Chapter 59: - Page 3 of 11

Patriotism and Private Interests

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Why not! Nowadays they grant one for anything whatsoever.  I know of a fellow who got one for less.  He wrote a cheap little work demonstrating that the Indians are not capable of being anything but mechanics.  Pshaw, old-fogyisms!

That’s right! So much favoritism injures Religion! exclaimed another.  If the miters only had eyes and could see what heads they were upon—

If the miters were natural objects, added another in a nasal tone, Natura abhorrer vacuum.

That’s why they grab for them, their emptiness attracts! responded another.

These and many more things were said in the convents, but we will spare our reader other comments of a political, metaphysical, or piquant nature and conduct him to a private house.  As we have few acquaintances in Manila, let us enter the home of Capitan Tinong, the polite individual whom we saw so profusely inviting Ibarra to honor him with a visit.

In the rich and spacious sala of his Tondo house, Capitan Tinong was seated in a wide armchair, rubbing his hands in a gesture of despair over his face and the nape of his neck, while his wife, Capitana Tinchang, was weeping and preaching to him.  From the corner their two daughters listened silently and stupidly, yet greatly affected.

Ay, Virgin of Antipolo! cried the woman.  Ay, Virgin of the Rosary and of the Girdle! [4] Ay, ay! Our Lady of Novaliches!

Mother! responded the elder of the daughters.

I told you so! continued the wife in an accusing tone.  I told you so! Ay, Virgin of Carmen, [5] ay!

[4] Our Lady of the Girdle is the patroness of the Augustinian Order.—TR.

[5] This image is in the six-million-peso steel church of St. Sebastian in Manila. Something of her early history is thus given by Fray Luis de Jesus in his Historia of the Recollect Order (1681): A very holy image is revered there under the title of Carmen. Although that image is small in stature, it is a great and perennial spring of prodigies for those who invoke her. Our religious took it from Nueva España (Mexico), and even in that very navigation she was able to make herself known by her miracles .... That most holy image is daily frequented with vows, presents, and novenas, thank-offerings of the many who are daily favored by that queen of the skies.—Blair and Robertson, The Philippine Islands, Vol. XXI, p. 195.

Learn this Filipino word:

sumama sa agos