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EU Ambassador Luc Veron gets Tattoo from Apo Whang-od

EU Ambassador Luc Veron embraces indigenous culture, receiving a traditional tattoo from esteemed Igorot mambabatok Apo Whang-od.

 |  2 min read

European Union Ambassador to the Philippines, Luc Veron, experiences a traditional tattoo session with the esteemed Igorot mambabatok, Apo Whang-od, embracing the rich heritage of indigenous culture.

In a remarkable cultural exchange that transcends borders, Ambassador Luc Véron of the European Union embarked on a journey to the heart of the Philippines, where he experienced a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the legendary Igorot hand-tapped tattoo artist, Apo Whang-od.

A Cultural Odyssey: Ambassador Véron's Experience

During his visit to the province, Ambassador Véron had the privilege of meeting Apo Whang-od and immersing himself in the rich tapestry of Filipino indigenous culture. One of the highlights of his trip was getting a tattoo from the esteemed artist-a symbolic gesture that signifies his deep respect for Whang-od's craft and heritage.

Honoring Tradition: Whang-od and the National Living Treasures Award

In his post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Ambassador Véron praised Apo Whang-od as a guardian of tradition, emphasizing her role in preserving a cultural heritage that spans centuries. He advocated for Whang-od to be bestowed with the prestigious National Living Treasures Award-a recognition reserved for individuals who have made significant contributions to the preservation of traditional arts and crafts.

Building Bridges: Collaboration with Local Officials

Beyond his encounter with Apo Whang-od, Ambassador Véron's visit served as a platform for meaningful discussions with local officials, including Mayor Sacrament Gumilab. Together, they explored opportunities for cultural exchanges, economic partnerships, and future initiatives aimed at mutual benefit.

Fostering Connections: A Bond Between Cultures

The engagement between Ambassador Véron and the people of Buscalan, as well as Mayor Gumilab and other local leaders, symbolizes a bridge between two worlds. Through dialogue and collaboration, they aim to celebrate the richness of cultural diversity and lay the foundations for lasting connections that transcend geographical distances.

Gratitude and Appreciation: A Shared Journey

In his statement, Ambassador Véron expressed heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Gumilab and the people of Buscalan for their warm welcome and hospitality. He emphasized that the cultural wealth he experienced during his visit would be cherished forever, underscoring the profound impact of their shared journey.


Ambassador Luc Véron's journey to the Philippines is not merely a diplomatic visit-it is a testament to the power of cultural exchange and understanding. His encounter with Apo Whang-od and the ensuing discussions with local officials exemplify the potential for collaboration and mutual respect between nations. As we celebrate the richness of our diverse heritage, let us continue to build bridges that unite us and foster connections that transcend borders.

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