Capista in El Filibusterismo

A reader asks what does "capista" mean? It appears in one of the chapter summaries of Jose Rizal's El Filibusterismo.

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In Juan Malonso's Reminiscing President Manuel L. Quezon, we read that President Quezon...

...was a capista, or bright poor student leader who did not pay tuition, board and lodging, but served the priests during mass and in the refectory. Vicente Madrigal, later a senator, was a famulo (working student) similar to a capista.

Some researchers focused on Chapter 26 of the El Fili are also looking for the meaning of the following terms: alguacil, auxiliante, kabo, investidura. Unfortunately, I have not yet found the answers.

It was challenging looking for "capista" in Google, because most of the results showed surnames. It was only after pairing "capista" with "colegio" did the search engines yield a clue.

And that's a tip for those searching online: Use word pairs.

If a single-word search does not yield any meaningful information, pair it with a related word, preferably one used in a similar context.

In the case of capista, we read in Chapter 27 that a capista approaches Isagani and informs him that a certain Padre wanted to speak with him. Since the setting was in a university or a colegio, I just took a chance and was rewarded with search engine success. :-)

Related: El Filibusterismo Chapter Summaries
[ First posted on 02/22/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]

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