“What communication practitioners find amazing and should take lessons from is how the page grew its content organically from unpaid contributors who spend their time and effort to create just for fun, to get in on the joke”
At first glance, its visual materials on social media seem like those of a legitimate university – logos, ID cards, pubmats, reams of information on various campus locations, degree programs, and professors, even a wonderfully rendered athletic team mascot.
At first glance, they can fool the eye.
But the International State College of the Philippines (ISCP) is a spoof of actual Philippine universities, and because of the tremendous effort that has gone into its world building, it’s understandable if some folks take them for the real thing at first glance.
The Facebook page @ISCPhilippines now has nearly 750,000 followers as of August 11, a huge following considering that it broke on most people’s feeds only over the past two weeks since it was created on July 31 this year.
Founder Niño Ged told We The Public in an interview that, as a satirist, he had created many other pages and tons of other content before, but none captured the imagination of so many as ISCP has.
The content at ISCP is almost entirely contributed by fans and followers, coming from sister groups such as the ISCP-Supreme E-Youth Government (which is also manages the ISCP Discord server).
“The community has expanded ISCP’s reach. It functions like a school where submissions are welcome. Our Discord is like a student government; everyone runs something or contributes somehow,” Ged said.
In thanking contributors and like-minded communities on his personal Facebook page, Ged wrote that ISCP “became much more significant than I envisioned. It captured the wholeness of Filipino Humor and left a mark on Philippine Pop Culture. Thank you for being a part of the historical event of the year 2022.”
What communication practitioners find amazing and should take lessons from is how the page grew its content organically from unpaid contributors who spend their time and effort to create just for fun, to get in on the joke.
Based on the comments, most of the page’s fans and contributors are young people, the Gen Z.
Here’s a typical (hilarious) exchange: “[commenter]: Do you guys accept exchange student from Japan? ? [ISCP]: Yes, as long as it is tightly wrapped in a gift wrapper.”
Among ISCP’s many degree programs are BA Martial Arts Studies, major in Self Defense; BS Gambling and Commercial Gaming, major in Cockfighting; and BS Vulcanizing (this is an old joke from the ‘80s at least).
Its campuses are located in various places in the Philippines and all over the galaxy (there’s no limit to how wild imagination can run at ISCP)!
Some of the gags really hit close to home, such as the meme that proclaims “Prof. Gabriela Annjane Umali Cruz” as a “new teacher in the College of Philippine History” with a photograph of actress Ella Cruz, who made the injudicious and frankly foolish remark about history being like ‘chismis’ (gossip).
Another meme they posted decries red-tagging; it features a photo of rapper Nicki Minaj with the hashtag #SatireButTrue.
This is relevant and timely after the latest rant by a government official and some media personalities red-tagging the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, its chair, and some of its published books (which has many in the literary community outraged, but that’s another story).
Satire is a literary device, often confused with jokes and other comedic devices, but in its true sense it is used as a vehicle for constructive social criticism.
Using humor, satire draws attention to current events, problems, and issues in society that are highly visible and somehow need to be addressed. Human follies and foolishness are held up to the light for censure and criticism but in a humorous way.
Take another ISCP meme that announced a new form of transportation – cable cars! “ISCPanians can now avail cable car transit all over NCR, for FREE,” the post reads.
“This is an initiative of the ISCP to reduce traffic in Metro Manila and to provide affordable transportation to students.” Boom!
* * *
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is calling for literary and art contributions for the 42nd edition of Ani, CCP’s official literary journal.
This volume will feature multilingual literary works on the theme of COVID-19 and the related topics of enhanced community quarantine, lockdown, isolation, and healing. Ani 42 will be published in both print and digital editions.
Writers may submit essays, poems, short stories, works for children, and other genres.
Submissions may be in Filipino, English, and other Philippine languages accompanied by a translation in either Filipino or English.
Only works created from July 2020 to the present will be accepted. Those who submitted before July 2020 with the same theme need not submit again.
Submissions must be original and unpublished. There is no page or word count limit. Format entries in 12-point Arial, double-spaced on 8 1/2” x 11” paper size.
Authors should also send a short bio note of three to five sentences, their photo, home address, contact details, and tax identification number.
Artists and illustrators may send in up to three entries, previously unpublished and their original creations, in JPEG or PNG format. They should also send the short bio note and other details as above.
Artworks may be traditional or contemporary in expression, but should be in 2D format — photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, or digital.
The deadline for submission of entries is on August 30, 2022. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line of the email, write, for literary works: Literary Submission for Ani 42. For artworks, use: Art Submission for Ani 42.
For more information, message the CCP Intertextual Division Facebook Page.*** FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO