‘Die-ins’ yesterday, ‘planking’ today


PROTEST PLANKING. A police officer tries to dissuade protesters from carrying on their "planking" by lying prone on the pavement, blocking briefly the traffic at a busy roundabout in Manila, Philippines, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 to support calls for a nationwide "transport holiday" following unabated oil price increases in the past weeks. The sign at left reads: Transport Strike Against Oil Price Hikes! AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

“Die-ins” are out. “Planking” is in.

Police on Monday morning dealt with a “new form” of protest mounted by members of the militant League of Filipino Students (LFS) on España Boulevard in Sampaloc, Manila, in support of the nationwide transport strike against rising fuel prices.

Some 20 LFS members lay face down on the pavement in 10- to 15-minute intervals at the corner of España and M. Dela Fuente Street. They dispersed peacefully after two hours when authorities stepped in to unclog traffic in the area.

The activists performed a youth fad known as planking: the body lying as flat, straight and rigid as a wooden plank.

Craze from Down Under

The “game” is in finding the oddest or coolest places to be photographed while planking, such as the gap between park benches or in front of famous landmarks.

The craze is said to have started in Australia and has reached the local youth scene.

Activists of an earlier time, however, may see planking as just a renaming of the so-called die-ins, wherein protesters also hit the ground, pretending to be corpses.

The LFS plankers occupied two lanes of the boulevard, timing their first move with the traffic light turning red at around 8 a.m.

They repeated this each time the stop sign went on, while other LFS members and allies from another youth group, Anakbayan, distributed leaflets to passing motorists.

Superintendent Jemar Modequillo, commander of Manila Police District’s Sampaloc Station 4, said his men initially allowed the group to proceed with their peaceful activity.

But later, Modequillo said, “we had to discourage them because they were causing heavy traffic already. Even if they were lying on the pavement while the traffic light was red, they were still obstructing traffic. They occupied almost half of España.”

A Malacañang official sounded more amused than impressed when told of LFS’s novel activity.

‘Just a photo-op’

TRAINS GET SWAMPED. Filipino commuters crowd the Light Rail Transit station during the morning rush hour in suburban Caloocan City, Philippines, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, as many found alternate means of public transport when a leftwing group declared a "transport holiday" to protest against the continued oil price hikes in the past weeks. Protest leaders said Sunday that they want the government to scrap an oil deregulation law and a consumption tax that have helped oil prices soar to record highs. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

“When the police arrived, they ran away. So that was just for photo-op,” Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, told reporters in a briefing.

In a statement, LFS national president Terry Ridon attributed the traffic congestion in Manila not to his group’s protest action but to the suspension of the vehicle number-coding scheme by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

“The drivers had stationary protest areas and no lanes were blocked to ensure the free flow of traffic. Nothing else can thus be blamed other than the suspension of the MMDA of the number coding scheme,” Ridon said.

Original posted: 4:20 pm | Monday, September 19th, 2011

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    Protest should be done in front of Malacanang Palace not on the streets that may cause more civil unrest with some casualties.Planking at our major roads already signifies escalation of problem.

    • b0b

      Nakakalusaw talaga ng utak ang magtatakbo sa init ng araw sa kalaw/roxas blvd ganun din sa mendiola.

  • Anonymous

    komunista in action

  • Anonymous

    buti na lang di ako nagjoin lfs at bayan noong college ako. Munitk-muntikan na akong sumali. Katawa tawa pala itong mga org na ito. Walang alam kundi mang-agitate. Exploited na exploited at brainwashed ng mga komunista. Magsipagtrabaho na lang nang maayos at mangarap nang pagkatayog-tayog para umunlad. Lying in the streets lead to nothing.

  • Anonymous

    The cops should have these people arrested and fined accordingly. No leniency for these bunch of troublemakers. If they want to plank, they should do it at the beach or a park where they don’t obstruct those who did not want to participate unless they secured a prior rally permit.

    BTW, LFS has again shown that it is incapable of doing anything productive.

  • Anonymous

    Isa lang sa tatlong grupo ng samahang jeepney ang sumali sa protesta. Kahit sa hanay mismo ng mga driver, hindi makumbinsi ng PISTON ang iba nilang katrabaho. Iyan tuloy, di nagtagumpay ang ginawa nila kasi di maaaring sabihin ng PISTON na kinatawan sila ng hanay ng mga driver.

