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Synopsis of Noli Me Tangere

Synopsis of Noli Me Tangere

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Published by Louie Alejandro
Synopsis of Noli Me Tangere
Synopsis of Noli Me Tangere

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Published by: Louie Alejandro on May 20, 2013
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07/17/2013

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Noli Me Tangere
The novel Noli Me Tangere contains 63 chapters and epilogue. It beginswith a reception given by Capitan Tiago (Santiago de los Santos) at his house inCalle Analogue (now Juan Luna Street) on the last day of October. The receptionor dinner is given in honor of Crisostomo Ibarra, a young and rich Filipino whohad just returned after seven years of study in Europe. Ibarra was the only son of Don Rafael Ibarra, friend of Capitan Tiago, and a fiancé of beautiful Maria Clara,supposed daughter of Capitan Tiago. Among the guests during the reception were Padre Damaso, a fatFranciscan friar who had been parish priest for 20 years of San Diego
(Calamba), Ibarra’s na
tive town; Padre Sybila, a young Dominican parish priestof Binondo; Señor Guevara, as elderly and kind lieutenant of the Guardia Civil;Don Tiburcio de Espadaña, a bogus Spanish physician, lame, and henpeckedhusband of Doña Victorina; and several ladies.Ibarra, upon his arrival, produced a favorable impression among theguests, except Padre Damaso, who was rude to him. In accordance with aGerman custom, he introduced himself to the ladies.
During the dinner the conversation centered on Ibarra’s studies
and travelsabroad. Padre Damaso was in bad mood because he got a bony neck and a
hard wing of the chicken tinola. He tried to discredit Ibarra’s remarks.
 
 After dinner, Ibarra left Capitan Tiago’s house to return to his hotel. On the
way, the kind Lieutena
nt Guevara told him the sad story of his father’s death in
San Diego. Don Rafael, his father, was a rich and brave man. He defended ahelpless boy from the brutality of an illiterate Spanish tax collector, pushing thelatter and accidentally killing him. Don Rafael was thrown in prison, where hedied unhappily. He was buried in consecrated ground, but his enemies, accusinghim being a heretic, had his body removed from the cemetery.
On hearing about his father’s sad story, Ibarra thanked the kind Spanish
li
eutenant and vowed to find out the truth about his father’s death.
 The following morning, he visited Maria Clara, his childhood sweetheart.Maria Clara teasingly said that he had forgotten her because the girls inGermany were beautiful. Ibarra replied that he had never forgotten her.
 
 After the romantic reunion with Maria Clara, Ibarra went to San Diego to
visit his father’s grave. It was All Saint’s Day. At the cemetery, the grave digger 
told Ibarra that the corpse of Don Rafael was removed by order of the parishpriest to be, buried in the Chinese cemetery; but the corpse was heavy and itwas a dark and rainy night so that he (the grave-digger) simply threw the corpseinto the lake.Ibarra was angered by the grave-
digger’s story. He left the cemetery. On
the way, he met Padre Salvi, Franciscan parish priest of San Diego. In a flash,
Ibarra pounced on the priest, demanding redress for desecrating his father’s
mortal remains. Padre told him that he had nothing to do with it, for he was notthe parish priest a
t the time of Don Rafael’s death. It was Padre Damaso, hispredecessor, who was responsible for it. Convinced for Padre Salvi’s innocence,
Ibarra went away.In his town Ibarra met several interesting people, such as the wise oldman, Tasio the philosopher, whose ideas were too advanced for his times so that
the people, who could not understand him, called him “Tasio the Lunatic;” the
progressive school teacher, who complained to Ibarra that the children werelosing interest to their studies because of the lack proper school house and thediscouraging attitude of the parish friar towards both the teaching of Spanish andof the use of modern methods of pedagogy; the spineless gobernadorcillo, whocatered to the wishes of the Spanish parish friars; Don Filipo Lino, the teniente-mayor and leader of the cuardrilleros (town police); and the former gobernadorcillos who were prominent citizens Don Basilio and Don Valentin. A most tragic story in the novel is the tale of Sisa, who was formerly a richgirl but became poor because she married a gambler, and a wastrel at that. Shebecame crazy because she lost her two boys, Basilio and Crispin, the joy of her wretched life. These boys were sacristanes (sextons) in the church, working for asmall wage to support their poor mother. Crispin the younger of the two brotherswas accused by the brutal sacristan mayor (chief sexton) of stealing the money
of the priest. He was tortured in the convent and died. Basilio, with his brother’s
dying cries ringing in his ears, escaped. When the two boys did not return home,Sisa looked for them everywhere and, in her great sorrow, she became insane.
Capitan Tiago, Maria Clara, and Aunt Isabel (Capitan Tiago’s cousin whotook care of Maria Clara, after his mother’s death) arrived in San Die
go. Ibarraand his friends give picnic at the lake. Among those present in this picnic, were
 
Maria Clara and her four girl friends the merry Siñang, the grave Victoria, thebeautiful Iday, and the thoughtful Neneng; Aunt Isabel, chaperon of Maria Clara;Capitana Tika, mother of Siñang; Andeng, foster sister of Maria Clara; Albino, theex-theological student who was in love with Siñang; and Ibarra and his friends.One of the boatmen was a strong and silent peasant youth named Elias. An incident of the picnic
was the saving of Elias’ life by Ibarra. Elias
bravely grappled with a crocodile which was caught in the fish corral. But thecrocodile struggled furiously so that Elias could not subdue it. Ibarra jumped intothe water and killed the crocodile, thereby saving Elias. After the crocodileincident, was the rendering of a beautiful song by Maria Clara who had a sweetvoice and they went ashore. They made merry in the cool, wooded meadow.
Padre Salvi, Capitan Basilio (former gobernadorcillo and Siñang’s father 
) thealferez (lieutenant of the Guardia Civil) and the town officials were present. Theluncheon was served, and everybody enjoyed eating.The meal over, Ibarra and Capitan Basilio played chess, while Maria Clara
and her friends played the “Wheel of Chance”, a game based on a fortune
-tellingbook. As the girls were enjoying their fortune-telling game, Padre Salvi came andtore to pieces the book, saying that it was a sin to play such game. Shortlythereafter, a sergent and four soldiers of the Guardia Civil suddenly arrived,looking for Elias, who was hunted for assaulting Padre Damaso and throwing thealferez into a mud hole. Fortunately Elias had disappeared, and the Guardia Civilwent away empty-handed. During the picnic also, Ibarra received a telegramfrom the Spanish authorities notifying him the approval of his donation of aschoolhouse for the children of San Diego.The next day Ibarra visited old Tasio to consult him on his pet project
about the schoolhouse. He saw the old man’s writings were writte
n inhieroglyphics. Tasio explained to him that he wrote in hieroglyphics because he
was writing for the future generations who would understand them and say, “Notall were asleep in the night of our ancestors!”
 Meanwhile San Diego was merrily preparing for its annual fiesta, in honor of its patron saint San Diego de Alcala, whose feast day is the 11th of November.On the eve of the fiesta, hundreds of visitors arrived from the nearby towns, andthere were laughter, music, exploding bombs, feasting and moro-moro. Themusic was furnished by five brass bands (including the famous Pagsanjan Bandowned by the escribano Miguel Guevara) and three orchestras.

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