SYNOPSIS OF NOLI ME TANGERE
Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin came back to the Philippines after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Don Santiago de los Santos, a family friend also known as Captain Tiago, threw a get-together party, which was attended by friars and other prominent figures. One of the guests, former San Diego curate Fray Dámaso Vardolagas belittled and slandered Ibarra. Ibarra brushed off the insults and took no offense; he instead politely excused himself and left the party because of an allegedly important task. The next day, Ibarra visits María Clara, his betrothed, the beautiful daughter of Captain Tiago and affluent resident of Binondo, Manila. Their long-standing love was clearly manifested in this meeting, and María Clara cannot help but reread the letters her sweetheart had written her before he went to Europe. Before Ibarra left for San Diego, Lieutenant Guevara, a guardia civil, reveals to him the incidents preceding the death of his father, Don Rafael Ibarra, a rich hacendero of the town. According to Guevara, Don Rafael was unjustly accused of being a heretic, in addition to being a subservient — an allegation brought forth by Dámaso because of Don Rafael's non-participation in the Sacraments, such as Confession and Mass. Dámaso's animosity against Ibarra's father is aggravated by another incident when Don Rafael helped out on a fight between a tax collector and a child fighting, and the former's death was blamed on him, although it was not deliberate. Suddenly, all of those who thought ill of him surfaced with additional complaints. He was imprisoned, and just when the matter was almost settled, he died of sickness in jail. Still not content with what he had done, Dámaso arranged for Don Rafael's corpse to be dug up from the Catholic church and brought to a Chinese cemetery, because he thought it inappropriate to allow a heretic a Catholic burial ground. Unfortunately, it was raining and...
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