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And, yes, I DO take it personally: It's gotta be an improvement
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Friday, January 18, 2008

It's gotta be an improvement

ya can't help but think that dancing and singing has GOT to be an uplifting moment in what is undoubtedly a pretty grim existence...

With nearly 11 million hits, it is one of YouTube's most watched videos: 1,500 orange-suited inmates, plus one pony-tailed prisoner in mules and a halter-top, in a Filipino prison doing a perfectly choreographed version of the dance sequence of Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

The video of the dancing inmates at Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Centre was uploaded to YouTube in July by Byron Garcia, a security consultant for the Cebu provincial government and the brother of the province's governor, Gwendolyn Garcia.

Michael Jackson's role is played by Crisanto Niere, with Wenjiel Resane playing "the girl" ; both are on drug-trafficking charges. Most of the inmates in the video are on remand awaiting trial for alleged crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking.

The inmates carefully emulate every move from the Michael Jackson hit, their shoulders jerking zombie-style, heads swaying in time, clapping and swirling in a truly awesome display. One that needed a bigger audience, Mr Garcia reckoned.

The next step was to see if the prisoners would be allowed to perform at Sinulog, a popular street-music festival scheduled in Cebu next Sunday, saying it would add "something new to the traditional Sinulog presentation".

But Cebu city's mayor, Tomas Osmena, remains unmoved by the funky zombie dancing of the inmates. "I will not allow it even if Michael Jackson joins them," Mr Osmena told the Philippine News Agency. "In jail, the inmates can dance all they want."

The nine-day fiesta is organised by the Catholic Augustinian order to honour the infant Jesus with a solemn religious procession followed by a raucous street-party. It also includes a beauty pageant and a trade fair.

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