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El Filibusterismo

Jose Rizal

Also known as El Fili in Filipino, the novel was published in 1891 in Ghent, Belgium. It was
shipped to the Philippines via Hong Kong and many of the copies were confiscated before
reaching the Philippine shore. 'El Filibusterismo' was thereafter serialized in El Nuevo Regimen
in Madrid and translated into Filipino, other Philippine dialects, English, German, Japanese and
French.

Set thirteen years after Crisostomo Ibarra, the main character in 'Noli Me Tangere,' left the
Philippines, a mysterious jeweler named Simoun returns to the Philippines on board the steamer
Tabo. The all powerful Simoun with his beard and his blue tinted eyeglasses is a friend of the
Spanish government, being an advisor to the Governor General of the Philippines. On the
outside, he is a good friend of Spain, but in his heart, he is planning revenge in opposition to
the Spanish atrocities in the Philippines. This is for the reason that Simoun, who in reality is
Crisostomo Ibarra, is fueled by revenge and his fixation to instigate a revolution against Spain
and to rescue his beloved Maria Clara from the convent.

As the story progresses, Simoun meets characters which he will manipulate to achieve his end.
His true identity is eventually discovered by Basilio while he visits his mothers grave. Basilio is
now a medical student under the patronage of Capitan Tiago. Simoun shows mercy to Basilio by
sparing his life and by asking the latter to join his planned revolution. Basilio refuses the offer
despite Simouns taunts about his familys misfortunes.

El Filibusterismo

The jeweler also manipulates the band of bandits headed by Kabesang Tales, who also suffers
misfortunes under the friars. Simoun also manipulates the Chinese Quiroga into smuggling
firearms and weapons using his store as a front. Meanwhile, Basilio supports the establishment
of a Spanish language school to help the students read and learn the language to the great
opposition of the Dominican friars. Simoun is now gearing up for the revolution which he
immediately calls to a halt, upon learning of the death of Maria Clara earlier that day.

The rejected students which fought for the establishment of a Spanish academy hold a mock
celebration in a panciteria (noodle cafe) where a friar spy witnesses the event. Several of the
students and Basilio are imprisoned notwithstanding the latters absence during the
celebration. Conversely, Juli, Basilios girlfriend commits suicide after Padre Camorra tries to
rape her. Basilio is left in prison while many of the students are released. Basilio is subsequently
released with Simouns help, and after learning of Julis suicide he joins Simouns revolution.

Simoun eventually tells Basilio of his plan to exterminate the highest officials of the Philippines
who will be attending the wedding of Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez. The explosive is
masqueraded as a beautiful kerosene lamp. Once out of fuel, it will be lighted again and will
eventually explode. During the wedding, Simoun gives the newlyweds the lamp and leaves the
reception early leaving a note. The note is later found out to be signed in the name of
Crisostomo Ibarra.

With a change of heart, Basilio informs his friend Isagani about the plan. Isagani, being a former
boyfriend of Paulita Gomez steals the lamp and throws it into the river. He also escapes by
diving into the river while being pursued by the Guardia Civil. The note is left behind and it is
confirmed by Padre Salvi that it was truly written by Ibarra.

Simouns real identity is discovered later on and he is pursued by the Guardia Civil. Being fatally
wounded, he seeks refuge in the house of Padre Florentino, Isaganis uncle. Simoun reveals his
identity to the priest and has a discussion about the failure of the revolution. Simoun eventually
dies and Padre Florentino throws his treasures into the Pacific Ocean with the hope that the
treasure will surface once the nation truly deserves its independence.