To the editor of this newspaper,
I hope that you can give this piece some space in your straight-shooting newspaper.
I am a foreigner and by reason of family and business, I have been around for the past 15 years. I work with a global company and am married to a Filipina a Cordilleran with a thriving manufacturing and export business with a couple of hundred employees and pays quite a hefty amount of taxes. We also have 3 children all born in the Philippines.
I just cannot understand all the brouhaha surrounding the Apo Whang-Od tattooing teaching academy that appears to have morphed into out of this world cultural dimensions. I have taken pain in reading the netizens comments (not all, but a lot) and I must say they are truly revealing.
What exactly are the issues? I stand corrected and beg for your indulgence should I have misread/misunderstood the context of the whole incident. For those who may not be familiar with the issue, please do your soc med research. Yes it is already at the level of a substantial issue as the Filipinos and Igorots pride appears to have been pricked (whatever the understanding of national or cultural pride to a lot of netizens, I am astonished ).
Allegedly, Nas Daily entered into a contract to offer online teaching and/or a course on tattooing by Nas Daily Academy in partnership with Apo Whang-Od for a fee of P750. The exact details of the contract have not been divulged, I hope it will be. One of the relatives of Apo Whang-Od cries foul and says that it is a scam and that Apo Whang-Od never agreed to such. Can you imagine this sonnamagun Nas Daily engaging in such scheming interludes? This is just hilarious!
In his defense, Nas Daily shows a video showing Apo Whang-Od affixing her thumb mark in the presence of her relative to what is allegedly the contract for the venture.
Here comes the Netizen vultures as you call it in your country (mga sumasawsaw or tambays), screaming to the high heavens on the seeming cultural exploitation (among othrs) by Nas Daily.
According to numerous netizens (perhaps they are socio-anthropology big-wigs), theseare some of the issues: 1) Apo Whang-Od is forbidden from entering into a contract with respect to her tattooing skills as it is not hers alone but is owned in part be the community and tribe she belongs too. 2) Her affixing her thumb mark may not be valid as it did it not go through the process FPIC – Free , Prior and Informed Consent. To my mind this should be the only valid issues and not the other trashy comments raised on how Nas Daily videos as his making money of his soc media following, etc. Perhaps these netizens should be reminded of “Haters Only Hate The People They Can’t Be And The Things They Can’t Have”. There were indeed a lot of heavy words used by the netizens, some of which were “cultural exploitation”, “cultural misappropriation” up to “extortion,” etc.
Come on people, the FPIC is not a catch all! When an adult affixes her thumb mark (consent to a document) in the presence of a relative, that to my mind should be enough. If the relative failed to explain what the contract is all about then raise hell against the relative. So what and who is gonna be the next target, the next foreigner who prepares pinikpikan the non traditional way or the foreigner who butchers a pig or prepares recipe not your “cultural standards”? I can go on and on and cite more examples. Have you forgotten all the good videos Nas Daily has done for the Philippines that has certainly translated into positive image and tourist revenue for this country? Anyway, who needs this Arab Nas Daily? We can always depend on Xi Jin Ping and the over 1 billion Chinese for our tourism revenues with matching preferred labor and non labor work.
Some netizens even suggested that the NCIP should file complaints-cases against Nas Daily and declaring him as persona non grata. Jesus Christ! Why not just ban the guy from entering the Philippines? As you also say in your country, ayaw mo wag mo.
I rest my case.
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