The internet has a new favorite tita and her name is Auntie Julie.
"Auntie Julie" is the brainchild of Filipino content creator and social-media influencer Mark Averilla, aka Macoy Dubs, or simply Macoy.
Mark or Macoy is an advertising practitioner who rose to social-media fame around 2017 with his gay-dubbed Mean Girls videos.
Macoy says his Auntie Julie internet persona, like his other video concepts, was born out of boredom.
He relates to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Zoom on Tuesday, August 18, "I was just bored lang. Parang nung Friday, naisip ko, ‘What if mag-isip ako ng isang character sa Twitter just to break the Macoy Dubs, just to separate it from the Macoy Dubs persona?’
"Kasi they know naman who’s Macoy Dubs na gumagawa ng dubbed videos, nagti-Tiktok, ganyan.
"Pero naisip ko, ‘Sige nga, try ko lang na sa weekend mag-release ako ng isa na auntie yung look ko.’
"Kasi naalala ko, meron akong pearl earrings na sinuot ko noong isang Halloween party.
"Tutal mahaba na rin naman yung hair ko. Panglalaki hair pa rin naman pero mahaba na siya na pang-typical titan a maiiksi yung hair.
"Tapos medyo may konting tikwas here. So sabi ko sige, I’m gonna be ‘Auntie Julie.’"
THE BIRTH OF AUNTIE JULIE
Netizens follow Auntie Julie's maternal interaction with her niece Cassandra and eldest son Robert Angelo, including her funny conversations with her amigas.
The idea of Auntie Julie came to Macoy after "observing titas of Mary Grace."
From them, he has drawn the character of Auntie Julie—bred in the city, educated in a prestigious all-girls school and, yes, one of the ladies who lunch at Mary Grace Cafe.
Macoy admitted he can also identify with that crowd.
The 27-year-old content creator goes on: "I have this circle of friends nung college and then, meron kaming Facebook chat. We call it Aunties.
"Halu-halo, may lalaki, may babae pero we are being dominated by women doon sa chat group namin.
"And we see to it na every month, kahit isang beses lang, nagkakape kami sa Mary Grace, sa Wildflour, ganyan, to catch up on things. Puwede din sa Toby’s [Estate].
"Even us, sa circle namin, we call ourselves ‘Auntie.’ Kahit pa may lalaki, we call him ‘Auntie,’ and walang pag-iilang kahit na ‘Auntie’ yung tawag namin.
"And then, siyempre, yung mga conversations namin medyo mga pang-adults na rin.
"For example, yung investing sa health insurance, properties, mga ganyan, everything na pag-uusapan, pang-auntie."
Asked why he picked the name "Julie" for this character, Macoy answers, "Julie because idol ko si Jolina Magdangal. What if si Jolina maging tita? I’m gonna call her Julie."
HOMAGE TO SINGLE MOMS
Macoy says Auntie Julie is also his tribute to single moms, elaborating, "Auntie Julie is a widowed woman. Wala na siyang asawa. She’s a single mom.
"Kaya siya single mom because I want to represent the single moms as well. That they are successful in raising their kids.
"I want to represent the single moms na kahit single moms, they can raise their kids very well. And she can send her children to good schools."
On talk that he's been copying Fynest China, a Filipino social-media influencer based in Hawaii, Macoy says, "Wala akong idea na nagna-nanay-nanay din siya.
"And Cassandra din yung ginagamit niyang anak. Sabi ko that’s not intentional. It’s just a coincidence na Cassandra yung ginamit naming parehong pangalan."
Macoy also clarifies that this character is not a publicity sortie. "PR stunt daw of Julie’s Bakeshop. It’s not…"
He goes on to explain Auntie Julie's character. "Kailangan niyang intindihin yung iba’t ibang facets ng life.
"Pag nainitindihan niya yun, she can co-relate with the youth, with her fellow aunties from Poveda and Assumption. Kasi Auntie Julie is a millennial tita."
Saint Poveda College and Assumption College are both Catholic schools exclusively for girls.
Asked why he made Auntie Julie an alumna of Poveda, Macoy answers that it's because the school reminded him of how close students were at his own school.
"I have Povedan friends also, and merong isang instance na sumama ako sa isang party nila, and then na-realize ko na ang ganda ng culture ng Poveda.
"Para siyang sisterhood na nakita ko din with my alma matter nung college sa Letran.
"Parang tipong kahit tapos na sila mag-high school, they are still close.
"Hermana, ganyan yung tawagan nila. ‘Hey, Hermana!’ Parang nakita ko din siya sa Letran."
