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Juan Crisostomo Ibarra is a young Filipino who, after studying for seven years in

Europe, returns to his native land to find that his father, a wealthy landowner, has died
in prison as the result of a quarrel with the parish curate, a Franciscan friar named
Padre Damaso. Ibarra is engaged to a beautiful and accomplished girl, Maria Clara, the
supposed daughter and only child of the rich Don Santiago de los Santos, commonly
known as “Capitan Tiago.”

Ibarra resolves to forego all quarrels and to work for the betterment of his people. To
show his good intentions, he seeks to establish, at his own expense, a public school in
his native town. He meets with ostensible support from all, especially Padre Damaso’s
successor, a young and gloomy Franciscan named Padre Salvi, for whom Maria Clara
confesses to an instinctive dread.

At the laying of the cornerstone for the new schoolhouse, a suspicious accident,
apparently aimed at Ibarra’s life, occurs, but the festivities proceed until the dinner,
where Ibarra is grossly and wantonly insulted over the memory of his father by Fray
Damaso. The young man loses control of himself and is about to kill the friar, who is
saved by the intervention of Maria Clara.

Ibarra is excommunicated, and Capitan Tiago, through his fear of the friars, is forced to
break the engagement and agree to the marriage of Maria Clara with a young and
inoffensive Spaniard provided by Padre Damaso. Obedient to her reputed father’s
command and influenced by her mysterious dread of Padre Salvi, Maria Clara consents
to this arrangement, but becomes seriously ill, only to be saved by medicines sent
secretly by Ibarra and clandestinely administered by a girl friend.

Ibarra succeeds in having the excommunication removed, but before he can explain
matters, an uprising against the Civil Guard is secretly brought about through agents of
Padre Salvi, and the leadership is ascribed to Ibarra to ruin him. He is warned by a
mysterious friend, an outlaw called Elias, whose life he had accidentally saved; but
desiring first to see Maria Clara, he refuses to make his escape, and when the outbreak
page occurs, he is arrested as the instigator of it and thrown into prison in Manila.

On the evening when Capitan Tiago gives a ball in his Manila house to celebrate his
supposed daughter’s engagement, Ibarra makes his escape from prison and succeeds
in seeing Maria Clara alone. He begins to reproach her because it is a letter written to
her before he went to Europe which forms the basis of the charge against him, but she
clears herself of treachery to him. The letter had been secured from her by false
representations and in exchange for two others written by her mother just before her
birth, which prove that Padre Damaso is her real father. These letters had been
accidentally discovered in the convento by Padre Salvi, who made use of them to
intimidate the girl and get possession of Ibarra’s letter, from which he forged others to
incriminate the young man. She tells him that she will marry the young Spaniard,
sacrificing herself thus to save her mother’s name and Capitan Tiago’s honor and to
prevent a public scandal, but that she will always remain true to him.

Ibarra’s escape had been effected by Elias, who conveys him in a banka up the Pasig to
the Lake, where they are so closely beset by the Civil Guard that Elias leaps into the
water and draws the pursuers away from the boat, in which Ibarra lies concealed.

On Christmas Eve, at the tomb of the Ibarras in a gloomy wood, Elias appears,
wounded and dying, to find there a boy named Basilio beside the corpse of his mother,
a poor woman who had been driven to insanity by her husband’s neglect and abuses on
the part of the Civil Guard, her younger son having page disappeared some time before
in the convento, where he was a sacristan. Basilio, who is ignorant of Elias’s identity,
helps him to build a funeral pyre, on which his corpse and the madwoman’s are to be
burned.

Upon learning of the reported death of Ibarra in the chase on the Lake, Maria Clara
becomes disconsolate and begs her supposed godfather, Fray Damaso, to put her in a
nunnery. Unconscious of her knowledge of their true relationship, the friar breaks down
and confesses that all the trouble he has stirred up with the Ibarras has been to prevent
her from marrying a native, which would condemn her and her children to the oppressed
and enslaved class. He finally yields to her entreaties and she enters the nunnery of St.
Clara, to which Padre Salvi is soon assigned in a ministerial capacity

Noli Me Tangere Characters

Noli Me Tangere is set during the 19th century in the Philippines. Sectors of the society were
represented as the novel progresses. The abusive clergy was represented by Padre Damaso and
Padre Salvi, the wealthy meztizo by the protagonist Crisostomo Ibarra; meanwhile the wealthy
Indio was represented by Capitan Tiago. As such, the novel offers a straightforward analysis of
Philippine society under Spanish rule.

