Chapter 60:

Maria Clara Weds

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Capitan Tiago was very happy, for in all this terrible storm no one had taken any notice of him.  He had not been arrested, nor had he been subjected to solitary confinement, investigations, electric machines, continuous foot-baths in underground cells, or other pleasantries that are well-known to certain folk who call themselves civilized.  His friends, that is, those who had been his friends—for the good man had denied all his Filipino friends from the instant when they were suspected by the government—had also returned to their homes after a few days’ vacation in the state edifices.  The Captain-General himself had ordered that they be cast out from his precincts, not considering them worthy of remaining therein, to the great disgust of the one-armed individual, who had hoped to celebrate the approaching Christmas in their abundant and opulent company.

Capitan Tinong had returned to his home sick, pale, and swollen; the excursion had not done him good.  He was so changed that he said not a word, nor even greeted his family, who wept, laughed, chattered, and almost went mad with joy.  The poor man no longer ventured out of his house for fear of running the risk of saying good-day to a filibuster.  Not even Don Primitivo himself, with all the wisdom of the ancients, could draw him out of his silence.

Crede, prime, the Latinist told him, if I hadn’t got here to burn all your papers, they would have squeezed your neck; and if I had burned the whole house they wouldn’t have touched a hair of your head. But quod eventum, eventum; gratias agamus Domino Deo quia non in Marianis Insulis es, camotes seminando. [1]

Stories similar to Capitan Tinong’s were not unknown to Capitan Tiago, so he bubbled over with gratitude, without knowing exactly to whom he owed such signal favors.  Aunt Isabel attributed the miracle to the Virgin of Antipolo, to the Virgin of the Rosary, or at least to the Virgin of Carmen, and at the very, very least that she was willing to concede, to Our Lady of the Girdle; according to her the miracle could not get beyond that.

[1] Believe me, cousin ... what has happened, has happened; let us give thanks to God that you are not in the Marianas Islands, planting camotes. (It may be observed that here, as in some of his other speeches, Don Primitivo’s Latin is rather Philippinized.)—TR.


Learn this Filipino word: