Limpag: Madato ang MPBL ana?

Mike T. Limpag
·2 min read

Unya, madato sila ana? That’s a common Cebuano saying when one is forced to comply with something that is deemed unfair or abitrary.

Usually, it’s uttered by an employee or sometimes by guys who belong to a smaller group who had no choice but to comply.

Its simple translation would be “Will they get rich with that?” But that doesn’t really capture the essence of the simple sentence.

Back in college, in one of my sociology classes, I learned that our language affects our worldview. And the worldview that bore the “Unya, madato sila ana?” isn’t the same as the worldview of the English version.

It speaks of a sneer. Of rolling one’s eyes.

Of complying and of knowing that down the road, you know that people will realize you were on the right all this time.

I’m pretty sure some of the players who were supposed to suit up for the Vis-Min Cup had the phrase in mind when they were forced to back out just days before the tournament was to start because the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) warned that they’d be treated as ex-pros.

“Unya, madatu ang MPBL ana?”

The MPBL, the league that’s supposed to spur the growth of professional basketball in the countryside but still pretends to be amateur.

And oh, to point out the obvious, a league that has a commissioner and a figurehead who should have been part of the worldview that would readily understand the phrase, “Unya, madato sila ana?”

So they got their way. And the MPBL got to prevent players from playing in the Vis-Min Cup when there are no MPBL games around. When players should be free to seek their own fortunes because they aren’t getting paid by the MPBL.

For what?

Just to prove that they can?

To show that like the PBA, when it comes to basketball in the province, some guy in an air-conditioned office has the final say whether one player’s family will be comfortable in the next few weeks or not?

Because that’s what they did. They robbed players of a chance to earn for their family.

Unya, madatu mo ana?

Some guys who comply do so but also do a little something. I know one guy who went all the way to the Department of Labor and forced one company to change its policy.

The players, team owners and coaches disappointed with the MPBL ruling don’t have that option, of course.

But they can all ask the Games and Amusements Board, why does this pro league get away with pretending to be an amateur league?

“Kay madatu sila ana?”