Noli Me Tangere Summary

The young and idealistic Juan Crisostomo Ibarra returns home after seven years in Europe. The
wealthy meztizo, like his father Don Rafael endeavors for reform primarily in the area of
education in order to eliminate poverty and improve the lives of his countrymen. Upon learning
about his father’s demise and the denial of a Catholic burial for his father Ibarra was provoked
to hit Padre Damaso which eventually lead to his excommunication. The excommunication was
later rescinded upon the intervention of the Governor General.
risóstomo Ibarra, the mestizo son of recently deceased Don Rafael Ibarra, is returning to San Diego
in Laguna after seven years of study in Europe. Capitan Tiago, a family friend, bids him to spend his
first night in Manila where Tiago hosts a reunion party at his riverside home on Anloague Street.
Crisóstomo obliges. At dinner he encounters old friends, Manila high society, and Padre Dámaso,
San Diego's old curate at the time Ibarra left for Europe. Dámaso treats Crisóstomo with hostility,
surprising the young man who took the friar to be a friend of his father.
Crisóstomo excuses himself early and is making his way back to his hotel when Lieutenant
Guevarra, another friend of his father, catches up with him. As the two of them walk to Crisóstomo's
stop, and away from the socialites at the party who may possibly compromise them if they heard,
Guevarra reveals to the young man the events leading up to Rafael's death and Dámaso's role in it.
Crisóstomo, who has been grieving from the time he learned of his father's death, decides to forgive
and not seek revenge. Guevarra nevertheless warns the young man to be careful.
The following day Crisóstomo returns to Capitan Tiago's home in order to meet with his childhood
sweetheart, Tiago's daughter María Clara. The two flirt and reminisce in the azotea, a porch
overlooking the river. María reads back to Crisóstomo his farewell letter wherein he explained to her
Rafael's wish for Crisóstomo to set out, to study in order to become a more useful citizen of the
country. Seeing Crisóstomo agitated at the mention of his father, however, María playfully excuses
herself, promising to see him again at her family's San Diego home during the town fiesta.
Crisóstomo goes to the town cemetery upon reaching San Diego to visit his father's grave. However,
he learns from the gravedigger that the town curate had ordered that Rafael's remains be exhumed
and transferred to a Chinese cemetery. At this revelation, Crisóstomo's anger explodes. But the
gravedigger confesses that on the night he dug up the corpse, it was raining hard and he feared for
his own soul, so defying the order of the priest, he instead threw the body into the lake. At that
moment, Padre Bernardo Salvi, the new curate of San Diego, walks into the cemetery. Crisóstomo
shoves him into the ground and demands an accounting, but Salvi fearfully tells Crisóstomo that the
transfer was ordered by the previous curate, Padre Damaso. Crisóstomo leaves in consternation.
But Crisóstomo, committed to his patriotic endeavors, is determined not to seek revenge and to put
the matter behind him. As the days progress he carries out his plan to serve his country as his father
wanted. He intends to use his family wealth to build a school, believing his paisanos would benefit
from a more modern education than what is offered in the schools run by the government, whose
curriculum was heavily tempered by the teachings of the friars.
Enjoying massive support, and even by the Spanish authorities, Crisóstomo's preparations for his
school advance quickly in only a few days. He receives counsel from Don Anastacio, a revered local
philosopher, who refers him to a progressive schoolmaster who lamented the friars’ influence on
public education and wished to introduce reforms. The building was planned to begin construction
with the cornerstone to be laid in a ceremony during San Diego's town fiesta.
One day, taking a break, Crisóstomo, María, and their friends get on a boat and go on a picnic along
the shores of the Laguna de Bay, away from the town center. It is then discovered that a crocodile
had been lurking on the fish pens owned by the Ibarras. Elias, the boat's pilot, jumps into the water
with a bolo knife drawn. Sensing Elias is in danger, Crisóstomo jumps in as well, and they subdue
the animal together. Crisóstomo mildly scolds the pilot for his rashness, while Elias proclaims himself
in Crisóstomo's debt.
On the day of the fiesta, Elias warns Crisóstomo of a plot to kill him at the cornerstone-laying. The
ceremony involved the massive stone being lowered into a trench by a wooden derrick. Crisóstomo
being the principal sponsor of the project is to lay the mortar using a trowel at the bottom of the
trench. As he prepares to do so, however, the derrick fails and the stone falls into the trench,
bringing the derrick down with it in a mighty crash. When the dust clears, a pale, dust-covered
Crisóstomo stands stiffly by the trench, having narrowly missed the stone. In his place beneath the
stone is the would-be assassin. Elias has disappeared.
The festivities continue at Crisóstomo's insistence. Later that day, he hosts a luncheon to which
