Almost everyone and their aunt have spoken about Nas Daily’s most recent controversy. In a now-deleted Facebook post, Grace Palicas of Buscalan, Kalinga, the niece of the world-famous traditional tattoo artist Whang-Od, claimed that Nas Daily is taking advantage of their culture by publishing a course on the art of traditional Kalinga tattoos, which was not authorized by Whang-Od.
I think it’s a good thing that many have come to the defense of Apo Whang Od and our indigenous culture. But I think the backlash is not enough. We need to get rid of these influencers from our daily media diets.
It’s about time that we stop obsessing over what foreigners have to say about our food, our English, our celebrities. We should all stop giving these Pinoy-baiting content creators our precious viewing minutes. We don’t need to support people who claim to be a force for good when they are all after money.
As for Nas Daily, it looks like this is the first controversy he’s ever been in. (Rappler published an article yesterday about this.) People like him who have questionable moral principles shouldn’t be given a platform to influence an audience anyway, but here we are.
As for the content of the course itself, here’s what blogger The Cordilleran Sun has to say:
I think we’re very fortunate that we (non-members of the Butbut tribe) get to experience their traditions. Let’s just be thankful that we were given the opportunity to learn more about their culture. I hope this conversation results in more support for our indigenous groups and more legal protection for their cultural properties. Let’s not allow more Nas Dailies in the future to repeat this affront to our people’s culture.
(On a personal note: Yes, I feel very, very strongly about this. If you’ve known me for a long time, or you’ve been a long-time follower of this blog, you’d know that I feel a deep affinity for Igorot culture, especially that of the Butbut tribe.)
That’s all, thanks for coming to my TED talk haha.
Update: UP Baguio professor and author Analyn Salvador-Amores wrote about this issue in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I recommend reading this article.