Padre Sibyla Descriptive Essay

 

Introduced in this chapter is Doña Victorina, a memorable and insufferablecharacter of the Noli.

Questions and Answers

1.

What undesirable traits of Filipinos were mentioned in this chapter?

Attending parties even if not invited, extravagant parties (because no one knewhow many people were coming), the host does not get to eat dinner.

2.

How did Rizal liken the Philippines to Capitan Tiago's house?

The country,like the house, is open to all (Philippine hospitality). But Filipinos are notinterested in business or entrepreneurship, and have a hard time embracing newideas (because of conservatism). Any new endeavor is met with doubts frommany sectors, but once success is achieved, everyone wants to share in the glory.

3.

What is the significance of the argument between Padre Damaso andTeniente Guevara?

This exemplifies the difficulty of uniting Church and State.Take note of the assassination of Capitan Heneral Bustamante. History also tellsof the bloody struggle for the Spanish throne between the liberal supporters of Queen Cristina and the friar-supported Carlist movement.

4.

What was the effect of this on Philippine government?

Frequent changes inthe Spanish monarchy translated to a high turnover of Capitan Henerales in thePhilippines. Given their short stint, these men in government took eitheradvantage of their position by engaging in corruption, or did not bother to governwell.

5.

What was Padre Damaso mad about?

He was upset about his being sentaway from San Diego, where he served as parish priest for 20 years. He gotangry at someone and branded him a heretic. When the "heretic" died, he wasburied in the church (because Padre Damaso was not around). When PadreDamaso returned, he ordered the body exhumed and buried in the Chinesecemetery. This unjust act was reported to the Capitan Heneral by TenienteGuevara, and Padre Damaso was transferred out of San Diego.Padre Damaso started to say something about letters being lost during his transfer, buthe did not finish his sentence. Actually, these are letters written to Padre Damaso bysome...woman.

Chapter 2: Crisostomo Ibarra

We meet Juan Crisostomo Ibarra y Magsalin, the son of the late Don Rafael Ibarra (theman whose body was exhumed). Crisostomo gets confused when Padre Damaso, thefriar whom Crisostomo thought was a close friend of his deceased father, said that DonRafael was never a close friend of his.Fortunately, the soldier had kinder words to say about Don Rafael. Another good friendof Don Rafael, Capitan Tinong of Tondo, invited Crisostomo for tomorrow's lunch.Crisostomo declined, saying he was leaving for San Diego the following day.An attendant announced that dinner was served.

Some Notes

Padre Sibyla, Padre Damaso, and Teniente Guevara were surprisedto see Crisostomo Ibarra accompanied by Capitan Tiago. Thismeans they did not know the purpose of the dinner.

Ibarra spent seven years in Europe.

Ibarra's name shows that his mother is a Filipina (Magsalin).

Jose Rizal started writing the first part of Noli Me Tangere in 1884 in Madrid when he was still studying medicine. After his studies, he went to Paris and there continued writing the novel. And it was in Berlin that Rizal finished the last part.

It’s been said that Rizal was inspired to write the Noli after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which deals with the story of black slaves and their white slavemasters. In her novel was a description of all sorts of hardships and abuses that whites committed onto blacks. Rizal saw in it parallels to the experiences of Filipinos under the Spaniards.

Initially, he planned to have each part of the novel be written by different countrymen familiar with Philippine society and then compile those parts into a novel. But that plan did not come to fruition, so he ended up writing it without any help.

Rizal explained to his friend Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt the reasons for writing the Noli. All of these reasons can be clearly seen in the novel’s chapters.

The title Noli Me Tangere is Latin for “Touch Me Not,” which is taken from the Gospel of John in the Bible. It is Jesus’ response to Mary Magdalene outside his tomb after his resurrection.

John 20:17

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

For a summary in English of Noli Me Tangere, click here.

Characters in Noli Me Tangere

Crisostomo Ibarra: a young man studying in Europe

Elias: helped Ibarra learn about his country and its problems

Kapitan Tiyago: merchant who’s the father figure to Maria Clara

Padre Damaso: a Franciscan priest who was transferred to a different parish after serving in San Diego for a long time

Padre Salvi: the parish priest who replaced Padre Damaso

Maria Clara: Ibarra’s love; maiden of San Diego who turned out to be the daughter of Doña Pia Alba fathered by Padre Damaso

Pilosopo Tasyo: Old philosopher who advices the learned citizens of San Diego

Sisa: a devoted mother whose only sin was having a bad husband

Basilio & Crispin: the two sons of Sisa; they work the bells of San Diego’s church

Alperes: the priest’s rival in wielding power in San Diego

Donya Victorina: a woman trying to pass herself off as half-Spanish with makeup and speaking broken Castellano

Donya Consolacion: wife of the alferez; worked as a laundrywoman with a vulgar mouth and behavior

Don Tiburcio de Espadana: a crippled Spaniard who ended up in the Philippines in search of fortune; married Donya Victorina

Linares: distant nephew of Don Tiburcio and cousin of Padre Damaso’s godchild; chosen to be Maria Clara’s husband

Don Filipo: teniente mayor who likes reading Latin; father of Sinang

To be continued…


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