every journey has a story


Getting Inked: Deciding To Get A Tattoo

Back in 2010, with my best bud Lei, we went to this tattoo shop in
Santa Ana, Manila called Maweh Artworks- to get my very first tattoo.

  • the design of your tattoo
  • which part of your body you would like to put your tattoo
  • in which tattoo shop or which artist will you get your tattoo
  • budget


When it comes to choosing a tattoo design, you should not rush in making a decision. A tat is going to be permanent on your body, and while it is possible to have a tat removed later on (via laser removal) for whatever reason, it’s going to be expensive. So really take your time in deciding the design you your tattoo, if you do decide on getting one. A simple search on google would yield endless results of sample tattoo designs.


There are many factors on deciding where you would want to put a tat on your body. Do you want it to be hidden and more discreet? Or would you want to flaunt it and like it to be easily seen? How big would you like it to be? Do you want it small and almost inconspicuous, like perhaps just small letters between your fingers? Or would you like it to be huge and if that’s the case, you may want to put it on your chest area or your whole back. Another thing to consider would be your expectation and tolerance of pain. Some body parts are more sensitive to pain than the others. You may want to check this links out:


Deciding on which tattoo artist or shop you’d want to get your tattoo goes hand in hand, inevitably, with your budget. Also, the more intricate the design (and the bigger), the more expensive your tattoo will be. And of course, if you choose a more popular tattoo place, it would tend to be more pricey. As for me, as long as the tattoo shop and it’s artists are licensed and recommended by people you know or trust, that would be worth a consideration and your tattoo need not to be expensive.

a watercolor tattoo


Deciding on getting a tattoo was the easy part. I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo since I was in college, it just wasn’t a priority thing in my head, until I started working and I sort of forgot about it. Since I was about to turn 30 that year, i decided to get inked and Lei wanted to get a 2nd tat along with me. It was an instantaneous decision, it felt YOLO actually. Only that it wasn’t. It was a decade in the making. The harder part is deciding on which tattoo you want, and then ultimately where to put it on your body. I knew that I like sun and sun-like symbols, I just wasn’t sure on exactly what design to have. Until I watched a trailer for this upcoming animated movie.


Do you know which movie I’m talking about? I won’t reveal it here ^_^ but if you’re a Disney fan, that’d be quite obvious (lol, that’s a clue!). But I wanted to design it, so i put my own twist on it. There’s also another symbol I designed under my sun symbol, who’s meaning only I know (and a few close friends and loved ones). I can tell you in person, if you ask me. lol

Maweh Artworks & Tattoo Shop

Basically, it was Lei who got me as a referral for this tattoo shop. The best thing about already knowing where I’d get my tattoo is 1) my friend already trusts the artist and 2) it’s very close to where I live.

Our tattoo artist, Weweh, were very accomodating and made us feel at home and comfortable. He also suggested some revisions and helped us finalize our designs. Weweh is also a professionally licensed tattoo artist and has won several awards. His shop has also been featured in some newspapers and magazines, competed with top tattoo shops (like PnP tattoo) and has participated numerous times in the famous tattoo convention, Dutdutan.


My tattoo looks very tribal. I dunno, I just resonate with these kind of designs. Also, I had mine done on a very visible part of my body- my left forearm. And people would ask why I had it put there, “too visible” they would say. I always say that that was what I wanted, so that people would easily see it. Thing is, other people would prefer getting a tat on a more discreet or hidden part of their body.

Also, people who sees it usually assumes it’s (just) a henna tattoo, and it does look like it’s henna. Even my own parents thought that it was just a temporary ink they are seeing, until they verified with me 3 years later if my tattoo was real. It sort of shocked them to find out that it was. lols

Fast forward to 2017. I am now with Henry, and he is now ready to get his own first tattoo. I researched and found out that Mewah is still very much in-business. While they still have their shop in Santa Ana, they (now) mostly do their services in their house in Paranaque.

Weweh and his wife has 3 kids- all girls. And perhaps tattooing really runs in their blood, his eldest daughter (who is only 11 years old at the time this post is being written) has taken to tattooing as a hobby and is now accorded as the Philippine’s youngest tattoo artist. Isn’t that awesome?

Saket? #tats

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My tattoo design, this time around, is an ambigram of my full name. And I had it tattooed as an armband on my upper right arm. Henry, on the other hand, had designed a very personal non-traditional “geometric’ style, minimalist tattoo on his left upper arm and it’s meaning is known only to a few people, as well.


This is the question I always get when people see my tattoo. My answer always was, on a scale of 1-10, it was a 5-6. So basically, not that painful or the pain was so much less than what I expected. But that was for my first tattoo which I had on my forearm. When I had my 2nd tattoo recently, which was an armband tattoo, the pain- I would have to say- is on an 8-9ish scale. Especially when the needle reaches near the armpit which has more sensitive skin than other body parts. So basically, the pain really depends on which body part you would have your tattoo  (Check the links I posted above).


Henry getting his first tat @ Maweh Tattoo Shop
Henry getting his first tat @ Maweh Tattoo Shop


If you wanna get tattooed as well in Maweh Tattoo,  their minimum charge is 1,500 php for a black ink tattoo. Rates would vary, of course,  depending on the design and size of the tattoo.  The ink they use, by the way, are all imported from the US, and the needles are disposable, but you will be given the option to keep it as souvenir- if you want (otherwise they will be the ones to dispose it properly). Also, Maweh Tattoo no longer entertain walk-in clients. Yap, you have to get a schedule so they can service you.

with Wewe of Maweh Tattoo Shop
with Wewe of Maweh Tattoo Shop

Ultimately, getting a tattoo these days is a form of self-expression. Gone are the days when only criminals and shady characters are the only ones who gets them. In my research about getting inked, I found out that there are lots of kinds of tattoo. One of the latest trends now are “watercolor” tattoos, and it has certainly captured my imagination. I’m now planning to have my original tattoo ‘colorized’, and I think that it’s definitely not gonna be seven years from now.


To inquire about Maweh Artworks & Tattoo
and view their designs,
you may follow their facebook page here





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