Tinglayan, Kalinga | March 2013
The fascination started with an fb message: You want to go with us to Kalinga and see the last (traditional) tattoo artist? Maybe get one?*
Even before curiosity sets in, I said yes. That's one thing about me: I rarely say no to far-away and exotic trips. Another thing: give me a chance to touch a distant past in any way and I'd dive right in-- even when it involves getting a tattoo in a way more painful than the usual.
But reasons why you shouldn't call me brave:
1.) I had no idea it would hurt sooo much; and,
2.) Even if I've seen bloody pictures of the process, I still had no idea it would hurt so much.
3.) Also, even if I watch people getting the tatt and wincing or grimacing in pain; or read an account of the process in flowing and graphic prose, I still wouldn't get an idea of how much it will hurt. Not until I try it myself.
In conclusion, it was lack of information, and not absence of fear, that made me so 'brave' in getting the tattoo.
But (spoiler alert), boy did it hurt.