Fray Botod, meaning Big-Bellied Friar, is a character sketch written by Graciano Lopez Jaena in 1874 when he was only eighteen years old. In this work, he caricatured the typical friar of the day as abusive, cruel, lazy, indifferent, greedy and lustful. He particularly abhorred the abuses and greediness of the friars that his first written work was against this group of people.

Today in 2016, we are ages away from the days of Fray Botod.  However if you start reading Fray Botod bearing in mind that Fray is your Congressman, you will really have a laugh.

Viva Graciano Lopez Jaena!

This is part 1 of Fray Botod:

- Who is Botod?

-Look at him, there he goes, walking on the plaza, that chubby friar talking with a woman at the foot of the talisay tree. Can you see him distinctly?

- No.

- Look well toward the center of the plaza. Look over the plaza, fix your eyes on the little tower of bamboo and nipa, it is the bell tower of the town; at the foot of the ladder, also of bamboo, are several leafy talisay trees, by the trunk of the most corpulent talisay tree, under its shade is Fr. Botod talking angrily with a woman. Do you see him now?

- Yes, yes, I see him; he is bold. How he knits his eyebrows! The lass is not bad; but it is obvious, by his manner and grin, Fr. Botod, or devils, is vexed; but, what do I see? . . . now he is raising his walking cane in a menacing gesture.

- He is intimidating the young woman, so that she will accede to his desire.

- Is this rogue of a friar going to hit the girl?

- He is capable. Come and look, a crowd of boys from the charity school, some nude from the waist down, others from the waist up, are running toward the Reverend Father; they kiss his hand; and the ignorant rustic of a friar send them to blazes and, frightened, the boys fled.

- But, look, look at the shameless friar; he's slapping the girl terribly ... Hum! She falls to her knees at his feet; she seems to be asking for pardon . . . she kisses his hand ... Poor girl! He takes her along . . . Cursed friar! What a brute, how wretched! . . . But do you allow and endure such abuses against the honor of that weak creature, victim of the brute force of that cynical friar?

- We are already used to such scenes; they happen frequently.

- But what is that devil of a friar doing in this part of the world!

- Parish priest! A friar, parish priest! I didn't know that friars are parish priests in the Philippines; I have been told so, but I never believed it.

- Well, see it and you'll be convinced.

- In my country, we have thrown them out a long time ago, and certainly by kicking them out.

- Well here they are still wagging, dominating and ruling not only spiritually, but also politically and immorally.

- There's nothing else to do but give them poisoned sausage, like stray dogs.

- The day of reckoning will come and every debt must be paid, as a saying goes; that day will come and woe to them! In the meantime, let them do all they fancy.

- This is horrible, worse than in China, a thousand times more vexing than in Warsaw.

- Away with such sad thoughts; let's go and look at the knavish friar at closehand.

Fray Botod Part    |  1 |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |

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