This past semester, I had a research class where our group’s topic is about the motivational factors of individuals in getting a tattoo. It was a very difficult and sensitive topic and I got a bit of flak online when we did the research. But now that the semester has ended, I have time to squeeze in this blog entry.
While we were doing our survey, I was amazed at how much ‘inked’ individuals were willing to share the stories of their tattoos. We all know that there is a negative perception of tattooed individuals being associated with violence and vices, but these are numbered my friend, the world is changing and the negative line of perception is thinning.
I am one of the tattooed individuals who struggle with negative perceptions, I currently have two made last December, and I’m not stopping with two.
So I thought I should give out my e-mail address and let them send in their entries for me to choose from. And from the strangers that I have received (Thank you very much for sending in), here are some of their stories.
(Note: These are sent in by the people I’ve not met personally who are willing to share their stories)
1. Kimpatz Ortega
“My first tattoo is “Amormelina” on my left clavicle, it’s my mom’s name.
It’s my own way of saying that where ever i go, whatever happens, her lessons and reminders will never be forgotten. I will never lose hope because i know she believes in me, always. To put it simply, it’s my way of saying i love her no matter how hard things get between us.
My second one is a Lion Lineage Watercolor Tattoo. I represents responsibility, bloodline and honor.
The lion itself represents the responsibility of a king to his people being my family and friends. The lines on across hus face represents bloodline meaning carrying the torch of what my father left behind, his legacy. And finally the color red represents honor. It symbolizes a pact to protect the things that matters. “
– Kimpatz Ortega
“I got these tattoo on my 29th and 30th birthday respectively. The owl on my 29th birthday is a symbol of wisdom. As it was the last year of my 20’s, I felt my 20’s gave me the wisdom I needed.
The tree of life on my 30th is a symbol of the growth that awaits me on my 30’s, but at the same time I want to stay grounded to my roots. I have 3 more tattoos but these 2 have the most meaning. Thank you and good luck.”
– Chiqui Dayanghirang
3. Christian Reasonda
“This is Inang Bayan. A lady who is inconceivably beautiful yet blessed with eyes that tell her story of depression, fear, and chaos. The 3 flowers each signify a major island of the Philippines, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. A moon on her pearl necklace signifies the dark days of the nation – EJK, corruption, terrorism, poverty, etc. The raven enveloping her tells a story of the deaths she witnessed and that is why I got this inked on my left arm. To at least offer a piece of myself in reverence to the people who died during the time when the war on drugs started.
Ironically when people see this one cos basically it’s more visible than my other inks, they get hooked with its beauty but gets deprived of celebrating it after I tell the meaning. People say, every night has a light on its end, the promise of a new morning.
I have never been a fan of traditional designs because most of my tatts are either geometric, vibrantly colored, or relaxing to look at. But I got this because I want to go to the deeper context of having a tattoo – storytelling. I know sometime in the distant future everything will be in peace. The people, its government, herself, and the country.
I am looking forward to have this one colored – colorful flowers, a younger face and a delightful tone on her skin, the Philippine Eagle protecting her, and the Sun on her necklace. Blue, Red, White, and Yellow – the lively color or my Inang Bayan.”
– Christian Reasonda
4. Miles Therese Granada
“My last tattoo was juat inked last March 12th of this year. A day before my birthday. It was a minamalistic sketch of a wolf (central upper back) A wolf because it was my spirit animal.
It was believed and viewed the wolf as a totem animal or spirit sent to help guide us through life, symbolizing loyalty and perseverance. Just like me who’s always down for the people I love.
The wolf is an emblem of bravery, loyalty,survial and leadership cause the animals are considered as true survivors, with the ability to survive in the toughest of conditions they encounter in the wild.”
– Miles Therese Granada
5. Kristen Erika Cundangan
“My first tatt was the black heart shaped 2×2 tatt on my right ribs. I’ve had this just last February. This tatt was for my mom. She’s been diagnosed with cancer and I wanna show her how much I love her. This tattoo shows a mother and her two children (my mom, me and my younger brother). Its shape (heart) shows love for the three of us. Tho i still have a father physically but he never showed his love, but I’ll leave it to that. I love my mom so much. She’s my best bestfriend, my strength and weakness, she’s my queen, she’s my wonderwoman, she’s my everything. My tatt will never be enough to show how much I love her.
My second tattoo was just last month, 3 months after my mom passed away. Yes, her body didn’t make it but I know that in her heart and on her my mind that she’s strong and she kept on fighting until her last breath. So there, I’ve had this red sweet pea tattoo on my left ribs. This shows my mom’s departure in this world (but will never be, in our hearts), since this (April – Sweet pea birth flower) is my birth month and the death month of my mom i decided to go on this. This flower also shows courage, love, and desire. The waves on its end stem shows my struggles in life that i need to surpass. I need to be bigger than them. I know I will make it.
I just want to share this to everyone tho. The pain on having tattoos was and always be so worth it. Having tattoos doesn’t always mean that a person is a bad person, everyone should just always look on the positive side that it shows something valuable for an individual. It’s an art and it should not be a reason for some people to judge others.”
– Kristen Erika Cundangan