Thriller Inmates

When we hear the word “prison,” images of hardened criminals, tattoos and riots come to mind. Well, it seems a locally-produced video is making waves over YouTube that would change that mindset!

More than 1,500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) in orange prison garb danced in unison to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”[1] I think they already added some hit songs to their repertoire. If they are not wearing those orange clothes, you would not think they are inmates. It is both amazing and amusing to watch them make their well-executed, choreographed moves. They are so synchronized!

No, it is not a novel way of punishing the prisoners. Human rights activists actually enjoyed a good laugh here. It is just one way of proactively disciplining and exercising them… something that the inmates themselves enjoyed a lot! I think that’s better than solitary confinement, higher walls and tougher security.

So far, they got more than 3 million hits (or visits. No pun intended) in YouTube. Major TV networks here have also featured them. I even saw a miscellaneous entry in Wikipedia online encyclopedia about the music video.

Thus, discipline took on a different shade of meaning. It’s no longer the “grin and bear it” or “no pain, no gain” mentality. It became to mean something to be enjoyed. I believe we should carry that same mindset when we read 1 Timothy 4:7 – “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (NASB).

Yes, make no mistake, holiness is a struggle. But it is also something that is satisfying. Just look at the next verse to see its benefits: “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Brethren, let us pursue holiness.

[1] Disclaimer: Though as a whole I liked the concept of the video, I do not approve of the cross-dressing participant in it. Maybe he is homosexual or, for security reasons, the prison officials cannot allow a woman to participate in an all-male activity inside the prison.


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