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An All-Female Minimalist Tattoo Studio Opens in Baguio

Get inked surrounded by wonderful female energy!

Tattooing has always been a male-dominated industry. Historically, it was rare to find female tattoo artists, and those who did venture into the field were often met with discrimination and hostility. Obviously, times have changed, and more women are making their mark in the world of tattooing. One such place where female artists have found a home is the all-female tattoo studio, MNMLST Tattoo Studio in Baguio.

Anna, one of the artists, with Geli, owner of MNMNLST Tattoo Studio

Located at the central part of the city, this studio is run by a team of talented and passionate female tattoo artists, led by Geli Marasigan. Being true to their name, the studio's walls are all white, with a simple yet comfortable receiving area where clients can inquire and discuss their designs. The place is clean, well-lit, and inviting, with a relaxed and easy vibe.


Walking into the studio, I was welcomed by Geli, wearing no makeup, with her messy bun framing her small, baby face perfectly, in her overalls and pretty smile. Their speakers blasted Britney Spears’ Crazy, and I was amused that I was going to get inked in such a fun atmosphere. I curiously asked Geli what made her start this career, and she shares, “I was getting tattooed by [one of the Baguio greats] Mr. Joseph Tadifa, when my twin brother mentioned that I could draw. Our tattoo artist asked why I haven’t tried it out yet. I saw an opportunity in the lack of fine-line tattoo artists in Baguio, so I worked as one part-time, and used all my savings to build the studio.”

Where the magic happens—clean and well-sanitized tattoo areas

Her brother was right—draw she could. She started at the age of 4, with crayons and pencils exciting her more than toys. “I was never formally trained, but I used to draw with my brothers and cousins when we were young. We'd exchange notes on drawing techniques. I drew inspiration from the cartoons I watched growing up. My favorite was the drawing style of Little Lulu,” Geli states.

Mikee, who specializes in hand-poked tattooing, with a client

As for her all-female team, Geli wanted to “give clients who prefer female artists somewhere to go to.” She likes it that way, too. “I prefer working with women. Working with Ate Anna, Jen, and Mikee confirmed my biases. Our chemistry as a team is so easy and unforced. They are not only my colleagues, they are my sisters.” Her 3 main artists and piercings offer fine line, watercolor, and hand-poked tattoos, and various body piercings. Feedback, so far, has been good. "'Magaan ang kamay’ and ‘tattoos like a lady’ are words we always hear from our clients,” Geli coyly shares.

Anna, my artist, preparing for my session

When I asked her what her tattoo philosophy is, Geli seems to be adamant. “It's better to touch up than to blow out a tattoo. Blow-outs happen when you stick the needle deep into the skin. The tattoo doesn't fade but the ink spreads over time. We want to challenge the received wisdom from the industry that fine-line tattoos don't last. When done correctly, they last!”

As I entered the room for my first-ever ink, I was surrounded by gentle and mindful female energy, which was so special to me. These artists are so soft-spoken and feminine, it was such an enjoyable experience. We even ordered iced coffees and just chatted away. Anna, my artist, was delicate with me. I was surprised at how relaxed I’d become during my session. I also noticed an excellent hand-drawn portrait of Apo Whang Od, one of the world-famous tattoo artists in the same region. It made me wonder about the tattoo scene in Baguio. “Locals and tourists in Baguio are very open and receptive to the idea of tattoos. Baguio, after all, is a mecca for creatives.” As for Whang Od’s portrait, “I drew her before I even started my tattoo career because I find her so inspiring. We display it in the studio to remind us that one of the most successful artists in the industry—although dominated by men—is a Filipina. She is also a reminder that tattoos are beautiful on any body type, age, gender, race.”

My first tattoo, placed on my inner arm (just above where the arm folds)

As Anna wrapped my tattoo and Geli gave me my post-care ointment, I felt a quiet sense of pride that I’ve finally gotten one. I took so much photos, it was laughable at one point. I was so happy that things meaningful to me are now artworks on me. My MNMLST Tattoo experience is one that I’ll happily remember forever, my encounter permanently shows on my skin, after all.

In a male-dominated industry, MNLMST Tattoo studio is a breath of fresh air. Geli and her team are breaking down barriers, showing that women can excel in any field they choose with their talent as the investment. They are changing the face of the tattoo industry, one line at a time.

Follow them on Instagram at @mnmlst.tattoos. To schedule an appointment, call +63917 651 1150.