From time to time, I feature some people or groups that I think are pretty awesome. It’s called the SUPERHERO SERIES!
I finally got to watch Taken with my father. As entertaining as it was (I thought it was a great action flick–awesome plot and script), the trafficking scenes really hit me hard. They hit me hard because those scenes and situations are very real, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for women my age (or younger) to be deceived and taken away from their homes and families and drugged so bad that men can rape them multiple times every day of their lives.
Deceived. Drugged. Raped. Every day.
And we thought we had problems.
When I was still working at MTV, one of the campaigns I worked on was our global pro-social campaign called MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking). That was my first time to really study the issue. We worked with the MTV Europe Foundation and USAID to create and publicize a localized documentary to raise awareness about human trafficking. In 2007, we launched the documentary, which was hosted by Christian Bautista, at a press launch at Hard Rock Cafe. Dicta License (they were still intact at that time) rendered a couple of songs, including Tinangay, a special song (scroll down for the music video) they wrote for the largest anti-human trafficking organization in the Philippines, the Visayan Forum Foundation. US Ambassador Kristie Kenney was there, as well as Cecil Flores-Oebanda, the Executive Director of the Visayan Forum Foundation.
Prior to that launch, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mrs. Oebanda for a meeting at our office. My first impression of her was that she was a soft-spoken and kind woman, who was incredibly passionate about the fight she was leading. That’s when I learned all about the Visayan Forum Foundation and what they’ve been doing over these past years. Hearing her tell us about the work they do, I realized how real and how pressing the trafficking problem really is. The Foundation has people who stand watch at the ports, doing their best to interfere any trafficking attempts. They have halfway homes where trafficked women can stay to be safe and get treatment, counseling, and even training to be able to stand on their own feet once again. They’re doing such good work.
I learned a lot about human trafficking at that time, but I had regrettably forgotten most of what I’ve learned. Watching this movie brought me to look into this issue again.
(Do click on the link below and read the rest, I’ve got important stuff to say in the end of this post! :))