Synopsis of El Filibusterismo

Incoming email shows that students need the synopsis of the novel El Filibusterismo (Subversion) by Jose Rizal. Fortunately, I found a pretty good summary of the entire El Fili. It was written by Jose Fadul.

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You'll find the link at: (Had to remove the link because it no longer works.)

No wonder it couldn't be easily found online -- the title of the web page does not contain any words related to El Filibusterismo. Anyway, here's a cached copy of Fadul's El Fili Synopsis.

Related Links:
Synopsis of the Noli Me Tangere

If you're interested in chapter summaries of El Fili, please visit:
El Filibusterismo Chapter Summaries in English

Before I forget, Jose Fadul wrote this eye-opening workbook for students taking up Jose Rizal. I like the way it addresses the various intelligences people posses: visual, kinesthetic, auditory, musical, and the like.

Update (Feb 10, 2004): Found the Project Gutenberg Ebook of The Reign of Greed, by Jose Rizal -- The e-text begins with a brief recap of Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer).

Update (Oct 6, 2003): Aaaargh! The homestead link above no longer works. Until I find the next site of Jose Fadul, here's the synopsis of El Filibusterismo:

From faduljrizalj/ files/ ElFilibusterismo-Excellent.html

El Filibusterismo was Rizal's second novel published in Ghent, Belgium in 1891 with the financial help of Valentin Ventura. It is a sequel to his first novel, Noli Me Tangere.

The main character of El Filibusterismo is Simoun, a rich jeweler from Cuba. He was Crisostomo Ibarra of Noli Me Tangere who, with Elias' help, escaped from the pursuing soldiers at Laguna Lake, dug up his buried treasure, and sailed to Cuba where he became rich and made friends with many Spanish officials. After many years, he returns to the Philippines in disguise. He has become so powerful because he became an adviser of the governor-general. On the outside, Simoun is a friend of Spain. But deep in his heart, he is secretly planning a bitter revenge against the Spanish authorities. His obsessions are 1) to incite a revolution against the Spanish authorities, and 2) to rescue Maria Clara from the Sta.Clara convent.

The novel begins on board the dipper-shaped steamer, Tabo, sailing upstream the Pasig River from Manila to Laguna Lake. Among the passengers are:

Simoun, the rich jeweler;

Doņa Victorina, the ridiculously pro-Spanish native woman who is going to Laguna in search of her henpecked husband, Tiburcio de Espadaņa, who left her;

Paulita Gomez, Doņa Victorina's niece;

Ben Zayb, a Spanish journalist who ridicules Filipinos;

Padre Sybila, Vice Rector of the Univeristy of Santo Tomas;

Padre Camorra, the parish priest of Tiani town;

Don Custodio, a pro-Spanish Filipino holding a high government position;

Padre Salvi, a thin Franciscan priest and a former cura of San Diego;

Padre Irene, a kind frier who was a friend of the Filipino students;

Padre Florentino, a retired scholarly and patriotic Filipino priest;

Isagani, lover of Paulita; he is a poet and a nephew of Padre Florentino; and

Basilio, the elder of the two sons of the late Sisa, he is a promising medical student whose medical education is financed by his patron, Capitan Tiago.

Simoun, wealthy and mysterious, is a close friend of the Spanish governor general. He was nicknamed Brown Cardinal and Black Eminence because of his influence in Malacaņang. By using his political influence and wealth, he encourages corruption in the government ans hastens the moral degradation of the country so that the people may become desperate and fight. He smuggles ammunitions into the country with the help of a rich Chinese merchant, Quiroga, who wants very much to be Chinese consul of Manila. Simoun's initial attempt to start the uprising did not push through because at the lat hour he heard the sad news that Maria Clara died in the convent. In his agonizing moment of bereavement, he did not give the signal for the attack.

After his illness brought about by the death of Maria Clara, Simoun fine-tunes his plan to overthrow the government. On the occasion of the wedding of Paulita Gomez and Juanito Pelaez, he gives a wedding gift to them a beautiful lamp. Only he and his confidential associate, Basilio (Sisa's son who joined the revolutionalry cause), know that when the wick of his lamp burns lower, the nitroglycerine hidden in a secret compartment of the lamp will explode. Thus, all the guests where the wedding feast is being held will be killed, including the governor-general, the friars, ans the government officials. At the same time, Simoun's followers will attack the government buildings in Manila.

As the wedding feast begins, Isagani, who has been rejected by Paulita because of his liberal ideas, is standing outside the house, sadly watching the merriment inside. Basilio chances upon Isagani and, warns him to go away because the lighted lamp will soon explode. Upon learning the secret of the lamp, Isagani realizes that her former girlfriend, Paulita was in grave danger. He rushes into the house to save her life. He steals the lamp and hurls it into the river where it explodes. The revolutionary plot was thus discovered.

Feb 18, 2004: Buod Ng Mga Kabanta ng El Filibusterismo (El Fili Chapter Summaries in Tagalog)
Dec 9, 2003: Got email asking for the summaries in Tagalog. Sorry, but that version is not yet available.

[ First posted on 03/18/2003 by Manuel Viloria ]

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