Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ever wonder what prisons are like in the Philippines?

Very interesting prison scene in the Philippines…extremely creative….. - shared by Ed Canela

Ed shared the dance video clip of more than 1,000 Filipino inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Byron Garcia, Prison head, posted the video himself at You Tube and this is now creating a stir with more than 1Million hits in only a week’s time.

I watched the interview with Byron Garcia and the choreographer in the morning show yesterday, (not sure if it was GMA 7’s Unang Hirit or ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda). Byron said that it used to be difficult to get the prisoners to do their morning exercises, until they thought of a more creative way to prod them. The choreographer related the difficulties he initially underwent. At the start, the prisoners were antagonistic and he cried not a few times because of the insults. But after a while, the prisoners began to enjoy what they were doing.

"I want the prison system to learn from this," Garcia told Reuters. "The inmates are after all human beings and the inmates after all, once inside, know that they have committed mistakes, let them enjoy their stay."

It was my first time to see the entire presentation. Wonderful! Just being able to form straight lines, and much more, dancing in unison, with rhythm and timing shows discipline. Now that they found out that dance exercise works, perhaps they can think of other creative ways of reforming and rehabilitating the prisoners - like holding academic and technology classes.

By the way, GMA loves Cebu, isn't it? Wouldn't it be lovelier if she were the one leading those inmates doing the Thriller?

Just click the video clips at the upper right hand corner of this page or:



Fechie said...

Wow! it must have been extremely challenging for the choreographer to make these inmates do this number.
Do you remember during our school days when we would train and practice for our "Field Day" for St. Augustine's Day celebration? Hirap ang P.E. teacher natin.
This goes to show that offenders as they maybe, they still have discipline left.

Thanks Ed for sharing this.

Dan dela Fuente said...

I viewed the video with a mixed feelings. It's entertaining to watch those men in prison to do a thing like that,however the real question is - what is the government doing to curve crime in the Philippines. Let us not forget, that for every one prisoner that participated on that 'exercise', there was a victim of the act which committed the prisoner to that jail. And when I'm looking at a large numbers of prisoners like the one in the video, I can't help but think of their victims. In case of those that were committed in prison because of murder, rape or other vicious crime - they deserve to rot in prison - not to be dancing. If the crime committed is a 'white collar' crime where the life or dignity of victims were not taken away like in a murder or rape case, then by all means - let the offenders be humiliated this way. But not those who committed 'henious'crimes. You are right Toti, GMA should be the lead dancer.

Daet Parochial School Class 67 said...


Was able to watch that morning show in Kapamilya. Maybe, because nobody really knows, that there might be inmates who like dancing but find it awkward and unlikely with their present situation.

Doing mandatory the dance exercise works, the inmates are obliged to participate and unknowingly one way of unloading their feelings, whether happy or sad.

I like also to try dancing as an exercise. Ops, ayaw ko naman na maging prisoner to experience this. . . at least to reduce weight rather that go into diet. But dancing is expensive especially when there is DI. SOS Tess, shall we go to the RJ Bistro?


Men Venida-Abot said...


This was on Channel 3 news this morning and my kids asked me why the prisoners were dancing instead of doing hard work and I told them this is one way of punishing them: by making fun of them hahaha

And Insan you were right, GMA should be the lead dancer.


Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

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