El Filibusterismo

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However, the planned revolt one night was not carried out because Simoun, upon hearing that Maria Clara died in the nunnery, decided not to give the signal for the outbreak of the uprising. Another plan was made some months later. At the venue of the wedding reception of Juanito Pelaez and Paulita Gomez, Simoun planted many explosives—enough to kill the invited guests, primarily the friars and government officials. According to the plot, the big explosion shall be started by the gift he would give to the newlyweds at the reception—a kerosene lamp with an explosive.

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When the lamp flickers and someone turns the wick, it will result into a big explosion that will become a signal to the revolutionary troops to simultaneously attack all the government buildings in Manila. During the reception, Simoun gives his gift to the newly-weds. Meanwhile, Isagani, the rejected lover of Paulita, is standing outside the reception. His friend Basilio tells him to leave the place because the lamp will soon blow up.

When the lamp flickers, Father Irene tries to turn the wick up. He managed to escape but was seriously wounded. Carrying his jewelry chest, he finds shelter in the home of Padre Florentino by the sea. Learning of his presence in the house of the priest, the lieutenant of the Guardia Civil informs Padre Florentino that he will come in the evening to arrest Simoun.

Simoun then takes poison that he would not be caught alive. He knows that we are fallible.

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He has seen that you have suffered … He has frustrated your plans one by one … first by the death of Maria Clara, then by a lack of preparation, then in some mysterious way. Let us bow to His will and render Him thanks! The priest hopes that when the right time comes, they would be recovered and used only for the good. Noli and Fili Stolen. The copies of the Fili, on the other hand, was destroyed by Customs in Manila upon shipment to the Philippines. But that is nothing compared to what happened to their original manuscripts about 70 years after their publication.

The robbers demanded 1.


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There was a time when the demanded ransom was reduced to , pesos and then to 10, pesos Ocampo, p. But recognizing perhaps that they would get nothing from the government, the robbers ultimately settled on returning the expensive documents, free of charge. But the following additional details about the story could perhaps shed light on the account. Anding promised not to identify the robbers or to be a witness against them in court.

Thus, the hilariously controversial thieves were never known. For fearlessly depicting the corruptions and abuses by the Spanish clergy and colonial government during the Spanish regime in the Philippines, the two novels arehistorically very significant.


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Basically a social sketch of the country then, the Noli and Fili reveal the true setting and condition of the Filipino society in the era. As essential source of sociological and anthropological studies, the books provide rich insights into the culture of the 19th and 20th century Philippines. Their realistic depictions expose a conflicted colonial society seriously split between the oppressors and the suffering local slaves. Furthermore, they show favorable positive traits of the natives then like the sense of gratitude, the fidelity of women to their loved ones, and the yearning for freedom and equality.

In fact, Rizal was said to have confessed that he seriously regretted having killed Elias instead of Ibarra. These seem to prove that Rizal, though practically promoting the attainment of reforms peacefully, also advocated the idea of armed revolution under some conditions. The experiences he had in those four years spelled a lot of differences in the way he treated his two novels. In depicting the social conditions in the country, both novels employ satires and caricatures. El Fili however is more serious as there is less humor and more bitterness in the treatment of situations.

The Reign of Greed

In the Noli, the author reveals the cruelty and exploitation suffered by the natives at the hands of colonizers. Generally, El Fili presents a gloomier depiction of the country under the Spanish regime. More radical and revolutionary, the novel has less idealism and romance than the Noli.

The grimmer outlook and more tragic mood can be attributed to the persecutions and sufferings the author and his family experienced from the Spanish friars and officials in the years he was writing the novel. Notwithstanding the sufferings caused by the Spaniards to the Rizal family, the Fili, its author claimed, is not a matter of revenge. Rizal himself apparently once believed in the superiority of the Fili. After the Fili was published nonetheless, Rizal appeared to have a change of heart. In his October 13, letter to Marcelo Del Pilar, he said: I appreciate what you say about my work and I value your opinion highly that considered my Filibusterismo inferior to the Noli.

I, too frankly, without irony or words with a double meaning, share your opinion. For me, the Filibusterismo as a novel is inferior to the Noli… You are the first one to tell me the truth and I agree with you. This flatters me as it proves that I still know how to judge myself.

I attribute it only to their benevolence. The story in El Filibusterismo revolves around its main character Simoun who is an affluent jeweler. He had in fact escaped, fled to Cuba, become wealthy, and made connections with influential Spanish officials. Upon his return to the Philippines after many years, he becomes very influential as the governor general, who owes so much to him, consults him in making decisions. In reality however, everything Simoun does is just part of his grand plan to take revenge against the Spanish officials and rescue Maria Clara from the convent.

Planning to stage a revolution, he smuggles arms and looks for followers, mainly from the exploited and abused natives.

click Using his influence, Simoun encourages corruption, decadence, and more oppressive government policies so that the citizens may become more infuriated. However, the planned revolt one night was not carried out because Simoun, upon hearing that Maria Clara died in the nunnery, decided not to give the signal for the outbreak of the uprising. Another plan was made some months later. At the venue of the wedding reception of Juanito Pelaez and Paulita Gomez, Simoun planted many explosives—enough to kill the invited guests, primarily the friars and government officials.

According to the plot, the big explosion shall be started by the gift he would give to the newlyweds at the reception—a kerosene lamp with an explosive. When the lamp flickers and someone turns the wick, it will result into a big explosion that will become a signal to the revolutionary troops to simultaneously attack all the government buildings in Manila.

During the reception, Simoun gives his gift to the newly-weds. Meanwhile, Isagani, the rejected lover of Paulita, is standing outside the reception. His friend Basilio tells him to leave the place because the lamp will soon blow up. As long at the Filipino people do not have a sufficient vigor to proclaim, head held high and chest bared, their right to a life of their own in human society, and to guarantee it with their sacrifices, with their very blood; as long as we see our countrymen feel privately ashamed, hearing the growl of their rebelling and protesting conscience, while in public they keep silent and even join the oppressor in mocking the oppressed; as long as we see them wrapping themselves up in their selfishness and praising with forced smiles the most despicable acts, begging with their eyes for a share of the booty, why give them independence?

As long as our people are not prepared, and enter the struggle deceived or compelled, without a clear idea of what they are to do, the best planned movements will fail and it is better that they should fail, for why give the bride to the groom if he does not love her enough and is not ready to die for her? Where are the youths who will dedicate their innocence, their idealism, their enthusiasm to the good of the country?


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  6. Where are they who will give generously of their blood to wash away so much shame, crime and abomination? Pure and immaculate must the victim be for their sacrifices to be acceptable. Where are you, young men and young women, who are to embody in yourselves the life-force that has been drained from our veins, the pure ideals that have grown strained in our minds, the fiery enthusiasm that has been quenched in our hearts? We await you, come for we await you! His initial account of the injustices within the Philippines angered those who held political power — specifically the friars.

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