Philippine Culture
  El Filibusterismo
Synopsis of the Noli Me Tangere Noli Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 28 35 36 45 46 65
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Chapter 4: Heretic and Subversive

Ibarra walks the streets of Manila and notes how nothing has changed in the past seven years. He is approached by Teniente Guevarra and learns for the first time about what happened to his father, Don Rafael. An illiterate Spanish tax collector hurt a young boy who was making fun of him. Before he could inflict additional pain on the boy, Don Rafael intervened. In the process, the tax collector was pushed and he died after his head hit a rock.

Don Rafael was jailed, people who used to openly respect him came out and denounced him, while Padre Damaso branded him a heretic for not going to confession.

Teniente Guevarra tried to get Don Rafael out of jail, was chastised by others, but eventually succeeded in securing Don Rafael's release from prison. However, Don Rafael died in jail.

Some Notes

  • Teniente Guevarra does not know why Padre Damaso was angry at Don Rafael because long before the incident with the tax collector, Don Rafael was no longer going to confession. Padre Damaso would often dine at the Ibarra residence. The rift appeared only after the young Ibarra left for Europe.

  • Don Pedro Eibarramendia was a spaniard who married a Filipina or Mestisa. They were the parents of Don Saturnino Ibarra who married a woman from Manila. Don Saturnino is the father of Don Rafael Ibarra who married a Filipina surnamed Magsalin. Their child is Crisostomo Ibarra (who can be said to be more Filipino than Spanish).

Questions and Answers

  1. Why was Ibarra surprised to find out that his father died in jail? Before Ibarra left for Europe, his father, Don Rafael, was respected by many people in their province (even by the friars and some important government officials). He could not accept how his father, a good and just man, could end up in jail.

  2. What did Teniente Guevarra mean by "one cannot be honest in the Philippines and not go to jail?" Due to corruption and injustices committed by the government and the friars, any person of integrity would dare speak out. This was considered an act of treason so these people were jailed for speaking against the government.

  3. Accdg to Teniente Guevarra, although Don Rafael was admired and respected by many people, he still had enemies. Who were they? They were a few evil spaniards and friars who were envious of Don Rafael's wealth. He was well-loved by the natives because of the kindness he showed them. This, however, served to make the indios more aware of the evils of the other spaniards. Some people were also mad at Don Rafael because of the wrongdoings of his grandfather.

  4. What was held against Don Rafael?
    • The murder of the spanish tax collector
    • belief in God; no confession.
    • Subversion...(1) speaking out against the friars and against govt, (2) reading El Correo de Ultramar, a radical newspaper, (3) sending Ibarra to Swiss Germany, centers of free thought and protestantism, (4) picture of a Filipino priest (possible Father Burgos), and (5) wearing a barong tagalog (attire of the indios because only spaniards were allowed to wear their shirts tucked in).

    He was found in the possession of a picture of a priest and How did Rizal show appreciation for the heritage of every country that he visited? Like Ibarra, Rizal made it a point to study the history of a country before visiting it.

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