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  • Writer's pictureChristian Malnawa

“Apology accepted but probe continues in Congress” – Cong. Mangaoang on Nas Daily-Whang-od issue

Tinglayan, Kalinga – Although Kalinga elders accepted the apology of Nas Daily on the issue involving the supposed participation of Apo Whang-od in an online learning platform where she was supposed to teach the traditional art of tattooing by yKalingas, the investigation for the said matter will still be pursued in Congress.

Kalinga Lone District Representative Allen Jesse Mangaoang, the Chairman of the Philippine House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples, stated this through a Facebook post on Friday, October 22, 2021.

“On our part in Congress, the resolution I filed in calling for an investigation on the same issue will push through, as our output will be material in the legislations we are pushing for our IPs,” he said.

The supposed participation of the Philippines ’ oldest mambabatok alarmed the Kalinga community, particularly the Buscalan community as Whang-Od is a member of Kalinga’s Butbut Tribe that ‘owns’ the mambabatok tradition and that she cannot lay a sole claim on said traditional art. The IPRA law requires Nas Academy to acquire the consent of the entire indigenous community before pursuing their plan.

In relation to this, Grace Palicas, Whang-od’s niece has disclosed that when she spoke to Apo Whang-od, the oldest tattoo artist told her that she did not understand what the translators said during the contract signing which Nas Daily previously claimed that Whang-od has consented in the contract.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) - Cordillera has also conducted a review where they personally visited Buscalan, Tinglayan for an onsite investigation to determine whether the process of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) was done prior to the contract signing of Apo Whang-od.

The investigation revealed that Whang-od did not consent to teach tattooing on Nas Academy’s online platform and that she did not affix her thumb mark in any contract for this account.

Nas Daily’s Apology

The visit in Buscalan by NCIP Chairperson Allen Capuyan to put a closure to the alleged commercialization of Kalinga’s traditional art by Nas Daily facilitated the issuing of apology by the latter in which Buscalan and Kalinga elders accepted.

In their apology read by a representative of Nas Daily, they stated that their sole purpose was to showcase the culture and exemplary skills of the Filipino and with their belief that education is important and is needed to be enriched.

“Gusto po nating maipakita ang ganda ng Pilipinas at galing ng ating kultura subalit sa prosesong ito may mga bagay na hindi natin nagawa para sa komunidad na nagdulot ng hindi pagkakunawaan bagamat hindi po natin ito sinasasadya, nandidito po kami sa harapan ninyong lahat upang magpakumbaba, humingi po ng pasensiya sa kaguluhan na nangyari at sakit na naidulot namin sa komunidad kaya pasensiya na po talaga,” Nas Daily said.

“Kami po ay umaasa na sa aming pagpunta dito ay mabigyan ng kapatawaran at panibagong pagkakataon na magpakita na ang layunin po ng Nas Academy ay para sa Edukasyon. Nawa’y maging simbolo ito ng ating pagsasama sa bagong umaga at maipamalas natin ang kapayapaan sa isat-isa” they added.


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