Unmasked: The Greatest Underdog Author, Marivic Lacuña

When you are underestimated all the time, that’s when you get the advantage to make a surprise. 

How many of you know someone who loves writing but gave it up when the pressures of life choked them? Many, right?

But recently, someone I knew came out of the shadows to surprise the world and prove that the passion for writing can be someone’s way of living. Let’s be honest here. It’s hard to be successful in the realm of novel writing especially if you are a newbie without a background. You’re not sure if all your efforts would be paid off. Many started writing on different platforms but not everyone can earn from it. So what makes this woman special? Is she a literature major? No! Did she get an awesome internship? Absolutely no! Is she from a prestigious family? Oh, far from reality. This woman was a college dropout due to early pregnancy. A woman who was adopted by a poor family and was compared to her twin sister all her life. She was a broken vessel and was a mess but became a beautiful piece of art. This woman became an inspiration to the people she knew that there was hope even in the darkest times of our lives. And she proved that the passion for writing, teaching, and even speaking can be your way to success. Who is she? She is Marivic Lacuña. 

Marivic is an author that started her writing career in May last year. Yes, it was just a year but she did well in making herself big in just a small amount of time. So when someone tells you, “I can change my life in a year.” believe him because it’s possible. She was even featured on a local radio station and was awarded as the most influential youth of Don Esteban-Lapuz. During her interview, she shared to the listeners, tips and ways to earn from writing and even teaching. 

She started as a ghostwriter for international authors, did well, and just after three months, her ghostwriting gig flourished with tons of clients around the world, allowing her to hire other aspiring writers. That’s when her friends slowly learned about the beauty and the advantages of ghostwriting. She told me during the interview that many of her friends said that they want to go back to writing. They were inspired and motivated to ignite their passion for writing once more and to earn from it. She trained her team to write professionally with international standards and helped them get International clients. She was the bridge for writers to earn from their write-ups and to know renowned authors globally. As of now, this is her business and her way to help others. 

March this year when she published her debut book, The Greatest Underdog. A book she wrote, edited, proofread, and designed herself. It was a self-published book and she said, “To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations from it. I just wrote it and published it just because I want a book under my name”. To her surprise, it was given 5-star reviews from international readers in GoodReads, Google Playbooks, and in Amazon. She didn’t market it because she just didn’t want to spend a penny so everything was a huge surprise for her. This book is about her life, her struggles, and her success. A book that became her outlet for all those unspoken words that she was keeping in her heart. Aside from this book, she also has other books like Renaissance Moon and Quietus, and she wrote tons of books for International authors.

You might say she was just lucky but the reality was, she was far from lucky. She worked hard for everything and her life was actually a mess. 

Let’s talk about her struggles because her life was not as pretty as you think. My father knew her first before I did and they actually knew each other back when Marivic was just in High School. Her twin sister, Maricar, was an achiever, the salutatorian at that time and the teachers know them well because their adoptive mother was already 60 years old at that time but was driving a pedicab to support their education. They lived in poverty and their will to improve their lives touched the hearts of the teachers and even their mom’s regular passengers. As adopted children, their ultimate goal was to give back to the couple that raised them and they finally did it. 

“I will never forget those people who helped me during my lowest times and I owe them everything I have today. I even made sure to add them to my book to show how thankful I am and I will do my best to make them proud,” she said.

Of course, I asked, why would her adoptive parents adopt them even though that couple was actually poor? She revealed that their biological mom was the sister of their adoptive father. The couple didn’t have any children so they asked if they could have the twin and their mom agreed given that their father was not present in their life because they separated. Growing up, she was compared to her twin sister because everyone said that her sister was prettier, smarter, kinder, and many more.

“I actually agree with them, Zach. But you know, it still hurts and favoritism is a hard pill to swallow especially if that gives the other person more opportunities than the other”—Marivic.

To top it off, she became a disappointment to her parents and others when she got pregnant at the age of 18. She was also an achiever and she got some scholarships to get into college so it was sad that that happened to her. Two weeks after she gave birth, she was given no choice but to apply for jobs to support her son and her family. She applied as a call center agent.

“During my first interview, the interviewer asked me why I want to apply for that job and I answered teary-eyed. I saw how that guy looked at me with a judgy look and, well, I didn’t get hired at that time. I was weak and not that confident. My heart was weak so he may have thought, this job is not for her because when the customers will shout at her, she’ll just cry”—Marivic.

Fortunately, she got hired somewhere else as a call center agent but maybe that interviewer was right because three months after, she quit her job as a call center agent and that was when she started teaching English online which became her passion and now, she has her freelance teaching business where she has private students paying directly to her. It was a great job for her and she rocked it.

“I love teaching so much, Zach. It makes me feel like I’m making an impact in the life of every student that I had and currently have. I love my students as I love my son and I want to make sure that they have a bright future.” —Marivic

Currently, Marivic is also making reels to teach others how to become successful in the Online English Teaching business. She just loves to share everything that she learned because she said she also wants others to be successful. 
So, when did she become a writer? After five years of teaching, she wanted to discover and try new things so she applied as a content editor. She was very confident by then which is far from her first interview. She didn’t have any background or experience, and she was not even a college graduate but she got hired and even got a higher salary offer than others. “That’s the power of confidence,” she said. During her time as a content editor, she edited write ups of international writers, and deep inside her heart, she was thinking, “I also want to be like them” and that’s when it all started. She started her gig as a freelance ghostwriter on a freelancing website and that was the start of her writing career. Now, she’s continuing writing and she believes that she has a lot more to learn so she keeps on learning and collaborating with others. She collaborated with ICUPAO, FPOP, and also ICUPFI as a volunteer. Ever since, she loves volunteering and that is what makes her extra special. She was The Greatest Underdog, unmasked.

This story is an entry to COMCO Mundo’s “UNMASKED: The COMCO Mundo Write to Ignite Season 3”.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities. “UNMASKED” aims to explore how each mask is a person brimming with hope and wonders to share with others, as well as why it is important to tell their inspiring journeys in life. The “Write to Ignite” Season 3 is made possible by COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises, with airasia, Babyflo, PHILUSA Corporation, Century Tuna, Licealiz, Lamoiyan Corporation, Rémy Martin, and Uratex Monoblock as brand partners.

Buy Marivic Lacuña’s book here:

The Greatest Underdog on Amazon - https://a.co/d/1CfdsWr 

Renaissance Moon on Amazon - https://a.co/d/1HW7lTz 
Zach Golez

A lifestyle blogger based in Iloilo City

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