In the world of pageantry, Miss Universe Philippines candidate Michelle Marquez Dee is making waves for more than just her stage presence. The beauty queen has a unique plan up her sleeve - getting a tattoo from none other than the renowned Igorot mambabatok, Apo Whang-od.
A Tribute Turned Personal Mission
Dee's connection with Apo Whang-od goes beyond admiration. It started with a tribute on the Miss Universe stage, where her iconic gown featured symbols inspired by the traditional tattoo artist. Now, it's evolving into a personal mission to carry a piece of that art on her own skin.
Weathering the Storm, Planning the Visit
Dee's initial plan to meet Apo Whang-od was thwarted by a typhoon, canceling her trip before the Miss Universe competition. Undeterred, she's gearing up for a journey to Kalinga, accompanied by fashion designer Mark Bumgarner. The goal is simple - a face-to-face meeting with the 106-year-old tattoo master.
Gratitude for Cultural Guardianship
Expressing her gratitude, Dee acknowledges Apo Whang-od not just as a skilled artist but as a guardian of cultural heritage. The ink on her gown becomes more than a fashion statement; it becomes a symbol of preserving tradition and the living history embodied by Apo Whang-od.
Leaving the Artistry to the Master
When asked about the tattoo design, Dee takes a humble approach. She's leaving the design entirely to Apo Whang-od, putting her trust in the hands of a master with a legacy that spans generations. It's a gesture of respect for the art and the artist.
Packing Bags for Kalinga: A Journey of Appreciation
In the next few weeks, Michelle Marquez Dee will be on her way to Kalinga. This isn't just a celebrity visit; it's a journey of appreciation for the artistry, culture, and the living legend that is Apo Whang-od.
"I'm planning to go very, very soon, maybe in the next few weeks. I really want to thank her for being such an amazing inspiration for all of us. Of course, she has shown so much for cultural preservation," she conveyed.
Conclusion: A Fusion of Tradition and Beauty
As Michelle Marquez Dee embarks on this unique journey, she exemplifies the harmonious blend of tradition and beauty. From the global stage of Miss Universe to the intimate setting of Kalinga, Dee's venture into the world of Apo Whang-od's ink is more than a beauty queen's escapade - it's a fusion of tradition and contemporary expression, a testament to the enduring power of cultural heritage. Stay tuned as Michelle Marquez Dee prepares to wear not just a crown but also a piece of Igorot art with pride.