El Filibusterismo, a captivating novel by Dr. Jose Rizal, serves as a sequel to his earlier work, Noli Me Tangere. This literary masterpiece, delves into the social and political issues that plagued the country during the Spanish colonial era. With its powerful narrative, El Filibusterismo explores themes such as revolution, education, and justice, vividly illustrating the struggles faced by Filipinos and inspiring the nation’s fight for independence.
In this article, we made a simple guide on El Filibusterismo characters. We’ll introduce you to the fascinating personalities found in the famous novel penned by the Philippines’ national hero. Perfect for students of all ages, our guide will help you get to know these characters better and make your reading experience more enjoyable. Let’s explore the world of El Filibusterismo together!
El Filibusterismo Characters (Main Characters)
Explore the key characters in El Filibusterismo, who make crucial contributions to the novel’s narrative.
Simoun, the alter ego of Crisostomo Ibarra from Noli Me Tangere, is a wealthy jeweler who disguises himself after being presumed dead. With his tanned skin, sparse beard, long white hair, and blue-tinted glasses, he’s a mysterious and sometimes confrontational figure. Although he appears arrogant, he secretly plans a violent revolution to avenge his past and accelerate Elias’ reformist goals.
Simoun symbolizes revolutionaries who advocated for a bloody revolt against the Spanish government, but his death in El Filibusterismo shows Rizal’s disapproval of armed rebellion.
Basilio, the son of Sisa from Noli Me Tangere, is a hardworking student on the verge of earning his medical degree. As Captain Tiago’s protege, he dreams of a better future through education. Despite his success, he remains indifferent to society’s needs.
Basilio represents the youth striving for personal advancement but lacking social awareness.
Isagani, Basilio’s friend and aspiring poet, is the passionate and idealistic nephew of Father Florentino. He values his principles above all else, even when it costs him his relationship with his girlfriend, Paulita Gomez.
Isagani embodies the youth with great love for their country, willing to stand up for their beliefs.
4. Father Florentino
Father Florentino, Isagani’s uncle and a retired priest, is a respected figure despite his past romantic entanglements.
Having chosen priesthood over love, he represents the secular Filipino priests of Rizal’s time. His character also emphasizes Rizal’s opposition to a bloody revolt.
A patriotic and jingoistic journalist, Ben-Zayb writes for the Manila Spanish newspaper El Grito de la Integridad under the pen name Ybañez. He is unscrupulous in his storytelling, often distorting facts to make stories more appealing.
Ben-Zayb represents the corrupted media of his time.
6. Placido Penitente
A University of Santo Tomas student, Placido Penitente reluctantly continues his studies at his mother’s request. After clashing with his physics professor and meeting Simoun, he becomes a devoted follower of Simoun’s revolutionary cause.
His name, which translates to “silent suffering,” reflects his temperament and struggle.
7. Father Irene
As Capitan Tiago’s spiritual adviser, Father Irene is criticized for his alliance with temporal authority for power and monetary gain. Despite receiving gifts from the student association, he betrays them by advising against their vision of a secular, privately managed school. He secretly supplies Capitan Tiago with opium, and upon Basilio’s imprisonment, ensures Basilio inherits nothing from Tiago’s estate.
Father Irene represents the few Spaniards who show sympathy towards Filipinos.
8. Capitan Tiago
Don Santiago de los Santos, Maria Clara’s father, is a wealthy landowner with properties in Pampanga, Binondo, and Laguna. Despite his wealth, he falls into depression after Maria enters the convent, leading him to develop an opium addiction, fueled by his association with Padre Irene.
Capitan Tiago hires Basilio as a servant-student, who eventually becomes his caregiver and estate manager. He dies from shock after hearing of Basilio’s arrest and tales of violent revolt.
The highest-ranking official in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period, the Captain-General is Simoun’s friend and confidant. He is driven by an insatiable lust for gold, which Simoun exploits to manipulate him and drive the country towards revolution. After a public rebuke, he is shamed into not extending his tenure in the Philippines.
10. Father Camorra
Father Camorra is the parish priest of Tiani and often mocks Ben-Zayb’s liberal views, despite their contrasting appearances. Known for his insatiable lust, Father Camorra’s actions ultimately lead Juli to take her own life after he tries to assault her within the convent. Due to his misconduct, he is placed under “house arrest” in his order’s lavish riverside villa just outside of Manila.
11. Father Bernardo Salvi
The former parish priest of San Diego, Father Salvi is now the director and chaplain of the Santa Clara convent. Implied to have assaulted Maria Clara, he remains fearful of Ibarra’s potential revenge.
12. Father Hernando de la Sibyla
Introduced in Noli Me Tangere as the curate of Binondo, Father Sibyla now serves as the director and chaplain of the University of Santo Tomas. He is a liberal friar who values reason.
13. Father Millon
A Dominican priest who serves as a physics professor at the University of Santo Tomas.
14. Paulita Gomez
Isagani’s girlfriend and Doña Victorina’s niece, Paulita eventually breaks up with Isagani to marry Juanito Pelaez, believing she has no future with Isagani.
