THE journey of Canadian vlogger Kyle Douglas Jennermann to becoming a Filipino has reached its final leg of the race with the approval of a Senate bill seeking to grant him Filipino citizenship.
ouse Bill (HB) No. 7185 was approved on third and final reading Monday, May 29, 2023. The measure was sponsored by Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino and co-sponsored by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senators Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Sonny Angara.
Jennermann, 35, popularly known as “Kulas,” came to live in the Philippines in 2013. His YouTube channel, “BecomingFilipino,” has inspired both foreigners and locals alike to travel and see the country’s stunning natural wonders and expose himself to cultures across the country.
“Kulas has dedicated his YouTube channel, ‘Becoming Filipino,’ to feature the Philippines’ natural beauty and promote the country’s culture and identity to the world. He traveled by scooter to a total of 80 provinces, actually more provinces than I have visited myself, and I have been a senator for many years, documenting his experiences and interactions and sharing them through his vlogs,” Zubiri said.
He said Jennermann loves the Filipinos, respects Philippine culture, and promotes the country’s natural beauty every chance he gets. “He is a better promoter of the Philippines than many of the people I know who do that for a living. Kulas was born and raised in Vancouver Island, Canada, but in almost ten years that he has spent in the Philippines, he has truly become Filipino,” Zubiri added.
Dela Rosa said “Jennerman has shown to the entire world what it truly means to become a Filipino not only [on] paper nor by birth, but by choice. He said Jennermann is revolutionizing the meaning of nationalism in this day and age; one social media post, one powerful message at a time.”
For his part, Tolentino said Jennermann has not only promoted the Philippines to the world, but he has also helped Filipinos in great times of need.
He said Jennermann has joined different outreach programs and government disaster response operations. He said Jennermann quit his job in Hong Kong and flew to Cagayan de Oro to pack relief goods at a Red Cross station after Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.
He assisted in setting up “One Tacloban,” which raised donations to provide relief to the people of Tacloban. Tolentino said Jennermann also led relief operations for Dinagat Island to help out Filipinos who were badly affected by Typhoon “Odette,” and more recently, he visited Upi in Maguindanao, an area severely affected by Typhoon “Paeng.”
“This just shows that being a Filipino does not always mean that you are born a citizen of the Philippines. Sometimes, embodying Filipino culture and values is enough to make you a Filipino,” Tolentino said.