Chapter 3: - Page 5 of 5

The Dinner

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Meanwhile the Franciscan had recovered himself.  Do you see? he said to the rubicund youth, at the same time flourishing his dessert spoon.  That comes from pride. They can’t stand to have the curate correct them.  They even think that they are respectable persons.  It’s the evil result of sending young men to Europe.  The government ought to prohibit it.

And how about the lieutenant? Doña Victorina chimed in upon the Franciscan, he didn’t get the frown off his face the whole evening.  He did well to leave us so old and still only a lieutenant! The lady could not forget the allusion to her frizzes and the trampled ruffles of her gown.

That night the rubicund youth wrote down, among other things, the following title for a chapter in his Colonial Studies: Concerning the manner in which the neck and wing of a chicken in a friar’s plate of soup may disturb the merriment of a feast.  Among his notes there appeared these observations: In the Philippines the most unnecessary person at a dinner is he who gives it, for they are quite capable of beginning by throwing the host into the street and then everything will go on smoothly.  Under present conditions it would perhaps be a good thing not to allow the Filipinos to leave the country, and even not to teach them to read.

Learn this Filipino word:

itaás ang putíng watawat