El Filibusterismo

El Filibusterismo

infobox Book |
name = El Filibusterismo
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Facsimile copy of the first page of the manuscript of "El Filibusterismo."
author = Jose Rizal
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = Philippines
language = tagalog
series =
genre = Novel
publisher = F. Meyer van Loo Press ni Ghent
release_date = 1891
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = NA
preceded_by = Noli Me Tangere
followed_by =

"El Filibusterismo", also known by its English alternate title The Reign of Greed, [cite web | last = | first = | title =The Reign of Greed by José Rizal | url=http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10676 | accessdate = 2008-04-24] is the second novel written by Philippine national hero José Rizal. It is a sequel to "Noli Me Tangere" and like the first book, was written in Spanish. Rizal began the work in October of 1887 while practicing medicine in Calamba. In London (1888), he made several changes to the plot and revised a number of chapters. Rizal continued to work on his manuscript while in Paris, Madrid, and Brussels, finally completing it on March 29, 1891 in Biarritz. It was published the same year in Ghent. The translation for its Latin name is "The Subversive", as a reference to what the Spanish priests call Rizal's works.Fact|date=April 2008


Crisostomo Ibarra returns as the rich, jeweler Simoun. Abandoning his idealism, he seeks revenge against the people responsible for his misfortunes, and starts a revolution.

Plot Summary

After thirteen years of being away from the Philippines, Crisostomo Ibarra returns under the guise of Simoun, a rich jeweler and a confidant of the Captain-General. Simoun influences every decision of the Captain-General to mismanage the country’s affairs so that a revolution will break out. Simoun has reasons for instigating a revolution. First is to rescue Maria Clara from the convents and second, to get rid of the corruption and evil of the society. His true identity is discovered by a now grown-up Basilio while visiting his mother’s grave, 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. Basilio declines the offer as he still hopes that the country’s condition will improve.

Basilio, at this point, is a graduating student of medicine at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. Basilio was adopted by Captain Tiago after Maria Clara enters the convent. With Captain Tiago’s help, Basilio was able to go to Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the Ateneo. Captain Tiago’s confessor, Father Irene is making Captain Tiago’s health worse by giving him opium even as Basilio prevents 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 University of Santo Tomas. With the help of a reluctant Father Irene as their mediator and Don Custodio’s decision, the academy is established; however they will only serve as caretakers of the school not as the teachers. Dejected and defeated, they hold a mock celebration at a "pansiteria" while a spy for the friars witnesses the proceedings.

Simoun, for his part, keeps in close contact with the bandit group of Cabesang Tales, a former "Cabeza de Barangay" who suffered misfortunes at the hands of the friars. 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 Maria Clara. To further strengthen the revolution, Simoun has Quiroga, a Chinaman 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 Maria Clara died 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 "pansiteria" 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 and as stated in his will – forged by Father Irene, all his possessions are given to the church, leaving nothing for Basilio. 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. Juli, Basilio’s girlfriend and the daughter of Cabesang Tales, tries to ask Father Camorra’s help upon the advice of an elder woman. Instead of helping Juli, however, Father Camorra tries to rape her as he has long-hidden desires for Juli. Juli, 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, finally joins Simoun’s revolution. Simoun then tells Basilio his plan at the wedding of Paulita Gomez and Juanito, Basilio’s hunch-backed classmate. His plan was to conceal an explosive inside a 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 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 inside the house. Basilio has a change of heart and attempts to warn the people inside, including Isagani, his friend and the former boyfriend of Paulita. Simoun leaves the reception early as planned and leaves a note behind; "Mane, Thacel, Phares. Juan Crisostomo Ibarra". Initially thinking that it was simply a bad joke by those left behind, Father Salvi 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. He escapes by diving into the river as guards chase after him.

Simoun, now unmasked as the perpetrator of the attempted arson and failed revolution, becomes a fugitive. Wounded and exhausted, he seeks shelter at the home of Father Florentino, Isagani’s uncle, and came under the care of Doctor Tiburcio de Espadaña, the husband of Doña Victorina, who was also hiding at the house. Simoun takes poison in order for him not to be captured alive by the authorities. Before he dies, he reveals his real identity to Father Florentino while they exchange thoughts about the failure of his revolution and why God forsook him. Father 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 Father Florentino’s explanation, squeezes his hand and dies. Father Florentino then takes Simoun’s remaining jewelries and throws them into the sea, hoping that they would not be used by the greedy, and that if the time came that it would be used for the greater good, the sea would reveal the treasures.


Simoun - Crisostomo Ibarra in disguise, left for dead at the end of Noli Me Tangere, 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, he has since shed his pacifist image and become the titular "filibustero", pretending to side with the upper class and encouraging them to enslave the masses, while in reality siding with the masses and urging them to revolt against the oppressive Spanish regime. This time, he does not attempt to fight the authorities with knowledge, but by force. He concocts a plot to set off a bomb disguised as a beautiful lamp (shaped in the style of a pomegranate) at a wedding where important members of civil society and the church hierarchy are in attendance. Unfortunately for him, his plan fails and he commits suicide by taking poison.

Basilio - After the tragic deaths of his mother and younger brother, Basilio heeds the advice of the dying boatman, Elias, and travels to Manila to study. At first he is frowned upon by his peers and teachers not only because of the color of his skin but also because of his shabby appearance, but redeems himself in their eyes by participating in a fencing contest—and winning. He soon becomes an exceptional medical student, but his plans to graduate and become a full-time doctor are postponed by an encounter with Simoun, who, upon bringing up the deaths of his relatives, convinces him to aid him in his plots. At first, the young man is reluctant, but the death of his sweetheart Juliana drives him to fight whole-heartedly by Simoun's side. He helps Simoun smuggle in a bomb into a wedding reception, but relents later on and warns his best friend Isagani of the impending danger.

Isagani - Basilio's best friend. While Basilio is an aspiring doctor, Isagani, on the other hand, is a budding poet, and he, along with Basilio, plans to establish a school wherein "indios" such as themselves may learn Spanish. Unlike Basilio, he does not get along well with Simoun, and is much more emotional and reactive than his friend. Isagani experiences a rocky relationship with his rich girlfriend, Paulita Gomez, who eventually dumps him and marries Isagani's fellow student, Juanito Pelaez. Heartbroken, Isagani refuses at first to listen to Basilio when the latter warns him to get away from the would-be epicenter of the explosion. Eventually realizing that Paulita would die in the explosion, he foils Simoun's plan by racing into the reception in time to prevent the explosion from happening. 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.

Kabesang Tales - Once a farmer owning a prosperous sugarcane plantation and a "Cabeza de Barangay" (head of the barangay), he was forced to give everything to a bunch of unscrupulous Spanish friars. From then on, everything went downhill for Tales: his son, Tano, who became a civil guard was captured by bandits; his daughter Juliana 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. His personality becomes darker after all this suffering and he resorts to killing people, and resurfaced later as the bandit named "Matanglawin" (Tagalog for Hawkeye). His father, Tandang Selo, dies eventually after his own son Tano, who became a "guardia civil", accidentally shoots his grandfather in an encounter.

Don Custodio - 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 elite society. A good debater, he hates when others also believe in what he believes in and praises the "indios" in public, yet denigrates them in private. He has a mistress, a dancer named Pepay.

Paulita Gomez - The girlfriend of Isagani and the niece of Donya Victorina, the old Filipina, who, in Noli Me Tangere, is the wife of the quack doctor Tiburcio. In the end, she and Juanito Pelaez are wed, and she dumps Isagani, believing that she will have no future if she marries him.

Padre Florentino - Isagani's godfather, and a secular priest. He is the priest whom Simoun confides to at the end of the story. When Simoun dies, he throws the latter's treasure into the ocean. He was engaged to be married, but chose the priesthood instead. The story hints at the ambivalence of his decision when he chooses an assignment to a remote place, living in solitude near the sea. Speaking through the character of Florentino, Rizal reaffirms his condemnation of a bloody revolution and his commitment to peaceful reforms.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

* Jose Rizal (1998 - Starring Cesar Montano as Jose Rizal, Joel Torre as Crisostomo Ibarra / Simoun and Monique Wilson as Maria Clara

ee also

*Filibuster (military)

External links

* [http://www.filipiniana.net/readbook_content.jsp?filename=BKW000000003&page=1&epage=13 El Filibusterismo] 1926 English translation made by Charles Derbyshire found at [http://www.filipiniana.net Filipiniana.net]
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10676 El filibusterismo] (English translation) from Project Gutenberg
* [http://el-fili.web1000.com El filibusterismo] (Summaries and study guide questions in Filipino)
* [http://www.viloria.com/elfilibusterismo El Filibusterismo Chapter Summaries] (Multimedia chapter summaries in English)
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/18141 Caiñgat Cayo!] The pamphlet written by Fr. Jose Rodriguez criticizing Dr. Rizal and advising the people that reading the book is tantamount to committing mortal sin.
* [http://elibro.tripod.com/ Caiñgat Cayo!] English Translation and original image scans of the pamphlet written in 1889.
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/20228 Noli Me Tangere] (in Tagalog translation) at Project Gutenberg


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