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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo



Across the entrance to the Mandarin Spa in Boracay is a stall of native artworks. Okay, not exactly a stall but a large table.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

We stopped by that table two or three times because I kept admiring the hand carved wooden ornaments and the pendants. I chatted with one of the stall owners and he said that his group did the artwork in Mandarin Spa, inside and on the facade. I was actually thinking of interviewing him for a Lifestyle article in Manila Standard Today but decided against it. We were on vacation after all and I wasn’t going to spoil it by working.

The wooden ornaments were not the only things that drew Speedy and me to the stall. The girls have a thing for dreamcatchers and there was one there that stood out.

Dreamcatcher with a monkey's skull in Boracay
Dreamcatcher with a monkey’s skull in Boracay

This dreamcatcher had a monkey’s skull at the center. The price tag was P4,000.00 so we had to content ourselves with gaping at the thing. I should mention at this point that when we passed the stall and the girls were with us, I pointed out the dreamcatcher to Sam. You know, for someone interested in dreamcatchers, I thought it was a good idea to show it to her. Huge mistake. She bugged me endlessly to buy it. Even if the price was more reasonable, I just couldn’t see how we could possibly squeeze a huge dreamcatcher into our bags without getting it squished and deformed.

Anyway, I was talking about the things on sale at the stall, er, table… there were the crocodile (alligator?) skulls. Behind the skulls were the framed bugs. Not just any bugs but really weird looking ones. I actually liked the blue ones.

We didn’t buy anything but on our third and last day in Boracay, while Sam and I were shopping for shorts and shirts, Speedy brought Alex to this artists’ lair so she could have what she had been pining for — a dragon.

My daughter's dragon tattoo
My daughter’s dragon tattoo

If there was one thing that excited Alex about Boracay, it was the thought of having a dragon. The doting father took her to get her dragon and documented the whole thing in photos.

Henna. Body painting. But you already guessed that, right? Like I said, Speedy took photos of the entire procedure.

An artist painting a dragon on my daughter's hand with henna
An artist painting a dragon on my daughter’s hand with henna

What’s so amazing about this whole henna body painting is how the artist did the painting directly on Alex’s hand and arm. No sketches nor outlines whatsoever were drawn on the skin. But then, that’s why Speedy brought Alex to that artists’ lair in the first place — so that her dragon could be done by a real artist.

Alex and her dragon tattoo
Alex and her dragon tattoo

So, if you’re planning on visiting Boracay and getting a henna body painting there, the artists selling those skulls and bugs across the entrance to the Mandarin Spa really do a great job.