Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Syrian vlogger cooks and distributes more than 1,000 chicken wings to Taal volcano victims

Philippines-based Basel Manadil stayed awake all night to prepare chicken kabsa which he handed out to those evacuated by the volcanic eruption

Basel Manadil stayed up all night making batches using a commercial rice cooker. Instagram / @thehungrysyrianwanderer
Basel Manadil stayed up all night making batches using a commercial rice cooker. Instagram / @thehungrysyrianwanderer

Syrian vlogger Basel Manadil has received high praise after he cooked over a thousand chicken wings and kabsa rice for victims of the Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines. In a video that has racked up 300,000 views since it was uploaded on Sunday, January 19, the vlogger, who goes under the handle The Hungry Syrian Wanderer, showcased how he went about buying supplies, cooking the food and distributing it.

“(This is) my first time ever to cook 1,103 pieces of chicken wings in one go,” the vlogger said in a post on YouTube.

Manadil prepared kabsa, a traditional Arab dish of rice and chicken. To cook the rice, he used Filipino rice instead of Basmati, and stayed up all night making batches using a commercial rice cooker. The dish was topped with nuts, cashews and Syrian dates. “I never cooked before I left Syria, so my mum would be so proud once she sees this,” he added.

The vlogger then drove around the Batangas Province and Taal region, distributing the food along with other care packages to those who had been affected by the volcanic eruption. The vlogger says it took him seven hours to prepare and cook the food, and another four hours to pack it. In the post that has since gone viral, he encourages others not to “wait for good things to happen”. “If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope. I just want to use this platform to help those who are in need and to send awareness. If I can do it, you can too. Spread kindness and positivity,” he wrote.

This is not the first time the vlogger, who is known for his humanitarian efforts, has been spotted assisting victims of the Taal Volcano eruption. Since the Taal started spewing ash and steam on Sunday, January 12, more than 70,000 people have had to be evacuated. Manadil gathered donations and relief supplies and drove to remote areas around Tagaytay city, distributing goods to those who had been affected.

The vlogger, who considers himself an “adopted son of the Philippines”, moved to the country at the age of 18 when war broke out in Syria seven years ago. Since then, he has settled in the Philippines, a country he loves for its “amazing people, delicious food and incredible islands.”

Updated: January 20, 2020 01:55 PM

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