THE FOUR PICTURES ABOVE ARE FOUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE FROM THE ISLANDS OF THE PHILIPPINES. THE FOUR WHO SHAPED AND DEFINED THE IDENTITY OF THE FILIPINO RACE. From the first wave the “AFRO-ASIATICS” the BLACK Filipinos in their native tongue the AETA`s or AGTA`s. The Second the MALAYO-POLYNESIAN people who is definitely very related to the Polynesians of today. The Third that made the mix different from the south pacific is the Indic and Arabic influence. The Fourth of course is the Spanish blood that gave us names with no meanings.
CLOTHING IS JUST ONE OF MANY MEANS BY WHICH PEOPLE DECORATE THEMSELVES.HISTORY HAS SEEN THE EVOLUTION OF VARIOUS MODES OF DRESSING, AND THIS INCLUDES THE CONVENTIONAL USE OF EXTENSIONS OF CLOTHING SUCH AS JEWELRY, COSMETICS, AND WIGS AND TOUPEES. MORE RECENTLY, PEOPLE HAVE HAD COSMETIC SURGERY TO IMPROVE THEIR APPEARANCE. INDEED, PEOPLE ARE AND WILL BE VAIN.
The early Filipinos were not exempt from this tendency. Archaeological evidence shows that they, too, had a long and rich tradition of body adornment. Such adornments can be classified as either temporary or permanent.
Temporary adornments, like garments, could be put on and taken off at will, and did not Traditional Gold Teeth Plating commit the wearer to any lasting social bond. They could be used repeatedly, varying according to specific moods and contexts, and discarded as newer and better items were obtained. In the case of members of early socially stratified societies, adornments were added when rank and social status changed. These prehistoric adornments were usually in the form of jewelry, consisting of pendants, bracelets, rings, and earrings.
Permanent adornment involved some form of body mutilation. These were badges that could never be taken off. Setting their owners apart from all the other groups until the day they die. Frequently, the application of the decoration is performed at a special ceremony. While great pain is suffered in the process, it is an important part of the ritual – a physical test that binds one even more tightly to those who share the experience. Such practices are more typical of rigid societies where allegiance to the group is of great importance, and where rank and status are acquired through definite procedures and rituals. These permanent adornments are generally in the form of cranial deformation, dental ornamentation, and tattoos. (From the Book KASAYSAYAN 2001)
What’s so special about doing these Filipino tribal tattoos? Plenty have asked me, and it is the fact that I am contributing to it’s revival, that in itself is special enough. Although, I am of African American descent, I understand what the tribe’s mission about reviving lost traditions, I very much can relate to that, that is why I am there, helping and tattooing. Because it is also way better to have a journey through the stories on each individual tribals than the norm who comes in asking for a little cute frog or a butterfly. Being a part of history by regaining consciousness through bringing back ancient art is very special. It gives the culture more pride and strength and that is a great reminder of the black people of the past that made moves against the grain of struggle, on the constant to reach for equality. So I am very much honored to help the Filipino BROTHERS movement.Many ask also if this art differs than doing the usual flash. I answer yes it is very different from the usual, it is more personal because the people that sit down to get tattooed share more than their name or the words, “HI! and BYE! NICE TO MEET YOU”. They share their heritage and they share their story from ancestor, grand-parents, parents to their personal self, so it is quite a journey to say the least. They come in, as strangers but they walk out as a good friend. That’s what’s so special about these Filipino tattoos, they tell you how the person is ahead of time and the normal or usual flash don’t warn you about anything. The tribals are more personal and spiritual where as the usual flash is too formal. You know!
I also wanted to add that it is very different from the usual art that I do because I deal with realistic and portraits so the style is way different but I do it because of the thought of helping the TRIBE in their mission in regaining a renaissance in their tattoo heritage that is deteriorating. Plus the tribe practices the old fashion way of tattooing by tapping it in the skin, so on the usual the majority gets their tattoos with the machine instead…
At first it was very hard and more nerve wracking to do these very special tattoos, but like everything else after awhile you get use to it, feeling safe and comfortable you create magic and give the client the story of his people. And anyways, I think it’s a bit more nerve-wracking for the researchers of the tribe because they do the consultations and the research that can determine what patterns or traditional symbols each individual deserves. And they are the ones who draw it on. So they have the more nerve wracking time.
