Video content creator Nas Daily is once again in hot water after the founder of The Cacao Project called him out on social media for allegedly mocking her language and accent, adding that the Arab-Israeli vlogger cared about nothing but “clickable” and “viewable” content. But it didn’t take long for Nas to respond to the accusations thrown at him on social media.
Louise de Guzman Mabulo said she broke her silence after two years in light of the recent controversy Nas Daily (whose real name is Nuseir Yassin) is facing.
Louise said she welcomed Nas Daily — who flew to the country to feature her story which earned recognition from the United Nations Environment Program — with warm hospitality. But she got disappointed for allegedly misleading his followers.
“My family took him and other content creators in as welcome guests— with typical hospitality we are known for. However in so little time, I was disappointed to learn that the man I’d looked up to for years was not the bearer of good news he’d misled his followers to believe he was,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Sharing what Nas said during the latter’s visit, she said: “I watched him imitate and mock the local accent and language, vocalizing Tagalog-sounding syllabic phrases saying it sounded stupid. He repeatedly said that the people of my hometown ‘poor,’ farmers are so poor!’ ‘why are Filipinos so poor?’”
She went on to call out Nas for allegedly being discriminatory towards her people and for allegedly having “no regard for local customs or cultures.”
“I’ve worked with journalists, documentary-makers, professors, who have seen my work, interviewed me, and even featured us, and have had no negative experiences that could ever brush up to what I saw that day,” she said.
She added: “Blatant discrimination of my people, no regard for local customs or cultures, and he’d built a story in his mind without meaningfully understanding the context of what he was going to cover. As a result, he was disappointed that my work wasn’t the perfectly packaged story he’d pre-determined and imagined— I mean what visual popcorn can you create out of a farm?”
She likewise called Nas “exploitative” and someone who fuels “a neocolonialist narrative.”
“I should have known better, that this man was exploitative and fueling a neocolonialist narrative using our need for foreign validation. I’ve stayed silent because I knew that I would face backlash for calling out on this man— after all, it’s easy to take Nuseir’s word over mine. And I’ve been haunted with the knowledge that he could manipulate years of my work with a single carelessly misinformed video— I chose to stay silent about it. I would not risk my hometown, and the farmers here who benefit, over an affront by some influence,” she said.
See the full post below:
Nas Daily responds
Nas Daily then immediately responded to Louise’s accusations, saying he also held his silence for the past two years out of respect for her.
According to Nas, he and his team were tricked into believing that Mabulo indeed revolutionized the cacao industry in the Philippines.
“We spent two days flying and we were very excited for your story of how you
‘revolutionized the cacao industry in your province’ according to the Internet. We know the ‘story’ already, so that's why we flew in to come to meet you,” she said.
He went on: “To my biggest sadness and surprise, your story was not true on the ground. Once we arrived at your plantation, once we saw the village and talked to the farmers, we came to the conclusion that there is no story here. That the awards on the Internet are just that...awards.”
“Our investigation has made it clear that your story in the media is false. And that there are no ‘200 farmers’ that you work with, and there are no Cacao plantations that you don't personally profit from,” he continued.
Apparently, the cacao project is not a social enterprise but rather a “family business” from which she “profits from.”
“The Cacao project you mentioned is a family business which you profit from,” Nas said. He added: “I flew back to Singapore disappointed. But of course, I didn't want to hurt you. I would never want to do that. I flew in to support you in the first place.”
“Nas, I didn’t want to validate your post with a response, but I’m not sorry to say we’re doing well, and launching our own chocolates soon. Our farmers are well and real and are either blissfully unaware of you or enjoying this exchange over a cup of hot chocolate or coconut water. I will not take advice nor criticism, especially when you clearly don’t understand Filipino farming and culture, or refuse to,” she said.
Louise’s father, the Mayor of San Fernando, Camarines Sur, Fermin Mabulo, has also spoken up on the issue.
