarer to see her using tattoo tools to create art on the bodies of eager young customers.
Whang-od Oggay Ė who is believed to be 101 years old Ė brought that unlikely scenario to life on Sunday at a three-day tattoo show in Pasay City of the Philippine capital, in front of thousands of dazzled tattoo lovers.
As she was born in a remote mountain village and few records attest to her precise birth date, her exact age is not officially known.
The elderly member of the Butbut ethnic group from north-central Luzon is famous among body art fans in the Philippines for her traditional designs, materials and methods of tattooing.
Using a wooden stick and thorns, she injects natural ink Ė a mixture of water and charcoal Ė under the skin of her clients to create her own art based on the traditions of her people.
She charges 300 pesos ($5) to tattoo the skin with her 1-inch long design.
Though that pales in comparison with the costs that many tattoo artists charge, Whang-odís fans sacrifice a lot more than money to seek her out.
Some attendees at the tattoo show told epa that not everyone who wanted to receive Whang-odís art got it because sheís in such high demand and the queues were long.
Their other option is to drive 10 hours north from Manila to Whang-odís village in the mountains of Kalinga province, a journey which her customers tend to start on a Friday night, then often must wait with about a dozen other people until the Sunday when itís their turn.
Embarking on such an adventure doesnít deter her fans and she reportedly receives eight clients per day during the week, and more on weekends.
Young people in Manila might be just as eager as youth elsewhere to pursue all things modern and glamorous, but Whang-odís tattoo art and her eager fan base show that some time-tested traditions never go out of style.