Saturday, August 04, 2007

Eh-hum # 193

All 1,600 of them, swaying/waving/turning to the music of the Algorithm March, a dance featured in the popular Japanese children's program Pythagora Switch (I remembered embedding the ninja version of the march in an earlier post), was the first video I saw. And then, I found out a couple of days ago, the same 1,600 inmates of a provincial jail in Cebu, Philippines, have also danced and marched to the beat of local pop songs and foreign tracks such as the Village People's "YMCA", Michael Jackson's "Thriller", and songs from the movie Sister Act. And yes, these routines are all available online.

According to this article from Yahoo! News, the synchronized dance routines, the brainchild of special security consultant Bryon Garcia (who also uploads the video on YouTube), is first and foremost a form of physical exercise for the inmates. It was also intended to inculcate discipline among them. However, the videos are now getting a lot of attention online and has become really popular. For instance, as of today, the "Thriller" video has been viewed more than 4 million times! I for one, think that's amazing.

I first thought it was quite strange, but I eventually saw the significance of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center's (CPDRC) program. Of course, dancing is a form of exercise, and the complex steps plus the number of the people doing it does involves work. More importantly, I agree that the program help boost the inmates' self-esteem since they are doing such a good job with the routines (video user comments have been positive). Plus, it looks like they're having fun (especially the inmates who gets the chance to perform in the middle of the court and show off those dancing skills).

These people may be criminals, but they are still human beings. The guilty deserved to be in jail, but they're also in need of rehabilitation so that when they return to society, they will be better equipped to start a new and crime-free life. Filipinos, in times of trouble and despair, turn to music for comfort. Its not a sign of weakness in the sense that people use it to escape reality. Rather, music can be a source of hope, inspiration and even strength. Connecting with music, whether by song or dance, as the saying goes, soothes the savage beast (in this case, within). As long as its not hurting anybody else, we can see the pride in doing even the most trivial of things, which may or may not include dressing up like a nun and copying some of Whoopi Goldberg's moves.

Here's a video featuring the inmates dancing to the tune of "Radio Gaga". The song is one of the Queen's succesful singles and I think the line "someone still loves you" is very meaningful. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Sam said...

sobrang tamad, mag-log on sa youtube kaya dito ko na lang pinanood...hehe! very nice! never thought i'd enjoy watching them!