Basel Manadil, famously known as The Hungry Syrian Wanderer, addressed the allegations thrown at him about the viral Korean street vendor in an emotional hour-long vlog.
In a series of videos posted on the YouTube channel of a man named Bobby who claims to be a friend of Mr. Chang, he can be seen discrediting the help Basel has been extending to the Korean street vendor.
According to Basel, he decided to help Mr. Chang — whom he calls “Abeoji” — because he sees him as a family and considers him his own father. But more than that, he said he pities the Korean national for all that it has gone through — including losing millions of money.
“For him, being 78 years old, I was feeling that I have the father figure that’s near me. That’s you know — by my side. So I felt that he was my father. So at first, I felt pity for him because he’s a Korean vendor selling in the streets, doesn’t have any money, doesn’t have income, lost 300 million pesos,” he said.
“I got affected. I felt pity for him. Just like all of you are. So what I tried to do is to help him out. So he started being close with me, I invited him to my birthday, I invited him to my house, I invited him to my condo, I invited him to eat with me, I invited him to many Korean buffets, I brought him to many Korean restaurants, I brought him to Filipino restaurants,” he added.
Apart from helping financially, Basel said he even allowed Mr. Chang to eat at his restaurant whenever it wants to.
“I brought him to YOLO. I informed my staff that if Abeoji comes to YOLO Retro Diner, he can eat, he can drink for free, and all of my staff can be a witness to that. I was always supporting him, helping him out, on and off camera, mga tao. So I was doing really, really a lot for him,” Basel said.
The drama between Basel and “Abeoji” started when a YouTuber who claimd to be a fan of The Hungry Syrian Wanderer made a video with the Korean vendor. The YouTuber then promised to give all his earnings from the video to the latter. To Basel’s surprise, Abeoji claimed that he didn’t receive even “100 pesos” from “somebody” which Basel believes to be referring to him.
“When I watched that video, I just held my head like that and I said ‘Why? Why, Abeoji?’ Like why are you doing that to me? You know that I helped you a lot. And when I say a lot, way off camera than on camera. And the funny thing here is I’m just not talking. I have evidence, but I don’t upload everything. I don’t show everything to people,” he said.
While he got hurt over what he saw in the video of the Filipino YouTuber, Basel said he has nothing against the Pinoy vlogger.
“I do a lot of help, I show some. I don’t show everything. So I got hurt, I got affected. And let me explain to you … first of all, I don’t have any problem with the Filipino YouTuber. To be honest with you, I invited him to YOLO Retro Diner and we had a meeting. I explained to him Abeoji did this to me … many things. I showed him evidence — videos, e-mail,” he said.
He went on: “That Filipino YouTuber, after we had the meeting, he asked me: ‘What should I do? Should I expose him?’ I told him ‘No, hold on. I don’t want people to bash him. I don’t want him to get hated by people. So after I explained everything to the Filipino YouTuber, and I showed him everything … evidence, videos of me helping Abeoji off-camera. Still, after I exposed Mr. Chang to the Filipino YouTuber, for him to stop mentioning me and talking bad about me. Because I told him you have to be responsible.
“He still chose to film with Abeoji, make a video with him and just acts like nothing has happened. And I didn’t even talk to him and claimed to be one of my supporters. After you knew everything and after all that I’ve shown you, you wouldn’t do what you did,” he continued.
Basel said he would even go to Abeoji’s house from time to time to help clean his place. And he even bought him home appliances — including a refrigerator.
“I went to Abeoji’s house. I cleaned his house many times. I brought my stuff to clean his house many times. We [did] a makeover of his house many times. We bought him wallpaper, we bought him a refrigerator, appliance, dining table, chair … everything. I cleaned his house. I cleaned it one time. But after that, I cleaned it many times. I brought my staff and my staff can be a witness of that.” he said.
But Bobby — who started doing vlogs with Abeoji when the Korean national started getting famous — kept claiming in his vlogs that Basel did not actually do anything for him.
“What they are doing is they mess up his room just like Abeoji’s style and I was shocked. That’s one of the red flags that I had on him. He keeps on messing up his room, throwing stuff on the floor, all over the place. So what’s happening guys is we started bonding together. So I always visit him at his house. And that’s the time I noticed every time I fixed his house, his room, it gets messy the next day,” he said.
Exposing what he believes were the real intentions of Abeoji and Bobby, he said: “What I realized is he’s doing it on purpose to bring YouTubers or people who are filming to show his room and the status of his room and the show to the people that my room is messy. Now, for Bobby, the guy with him … he’s saying ‘Why the situation of Mr. Chang is like that?”
He added: “Why Basel is not helping him? ‘Di ba you were there? Why don’t you help him yourself? Why don’t you clean his room? What are you waiting for me to do that? I’m doing my best to help him, support him financially. But you? What are you doing? You’re only discrediting me, talking bad about me.”
Answering allegations thrown at him, Basel addressed Abeoji, saying: “You came to me and wanted intentionally to be on my vlogs because you said it’s helping you to get famous and you say people love you for who I made you look like. I didn’t show your negative or bad behavior. I only showed the positive side in you and it helped you even in your selling noodles in the street. People stop to buy because you are Abeoji. So I helped you way bigger than just 7,000 or 10,000 pesos. So I helped you a lot.”
“I didn’t make a statement that I’ll be giving you daily salary from YouTube, but I was doing that off-camera. I was helping you with your noodles, buying stocks, delivering your signages, dropping you to pick up your money from the people who are selling your noodles. All these things I was doing them off-camera,” he said.
Sharing some of the things that he has done for Abeoji, he said: “He started with one store, and then when we became together, he has four or five stores in different locations. So I helped him a lot. Where do you think that money comes from?”
Basel also added that he offered to give Mr. Chang allowance, but the latter refused to accept money from him because he wants to gain fake sympathy from the public, according to Mr. Chang.
In the same video, Basel showed a video of Mr. Chang paying his noodle supplier 50,000 pesos which Basel lent him — contrary to claims that he won’t give him money.
Watch the video below:
Basel said he stopped talking to Abeoji last December 23 and since then, the Korean street vendor has started meeting people and talking bad about him.
On why he keeps on featuring Abeoji on his vlogs, he said: “What I’m trying to prove in here, I have nothing to use him. I don’t need him on my channel. I don’t need him in my life. I needed him because I just let him stick by my side because he told me that he’s my father.”
He added: “So I just let him get close to me because that’s how he made me feel. He made me feel like I’m his son. And if he thinks I’m using him for views, what about all these times that I gave you thousands of pesos but I never vlogged it, I never showed it.”