PALESTINIAN-Israeli YouTuber Nuseir “Nas Daily” Yassin has “made peace” with Indigenous Filipino tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od.
Nas Daily confirmed this in a Facebook video on his page on Tuesday night, acknowledging the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
“Nas Academy worked for two months with the NCIP to visit Whang-od in person,” he said in a video. “Our Filipino team trekked all the way there for two days and we met with the Butbut tribe in person and reconciled.”
A separate video was posted on Nas Academy’s Facebook page on Sunday that showed their meeting with Whang-od at Buscalan, Kalinga last Friday.
“Our genuine focus is on education and our efforts to showcase the culture of the Butbut Tribe was misunderstood,” said Nas Academy Philippines head Jacqueline Lim.
Nas Daily said his team had celebrated together and danced to traditional music, as well as eating traditional food, exchanging gifts and sending personal greetings.
Whang-od, whose real name is Maria Oggay, was happy over Nas Daily’s return to their area to reconcile.
“It’s really good that you guys are here,” she said in her native language. “I can’t say anything but thanks. Coming here shows that you are sincere in offering this reconciliation.”
NCIP chairman Allen Capuyan welcomed Nas Academy’s move.
“Napakaganda kasi nakiki-open ang puso ng Nas Academy, na kung anuman ang nangyari na hindi naman nila sinadya, handang-handa silang pumunta rito,” (It’s very good because Nas Academy has opened their hearts to whatever happened that they did not intend to do, they were ready to come here.) Capuyan said.
The NCIP further confirmed the apology in a statement on Sunday.
“It was good that the Nas Academy came over to convey their apology to the Butbut ICCs/IPs [Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples] of Buscalan regarding the misunderstanding among the company, community, and Whang-Od family,” the statement wrote. “The community through their elders thanked the Nas Academy for their sincere apology and requested that for the next time, they must follow the procedure since the art of tattooing is not practiced by the Butbut ICCs/IPs alone.”
The statement was shared by Whang-od’s granddaughter, Gracia Palicas.
Nas Daily announced in his video that he introduced free educational workshops, where thousands of FIlipinos enrolled and they signed Filipino creators to “help them teach”.
The famed YouTuber was under fire in August for supposedly exploiting FIlipino culture with the Whang-od course under Nas Academy, as Palicas initially stated that her grandmother did not sign any contract with him. The controversy resulted in the drop of Nas Daily’s likes on his Facebook page and subsequent suspension of operations of Nas Daily in the country.