The House Committee on Justice on Wednesday, Feb. 1, approved a proposed measuring seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to Canadian travel vlogger Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann, who had been staying in and traveling around the country for the last decade.
House Bill (HB) No. 1764, or “An Act Granting Filipino Citizenship to Kyle Jennermann, with all the rights, privileges and prerogatives appurtenant thereto,” authored by Biñan Lone District Rep. Marlyn Alonte passed the deliberations by the House panel, which also approved the committee report.
In approving the proposed measure, committee chairperson Negros Occidental 4th District Rep. Juliet Marie de Leon Ferrer reminded Jennermann of the responsibilities of being a Filipino citizen.
“I just want to remind Mr. Jennermann as Congressman Rufus (Rodriguez) said, Philippine citizenship should not be easily given,” she said.
“If Congress would give you that, then we are hoping that you will make a commitment, that you will not be a burden to the country, that you will not commit any crimes, that you will be a good citizen and you will not make us regret for granting this citizenship here in Congress,” Ferrer added.
Jennermann promised to make the Philippines proud by dint of his good conduct and worthwhile achievements.
“That what excites me the most is getting older here and looking back and knowing that I’m going to make everybody proud. I really believe that,” he replied.
This came after the Tourism Board Promotions (TBP) had tapped him to become the Philippines’ tourism ambassador.
During the hearing on the proposed measure, the vlogger said that the Philippines shaped his life and expressed a “connection” with the country and Filipinos.
“I’ve grown deeply deeply immersed with this country as a person. Whether you like it or not, the Philippines will be a part of my life. It shaped me who I am as a human, as a person,” he added.
The Canadian, who has 224,000 followers on Instagram (@becomingfilipino) and more than a million on his YouTube channel BecomingFilipino, has traveled to 81 out of 82 provinces, except only for Sulu.
He documents these travels on his YouTube channel and promotes them on social media, showing the culture, heritage, and traditions of the Philippines through food and his interactions with ordinary Filipinos.
Nicknamed “Kulas” by one of the 'manongs' (Filipino word for 'elders') he encountered during his travels, Jennermann first came in the country 10 years ago when he was 24 years old.
At 34 and having stayed in the country for 10 years, Jennermann said he felt a “connection” with Filipinos in real life and online and he would continue to be a “positive influence” to them.
The proposed measure would give Jennermann “all the rights, privileges, and prerogatives” of being a Filipino citizen.
The bill noted that the vlogger would also have “duties and obligations” under the Constitution and existing laws.
“Kyle Jennermann is a Canadian national who found himself enamored with the Philippines he firmly believes that the world would be a better place to live if people around the world make the Philippines a part of their lives in one way or another,” the bill’s explanatory note said.
“In view of Kyle Jennermann's contributions to the promotion of Filipino culture and identity to the rest of the world, the immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought,” it added.
On YouTube, one of his most popular video with 10 million views was about the Filipino bamboo cannon or lantaka.