    • Anonymous

      yan naman ang ginagawa nila manloko na sila ang kinatawan ng mga drivers, typical na taktika ng mga sira ulo at mga napaglipasan ng panahon na mga cpp/npa/ndf, mga manloloko , mga loko loko nangangamoy lupa na yung mga leader nyo si singkit naman panay steak sa netherland kayo stick na lang ng bbcue didilaan nyo , nagigigng tamad tuloy kayo

  • Anonymous

    How sure are we that these strikers are drivers or franchise holders?  They maybe the “mercenaries” sent or hired by the CPP-NPA? Government on the other hand should promise them oil and electricity subsidy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    Gaya ng nasabi ko before,It´s about time for our Government to think about Government Transportation.We badly needed a service from the Government from which the people of the Philippines are paying for.We cannot blame people to revolt against Government because there are some needs which is vary hard to met.We need to have Hundreds of Buses.MRT/LRT or developing our Railways and MetroRiverLine along Pasig river.Dapat ma-improve! Besides,madaming tao na jobless ang matutulungan na magkatrabaho.Government must shoulder salaries and GSIS of every Government vehicle drivers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    Kung di na pupuwede ang “color coding” with a corresponding plate number not being allowed to use on a certain day.Then try the “ODD/EVEN” system? This means for example Monday is tag as no#1,so all the ODD plate numbers are allowed to use the road.Tuesday#2,so all EVEN number naman until Saturday.Sunday is an Open number day.Ang advantage ng ODD/EVEN system,di lang isa or dalawang number ang mababawasan mo but 5 numbers agad.

  • Anonymous

    League of Filipino Students? Diba matagal na yang napasok ng communista? Planking is stupid. Planking in the middle of the road is more so. Planking in the middle of the road instead of studying even more so. The jeepneys should have just rolled by anyway, and this country would be faring no less.

  • b0b

    Sana horsemaning/horsemanning na lang ang ginawa nila tapos nagkatotoo nang mabawasan na ang mga batang pwerhisyo sa lipunan.  Di kayo nakakatulong mga hijo/hija.  Dumaan ako sa edad na ganyan pero di ako naging sakit ng ulo ng magulang at lipunan.

  • Anonymous

    LFS…I am glad I made the right decison to “question” their platform back in the 80’s.
    The league is just a front of left wing party. Nothing else. They are using innocent teens to
    air they grievances. 

    If you join LFS, you won’t finish schooling and your future will be in jeopardy.

    Trust me. I’ve been there and lucky to be OUT!

  • Anonymous

    The promises of an oil-bought government do not mean anything. Big Oil has control of the government, the police, the military and the secret police.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    VAT is normal at all countries! If a country is reach and progressive,even people become a reasonable salary,then there will be no rallies,demonstration at all! Why is it too painful and can choke to every Filipino people? For example,a price/Barrel of gasoline will be sold to the World with a price of 200$…Now,what is 200$ for a rich and progressive country in compare to a country which has a very poor economic standard? Sa isang European or US or Singapore,they might not felt the pressure,BUT sa isang kagaya ng Pilipinas,na ang gusto eh puro trabaho pero ayaw namang magbayad ng buwis,eh anong kikitain ng isang bansa para umunlad?Ask those kababayan who had experience working abroad? They saw the difference about it! Hindi lang nagsasalita.Why did Arroyo said before that “OFW´s are our heroes?”…Because directly speaking,they made a bigger contributions to increase our Dollar reserves.Hindi sila makaka-angal kapag pinatungan na ng Tax! Syempre,malaki ang kinikita sa ibang bansa coz mayaman kaya ok lang ang dating or kaltas ng buwis….Ngayon,may economic crisis na,nagkakagulo pa sa Middle East which start from Tunisia and until now, So the economic aggrement of an Oil producing countries(Middle East) and the World will be affected! Naiintindihan nyo ba yun? Kahit sinong Presidente ang umupo sa panahon ng crisis eh ganun din ang gagawin nya! Kahit pa si Arroyo…Aquino…Binay…isama na natin ang mga Senador at si Manny Pacquiao..eh sabay-sabay ng umupo sa posisyon ng Presidente,HINDI BABABA ANG PRESYO! Now if you are not contented,then go to Middle East and continue your protest!

    • http://twitter.com/mega_chat mega chat

      di nga, taga Tate ka? nalowkah akitch. heheh :)

    • Anonymous

      I could’ve read your poorly-worded rant, but I figured I’ll save my brain cells from degradation.

  • b0b

    Someone has just murdered the English language…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PM6JHCFR2KT2AURMWRDUXBNLQY Darwin

    Just when you think militant leftists can’t get any dumber, they pull off something like this and set a new standard of dumb.

  • http://twitter.com/mega_chat mega chat

    yong mga draybers wiz humiga sa kalye? baketch hindi?

