By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 10, 2014
CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES – While many Filipinos in North America are busy trying to become Americans, a Canadian traveler who fell in love with the Philippines is doing the reverse.
Kyle Jennermann’s Youtube channel “#BecomingFilipino” has gone viral and is making people from around the world smile.
Watch Kyle Jennermann’s adventures on #BecomingFilipino
In his latest Youtube post, Kyle Jennermann’s smile is contagious as he sang the crab song in Tagalog, “Tong tong tong pakitong kitong/alimango sa dagat/malaki at masarap/kay hirap hulihin/sapagkat nangangagat.”
This Canadian who loves to smile and to share happiness around him, has one goal in mind: He wants to become a Filipino.
Known to many as “Kulas”, Jennermann said he moved his entire life to Cagayan De Oro about two months ago to follow his quest to become Filipino.
“I love the Philippines that much. I want to be here, I want to live here, I’m happy here,” he said. “The problem is, I thought the other day in reality that I can’t get a passport. I can’t become Filipino. It’s just impossible.”
So the 25-year-old Canadian took his quest to social media and asked this question:
“What can I do to be able say that I’m part Filipino? It would be an honor to be able to say that. Why don’t I ask you,” he said. “If you’re Filipino and you’re watching this, tell me what I can do. Tell me something that makes you Filipino that makes you proud of where you’re from.”
The result of his social media call is a feel-good amazing journey caught on Youtube that is making his viewers smile.
“I’m now holding a duck embryo called the balut,” said Jennerman as he chowed down a boiled duck egg. “Don’t tell my parents. It’s actually okay. It’s like a really good egg. Just don’t look at it.”
From riding a carabao to taking a top load jeepney ride, Jennermann said he will do almost anything to know what it’s like being Filipino.
He said, “You have to try top loading. It’s like riding a roller coaster.”
He has eaten all sorts of Filipino street food like taho, kwek-kwek, isaw, crispy fried kokak or frog, and even a cow testicle soup.
He has learned to dance the singkil and danced with the Tala-andig Tribe of Bukidnon.
His Tagalog and Bisaya are getting better, but he could sing them better in karaoke parties.
Jennermann may never become a full-fledged Filipino citizen, but he now feels that he is “Filipino” at heart and will continue to do so while living in the Philippines.
“Thank you, thank you for being such a kind, generous, caring giving, friendly happy culture,” he said.
“Thank you for being Filipino, for being a culture where friends aren’t just friends, we’re family. Where even strangers like myself are welcomed in by people. It’s just truly amazing.”
You may contact Don Tagala at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Why is it impossible for him to become Filipino? Is he a criminal?