210+ Meaningful Filipino Tribal Tattoos Ideas (2024)

Filipino Tribal tattoos have a long-standing cultural history in the Philippines. These tattoos are often seen as symbols of royalty, strength, courage, aggression, romance, and loyalty. Filipino tribal tattoos reflect the wearer’s connection to their heritage.

Filipino tribal tattoos Meanings and Symbolism

Filipino tribal tattoos are steeped in symbolism and meaning. While many of these symbols originated as spiritual or religious symbols, they have since been adopted to also signify familial loyalty, strength in difficult times, or even a hint of danger.

One popular symbol used in Filipino tribal tattoos is the anito mask. This mask was originally used by shamans and believed to house spirits that protected them during their rites and rituals. The anito mask can be seen on many Filipino tribal tattoos because it is said to bring good luck and ward off evil luck.

The sun is another common symbol found in Filipino tribal tattoos that has both physical and spiritual meanings. Physically, the sun symbolizes power, courage, and strength. Spiritually, it is said to represent enlightenment and the power of knowledge.

The karmelek is a symbol that represents femininity, childbirth, and fertility. It was used by early Filipinos as protection from negative energies, and evil spirits and in many instances was combined with other symbols such as the sun or anito mask for added protection.

Tattoo designs that feature animals such as snakes and birds are believed to bring good luck or fortune. Tattoos made with geometric shapes like stars, circles, and crosses can signify strength, courage, and faith. Dragons and warriors are also sought-after designs that communicate bravery and power.

Filipino tribal tattoos Ideas

Filipino tribal tattoos are also often adorned with geometric patterns, waves, nature elements, or religious images such as crosses. These symbols can be interpreted in various ways depending on the wearer’s individual beliefs and values.

Here are some of the best Filipino tribal tattoo ideas you can consider for your next body art piece.

1. Sun or Moon: A sun or moon tattoo design is ideal for Filipino tattoos especially if you are looking for a symbol that represents life, fertility, new beginnings, self-reflection, happiness, and growth, thereby making it an excellent reminder of one’s cultural roots and identity.

2. Barong Tagalog: The barong tagalog is a traditional Filipino shirt that has been worn by both men and women for centuries. Baron Tagalog shirts are popular around the world due to their distinct patterns. You can use these patterns as an inspiration for your next tattoo art. Baron Tagalog tattoo is seen as a sign of resilience, peace, and integrity.

3. Mountains: Mountain tattoos are often used to represent courage, perseverance, eternity, and stillness in Filipino culture. These designs usually feature mountains surrounded by clouds or foliage, making them perfect for representing the connection between the wearer and their homeland.

4. Indigenous Animals: Many native animals have come to represent Filipino culture over time, such as the carabao (water buffalo), pangolins (scaly anteaters), chevrotains (mouse deer), and tarsier (small nocturnal primate). Getting a tattoo featuring one of these animals is a great way to pay homage to your ancestral roots while also embracing the beauty of the natural world.

5. Kalinga Tattoos: Kalinga tattoos are a type of tribal tattoo that originated in the Philippines and have been used to adorn warriors since ancient times. These designs typically feature geometric shapes/lines, interlocking patterns, and abstract motifs, while also representing the distribution of uneven wealth among citizens.

6. Ships or Boats: Ships and boats have long been associated with Filipino culture due to the country’s history as a seafaring nation. Representing safe passage and protection, this design is often seen as a sign of strength and courage.  This symbol is also seen as an homage to the journey of life, fertility, foolishness, and disaster and is often used by travelers who want to remember their adventures in a vast ocean.

7. The Philippine Flag: The Philippine flag is a popular choice for those looking to honor their country and its people with a tattoo. This symbol can be seen as a reminder of the nation’s growth, integrity, auspiciousness, and resilience in the face of adversity.

8. Coconut Trees: Found throughout the Philippines, coconut trees have come to represent health, longevity, beauty, chakra power, fertility, and abundance in many cultures around the world. These designs are often used by Filipinos to remind them of their cultural heritage while also bringing positive energy into their lives.

9. Tribal Faces: Tribal faces are commonly used in Filipino tattoos to honor ancient tribal leaders, chiefs, or ancestors who have passed away. These tattoos typically include native shapes and symbols that represent leadership, belief, and courage, making them perfect for anyone hoping to pay homage to their cultural roots.

10. Kalaw: The Philippine Kalaw is a type of falcon that has come to represent everlasting love, freedom, adventure, and the spirit of god in Filipino culture. This symbol can be seen as an homage to the bravery of those who have gone before us.

11. Weapons: In the Philippines, weapons such as swords and spears have been used by tribal warriors since ancient times. These symbols are often seen as expressing courage, strength, and resilience and can serve as a reminder of one’s heritage when combined with other traditional Filipino images in a tattoo design.

12. Tribal Scrolls: Tribal scrolls are popular among Filipino tribal tattoos because of their symbolism. These designs typically feature patterns from old-school Philippines art. You must know the Philippines’ ancient history to find a perfect tribal scroll tattoo.

13. The Sun: Just like many other ancient cultures, The sun is an important symbol in Filipino culture as well. It represents life, youth, positivity, and growth. A tattoo featuring this symbol can be used to honor one’s cultural heritage while also reminding them of the importance of looking forward with hope and optimism. Many believe This design brings good fortune and illumination. It is also seen as a source of warmth and protection for the wearer.

14. Waves: Waves have long been associated with Filipino culture due to the country’s geography and its history as a seafaring nation. These designs often feature crashing waves surrounded by traditional tribal motifs, making them perfect for those looking to pay tribute to their ancestral roots in a meaningful way.

15. The Stars: Representing guidance from above, this design is said to bring luck and wisdom to its bearer.

16. The Snake: While many other cultures despise snakes, this is not the case for Filipinos. Snake tattoos are one of the most popular tattoo designs in their culture as it represents the ability to overcome challenges (inspired by a legendary Philippines tale) and forgive even the worst of your enemies.

17. The Eagle: Known for its majestic beauty and soaring spirit, this bird symbolizes freedom and victory over adversity.

18. The Shark: Another powerful creature that finds love in Philippines culture is the Sharks. The beast of the sea is seen as a sign of courage and determination. It’s also believed to bring good luck in times of hardship.

19. The Turtle: Representing wisdom, patience, and longevity, this design is said to grant one inner peace and a strong connection with nature.

20. The Frog: Symbolizing transformation, progress, and new beginnings, this design is believed to bring success and prosperity.

21. The Wave: Representing the power of nature, this design is said to give its bearer courage and strength in times of difficulty.

If you find all the above ideas interesting then have a look at this photo gallery that has all the popular Filipino tribal tattoo designs suitable for men and women-

Sleeve Filipino Tribal Tattoo

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Half Sleeve Filipino Tribal Tattoo

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Minimalist Filipino Tribal Tattoo

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Conclusion

From spiritual protection and guidance to marking milestones in life, Filipino tribal tattoos offer powerful messages for the wearer. Since you can express a wide range of meanings with just one tattoo therefore you must give these tattoos a chance.

References: Filipino Tribe