I’m a very relax guy from the get anyways! So preparing for this kind of work is quite the same as other tattoos. The only real difference is the certain ceremony or rituals, before tattooing Filipino tribals are performed. So in a great sense it is very spiritual and relaxing, taking that person back so that he can be in touch, tattooing his or her skin bridges that gap, celebrating their ancestors.
So I am very much happy that I am part of this whole thing.
Pictures taken during the festival: MaryGrace, Zel, and Joy  Members of the tribe representing at the festival
(left: ALBERT, Joy, ELLE (Amang Red), Zel, MaryGrace, ERIC (Anak Black), ZOO (Amang Blue), and LEE (Amang-RED)
Performing live & direct!!!! KINGDOM SOUND. Base player LEE (Amang-RED) and lead guitar CRUSHY (Amang-BLACK)at GOLDEN SAILS in LONG BEACH.
Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe Picture taken at one of the meetings. Mikey – Brand new member from Hawaii; Zoo – Amang Blue, from The Board; Lee – Amang Red, Representative.
1]Reggae Artist, JAHBIRD of OAHU, Hawaii`s “OOKLAH THE MOC” is a candidate to join the TRIBE.  Tribe members with “OOKLAH THE MOC” reggae band taking a group picture at one of their shows in Ocean Beach, SAN DIEGO
LEE (Amang-RED)– One of the Representatives of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. Lee has a traditional Bontoc Chaklag designed by ELLE and Tattooed by BIG ROCK.
LEE is a massage therapist so he has the hand tattoo of a shaman. Designed by: ELLE & Tattooed by: ORLY from Humble Beginning Tattoo Studio.
LEE’s new leg tattoo with Filipino patterns. Patterns and Research provided by the Tribe. Designed and Tattooed by PO’OINO.
KEOKE (Anak-RED) Member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. He is a law student, who will be graduating this year. Designed by ZEL tattooed by BIG ROCK.
JAHSON (Amang-BLACK)- A member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. Designed by ELLE tattooed by BIG ROCK. Jayson works as a Pharmacy Tech.
ERIC (Amang)- A member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. Designed by ELLE tattooed by BIG ROCK. Eric works as a Massage Therapist.
ERIC (Amang), notice the style of Mindanao is very different in comparison to the other arm that is styled from Luzon. Patterns and Research provided by the Tribe. Designed by: ELLE and Tattooed by: ORLY LOCQUAIO of Humble Beginnings Tattoo Studio.
MARIO- Member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. His title is ANAK with no color rank yet. MARIO is a law student from CORNELL UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK. Tattoo designed by ELLE (Amang-RED) and tattooed by BIG ROCK.
JASON CHUA – Member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. Tribesman CHUA has helped the tribe several times so, in doing so, he has moved up in the color ranks and will be Anak-BLUE. Designed by ZEL tattooed by BIG ROCK. JASON CHUA is a college student.
GENE CHUA- This is GENE CHUA`s arm he flew down here to SO-Cal to go through a 3 day tattoo session. 1st Session: We started off with a realistic looking lizard. [Note: check the spots of the lizard doesn’t`t it look familiar, it almost seems like home =P (It`s the Philippine Islands) ] 2nd Session: We put the patterns that tell of his story and we put it, so it looks as if the lizard is climbing the tribals. 3rd Session: We finished off with the inner part his arm. Gene`s a soldier!
RUSSEL- Anak-RED, Tribesman member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe. Designed by ZEL tattooed by BIG ROCK. RUSSEL is part of the Pepsi Personnel.
JOHN-MICHAEL has a MONKEY-EATING EAGLE, the Philippine Eagle. Also compared to the mythilogical bird the sari-manok. Notice the dark black in the middle, it is the insignia petroglyph of the GINAWANG the eagle and from there we breath life to the ginawang and flared it to reality, with realistic feathers and wings. John-Michael works as a mental rehabilitation counselor.
CLYDE GOMEZ- A member of the tribe with the title rank of Anak-BLACK, had his first time getting tattooed with a sacred and symbolic insignia “the SARI-MANOK” he is still not done with the rest of the arm tattoo that is planned to give the SARI-MANOK’s its back drop.
SERGIO LAURENTE – Came all the way down to So-CAL from Arizona. He is now a member of the tribe with the title rank of Anak-BLACK. We hope he starts a chapter down there when he does join the tribe, so that the word about our Filipino tattoo tradition will be heard from every direction. Designed by: ELLE and Tattooed by: Big ROCK. SERGIO works in surveillance as well as a bike racer.