El Filibusterismo Summary

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Thirteen years after he left the Philippines, Crisostomo Ibarra (the main character from Noli Me Tangere) returns as Simoun, a rich jeweler sporting a beard and blue-tinted glasses, and a confidant of the Governor-General of the Philippines, the Captain-General. Abandoning his idealism, he becomes a cynical saboteur, the titular filibustero, seeking revenge against the Spanish Philippines system responsible for his misfortunes by plotting a revolution. Simoun insinuates himself into Manila high society and influences every decision of the Captain-General to mismanage the country’s affairs so that a revolution will break out. He cynically sides with the upper classes, encouraging them to commit abuses against the masses so that the latter would be encouraged to revolt against the oppressive Spanish colonial regime. This time, he does not attempt to fight the authorities through legal means, but through violent revolution using the masses. Simoun has reasons for instigating a revolution. First is 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 student of medicine at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. 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. With Captain Tiago’s help, Basilio was able to go to Colegio de San Juan de Letrán where, at...
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