A digital learning platform, Nas Academy headed by best known Nas Daily, has broken its silence on the controversy surrounding its paid online course under Apo Whang-Od’s name, which was earlier called by a relative of the tattoo legend a “scam”. Following claims by Whang Od’s relative and protege Gracia Palicas that her grandmother did not sign any contract with Nas Daily for a masterclass priced at P750. Nas Academy released a statement to “set the record straight” in a Facebook post on Thursday, August 5, 2021.
They approached Whang-Od, the oldest-living tattoo artist in the Philippines, for the said course because “We wanted to share her culture for future generations to appreciate and respect the ancient Kalinga tradition of mambabatok. So we pitched to her family the idea of creating Whang-Od Academy. She and her family present both loved this idea, and have worked WITH US to build it, with Whang-Od teaching herself,” Nas Academy said.
Attached with the statement is a 22-second clip of Whang-Od doing the fingerprint signature, being accompanied by a relative and a supposed translator. “This is the clearest evidence that it is not a scam and achieved the consent of her and her immediate family,” it added. Whang-Od and her family will profit from the traditional tattoo tutorial, the online learning platform added “40% of Nas Academy is made up of Filipinos. So for us, this is personal. We care deeply about the Philippines and respect the many cultures and traditions that exist across the country. And we have all come together to make the world a better place.”