Padre Dámaso invites himself. Over the meal the old friar berates Crisóstomo, his learning, his
journeys, and the schoolbuilding project. The other guests hiss for discretion, but Dámaso ignores
them and continues in an even louder voice, insulting the memory of Rafael in front of Crisóstomo.
At the mention of his father, Crisóstomo strikes the friar unconscious and holds a dinner knife to his
neck. In an impassioned speech Crisóstomo narrates to the astonished guests everything he heard
from Lieutenant Guevarra, who was an officer of the local police, about Dámaso's schemes that
resulted in the death of Rafael. As Crisóstomo is about to stab Dámaso, however, María Clara stays
his arm and pleads for mercy.
Crisóstomo is excommunicated from the church, but has his excommunication lifted through the
intercession of the sympathetic governor general. However, upon his return to San Diego, María has
turned sickly and refuses to see him. The new curate whom Crisóstomo roughly accosted at the
cemetery, Padre Bernardo Salvi, is seen hovering around the house. Crisóstomo then meets the
inoffensive Linares, a peninsular Spaniard who, unlike Crisóstomo, had been born in Spain. Tiago
presents Linares as María's new suitor.
Sensing Crisóstomo's influence with the government, Elias takes Crisóstomo into confidence and
one moonlit night, they secretly sail out into the lake. Elias tells him about a revolutionary group,
poised for open, violent clash with the government. This group has reached out to Elias in a bid for
him to join them in their imminent uprising. Elias tells Crisóstomo that he managed to delay the
group's plans by offering to speak to Crisóstomo first, that Crisóstomo may use his influence to effect
the reforms Elias and his group wish to see.
In their conversation Elias narrates his family's history, how his grandfather in his youth worked as a
bookkeeper in a Manila office but was accused of arson by the Spaniard owner when the office
burned down. He was prosecuted and upon release was shunned by the community as a dangerous
lawbreaker. His wife turned to prostitution to support the family but eventually they were driven into
the hinterlands.
Crisóstomo sympathizes with Elias but insists that he could do nothing, and that the only change he
was capable of was through his schoolbuilding project. Rebuffed, Elias advises Crisóstomo to avoid
any association with him in the future for his own safety.
Heartbroken and desperately needing to speak to María, Crisóstomo turns his focus more towards
his school. One evening, though, Elias returns with more information – a rogue uprising was planned
for that same night, and the instigators had used Crisóstomo's name in vain to recruit malcontents.
The authorities know of the uprising and are prepared to spring a trap on the rebels.
In panic and ready to abandon his project, Crisóstomo enlists Elias in sorting out and destroying
documents in his study that may implicate him. Elias obliges, but comes across a name familiar to
him: Don Pedro Eibarramendia. Crisóstomo tells him that Pedro was his great-grandfather, and that
they had to shorten his long family name. Elias tells him Eibarramendia was the same Spaniard who
accused his grandfather of arson, and was thus the author of the misfortunes of Elias and his family.
Frenzied, he raises his bolo to smite Crisóstomo, but regains his senses and leaves the house very
upset.
The uprising follows through, and many of the rebels are either captured or killed. They point to
Crisóstomo as instructed and Crisóstomo is arrested. The following morning the instigators are
found dead. It is revealed that Padre Salvi ordered the senior sexton to kill them in order to prevent
the chance of them confessing that he actually took part in the plot to frame Crisóstomo. Elias,
meanwhile, sneaks back into the Ibarra mansion during the night and sorts through documents and
valuables, then burns down the house.
Some time later Capitan Tiago hosts a dinner at his riverside house in Manila to celebrate María
Clara's engagement with Linares. Present at the party were Padre Dámaso, Padre Salvi, Lieutenant
Guevarra, and other family friends. They were discussing the events that happened in San Diego
and Crisóstomo's fate.
Salvi, who lusted after María Clara all along, says that he has requested to be transferred to the
Convent of the Poor Clares in Manila under the pretense of recent events in San Diego being too
great for him to bear. A despondent Guevarra outlines how the court came to condemn Crisóstomo.
In a signed letter he wrote to a certain woman before leaving for Europe, Crisóstomo spoke about
his father, an alleged rebel who died in prison. Somehow this letter fell into the hands of an enemy,
and Crisóstomo's handwriting was imitated to create the bogus orders used to recruit the
malcontents to the San Diego uprising. Guevarra remarks that the penmanship on the orders was
similar to Crisóstomo's penmanship seven years before, but not at the present day. And Crisóstomo
had only to deny that the signature on the original letter was his, and the charge of sedition founded
