Personal, Uncategorized

Hey Journal: A Stopover At The City Jail

Hey Journal,

          So, we had this Educational Trip last week, and normally, we were asked to do a reflection paper about our trip. Here’s a piece of what I wrote, which I think was worthy of some space.


            It was the day before the Valentine’s Day when we had our Educational Field Trip (or what I would call an Educational Stopover because we only stayed for around 3 hours) in Cagayan De Oro City Jail – Male Dormitory in Lumbia. The travel time was long enough to finish 4 Britney Spears tracks that lasts around 4 minutes each.
Le Main Entrance

Like what everybody normally felt, we feared of entering the City Jail, especially in the Male Dormitory, for, as what we thought, was not safe. I was definitely wrong the moment I stepped inside. I saw faces, hungry for a healthy conversation aside from their jail mates, waiting to talk to someone else, aside from the people who gave religious lectures.

We were surprised to see a mini-program that was prepared for us. We were able to meet and hear words from the Jail Inspector, the Warden, and got entertained as well by the inmates’ Top Performer as he sings their hymn, and belted out Eric Santos’ winning piece in Star in a Million, “This Is The Moment”.
Then, the time comes when we get to have a one-on-one conversation with one of the inmates. I had a chance to talk to a cheerful and well-conversed Johnny, a 46-year-old detainee, who was charged with cases about drugs. He grew up with the absence of his Dad who was in the US Marine Corps, he immediately opened up why he was there and what made him crossed the line.

Inferiority Complex. Those were the words that he uttered, and was the main reason why he crossed the line. In Layman’s term, Inferiority Complex means Low Self-Esteem. As a child, he thought he was doomed to be a weakling, as his stepfather and half brothers would tell him that he’s intellectually dull for someone who’s a son of an American. This continued until he graduated College in Cebu City. He got married and had two kids and had all sorts of job but eventually they ended up being a broken family due to undisclosed reasons.

            He went back here in Mindanao, thinking of nowhere else to go. That was when he met his friends who influenced him into dealing with drugs. Being a newbie in this biting-the-bullet type of deal, he was caught, while his friends, who were in trouble a lot of times, managed to escape.

            For the whole 9 years he stayed in the City Jail, and as he about to face a light at the end of the tunnel in a few months, I asked about his plans. He smiled, with a sparkle in his eyes, and honestly answered, “I don’t know.” His following words surprised me as he continued saying, “If only I were to decide, I think I’m going to head back to Cebu, charge my wife with Adultery, because she is living with another man right now and she had another set of kids…

            By the word Kids, he paused, and told me he didn’t know how to explain it to his now-teenage girls, because they thought he was somewhere out of the country, when in fact he was just bidding his time here in CDO City Jail.

            It was a heartfelt 30-minute conversation. By the look on his eyes, I know he wanted to talk something else, aside from his life in prison or anything else about his life. 


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