Chapter 12: - Page 4 of 7

Placido Penitente

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

What collection?

For the monument.

What monument?

Get out! For Padre Balthazar, you know.

And who was Padre Balthazar?

Fool! A Dominican, of course—that’s why the padres call on the students.  Come on now, loosen up with three or four pesos, so that they may see we are sports.  Don’t let them say afterwards that in order to erect a statue they had to dig down into their own pockets.  Do, Placido, it’s not money thrown away.

He accompanied these words with a significant wink. Placido recalled the case of a student who had passed through the entire course by presenting canary-birds, so he subscribed three pesos.

Look now, I’ll write your name plainly so that the professor will read it, you see—Placido Penitente, three pesos.  Ah, listen! In a couple of weeks comes the nameday of the professor of natural history. You know that he’s a good fellow, never marks absences or asks about the lesson.  Man, we must show our appreciation!

That’s right!

Then don’t you think that we ought to give him a celebration? The orchestra must not be smaller than the one you had for the professor of physics.

That’s right!

What do you think about making the contribution two pesos? Come, Placido, you start it, so you’ll be at the head of the list.

Then, seeing that Placido gave the two pesos without hesitation, he added, Listen, put up four, and afterwards I’ll return you two.  They’ll serve as a decoy.

Well, if you’re going to return them to me, why give them to you? It’ll be sufficient, for you to write four.

Ah, that’s right! What an ass I am! Do you know, I’m getting to be a regular ass! But let me have them anyhow, so that I can show them.

Placido, in order not to give the lie to the priest who christened him, gave what was asked, just as they reached the University.

Learn this Filipino word:

pakimkím sa kamáy