on those bogus letters would fail. But upon seeing the letter, which was the farewell letter he wrote to
María Clara, Crisóstomo apparently lost the will to fight the charges and owned the letter as his.
Guevarra then approaches María, who had been listening to his explanation. Privately but
sorrowfully, he congratulates her for her common sense in yielding Crisóstomo's farewell letter. Now,
the old officer tells her, she can live a life of peace. María is devastated.
Later that evening Crisóstomo, having escaped from prison with the help of Elias, climbs up the
azotea and confronts María in secret. María, distraught, does not deny giving up his farewell letter,
but explains she did so only because Salvi found Dámaso's old letters in the San Diego parsonage,
letters from María's mother who was then pregnant with María. It turns out that Dámaso was María's
father. Salvi promised not to divulge Dámaso's letters to the public in exchange for Crisóstomo's
farewell letter. Crisóstomo forgives her, María swears her undying love, and they part with a kiss.
Crisóstomo and Elias escape on Elias's boat. They slip unnoticed through the Estero de Binondo
and into the Pasig River. Elias tells Crisóstomo that his treasures and documents are buried in the
middle of the forest owned by the Ibarras in San Diego. Wishing to make restitution, Crisóstomo
offers Elias the chance to escape with him to a foreign country, where they will live as brothers. Elias
declines, stating that his fate is with the country he wishes to see reformed and liberated.
Crisóstomo then tells him of his own desire for revenge and revolution, to lengths that even Elias
was unwilling to go. Elias tries to reason with him, but sentries catch up with them at the mouth of
the Pasig River and pursue them across Laguna de Bay. Elias orders Crisóstomo to lie down and to
meet with him in a few days at the mausoleum of Crisóstomo's grandfather in San Diego, as he
jumps into the water in an effort to distract the pursuers. Elias is shot several times.
The following day news of the chase were in the newspapers. It is reported that Crisóstomo Ibarra,
the fugitive, had been killed by sentries in pursuit. At the news María remorsefully demands of
Dámaso that her wedding with Linares be called off and that she be entered into the cloister, or the
grave.
Seeing her resolution, Dámaso admits the true reason he ruined the Ibarra family and her
relationship with Crisóstomo - because he was a mere mestizo and Dámaso wanted María to be as
happy as she could be, and that was possible only if she were to marry a full-blooded peninsular
Spaniard. María would not hear of it and repeated her ultimatum, the cloister or the grave. Knowing
fully why Salvi had earlier requested to be assigned as chaplain in the Convent of the Poor Clares,
Dámaso pleads with María to reconsider, but to no avail. Weeping, Dámaso consents, knowing the
horrible fate that awaits his daughter within the convent but finding it more tolerable than her suicide.
A few nights later in the forest of the Ibarras, a boy pursues his mother through the darkness. The
woman went insane with the constant beating of her husband and the loss of her other son, an altar
boy, in the hands of Padre Salvi. Basilio, the boy, catches up with Sisa, his mother, inside the Ibarra
mausoleum in the middle of the forest, but the strain had already been too great for Sisa. She dies in
Basilio's embrace.
Basilio weeps for his mother, but then looks up to see Elias staring at them. Elias was dying himself,
having lost a lot of blood and having had no food or nourishment for several days as he made his
way to the mausoleum. He instructs Basilio to burn their bodies and if no one comes, to dig inside
the mausoleum. He will find treasure, which he is to use for his own education.
As Basilio leaves to fetch the wood, Elias sinks to the ground and says that he will die without seeing
the dawn of freedom for his people, and that those who see it must welcome it and not forget them
that died in the darkness.
In the epilogue, Padre Dámaso is transferred to occupy a curacy in a remote town. Distraught, he is
found dead a day later. Capitan Tiago fell into depression and became addicted to opium and is
forgotten by the town. Padre Salvi, meanwhile, waits to be made a bishop. He is also the head priest
of the convent where María Clara currently resides. Nothing is heard of María Clara, however, on a
September night, during a typhoon, two patrolmen reported seeing a specter (implied to be María
Clara) on the roof of the Convent of the Poor Clares moaning and weeping in despair.
The next day, a representative of the authorities visited the convent to investigate last night's events
and asked to inspect all the nuns. One of the nuns had a wet and torn gown and with tears told the
representative of "tales of horror" and begged for "protection against the outrages of hypocrisy"
(which gives the implication that Padre Salvi regularly rapes her when he is present). The abbess
however, said that she was nothing more than a madwoman. A General J. also attempted to
investigate the nun's case, but by then the abbess prohibited visits to the convent. Nothing more was
said again about María Clara.

