Chapter 25: - Page 7 of 7

Smiles and Tears

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

If, then, their existence is necessary to our happiness, if wheresoever we turn we must encounter their delicate hands, hungering for kisses, that every day smooth the marks of abuse from our countenances, why not adore them and fatten them—why demand their impolitic expulsion? Consider for a moment the immense void that their absence would leave in our social system.  Tireless workers, they improve and propagate the races! Divided as we are, thanks to our jealousies and our susceptibilities, the friars unite us in a common lot, in a firm bond, so firm that many are unable to move their elbows.  Take away the friar, gentlemen, and you will see how the Philippine edifice will totter; lacking robust shoulders and hairy limbs to sustain it, Philippine life will again become monotonous, without the merry note of the playful and gracious friar, without the booklets and sermons that split our sides with laughter, without the amusing contrast between grand pretensions and small brains, without the actual, daily representations of the tales of Boccaccio and La Fontaine! Without the girdles and scapularies, what would you have our women do in the future—save that money and perhaps become miserly and covetous? Without the masses, novenaries, and processions, where will you find games of panguingui to entertain them in their hours of leisure? They would then have to devote themselves to their household duties and instead of reading diverting stories of miracles, we should then have to get them works that are not extant.

Take away the friar and heroism will disappear, the political virtues will fall under the control of the vulgar.  Take him away and the Indian will cease to exist, for the friar is the Father, the Indian is the Word! The former is the sculptor, the latter the statue, because all that we are, think, or do, we owe to the friar—to his patience, his toil, his perseverance of three centuries to modify the form Nature gave us.  The Philippines without the friar and without the Indian—what then would become of the unfortunate government in the hands of the Chinamen?

It will eat lobster pie, suggested Isagani, whom Pecson’s speech bored.

And that’s what we ought to be doing. Enough of speeches!

As the Chinese who should have served the courses did not put in his appearance, one of the students arose and went to the rear, toward the balcony that overlooked the river.  But he returned at once, making mysterious signs.

We’re watched! I’ve seen Padre Sibyla’s pet!

Yes? ejaculated Isagani, rising.

It’s no use now. When he saw me he disappeared.

Approaching the window he looked toward the plaza, then made signs to his companions to come nearer.  They saw a young man leave the door of the pansitería, gaze all about him, then with some unknown person enter a carriage that waited at the curb. It was Simoun’s carriage.

Ah! exclaimed Makaraig. The slave of the Vice-Rector attended by the Master of the General!  

Learn this Filipino word:

buhatin ang sariling bangkô