El filibusterismo

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El Filibusterismo
First page of El filibusterismo manuscript.jpg
Facsimile copy of the first page of the manuscript of El Filibusterismo.
Author José Rizal
Original title El Filibusterismo
Country Philippines
Language Spanish
Genre Novel
Publisher F. Meyer van Loo Press, Ghent, Belgium
Publication date
1891
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN NA
Preceded by Noli Me Tangere
Followed by Makamisa

El Filibusterismo (lit. Spanish for "The Filibustering"[1]), also known by its English alternate title The Reign of Greed,[2] is the second novel written by Philippine national hero José Rizal. It is the sequel to Noli Me Tángere and, like the first book, was written in Spanish. It was first published in 1891 in Ghent, Belgium.

The novel's dark theme departs dramatically from the previous novel's hopeful and romantic atmosphere, signifying the character Ibarra's resort to solving his country's issues through violent means, after his previous attempt at reforming the country's system have made no effect and seemed impossible with the attitudes of the Spaniards towards the Filipinos. The novel along with its predecessor were banned in some parts of the Philippines as a result of their portrayals of the Spanish government's abuse and corruption. These novels along with Rizal's involvement in organizations that aim to address and reform the Spanish system and its issues led to Rizal's exile to Dapitan and eventual execution. Both the novel and its predecessor, along with Rizal's last poem, are now considered Rizal's literary masterpieces.

Both of Rizal's novels had a profound effect on Philippine society in terms of views about national identity, the Catholic faith and its influence on Filipino's choice, and the government's issues of corruption, abuse, and discrimination, and on a larger scale, the issues related to the effect of colonization on people's lives and the cause for independence. These novels later on indirectly became the inspiration to start the Philippine Revolution.

Throughout the Philippines, the reading of both the novel and its predecessor is now mandatory for high school students throughout the archipelago, although it's now read using English, Filipino, and the Philippines' regional languages.

El filibusterismo (UP Diliman).

Plot[edit]

Thirteen years after leaving the Philippines, Crisostomo Ibarra returns as Simoun, a rich jeweler sporting a beard and blue-tinted glasses, and a confidant of the Captain-General. Abandoning his idealism, he becomes a cynical saboteur, seeking revenge against the Spanish Philippine system responsible for his misfortunes by plotting a revolution. Simoun insinuates himself into Manila high society and influences every decision of the Captain-General to mismanage the country’s affairs so that a revolution will break out. He cynically sides with the upper classes, encouraging them to commit abuses against the masses to encourage the latter to revolt against the oppressive Spanish colonial regime. This time, he does not attempt to fight the authorities through legal means, but through violent revolution using the masses. His two reasons for instigating a revolution are at first, to rescue María Clara from the convent and second, to get rid of ills and evils of Philippine society. His true identity is discovered by a now grown-up Basilio while visiting the grave of his mother, Sisa, as Simoun was digging near the grave site for his buried treasures. Simoun spares Basilio’s life and asks him to join in his planned revolution against the government, egging him on by bringing up the tragic misfortunes of the latter's family. Basilio declines the offer as he still hopes that the country’s condition will improve.

Basilio, at this point, is a graduating medical student at the Universidad de Santo Tomas. After the death of his mother, Sisa, and the disappearance of his younger brother, Crispín, Basilio heeded the advice of the dying boatman, Elías, and traveled to Manila to study. Basilio was adopted by Captain Tiago after María Clara entered the convent. With the help of the Ibarra's riches and Captain Tiago, Basilio was able to go to Colegio de San Juan de Letrán where, at first, he is frowned upon by his peers and teachers because of his skin color and his shabby appearance but is able to win their favor after winning a fencing tournament. Captain Tiago’s confessor, Father Irene is making Captain Tiago’s health worse by giving him opium even as Basilio tries hard to prevent Captain Tiago from smoking it. He and other students want to establish a Spanish language academy so that they can learn to speak and write Spanish despite the opposition from the Dominican friars of the Universidad de Santo Tomás. With the help of a reluctant Father Irene as their mediator and Don Custodio’s decision, the academy is established but this turns bad as they will serve, not as the teachers but as caretakers of the school. Dejected and defeated, they hold a mock celebration at a pancitería while a spy for the friars disguised as a poor man witnesses the proceedings. Basilio, however, was not with them during the event.

