Whang-od started tattooing at the age of 15, a traditional art form that she learned from her father who was considered a master tattooist in the region. Traditionally, only men with special tattooing ancestry were allowed to learn the art. Whang-od was an exception due to her talent and potential seen by her father. In the past she mainly tattooed tribal hunters and the women of the Butbut Aboriginal people of Buscalan, Kalinga, however now she mostly tattooed tourists.
Unlike most Filipinos, she does not speak Tagalog or English. She only communicates in Kalinga, her native language, and Ilocano, one of the lingua franca of northern Luzon, so when tourists come to ask for a tattoo, they need a tour guide who know the languages to ask her first.
Despite her advanced age, she still does some simple tattoos by herself when tourists come. And she also selected women as students to pass on her tattooing experience, breaking the patrimonial tradition for the first time in recorded Kalinga history.
She is considered the last mambabatok in part because when tattooing the Kalinga people, she would chant prayers and practice divination for them, though that was only done with the Kalinga people, and because she did not passed these things on to her descendants because she had no children, those things would be lost after she died.
However, the values she holds have always held an important part in the history of Kalinga province, Philippines. In April 2023, Whang-od, now 106 years old, appeared on the cover of Vogue Philippines’ Beauty Issue, making her the oldest person ever to appear on the cover of Vogue.
According to Wikipedia