The Graduating Class Of 2020: Mark Averilla AKA Macoy Dubs
2020 is the year nobody could have predicted, with every worst-case scenario presenting itself. We started with a clean slate, with high expectations fueled by optimism, unaware that our lives would be altered forever. No rule book could have prepared us for one harrowing global crisis after another. With a death toll so crushing—1.6 million worldwide deaths attributed to COVID-19 alone—we’ve somehow managed to block it out like any deep trauma.
Google’s Year in Search reveals the many questions we all had this year. Amid such grave loss emerged stories of hope, joy and survival. For many Filipinos, we turned to healthy escapism, humor as a form of reprieve, amid such distress. Wonder’s Graduating Class of 2020—Rain Matienzo, Doracrybaby and Macoy Dubs—continue to provide laughter to their respective audiences while advocating for reform—confronting a broken system that has long caused its citizens to suffer.
This year, any attempt at feeling joy—or anything that resembles it—has caused guilt for some but, if you ask us, it’s become our saving grace.
In our very first exchange with Mark Averilla AKA Macoy Dubs in late August, they shared, “When you connect humor to reality, people will get you, they will understand you.” From impersonations of everyday citizens to their most popular persona to date—a high-pitched, outspoken ninang to all named Auntie Julie—Macoy credits this to their being observant, with each persona materializing from firsthand experience.
Yet this hasn’t always been the case for Macoy, casting their doubts on their social media profession especially with the pandemic surfacing. They reveal, “Wala na talaga akong magawa nu’n. Hindi ko alam kung magdudub pa ako, kung i-delete ko na ba ‘yung Facebook page ko…but then Auntie Julie happened. (I couldn’t do anything then. I didn’t know if I should continue dubbing, or if I should delete my Facebook page…but then Auntie Julie happened.)” They add, “Sometimes [I think], ayaw na ba nila kay Macoy? Gusto ba nila as Auntie Julie na lang? (Sometimes I think, do they not want Macoy? Do they only want Auntie Julie?)”
Macoy has discovered that it’s striking the proper balance between their many beloved characters, which actually paved the way for their first-ever TV project as a host for TV5’s noontime show Lunch Out Loud. The entertainer shares, “To be honest…my dream talaga is to become a journalist wherein meron akong documentary show. (To be honest…my dream is to become a journalist wherein I have my own documentary show). I’m very, very thankful to the Lord kasi I was praying for it talaga ever since. This is some kind of blessing I wasn’t expecting at all.”
Getting to work alongside revered actors with decades of experience in the industry, Macoy doesn’t feel any pressure. They add, “I’m really happy because all of my workmates in the noontime show [are] very nice to me. There’s no pressure, hindi ko na-feel na ako ‘yung baguhan (I don’t feel like I’m the new one.)”
Adjusting to their new role as a TV host, alongside their duty as a special lecturer in Colegio de San Juan de Letran, has challenged Macoy immensely, which led them to make the difficult decision to leave their day job in a multinational advertising agency. Macoy explains, “Leaving the advertising industry is also a heartbreak for me kasi I love doing the work there. That’s my bread and butter; that’s part of my DNA…Nevertheless, I want to stay long in showbiz. I can see that I will flourish here. I can work with different types of people, and I will learn more.”
Despite all personal triumphs, 2020 has been difficult for Macoy, who lives independently and is very outspoken about the fluctuating state of their mental health. Still, communication has helped them overcome the slew of tragic events that happened this year. Macoy reveals, “Positive communication is key—communication [with] your friends, your family [and] if you have [a] significant other…[since] we have more time to connect this pandemic. On a macro-level, [communication is key], even [in] the government.”
Macoy has not shied away from speaking overtly about politics, especially having made headlines mid-year after publicly showing their opposition to the Philippine Anti-Terror Bill. We just had to ask: Do you feel like you have to censor yourself now, as a public figure? And to this they replied, “No, kung anuman ang nakilala nila sa social media, as vocal, that won’t change. (No, if they recognized me as vocal on social media, that won’t change.)”
However, the newly minted TV host has learned a thing or two about embracing accountability in his unique position: “You also need to learn both sides. ‘Wag lang tira ng tira. (Don’t just keep on reacting.)” They reveal, “I used to call out Alex Gonzaga nung summer [on Twitter], but now we’re working together in the noontime show. That’s why during the first meeting, the first three weeks, very awkward talaga ako sa kanya (I was very awkward with her.)”
This led to an intimate discussion between the two, where they both listened to each other’s sides. Macoy adds, “When she explained her side, I realized na oo nga ‘no (oh right), she has a point also—that’s why she’s not so vocal about [issues]. We talked to each other, and I said sorry; nag-apologize ako and now we’re okay.”
Aside from anxieties brought by the pandemic, Macoy’s letting go of temporary, one-sided relationships the year ahead. They also emphasize the need to leave incompetence behind with everything at stake leading to the 2022 Elections. Macoy stresses, “[An] incompetent government should also be left behind, that’s why I’m really urging people to register to vote in 2021 because that’s [something] we can do [for] a better Philippines.”
They add, “This is also a call to colleges and universities to include seminars and include courses, subjects [on] voters’ education in the curriculum, because they will also be the ones to benefit [from it] in the future.”
The content creator, comedian and TV host has manifested great things in their life. This time, they’re bringing the same energy, but towards a cause bigger than themself. Macoy shares, “For the country, I’m manifesting that we’ll have more competent leaders; that there will be a rise of newly bred political leaders that will lead the Philippines to better horizons…all the way up to the elections in 2022.”
With a clean slate ahead, it may be naïve to have such grandiose expectations for 2021, yet amid all the uncertainty we experienced this year, Macoy encourages their generation to keep moving forward. They close, “To those who are afraid of taking chances, don’t be afraid now. We have limited time and, the pandemic that has happened, it showed us na…hindi natin hawak ang oras natin (we’re not in complete control of our time). I know it sounds cliché, but if you want to pursue your passions, if meron ka gustong gawin na magpapasaya sa’yo, na ikabubuti mo, gawin mo na (if there’s something you want to do that will make you happy and make you better, do it.)”
All hope is not lost and to dream that this pandemic will end is not far-fetched. People say to look for the helpers. But perhaps we, too, should look for the dreamers.
Photography Ed Enclona
Art Direction Matthew Fetalver and Alexandra Lara
Art Matthew Fetalver
Interview and Cover Story Adie Pieraz
Fashion Direction and Styling Nicole Blanco Ramos
Beauty Direction Cessi Treñas
Hair and Makeup Slo Lopez
Shot at The Chroma Studio