Planking: It’s time to move on

Guys. We get it. Planking is the protest action du jour, especially after Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo proposed a controversial and draconian law to penalize planking on the streets during protest rallies.

As predicted, though, Filipinos took an Internet meme, hyped it up, then beat that dead horse until it could not possibly get any more dead without turning into a zombie metaphorical horse that is then shot in the head.

Sometimes, as with this group of fisher folk protesting the creation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO), Filipinos tend to take things overboard.

Did you see what we did there? Overboard? Eh? Eh? (

I hate to be a spoilsport, two dudes in the water, but planking in the sea is called floating. Possibly, snorkeling. That doesn’t even follow the concept of the meme, strictly speaking.  Planking is supposed to be done in places where people are not likely to be lying face down and stiff as a board. What those guys are doing is called sunbathing in most places.

Not to belittle the gripes of Aurora residents against APECO or anything. Those guys have legitimate complaints. They say construction of APECO has destroyed mangroves where the fish they catch live, and has caused flooding in the area. Using a tired old Internet meme to get those issues across trivializes the whole thing, though.

Philippines to outlaw planking

Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo has filed a bill to penalize the stupid art of planking after students protesting oil price hikes this week planked on the roads during a transport strike.


“Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed… The Filipino psyche of our young children in school is under attack—right here and now,” he said. The congressman  from the 2nd District of Quezon City, where rugby boys roam the streets and illegal motorcycle drag races are held at night, is right, the psyche of our young children are indeed under attack. By pesky things like poverty and hopelessness. And, to some extent, by Internet memes. But only to the same extent that watching mixed-martial arts on YouTube will make me a violent bloodthirsty man with killer muscles.


Help me! My psyche is being attacked!


Castelo warns “unbelieving bus drivers and law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways.” Which, really, is the only way to deal with somebody who has suddenly decided to plop face down on the road.

"Okay...You can stop faking now..."

“Lest this picture, read in newspapers or posted on the Internet might evolve into a new mindset that just might go viral or very contagious, let it be nipped in the bud,” Castelo says, not knowing that he has nothing to worry about. He ought to know that by the time a fad comes to the Philippines, it is on its last legs. If it isn’t broken already, we’ll find a way to make it so. This is the Philippines, after all. This is where the Internet comes to die.


UPDATE 2: Planking will only be illegal during rallies and protest actions. Regular old planking is allowed and bus drivers are free to run them over.


UPDATE: Here is an actual quote from Rep. Castelo’s press release, a copy of which was forwarded to us:

“Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed if these similar protest actions will have as a scheme and scene otherwise warm and living bodies laid down across street highways as though they were offerings to the gods.”

Ngai, n'gha'ghaa, bugg-shoggog, y'hah; Yog-Sothoth, Yog-Sothoth. . . .