Warden Byron Garcia


CPDRC Dancing Inmates or the CPDRC dancers is a collective of prison inmates in Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison in Cebu, in Cebu Province, Philippines where the prisoners perform dance routines as part of their daily exercise and rehabilitation, and many of their performances are filmed and released online, making them a popular feature among fans and veritable online celebrities. Warden Byron F. Garcia, the official security advisor to the Cebu government, is credited for starting a program of choreographed exercise routines for the inmates. He was appointed head of the prison by his sister Gwendolyn Garcia, governor of Cebu Province. The prison is best known for its rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. The prison management has also released a video explaining the concept behind the prison management at CPDRC. In order to improve conditions at a prison where violence and despair was commonplace, Warden Garcia instituted a mandatory program of dance and music for his 1500 inmates. In addition to creating a positive environment, and ending gang activity in the prison, the resulting dances (such as “Thriller”) became enormous YouTube sensations, gathering nearly 50 million hits.

Angela Brugioni