Cebu inmates dedicate new dance to Pope

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol January 09,2015 - 09:15 AM

About 2,180 of Cebu’s famed dancing inmates will perform a prayer dance today to honor Pope Francis.

“Our new routine is intended to welcome the pope. At the same time, we want to change his mind and convince him to drop by Cebu,” said Vince Rosales, choreographer of inmates in the  Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation and Detention Center (CPDRC).

A performance for the media at 3 p.m. today will give a sneak peek of their  new dance routine before their public show on January 15.

The inmates yesterday rehearsed their moves in the Jamie Rivera song “We Are All God’s Children”—the official theme song for the apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015.

The song was preceded by a Gregorian chant as inmates, in a prayerful stance, went out  their  prison cells and formed a large  human cross at the center of the courtyard.

Rosales said 63 dance leaders were first taught the steps.

Several dance formations will depict the life of the detainees and their struggles to accept and repent of their faults.

“The inmates really displayed enthusiasm in doing this special performance for our beloved Holy Father. They are excited to practice,” Rosales said.

He said a video of the  performance will uploaded on YouTube.

The sick and the elderly in the prison population, about 20, were excused from the dance.

“We’re just happy that at least the Pope will come to the Philippines. What matters is that he will go to Tacloban, the hardest hit by super typhoon Yolanda,” he said.

The inmates gained worldwide fame with their  2007 YouTube dance performance of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and have become a tourist attraction.

They performed for the public every last Saturday or the month or by special appointment.

Carlo Vitero, in prison for six years on a drug charge,  said Pope Francis is  an inspiration to him and other inmates.

“Ganahan gyud mi makakita og mahinabi siya kay siya usa ka balaan nga tawo. Dako kaayo ni nga inspiration namo. Makadasig ni namo sa pagbuhat og maayo. (We really wanted to see and talk to the Holy Father because he’s a holy man. He inspires us to do good),” the 23-year-old Vitero told Cebu Daily News./With Correspondent Carine M. Asutilla

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, CPDRC dancing inmates, dancing inmates, Pope Francis, Pope in PH

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