CEBU, Philippines -- Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann, who is more popularly known as the vlogger behind the Becoming Filipino channel on video-sharing site YouTube, is a Canadian who considers the Philippines as his home.
With almost 500,000 subscribers on the video sharing platform and more than 100 million views collectively, Jennermann has explored most of the country than most Filipinos. In fact, he has been to 70 provinces in the Philippines and has traveled thousands of kilometers on the road on his trusty motorbike.
He has also traveled to 30 countries for work and leisure before stepping foot on Philippine shores in 2013. He has since fell in love with the country, has been living in Cagayan de Oro, and documented his travels and sharing them on YouTube.
As one of the most popular travel vloggers in the country, Jennermann has given numerous travel tips through his channel and social media accounts. More recently, he shared his passion for travel with the participants of Cebu Pacific's Juan for Fun 2019.
Along with other coaches, he shared important and practical insights about traveling during the send-off party held at Dusit Thani Mactan in Cebu.
Jennermann is one of the travel coaches of the annual event that exposes a select group of young people to the wonderful world of travel. The other coaches include travel writer Jude Bacalso, host and social media personality Joyce Pring, and actor and vlogger Mikael Daez.
The coaches mentored five groups of college-age Filipinos from all over the Philippines. This year, the budget airline selected young Filipinos who are passionate about personal advocacies, from agriculture promotion to protecting the country's endemic bird species.
One group is led by Bin Nur Maganhcong, who is from Marawi and is a survivor of the siege in 2017. These students from Mindanao State University are passionate about sharing their Maranao culture and debunking misconceptions about Mindanao and its people.
“We hope to further these passions by flying them to Philippine destinations that would be most relevant to their advocacy. Because this is with the goal that you guys come back seven days later raring to inspire others,” explained Cebu Pacific marketing director Michelle De Guzman.
The participants are currently on their one-week trip around the Philippines, which will culminate in Manila on Thursday, August 8.
Jennermann has these tips on becoming a good and responsible traveler.
1. SAY 'NO' TO PLASTIC
A topic Jennermann focused on during the mentoship was about island conservation. As a Juan Effect ambassador, he helps promote sustainable tourism by encouraging responsible traveling.
“This is the first time I think I've ever use the term 'no', possibly in my life. I'm using that term in a positive way. The reason why I want you you think about that, is because it is the easiest way that you guys can help with island conservation. And what do you mean by that? Well, you gotta learn how to say 'no,'” he shared.
He said that travelers should always know how to say “no” and refuse single-use plastic. Shops usually bag their products with plastic, while restaurants and vendors use plastic cups and straws.
He also reminded the participants that most islands in the Philippines have communities and travelers should remember to “pack out what you pack in” as these islands don't have proper waste management systems like most cities.
2. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
It's normal for travelers to have certain expectations on a particular place or destination, be it positive or negative.
For instance, Jennermann traveled to Boracay recently for the first time. He had certain expectations about the island, which were mostly negative.
“I've never been to Boracay and thinking about it now, because I've put these expectations, I know what Boracay's going to be like. It's going to be like a bunch of resorts, bunch of people, party on the beach. What a negative thing to have, putting expectations on a place,” he said.
To a certain degree, expectations can be proven true, but one's experience differs from another's. Negative expectations can also ruin a whole experience.
“Whenever I talk to people about Boracay, I actually hear very good things. Even prior to the cleanup, I still hear positive responses about Boracay. So it made me realize again, when you go somewhere and you have expectations, those are usually wrong,” he said.
3. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE GOES A LONG WAY
Aside from vlogging equipment like a camera and a phone (with a good camera), one of Jennermann's most important travel essentials is a good attitude.
He is known to have a cheerful disposition and always wears a smile. Having that joyful behavior became an asset for him and his travels around the Philippines. It's one characteristic he shares with Filipinos.
“Honestly for me, the only essential I really have is a good attitude. People forget that you don't actually need much with you to go and experience and enjoy another place besides the right kind of attitude and a little bit spending money. That's about it,” he said.