Graduation Year


Document Type

Capstone Project

Project Type

Qualitative Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Faculty Advisor

Karen McCarthy, PhD, OTR/L


Batok (also known as Fatek/Burik/Tatak/Batek/Patik) is an indigenous Filipino tattooing practice where the practitioner marks the skin by hand-tapping the ink using bone/wood implements. Previous research on tattooing has explored an occupational science perspective on Western tattooing and its engagement and implication on the individual - recognizing its practice to be considered as an occupation (Kay & Brewis, 2017). Framed in theories of Collective Occupation (Ramugondo & Kronenberg, 2015), Doing, Being, Becoming (Wilcock, 2002), and Belonging (Hitch et al., 2014) the research explores how batok as a collective occupation affects the experiences of Filipino communities. Three individual Filipino people with batok and four family and/or community members were analyzed through interviews and video observation. A phenomenological approach and thematic analysis highlighted and guided to three themes, Kapwa, Revealing One’s Batok, and Decolonization and Reclamation as a Cultural Practice, and were identified in encapsulating the experience of the batok process among individuals with Batok and their family/community members. This research provided insight on the meaning, motivation, and self-transformation that occurs when acquiring a batok and the impact it has upon the community’s shared intention of honoring the individual receiving the batok. This research broadened the understanding of the occupation of batok recognizing implications of the practice as a form of resistance to modern Filipino culture. More research on collective occupations within occupational science research is needed to understand the lived experiences of individuals participating in diverse occupations.

IRB Number