Read all about the man, the myth, the Filipino meme legend in this FreebieMNL exclusive.
Marlon “Tobit” Tobias is the man behind the meme page deepweb dumaguete. His story about a call center agent who fell in love with a beeper operator named Elise went viral.
Tobias said his “anti-boomer” mentality toward his uncle inspired the story.
“Madalas kong naiisip noon ang tito kong matagal nang umuwi galing Saudi. Nagpapanggap siya bilang techie at ipinagyayabang niya ang computer niyang Windows XP.”)
(“I used to think about my uncle who came home from Saudi Arabia a long time ago. He always used to pretend he was a techie. He liked bragging about his Windows XP computer.”)
The deepweb dumaguete author’s influences
He says he fell in love with writing because of Bob Ong’s books, especially McArthur. He learned to write after poring over everything Ong ever published. Tobias tried to follow in Ong’s footsteps by using his personal experiences in his work. The show Twilight Zone influenced the endings of his stories.
His other influences include Manix Abrera, Dekki Morales, and Norman Wilwayco. He’s also a fan of authors Alejandro Abadilla, Edgardo M. Reyes, Nap Arcilla, Ronaldo Vivo Jr., and Tony Perez.
His other influences include Manix Abrera (he credits Abrera’s fan-based organization Dito sa Mundong Kiko with sharpening his writing skills), Dekki Morales, and Norman Wilwayco. Tobias is also a fan of classic Filipiniana authors, especially Alejandro Abadilla, Edgardo M. Reyes, Nap Arcilla, Ronaldo Vivo Jr., and Tony Perez.
Tobias describes his work as “exciting, full of gossip, short, with tragic endings.” He says he took that formula from vloggers. He writes like Wattpad authors–especially those whose stories have explosive endings. He believes this style endeared him to his audience.
When he’s not writing, the real Tobias works hard at his day job. To illustrate, he has been a bottle cleaner at a factory, a construction worker, and a house boy. He has a large following but sees himself as a frustrated writer struggling to write amid the Philippines’ political climate.
“Sa ngayon, malayong-malayo ang tinatahak ko sa binuo kong pagkataong si Kuya Marlon. Nagdaan ang mga taon, napakarami kong napasukang iba’t-ibang klaseng trabaho. Kung achievement man, hindi ko alam.”
(“So far, I’ve come a long way compared to my ‘Kuya Marlon’ alter-ego. Years have passed, and I’ve taken on many different jobs. I don’t know if it’s an achievement.”)
Featured Image Macky Arquilla