Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something faaabulous from 1,500 Filipino prisoners

Maybe you’ve seen this one already. It’s one of the red-hottest clips on YouTube. We’re talking 1,000,000 views in seven days.

It’s a massive group of prison inmates in the Philippines performing the dance routine from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

(No, you’re not dreaming, it’s real! This exists!)

My deepest thanks to UBMFAN1 for pointing me to that.

The guy who originally uploaded this instant classic of video virology is Byron F. Garcia. And his YouTube page includes other videos of these inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) doing dance numbers and/or precision marching.

(This one, set to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga,” was posted in April, and it’s also pretty trippy.)

Turns out Byron Garcia is a security consultant to the government of Cebu, one of the Philippines’ 81 provinces.

I found an article that Mr. Garcia wrote a year ago for a Filipino newspaper, in which he explains the method behind this musical madness. He calls it “responsive rehabilitation.”

“While padlocks and sophisticated gadgetry may physically shut off and isolate inmates from the world, it does not assure security,” Garcia wrote. “Security must be approached not only physically but also from the cultural and behavioral context.”

So then, CPDRC inmates “are required to go through a workout regimen. While the goal is to keep the body fit in order to keep the mind fit, such may not actually happen if it is not done in a manner deemed pleasurable,” he continued. “Music, being the language of the soul, is added to that regimen.”

Okay, I buy that. Now, Mr. Garcia, do you take requests? Because I would love to see 1,500 Filipino prisoners rocking these moves to “Walk It Out.”


Anonymous said...

Make them do the chicken dance!!

Anonymous said...

When I first saw this I thought it might be a joke, or some performance artist's idea of a performance piece.

Maybe someone will come up with this idea for the inmates at Louisiana's Angola prison. A step show would be cool!

Anna Laperle said...

Colour me surprised when the "chick" playing Ola Ray turned out to be a fellow. Man, I wish I could wear jeans like that!

Photography History and Theory said...

Check this out. Photos of the prison, and the details on Byron, who turns out to be a complete sociopath.


Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks, Adam. Fantastic photos! But why do you call Mr. Garcia a sociopath? Just because he makes all the female prisoners get those tats?

Give the man this much... he knows how to put on a show.

P.S. I'd love to read more about shabu ("the poor man's crack").

Undercover Black Man said...

And I wonder why the female prisoners aren't involved in the dance numbers? (Although I guess the "Thriller" video wouldn't have quite the same magic with a genuine woman instead of the gay guy.)