Cebu dancing inmates go ‘Gangnam Style’

By Ryan Christopher J. Sorote – Due to insistent public demand, the world renowned dancing inmates of Cebu finally made their own version of Psy’s Gangnam Style music video.

At least a thousand inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) entertained guests with their ecstatic adoption of the Guinness World Record holder for the “Most Liked in YouTube” on the rainy afternoon of September 29.

This served as their comeback performance after Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia suspended their monthly open-house show due to a near-riot incident last February.

CPDRC choreographer Vince Rosales told Rappler that the performance was inspired by avid fans who commented on their YouTube videos, requesting them to have their own version.

“I was already planning to add a new routine in our performances, but it was just recently that I finally decided to choose Gangnam Style which was gaining prominence,” Rosales said in Cebuano.

Unlike in their other routines such as the Thriller of the late Michael Jackson — which made them well known worldwide — the inmates were trained to perform the new dance number for only 3 days.

Rosales said he had no problem conceptualizing the performance because the inmates were eager to learn.

Belgium tourist Rudy Freemont, who joined other tourists inside CPDRC, applauded the inmates not only for their dancing skills, but also their smiles, which he said “captivated” him “from start to end.”

“It was great especially when they did it in the rain. It’s my first time here (in the Philippines) and I’d love to come back,” Freemont said.

The Tourism department has considered Cebu’s dancing inmates as one of the most unique tourist attractions in the county and in the world.

Former prison chief, Byron Garcia, the younger brother of the governor, was the one who created the dance program. The program was originally intended to help inmates rehabilitate and stay physically fit, as well as reduce violence inside the prison.

The inmates also perform dances such as the “Champ,” 2NE1’s “Fire,” and “Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot.” –

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