Chapter 53 : - Page 4 of 5

Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

So, according to you, the Jesuits keep up with progress? asked Don Filipo in wonder.  Why, then, are they opposed in Europe?

I will answer you like an old scholastic, replied the Sage, lying down again and resuming his jesting expression.  There are three ways in which one may accompany the course of progress: in front of, beside, or behind it.  The first guide it, the second suffer themselves to be carried along with it, and the last are dragged after it and to these last the Jesuits belong.  They would like to direct it, but as they see that it is strong and has other tendencies, they capitulate, preferring to follow rather than to be crushed or left alone among the shadows by the wayside.  Well now, we in the Philippines are moving along at least three centuries behind the car of progress; we are barely beginning to emerge from the Middle Ages.  Hence the Jesuits, who are reactionary in Europe, when seen from our point of view, represent progress.  To them the Philippines owes her dawning system of instruction in the natural sciences, the soul of the nineteenth century, as she owed to the Dominicans scholasticism, already dead in spite of Leo XIII, for there is no Pope who can revive what common sense has judged and condemned.

But where are we getting to? he asked with a change of tone.  Ah, we were speaking of the present condition of the Philippines.  Yes, we are now entering upon a period of strife, or rather, I should say that you are, for my generation belongs to the night, we are passing away.  This strife is between the past, which seizes and strives with curses to cling to the tottering feudal castle, and the future, whose song of triumph may be heard from afar amid the splendors of the coming dawn, bringing the message of Good-News from other lands.  Who will fall and be buried in the moldering ruins?

The old man paused.  Noticing that Don Filipo was gazing at him thoughtfully, he said with a smile, I can almost guess what you are thinking.


Learn this Filipino word:

ilaw ng táhanan