Simoun, for his part, keeps in close contact with the bandit group of Kabesang Tales, a former cabeza de barangay who suffered misfortunes at the hands of the friars. Once a farmer owning a prosperous sugarcane plantation and a cabeza de barangay (barangay head), he was forced to give everything he had owned to the greedy, unscrupulous Spanish friars and the Church. His son, Tano, who became a civil guard was captured by bandits, his daughter Julî had to work as a maid to get enough ransom money for his freedom, and his father, Tandang Selo, suffered a stroke and became mute. Before joining the bandits, Tales took Simoun’s revolver while Simoun was staying at his house for the night. As payment, Tales leaves a locket that once belonged to María Clara. To further strengthen the revolution, Simoun has Quiroga, a Chinese man hoping to be appointed consul to the Philippines, smuggle weapons into the country using Quiroga’s bazaar as a front. Simoun wishes to attack during a stage play with all of his enemies in attendance. He, however, abruptly aborts the attack when he learns from Basilio that María Clara had died earlier that day in the convent.

A few days after the mock celebration by the students, the people are agitated when disturbing posters are found displayed around the city. The authorities accuse the students present at the pancitería of agitation and disturbing peace and has them arrested. Basilio, although not present at the mock celebration, is also arrested. Captain Tiago dies after learning of the incident. But before he dies he signs a will, unknown to him it was forged by Father Irene. His will originally states that Basilio should inherit all his property but due to this forgery his property is given in parts, one to Santa Clara, one for the archbishop, one for the Pope, and one for the religious orders leaving nothing for Basilio to be inherited. Basilio is left in prison as the other students are released. A high official tries to intervene for the release of Basilio but the Captain-General, bearing grudges against the high official, coerces him to tender his resignation. Julî, Basilio’s girlfriend and the daughter of Kabesang Tales, tries to ask Father Camorra’s help upon the advice of Hermana Bali. The two travel to the convent but things suddenly turn horrible as Camorra tries to rape Juli, due to his long-hidden desires for young women. Julî, rather than submit to the will of the friar, jumps over the balcony to her death. Basilio is soon released with the help of Simoun.

Basilio, now a changed man, and after hearing about Julî's suicide, finally joins Simoun’s revolution. Simoun then tells Basilio his plan at the wedding of Paulita Gómez and Juanito, Basilio’s hunch-backed classmate. His plan was to conceal an explosive which contains nitroglycerin inside a pomegranate-styled Kerosene lamp that Simoun will give to the newlyweds as a gift during the wedding reception. The reception will take place at the former home of the late Captain Tiago, which was now filled with explosives planted by Simoun. According to Simoun, the lamp will stay lighted for only 20 minutes before it flickers; if someone attempts to turn the wick, it will explode and kill everyone—important members of civil society and the Church hierarchy—inside the house. Basilio has a change of heart and attempts to warn Isagani, his friend and the former boyfriend of Paulita. Simoun leaves the reception early as planned and leaves a note behind:

Mene Thecel Phares.

—Juan Crisostomo Ibarra

Initially thinking that it was simply a bad joke, Father Salví recognizes the handwriting and confirms that it was indeed Ibarra’s. As people begin to panic, the lamp flickers. Father Irene tries to turn the wick up when Isagani, due to his undying love for Paulita, bursts in the room and throws the lamp into the river, sabotaging Simoun's plans. He escapes by diving into the river as guards chase after him. He later regrets his impulsive action because he had contradicted his own belief that he loved his nation more than Paulita and that the explosion and revolution could have fulfilled his ideals for Filipino society.

