#RP612fic and the Twitterverse Celebration of the Philippines’ 118th Independence Day

National independence is no laughing matter; countries that have once been or that continue to be colonized — like the Philippines — would know that better than anyone. Nonetheless, it is one of those times of the year again when the local social media scene is awash with posts and statements that showcase the trademark Filipino ability to find humor in all things.

Facebook was not spared from the day’s hullabaloo, when it posted its customary special-occasion greetings but accidentally displayed the red of the Philippine flag on top. Traditionally, such a presentation is only done when the country is at war. Of course, given recent developments in the nation’s socio-political landscape, the error may or may not have been appropriate after all.

Though Twitter had also had its fair share of critiques on the folly of celebrating June 12 last 2015 — most memorable of which might well have been from internationally acclaimed singer Lea Salonga — for the most part the celebration best comes in the form of alternative histories in 140 characters. For this year’s anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence, Twitter users once more took to the hashtag #RP612fic in varying degrees of grammatical correctness, actual funniness, and historical acumen.

Some jokes were merely recycled from last year’s batch:

This tweet borrows from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton. (On a side note, Miranda has long since acknowledged the impact of his work on Philippine audiences.)

Some jokes are simply updates on long-standing name-related puns and/or innuendos:

However, this year’s most original tweets derive their value from the nation’s latest socio-political developments, technological trends, television and movies, and inside jokes: