”Sino ang kumain ng sisig sa Jollijeep?” cries Nigel in the iconic Devil Wears Prada scene. For those scratching their heads, no, this is not some deranged Tagalog dubbing in a late Sunday night local network line-up. This is one of the zingers comedian Macoy Dubs delivered in their early days of making dubbed content on Facebook.

(Who ate sisig in Jollijeep?)

Maybe all this is a faint memory, but in 2018, Macoy Dubs—or Mark Averilla—captured the cultural zeitgeist with a series of viral dubbed scenes from popular Hollywood flicks of the early 2000s. Blending iconic characters with Filipino humor, their videos hit all the right notes. There was something undeniably ingenious and Warholian about calling an obviously high-end bag a Secosana, or Miranda Priestly uttering, “Bes, ito ba ‘yung sa Greenhills?” 

(Bes, is this the one from Greenhills?)

Mark could have comfortably spent the next few years churning out the same dubbed content with relative privacy. But, by 2019, they were craving something new. They then decided it was time to step into the metaphorical light, revealing their face through their TikTok content. The rest, as they said, was history. 

Marking the start

Though it was only recently that Macoy Dubs took the social media scene by storm, their passion for comedy harkens back to their college years.  “I used to impersonate my professors,” they reveal, “and I realized that I [had] comedic prowess.” As a student, they were also part of their school’s theater arts club, falling more and more in love with performing as they slipped into various roles.  But it was news reporting that Mark had their eyes on. “Ever since, I really wanted to be a TV reporter, [so] that’s why I took AB-COM (Communication Arts),” they confess.

Still, past the Macoy persona and the Internet buzz, Mark is still very much human, kicking off their days with a perfectly mundane morning routine. “I usually wake up at 6 am, drink coffee, and then go straight to [the] shower,” they share. After a dose of caffeine, Mark then goes on to work on an eight-to-five schedule. Only at the end of the day do they turn on the camera, ready to transform into the different faces of Macoy Dubs. Admitting that they find refuge in content creation, Mark admits that the persona is their “outlet to throw [off] frustration and stress.”

No tears left to cry

Nowadays, the name Macoy Dubs is a staple in Filipino social media trends, especially with the birth of everyone’s favorite “woke” tita,  Aunt Julie, who charmed the hearts of many with her pearls and witty commentary. Still, given the nature of Mark’s work as a creator, it is inevitable that they are met with keyboard warriors, ready to fire backlash at whatever they do.

With trolls constantly driving them up the wall, Mark announced last August that their Aunt Julie persona was to stop creating content. “The trolls [were] starving, and [they were] waiting for something to eat, so they attacked the character,” they state, describing the provocation they received at the time. However, only a week later, Aunt Julie made her glorious return, to the relief of many. 

Mark fully acknowledges their position as a target of bashers, admitting that “in terms of backlash, oh…suki ako diyan.” In dealing with it, Mark shares that “when there’s too much noise, ako na mismo ang umaalis.” 

(In terms of backlash, oh…I am a regular in that area. When there is too much noise, I take it upon myself to leave.)

No matter how much bashers try to pull them down, though, Mark has remained on the path to success. Starting last October 19, they’ve been booked and busy with their new job as a host for TV5’s latest noontime show, Lunch Out Loud. Thrilled by the opportunity, Mark is driven to make the most out of it. “This is a dream come true, so I will do my best for this new job.”

Against the grain

Mark’s brand of comedy is one that no longer situates itself above the humdrum of politics. “In these times, hindi puwedeng good vibes, good vibes lang,” they assert. Even back then, their dubbed videos have always been barbed, referencing the state of public transportation or jabbing at politicians. Perhaps to call it a “brand” is a disservice to the clarity they possess about it: that comedy, in seeking to connect with people, ultimately reflects life’s realities. 

“I am sure a lot of people would say that I should stay out of political issues,” Mark discloses, “but my stance is different.” This conviction is manifested not only in their content but their actions too; last 

July, along with other social media personalities, they filed a Supreme Court petition against the Anti-Terrorism Law—in high heels no less. “I decided to speak out because I want to be a catalyst for other content creators to step up [and] for them to resist the usual,” they add.

Mark has also had to fight for themselves. A brand they were in talks with for an endorsement once dropped them for “being too effeminate.” For an influencer on the rise, adjusting their image would have been the easy way out—but not for Mark. Knowing how queer people have been ostracized for being feminine for decades now, standing up to discrimination and unabashedly being themself was the right decision. “‘Pag may ipinaglalaban ka, lumaban ka at ipagtanggol mo ang ipinaglalaban mo,” Mark advises. 

(If you have something to fight for, fight for it.)

With political discussions becoming a regular occurrence on the Internet, Mark stresses the need for the youth to hone their creativity to make themselves heard. After the rise of Macoy Dubs, there has been no shortage of fresh faces in the content creation scene, who strive to follow Mark’s footsteps by incorporating political stances into their humor. Mark commends these newcomers, saying, “They are doing a great job [of] educating their followers.” He advises, though, that social media fame shouldn’t go to one’s head, reminding everyone to “stay grounded and never lose their spark.” 

Many faces, one intention

From film dubs to TikTok videos and even to tita transformations, Macoy Dubs has yet to stop finding new ways to excite and entertain Filipinos on social media. But despite the different roles they’ve taken, they have never shied away from showing their true self, be it in hard times or in better ones.

Behind the screen, away from the cameras, and minus the script, there lies only one Mark Averilla—a person who has a knack for cracking jokes, has always been an outspoken speaker, and most of all, aspires to build a better future for the nation while doing what they do best.

By Glenielle Geraldo Nanglihan

By Criscela Ysabelle Racelis

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