15. Don Custodio
Custodio de Salazar y Sanchez de Monteredondo is a contractor tasked with developing a proposal for a Spanish language academy. An opportunist and social climber, he is portrayed as incompetent and laughably ineffective.
A Chinese businessman aspiring to become a consul for China in the Philippines. Simoun coerces him into hiding weapons in his warehouses for the planned revolution.
El Filibusterismo Characters (Minor Characters)
Meet the supporting cast of Noli Me Tangere; although they may not hold the spotlight like the main characters, they still greatly influence the story’s overall progression.
1. Kabesang Tales
Telesforo Juan de Dios, also known as Kabesang Tales, is a former cabeza de barangay of Barrio Sagpang in Tiani who becomes the bandit leader Matanglawin. After losing his land to the Dominicans and facing countless hardships, he joins the bandits to fight back.
Kabesang Tales symbolizes Filipinos who were driven to rebellion by injustice and land seizure.
Juliana de Dios, Basilio’s girlfriend and Kabesang Tales’ youngest daughter, is a symbol of purity and innocence among lower-class women during Rizal’s time.
When her father is captured by bandits, she petitions Hermana Penchang to pay his ransom, agreeing to work as her maid in return. Basilio rescues Juli and provides a home for her family. When Juli seeks help from Padre Camorra during Basilio’s imprisonment, she chooses death over dishonor by jumping from the church tower to avoid being assaulted.
3. Tandang Selo
Father of Kabesang Tales and grandfather of Tano and Juli, Tandang Selo is a deer hunter and broom-maker. After Juli’s suicide, he leaves town and later dies at the hands of his grandson Tano during a skirmish with bandits.
Son of Kabesang Tales, Tano is nicknamed “Carolino” after completing Guardia Civil training in the Carolines. He unknowingly kills his grandfather Tandang Selo in a battle against bandits.
5. Hermana Penchang
A wealthy woman who lends Juli money to ransom her father from bandits. In return, Juli serves as her maid until the debt is repaid. Although pious, her virtues are influenced by the teachings of the friars.
6. Hermana Bali
A mother-figure and advisor to Juli, Hermana Bali assists her in securing ransom for Kabesang Tales and later helps her in efforts to free Basilio.
A wealthy leader of the student association, Macaraig owns several houses, one of which he lends for use as a Spanish language academy. After the association is outlawed, he posts bail and leaves the country.
A Peninsular government employee who identifies with the Filipino students’ cause. He uses his oratorical skills to pass his courses even after the student association is outlawed.
A pessimistic, chubby student, Pecson often opposes Sandoval’s optimistic speeches. He suggests a torch-lit dinner at a restaurant after receiving disappointing news about the Spanish language academy project.
A truant and charlatan, Tadeo dreams of an eternal “holiday” from school. Despite his antics, he is beloved by professors and passes courses. After the student association is outlawed, he welcomes imprisonment and celebrates his release by burning his books.
11. Juanito Pelaez
The son of a metalworks trader, Juanito is a prankster and a favorite among professors. He competes with Isagani for Paulita Gomez’s affection and eventually marries her after Isagani’s arrest. Though initially involved in the student association, Juanito easily breaks away when it is outlawed.
12. Señor Pasta
An elderly Filipino lawyer, Señor Pasta refuses to support Filipino students in their push for educational reforms.
He represents the portion of society that caters only to the wealthy and influential.
13. Don Timoteo Pelaez
Father of Juanito Pelaez and a business associate of Simoun.
14. Donya Victorina
Aunt of Paulita Gomez and wife of Don Tiburcio.
15. Don Tiburcio
Hides from his wife, Donya Victorina, and seeks refuge with Padre Florentino.
16. Captain Basilio
A wealthy captain in San Diego, married to Kapitana Tika, and father of Sinang.
17. Kabesang Andang
Mother of Placido Penitente and a resident of Batangas.
18. Kapitana Tika
Wife of Captain Basilio and mother of Sinang.
19. Mr. Leeds
An American who hosts a fair.
A talking head in the fair.
A dancer who is asked by students for help in speaking with Don Custodio about the Spanish language academy.
A coachman who gets beaten up multiple times for forgetting his residence certificate and having his lights go out during a procession.
A Filipino civil guard who mistreats fellow Filipino prisoners.
24. Tiyo Kiko
A close friend of Camaroncocido.
25. Paciano Gomez
Brother of Paulita Gomez.
A Spaniard who is disdained by his peers due to his appearance.
Friend of Maria Clara; daughter of Captain Basilio and Kapitana Tika.
A guest at Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez’s wedding who discusses the chaos at their feast.
29. Captain Loleng
Discusses the chaos at Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez’s feast and advises Isagani to hide from potential blame.
30. Captain Toringgoy
Discusses the chaos at Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez’s feast, speculating that friars, Quiroga, or Makaraeg may be responsible.
Discusses the chaos at Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez’s feast, suggesting that Simoun planted a basket full of explosives.
32. Maria Clara
Dies in the Santa Clara convent, believed to have been repeatedly raped by Padre Salvi.
We hope you enjoyed our easy-to-understand guide to the El Filibusterismo characters! Now that you have a better grasp of the personalities in this classic novel, don’t forget to share this article with your friends, classmates, or anyone who might be interested.
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