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This was probably one of the rarest and weirdest bloggers event that I have been to. Yes, we got invited to visit the inmates of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
Though visiting NBP is no longer new to me as my aunt is a sociologist there, it still triggered curiosity inside me. “What is inside those white walls?” I am only familiar with the white walls of the maximum area but I do not really know what’s going on inside until that day.
Okay, so we were welcomed by the New Bilibid Prison Director Gaudencio S. Pangilinan and were guided to their conference room. Everyone was so quiet while he was talking because it was quite intimidating haha :) But he was so cool and gladly answered our questions before the meeting ended.
Director Pangilinan explained that whenever a man gets sentenced, it is not him who suffers but his family. This, I guess, is true. When one gets imprisoned, it is not him who suffers but the family who is left behind. Aside from the sad fact that they will be separated from their loved one, they too will suffer all the consequences. Our society is very judgmental and they don’t forgive and forget that easily.
Director Pangilinan also explained that the Prison facility, no matter how bad the reputation is, respects life and they believe that everyone who comes out from there after their stay inside, are equipped with the right skills so they could lead a normal life. — it is just so sad that the discrimination against ex convicts is still present in our judgmental society.
The main purpose of the facility is to rehabilitate. Inside, they get to learn so many things and polish the skills that they already have.
Inside we saw how the prisoners lived — they seem so happy, or perhaps they were just enjoying what they have for the moment? Nothing will do them good if they resist life, anyway. It opened my eyes to so many things and up until now, I am still, little by little, reflecting on the lessons I have learned that day.
The whole New Bilibid Prison Maximum Security area is divided into two, the Presidio and Carcel areas. We visited all of them though we didn’t really get to speak to so many prisoners — for security purposes.
The highlight perhaps of the whole visit was our chance to hear the voices of various prisoners. They were so good and we loved how organized they were. They even have their own TV channel, the BTV3.
Nowadays, prisoners can already talk to their loved ones with the facility’s E-Dalaw program.
When we asked the director what he wants the people to know about the New Bilibid Prison, he said:
- Prisoners have to be treated as human beings.
- There is no job like managing the Bureau of Corrections.
- These prisoners need a continuing presence from their loved ones so they would not be detached from the world and they would still feel that they belong.
- They deserve post-release opportunities (and acceptance from the society)
To see more photos from our visit, please visit here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151207574217892.551033.203198907891&type=3