Whang-Od did not consent to teach in Nas Academy — NCIP

Whang-Od did not consent to teach the Kalinga Art of Tattooing in Nas Academy, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) said in a statement released on Sunday.

Contrary to the video that Nas Daily released to show the famous mababatok signing a contract with them by affixing her thumb mark, the NCIP said she was "not aware of any contract and she did not affix her thumb mark in any contract for this account."

"No provision of the contract was explained or discussed to her or to her representative, or what was assured of her is external to the terms of the contract," the statement continued.

In Nas Daily's video, Whang-Od was accompanied by her niece Estella Palangdao, who "translated the content of the contract prior to Whang-Od affixing her thumbprint, signifying her full consent to the project," explained the Palestinian-Israeli vlogger.

But according to the NCIP release, "Palangdao stated that the provisions of the contract were not explained to them except that they were made to sign the contract of filming, interview, photography, and release of such."

The NCIP found the contract "was onerous to Whang-Od. It states that Nas Academy had exclusive ownership of any content that the show would produce including the likeness, image, voice, etc of Apo Whang-Od."

It also said there was "apparent disparity" between Whang-Od's thumb print on the contract and the thumb print that NCIP's validation team was able to obtain from her. "The same is now subject to further forensic study," the NCIP read.  

Nas Daily released the video after Whang-Od's grandniece Gracia Palicas slammed the Nas Academy for "taking advantage of our culture."


Whang-Od was among Philippine professionals that Nas Daily announced will be teaching an online class in the Nas Academy.

According to the Nas Academy website said the "104-year-old legend will reveal all her rituals, tools and methods for making traditional tattoos." It charged P750 for the course.

But shortly after news broke, Nas Academy removed the Whang Od course from its website. Later, Nas Academy announced it will be halting its Philippine operations.

The NCIP statement was based on personal interviews led by Regional Director Att. Marlon P. Bosantog on August 17.

— LA, GMA News