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Cebu mulls 'Thriller' inmates in Sinulog

December 27, 2007 8:47am
Sun.Star: CEBU CITY - The dancing inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) may have the chance to dance their hearts out at the grandstand, but not in the parade, in the Sinulog festival next month.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who is acting mayor of Cebu City, told reporters in a conference yesterday that he understands the inmates’ desire to celebrate Sinulog in their own way, but he will still have to go through a process to make that happen.

“I will still consult the board of trustees, get the court to approve their participation, and ask the mayor about it," he said.

Rama also recalled that some 12 to 13 years ago, several inmates from the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center were allowed to join the Sinulog parade, though under heavy guard.


“But I am not thinking about getting the inmates of CPDRC to dance in order to attract more tourists. I want to eliminate the crab mentality we have and mend ways for the inmates to be accepted back in society," he said.

The CPDRC inmates were recently featured in Time magazine’s “Best of the Year" issue, where their YouTube video ranked fifth in the list of top 10 web videos. It was given the title “Thrilla in Manila," and read, “Orange-jumpsuited convicts dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a Philippine prison."

Their participation in the parade will need to be thoroughly discussed, as far as peace and order is concerned, said Rama.

“It’s already enough to have fraternities joining the festival. But I think for the CPDRC inmates to be in the parade is too much. We could ask them to be a guest contingent and perform at the grandstand. However, they should not be thought of as problems to the festival’s security," said Rama.

He added that while Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros told him about the possibility of CPDRC’s participation, he has not yet received any letter formally informing him about it. - Sun.Star
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