Luis Mariquit of Yanninks Tattoo Studio : One Talented Tattoo Artist

By Rica Velasco

rgb1We all know that there are several big players doing their part to promote the sustainability and tourism of Boracay Island, passionate people with a genuine interest in the growth, maintenance, and promotion of this beautiful paradise. However, there are also the bit players doing their part to boost and encourage tourism on the island. Some of these people that often go unnoticed are the very talented tattoo artists that live and work here.

Many tourists come here with the intent of getting themselves inked and bringing home with them a permanent souvenir. If the job is done spectacularly, which often is, word spreads around and more tourists arrive to get their tattoos done. Thus, these tattoo artists definitely do their part in promoting the island.

There are many well known and renowned tattoo shops here with skilled and brilliant tattoo artists. This article will focus on one particular tattoo shop – Yanninks Tattoo Studio, owned by Ryan Saltiga. Aside from being a master of his craft, Ryan gained prominence through island friends, most especially supporters from the much loved local bar, Bom Bom Bar. Yanninks Tattoo Studio has the distinction of having famous personalities on their client list. To name a few, they have given their services to Arnel Pineda, vocalist of Journey; the cast of Banana Split; Michael Madsen, a famous Hollywood actor; and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao – all of whom were very happy with the permanent ink they acquired. Tattooing such famous people added to the exposure of both Yanninks Tattoo Studio and Boracay, as this was often reported on local newspapers, airline magazines, and internet sites.

Let us zone in on one particular tattoo artist who works at Yanninks Tattoo Studio that goes by the name Luis Mariquit III, or Bebot, as his friends and family fondly call him. Luis is a shy and reserved person, but the moment one engages in a conversation with him, one can immediately sense that he has a heart of gold and genuine humility in spite of his great artistic talents.

Luis spent his early childhood in Tacloban, but he and his family moved to Cebu when he was nine years old. He discovered his passion for the arts in his high school days, constantly sketching and drawing during his free time. He started doing henna tattoos at Fuente Osmena Drakki Tattoo Shop in Cebu City. As not many guests frequented the shop, he would practice on friends. By 2007, he became a full fledged tattoo artist.

Ryan Saltiga recruited Luis because his artwork was very clean and detailed, plus Ryan saw that Luis was trustworthy. Luis moved to Boracay Island in 2008. On the island, he met Ryan’s sister Roxanne, now his long time partner. Together they have a son they named Alon, which means waves in Tagalog, but also means Oak Tree in Hebrew.

Luis specializes in traditional, portrait, and Philippine tribal tattoos. He also gets requests for cosmetic tattoos from time to time, and he does piercings as well. Guests normally have the concept of what they want for a tattoo that Luis would design. He has many satisfied customers who come back and even bring their friends with them to get inked. He quickly gained recognition through word of mouth. When asked for a memorable tattoo story he mentioned one customer who asked for a tattoo of his favourite childhood book, “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. After getting the tattoo, the customer gave away the book to the son of Luis.

Luis is also quite talented in the kitchen and has a fondness for cooking Filipino dishes. Although he spends long hours at the tattoo shop, during his days off he likes to spend time with his family swimming on early mornings and hanging out at the beach on sunsets. We asked his wife, Roxanne, what makes Luis stand out as a tattoo artist, and she mentioned his sense of humour, as well as his love and passion for his art.

Feel like getting inked soon? You can visit Luis at Yanninks Tattoo Studio, next to Bamboo Beach Resort, or visit their website at www.yanninks.com.

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  • Princess Laura

    Hi pls where is ur studio I need a tattoo