Chapter 25: - Page 5 of 7

Smiles and Tears

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

It had been agreed that Sandoval, who possessed the most oratorical ability, should deliver the last toast as a summing up.

Tadeo, lazy as ever, had prepared nothing, so he found himself in a quandary.  While disposing of a long string of vermicelli, he meditated how to get out of the difficulty, until he recalled a speech learned in school and decided to plagiarize it, with adulterations.

Beloved brethren in project! he began, gesticulating with two Chinese chop-sticks.

Brute! Keep that chop-stick out of my hair! cried his neighbor.

Called by you to fill the void that has been left in—

Plagiarism! Sandoval interrupted him.  That speech was delivered by the president of our lyceum.

Called by your election, continued the imperturbable Tadeo, to fill the void that has been left in my mind—pointing to his stomach—by a man famous for his Christian principles and for his inspirations and projects, worthy of some little remembrance, what can one like myself say of him, I who am very hungry, not having breakfasted?

Have a neck, my friend! called a neighbor, offering that portion of a chicken.  

There is one course, gentlemen, the treasure of a people who are today a tale and a mockery in the world, wherein have thrust their hands the greatest gluttons of the western regions of the earth— Here he pointed with his chopsticks to Sandoval, who was struggling with a refractory chicken-wing.

And eastern! retorted the latter, describing a circle in the air with his spoon, in order to include all the banqueters.

No interruptions!

I demand the floor!

I demand pickles! added Isagani.

Bring on the stew!

All echoed this request, so Tadeo sat down, contented with having got out of his quandary.

The dish consecrated to Padre Irene did not appear to be extra good, as Sandoval cruelly demonstrated thus: Shining with grease outside and with pork inside! Bring on the third course, the friar pie!

Learn this Filipino word:

may sunong nang abaká