The Hungry Syrian Wanderer opened up for the first time about his decision to become a Filipino — and what he thinks about Filipino women in general.
In an interview with Toni Gonzaga, Basel Manadil— who recently became a full-fledged Filipino — revealed what made him decide to become a naturalized citizen of the Philippines.
While he is now a Filipino, he said he will never the fact that he was born a Syrian.
“First of all, I will not deny the fact that I am a full-blooded Syrian. Because if you deny your origin, you can’t be loyal anymore. I don’t deny that I’m a full-blooded Syrian. I was born in Syria and I fell in love with the Philippines,” he said.
Despite the opportunities that came his way, Basel said he chose to stay and live in the Philippines for good because of his love for the country.
“Why did I convert to Filipino? I chose to live here. So, I was offered after graduation to go to France, to go live with my brother, with my father and just an instant opportunity to work because my brother has a connection there. And it was a hard decision that I made,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, he also shared his struggles to live independently in the country even though he came from a well-off family in Syria.
“I refused because I wanted to make my own money and that’s the reason why I started applying for a job. The reason why I started applying for a job was not that my family just wants me to work or because I needed to. It’s just that I felt I needed to be independent, asking no money, no allowance from my family because I want to be a grown man,” he said.
He got denied while applying for several jobs multiple times.
“So, I started looking for a job and I got denied [because I was not a Filipino citizen]. I was doing sidelines. I do translations because I speak Arabic, I speak English,” he said.
On what he feels now that he is a full-fledged Filipino, he said: “It’s amazing, of course. It’s good. I mean, for me, I don’t feel that I’m a foreigner. But until this moment, if I speak Tagalog, they laugh at me ‘Ah, marunong ka pala.’”
Basel added that he feels happy to have given job opportunities to many Filipinos.
“This is where I feel at home. And not only that, I have a life here. I mean, I created many jobs for many Filipinos. As of this moment, I have like 40 employees who work for me,” he said.
“You’ll ready feel like this is my home. This is where I belong to. Even though whatever nationality you have, you will adopt,” he remarked.
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In the same interview, Basel also shared what attracts him the most about Filipina women.
“They’re cute. My sister, she’s as tall as me. I like cute. Easy to hold, easy to hug, easy to carry,” he said.
He also described Filipino women as caring, saying: “Very caring. When you get sick, you’re already fine.”
Sharing what he usually looks at a girl first, he said: “Of course, the face, the eyes, the lips.”