Beauty queen-turned-TV host-actress Kylie Verzosa has belied the allegation of controversial Palestinean-Israeli video blogger Nas Daily over the achievement of Cacao Project founder Louise Emmanuelle De Guzman Mabulo.
Recall that following Nas’ “Whang-Od Academy scam,” Louise deemed the foreign online content creator “exploitative” and “fueling a neocolonialist narrative using our need for foreign validation.”
However, Nas said Louise supposed “inspiring story” is “fake news.”
Anyway, on Facebook, Miss International 2016 titleholder attested to Louise’s efforts, which gained her a Young Champion of the Earth recognition from the United Nations Environment Programme in 2019.
She was also featured on Forbes Asia’s “30 Under 30” in the Social Entrepreneurs category.
“I worked with Louise Dg Mabulo and her family back in 2019, they were nothing but nice and sweet and very hospitable to the MTV production team and I,” Kylie said, referring to Singapore’s “MTV Asia.”
According to her, they went to visit the plantation sites and she was able to talk to the farmers firsthand.
“They were very thankful for Louise and her program. Louise provided seeds and educated farmers on how to plant the most sustainable crop for her region, Cacao,” Kylie related. “She provided a program for the farmers that helped Bicol. I could attest that her program and her advocacy is in fact true.”
“Trees do take time to grow, but planting seeds of education will last forever,” she added.
“I think the question is when making content is the intention of the content itself, what are you making it for? The intent of MTV Generation Change which I admire, was to highlight Gen Z’s that had passion, drive and advocacy to help people that are often overlooked, like the farmers, and to inspire young people to do the same. Honestly, I admire young people like Louise, people who inspire change, have a sense of community and who’s purpose goes beyond herself.”
Aside from Kylie, MTV’s casting producer, Chris Nocon, also shared his two cents on the issue.
“It is not true that NAS DAILY is the only content creator from Singapore who flew to the Philippines to feature The Cacao Project. MTV Asia (Singapore) Generation Change went to Camarines Sur, exactly a week before you did that story,” he said. “I have behind the scenes photos of our shoot. NAS DAILY, please stop making false claims.”
Meanwhile, Nas recently released another statement, noting now it’s his turn to speak.
“…One day, unfortunately, we stumbled upon a fake story in the Philippines, which is the Cacao Project. On paper it was supposed to be a non-profit that helps farmers, in reality, it’s a for-profit, that exploits farmers,” said he.
“We said we cannot do this video, in good conscience, we cannot show you things that we are not confident of. And it wasn’t just us, every person who was on the trip agrees that this story may not be real. And this is the evidence…”
He said that they decided not to make that episode even if it would go viral.
“That decision pissed off a lot of people. ‘He didn’t eat our food,’ they said. ‘He insulted our farmers,’ they said. ‘He made fun of our accents.’ – these, of course, none of that are true, it is false, and people continued with this fake news. That same people say we used Whang-od, which is also false.”
Nas reiterated that in everything they do, they get permission.
“We worked with the family directly and got their consent. We made sure to support them during these difficult times. We did all of this as an act of support, not an act of exploitation,” he related. “I am angry, and you’re angry, and we hear each other. That’s why we pause Nas Academy, for now, to work with NCIP to make sure everything is legal and everything is okay because we care.”
He then talked about the one thing that his mother taught him – which is character.
“You cannot make fake news about our character. That is a red line, we are working with lawyers to set the record straight and let the truth come out,” he declared. “And don’t get me wrong, we’re not perfect. We make mistakes, but our intentions are pure.”
“From our side, nothing changes. We continue to support the Philippines. Over the next two years I am opening an office in the country and we’ll be creating hundreds of jobs, and we will continue to make videos that inspire. My only request is that when you make an opinion, you should not make it based on fake news, you should seek the truth and nothing but the truth.”