Real Indiana, or All the Things I Saw Today

26 Jul

Indiana Jones was the coolest person I knew when I was ten years old.

Hat, whip , and all,

Climbing mountains,

Swimming in rivers and seas,

Saving damsels-in-distress.

And in general, being an all-around-bad-ass


Indiana Jones was the coolest person I knew when I was ten years old.

Fear of snakes and all.

And while all the survival TV shows

Of manly men dropped in deserts, arctic wastelands and rainforests

Could be, sometimes, just as cool,

They just couldn’t beat out good, old Indie.


Now, while Indiana Jones was the coolest when I was ten,

The coolest I know at almost-thirty

Is one of the F15,

Gwiyomi-dance and all;

And one-half of Doi Nomazi

Red Bull energy drink and all.


See, the best thing from Indiana Jones

That I learned at the age of ten,

Was that I can scale mountains.

I can take on 14-foot waves.

Me, in my little boat,

Off the coast of Florida.


And this is the best thing you can learn when you’re ten.

Because when 25 people, the richest in your country,

Have the same amount of money as equal to the total money

Of billions of people in the same country,

You need to believe

That you can scale mountains

And swim against tidal waves.


If you live in a time when

Every 3 hours, a Filipino gets HIV,

Well, you need to believe

That you have strength, courage, and tenacity.

That you can reach the top

While working on the rockface in front of you.


If you see a picture of an elderly woman from your town.

Unable to work,

Living in a shanty,

And just asking for a fistful of rice

“Usa ka kumkom bugas “

You have to believe that you can scale mountains.


The best thing I learned at nearly thirty is this:

I can beat the bad guys.

I can make them quake in their boots

Simply, simply

By standing up and telling my tale.

Just that.  Stand and share.


Share this:

“I am a mother and a daughter.

And I decided to work overseas,

Going to far-away places, like Dubai

Separated from my son

Because I wanted to give him a better life.

And when I got to the Land of the Free


“I was trafficked.

In Tagalog, ‘niloko kami ng agency namin,

Hindi pinasahod ng ayos o tama, nawalan ng visa,’

No jobs, no papers.  As promised in the contract.

Even though I paid so much to get here.  Legally, too.

And the company had been endorsed by the government.


People’s families in hospitals.

And there was still nothing.

Nothing from employer.

And so I decided enough was enough.

And I, together with my comrades,

Stood up and said we would fight.”


Now, say this:

“I will fight.

I will continue to fight.  Tuloy ang Laban.

Because I can scale the highest mountains.

I can swim in the deepest seas

I am the real Indiana.”


Do not ever forget:

You and I can

Scale high mountains.

Swim deep seas.

We can.

For we are powerful.



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