Tattoos are fantastic, forever and pretty much free in Cebu. When I started researching prices of tattoos in the different countries I was thinking of retiring cheap in, Cebu popped up. I was thinking I’ve been wanting to get one for a while, and finally figured out what I wanted to get. I asked my friends in Cebu who they would recommend and they made the recommendation of Clington Espinosa Tattoos. I looked at his gallery (you can see it on Facebook), and checked out his reviews online. They all looked great. We spent some time on messenger discussing what I liked and didn’t like. I looked for examples of his work that I found inspiring and work that I didn’t like. He has some very detailed pieces which made me confident that he could pull the thoughts out of my head.
One reason I didn’t get my tattoo in Thailand is that they don’t speak English well there. I think with the intricacy of my tattoo and also my own not so finished ideas we wouldn’t have made the exact tattoo that I wanted in Thailand.
After my Facebook messenger time with Clington I was confident that he understood what I wanted. Another thing that pops up quite often when you google “tattoos in Asia” is “How sterile is the shop, and do they use new needles?”
Clinton does house calls as well as having his own studio, so the environment is as clean as clean as your own home. He also used new needles without me having to ask. He even made sure I saw they were new before opening the packages.
After a rough sketch on paper, then another on my arm I was in the chair for roughly 5 hours. We both came up with some innovative ideas for the final piece. During the actual process we were still collaborating. I added little things like the sea monster, and he added pieces like the little boats and planes. Again, I don’t think I could have done that if I was on Khao San road in Bangkok.
The final question though that I know ALL my tattoo loving friends will want to know is “how much was it?” The answer will shock you. $220 (8000 Php) for the whole thing. For those people who haven’t gotten tattoos, a similar one back home would be roughly $800. One friend of mine paid $5000 for a full sleeve. Today I have learned the best country to retire cheap and get tattoos is the Philippines. So, if you’re thinking that coming to the Philippines and getting your tattoo done would be a good idea then do it. The cost of your flight is pretty much covered by your tattoo discount….and just make sure if you are pre booking with Clington (he gets busy during the summer holidays and Christmas.)