If you think you’ve heard the last of the Nas Daily versus Louise Mabulo saga, the man behind the content platform took to Facebook again Monday morning to say he’s not done just yet.
In a video entitled “Be Careful of Fake Posts,” Nuseir Yassin addressed his followers to say that there has been a lot of fake news going around about Nas Daily over the past week. That people have called him a liar, and someone who hates the Philippines, among other things.
Nas Daily in the PH
He went on to tell the story of how his platform started doing videos in the country. He said that in 2017, while producing his one-minute daily videos in Thailand, he started getting messages from Filipinos inviting him to visit the Philippines. Have a taste of our street food! We have a lot of fiestas! See our tarsier!
Eager to find out what the Philippines was about, the vlogger got on a plane and the minute he arrived “fell in love.” His energy—a kind of jumpy, MTV excitement—matched with ours, or so he claims. And so he assembled a first meet-up with his Philippine fans and started making videos about the country and it’s people.
Judging from the kinds of videos Nas Daily posts on Facebook, Yassin is always on the lookout for unique, inspiring stories: there’s the one about the lady who turned her dead friend’s ashes into diamonds; the one about Illac Diaz turning plastic water bottles into a light source; and the one about the man who owns one million cigarettes in his basement which he then turns to art. Yassin’s stories about the Philippines, he says, “showed the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.” Looking straight at the camera and talking to his Filipino fans, he says without blinking, “And together we told the story of the Philippines.”
To prove that his attachment to the country was not just a passing fascination, Yassin says he came back a year later to start a company here, and worked on an app launched in the country as well. He says he initiated outreach efforts during times of calamities, that he was on the ground in Marawi to look for inspiring stories to share.
Yassin also brings up the recognition he got from the Department of Tourism in the Philippines in February 2019, for his work promoting the country to his fans all over the world.
“I am angry”
He denies the accusations of clickbaiting, surely a response to Louise Mabulo’s accusation that “He didn’t care about making change or shedding light on real issues— he only wanted content, a good, easy story to tell that would get him more Filipino views.” Mabulo, the chef and social entrepreneur behind The Cocoa Project, also claimed in her statement that, during Nas Daily’s visit to her farm, Yassin joked “that all he needed was to put ‘Philippines’ in the title, and he’d rack in millions of views and the comments would come flooding with brainless ‘Pinoy pride’ comments.”
Furthermore, Yassin also denies taking advantage of the cultural icon Whang-Od.
The 104-year old tattoo artist’s grandniece posted a statement on Facebook last week saying Whang-Od did not sign any contract with the Nas Academy platform. The Kalinga tattoo artist was supposed to teach a series of classes on the ancient art of tattooing via Nas Academy. The video and information promoting the class on the platform’s website were taken down following the Facebook post from Gracia Palicas. Yassin says they worked with Whang-Od’s family directly for the video, got their consent, and even made sure to support them. “We did all of these as an act of support, not an act of exploitation,” says Yassin.
“I am angry and you are angry and we hear each other,” he adds.
Yassin says Nas Academy is on hold for the moment while they work with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples who earlier said they will investigate if there was indeed informed consent between Nas Academy and Whang-Od. Yassin says his group wants to make sure “everything is legal and everything is okay because we care.” He adds that they are working with lawyers “to set the record straight and let the truth come out.”
In closing, the Arab Israeli vlogger says he will continue to support the Philippines and claims Nas Daily will open an office in the country in the next two years that “will be creating hundreds of jobs.” The Nas Daily Facebook page lost half a million followers last week, according to this Rappler report, after the Whang-Od controversy blew up.