Saturday, November 13, 2010

Something that lasts forever

My 78-year-old Grandfather's tattoos

I post a lot of pictures of tattoos on here and I've spoken before about how getting a tattoo isn't on my bucketlist. But I wanted to share some of the tattoos that my grandfather has. He is now 78 years old and he's had these tattoos for 58 years, having started this little collection when he was 20. He saw the arms of his uncle, a retired Filipino naval officer from the American navy with tattoos of all the countries he had been up and down his arms. My lolo (grandpa in tagalog) naturally was impressionable and wanted to get some too. So here are a few of his favourites.

He has a scroll reading 'Death before dishonour', a bird, a star, 'Aug 5 1952' his birth date, a naked lady in a star, 'God is love', a snake, a horse-shoe and some of them he did himself. Not just the design, but that he physically tattooed on himself. They're old-school tattoos, not just because they're almost sixty years old, but because they're not the needle-point quality they have today. He always tells us when we jokingly tell him we're all getting tattoos that we should think long and hard because its permanent, and you can't take it back. He always says 'You know, if you are remorseful of your tattoos there's nothing you can do about it'. Fifty-eight years later, he's still got them, wrinkled skin and all. But one of my favourite ones that I'm happy to say he doesn't regret is 'Ala ala kita Laly' meaning 'Always remembering Laly' / 'I remember you always Laly' Laly, being his name for my lola (grandma) lolita (bit of a tongue twister there). Despite everything, and some regret he may have felt about having some of those tattoos (maybe the naked lady wasn't such a good idea for job interviews or parent-teacher nights) it's good do know that some things last forever. 'Ala ala kita'.


  1. Tattoos last forever.

  2. This is the cutest post! I've always thought about getting a tattoo, but I know it something I could never do. Asides from the permanency, I'm just terrified of pain. Hehe. No matter how many times people tell me it doesn't hurt, I just couldn't do it

  3. I know right, tattoos are great on other people but I just don't think me and them are ready for a long-term relationship... ahha