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Nas Academy and Whang-Od issue: A misunderstanding between both parties

Lots of articles were released about Nas Academy after its founder, Arab Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin or known as Nas Daily, alleged that he is using Filipina Tattoo Artist Whang-Od to his online school. Recently, Whang-Od’s grandniece, Gracia Palicas posted on a Facebook group saying that Whang-Od Academy is a scam and has no consent from her grandmother. However, Nuseir already announced last June that he tapped twelve known Filipino personalities and creators for Nas Academy, including Whang-Od. The questions are, why did Whang-Od’s grandniece didn’t speak before? Why did it take almost two months before she speaks?

Nuseir launched an academy last year that offers learning experiences, discussions, and tips in various fields. Different known personalities and creators across the world are the instructors in the said academy, and Filipino Tattoo Artist Whang-Od is eyed to be part of his team as per Nas Academy.

Whang-Od is described as the last and oldest mambabatok of the Kalinga Ethnic group. She is now 104 years old and the oldest tattooist in the world. On Nas Academy’s online site, there’s a line under her name “Learn the ancient art of Tattooing”. It is said there that all the rituals, tools, and methods for making traditional tattoos will be revealed through the platform.

Many Filipinos are familiar with the Nas Daily since his page is one of the most viewed and popular pages in the Philippines. His page creates content that inspires and educates people; he caught the attention of most because he has a persuasive voice and who can’t remember his prodigious outro, “That’s one minute, see you tomorrow.”

But why is Gracia saying that Whang-Od Academy, which is part of Nas Academy, is a scam and has no consent from Whang-Od? Whang-Od appeared in countless documentaries, interviews, and TV shows. Undoubtedly, she doesn’t speak Tagalog or English, she only speaks Kalinga’s dialect, the Ilocano. 

There’s a strong possibility that it is a misunderstanding between both parties; they were both overwhelmed at that time, perhaps. It is hard for to communicate because they came from different cultures. 

Although Nas Daily has proof, it is even worthless if the respondent doesn’t want to do that or will no longer want to do that. Indeed, there’s a contract, but students may suffer in the end. Besides, the Whang-Od team doesn’t agree with that. If they are going to continue the project because of the agreement, it will look forceful and unenthusiastically.

Nevertheless, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, content creator Erwan Heussaff, Singer-songwriter Moira Dela Torre, and Broadcast Journalist Jessica Sojo are some of the 12 to be instructors picked by Nuseir. They are known personalities and creators who excelled in different fields.

Meanwhile, Whang-Od Academy was removed from Nas Academy’s online site, even Gracia’s post was taken down on Facebook. Maybe both parties already have an agreement about the issue that they are involved in. But it is still on social media sites, and we may not know the whole story yet. Maybe it’s about time we take Filipino baiting into a more serious discussion on the table.

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