El Indio is an adventure komiks novel written and illustrated by Francisco V. Coching and published in the pages of Pilipino Komiks from 1952 - 1953. It tells the story of Fernando, a handsome and dashing Spanish mestizo who went back to the Philippines to exact revenge on his father who he believed abandoned him and his mother Blanquita. There he discovered the cruel and oppressive colonial government, and joined the rebels in the fight against the oppressors as El Indio. El Indio was the sequel to Coching's popular series, Sabas, Ang Barbaro and is one the most popular and most successful of all his komiks novels.<ref>Alanguilan, Gerry. El Indio by Francisco V. Coching. Komikero Komiks Journal, August 12, 2004. Accessed on May 19, 2008.</ref><ref>El Indio. Filipiniana.net. Accessed on May 19, 2008.</ref> It was adapted into film in the following year, 1953. In 2004, Filipino artist and writer Gerry Alanguilan started work on the restoration of El Indio with the help of the Francisco V. Coching Foundation. In 2007, El Indio was chosen as one of the Top 100 Pinoy Komiks as pooled by the editors of Filipiniana.net.<ref>Top 100 Pinoy Komiks Serials. Filipiniana.net. Accessed on May 19, 2008.</ref>
Fernando, a Spanish mestizo, is scorned by his fellow Spaniards because of his brown skin. He decided to go back to the Philippines and leave his mother Blanquita in Spain, to seek revenge against his father whom he believes abandoned him and his mother. In the Philippines, he witnesses the discrimination and abuses of the pure-blooded Spaniards against the mestizos and indios. This compels him to join the bandits and assume the moniker "El Indio." During his exploits, he falls in love with the beautiful Victoria, but soon discovers that a certain Capitan Castillo is also courting her. It is eventually revealed that Capitan Castillo is none other than Sabas, his father, who was once known as the notorious rebel called Barbaro. Before Fernando can take his revenge, Blanquita arrives from Spain and reveals the truth - that Sabas disguised himself as Capitan Castillo and that he never abandoned them. In the end, with Blanquita's intervention, the governor gives amnesty to El Indio. Fernando and Victoria happily express their feelings for each other and Sabas and Blanquita are finally reunited.
Publication and restoration
El Indio was originally published in in the pages of Pilipino Komiks from 1952-1953, in 5 page installments every two weeks for 34 installments. In 2004, work on the restoration of El Indio for the purpose of collection and publication as a graphic novel began. Filipino artist and writer Gerry Alanguilan, assisted by Zara Macandili, took on the huge task of digitally restoring the unbound, published pages of El Indio printed on newsprint, as the original artwork for the pages no longer exists today.<ref>Alanguilan, Gerry. The El Indio Project. Komikero Komiks Journal, December 13, 2004. Accessed on May 19, 2008.</ref>. In 2007, the restoration work was finished.
On 18 October 2009, a full-length graphic novel edition of El Indio, published by the Vibal Foundation was launched during the 5th Annual Filipino Komiks Convention at SM Megamall's Megatrade Hall 1. This new edition contains a foreword written by Coching's wife Filomena, first reprint of textless art pages, an expanded character list, and a detailed recoloring of the original series cover art. <ref>Decades-old masterpiece to be launched at Komikon. ThePOC.net, October 15, 2009. Accessed on October 16, 2009.</ref>.
Sampaguita Pictures released a film adaptation of El Indio in 1953. Director Eddie Romero was chosen to helm the movie that starred Cesar Ramirez as Fernando and Tita Muñoz as Blanquita, along with Nena Cardenas and Eddie Garcia.
- El Indio. Filipiniana.net. Accessed on May 19, 2008.
- El Indio (1953). Internet Movie Database. Accessed on May 19, 2008.
- Alanguilan, Gerry. Francisco V. Coching's El Indio. Gerry Alanguilan - BLAG, October 25, 2007. Accessed on May 19, 2008.
- Alanguilan, Gerry. The El Indio Project. Komikero Komiks Journal, December 13, 2004. Accessed on May 19, 2008.