By Carmela Martinez
He may be a Syrian by blood, but his heart appears to be more of a Filipino.
Such is the case of Basel, a vlogger who migrated to the Philippines and now vlogs about country’s food and places under the name “The Hungry Syrian Wanderer.”
In his Facebook page, he narrated his desire to donate rice – bought directly from farmers – for the victims of the recent Mindanao quakes.
“I drove North for 3 hrs and ended up in Floridablanca, Pampanga,” Basel, who now writes Filipino very well, said in the Facebook post.
There he met a 71-year-old farmer and he bought all the rice that was up for sale.
“Pinakyaw ko na ang lahat ng panindang bigas ni Tatay (I bought all the rice sold by Tatay),” he said, addressing him as father as an expression of endearment.
The vlogger then hailed the rice farmers: “Mga tunay na BAYANI! Kung wala sila, wala tayong pagkain sa mesa. Saludo po ako sa mga local farmers,”
The Hungry Syrian Wanderer’s act caught the attention of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
In its Facebook page, PhilRice featured him for choosing to buy rice from the local farmers.
“LOOK! Isang Syrian vlogger, pinakyaw ang panindang bigas ng isang magsasaka sa Pampanga,” Philrice said in the FB post.
“TAYO, bilang mga Pilipino, ay dapat rin bumili ng bigas direkta sa ating mga magsasaka,” it added.