MANILA -- Nas Academy recently reached out to Whang-Od amid the controversy surrounding the traditional tattoo artist's online course on the learning platform.
The company founded by vlogger Nuseir Yassein, more popularly known as Nas Daily, visited Whang-Od in Kalinga last Friday for a "customary reconciliation process" with the aid of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Representing Yassein is Jacqueline Lim, who is head of Nas Academy Philippines.
"Our genuine focus is on education, and our efforts to showcase the culture of the Butbut tribe [were] misunderstood," Lim said. "At that moment, [we said] 'Okay, let us schedule this visit. Let us find a way to get there, weather and lockdown restrictions permitting.'"
"We are very grateful to have had this opportunity to clarify and to share our intentions, which was to make sure that education is shared in the Philippines," she added.
Last August, Whang-Od's grandniece called out Nas Academy for being a "scam," saying that the artist did not sign any contract to do a tattoo course.
In response, Nas Academy uploaded a video of Whang-Od affixing her thumbprint to a document, which is said to be her contract with the online learning platform.
NCIP later stepped in to do a review, and found that "Whang-od did not consent or was made aware to teach the art of traditional tattooing in Nas Academy." It added that the so-called contract was "grossly onerous" to the artist.
Nas Academy reiterated that its contract with Whang-Od is legitimate. But during the visit to Kalinga, the learning platform affirmed that the deal is null and void as its way of "respecting the wishes of the tattoo artist's Butbut tribe."
"Nas Academy is grateful to Apo Whang-Od and the Butbut tribe for accepting its humble efforts of reconciliation," it said.