You are on page 1of 7

EL FILIBUSTERISMO

Submitted to: Professor. Evardone


Bordeos, Kristelle Marais A.
Del Rosario, Beatrice Camille G.
Estrada, Jemia Pearl A.
Madulid, Alein Raya
Lisanin, Mako N.
The two timeless books illustrating the suffering and pain endured by the
Filipinos during the Spanish due to the inequities by friars the was written by the no other
than the Philippine national hero named as Jose Rizal. His first book, entitled as Noli Me
Tangere, and translated as Touch Me Not focuses on the social cancer that the country
was experiencing during the period of Spanish colonization. His main objective for this
book was to expose the cruelty of the friars and how the indios, Filipinos were shown
no equality with the Spaniards. El Filibusterismo on the other hand, dedicated to the
GOMBURZA the three priests who were martyred due to an unjust accusation, focuses
on the awakening of the Filipinos to revolt against the Spaniards.
There was no doubt that the first novel of Jose Rizal, Noli me Tangere, sparked
different emotions among the people. It made the friars and Spaniards furious while it
cause some nationalistic response among the Filipino people.
Although despite the hatred of many Spaniards for Jose Rizal that was sparked by
his first novel, he did not stop writing. In fact, it was on 1887 in Calamba Laguna, that he
started writing his second novel, El Filibusterismo or commonly translated as the Reign
of Greed. This novel was inspired by the event in 1872, which was the Cavite Mutiny and
the execution of the three fathers. His letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt in which Rizal
stated that, Filibustero is little known in the Philippines and that it was his first time of
hearing the word in which his father forbid him to say proved this. Rizal continued
writing his second novel in 1888. He even wrote more chapters in Paris and Madrid. He
finished his manuscript in Biarritz France on 29th of March 1891. Rizal during that time
was already having some financial difficulties. To save some money, he moved from
Brussels to Ghent Belgium in which the cost of living is much cheaper. In Ghent he was
able to found a printing press, F. Meyer Van Loo Press, which suited his financial

situation. The press allowed Rizal to pay on installment. Even at this case, Rizal was not
able to pay the whole amount and so the printing of the novel was suspended. If in Noli
Me Tangere, there was Maximo Viola who helped Rizal in paying the press; In El
Filibusterismo, there was Valentin Ventura who lent a hand to Rizal. In return, Rizal gave
the original manuscript and a printed copy of the book with his autograph to Valentin
Ventura. The printing of El filibustero turned to a success. It was published on the 18th of
September 1892. The novel received countless praises. It was even compared to The
Count of Monte Cristo, which was a classic piece. Rizal immediately sent some copies to
Hong Kong for smuggling in the Philippines and sent some to his friends. Unfortunately,
the books that were for smuggling were confiscated. This resulted to a greater demand for
the book but a shortage in copies, thus increasing the price of the novel. The novel was
like a status symbol during that time.

Today, one of the oldest copies, printed on 1908, of the El Filibusterismo books
can be found in the Rizal Library at the Ateneo De Manila University. The photos below
show a few pages of the contents of the book and the signature of Jose Rizal.

Blumentritt described the book as, ...but


only for the good of those who suffer and for the rights of Tagalog humanity,
although brown and not good-looking, and what he was meant was the purpose of the
book was the show that Jose Rizal wanted the Filipinos to be united, and revolt, not in
means of war against the Spaniards. He believed in equality and all he wanted equality
with the colonizers. He also showed through the book that it is not about how national
pride is a very powerful tool and how being nationalistic will do so much for ones
country. Its not about where you come from or who you are but what you have and what
you can do.
... I have the right to dedicate my work to you as victims of the evil which I
undertake to combat. This novel was dedicated to the GOMBURZA and with this
dedication the event Rizal wanted to awaken the Filipinos on the truths of reality and
use his writing as a weapon against the injustice of the Spaniards. These filibusters as
defined were the people who only greet the friars without kissing their hands or their
clothing, who voted for other candidates otherwise stated by the friars, who refused to
raise their hats towards the Spaniards but in truth, they are considered as good citizens
and lovers of progress and enlightenment yet are considered as subversives in the eyes of
the Spaniards since they are going against the authorities and their rules or desires.
With that Rizal has written, he hoped for hope for the Filipinos and for the
national identity to prosper among his Filipino citizens so that a rebellion in any mean
against the Spaniards could be triggered, which as history shows, did.
With this writing, it helped build a sense of nationality and patriotism among the
Filipinos, it sparked the nationalism most especially in Andres Bonifacio, one of the
founders of the KKK, the secret organization. Showed the struggle for independence

against the Spaniards, and that have the right to govern our own country and free from
rule. Rich insights on how the past was like, Importance of National Independence
Rights and dignity as an individual, and an application to present conditions which are
correlated to the happenings in the book. What Jose Rizal wrote was not only essential
for the time of the Spaniards, but today as well, which is why this book is a timeless
book.

