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Chapter Summaries of El Filibusterismo

El Filibusterismo (Spanish for The Filibustering), also known by its English alternate title The Reign of Greed, is the second novel written by Philippine national hero Dr. Jos Rizal. It is the sequel to Noli Me Tangere and like the first book, was written in Spanish. Rizal began the work in October 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. Chapter 1: On the Upper Deck (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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, Doa Victorina, Ben Zayb, Don Custodio, Padre Irene, Sibyla, Camorra, and Salvi. Chapter 2: On the Lower Deck (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 GovernorGeneral, Don Basilio expresses his pessimism. Chapter 3: Legends (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Doa 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. Chapter 4: Cabesang Tales (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 5: A Cocheros Christmas Eve (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 6: Basilio (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Tiagos help, he is now studying to be a doctor and plans to marry his sweetheart, Juli. Chapter 7: Simoun (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 8: Merry Christmas! (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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.

Chapter 9: Pilates (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Selos family because they had not taught Juli to pray properly. Chapter 10: Wealth and Want (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 daughters 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 tenants wife. Chapter 11: Los Baos (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) On the last day of December, the Governor-General and his advisers, together with some friars, are taking a rest in Los Baos. 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. Chapter 12: Placido Penitente (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 13: The Class in Physics (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 14: In the House of the Students (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Seor Pasta, a lawyer, to give a favorable decision. Isagani volunteers to persuade Seor Pasta to support and to endorse their project. Chapter 15: Seor Pasta (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) Isagani approaches Seor Pasta to persuade him to support and endorse the students' project. Not wishing to provoke the friars who are against the project, Seor Pasta decides to oppose it and to convince Isagani instead to focus on his studies. Chapter 16: The Tribulations of a Chinese (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 17: The Quiapo Fair (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) Twelve people leave Quiroga's house to watch Mr.Leeds' show. Padre Camorra ogles the young women at the fair, and gets more excited when he sees Paulita Gomez, Isagani's rich and beautiful sweetheart. Chapter 18: Legerdemain (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 19: The Fuse (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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.

Chapter 20: The Arbiter (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Seor 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. Chapter 21: Manila Types (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 22: The Performance (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 23: A Corpse (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 24: Dreams (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 25: Smiles and Tears (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 26: Pasquinades (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 27: The Friar and the Filipino (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 28: Tatakut (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 29: Exit Capitan Tiago (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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.

Chapter 30: Juli (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) The news of Basilios 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 friars help. Chapter 31: The High Official (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 32: Effect of the Pasquinades (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 fathers business. In jail, Basilio learns the sad news of Julis death. Simoun befriends Don Timoteo Pelaez, who is now busy preparing for the wedding of his son to Paulita Gomez. Chapter 33: La Ultima Razn (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Quirogas warehouse. Simoun is to place at an important gathering a dynamite-laden lamp that would then explode to signal the attack. Chapter 34: The Wedding (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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 Simoun. Chapter 35: The Fiesta (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 36: Ben-Zaybs Afflictions (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 37: The Mystery (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 38: Fatality (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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. Chapter 39: Conclusion (The Summary of El Filibusterismo) 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.