Simoun, now unmasked as the perpetrator of the attempted arson and failed revolution, becomes a fugitive. Wounded and exhausted after he was shot by the pursuing Guardia Civil, he seeks shelter at the home of Father Florentino, Isagani’s uncle, and comes under the care of doctor Tiburcio de Espadaña, Doña Victorina's husband, who was also hiding at the house. Simoun takes poison in order for him not to be captured alive. Before he dies, he reveals his real identity to Florentino while they exchange thoughts about the failure of his revolution and why God forsook him, when all he wanted was to avenge the people important to him that were wronged, such as Elias, Maria Clara and his father, Don Rafael. Florentino opines that God did not forsake him and that his plans were not for the greater good but for personal gain. Simoun, finally accepting Florentino’s explanation, squeezes his hand and dies. Florentino then takes Simoun’s remaining jewels and throws them into the Pacific Ocean with the corals hoping that they would not be used by the greedy, and that when the time came that it would be used for the greater good.

Characters[edit]

Below are some of the major and minor characters in the novel.

  • Simoun - Crisostomo Ibarra in disguise, left for dead at the end of Noli Me Tangere. Ibarra has resurfaced as the wealthy jeweler, Simoun, sporting a beard, blue-tinted glasses, and a revolver. Fueled by his mistreatment at the hands of the Spaniards and his fury at Maria Clara's fate, Simoun secretly plans a revolution to seek revenge against those who wronged him.
  • Basilio - Son of Sisa and another character from Noli Me Tangere. He became a servant of Captain Tiyago in exchange for education. In the events of the book, he is a graduating medical student who befriended Simoun. His girlfriend is Juli.
  • Isagani - Basilio's friend and one of the students who planned to set up a new school. He is very idealistic and hopes for a better future for the Philippines. His girlfriend was the rich and beautiful Paulita Gomez, but they broke up once he was arrested. Despite this, his love for her still endured. He sabotaged Simoun's plans by removing the lamp that contained explosives and threw it in the waters.
  • Kabesang Tales - Cabeza Telesforo Juan de Dios, a former cabeza de barangay (barangay head) of Sagpang, a barangay in San Diego's neighboring town Tiani, who resurfaced as the feared Luzón bandit Matanglawin. He is the son of Tandang Selo, and father of Juli and Tano.
  • Don Custodio - Custodio de Salazar y Sánchez de Monteredondo, a famous "journalist" who was asked by the students about his decision for the Academia de Castellano. In reality, he is quite an ordinary fellow who married a rich woman in order to be a member of Manila's high society.
  • Paulita Gómez - The girlfriend of Isagani and the niece of Doña Victorina, the old Indio who passes herself off as a Peninsular, who is the wife of the quack doctor Tiburcio de Espadaña. In the end, she and Juanito Peláez are wed, and she dumps Isagani, believing that she will have no future if she marries him.
  • Macaraig - One of Isagani's classmates at the University of Santo Tomas. He is a rich student and serves as the leader of the students yearning to build the Academia de Castellano.
  • Father Florentino - Isagani's godfather, and a secular priest; was engaged to be married, but chose to be a priest after being pressured by his mother, the story hinting at the ambivalence of his decision as he chooses an assignment to a remote place, living in solitude near the sea. He took in Don Tiburcio de Espandaña when he was hiding from his wife, Donya Victorina.
  • Juli - Juliana de Dios, the girlfriend of Basilio, and the youngest daughter of Kabesang Tales. To claim her father from the bandits, she had to work as a maid under the supervision of Hermana Penchang. Eventually, she was freed but committed suicide after Father Camorra attempted to rape her.
  • Juanito Pelaez - A favorite student of the professors. They belong to the noble Spanish ancestry. After failing in his grades, he became Paulita's new boyfriend and they eventually wed.
  • Doña Victorina - Victorina delos Reyes de Espadaña, known in Noli Me Tangere as Tiburcio de Espadaña's cruel wife. She is the aunt of Paulita Gomez, and favors Juanito Pelaez over Isagani. She is searching for her husband, who has left her and is in hiding. Although of Indio heritage, she considers herself as one of the Peninsular.
