May you tell us more about this wonderful MVA MOA, Manabat?

By Mabel Doge Luhan

Oh, how I love the avant garde! Just last night, I saw performance art of a plushie Jesus shooting pugua spit from his bussy! And this morning, I was about to pick up Nathan Hill’s latest novel for a challenging read, but then I found something even more excruciatingly difficult to gloss: Bryan Manabat’s latest propaganda piece for MVA.

“MVA official: MOA with DLNR regarding tourist sites in the works” not only gives us a truly Filipino style letter salad, but challenges the very conventions of meaning itself! 

In the first paragraph, we read that there’s some kind of memorandum in the works between MVA and the Department of “lands.” Oh, how I want to be in the room when Bryan Manabat learns about mass nouns!

In the second paragraph (real journalistic pros, of which I am not one, would call it a “graf”), we find out that there’s some kind of memorandum in the works. 

In the third paragraph, well, there’s still a memorandum in the works. My grandson Lucretius (the one with an orange-and-black screensaver) loves edging, but I certainly don’t!

What is the subject of this MOA? Is it for raising falcons? Laundering Chinese money? Burying cash in pigpens? What is it? Bryan never tells us! Not only does he not explain what a MOA is, he doesn’t even describe, nor seem to know, what this MOA is about. 

MVA and Chris Concepcion are not to blame here. They’re running their own game, as they should be, trying to make themselves look good and secure funding for themselves. Fine. Totally legit (unlike my fourth son, but that’s a different story!). 

It’s Bryan and the Variety who are at fault. If the goal is being a newspaper and serving the public interest, they have absolutely failed, because this article doesn’t give any useful information. And if the goal is propaganda, well, Bryan won’t be getting that garlic fried rice upgrade next time, because there’s nothing complimentary of MVA here! It’s just some babble about something unspecified that may or may not happen.  Or as the Variety loves to write, is “being eyed.”

“The law” mentioned: what law? An existing law or a proposed one?

And is Manabat under the impression that a MOA is binding or determinative? Because by definition, it’s not. Of course, he can be excused for not knowing that, because the Variety office doesn’t have internet, and Wikipedia isn’t free. Oh, wait. 

So we’re left with a truly delicious hermeneutic mystery. What does this article mean, if anything at all? And why read Finnegans Wake when we have this?

Oh, my lands! My falcons and my lands. And my stars and garters too.


  • Sorry Mabel, but I can’t read your articles anymore.
    I am sure you is a lovely person, however.

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