Taylor Kitsch’s excellent Indonesian adventure

So Taylor Kitsch could not tell one Third World southeast Asian nation from another. That’s enough for Filipinos to get up to their usual hollowheaded call to arms over yet another perceived slight against their much-vaunted “pride”. Pride in what exactly? Well know, there’s an unanswered million dollar question if there ever was one. But that’s another story.

Kitsch had the misfortune of relating on the Late Show with David Letterman what in hindsight was a hilarious misadventure after being stopped by a customs officer in what he thought was the Philippines…

“You know it’s gonna be good when that guy’s calling you over,” Kitsch said.

Kitsch claimed that in customs “everyone was smoking” and, despite having a work visa, he was told he was being sent back to Japan because his passport had no more pages to stamp.

Though the tale would have, in any case, been entirely plausible had it actually happened in the Philippines, it had in fact happened in Indonesia. Indonesian deputy minister for justice Denny Indrayana confirmed the incident happened in Indonesia, and that the offending customs officer had been identified. Now Philippine authorities are demanding an apology

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

“We believe that Taylor Kitsch made an erroneous statement which demeaned our country and an apology would be a proper decent response,” Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters.


That was the movie Kitsch was reportedly on his way to film, by the way. I just thought I’d mention it.

Along with Indonesia, the Philippines is renowned for its corrupt customs officials. In late February, customs clerk Paulino Elevado’s being an owner of a Porsche raised eyebrows after he shot at another motorist over a traffic altercation prompting Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile to “urge” the Philippine government to conduct “lifestyle checks” on all employees of the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs.

Just the same, ask any ordinary Filipino if they will be able to tell the difference between a Norwegian and a Swede and chances are all you will get in response is a bit of head-scratching. Not that many Filipinos even know where Norway and Sweden are located to begin with. I’d let Kitsch’s minor oversight slide. But that’s just me and my healthy ego talking.

9 Replies to “Taylor Kitsch’s excellent Indonesian adventure”

  1. I never heard of Taylor Kitsch until the Noynoying government mentioned about the incident; and when I learned a bit more about it, I scratched my head. So what was that all about again? The guy made an honest mistake of mistaking Indonesia for the Philippines. And the idiot masa crowd makes big drama out of it.

    Reminds me of that Maria Ozawa photo touted as “proof” that whe was in the Philippines (which made the masa males run bat-shit crazy over supposed proof of her preference for Pinoys) until it turned out it was actually shot in Indonesia.

    Drat, even I can’t tell a Filipino from an Indonesian unless either starts talking. Filipinos are such drama queens.

  2. Actually, Letterman made the mistake of saying Kitsch was in the Philippines. Just chalk it up to the other times that Letterman said something bad about PH.

    I’m like… we know what’s wrong with this country, when are we going to log off and do something about it?

    1. And the Philippines is just about the only country where, if people (foreign or natives)complain about the bad stuff, those in charge would demand an apology. Even the worst of third world countries would say “So sorry for the inconveniece, we’ll do better next time you come around.”

  3. Heck!…. I can’t even tell who is a Pampango and a Pangalatok. Mga balat sibuyas at pikonin magsumbung kayo sa lelong n’yong panot kung bakit ako tuwang tuwa sa inyo.

  4. We’re so famous for being corrupt that they even mistake our country for another country. That’s how (in)famous we are.

  5. hmmm, i wouldn’t be able to differentiate a Norwegian from a Swede but i at least would be able to tell if I was in Norway or in Sweden

  6. So it is necessary to refer to an online computer repair company for obtaining the best solutions.
    Vo – IP telephony is the buzzword in the arena of communication technology.
    You can navigate to the sites of security vendors or get in touch with computer support providers to get a reliable tool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.