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Filipino American actor Dave Bautista breaks down the significance of his Filipino-inspired tattoos in a video uploaded on Wednesday.
Bautista, who has a Greek mother and a Filipino father, told GQ he shows his pride through three tattoos, including the flags of the Philippines and Greece placed next to each other on his upper left arm.
His left elbow also flaunts three yellow stars and the sun from the Philippine flag. The Philippine sun, which is colored in black, was also placed around an Eye of Providence on his chest.
“I was always really just taught to be proud of my heritage,” Bautista said. “I didn’t really have close ties to my family, but my mom made me aware of who I was, what my background was [and] to always be proud of that. So I always kind of embraced being half Greek and half Filipino. [I’m] always very proud of my roots, and I display it on my body.”
In 2006, the former wrestler traveled to the Philippines for a World Wrestling Entertainment international event, during which he claims to have truly embraced his Filipino roots.
“I think I really embraced it when I was older and when I got to visit the Philippines,” Bautista told GQ. “I’m only half Filipino from the United States, but they embraced me like I was 100-percent Filipino and I was born and raised there. You know, that experience is never gonna make me feel anything less in my life.”
“It’s just a dream,” he added. “It’s just so surreal to go to a country and have them just treat you like you’re the prodigal son.”
Bautista gave a rundown of his tattoos from when he was 18 years old to those he got after becoming an actor, including the “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Avengers” logos on his thumbs.
On his right middle finger, he also has the logo of the fictional crime organization Spectre, a nod to the 2015 Bond film he starred in of the same name.
His favorite tattoos are of his three old dogs, which are placed on his right thigh. On his left thigh, he has actor Cillian Murphy’s character Thomas Shelby from the British drama series “Peaky Blinders” surrounded by the phrase “Gentleman Hooligan.”
He also explained his covered-up tattoos, including the names of an ex-girlfriend, an ex-wife, one that was covered after “a friend” made homophobic remarks and his first-ever tattoo — a cement heart with the words “heart of stone” on his buttocks.
The actor also spoke about his tattoo and piercing shop in Tampa, Florida.
“I do have a tattoo shop because it’s always been a dream of mine to own a tattoo shop, just because I love the culture. I love the environment. I love sitting around tattoo shops. I love the conversation that goes on, the camaraderie,” Bautista told GQ.
Bautista decided to name his shop “DC Society Ink” for his hometown in Washington, DC and for Dream Chaser, a hashtag he has used on his social media for many years.
“That’s kind of the way I look at my life,” he says. “I’ve just chased my dreams no matter what they were, how crazy they seemed.”
Bautista’s latest tattoos include a signature crown of his favorite artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and the silver unicorn origami from the 2017 sci-fi action film “Blade Runner 2049,” which he starred in.
Bautista plays men’s rights streamer Duke Cody in Rian Johnson’s 2022 film “Glass Onion.” He is slated to star in the 2023 films “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “A Knock at the Cabin” and “Dune: Part Two.”