  • http://twitter.com/mega_chat mega chat

    i wonder how much public utility vehicle drivers will save if they will not smoke, drink, bet in lotto, bet in horse-racing, etcetera–because i see many of them doing this during their spare time or while waiting for passengers. and i thought they were barely earning :)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      pst. not a nice thing to say. don’t you have any vices yourself?  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VLO53PRSSY76BZOWLOHJDM33M jeray

    cge maging tanga kayo. ok lng na tumaas laht cge maging tanga!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    corny. you guys don’t look cool at all. abala pa kayo. 

  • calvin schiraldi

    and just like that, planking became uncool

    • http://twitter.com/punctuationmarc Marc Anthony Biay

      Planking was never cool to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    Stupid students just didn’t get that this strike was to protest the high fuel cost. but a growing silent protest is brewing and if this government remains silent and unmoving.. they will surely get a bigger protest next time around.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GQE6BI4VJXSEOSQOARX34Y7MVU ramon

    mga bayaran ang mga lider ng mga estudyanteng ito. di nila nalalaman na ang kanilang ginagawa ay upang makakuha lamang ng atensyon ng mga ganid na Intsik na syang nagpopondo ng mga protestang ito na may kinalaman sa mga kumpanyang pagaari ng mga Amerikano. bukas makalawa, sa Amerika din ang destinasyon na gustong puntahan ng mga karahong estudyanteng ito.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NBKGA75SEWTIB4ANEDJNXGHUZQ Toy

    may mga tao na imbis maging solusyon nakakadagdag pa sa problema. tsk2

  • Anonymous

    Here comes Secretary Mar “Epal” Roxas. He met with strikers yesterday..and instead na makabuti pakikipag-dialogue niya, napasama pa. Hahaha!

  • Anonymous

    Barado si Mar Roxas sa transports groups. Biruin mo ba namang sabihing perwisyo lang daw ang ginagawa ng grupo, kaya ayun nagpanting ang grupo at pinutakti si Mar. Akala ka niya uubra ang galing niya.

  • Anonymous

    Akala siguro ni Mar Roxas lahat ng grupo madaling suhulan. Nagkakamali siya. Markado na siya ng PISTON. Yari siya sa 2016.

  • Anonymous

    Nagpaiwan pa si Mar Roxas sa biyahe ni PNoy sa US. He wants to play a hero. Akala niya siguro makukumbinsi niya ang mga strikers na tumigil na. Ayun nabutata lang siya. Buti nga, epal kasi!

  • Anonymous

    Akala siguro ni Mar Roxas, madali niyang mauuto ang mga drivers. Nauna kasi yabang niya kaya ayon, sinupalpal siya ng mga strikers

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SC4WK5S4VGP6ZV2GZHGYFK73GU Antonio Luna


  • Anonymous

    this is what I call the communists and their “cabinets-in-waiting” in action…nuff said…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SC4WK5S4VGP6ZV2GZHGYFK73GU Antonio Luna

    perwisyo naman talaga ang ginagawa nilang rally eh, pwede naman sila magrally, hindi sa daan. maghanap sila ng lugar. eh kung makapagrally sila akala mo sa kanila ang daan, nanghaharang pa ng ibang driver na ayaw sumama. ano tawag dun? PERWISYO.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you…some militantes are hypocrites…sabi nila, perwisyo ang ginawang “sabwatan” ng oil companies sa presyuhan, buwis at deregulasyon, e sila din, nagpeperwisyo habang inilalabas ang kanilang saloobin…at eto pa aside sa planking:

      1. paglagay ng road spikes
      2. sapilitang kinuha ang marka ng ruta nakapaskil sa jeep
      3. habang hinarang ang jeep para mag anyaya sa causa nila, may nagsakal ng ice pick sa gulong para maparalisa ito
      4. nilalagyan ng used oil ang daan para madudulas
      5. pambabastos at pag-iiringan sa mga drivers na mas gusto pa magmaneho kaysa sumama sa kanila…at iba pa magagawa para lamang mapansin sila sa kanilang saloobin….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7QVHU7FTSGHY2BCKYQXALJ7HDQ jon vince

    it’s not planking if you keep raising your head to see if you got enough attention.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2BCV2YTRFVA3YOVMAN2A4RFHBM markx

    if these people are really serious, instead of doing their protests in the streets and against the government,  they should have gone to the main offices of the big oil businesses!  they are like dogs barking on wrong trees! noisy and empty!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WPNTVYBKVVCDI6ZEHZ5452P6FY Morrigan Erinyes

    Castelo should have filed for “anti-protest”, “anti-strike”, or “anti-rally” instead of “anti-planking”. “Planking” was just part of the transport strike. If she is worried about the danger it poses, she should also file an ‘anti-mountaineering’, ‘anti-sky diving’, ‘anti-driving’, or ‘anti-crossing the street, etc.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

    well…  25 years ago, kneeling bodies stopped the military tanks in edsa.  not exactly the same as today’s planking but the idea is the same.  those parents served a baaaaaad example!!!!

    but then, castelo is a congressman, so who expects him to be intelligent?