Publication history[edit]
Rizal finished the novel in December 1886. At first, according to one of Rizal's biographers, Rizal
feared the novel might not be printed, and that it would remain unread. He was struggling with
financial constraints at the time and thought it would be hard to pursue printing the novel.
Financial aid came from a friend named Máximo Viola; this helped him print the book at Berliner
Buchdruckerei-Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin. Rizal was initially hesitant, but Viola insisted and ended
up lending Rizal ₱300 for 2,000 copies. The printing was finished earlier than the estimated five
months. Viola arrived in Berlin in December 1886, and by March 21, 1887, Rizal had sent a copy of
the novel to his friend, Blumentritt.[2]
The book was banned by Spanish authorities in the Philippines, although copies were smuggled into
the country. The first Philippine edition (and the second published edition) was finally printed in 1899
in Manila by Chofre y Compania in Escolta.

Padre Salvi, Ibarra’s mortal enemy accused Ibarra of insurrection. Ibarra’s letter to his beloved
Maria Clara was used against him. Later in the story, Maria Clara will tell Ibarra that she did not
conspire to indict him. She was compelled to give Ibarra’s letter in exchange for the letters of
her mother before she was born. Maria Clara found out that the letters of her mother were
addressed to Padre Damaso about their unborn child which means that she is the biological
daughter of the priest and not of her father, Capitan Tiago.

Meanwhile, Ibarra was able to escape the prison with Elias, who also experienced injustice with
the authorities. Ibarra was able to speak with Maria Clara about the letters and thereafter
forgave her. Ibarra and Elias flee to the lake and were chased by the Guardia Civil. One was shot
and the other survives. Upon hearing the news, Maria Clara believed that Ibarra was dead; she
entered the nunnery instead of marrying Alfonso Linares.

The fatally wounded Elias found the child Basilio and his dead mother Sisa. The latter was
driven to insanity when she learned that her children were implicated for theft by the sacristan
mayor. Elias instructed Basilio to dig for his and Sisa’s graves and there is a buried treasure
which he can use for his education.

Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere is perhaps the Philippines’ most influential novel.

