Plankers across the Planking Capital of the World are standing up to fight for the right to express themselves!
Ever since Wikipedia clearly defined Planking as "an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location," a lot of Filipinos have gone all out in perfecting the supposed art-form...
and have even daringly stretched its definition to previously unimaginable levels:
While Planking can't really trace its roots in the Philippines, a lot of Pinoys have adopted it as their own. Photos Courtesy of PlankingPinas
THIS and the fact that PlankingPinas, which is probably the biggest and most influential organization of Plankers in the Philippines -- if not the whole world, now has more than 87,000 fans in Facebook clearly tell us one thing: The Philippines could very well be the Planking Capital of the World.
Perhaps this is the reason why Rep. Winston 'Winnie' Castelo's Anti-Planking Act of 2011 is now getting so much attention in social networking sites. The Bill reads...
AN ACT PRESCRIBING A UNIVERSAL CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT WHEREBY PLANKING BY A STUDENT OR GROUP OF STUDENTS DURING STREET RALLIES OR SIMILAR PROTEST ACTIONS AS A FORM OF REDRESS OF GRIEVANCE BE STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND APPLYING APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS THEREOF
September 20th, 2011
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Planking Act of 2011”.
SEC. 2. A universal Code of Student Conduct is hereby prescribed where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.
SEC. 3. Under this Act, planking is when a student or group of students lies face down in unusual locations especially in streets or other public places, keeping the hands along the body and the feet outstretched and especially where such act is meant as a form of redress of grievance against government.
SEC. 4 Every bonafide student from any school, college or university shall conduct himself with high degree of discipline and propriety.
SEC. 5. The Department of Education in the case of elementary and high school students and the Commission on Higher Education in the case of college students shall draft a universal Code of Student Conduct to carry out the provisions of this Act.
Further, DepEd and CHED, respectively shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to effectively carry out intent and purpose of this Act.
SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect ninety (90) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation.
Although the bill seems to be written specifically for 'student' rallyists who perform planking as part of their protest actions, a lot of Pinoys in Facebook and Twitter who plank 'casually' or simply to express themselves as well as those who are just familiar with the activity and not really actual 'plankers' felt that the Act is a clear upfront to the freedom of expression.
Here are some tweets that made 'Anti-Planking Act of 2011' the natural top trending topic on Twitter as of writing:
Meanwhile, in Facebook, Cha-Chaey Garcia, a member of PlankingPinas, wrote this message on the Community Page's wall: "Isang kabobohan ang panukalang batas [na] Anti-Planking [Act of 2011]. May mga bagay na mas mabigat kesa sa Planking. Hindi krimen ang planking, hindi ito pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan o pagpatay sa kapwa. Bago [gumawa ng batas laban sa Planking], ayusin nyo ang kahirapan, corruption at edukasyon sa ating bayan. Kaya kung sino man ang sasang-ayon [sa bill na ito] ay nahihibang. Mga bopols talaga kayo,"
IamSuper Xhel follows up, "[Grabe naman!] Wala namang ginagawang masama ang [mga nagpaplanking] ah. Gumagawa lang ng pagkakakitaan ang gobyerno eh, may masabi lang na may nagawa silang batas?"
In the face of criticism from a lot of Facebook and Twitter users, UP-Graduate Rep. Winnie Castelo told GMA News:
"Di namin pinipigilan ang pagpapahayag ng mga rallyista na i-express ang kanilang mga kritisismo sa pamahalaan. [...] We welcome it (the outcry of protesters). Ang problema lamang ay huwag sana itong maging pangamba sa kapakanan. [...] Wag sirain ang public order. Nakita natin kahapon humaba traffic. Naging delikado ito."
3 Things, ladies and gents --
1. I don't plank. But I see planking as more than just an expression of oneself: For me, it is an art form.
2. The government should protect and uphold its people's freedom to express themselves, which - I think - includes the freedom to plank.
3. Instead of enacting a law to prevent people from planking, the government should come up with guidelines on "safe planking".
"Let 'em plank!"