It’s been another week and social media is still ablaze with the current NAS Daily Vs. Apo Whang Od controversy which Ducky and I featured last Sunday for another FB Live event for our page, the 2 Fat Fairies.
Before I give you the updates, here’s something to catch you up on the controversy between NAS Dailycreator vlogger Nusseir Yassin who created the Nas Academy and Apo Whang-Od, the oldest “mambabatok” (104 years old) or traditional tattoo artists from the Butbut tribe of Buscalan Kalinga in the Philippines. She is recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as a “living vessel of a traditional practice” who deserves to be honored for her contributions to Filipino culture and indigenous practice of tattooing.
Thanks to the Inquirer’s online site, SOYACINCAU, Rappler and Philstar’s Interaksiyon, here are some info to get you in the swing of things:
AUGUST 4 – News came out that NAS Daily is taking down Apo Whang-Od’s masterclass after her grandniece, Grace called it a scam.
AUGUST 5 – Nas Academy released a statement on their official social media page showing a video of Apo Whang-Od stamping her thumb print on the document signifying her “agreement” to the contract.
AUGUST 6 – Cacao Project founder Louise De Guzman Mabulo released a statement calling out Yassin for his mocking behaviour when he interviewed her in 2019.
[This also came out which I think is an interesting point from someone not from the Philippines.)
On the same day – NAS Daily answers back Mabulo’s allegations by saying that the Cacao Project was not as it seems and that he cannot feature ‘fake news’ on his channel.
AUGUST 7 – NAS Daily FB loses over 500,000 followers amid Whang-Od Issue. From 20, 992,940 his followers dropped to 20,464,865 according to Facebook’s analytic tool CrowdTriangle.
Since then, the term “Pinoy baiting” came about and all %#!@ has broken lose all-over social media blaming Yassin for exploiting the Philippines’ cultural heritage. According to our good friend @homerspirit, Nas Daily is in violation of the "Indigenous People’s Rights Act" ---Sec. 16 Rule VI of the IRR pursuant to Sec. 29 of the law.
Just recently, Catriona Gray and her management Cornerstone has just released a statement that she will be no longer accepting applicants to her masterclass. Yassin also released a statement that his intentions were pure and were misunderstood. Mabulo is now requesting Yassin be declared “persona-non-grata” and should not be allowed to the Philippines.
As the plot gets thicker, there are a lot of questions going through my head:
- The NAS Academy Masterclass with Apo Whang-Od was supposedly locked in in June. What happened between that time and last August 4 that flared this controversy?
- Is this current controversial scenario and our reaction as Pinoys reflect a “cancel culture” that springs immediately as soon as we hear an issue affecting our culture?
- After the exchange of statements, will Yassin sue Mabulo and vice versa?
- Will NAS Daily continue to lose followers in the days to come?
- Who really misunderstood what?
If you go through the statements/rebuttals, it’s interesting to read how conscious each one is I their statements knowing that they have “followers” to think about.
After going through all the details, please tell us what you think? Write to us or send us your comments through the Australian Filipina Facebook page.
Keep to this site for more updates soon! If you want to see the lighter side of the issues, check out the FB Live of 2 Fat Fairies every Sunday at 8pm (AEST) or listen to our podcast on Spotify.