In case you missed it, American biker and host of HISTORY’s Ride N’ Seek, Jaime Dempsey, returned to Manila this August to join in the fun at HISTORY Con 2018—an entertainment convention that brings together history makers, exhibitors, and biggest names in the industry every year (parang ordinary comic con pero bigger and mas vintage, besh!). Aside from being known for her thrilling rides and jaw-dropping adventures, Jaime left a mark in the heart of the Filipinos as one of the stars who braved the challenging trail to Kalinga just to see and get tattooed by our National Artist Apo Whang-od. Gone are the days na nakakasira sa image ang tattoo, lalo na sa girls! Ngayon, kakayanin umakyat ng bundok para lang dyan. C’mon, it’s already 2018!
In various interviews, Jaime repeatedly says her trip here in 2015 is one of the most memorable ones because she got to visit the traditional tattoo master’s village. Whang-od was 96 years old when Jaime visited her in Buscalan. Not too long ago, naman. The Illinois-born host was given a centipede tattoo, a symbol of spiritual protection and guidance, said to be given only to Kalinga tribe’s bravest warriors. That only means, palaban si ate gurl Jaime and we want to be as strong as her.
Jaime has a lot of tattoos on her arms, neck, and back and dare we say it: #goals! Break the stereotypes, memsh! Now that she’s back, MB Life had to ask what type of tattoo she’d want to give back to Whang-od (another woman teeming with #GirlPower), if given the chance. Kasi who wouldn’t want to do that, ’di ba? That would be an honor if given the chance.
“I think, maybe, an owl because they are stoic and wise and she represents that same beauty,” Jaime says. In the Calamansi Thorn Tattoo Creation episode on the show, she also described Whang-od as a gentle and nice lady. Yes, she said that kahit habang nasasaktan sa pambabatok. Pawer!
“I have taken a piece of the Philippines and it will be with me forever,” shares Jaime, showing her centipede tattoo on her left shoulder. “While I was getting tattooed, I was sitting in (Whang-od’s) village, in a bamboo (hut), overlooking terraces and rice fields. All of a sudden, it started pouring a ton of rain outside. The sound of the rain, and her tapping away on my shoulder—that was the most magical experience I will ever have.”
As mambabatoks, traditional tattoo artists like Whang-od use a calamansi thorn as a needle substitute for the process. This is attached to a bamboo, which is continuously tapped with the help of another bamboo in order to imprint the ink made out of ash (uling) in the skin. Walang arte-arte sa Kalinga, mga besh. Not for the faint of heart!
Jaime, together with the rest of HISTORY’s stars—Ancient Aliens’ Giorgio Tsoukalos, Celebrity Car Wars’ Diego Loyzaga and Xian Lim, Vikings’ Katheryn Winnick (the kween!), and Who Runs the World’s Yeoh Mong Chin—visited the Philippines last weekend (August 10-12) for HISTORY Con 2018 at the World Trade Center in Pasay.
We hope to see her again in the Philippines next year, kasi this ate girl loves the country as much as we do! If you’re lucky enough, you might even spot her driving around on her badass motorcycle. Her favorite spot: Batanes! Same, memsh. Same.