Juxtaposed with Whang Od’s portrait is Epigeneium lyonii “Doris Viola” also known as summerhayes is a vibrant orchid that is native in Kalinga Province, Philippines where Whang Od originates. The plant is tricky to bloom and maintain but once it blooms, it displays a beautiful wide array of pinks and white hues.
Luzon Bleeding Heart is a native bird in Kalinga Province that has its species currently threatened by deforestation. Because of its rarity and high selling price, illegal hunting is also a major factor in population decline. Presenting these birds on the painting is an attempt to tackle the issue of deforestation and hunting. It provides a conversation about caring for the environment over people’s selfish agenda.
The Oryza Sativa or rice plant is a symbol of Rice Terraces found in Ifugao - an ancient cultural landscape and has been declared as a national treasure of the Philippines. Before getting to Whang Od’s village atop a hill, one must travel through deep ravines and roaring hills, climb a mountain and pass the rice terraces. A challenging journey one must first conquer before experiencing Whang Od’s beauty and traditional style of tattooing. An experience that will give one a fresh insight on tattoos and its strong ties with culture.