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Dancing Inmates (Cebu)


Sometimes, in your travel, you will experience different feelings happening all at the same time. You will feel amazed, lucky, happy, sad, confused, wary, and just plain dumbed by what you are witnessing.

More than a thousand prisoners - killers, thieves, rapists, robbers and all other accusations you can think of, are assembled right in front of you. They stand in attention, say a short prayer...... then...... dance!

You see some of the faces as gaunt and serious, some with shifting eyes, and others trying to keep up to the dance steps. And you see the whole ocean of faces many of which are actually smiling.

A thousand orange shirts with a capital "P" moving in perfect coordination.


You knew what you will see before you entered the prison walls - the dancing inmates of Cebu. But as your eyes actually see them, you can't help but blurt out, "what the f*@$ is happening?!"

When all the songs have ended, you get near them, a bit hesitant because of the realities of why they were there in the first place, but comforted by their friendly faces. You take pictures of them and yourself with them. You all smile for the photo op.

You shake hands with some of them. Dusts of happiness seem to have been showered in the compound. You leave the compound smiling, still shaking your head that you just witnessed and experienced an almost unbelievable event.

Me.... I was wondering what was in the heads of the prisoners while they were dancing and seeing us smiling at them.....

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