It stirred the nationalist sentiments of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its influence can be seen in
present-day works of fiction, drama and films. It continues to be popular even in the
contemporary Philippine setting because the reflections and insights of the book remain true
today.

Noli Me Tangere was written in Spanish and was published in 1887 in Berlin. The first
publication was in Spanish and there was an initial 2,000 copies.

Thereafter, the novel was translated into Filipino, French, German, Chinese and other Philippine
dialects.

The best known English translation of the book was done by Charles Derbyshire in 1912 and by
Leon Maria Guerrero in 1961.

This book together with El Filibusterismo is part of the school curriculum for Philippine junior
and senior high school students, and the mandatory Jose Rizal course in college.

Noli Me Tangere Characte


Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin (Ibarra)
A wealthy young man of mixed Spanish and Filipino ancestry who has
recently returned to the Philippines from Europe after spending seven years
studying abroad. Ibarra is cultured and well-respected, though the friars in
his… (read full character analysis)

María Clara
A woman well-regarded in San Diego for her high social station. Having
grown up together as childhood friends, María Clara and Ibarra are engaged
to be married, though Father Dámaso—her godfather—is displeased with
this… (read full character analysis)
Father Dámaso
A Spanish friar living in the Philippines, Father Dámaso is an arrogant and
pedantic priest who, despite having lived amongst Filipinos and hearing their
confessions for over twenty years, is barely able to speak or… (read full
character analysis)

Elías
An outlaw and vagabond revolutionary who resents the power the Catholic
church and Spanish government have over the Philippines.
After Ibarra saves his life from a vicious crocodile, Elías swears to protect
the young man… (read full character analysis)

Father Salví
A serious and committed Spanish friar who takes over Father Dámaso’s post
in San Diego as the town’s priest. Fray Salví is a meticulous and cunning
man who uses his religious stature for political… (read full character
analysis)
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Captain Tiago (Don Santiago de los Santos)
A Filipino socialite and well-respected member of the country’s wealthy elite.
Close with high-ranking clergy members like Father Salví and Father
Dámaso, Captain Tiago is one of the richest property owners in Manila
and… (read full character analysis)

The Ensign
A Spaniard in charge of the Civil Guard in San Diego. The ensign has a bitter
relationship with Father Salví, since he thinks Father Salví takes his position
too seriously. To retaliate against Salví… (read full character analysis)

Old Tasio (Don Anastasio)


An old man who used to study philosophy and who prefers secular
knowledge to Catholicism. This atheistic worldview attracts attention from
the friars and pious townspeople, who call him a “madman” (or, if they
are… (read full character analysis)

Don Rafael Ibarra


Ibarra’s father, who has died before the novel’s opening pages. Ibarra learns
from a sympathetic friend of his father’s, Lieutenant Guevara, that Don
Rafael perished in prison after Father Dámaso accused him of… (read full
character analysis)

Crispín
A very young boy studying to be a sexton, or a caretaker of the church.
Crispín and his brother Basilio work tirelessly to send money home to their
mother, Sisa, who is married to… (read full character analysis)

Basilio
Crispín’s older brother, who is also training to be a sexton. When Crispín is
dragged away, Basilio tries to find him unsuccessfully. Despite the town’s
curfew, he runs home to his mother and spends… (read full character
analysis)

Doctor Tiburcio de Espadaña


A Spaniard who speaks with a stutter and looks significantly older than his
thirty-five years. Don Tiburcio came to the Philippines as a customs officer,
but was dismissed upon his arrival. Having very little money… (read full
character analysis)

La Doctora Victorina de los Reyes de Espadaña


A Filipina woman married to Don Tiburcio. Above all else, Doña Victorina
cares about her image as a beautiful and admired socialite, though she is
actually—as Rizal goes out of his way to emphasize—past… (read full
character analysis)

Doña Consolación
An older Filipina woman married to the ensign. Doña Consolación is a brutal,
vulgar partner who berates the ensign, engaging him in intense physical
fights heard across the town. It is well known that… (read full character
analysis)

