Chapter 25: - Page 4 of 7

Smiles and Tears

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Right, and call it friar pie!

The whole crowd took this up, repeating in concert, Friar pie!

I protest in the name of one of them, said Isagani.

And I, in the name of the lobsters, added Tadeo.

Respect, gentlemen, more respect! again demanded Pecson with a full mouth.

The fourth is stewed pansit, which is dedicated—to the government and the country!

All turned toward Makaraig, who went on: Until recently, gentlemen, the pansit was believed to be Chinese or Japanese, but the fact is that, being unknown in China or Japan, it would seem to be Filipino, yet those who prepare it and get the benefit from it are the Chinese—the same, the very, very same that happens to the government and to the Philippines: they seem to be Chinese, but whether they are or not, the Holy Mother has her doctors—all eat and enjoy it, yet characterize it as disagreeable and loathsome, the same as with the country, the same as with the government.  All live at its cost, all share in its feast, and afterwards there is no worse country than the Philippines, there is no government more imperfect.  Let us then dedicate the pansit to the country and to the government.

Agreed! many exclaimed.

I protest! cried Isagani.

Respect for the weaker, respect for the victims, called Pecson in a hollow voice, waving a chicken-bone in the air.

Let’s dedicate the pansit to Quiroga the Chinaman, one of the four powers of the Filipino world, proposed Isagani.

No, to his Black Eminence.

Silence! cautioned one mysteriously.  There are people in the plaza watching us, and walls have ears.

True it was that curious groups were standing by the windows, while the talk and laughter in the adjoining houses had ceased altogether, as if the people there were giving their attention to what was occurring at the banquet.  There was something extraordinary about the silence.

Tadeo, deliver your speech, Makaraig whispered to him.

Learn this Filipino word:

iguhit sa tubig