  • Father Camorra - The lustful parish priest of Tiani, San Diego's adjacent town who has longtime desires for young women. He nearly raped Juli causing the latter to commit suicide.
  • Ben-Zayb - The pseudonym of Abraham Ibañez, a journalist who believes he is the "only" one thinking in the Philippines. Ben-Zayb is an anagram of Ybanez, an alternate spelling of his name.
  • Placido Penitente - A student of the University of Santo Tomas who was very intelligent and wise but did not want, if not only by his mother's plea, to pursue his studies. He also controls his temper against Padre Millon, his physics teacher. During his High School days, he was an honor student hailing from Batangas.
  • Hermana Penchang - Sagpang's rich pusakal (gambler). She offers Juli to be her maid so the latter can obtain money to free Kabesang Tales. Disbelieving of Juli and her close friends, she considers herself as an ally of the friars.
  • Tiburcio de Espadaña - Don Tiburcio is Victorina de Espadaña's lame husband. He is currently in hiding at Father Florentino's.
  • Father Írene - Captain Tiago's spiritual adviser. Although reluctant, he helped the students to establish the Academia de Castellano after being convinced by giving him a chestnut. The only witness to Captain Tiago's death, he forged the last will and testament of the latter so Basilio will obtain nothing from the inheritance.
  • Quiroga - A Chinese businessman who dreamed of being a consul for his country in the Philippines. He hid Simoun's weapons inside his house.
  • Don Timoteo Pelaez - Juanito's father. He is a rich businessmen and arranges a wedding for his son and Paulita. He and Simoun became business partners.
  • Tandang Selo - Father of Kabesang Tales and grandfather of Tano and Juli. He raised the sick and young Basilio after he left their house in Noli me Tangere. He died in an encounter on the mountains with his son Tales, when he was killed by a battalion that included his own grandson, Tano.
  • Father Fernández - The priest-friend of Isagani. He promised to Isagani that he and the other priests will give in to the students' demands.
  • Sandoval - The vice-leader of Macaraig's gang. A Spanish classmate of Isagani, he coerces his classmates to lead alongside him the opening of the Spanish language academy.
  • Hermana Báli - Another gambler in Tiani. She became Juli's mother-figure and counselor; helped to release Kabesang Tales from the hands of bandits.
  • Father Millon - The Physics teacher of the University of Santo Tomas. He always becomes vindictive with Placido and always taunts him during class.
  • Tadeo - Macaraig's classmate. He, along with the other three members of their gang, supposedly posted the posters that "thanked" Don Custodio and Father Irene for the opening of the Academia de Castellano.
  • Leeds - An American who holds stage plays starring severed heads; he is good friends with Simoun.
  • Tano - Kabesang Tales's elder son after his older sister, Lucia died in childhood. He took up the pseudonym "Carolina" after returning from exile in the Caroline Islands, and became a civil guard. He was among the battalion killed his grandfather, Selo, who was part of a group of an attacking rebels.
  • Pepay - Don Custodio's supposed "girlfriend". A dancer, she is always agitated of her "boyfriend"'s plans. She seems to be a close friend of Macaraig.
  • Gobernador General - The highest-ranking official in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period, this unnamed character pretends that what he is doing is for the good of the Indios, the local citizens of the country, but in reality, he prioritizes the needs of his fellow Spaniards living in the country.
  • Father Hernando de la Sibyla - A Dominican friar introduced in Noli Me Tangere, now the vice-rector of the University of Santo Tomas
  • Pecson - classmate who had no idea on the happenings occurring around him. He suggested that they held the mock celebration at the panciteria.
  • Father Bernardo Salvi- Former parish priest of San Diego in Noli Me Tangere, now the director and chaplain of the Santa Clara convent.
  • Captain Tiago - Santiago delos Santos, Captain Tiago is Maria Clara's stepfather and the foster-father to Basilio. His health disintegrates gradually because of the opium he was forced to smoke. Eventually, he died because Padre Irene scared him about the revolt of the Filipinos.
  • Book notes/Summary in English (The Reign of Greed)

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Subersive or Subversion, as in the Locsín English translation, are also possible translations.
  2. ^ "The Reign of Greed by José Rizal". Retrieved 2008-04-24.