Señor Guevara
An elderly lieutenant of the Civil Guard who deeply respects both Ibarra and
the late Don Rafael. Guevara tells Ibarra that he appreciated his father’s
conviction and moral compass, which went against the church… (read full
character analysis)
The Captain General
An unnamed representative of Spain, and the highest government official in
the Philippines. Civil Guard members, townspeople, and friars alike deeply
respect him and defer to his judgment, each set of people volleying for
his… (read full character analysis)

Linares
Doctor de Espadaña’s nephew from Spain. Linares has a law degree and is
the most intelligent member of the de Espadaña family, a fact that endears
him to Doña Victorina. Eager to use… (read full character analysis)

The Schoolmaster
A teacher whom Don Rafael supported, helping him find a house and
enabling him to properly do his job. The schoolmaster tells Ibarra about the
unfortunate circumstances in San Diego surrounding education, which
greatly inhibit… (read full character analysis)

Don Filipo (Filipo Lino)


The deputy mayor of San Diego. Don Filipo is described as “almost liberal”
and represents the informal party of the younger, more open-minded
generation. Like his followers, he resents the idea that the town
should… (read full character analysis)

The Mayor
The mayor of San Diego is a conservative man who is devoted to religion.
The mayor allows himself to be manipulated by the church, thinking himself
a pious man. As such, anybody accused of heresy… (read full character
analysis)

The Yellow Man


A man hired to kill Ibarra. This man helps build the school, engineering a
large stone that he intends to drop on Ibarra on the day of San Diego’s
fiesta. When the time…(read full character analysis)

Társilo
A man whose father died at the hands of the Civil Guard. Lucas convinces
Társilo and his brother Bruno to attack the military barracks, telling them
that Ibarra is organizing the rebellion. After the attack… (read full character
analysis)

Minor Characters
Sisa
Crispín and Basilio’s mother, who goes crazy after losing her boys. Sisa
wanders the town and forests in vain, hoping to find her children, though
when she actually meets Basilio, she is apparently unable to recognize him
at first. When she does, she dies of surprise and happiness.
Father Sibyla
A priest in Binondo, a district in Manila. Sibyla is a skillful and sly debater
who agitates Father Dámaso at Ibarra’s welcome-home party. He is an
even-tempered, rational religious figure that contrasts the absurd Dámaso
and the corrupt Salví.
Captain Basilio
Sinang’s father, a pedantic man who is the speaker of San Diego’s
conservative party. An enemy and rival of Don Rafael, Basilio fashions
himself after famous Roman orators, advocating for a strict adherence to the
church.
Lucas
The Yellow Man’s brother. Wanting revenge on Ibarra, he teams up
with Father Salví to frame the young man as the ringleader of the group of
bandits that attacks the military barracks.
Captain Pablo
The leader of the band of “persecuted” men who want revenge on the Civil
Guard. Elíasmeets with Pablo and asks him to delay his plan to attack
civilization, convincing him that it would be best if Ibarra represented them
so they can achieve their goals nonviolently.
Bruno
Társilo’s brother, who dies the night of the barracks attack. Before his death,
Bruno repeats what Lucas has told him—namely, that Ibarra is the leader of
the rebellion.
Aunt Isabel
Captain Tiago’s cousin, and the woman who raised María Clara after her
mother’s death during childbirth.
Captain Tinong
A friend of Captain Tiago’s. Like Tiago, Tinong only cares about his own
image. When it seems as though Tiago’s family has been disgraced because
of its association with Ibarra, he quickly turns his back on his friend.
The Chief Sexton
The man in charge of taking care of the church. The sexton essentially
does Father Salví’s dirty work, like beating Crispín or hanging Lucas after the
attack on the barracks.
Victoria
One of María Clara’s friends, and one of her cousins.
Andeng
One of María Clara’s friends. Andeng has known María Clara for a very long
time, having even shared the same wet-nurse as an infant.
Sinang
One of María Clara’s friends and cousins.
Iday
One of María Clara’s friends.
The Gravedigger
A cemetery worker who, on Father Dámaso’s orders, exhumes Don Rafael’s
body. Ibarrainterrogates this man, desperate for information about his
father.