He said they told Nas that they have “nothing much to show” since the trees are “still on a flowering stage.”
“In October of 2019, my daughter Louise De Guzman Mabulo received a phone call from a man who introduced himself as Nussier of Nas Daily. He was asking if he could feature Louise in his vlog,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“Louise asked what he wanted to show since her venture is still just starting, her cacao trees are still on a flowering stage and we have nothing much to show. He said he needed content so he insisted on coming over and since we were then huge fans of his daily videos, we agreed for him to come over,” he added.
“During breakfast at the hotel, Nas was busy trying to come up with a script on how to present his content. Louise told him to see the farm first because his script may not be consistent with the reality on the ground,” he added.
“Nas wanted to present the vlog in such a way that it will garner the most views, likes, and shares. He even said that anything he posts with the Philippines in it is sure to get at least a million likes. So he thought of presenting Louise as The Chocolate Lady from the Philippines,” he continued.
“But Louise said her venture is not yet at that stage. We’re still in the process of propagating the cacao trees. The content he wanted is still few years in the making,” he remarked.
When they told Nas the highlight should be on the farmers, the vlogger allegedly refused and said he doesn’t care about them.
“Louise wanted to highlight the farmers and not just herself. But Nas said, ‘who cares about the farmers?’ That’s when we lost interest in the whole thing that he's trying to do,” the Mayor said.
“His intended content is inconsistent with the realities on the ground. We were very transparent about what we showed him but he was looking for something else,” the Mayor added.
“He even said to me ‘Mr. Mayor we have a problem! We do not have content!’ I replied, ‘We don't have a problem, you have a proble,’” he said.
The plot thickens
A guy named Keb Cuevas who personally knows Louise backed Nas’s claims about The Cacao Project not being a social enterprise.
Keb, in a Facebook post, wrote: “When she defended her Cacao Project before in class, I asked: ‘So who owns the land?’ Sabi niya sila. I asked then: ‘How is that a social enterprise?’ She did not answer. In short... it’s not.”
But it didn’t take long before a guy named Jim Leandro called out Keb for allegedly being self-righteous, saying the latter takes advantage of farmers as well.
“Ang lakas mang call out ng ‘isang social enterprise’ sa ibang social enterprise, eh kung san ikaw nga mismo maraming kagaguhan at pag take advantage ng mga farmers and ibang tao ah,” Jim wrote in his post.
He added: “Not to mention fake iyong pinagyayabang mong ‘double degree in agriculture and business management’ from UPLB. The BS Agribusiness and Management of CEM-UPLB is not a double degree program. And you call yourself a Chief Agriculturist when you're not even a licensed agriculturist from PRC. Hello, #notthegirl?”
But Keb was quick to deny the claims about him, saying he is “confident” about his actions.
“I categorically deny malicious claims about me. I did not attack anyone, what I did was ask a question, share my experience, and share my thoughts. But before this goes overboard, I have sent a message to the person who put out a post about me. I have reached out and will answer their concerns outside social media. If they won't respond, that's beyond me. I am confident about my actions, and I am not worried as my intentions are always pure,” Keb said.
Another vlogger backed Nas’s claims about Louise and said the media had exaggerated their coverage on The Cacao Project.
“I commented earlier to his post about Louise and I agree on what everything he said on his post kase totoo at alam ko ang nangyare kase ksama nila ako that time sa Bicol. Exaggerated ang mga nasa news pero wala kami nadatnan on what we’re expecting na makita, puro seedling lang at maliliit na cacao,” Lost Juan said.
While he admitted that Nas was nice to him during his early days, he accused the vlogger of eventually using him.
“All in all malaki na ang pinagbago nya, hindi ko na siya kilala as a friend na nakilala ko before. Hindi ko sinasabing ginamit lang ako pero parang ganun na nga. But as I said ako naman nagkusa tumulong, ‘yun nga lang naabuso at napag-iwanan sa ere nung ako na ang nangailangan ng tulong,” the guy said.