Posted by Paurong sa Huwebes, Pebrero 15, 2007
Before going to bed last night, I prompted myself to prepare for today’s graded recitation in my Filipino class. I had to memorize a passage from El Filibusterismo. I looked at Chapter 7: Simoun and found this very wonderful statement of Basilio:
Ang karunungan ay siyang walang pagkatapos, siyang kagalingan ng katauhan, lalong laganap sa daigdig. Sa loob ng ilang daang taon, pag matalino na ang katauhan at nahango na sa kinalalagyan ngayon, pag wala nang mga lipi, pag malalaya na ang lahat ng bayan, pag wala nang busabos at bumubusabos, wala nang sumasakop at nasasakupan, pag ang katarungan ang siya nang nakapagmamayani at ang tao ay tinatawag nang mamamayan sa daigdig, ay wala nang matitira maliban sa pananalig sa karunungan, ang pag-ibig sa bayan ay maihahambing na lamang sa isang bulag na pananampalataya, at ang sinumang magparangal sa panahong iyon ng pagmamahal sa sariling bayan ay walang salang ikukulong na parang isang mapanganib na maysakit o isang mapanligalig sa lipunan.
I wrote it on my notebook, stood in front of a mirror and began to talk to myself. I was able to commit to memory the extract before falling asleep. I remember those days during my Third Year when I had to memorize thousands of lines when I played the role of Hamlet and of Romeo for two consecutive grading periods.
Our teacher drew names. She called that person. She called this person. She called him. She called her. Then, it was my turn. I have to admit that I was really nervous. I was nearly petrified! But then, of course, I have to recite the passage, and I have to explain it well to get a high grade. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to deliver the two long lines according to what I had memorized, but to save myself from having a terrible grade, I fabricated my words just to concoct everything up.
And that was it. The message was clear and, believe it or not, I impressed my teacher! I got a 97.