Same but Different: People and the Interesting Meaning Behind Their Tattoos

Maria Romero
PUBLISHED October 11, 2018 03:08 pm | UPDATED October 11, 2018 04:30 pm
Art by Dani Elevazo.

Have you ever had that moment when you said to yourself “I’m going to have my dream tattoo at X age,” with conviction? Then came that age and for some reason, you still haven’t got that tattoo?


Today when it seems like everyone is already having their skin inked, most of us couldn’t do more but to sit back and see them bluntly show off their dainty tats. But if you’re asking, “Why did they get that tattoo? There must be some profound meaning behind those.” Well, tbh, you’re not going to get a single and unified answer to that because certainly, different people got inked for different reasons.


Some simply just want to brandish their love for their feline friends as it helps them keep calm.



I love cats lang kasi talaga. They make me calm and relax. It helps me lessen my anxiety. Sobrang gigil ako sa kanila. May cats kami ng boyfriend ko. Dahil sa kanya natuwa ako sa cats. Cats lang talaga, hindi talaga ako into dogs. Sa yin-yang naman, balanced lang kasi akong tao. Hindi masyadong nagfo-focus sa good ganun din sa bad. Kalma lang talaga. Feeling ko na-master ko na ‘yung art ng dedma, ganun.”


 - Aya Ramoran, 22


While others want to always remember their furry best friends who already crossed the rainbow bridge.



“My favorite tattoo is the portrait of my best friend, Bella. She passed away two years ago. Even though we only had five years together, she was there for most of the important things that happened in my life. She was the first living person I came out to. She was the one living being who I feel like really listened to me during those times I still didn’t have my human best friends. She licked my tears away when I cried. She was always following me around. She was my best friend, and I really miss her. I’d give a hand to have her back, that’s how much I love her.”


- Anne Camille Guevarra, 23


Some draw strength and courage to win the good fight from their body art.



‘Yung tattoo ko composed siya ng halo-halong Kalinga designs. The three lines are called “binulibud” in Kalinga that symbolizes being “tied up” for strength. “Nilawat” or fern plant stands for fertility, health, and strength. “Kinilat” or lightning means that man and woman are two parts of one person that also symbolizes unity, union, and faith. “Patchok” or zigzag represents a well-established river. Parang continuation ng life while the fish design stands for being “adventurous.”


- Jarel Dale Guinto, 22


But for those who remain a student at heart as they continue to learn new things, something that reminds them of their experiences from their milestones could be a nice creative fuel. 


“That's the other half ng barcode sa ID ko n’ung college. And the number is my student number. My Kuya asked me all of a sudden if I wanted a tattoo since I was with him when he's getting one, so as a designer ayaw ko naman to download lang somewhere and during that time I have no time to think and sketch a design that I would want to be seen on my skin for the rest of my life. So ‘yun it signifies the 5-year-journey I had during college na never ko ni-regret because of the things I learned, the people I met, the decisions  I made, and the places that it brought me to.”


- Jade Richanne Santiago Aparta, 24


Others honestly just want to make an ode for their parents. Who are the real stars of our lives but mom and dad who raised us unconditionally, anyway?



Sini-symbolize ng two stars ko ang mga magulang ko. Sila Star ng buhay ko. Siyempre ‘yung mas malaking star ‘yung sa father ko. Ganyan ako mag-isip nu’ng college eh.”


- Jet Metila, 25


For the romantics, their tats are representations of how far they can go for the one they truly love. So far that they could even devote all their precious time for them.



“‘Yung tattoo ko na babaeng may orasan ay tungkol sa pag-ibig. Kapag kasi nagmahal ako binibigay ko lahat ng oras ko sa kanya eh.”


- Juan Carlo Ylagan, 26


While others are torn between one lover and the other, some are walking the tightrope between science and religion.



“My trigonometric tattoo reminds me of the balance between science and religion.”


- Harmon Rojas, 29


And on most times, these tattoos are an open declaration of who we are. We’re indeed warriors in our own rightful ways. 


“This is a Greek word for warrior.”


- Gilbert Rehoy, 31 


To be fair, not everyone can understand tattoo as an art and expression. We all know how conservative our culture can be. Right, mom? *chuckles nervously* But to those whose visual artistry goes beyond words, tattoos aren’t just an art but a celebration of all things nice!

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