Just like in his first novel, the characters in this book had its own symbolisms
and very own representations in real life. Rizal patterned, most, if not all of his characters
to the people he met, heard of or saw the correlation of attitude of a person to the
character whom he chose to write about. It can also be denoted that since this book is a
sequel to his first novel, some characters found in his first novel can also be found in this
novel making another appearance and another scene. One of the most impotant
characters would be Simoun who happens to be Crisstomo Ibarra, reincarnated as a
wealthy jeweler, bent on starting a revolution. Don Custodio who is funding Basilio, who
was sisas son is now an aspiring doctor and his education. Isagani, a poet and Basilio's
best friend; portrayed as emotional and reactive; Paulita Gmez' boyfriend before being
dumped for fellow student Juanito Pelez. Kabesang Tales, a telesforo Juan de Dios, a
former cabeza de barangay (barangay head) who resurfaced as the feared Luzn bandit
Matanglawin (Tagalog for Hawkeye); his father, Old Man Selo, dies eventually after his
own son Tano, who became a guardia civil, unknowingly shoots his grandfather in an
encounter. Don Custodio, known as, Custodio de Salazar y Snchez de Monteredondo,
and a famous journalist who was asked by the students about his decision for the
Academia de Castellano. In reality, he is quite an ordinary fellow who married a rich

woman in order to be a member of Manila's high society. Paulita Gmez, the girlfriend of
Isagani and the niece of Doa Victorina, the old India who passes herself off as a
Peninsular, who is the wife of the quack doctor Tiburcio de Espadaa. In the end, she and
Juanito Pelez are wed, and she dumps Isagani, believing that she will have no future if
she marries him. Father Florentino, Isagani's godfather, and a secular priest; was engaged
to be married, but chose the priesthood instead, the story hinting at the ambivalence of his
decision as he chooses an assignment to a remote place, living in solitude near the sea.
Huli or Juliana de Dios, the girlfriend of Basilio, and the youngest daughter of Kabesang
Tales. Ben Zayb, Abraham Ibaez is his real name. He is a journalist who thinks he is
the only one thinking in the Philippines. Placido Penitente, a student of the University of
Santo Tomas who is always miserable, and therefore controls his temper Quiroga, a
Chinese businessman who dreamt of being a consul of aConsulate of China in the
Philippines. He hid Simoun's weapons inside his house. Tandang Selo, the father of
Kabesang Tales. He raised the sick and young Basilio after his mother Sisa had died.
Father Fernandez, the priest-friend of Isagani. He promised to Isagani that he and the
other priests will give in to the students' demands. Ginoong Pasta, one of the great
lawyers of mid-Hispanic Manila. Captain-General, though no specific name is the most
powerful and highest official of the Philippines and Padre Sibyla, known as Hernando de
la Sibyla, a Filipino friar and now vice-rector of the University of Santo Tomas (U.S.T.).
The characters above are not arranged in any order but it can be seen that the students,
both Spanish and Filipino, represent the different sides of Rizal and how each student had
the intention of fighting for the Philippines against the cruelty of the friars. The students
wanted equality for each race, but despite their rebellion and plans, it was not able to
happen, but their spirit to fight was not gone. As for the priests, each priest represented all
the cruel and abusive friars during the period of colonization. Each character was
illustrated and portrayed to have a trait that stands out the most so that the picture that
Rizal was trying to paint regarding the society and the division of it was clearly pointed
out.

El Filibusterismo, the sequel of Noli Me Tangere, according to Rizal was not written
with any idea of vengeance against his enemies, but rather for the good and rights of the
Filipino people. This is supported by a number of allusions or commentaries in the novel
to the life of Rizal and to the Filipino society during the 19th century.
One significant event is the return of Crisostomo Ibarra from Cuba to the
Philippines as Simoun who is playing as Rizal, with thoughts of worsening the conditions
of the island to draw the attention of the oppressed to the conditions that he, himself, had
caused, to provoke their opposition and spark a revolution. Simouns plans in this novel
are somewhat similar to the reason why Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo as this novel aims
to send a message to the Filipino people that their own salvation can only be met if they
work for it. Another important subplot where in Placido Penitente was verbally abused by
Padre Millon was a reflection to the system of education in the Philippines. It reveals the
arrogance of some professors. Moreover, it portrays how lowly the Spanish people think
of the Filipino people. The friars believed that the Filipinos would not be able to match
their skills. The spanish system of education withheld the Filipinos from learning other
bodies of knowledge. This subplot also alludes to a layman, Jose Franco, who threatened
to fail the entire class of Rizal back when he was a student. Another subplot where in
Paulita Gomez chose Juanito Pelaez over Isagani, was an allusion to the Filipino women
who marry men not for love but for financial or material security. Although Rizal
conveys this message to the Filipino women of the 19 th century, this message may still
serve as a reminder to us people of the 21st century as these kinds of event still happen.
The condition of colonial government, in the novel, also alludes to how crooked,
corrupt and incompetent, the government and its officials were during that time.

Furthermore, the event in the novel, in which the bandits terrorized farms and the store
owners in manila, is an allusion to the chaotic system of government in the 19th century.
The misfortunes that had happened to the families of Tata Selo and Basilio were
representations of how unjustly the Filipinos were treated by the Spaniards. The event
where in Cabesang Tales was taxed by the friars until he could not pay them anymore,
was a reflection of the real life of Rizal when his family, along with the other Calamba
tenants, were deported to Mindoro after the court ordered the tenants who failed to pay
the rent, to vacate the lands owned by the hacienda. Isaganis sabotage of Rizals plot of
revolution is the reflection of Rizals inner thoughts that freedom cannot be won through
violence but by education, constant work and suffering.
These significant events in the novel, El Filibusterismo are Rizals way of
conveying a message that tells its readers of the much needed change and persuades them
to make one.