Wow, Jimmy Sieczka sure created a lot of publicity and got his 15 minutes of fame on his short video known as “20 Things I Dislike About the Philippines” video. He was very likely the most hated foreigner to live in the Philippines in history, at least in the last 5 years.

As usual, it is really hard to determine what is fact and fiction in all of this. Is Jimmy still in Cebu or has he already returned to the USA? Recent reports in the press refer to him as a Cebu based American. Earlier it was that he is no longer here.  Is Jimmy real? I have my doubts.

Is Jimmy Sieczka Real or an Actor?

If he released this while he is still here, he really doesn’t understand the Philippines at all. I had come to the conclusion that he didn’t really exist. That he was an actor.  I’m still not convinced one way or another. He does have a profile on Channel Fx.  But the film doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to Micheal Goodman causing me to believe that Jimmy was merely an actor. I was about to write an article in that direction. Then I found a statement on Channel Fx released by “Jimmy” about four hours ago:

The  following is my official statement regarding the “20 Reasons” video that I hosted:

I, James Sieczka have  considered the Philippines as my second country and Cebu as my second home. The subject video that was aired was made in good faith and as a legitimate and reasonable execise of my right, “freedom of expression”.

There was no intention to scrutinize the city nor the people that governs the same. It’s an honest observation and opinion that I myself think needs to be worked on not just specifically in Cebu. These are little things that we see around us as normal people and from the eyes of an ordinary man like me. But from all that’s happening and me just trying to exercise my freedom of speech, I am very open and amenable for an apology, on the manner and means that I exercise my right, if the need presents itself.

As a sign of my compliance with the duly authorized authority and rule of law, I am not ashamed to apologize to people that I offended in the process with the hope that you would reconsider in declaring me” persona non grata”‘

Sincerely, James Sieczka

Looking at Jimmy’s profile on Channel Fx it appears he is still in Cebu City. The activity on this profile started on Tuesday. Is it reallly Jimmy? We have no way to know that. It doesn’t have his picture on it.

So he’s a serious film maker that didn’t have a profile on this site for budding film makers until he became well known. I find that very hard to believe. It is becoming harder for me to show respect for Jimmy because I’m not at all convinced he is real.  I don’t know, it seems he is but this could be attempts to keep the interest in the film going.

I remain completely unconvinced this man is actually known by the name of Jimmy Sieczka. But he may very well be but I can’t find him on FaceBook or YouTube either.

What is 20 Things I Dislike About The Philippines Really About?

The maker of the video released two videos. One about liking the Philippines and one about not liking the Philippines. I can’t display the videos in this page because they are both auto play. Both will play at the same time so I will have to settle for links to the videos

20 Things I Dislike About the Philippines

20 Reasons  I Love the Philippines

Clearly some of the things that Jimmy doesn’t like the guys in other video does like. Yes, they may just have a more positive attitude but I don’t see this as a matter of who is right or wrong.

I probably won’t write about this again but I will continue to follow it. I really am curious if this guy is real or an actor. I’m still leaning toward actor. That official statement looks like it came from a lawyer. Actually, it looks like someone trying to make it look like it came from a lawyer. It even has a spelling error in it. I don’t buy it.

I think it would be better to keep your mouth closed than to say you might say your sorry if there is a need. To say I’m not sorry I did it but I’m sorry I offended someone might be best left unsaid.

Jimmy, you do not have the right to freedom of expression when in the Philippines.  You’ve been living here for three years and don’t know you can be thrown out of the country for insulting a Filipino? I don’t think it is likely to happen in a situation like this but he seems to be unaware of it.

If a guy is so wrapped up in himself that he is not aware of the world around him, I can see how that could happen. I think most people that have lived here for three years would not make a video like this. I think they’d know this would be a result if it became known.

I’m not ready to believe it.  I’m not ready to believe he is anything other than an actor and I think the film maker, Michael Goodman gathered a lot of attention to his work. I think he has something good to say about people.

Jimmy Sieczka Dislikes the PhilippinesIt shows how different people take a look at the same place, one likes it and one doesn’t. The one that doesn’t like it isn’t a very unlikable character. He is condescending and superior while the guys that do like it they are easy going and almost taking on the characteristics of “hippies” from the last 60s.

I’m not willing to judge Jimmy though, not based on one video. If it is really a sincere video meant to reflect negatively towards the Philippines then it was poor judgement and I think is more of a reflection on him rather than Cebu.  But we shouldn’t have to be expected to like something. Jimmy shouldn’t be excepted to like something. Perhaps he should be expected to show respect in a culture that is so much about respect. Jimmy doesn’t strike me as someone that has lived in the Philippines for three years.

What I take from the two videos is that how people see the Philippines and in general life is based on what is directly between our ears. Some love it, some hate it and they should be able to have their opinion.  Personally, I would rather be the kind of person that likes the things that others dislike. It is far less stressful, makes for a happier and fuller life. I think Michael Goodman had a point to make but I think it had little to do with the Philippines.

By Rusty Ferguson

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