The International State College of the Philippines (ISCP) is the Internet’s dream school. Who wouldn’t want to take up programs such as Jedi Arnis, headed by the likes of Dean Kim Atienza, and attended by fellow ISCPanians like Macoy Dubs?
With its amusing course offerings, a fully-realized recruitment video, and a website better than most legit colleges, the satirical page is the toast of Filipino Internet – and the poster child of how powerful humor can be in captivating audiences.
For Niño Ged, ISCP’s founder and a self-described satirist, the trick is tapping into evergreen and relatable experiences. While humorous, ISCP is rooted in the hours of poring over university brochures, and the anxiety of making a life-changing decision.
“Most people have experienced choosing a college or a course. I’m in the same boat myself.“, said the senior high student, who plans to take up Aeronautics in college.
A rabid following
ISCP’s content is so resonant that the page is practically run by its followers. Besides the main account on Facebook, which Niño runs, most of the content is contributor-based, including sister groups like the ‘E-Youth Council’, and accounts on other channels like Tiktok.
“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.”
Established last July 31, ISCP has garnered 660K+ followers and reached 25 million users in its first week of infancy. Niño maintains that the page has never paid any ads for its impressive growth.
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However, ISCP’s success didn’t come without speed bumps. Artist Toni Panagu called out the page for its association with Quick Write, a writing service that caters to “academic commissions” for students with their assignments, thesis, and research papers.
Panagu argues that the practice promotes “academic dishonesty” and “anti-poor” sentiments, where the privileged can pass simply because they can pay for their degrees.
Niño, who calls Quick Write his passion project, has since acknowledged the criticism. The platform will shift towards offering marketing services to businesses instead, a sentiment echoed by a press release. The service has also severed any promotional ties with the budding ISCP page.
“ISCP became more than what I expected it to be, leading me to reconsider the direction I want the content to take.”
On ISCP’s future school years
With ISCP being barely a week old, even Niño doesn’t know what the page’s future holds. For now, he is content with enjoying the community he has built.
“I think the pandemic made people miss school more than they realize”, he mused. “ISCP captures that sense of belonging and participation that you can only get in a physical classroom while surrounded by friends.”
And for those who desire to replicate his success, Niño has a simple tip: Try, try, and try.
“I’ve read many books, created pages that flopped and were banned, and content that no one noticed. Keep trying and you’ll find that working formula. Then build your following from there.”