Macoy adds, "If I’m going to have a kid—kasi kahit naman gay ako, I want to have kids also—gusto ko siya pag-aralin ng basic education sa Poveda."
It does not surprise that among the fans of Auntie Julie are students and graduates of Poveda. In fact, Macoy has gotten invites to their zoom parties and next year's face-to-face reunion.
He shares, "Meron group na every Friday nag-aano sila, Netflix party. Tapos they’re holding their wine glass, may ganon.
"May ganun na nag-invite na, ‘Can we invite you to our Netflix party ‘cause we’re so fond of you.’
"‘I’ll think about it po kasi every Friday may rampa po ako, e.
"'Tapos meron pa, they’re inviting me to their alumnae homecoming parang next year ata.
"Dapat kasi meron yata this year pero na-postpone because of coronavirus nga. So parang they’re inviting me next year.
"Meron pang isa na gusto akong gawan ng uniform, as in yung dress na color saffron."
INSPIRING SOCIAL CHANGE
Many netizens are also commending Macoy for using his platform for important societal issues.
Macoy says his "woke" personality appears naturally every time he produces content for his social-media followers.
He says, "Hindi ko sinasadya yun, yung pagiging woke sa content ko. It’s innate.
"And na-feel ko lang na since people are telling me, ‘Okay, you’re doing good na meron kang social relevance, sige ipagpatuloy mo na.’
"Pero, siyempre, minsan lang… Kapag may politics involved, minsan hindi ko rin nako-control e."
Macoy continues, "Siyempre sa sitwasyon natin ngayon, ever since naman nung 2016, we can say na incremental yung nagging change ng society... Nagkaroon ng divide sa social media.
"So parang we want to correct somehow. I’m not politically correct also. I don’t say I’m DDS. I’m not dilawan either. But dun ako sa middle.
"Yung pagiging woke ni Macoy Dubs and Auntie Julie, it’s innate."
Through his Auntie Julie persona, Macoy hopes to subtly inform people about the importance of sex education.
"Yung parang ino-normalize natin yung topic kasi parang sobrang taboo ng sex sa Pilipinas, di ba? So parang i-normalize natin na in a way na si Auntie Julie yung nag-e-explain."
AUNTIE JULIE'S MESSAGE FOR THE YOUTH
To end the interview, PEP.ph asked Auntie Julie for a message to her "inaanaks."
Becoming Auntie Julie, Macoy goes: "Don’t be afraid to be the catalyst of change. If you feel that you need to change anything—from societal issues to orientation issues or mga gender issues—go ahead. Support ka ni Auntie diyan.
"As long as you eat my Baked Salmon and you tell me that it’s good compared to Auntie Pia’s apple pie.
"Basically be the catalyst of change and, of course, using your voice for the common good, and this is the right time as well to practice your right to suffrage.
"Most especially, Auntie Julie wants to highlight that, di ba, ang Povedans and Assumptionistas, you want to be the change?
"O, magte-2022 na, so gamitin natin ang boses ng kabataan kasi kayo naman ang magbe-benefit in the future kapag maganda yung governance natin, di ba?"
Meanwhile, Macoy is just happy that his internet persona has entertained thousands of Filipinos online. Some even use his Auntie Julie videos on Tiktok for a "duet."
Asked about his favorite duets, he answers, "Yung favorite ko, yung mga duet with Robert Angelo at saka si K Brosas.
"Si K Brosas, sobrang natatawa ako, ginagagawa niyang kanto yung pagkasosyal ni Auntie Julie."
AUNTIE JULIE SUDDENLY ON REST MODE?
Unfortunately, Auntie is now on "rest muna" mode.
On August 21, 2020, she posts on Twitter a Tiktok video of Auntie Julie ordering an Americano grande with "Stevia or Splenda" because she is "watching her sugar level."
In the same video, she also orders a Mocha frappe for her niece Cassandra.
She tells the barista, "Make sure it's not fake, ha."
But shortly after posting the video, Macoy tells his Twitter followers that it "might be the last aunt julie" because of the cancel culture.
He continues, "thank you for having aunt julie in your lives. :) makes me sad bcos i just want to create videos for entertainment, but just like the dubs I did before, ppl will still hate you. aunt julie can't please everyone. but macoy dubs will stay.
"those who are cancelling julie are the same ppl who cancelled macoy dubs way back april 2019. how dare you guys."
Macoy has posted another video where Auntie Julie takes off her pearls.
His caption reads: "As I've said in the Quarantine University, cancel the cancel culture, not the 'good vibes' culture.
"Auntie Julie will be back. She still loves you and will be the tita who gives you wantawsan."