Thirteen years after leaving the Philippines, Crisostomo Ibarra returns as Simoun, a rich jeweler sporting a beard and blue-tinted glasses, and a confidant of the Captain-General. He cynically sides with the upper classes, encouraging them to commit abuses against the masses to encourage the latter to revolt against the oppressive Spanish colonial regime. His two reasons for instigating a revolution are at first, to rescue María Clara from the convent and second, to get rid of ills and evils of Philippine society. His true identity is discovered by a now grown-up Basilio while visiting the grave of his mother, Sisa, as Simoun was digging near the grave site for his buried treasures. Simoun spares Basilio’s life and asks him to join in his planned revolution against the government, egging him on by bringing up the tragic misfortunes of the latter's family. Basilio declines the offer as he still hopes that the country’s condition will improve. Basilio, at this point, is a graduating medical student at the Ateneo Municipal. After the death of his mother, Sisa, and the disappearance of his younger brother, Crispín, Basilio heeded the advice of the dying boatman, Elías, and traveled to Manila to study. Basilio was adopted by Captain Tiago after María Clara entered the convent. Simoun, for his part, keeps in close contact with the bandit group of Kabesang Tales, a former cabeza de barangay who suffered misfortunes at the hands of the friars. He was forced to give everything he had owned to the greedy, unscrupulous Spanish friars and the Church. Before joining the bandits, Tales took Simoun’s revolver while Simoun was staying at his house for the night. As payment, Tales leaves a locket that once belonged to María Clara. To further strengthen the revolution, Simoun has Quiroga, a Chinese man hoping to be appointed consul to the Philippines, smuggle weapons into the country using Quiroga’s bazaar as a front. Simoun wishes to attack during a stage...
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