  • Anonymous

    Hindi naman totoong planking yan e. 

  • Anonymous

    yes, they just do it for photo-op. i bet that without the cam and media around they wont stay there long up to create sort of anarchy on the streets.

    but if they have this new style of protest then the police should think of a counter attack. like calling the “malabanan” trucks filled them with water and spray them on the road while these stubborn trouble maker students on break and let’s see if they return back to plank, isn’t it that simple? if they do then use the real one! :D yak! 

  • http://openid.aol.com/barky6612 Frank Lee

    So planking is a “new form of protest” engaged in by students… OHHH KAYYYYY! SURE.! Die-ins, lie-ins, sit-ins, stand-ins, walk-ins, run-ins, plank-ins and what other outs and ins of protests are worthwhile only if they actually succeed in conveying a message or securing change.

    Thích Quảng Đức and eventually several of his co-Buddhist monks burned themselves to protest Catholic persecution of their religion in Vietnam during the early 60’s. That act act of self-immolation is regarded as a turning point that led to the deposition of then South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm. (If you read more about this then you will find out that Kennedy tried to do a Reagan-Marcos style escape for 
    Diệm but was beaten to the flight by a few well placed bullets.)

    The “plank-ins” I saw near the Welcome-Rotonda on TV were… just a public nuisance aimed at becoming just another uploaded clip on some such social networking site. If these people were really serious… they don’t have to burn themselves or disembowel their bellies but be simply informative and not irritating.

    PISTON and friends stated that gas was overpriced by about 9 pesos but oil companies could also claim the opposite. The reason why these companies are more believable comes from their using intelligent arguments including Peso devaluation, world oil prices and the like. Pro-deregulation advocates on the other hand… get into a shouting match with themselves and with M. Roxas, stop the flow of traffic, and nevermid. They are a nuisance.

    (A solution I think would be for the entire public transport sector to buy their gas from just one oil company that promises to offer them the best price or to just do it and wait for the others to lower their prices.)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RNJYX4OMNWEQEPRDAPR6D6FENI marco

      Why don’t they just burn themselves? I will be more than glad to send a gallon of gasoline.

  • http://openid.aol.com/barky6612 Frank Lee

    I call these plankers nuisances myself and find them unbearably silly. Still the concerns are legitimate and worthwhile. Fuel prices are high and thus there should be an explanation as to why they are so.

    Spraying them with feces loaded water or whipping them into quietude with planks is a solution that will bring more people to join their ranks. I incidentally will likely join them if it happens.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ATYAB457SE43LMC2Q6UPT4JPM4 tow truck

    Media should stop covering those stupid people.  They are just looking for attention.  to LFS and other militant stupids & you partylist supporters.  so what was the come out of your action???  did gas prices went down as you wanted????  I bet not!    To partylist groups.  you guys havee the power & position in congress,  why don’t you file a bill to repeal oil deregulation law and gather support from other congressmen & senators so the President can review it and pas it into law.   Street protest will not change a law.  Use your brains if you have one.  ano pa silibi nyo sa congress kung di nyo gagawin yan????

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESPSLPH7VXAKKKJKB274CZOX2E Raphael

    sana nasagasaan na yung mga taong yan!hehehe

    • b0b


      di tao ang tawag sa mga yan, kundi tau-tauhan…
      …tau-tauhan nun nasa utrecht na pasarap ang buhay.

    • b0b


      di tao ang tawag sa mga yan, kundi tau-tauhan…
      …tau-tauhan nun nasa utrecht na pasarap ang buhay.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RNJYX4OMNWEQEPRDAPR6D6FENI marco

    Sagasaan ko pa mga yan. That is anarchy tolerated by law enforcers dahil mga duwag sila.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAWVMF4VMCQUEBTFUZTF453M6Y Playa

    to all you haters, how are militants and party list reps stupid, again?  merely looking for attention?  sagasaan?

    meron silang pagmamahal sa bayan kaya sila sumali in the first place, at para maisulong ang advocacy nila, nag-run sila for office as a party. maski hindi ako naniniwala sa lahat ng pinaglalaban nila, deep inside,  i know they are just like us — all we want is what’s good for the country.

    one thing i agree with you, though: planking is stupid (not to mention, narcissistic).

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos