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Summary of noli me tangere and el filibusterismo

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A celebration

On the month of October, Kapitan Tiago (whose whole name is Don Santiago de los Santos) is organizing a glamorous feast. It will be kept in his house, which is situated in the town of San Diego; more specifically, in Anloage Street. The visitors get here that night, welcomed by Tiya Isabel, the cousin of Kapitan Tiago. Padre Damaso, Padre Salvi, Tenyente Guevarra (captain of the civil guard), and a foreigner with red hair from another nation are some of the crucial guests that pertain to the gathering.

There is a heated discussion amongst them concerning the principles of the Filipino culture, Tobacco monopoly, and the Spaniards’ severe insults versus the Filipinos. It was also revealed that Padre Damaso has actually been serving as a priest of San Diego for 20 years. Tenyente Guevarra and Padre Damaso enters an argument, and Padre Salvi has to relax his fellow priest. Some other prominent figures get here, such as Don Tiburcio and his other half, Donya Victorina.

Crisostomo Ibarra

Capitan Tiago enters the sala and introduces Juan Crisostomo Ibarra y Magsalin to the guests. Crisostomo, he notifies them, is the only son of the late Don Rafael Ibarra, and he has actually recently shown up from his research studies in Europe. Crisostomo is puzzled when Padre Damaso, whom he thought was a buddy of his daddy, arrogantly denies that he was ever a good friend of Don Rafael Ibarra.

The dinner

Everybody heads to the lunch table to seat themselves. Padre Damaso and Sibyla provide each other the head seat by the end of the table with phony kindness.

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Ibarra tells stories of his time invested abroad, where he exposes that he has actually been to lots of nations and has actually learned a great deal of other languages and cultures. Ibarra realizes the banquet was prepared in his honor when he is served the meatiest part of the tinola (A well-known Filipino dish). This enrages Padre Damaso much more, and the padre starts to taunt Ibarra with his haughty and bitter remarks. Ibarra just remains calm. A while later, Ibarra stands up to leave. Kapitan Tiago stops him, informing the young male that the love of his life, Maria Clara, will be getting here soon. Ibarra, nevertheless, takes his leave, but guarantees to come back once again the next day

Apostate and filibuster

Ibarra is now walking the streets of San Diego when Tenyente Guevarra catches up with him. The Tenyente warns him to be careful, or else he will end up like his father. Surprised, Ibarra immediately questions Tenyente Guevarra about the fate of his father. The Tenyente goes on to tell Ibarra that although his father Don Rafael was one of the wealthiest and most respected men in the town, there were many Spaniards and priests who were angry at Don Rafael. A few months after Ibarra had left for Europe, Don Rafael and Padre Damaso had a big conflict.

Don Rafael’s enemies ganged up on him, accusing him of killing a tax collector, being a heretic and filibuster, insulting the priests behind their backs, and many more. He was convicted and placed behind bars. Tenyente Guevarra tried to help by getting Don Rafael a good lawyer. When Don Rafael was about to be set free (the lawyer won the case), he died inside his prison cell due to the sickness he had developed during his captivity.

Tenyente Guevarra ends there, telling Ibarra that Kapitan Tiago will continue the rest of the story next time. Ibarra rides a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) to his temporary residence, Fonda de Lala.

A star in the dark night

Ibarra reaches his hotel, Fonda de Lala. He enters his room and sits by the window sill, looking at the vast sky outside as he ponders about his father’s fate. His thoughts are a jumbled mess of sad and conflicted emotions. He observes a bright house in the far distance, with music and sounds of silverware coming from it. Said house is Kapitan Tiago’s house, where Maria Clara, his daughter, has joined the party. Her beauty is thoroughly described. She is being admired by everyone in the crowd: Padre Sibyla talks to her animatedly, Donya Victorina combs her hair, and a certain Franciscan priest named Padre Salvi, the parish priest of San Diego, cannot take his eyes off of her. Ibarra, with his heavy thoughts, falls asleep, and wakes up to a new day

Capitan Tiago

Capitan Tiago is one of the richest landowners in Binondo, Pampanga and Laguna. Aside from owning large tracts of lands, he also provides zacate, monopolizes the opium business, and holds a contract for feeding the prisoners in the Bilibid prison. Since he has had no child with his wife, Doña Pia, Padre Damaso advises the Doña to attend the mass at Obando. She eventually conceives a child, whom they name Maria Clara, in honor of the Virgin of Salambao and Sta. Clara. Capitan Tiago and the late Don Rafael later agree to arrange the marriage of their children.

An idyl on azotea

Maria Clara and Tiya Isabel attends early morning church, but comes back home right after.Maria Clara is sewing when she hears a car outside, followed by the voice of Ibarra. In a panic, she goes to her room, where Tiya Isabel helps her freshen up and makes her look presentable before she faces Ibarra.Ibarra and Maria Clara then has a romantic reunion by the terrace. Maria Clara asks him if he’s forgotten her because of the many girls he might have met abroad, and Ibarra answers that he can never forget her, for she is always on his mind. Maria Clara then brings out a letter than Ibarra had given her before he left for Europe. She reads this out loud, and it states Don Rafael’s reason for sending Ibarra to another country: he wanted Ibarra to learn about life from other places so that he may serve the Philippines one day. After Maria Clara reads the letter, Ibarra remembers that he has something important to do.


Ibarra’s carriage passes through the busiest district of Manila, and what he sees disturbs him. He observes that the country’s condition remains unchanged from when he left it seven years ago. He finds no progress achieved and reforms implemented by the government. He sees that the roads have not been paved and that the Puente de Barcas has been destroyed by neglect. Afterwards, seeing the Arroceros Cigar factory, the Botanical Garden, and the Bagumbayan bring back fond memories.

Local Affairs

In front of Kapitan Tiago’s house is a carriage, where Tiya Isabel and Maria Clara are sitting in, about to leave for the Beaterio. Padre Damaso, who came to talk to Kapitan Tiago, comes across them before he enters the house to look for Kapitan Tiago. With a sense or urgency, the Padre and Kapitan Tiago enter a room, the door firmly shut, in order to be able to talk privately.The scene perspective changes to Padre Sibyla who is hastily making his way to the Dominican convent known as Puerta de Isabel II. He enters the convent and enters the room of a sickly priest of a much higher rank compared to he.

Sibyla tells the sickly priest of Padre Damaso and Ibarra’s encounter with each other the night before. The two talk more about Ibarra, Maria Clara, and Kapitan Tiago, revealing that Ibarra and Maria Clara have an arranged marriage with one another, as promised by Kapitan Tiago and Don Rafael, the couple’s parents, a long time ago. Back to Padre Damaso. He exits the room with Kapitan Tiago, warning Tiago to never again keep secrets from him, for he is Maria Clara’s godfather. When the Padre exits, Tiago, who looks worried and conflicted, blows out the candles he had previously lighted, praying for Ibarra’s safe journey

San Diego

The town of San Diego has a lot of flat plains and mountains, making farming its primary business. However, because of the Filipino farmers’ ignorance, the products they produce are sold at a very cheap price to the Chinese buyers. Like most towns, San Diego has a legend around it. There used to be an old Spaniard who came to the town and bought the whole mountain area, using jewelry and clothes to pay for the land. Later on, he disappeared completely. One day, some farmers who were tending to their kalabaw (carabao) found the Spaniard’s decaying corpse hanging on a balete tree.

Ever since then, people have been afraid of entering the mountains.Later on a mestiso arrived in town, saying that he is the son of the one who died. His name was Saturnino. He occupied the land that the dead man had, and had a family there. His child was Don Rafael, Crisostomo Ibarra’s father. When Saturnino died, Rafael took over. He made the town flourish, so the farmers and citizens liked him. The priest in charge of the town used to be an indio, but when he died, Padre Damaso replaced him.


Two persons virtually rule the town of San Diego: Padre Bernardo Salvi and the Alferez of the Guardia Civil, Padre Salvi is described as a thin, sickly, and silent friar and,unlike Padre Damaso, he is more inclined to impose fines on his subordinates. The Alferez has a wife named Doña Consolacion. Because of his bad marriage to the doña, he is frequently drunk and compels his soldiers to drill under the hot sun.

All saints

Two gravediggers converse in the San Diego cemetery. One of them mentions that he was ordered by a fat curate to dig up the body of a person buried in the cemetery, and to rebury it in the Chinese cemetery. But since it was raining, he just dumped the body into the river. Tasio the sage arrives at the cemetery, unsuccessfully searching for the skull of his dead wife.

Signs of storm

Crisostomo Ibarra and a servant arrive at the San Diego cemetery to look for the grave of his father, Don Rafael Ibarra. After failing to locate the grave, his servant asks the gravedigger for help. The gravedigger replies that he had dug up the body of the don and planned to bury it in the Chinese cemetery, as instructed by Padre Damaso. Since it was raining, however, he says, he threw the body into the river. Angered upon hearing the account, Crisostomo leaves. At the cemetery gate, he meets Padre Salvi and attacks the Curate, whom he mistakes for Father Damaso.

TAsio: Lunatic or sage

After leaving the cemetery, Tasio the sage wanders about the street aimlessly. He sees two boys aged ten and seven, and tells them that their mother has prepared a meal for them to be taken when they get home. Don Filipo invites Tasio to his house, and a discussion on the existence of purgatory follows. Tasio thinks that the place called purgatory does not exist since neither the bible nor Jesus Christ mentions it.

The sacristan

Crispin and Basilio are sacristans of the church at San Diego. The two are worried since the Sacristan Mayor and the Curate has accused Crispin of stealing two gold pieces and he was to remain in the church until the money is returned. Crispin also complains about the frequent beating and whipping that he receives. After ringing the church bells, the Sacristan Mayor beats Crispin to make him confess his crime.


Sisa waits for her two sons, Crispin and Basilio. Knowing that they are hungry, she prepares a meal consisting of duck leg, wild boar’s meat, tomatoes and five pieces of fish. Her husband arrives, and eats all the food , leaving only three pieces of fish. She patiently waits for Crispin and Basilio and is surprised when, during the night, only Basilio arrives.


Basilio arrives home, wounded from a gunshot fired at him by the Guardia Civil. Basilio tells his mother that Crispin has stayed behind in the convent because the curate accused him of stealing two gold pieces. In his dream, Basilio sees Crispin being beaten up and killed by the Curate and the Sacristan Mayor.

Souls in tournament

In the convent, some women converse about purgatory and the number of plenary indulgences that they have acquired. Sisa arrives, bringing with her vegetables to appease the Curate into forgiving her son Crispin. A sacristan tells her that Crispin is not in the church, and that the Guardia Civil are now searching for her two sons, after the Curate reported them to the authorities for stealing.

A schoolmaster difficulties

Ibarra converses with a schoolmaster who was helped by his father. The schoolmaster narrates the obstacles that he encountered in teaching the children. He informs Ibarra that the town lacks facilities such as a school building and necessary equipment. His work is also hindered by the stubbornness of the former town Curate, Padre Damaso.

The meeting in the town hall

The town officials meet in the town hall to discuss the fiesta celebration. The council approves the proposal of Don Filipo, but the Gobernadorcillo tells them that the curate’s alternate proposal must be followed instead. Although the council objects to the Curate’s proposal, they are powerless to stop implementation of the plan. Don Filipo and Tasio the sage go home dejected. 21.The story of a mother

Sisa arrives at her house and finds the Guardia Civil looking for her sons. After vainly searching for Crispin and Basilio, the Guardia Civil decide to arrest Sisa in order to compel her sons to surrender and return the money they have stolen. Due to the anguish and public humiliation Sisa suffers, she becomes insane. 22.Lights and shadow

Maria Clara converses with Ibarra near a window overlooking the lake. Ibarra invites Maria Clara, her friends, and Padre Salvi to a picnic in the woods. Maria Clara is delighted, and Padre Salvi accepts the invitation to prove that he has no ill feelings towards Ibarra. 23.Fishing

Ibarra and Maria Clara, together with their friends go fishing at the lake. To entertain them, Andeng plays the harp, while Maria Clara sings a sad love song. In one of the fish cages, the men discover that the fishing nets have entangled a crocodile. Elias, followed by Ibarra, jumps into the lake, successfully killing the crocodile. 24.In the wood

Padre Salvi passes near a stream, while going to the picnic organized by Ibarra. He hears some voices, hides behind a tree, and spies on Maria Clara and her friends while they bathe. After the Alferez leaves the picnic, the guardia civil arrives at the picnic, looking for Elias, the boatman who had thrown the Alferez into a mudhole and who had assaulted Padre Damaso. the house of the sage

Ibarra consults Tasio the sage about the school building that he plans to build. The sage advises Ibarra not to pursue his project, else he incur the ire of the friars and other government officials, who would do everything in their power to ruin him. 26.the eve of the fiesta

It is the eve of the fiesta, and people are busy preparing food, while Ñor Juan supervises the workmen laying the cornerstone and building the foundation of the proposed school building. Some individuals volunteer to contribute toward the construction of the school, some promise to pay the teacher, while others offer their services for free. Ibarra remains optimistic that his endeavor will succeed, while Tasio advises him to be cautious. 27. in the twilight

Maria Clara and Ibarra, together with their friends, go for a walk. They meet a leper. In an act of compassion, Maria Clara gives her locket to the sick man. 28. Correspondence

This chapter features the three letters between a correspondent and his friend, between Capitan Martin and Luis Chiquito, and between Ibarra and Maria Clara. The correspondent vividly describes to his friend the fiesta and the many events that have taken place in San Diego. Capitan Martin narrates to Luis Chiquito the good fortune of Capitan Tiago in winning a game of cards. Maria Clara reveals that she is worried that Ibarra is sick, and sends Andeng to make some tea for her sweetheart. 29.The morning

A procession is held during the last day of the fiesta, where the people parade the images of San Diego de Alcala, St. Francis, and the Virgin. The people in the procession are greeted by the sound of firecrackers, songs, and religious prayers. 30. In the church

The noisy and disorderly parishioners try to push one another while dipping their hands in the holy water. The people are waiting for the sermon of Padre Damaso, when they notice that the Alcalde’s uniform looks similar to the costume worn by one of the actors in a play. 31. the sermon

In his sermon, Padre Damaso reprimands some natives who, after receiving education in Manila and in Europe, are now contented in not kissing the hands of a friar and not offering him the honor due his rank. Padre Damaso declares that these individuals would get what they deserve and that God would punish them for their wicked acts. At the end of the sermon, Elias approaches Ibarra, and warns him that his life is in danger. 32. The derrick

Ibarra, the Alcalde, and other individuals, go to the site of the proposed school to lay the cornerstone of the building. The Alcalde throws some mortar on the stone, followed by the curate and Alferez. When it is Ibarra’s turn, the derrick suddenly falls apart, dropping the heavy block of stone. Fortunately Ibarra is unhurt, the only casualty being the yellowish man who operates the machine. 33. Free thought

Elias visits Ibarra at his house and informs him that many enemies are out to ruin him, as confirmed by the incident with the derrick. Because of Ibarra’s education and beliefs, Elias says, many people would want him dead. Elias affirms that he is only paying his debt, since Ibarra saved him from being killed by the crocodile. 34.The dinner

At dinner, Padre Damaso belittles Ibarra for building a school. Ibarra remains silent, but when Padre Damaso insults his father’s honor, Ibarra lunges at the curate with a knife in hand, threatening to kill him. Fortunately Maria Clara intervenes. 35. Comments

The town discusses the incident between Padre Damaso and Ibarra. The town captain criticizes Ibarra for his lack of self-control, while others opine that Ibarra will be branded as a filibuster and will be excommunicated by the Church. Don Filipo and Capitana Maria, however, both agree that Ibarra did the right thing in protecting his father’s honor and memory. 36. First cloud

Arriving from the convent, Capitan Tiago tells Maria Clara and Tia Isabel that he has agreed to break his daughter’s wedding engagement to Ibarra. Capitan Tiago adds that Maria Clara must forget Ibarra, since she would now marry a relative of Padre Damaso. 37. His Excellency

The Governor-General converses with Ibarra about the dinner incident. He assures Ibarra that he will be protected by the government from the evil intentions of the friars and religious corporations. The Governor-General promises that he would talk to the archbishop regarding Ibarra’s excommunication, while advising Capitan Tiago not to break his daughter’s engagement to Ibarra. 38. The procession

Another procession is held, where the town displays the images of St. John, St. Francis, San Diego, and the Virgin. Tasio sees the ragged and poor clothing of the saints and sarcastically remarks that the saints would be ashamed if they would see the lifestyle of their fellow servants of God. 39.Dona consolation

Doña Consolacion, the Alferez’s wife, calls Sisa to sing, but proceeds to maltreat her by whipping her when she refuses to dance. The Alferez arrives, stops the whipping and calls his servant to feed and clothe the insane woman,who is to be treated by a doctor hired by Ibarra.

40.right and might
Maria Clara, her friends, Don Filipo, and Padre Salvi are watching a play when Ibarra arrives to joins them. Padre Salvi orders Don Filipo to prohibit Ibarra from watching the play, since he has been excommunicated, and his presence would corrupt the people. Padre Salvi walks out when Don Filipo refuses to prevent Ibarra from watching the play.

41.Two visits
Elias informs him that Maria Clara is sick with fever. A man named Lucas then arrives, asking for money for his brother who was killed in the derrick. Ibarra tells him to come back that afternoon since he is meeting with a sick person.

42.the espadanas

Don Tiburcio de Espadaña and his wife Victorina, together with Linares, a distant relative of Padre Damaso, arrive at the house of Capitan Tiago to treat Maria Clara. Doña Victorina speaks highly of Linares, telling Capitan Tiago that he has come to the Philippines to seek work and to find a wife. The fake doctor Espadaña prescribes some medicines for Maria Clara, as they wait for Padre Damaso to arrive.


Linares introduces himself to Padre Damaso as the godson of his brother-in-law. Linares says that he graduated with a law degree from a university and that he has come to the Philippines to find work and to look for a wife. Upon hearing this, Padre Damaso calls Capitan Tiago. Lucas, meanwhile, approaches Padre Salvi to ask for help, being the brother of the yellowish man killed when the derrick collapsed. 44. the examination of

Padre Salvi mentions that Padre Damaso will be transferred to a town in Tayabas. Since Maria Clara is still sick, the Curate suggests that Maria Clara makes her confession. Tia Isabel agrees with the Curate, and prepares Maria Clara for her confession. After hearing Maria Clara’s confession, Padre Salvi exits the room looking gloomy, with his forehead covered with perspiration.

45. the haunted

Elias goes to Tanauan, Batangas, to converse with Capitan Pablo, the leader of some bandits. Elias asks Capitan Pablo to stop committing violent acts against the government, since they can get the help of Ibarra in obtaining justice and implementing some reforms for the country.

46.the cockpit

At the cockpit arena, Lucas approaches Bruno and Tarsilo, recruiting them to attack the town barracks. Lucas declares that aside from joining the attack organized by Ibarra against the barracks, they can exact their revenge on the members of the guardia civil who killed their father.

47. The two senoras

Doña Victorina and Don Tiburcio pass by the house of the Alferez, as Doña Consolacion mocks and ridicules Doña Espadaña and her crippled husband. The two women start exchanging insults and almost get into a fight that is averted by the arrival of the Alferez and Padre Salvi. To defend her honor, Doña Victorina asks Linares to challenge the Alferez to a duel.

48. The enigma

Ibarra wishes to inform Maria Clara that his excommunication is lifted, but upon arriving at her house, he sees Maria Clara with Linares. He is invited to come into the house, but he visits instead the site of the school building, asking the supervisor, Ñor Juan about its progress.

49. the voice of the haunted

Elias meets Ibarra at the lakeside. He narrates the conversation he has had with Capitan Pablo. Elias says that, Ibarra, because of his education and position in society, can ask the Spanish government to implement radical reforms such as fewer privileges for religious corporations, security for a citizen and more respect for a man’s dignity. Ibarra objects, saying that such institutions as the priesthood, religious corporations, and the Guardia Civil, are necessary evils that must be tolerated by the society.

50. Elias

Elias narrates his story and the misfortunes of his ancestors. His great grandfather, he recounts, woks as a bookkeeper for a Spaniard, when he is accused of arson, and is flogged and paraded in the streets of Manila. Shamed and disgraced, his wife becomes a prostitute, while one of the sons becomes a notorious bandit. The other son travels from town to town until he is hired as a laborer, and marries a rich woman. Elias and his sister are born of this marriage, and both are educated in Manila. But when their family’s past surfaces, they lose everything. Elias’s sister commits suicide, while he roams the provinces as a hunted and lonely man. 51. Exchanges

Padre Salvi informs Linares, Maria Clara, and Capitan Tiago that Ibarra’s excommunication has been lifted, and the last obstacle to be hurdled is for Ibarra to ask for forgiveness from Padre Damaso. Ibarra asks Sinang if Maria Clara is angry with him and insists that he wants to speak to Maria Clara. 52. the cards of the dead and shadows

Three men are in the cemetery waiting for Lucas. They discuss their impending attack on the barracks and the church, which they believe is organized by Ibarra. Lucas arrives and instructs them to attack the church and the barracks, shouting Viva Don Crisostomo. Elias, after following Lucas, learns about the attack that will implicate Ibarra. 53. Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina

Don Filipo visits Tasio the sage, who’s ill. He tells Tasio that he has resigned from his position because he is fed up with the Gobernadorcillo’s ineptitude. Tasio praises the don’s action, saying that resistance must be used not only against the Gobernadorcillo but against all persons who abuse their authority.


Padre Salvi warns the Alferez about an impending attack on the town. He informs the Alferez to ready his men and to send four soldiers to guard the church. Elias alerts Ibarra on the imminent attack on the town that will be blamed on him. He helps Ibarra dispose of some letters that could implicate him. In one of these letters, Elias discovers that Ibarra’s great grandfather was the Spaniard who had accused his great grandfather of arson.

55. the catastrophe

Ibarra enters Capitan Tiago’s house, as soon as he hears shots fired near the convent. Ibarra returns to his house, and is arrested by the Guardia Civil. Seeing what has happened, Elias enters Ibarra’s house, and intentionally sets a fire to destroy any evidence that could implicate Ibarrra in the failed attack. 56. rumors and belief

Rumors circulate in the terrified town, after the eventful night. Some people assume that Don Filipo and Crisostomo Ibarra have been arrested by the Guardia Civil, while others think that some bandits were caught in the night.

57. via victis

The Guardia Civil imprison the individuals implicated in the failed attack. They torture Tarsilo to obtain a confession from him and to make him disclose the mastermind of the failed attack. But Tarsilo remains silent up to his death.

58. the accursed

The crying relatives of those arrested wait outside the barracks of the Guardia Civil. Ibarra, together with the other prisoners, are led out of their cells to be transported to the provincial capital. Along the way, Ibarra is cursed, stoned, and ridiculed by the people, blaming him for their misfortunes and hardships. 59.patriotism and private interest

The people of Manila discuss the failed rebellion falsely blamed on Ibarra. The friars praise Padre Salvi for alerting the authorities about the rebellion, while others criticize the Jesuits, who declare that Ibarra had been educated at the Ateneo.

60.maria clara weds

Capitan Tiago invites guests and visitors to celebrate the impending marriage of Maria Calara and Linares. Maria Clara goes to the azotea, where she sees Crisostomo leaping out from a boat. She asks Crisostomo for forgiveness since she is about to be married to someone else, but declares that she would never forget her vow of faithfulness to him. 61. the chase in the lake

Two boatloads of Guardia Civil pursue Elias and Ibarra on the lake. Elias jumps into the river to mislead the pursuers, thus saving Ibarra. 62. padre damaso explain

Maria is distraught when she learns that Ibarra has been killed, while trying to escape. Out of desperation, Maria Clara asks Padre Damaso to break her marriage engagement and to permit her to enter the nunnery. After vainly arguing with Maria Clara, Padre Damaso gives his permission. eve

Basilio returns to San Diego to look for his insane mother. Upon seeing her in the town, he runs after her until they enter the forest owned by the Ibarras. Sisa dies, after eventually recognizing her son. When Basilio regains consciousness, Elias orders him to cremate his him and his mother. 64. Epilogue

Padre Damaso is reassigned as parish priest to a distant province but is found dead the day after. Maria Clara enters the Sta. Clara nunnery, where Padre Salvi regularly preaches and holds an important office. Capitan Tiago stops going to church, and is now addicted to opium and gambling. The Alferez who has been promoted as a 2nd lieutenant, goes back to Spain, leaving his wife, Doña Consolacion, behind. Doña Victorina still tries to live the life of a Spanish woman, while her cousin Linares dies of dysentery.

Two Spanish guards see an insane nun standing at the top of the Sta. Clara convent during a raging storm. When the authorities try to investigate the nun’s case, the abbess prohibits the inquiry, invoking the name of Religion and the Holy Statutes. Two Spanish guards saw an insane nun standing at the top of the Sta. Clara convent during a raging storm. When the authorities tried to investigate, the abbess prohibited the inquiry invoking the name of Religion and the Holy Statutes.

1.on the upper deck
The novel begins with the steamship Tabo sailing on the Pasig River on its way to Laguna. While the passengers on the upper deck discuss subjects regarding the lake and the slow pace of ship travel, readers are gradually introduced to some characters of the novel such as the jeweler Simoun, Doña Victorina, Ben Zayb, Don Custodio, Padre Irene, Sibyla, Camorra, and Salvi. 2.on the lower deck

On the lower deck of the steamship Tabo, Basilio and Isagani converse with Don Basilio. The two students tell the Don the plan of the students to establish a Spanish academy. Although the two students are hopeful that the academy would be approved by the Governor-General, Don Basilio expresses his pessimism. 3.legends

The wealthy passengers of the steamship amuse themselves by telling stories and legends of interesting places and spots along the river. Padre Florentino recounts the legend of Doña Jeronima, while Padre Salvi narrates the story of a Chinese infidel who was saved from the caymans by asking St.Nicholas for help. Ben Zayb then asks the captain the exact spot where a man named Ibarra was killed. While pointing to the exact spot, Ben Zayb observes that Simoun is silent and thoughtful. 4.cabesang tales

Cabesang Tales with his family and father cultivate a piece of land. From the hardship the experience and sickness they experience, Tales’s wife and eldest daughter die. When he is about to harvest his crops, a religious order lays claim to the land and demands an annual rent. Tales eventually agrees to the arrangement, but every year the rent keeps going up until he has had enough.

He goes to the courts and demands that the religious order present some proof of their ownership of the land. After a long and expensive litigation, Tales loses the case. He is unfortunately abducted by bandits demanding ransom. Not enough money is raised for the ransom, so Juli, the daughter of Cabesang Tales, borrows money from Hermana Penchang. To pay the debt, Juli agrees to work for the Hermana as a servant. 5.a chocero’s Christmas eve

On the way to the town of San Diego, a cochero endures abuse and maltreatment from the Guardia Civil. He is hit with a rifle butt when he tells them he has forgotten to bring his cedula with him. He is detained and beaten up again when the light of his carromata goes out. Basilio arrives at San Diego and, after making his way to Capitan Tiago’s house, he receives the news that Cabesang Tales has been abducted by bandits. 6. basilio

At Christmas Eve, Basilio enters the forest previously owned by the Ibarra family but has been sold to Capitan Tiago. In the middle of the forest stands a Balete tree, where he visits the grave of his mother Sisa and a stranger (Elias). He remembers that thirteen years ago, a second stranger (Ibarra) had helped him cremate and bury his mother and the stranger. Through Capitan Tiago’s help, he is now studying to be a doctor and plans to marry his sweetheart, Juli. 7.simoun

Basilio is about to leave the forest when he sees someone approach and starts digging near the Balete tree. He announces his presence and is surprised that the man turns out to be Simoun the jeweler, who is none other than Crisostomo Ibarra. Simoun convinces Basilio to cooperate in his plans of avenging the death of his mother (Sisa) and his younger brother (Crispin) but Basilio remains steadfast saying that revenge would never bring back his brother and mother. 8. merry Christmas

It is Christmas day and Juli wakes up early to pack her things to go to Hermana Penchang. She forgets to greet his grandfather Tata Selo a Merry Christmas. After Juli leaves, Tata Selo is preoccupied with thoughts of his pretty granddaughter with her delicate hands working as a servant, of his son Cabesang Tales still held by bandits, and of being alone on Christmas Day. Dwelling on all these misfortunes, he discovers that he has become dumb. 9. pilates

The gossip about the misfortunes of Tata Selo and his family spreads around town, and a number of people are claiming that they are not to blame for these misfortunes. The Alferez of the Guardia Civil says that he was just following a government order to collect all firearms in town. The friar who has taken over Cabesang Tales’s comments that if Tales had remained at home, he would never have been abducted by the bandits. Hermana Penchang merely says that God brought down hardships on Tata Selo’s family because they had not taught Juli to pray properly. 10.wealth and want

