Last Saturday, I was finally able to watch the live performance of the dancing inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. My uncle was able to make a reservation, and luckily, his name was on the final list when we went to the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Anyway, in case you’ve all forgotten, the CPDRC inmates made headlines all over the world, when a video of their ‘Thriller’ routine was uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube. When it was first uploaded, it easily got more than a million hits (visits/views). The video eventually made it to Time Magazine’s 10 Most Viral Videos of 2007. Because of the video’s unexpected success, countless news agencies from different parts of the world flocked to the CPDRC compound to cover the live performances.
Today, a year and three months after the Thriller video was uploaded, it now has (are you ready?) more than 18 Million hits! Believe me, that’s NOT an easy feat.
It’s amazing to see them giving it their all! Good job guys!!!
The Cebu Provincial Capitol – Live presentations are held every last Saturday of the month. To be able to watch the show, you have to go to the Provincial Capitol and make a reservation. You can either watch the show at 10 AM or at 3 PM.
On the day of the performance, make sure to be at the pick-up point a full hour before the performance. As soon as your reservation is confirmed, you will be given a CPDRC Visitor’s Pass.
Then, you can board the bus that will take you to the facility. For free.
On our way to the CPDRC – BSP Camp
When we reached CPDRC, our bags were checked and we got this.
We were all then lead to a room where we watched a video presentation about the history of the facility and the rise to fame of the dancing inmates. We also saw clips of international news reports about the famous inmates.
Clip of the actual CNN news show called CNN Today
Mr. Byron Garcia gave a short talk after the video presentation. I learned a lot from him. Mr. Garcia indicated that the ‘dance program’ has helped the facility a lot. He said that because of the program, gangs have been abolished, prisoners now smile often, and they all now treat each other as close friends. Mr. Garcia also mentioned that, compared to the previous years, so far, no inmates have re-entered the facility after they were released. This fact, according to Mr. Garcia, only proves that the program is very beneficial not only to the facility and the staff but also to the prisoner. He added that since the facility started having live presentations, prisoners now have more confidence and they gained back their self-worth and self-esteem.
And by the way, Mr. Byron Garcia shared that because of their shows, a lot of visitors gave donations. The donations were then deposited to the account of the inmates. They all have bank passbooks. At present, they have a combined deposit of more than 2 million pesos! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Booklets were given to visitors to give them a deeper understanding of the role of rehabilitation in jails.
Assisting Mr. Garcia was an inmate who, according to Mr. Garcia, used to be a ‘gun for hire’. He is a graduate of the CPDRC primary education program. He will be a freshman next year.
After the short ‘seminar’, we all proceeded to the viewing deck.
In support of all the guys in orange, I wore a pair of slippers with orange straps. Hahaha.
This one dude was so happy when he learned that his friends were visiting him and they were going to see him perform.
Mr. Byron Garcia welcomes all visitors.
The boys are ready to show what they’ve got.
Mr. Byron Garcia interviewed the dude when he heard his friends cheering for him. When asked what his name was, he said ‘Maria’. LOL
Let the dancing begin! Orange men in action!
This dude knows how to work it!
Male and female inmates dancing ‘We Built This City’
Payts bai! Ikid gyud!
Visitors couldn’t help but cheer for the talented dudes on the ground.
They all have the same pants, shirts, and shoes – Chuck Taylors!!! Hehehe
The inmates forming ‘GLORIA’. They did this routine during PGMA’s visit.
Bend it like Beckham. LOL
Wow! Look at that!
Inmates dancing YMCA by the Village People.
Inmates dancing the most applauded number – Crank That Soulja Boy!
Some excited spectators.
I forgot what number this was. LOL
After more than 5 numbers, the inmates were still very energetic.
Some select dancers. These guys are part of the ‘core group’ of highly skilled dancer. They know how to rock it, yo!
A short break gives them time to breathe and mingle.
Smiling for the camera.
They all looked genuinely happy and proud. Which is a very good thing.
Then, they showed us their marches. This was what they did before they started dancing.
Then, it’s back to dancing. They still want more.
Tatang was so graceful the spectators became wild. LOL.
Tatang, a 58-yo inmate showing us what he got.
The crowd cheered for Tatang which made him smile.
Mr. Byron Garcia knew exactly why the crowd was so noisy. It was Tatang!
This dude stole the scene when he backflipped and cart-wheeled. Hehehe.
Four inmates showing the steps of the Macarena remix dance. The composer of the song specifically asked the CPDRC inmates to use his music.
Spectators dancing the Macarena dance.
More spectators dancing. Hahaha. It was a riot!
They then did the ‘I need a Hero’ number. This time, they got props. Hehehe.
Intermission number – Ballroom dancers!
Doesn’t that look sweet? Hehehe
For their finale, they did the routine that took them to the top – Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
You can’t miss the costumes and the internalization – Wow! Hehehe.
It was a beautiful date. Until the zombies started rolling in.
Lupigan ang mga artista oi.
Super emote. Hehehe.
Now he doesn’t know what to do! You’re zombies ya’ll!!!
Oh no! The zombies won!
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Hahahaha.
After the show, the dancers and choreographers were introduced.
Then, the spectators were allowed to go down and take photos of the inmates.
Mr. Byron Garcia with Maria and his visiting friends.
Mom posing with two inmates who said ‘Pa-picture ta mam.’ After I took the picture, they said, “Salamat, ma’am, sir. Hope nalingaw mo sa show.” 😀
At the lobby, crafts made by the inmates were selling like hotcakes.
Ahhh. I’ll be back for that shirt! Mupalit gyud ko next time. Hehehe.
It was an awesome show guys! You rock!