Getting a Little Personal: Body Art and Me

‘There’s always a first time for everything.’ And yes, this is the first time that I’ll write something personal in this blog. Although I do have a personal blog where I talk about really personal stuff (and yes, it is written in my native language as well), I also thought that a lot of people could actually relate to this topic: body art, or in a more specific and simpler term, tattoo/s.

Tattoos are one of the oldest art form that existed. Since the prehistoric times, tribes used body art as a trademark to make them distinct from other groups. It has also been used to honor warriors who fought with their heart and soul at battle. You can even determine a soldier’s rank by merely looking at his tattoo. Today, this symbol of bravery and nobility has been downgraded to just body art. Or is it?

Merit for the Unsung Heroes

For me, tattoos remain a symbol of nobility for the unsung heroes. It is our own little star or award for being brave and staying strong in a battle called life. Life is a fight that is more difficult to win compared to wars. Its scar remains deep in our soul. It knows our strengths and most specially our weakness.

I got my first tattoo last March 17, 2012. I had the first verse of my former band’s song imprinted on my left arm.


Lyrics script tattoo

It says:


He said don’t face down

I don’t want to see you frown

You are worthy as who you are

Don’t ever say you’re no one


The song title is My Only One by Mangoosteen. Music and lyrics by me. Arranged by my former bandmates. I wrote this song as a form of thanks to the Almighty One. Unlike what most people think, I am very faithful and God-fearing person. I may not go to church everyday or say my prayers at night, but I do believe in God and I do my best to live my life according to His word. For me, the most powerful prayer is a song. So, one morning, the song just came to me. And so My Only One was born.

At my young age, I had quite a few bouts with life. I sinned a lot not just to God but also to my friends, my lover, my family and most especially myself. I wasn’t a very good daughter. I wasn’t a very good friend. I came to a point that I thought I was really worthless. I thought I didn’t deserve anything. But I was wrong. He gave me more than what I needed or even wanted. He just proved to me that He did carry me through the fire.

I got my second tattoo last July. To be honest, I forgot the date. And, I know you’re not going to believe this but I got that tattoo for fun. It was a spur of the moment thing that I had. I was in a coffee shop at a nearby mall when the idea hit me in the head. But most likely it was out of boredom. There was no wifi connection anywhere because of the storm.


ignorance is bliss tattoo


It’s another script type tattoo saying ‘Ignorance is Bliss’. I have long been in love with this phrase. There were times in my life when I wanted to quit. I am not equipped to be an adult just yet. The stress is killing me everyday. I rushed into work and didn’t really take the time to rest after graduating college. We are not that rich and we have a handful of financial problems to take care of.

Sad to say, it didn’t heal as beautiful as I have envisioned the tattoo to be. So I had it covered up last August 11.


rose tattoo


Actually, I have been contemplating on what design I would use as a cover up weeks after my second tattoo. But then I saw this amazing arm and back floral tattoo on a girl at the train station and it just hit me. I wanted a rose on my wrist. Aside from the fact that the color can easy erase the red ink ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, it is also my favorite flower.

For me, a rose is the perfect symbolism for my personality. You see, I’m a very guarded individual. I have a lot of ‘thorns’ to protect my fragile petals. I filter people who I want to be a part of my life in that level. And you’ll be surprised to learn that for a tough, badass chick, I’m as weak as a baby inside.

Only a few knows the real me. I rarely talk about my life especially if you haven’t really earned my trust. Yeah, I do have trust issues. I could only talk to selected people aside from my boyfriend of course.

And by the way, I got the design from The original design has no color. I had my artist have fun with it and colored it up.

Battle Scars

Regardless of what other people might think, yeah, we all know the stereotypes, I am proud of my body art. And I don’t believe that I would find a hard time finding an employment because of it. And that includes careers outside the IT industry.

Well, as a journalism graduate and an artist, I don’t really think I would get involve with something that does not relate to art. If ever SEO gets killed by Google entirely, I could still write. I’ll be a copywriter for websites or for an AD agency. There are plenty of job opportunities out there. All I have to do is find them and prove I am worthy of their time.

But no one, I say no one, should ever belittle me or my kind because of our battle scars.


Maria Espie

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