Liwanag Sa Dilim (by Rivermaya) feat the Bilibid Dancing Inmates
“Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.” (Frederick Langbridge)
The human spirit never loses its brilliance no matter what challenges it encounters. In the face of darkness, it shines even brighter with its light igniting the light of others.
“Liwanag sa Dilim” (roughly translated in English as “Light in Darkness”) is a creative representation of the daily life of inmates in the New Bilibid Prison.
We see how one prisoner’s optimistic outlook in life can spark change in all areas of Bilibid.
We witness the talents and skills that have been developed behind bars through rehabilitative endeavors in education, sports, small enterprises, arts and crafts.
Baliklaya, a non-profit, non-political, student-run group, is an applying organization of the Ateneo de Manila University. Before it became a full-pledged organization last 2009, it was the flagship program of Ateneo Lex, a separate accredited organization.
Baliklaya envisions the formation of a community composed of legally, economically, and socially-aware youth, engaged in alleviating the challenges of communities deprived of justice and fundamental human rights.
To steer its membership towards the task of nation building and to inculcate in them a strong desire for social commitment, the organization shall undertake projects which uplift the dignity, worth, and welfare of one of the most misconceived, marginalized, and impoverished sectors of Philippine society – the prisoners.
Baliklaya’s advocacy is prisoner rights, particularly that of the inmates inherent right to human dignity, realized through the organization’s various Bilibid-based prison service endeavors and intense advocacy campaign. While, in truth, any human being’s dignity can never be taken away (not by any court of justice or societal condemnation), inmates can’t help but feel a loss of dignity, because of their circumstances (the errors they have committed and the guilt that stems from such, as worsened by poor living conditions). Thus, by providing them venues for wellness development and opportunities for productivity, the organization empowers said inmates, with the hopes of restoring this lost sense of dignity.
Balik means to go back, laya is freedom. While the organization does not aim to literally free prisoners, it pursues a different sort of freedom, one that frees the prisoners from societal stereotypes and the feeling of lack of dignity.
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