Nas Daily takes down masterclass featuring Whang-Od after grandniece calls it ‘scam’

Nas Daily, Whang-od

Vlogger Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily and tattoo master Apo Whang-od (Image: Facebook/Nas Daily, screengrab from Facebook/Nas Daily)

Online content creator Nuseir Yassin, who maintains the Facebook page Nas Daily, has taken down the online course featuring tattoo master Apo Whang-Od after her grandniece called it out for being a “scam.”

Whang-Od is known as one of the oldest “mambabatok,” or traditional tattoo artists, from the Butbut tribe of Buscalan, Kalinga. 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.

Her supposed participation in Yassin’s “Nas Academy” was revealed by the vlogger last June.

The Arab Israeli vlogger’s announcement stated that the Nas Academy would feature celebrities and online personalities including Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, renowned fashion designer Michael Cinco and news anchor Jessica Soho. But it appeared that the tattoo artist’s granddaughter Gracia Palicas found something was not right in the case of Whang-Od.

“WARNING! Whang Od Academy is a scam,” the tattoo artist’s granddaughter Gracia Palicas said through a public Facebook group today, Aug. 4.

Palicas stressed that her grandmother did not sign any contract with Nas Daily to do the said tattoo workshops.

“Some people are taking advantage of our culture. Please help us stop this disrespect to the legacy of Apo Whang-Od and the Butbot tribe,” she added.

Image: Facebook/Gracia Palicas

Palicas acknowledged that the masterclass may have some good intentions, but explained her village’s concerns through a now-deleted Facebook post also today.

“I spoke to her (Whang-Od) and she said she did not understand what the translators were saying. Am sorry to tell you she will not be joining the [Nas Daily],” she said. “[Our] village concern is that some people are profiting and [exploiting] our art and culture.”

Palicas then noted that Whang-Od was not aware of any contract related to the course.

Image: Facebook/Gracia Palicas

Aside from taking down the course page, Yassin has since removed posts about “Whang-Od Academy” on his Facebook page. He has not addressed the matter on his social media accounts as of this writing.  /ra


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