Buscalan: Where Time Stands Still

Buscalan is a quiet village high up in the mountains of Tinglayan in Kalinga.

Buscalan is a quiet village high up in the mountains of Tinglayan in Kalinga.

The quaint village of Buscalan in the hinterlands of the quiet town of Tinglayan in Kalinga Province is home to a small community of about 200 Butbut households whose primary means of livelihood is rice farming and growing livestock — pigs, goats, sheep, and carabaos (water buffalos). Its geographic location and topography have, for ages, protected it from colonization and from “outside” influences, allowing the people to enrich and continue their centuries-old culture and traditions.

But today, Buscalan has slowly and continually opened its well-guarded trails to “lowlanders” — tattoo enthusiasts, artists, weekend hikers, curious travelers, and adventure seekers. Unperturbed by the long hours of travel and great amount of physical strength and determination required to reach the village, many city dwellers flock to Buscalan — all wanting to commune, and get inked, by its very famous resident, the centenarian Apo Whang-od, the last living practitioner of traditional Kalinga tattooing or batok.

Sadly, despite the recent attention Buscalan gets from mainstream tri-media, little is still known about the community and the Butbut Tribe dwelling here. Much of what we already know about them are from featurettes done by TV travel magazines and documentaries by well-known foreign anthropologists and contemporary scholars.

Belonging to the Kalinga ethnic group, the Butbuts are also known to be headhunters, their feats tattooed on their warriors’ bodies as a coat of arms. But those headhunting days are long gone.




About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

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