Simoun visits Cabesang Tales’s house to sell his jewelry to the rich inhabitants of San Diego and Tiani. Cabesang Tales is convinced to sell his daughter’s locket but decides to get his daughter’s permission first. The following day Simoun discovers that his revolver has been stolen by Tales. News circulates in the town that three persons have been murdered: the friar administrator, as well as the new tenant and his wife. A piece of paper with the word Tales written in blood is found near the dead tenant’s wife. 11. los banos

On the last day of December, the Governor-General and his advisers, together with some friars, are taking a rest in Los Baños. After the game of cards, the Governor-General asks his advisers’ opinion about the students’ proposal to put up a self-sufficient Spanish academy. There is a disagreement of opinions, so no decision is made. Afterwards, the Governor-General orders the release of Tata Selo, who has been arrested by the Guardia Civil in place of his son, Cabesang Tales. 12.placido penitente

Placido enters the class in physics conducted by Padre Millon. The class has no laboratory equipment, while the instruments bought by the university are never used. At a class recitation, Placido argues with the professor when he gets a bad mark even if he had been marked as being absent. From disgust and frustration, Placido Penitente walks out of the class.

13. the class in physics

Placido enters the class in physics conducted by Padre Millon. The class has no laboratory equipment, while the instruments bought by the university are never used. At a class recitation, Placido argues with the professor when he gets a bad mark even if he had been marked as being absent. From disgust and frustration, Placido Penitente walks out of the class.

14. in the house of the students
Arriving at the school dormitory, Makaraig announces that the decision to issue the permit for building the academy has been passed to a commission headed by Don Custodio. The students then devise schemes to influence Don Custodio or Señor Pasta, a lawyer, to give a favorable decision. Isagani volunteers to persuade Señor Pasta to support and to endorse their project.

15. senor pasta

Isagani approaches Señor Pasta to persuade him to support and endorse the students’ project. Not wishing to provoke the friars who are against the project, Señor Pasta decides to oppose it and to convince Isagani instead to focus on his studies. 16.tribulation of a chinese

Quiroga, a Chinese businessman, gives a dinner in his house. Friars, government officials, soldiers, and merchants attend the dinner. Simoun asks Quiroga to store some rifles in his warehouse as exchange for the portion of the debt that the Chinese merchant owes him. 17. quiapo fair

Twelve people leave Quiroga’s house to watch Mr. Leeds’ show. Padre Camorra ogles theyoung women at the fair, and gets more excited when he sees Paulita Gomez, Isagani’s rich and beautiful sweetheart. 18. legerdermain

Ben Zayb, Padre Camorra, Padre Salvi, and others enter the tent of Mr. Leeds to watch his show. Mr. Leeds presents to them a box containing some ashes that had been found in one of the pyramids of Egypt. Upon shouting a magic word, the ashes come to life and the Sphinx named Imuthis narrates his sad story. A priest, he says, was in love with his sweetheart and in order to eliminate him, he was implicated in a rebellion. Imuthis was then arrested but was killed in a lake while trying to escape. Seeing the parallelism between Imuthis’ story and that of Crisostomo Ibarra, Padre Salvi faints when the Sphinx starts calling him murderer, slanderer, and hypocrite.

19. the fuse
Placido Penitente meets and joins Simoun in his trip around the city.
Placido learns that Simoun is organizing a revolution in order to rescue Maria Clara from the convent.

20. the arbiter
Don Custodio studies his decision regarding the proposal of the university students. He is undecided, since he wants to please the friars who are against the proposal while at the same time desires to give the students a chance to study the Spanish language. Señor Pasta and Pepay the dancer have been consulted, but they they do not not give him a concrete answer. After much contemplation, he arrives at a decision.

Manila types

The people of Manila gather in the Teatro de Variadades to watch Les Cloches de Corneville. Camarrocido, who is from a prominent family in Spain, is poorly dressed and is employed in putting up posters of upcoming shows of the Teatro. While walking near the Teatro he sees some men suspiciously loitering around. He finds out that Simoun is ordering the men to stop a civil unrest. 22. the performance

Humorous incidents happen at the show. Juanito Pelaez pretends to understand French in order to impress Paulita Gomez but is embarrassed when he mistranslates some French words. Padre Irene, in a disguise, watches the show and applauds one of the French actresses. Don Custodio is also present at the show, falsely claiming that he watching the show to judge if it is indecent or not. During the show, the students led by Makaraig learn about Don Custodio’ s decision.

A corpse

Basilio reads some medical books when Simoun arrives at Capitan Tiago’s house. Simoun convinces Basilio in vain to assist in the revolution initiated by the jeweler. Simoun adds that a revolution is necessary to rescue Maria Clara at the Sta. Clara nunnery. Basilio informs Simoun that Maria Clara is dead. Simoun leaves the house weeping, tormented and bereaved.


Isagani meets Paulita at Malecon. In their conversation, Isagani is revealed to be an idealist who envisions progress and economic development of his country. He converses with Paulita about railway expansion, cooperation between Spaniards and Filipinos, and the imminent commercial trade. Paulita dismisses these thoughts saying they are unattainable dreams.

Smile and tears

The students organize a banquet at a panciteria to honor Don Custodio and his decision about the Spanish academy. In his decision, the academy must come under the supervision of the Dominican order and the students would simply collect contributions for the proposed school.


Basilio goes to the hospital but sees students acting as if classes are suspended. A student informs him that seditious and revolutionary posters are found at the university implicating the student organization. The government has also issued the arrest of all its members and students who participated in the banquet at the panciteria. Basilio then goes to the house of Makaraig to ask for a loan, but he and Makaraig are arrested by soldiers.

Friar and Filipino

Padre Fernandez calls Isagani to discuss his involvement at the banquet in the panciteria. Their discussion centers on the policy of the friars in educating students. Isagani argues that the friars are deliberately teaching antiquated education in order to inhibit the aspiration of the people to be free. He argues that people who aspire to be educated are branded as filibusters. Padre Fernandez replies that he has done what he could and that not all friars are backward and against the idea of educating the people. He says that education can only be bestowed to a deserving and ready people.


Because of the seditious posters found in the university, the city is adrift with rumor and gossip. Gossip about arrested students being shot and deported is circulated, while rumor exists that members of the student association had connived with bandits and the German ships to bring down the government.

Exit capitan tiago

Capitan Tiago dies, and Padre Irene becomes the executor of his will.
Capitan Tiago has willed his properties to Sta. Clara, to the pope, to the archbishop, and to religious corporations.


The news of Basilio’s imprisonment deeply troubles Juli. The town clerk, Hermana Pechang, and Hermana Bali convince Juli to ask Padre Camorra to intercede for Basilio. She is hesitant to approach the friar since he is known to be frolicsome and fond of women. When news reaches Tiani that Basilio is about to be shot, Juli is compelled to ask the friar’s help.

The high officials

A high official convinces the Governor-General in vain to release Basilio who he believes is innocent. The Governor-General insists that innocent individuals must suffer in order to restore order and to cow the people into submission. Because of this disagreement, the high official resigns and goes back to Spain. 32. effect of pasquinades

Because of the revolutionary and seditious posters, Pecson, Tadeo, and Juanito Pelaez are suspended from their classes. Tadeo burns his books, while Juanito gets engaged in his father’s business. In jail, Basilio learns the sad news of Juli’s death. Simoun befriends Don Timoteo Pelaez, who is now busy preparing for the wedding of his son to Paulita Gomez.

La ultima razon

Basilio is released from prison and immediately approaches Simoun in order to help him initiate a revolution. Simoun is pleased that Basilio will join his cause. He directs Basilio to meet Cabesang Tales at a designated time to acquire the rifles that are hidden in Quiroga’s warehouse. Simoun is to place at an important gathering a dynamite-laden lamp that would then explode to signal the attack. 34. the wedding

Basilio walks aimlessly in the streets of Manila to wait for the agreed signal for the revolution. He passes Calle Anloague where the wedding fiesta of Juanito Pelaez and Paulita Gomez is being held. After seeing the rich decorations, the number of guards, and the important visitors that would be coming, he assumes that this is the crucial gathering mentioned by

The fiesta

Basilio sees Simoun placing the lamp at the center of the house. Basilio is about to leave the place when he sees Isagani. He tries to convince Isagani to stay away from the house and explains that the lamp from Simoun would explode killing everybody in the house. In a rare act of love and loyalty to Paulita, he boldly rushes to the house, quickly throwing the lamp into the river to prevent it from exploding. 36. ben-zayb’s affliction

The Governor-General prohibits any mention of the events that have taken place at the wedding fiesta of Juanito Pelaez and Paulita Gomez. News circulates that a band of tulisanes have attacked a friar country house. The robbers who are caught describe a Spanish mestizo as the one who ordered them to attack the city at a designated signal. The description given by the robbers perfectly fits Simoun. 37. the mystery

The events of the previous night are discussed by Isagani, Capitana Loleng, Capitan Toringoy, Sensia, and Chichoy. Chichoy divulges that Simoun is the mastermind behind storing the sacks of gunpowder in order to kill all the people at the wedding feast. He also adds that the lamp was to start the fire and ignite the gunpowder.


A group of prisoners are being escorted by the soldiers when they are ambushed. Carolino, one of the members of the Guardia Civil and the son of Cabesang Tales, bravely fight the bandits, killing with a spear the bandits’ leader and an old man. Upon approaching the dead, he recognizes that the old man that he has shot is none other that his grandfather, Tata Selo.


A wounded and exhausted Simoun goes to Padre Florentino’s house to hide from the Guardia Civil that are out to arrest him. After taking a poison, he informs Padre Florentino of his true identity. He says that he is the fugitive Juan Crisostomo Ibarra and that his was the unsuccessful attempt to corrupt the government in order to start a revolution that would free the country. Padre Florentino reprimands Simoun, saying that freedom cannot be won through violence and bloodshed but by education, constant work, and suffering.

Cite this page

Summary of noli me tangere and el filibusterismo. (2016, Apr 13). Retrieved from

Summary of noli me tangere and el filibusterismo
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