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Sep 2, 2011
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Like a gripping pilgrimage, the typhoon last Saturday did not stop tattooed devotees as they flock to the second leg of Dutdutan ’11 in World Trade Center, an annual celebration of permanence, tradition, and the art of tattooing.

Hundreds of tattoo shops from all over the country set up booths to showcase their works and talents, complete with merchandise and decorated posse’s lining up for photos and exposure.

The night was filled with buzzing sounds, wincing faces, and performances from bands like Grin Department, and Reklamo, rapper Delo, and the crew of Vegas based 51-Fifty. Although the convention itself seemed in chaotic order, it was hard not to notice the harmony and camaraderie of the artists, models, onlookers, and the whole lot that are interested on tattooing.

At one point, the event seemingly belonged to the ladies, with female tattoo artists killing it and inked women walking around like an endless supply of eye candy. Camsy Valencia from Makati-situated “Vice Ink,” did a vibrant and detailed 1-foot colorful gypsy piece that Hannah Aitchison would be proud of.

Valencia, who started tattooing just less than two years ago, has the natural skill that won’t disappoint someone who wants something permanent artwork inked in their body.

Dyun Depasupil of Maginhawa St.’s 55-Tinta, won many categories for his life-like and surreal pieces, including the “1st Place Rib Cage,” the most cringe-worthy category of the entire convention. Depasupil’s works are walking proofs that tattooing in the country has now elevated into the class of the international platform. 

While the booth of “Katribu Tattoo,” whose spot included a live drum and bongo session, was one of the most sought-after places to check inside the venue. Katribu offered old school Polynesian style tattooing on the spot, with fine-tooth needle combs and wooden pounds to etch meaningful symbols to those who wish to have this voguish-yet-old tattoo style.

Other lurid booths were Cherrybomb Tattoo, Back Dragon Tattoo, P&P, and Octopush Ink, where portraiture legend “Tatay Nero” serves as the man-in-charge. And not to be left behind, Westside Tattoo, whose full-body tattooed crew dominated the galloping crowd with their lewd and amusing antics that entertained attendees.

What is more amazing is the chance to see artists and works from “Bulacan Ink” and “Baguio Ink,” names that truly encapsulates the pride of tattooing from the far north.

Another eye-catcher were the cage dancers untiringly performing -or more so, teasing the crowd with their feisty jive. And who can forget the bikini contest participants that left the maledom in awe with their curves.  Simply they can be the cherries on top, that all men would like to get a hold of – permanently.

All in all, Ricky Sta. Ana and his co-tattoo legends did a tremendously excellent way of putting the art form on a pedestal. Just like what Sta. Ana said before on TV, “walang kinalaman ang linis ng balat sa linis ng damdamin.”

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Hit the gallery below to see more of Dutdutan '11!

WORDS BY APRIL CAMILLE BANZON
PHOTOS BY INNA ALDEGUER
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