adventure · Backpacker · Travel and Adventures

Buscalan Trip to Meet Apo Whang-Od 2016 (with sample itinerary and expenses)

Apo Whang-Od  is a 98 year old Filipina tattoo artist from Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines. She is considered as the last mambabatok from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines. She only use charcoal and thorns from Pomelo tree to create her artworks.

Last November 2015 my boyfriend and I went to Buscalan Village to meet and get a tattoo from Apo Whang-Od and I can say our trip is jam-packed with unexpected adventures. I have my itinerary prepared and everything, I did research and read a lot of articles before taking the trip yet we almost got lost luckily we met a tour guide along the way who helped us reach our destination.

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Dangwa Terminal in Baguio to Bontoc – 6am
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Spectacular view from Baguio City to Bontoc City
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Toploaders from Bontoc City to Poblacion, Tinglayan – si Ate na-singkit sa lakas ng hangin
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Kuya Leo’s (Guide) puppy – Fur-friend from Tulgao

We took a different route and instead of dropping off at Bugnay Village, we we’re dropped off in Tinglayan and since we arrived late and there are no hotel/Inns available around the town, our guide kuya Leo offered his place and told us we can spend the night there.

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Starting our early walk to Buscalan Village from Tulgao
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Met new friends along the road
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Muddy road to Butbut Village

I was able to take a video of my boyfriend walking along the side of the mountain.Look how scary and fascinating it is the the same time..

After hours of trekking we finally reached Buscalan Village.

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Buscalan Village
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First Session
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When Apo Whang-Od chooses your tattoo
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Freshly Baked!
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With Apo Whang-Od after the session
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Chesy (11 years old) – youngest Mambabatok in Kalinga Village
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My first tattoo from Apo and Chesy

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Then we went straight to Sagada to meet a couple of friends.

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Sagada Pine Cafe

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Two Thumbs Up for this wine!

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View from hotel
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Last day in Sagada – Pila ng mga backpackers

BITIN!! I want to go back, I want to feel the thrill and adventure again. So last January first week, we went back to Buscalan to get our 2nd session. ♥

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Road to Buscalan from Bontoc City
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Toploaders again!!

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Bugnay Village
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Bridge na sobrang lalim na wala kang pwedeng hawakan bukod sa lakas ng loob mong tawirin ito, lol.

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Kuya Atong’s house
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Mary had a little lamb
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View from Apo Whang-Od’s tattoo shop

Click here to watch video

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Waiting for our turn
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2nd tattoo session with Apo Whang-Od.

Getting my second tattoo from Apo

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with Apo Whang-Od
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Inside kuya Atong’s house with Apo Ichong and family

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“Losing yourself in new surroundings is the best way to find yourself.”

As much as I wanted to stay there forever which is what I would totally like and do if I don’t have a job, but I do, so I need to go back to the city and face reality. Hopefully I will have time to visit Apo again next year (2017), so who’s up guys? I’d love to meet new friends, let me know! 🙂

SAMPLE ITINERARY:

1ST DAY
TIME PRICE DESCRIPTION
11:00PM – 11:30PM CUBAO
12:00MN – 5:30AM 450-500php / person Cubao to Baguio City (5-6hrs) – Genesis Bus
2ND DAY
TIME PRICE DESCRIPTION
5:30AM – 5:45AM 30-50php / taxi Baguio Terminal to DANGWA TERMINAL
5:45AM – 6:00AM 220php / person Buy ticket seat to BONTOC CITY
7:00AM FIRST TRIP – BONTOC CITY
7:00AM – 12:00NN Baguio to Bontoc City (5-6hrs)
12:00NN Catch last trip to BUGNAY /BUSCALAN -JEEP (12:30PM)
12:00NN – 12:15PM 9php / person Ride tricycle – Terminal to BUGNAY /BUSCALAN
12:30PM – 2:30PM 100-120php / person Jeep to BUGNAY / BUSCALAN – Tell driver to drop off  BUSCALAN (2hrs more or less)
2:30PM – 3:30PM 50-100php /person – Motorcycle Motorcycle to Drop off point (30mins)
3:30PM – 4:30PM Trek – Hike to Buscalan Village (45mins – 1hr)
4:30 – 5:00PM ARRIVE IN BUSCALAN VILLAGE – Inform Guide that you want to get a tattoo from Whang-Od so he can include you on the list for the next day session
• REST / FREE TIME •
7:00PM DINNER
• REST / FREE TIME •
10:00PM SLEEPING TIME
3RD DAY
TIME PRICE DESCRIPTION
5:30AM WAKE UP / PREPARE
6:00AM – 6:30AM BREAKFAST
6:30AM Wait for turn  – Tattoo Session
10:30AM LEAVE BUSCALAN VILLAGE
10:30AM – 11:00AM Trek – Hike to Tricycle Drop off point
11:00AM 100-150php / person Ride Tricycle to Bugnay Village
12:00NN Reach Bugnay Village – Wait for Jeepney to Bontoc City
LUNCH TIME
1:00PM – 3:00PM 100-120php / person Jeepney/Bus to Bontoc City (2hrs)
3:00PM – 3:15PM 9php / person Tricycle to Bus Terminal
3:15PM – 8:30PM 220php / person Bus to Baguio Dangwa Terminal
8:30PM ARRIVE – BAGUIO
8:30PM – 9:30PM DINNER
9:30PM – 10:00PM 470-490php / person VICTORY LINER – BOOK SEAT
10:30PM Just in case was able to book seat
10:30PM – 3:00AM Baguio to Cubao (5-6hrs)
3:00AM – 4TH DAY ARRIVE – CUBAO

Total expenses: 2,000.00/head  more or less

NOTE:
• Total expenses – exclusive of food, souvenir, etc.
• Prices depends on inns, tour guide, tattoo design.
• You need a guide before trekking to Buscalan, you will usually meet them in Bontoc City if not in Bugnay Village – you will not be entertained in the village if you don’t have a tour guide.
Guide Fee – 500php/person – you can tip them if you want
• Planning to stay overnight?
250php/night w/o food
300php/night with lunch and dinner

TIPS:
•  Bring TONS of WATER and snacks/food
• Candies for the kids, beaded bracelets and necklaces for the old locals (they love it) and Gin/Brandy for the old male/guides.
• Bring: Flashlight, Posporo/Lighter, Insect Repellent, Alak!! (because it’s expensive there, like really expensive)
• There are no signal for either globe, smart & sun
• Buy all the things you need before you leave Bontoc City, it’s cheaper.
• When getting a tattoo from Apo or Grace, don’t expect that you will be accommodated right away, based on my first and second visit, we had to stay overnight to wait for our turn.
• Pack light because you’ll be having a hard time climbing the stairs on your way to the village.
• And lastly, enjoy the view, fresh air and the adventure.

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2 thoughts on “Buscalan Trip to Meet Apo Whang-Od 2016 (with sample itinerary and expenses)

  1. Hi Ate Jois! 🙂 Is it safe to go there alone?
    I really want to get tattoed by Whang Od but I dont have a travel buddy to go with me there.
    Wishing for your reply ate. Thankyou so much! 🙂

    Like

    1. Hello! 🙂 Yes it is safe but of course it is safer with a buddy. I can give you a contact person who can assist you if you want to visit whang od and landmarks you need to take note of. When are you planning to go there if I may ask?

      Like

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