MANILA—He said he's all too familiar with the idea of being displaced and homeless, being from war-torn Syria.
That's why when Basel Manadil, a blogger with nearly 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, heard about the series of earthquakes that struck Mindanao last week, killing 23 people and leaving thousands in evacuation sites, he turned emotional.
In his latest blog, Manadil, who has been living in the country for more than 5 years now, said that hearing about the damage the quake caused made him immediately think of ways to help out.
The one he came up with was to buy 1,000 blankets and tents to send to those who survived but were left without their homes.
His vlog showed him going to Caloocan from Las Piñas and buying out a stall's stock of blankets and tents. He said that he prefers to not to buy from malls because he wants to help small vendors.
"My heart is with you and we're sending you prayers every day." Manadil told the quake victims, before promising them food and sacks of rice as additional things he plans to send.
This is not the first time Manadil, who goes by the name "The Hungry Syrian Wanderer," has helped Filipinos — his good deeds range from giving away thousands of candies to kids, to helping burn victims, to paying for a stranger's groceries.
According to his profile, Manadil said that he learned to love local culture after making the Philippines his home more than 5 years ago. He said that he plans to share to the world how amazing the country, its people, its food, and its tourist spots.