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Character Definition Symbolism

Simoun Crisóstomo Ibarra reincarnated as Simoun represents the
a wealthy jeweler, bent on starting revolutionaries during that time
a revolution. who supported the idea of holding
bloody revolt against the Spanish
government. His death in El
Filibusterismo tells readers that
Rizal does not support the armed
Basilio Has risen from poverty to become He represents the youth with a
Captain Tiago’s charge. Close to simple dream that his education
acquiring his medical degree, he is will improve his social and
pledged to Julí, the beautiful economic status in the future and
daughter of Cabesang Tales. is indifferent and selfish to the
needs of society.
Isagani poet and Basilio's best friend; Isagani is the symbol of the youth
portrayed as emotional and whose love for the country is great
reactive; Paulita Gómez' boyfriend to the point of being branded as
before being dumped for fellow idealistic.
student Juanito Peláez.
Kabesang Tales Telesforo Juan de Dios, a former He personified a typical Filipino
cabeza de barangay who who is content with living a simple
resurfaced as the feared Luzón life. He also symbolizes the natives
bandit Matanglawin (Tagalog for and farmers whose lands were
Hawkeye). seized by the friars, an explanation
as to why Filipinos became rebels.
Makaraig Makaraig shared the same Makaraig represented the well-to-
nationalistic ideals with that of do Filipino youth during the
Isagani. The both of them led their Spanish era who had good dreams
fellow students in the movement for the country. His character also
for the establishment of the provided readers a glimpse of how
Spanish academy for Filipinos. The different the rich and the poor
only difference between the two is were treated during that time in
their social status. society.
Paulita Gómez The girlfriend of Isagani and the Paulita Gomez is a caricature of a
niece of Doña Victorina. In the end, woman who chooses the best
she and Juanito Peláez are wed, option for a more stable future.
and she dumps Isagani, believing She knows what is best for her and
that she will have no future if she would take advantage of her
marries him. admirers to get what she wants.
Father Florentino Isagani's godfather, and a secular Father Florentino represented the
priest; was engaged to be married, secular Filipino priests in Rizal’s
but chose the priesthood instead,. time. It was also through his
The story hinting at the character that the author stressed
ambivalence of his decision as he his disapproval of a bloody revolt.
chooses an assignment to a remote
place, living in solitude near the
Juli Juliana de Dios, the girlfriend of Juli, like Maria Clara, symbolizes
Basilio, and the youngest daughter the purity and innocence of the
of Kabesang Tales. lower class women during Rizal's
time. She would rather sacrifice
rather than give up her ideals.
Ben Zayb Abraham Ibañez is his real name. Personifies a corrupted media.
He is a journalist who thinks he is
the only one thinking in the
Placido Penitente A student of the University of Placido means – silent and
Santo Tomas who is always Penitente means – suffering.
miserable, and therefore controls Combining those words, “silent
his temper. suffering” or in tagalog “tahimik na
Señor Pasta He is an old Filipino lawyer who He represents the part of the
refuses to help the Filipino society that is only generous and
students in their clamor for sympathetic to the rich and
educational reforms. powerful.
Father Irene He is a kind friar who is a friend of He embodies the few Spaniards
the Filipino students. He supports who are sympathetic to the
the students who appeal to the Filipinos.
government for an academy of
Spanish language.


El Filibusterismo is a sequel to Noli Me Tangere. A dark, brooding, at times satirical novel of revenge, unfulfilled
love, and tragedy, the Fili (as it is popularly referred to) still has as its protagonist Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra. Thirteen
years older, his idealism and youthful dreams shattered, and taking advantage of the belief that he died at the end
of Noli Me Tangere, he is disguised as Simoun, an enormously wealthy and mysterious jeweler who has gained the
confidence of the colony’s governor-general.


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