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Interpretation Rizal’s Novel

Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun
He is the representation of Jose Rizal because of the same character description, Ibarra
and Rizal both studied in Europe and they both believe with the same ideas.
Juan Crisóstomo Magsalin Ibarra
He is a patriotic, civic and liberty minded young educated Filipino. He desired for the
Filipinos to become educated to eliminate the social cancer.
Juan Crisostomo was named after a patron saint that was against abusive and corrupt
men. Due to this belief of Saint Juan Crisostomo, he was thrown in a far place.
He is a disguised of Ibarra hiding in a new persona of a wealthy jeweler from Europe and
known as the Brown Cardinal because of his strong bond with the Captain-General. His mission
with his comeback is take vengeance with the injustice happened to him and to his love ones;
Don Raphael Ibarra and Maria Clara.
María Clara de los Santos
She is a Filipina trained in convent and immersed in education basically religious in
She is the representation of Leonor Rivera, Rizal’s forbidden love because of the love
parallelism happened between Ibarra and Maria Clara and Rizal and Rivera.
Maria Clara was named after the two patron saints of Obando, Bulacan (The Virgin Mary
under the title of “Our Lady of the Fishnets and Saint Claire) upon whose intercession she was
believed to be conceived.
a. Both couples experienced Long Distance Relationship without any communication.
b. There is a third party with their relationship (Alfonso Linares and Henry Kipping)
Pilosopo Tasyo – Don Anastacio
He is an epitome of a philosopher. Educated people praised him as a wise man but some
people called him weird or lunatic by those people who didn’t know him because of the way his
speak and think.
Rizal used him to show readers that most of the intelligent persons did resorting to other
activities to forget unpleasant experiences as their common refuge.
Researches revealed that Pilosopo Tasyo was the representation of Paciano Rizal
philosophical personality.
Kapitan Tiago - Don Santiago de los Santos
He is a subservient Filipino to the authorities to protect his personal and business interest.
Kapitan Tiago was the fusion of two persons during Rizal’s time. The first half was
Hilario Sunico – renowed 19th century bell-caster, metal smith and became the governadorcillo of
China Town (Binondo) while the other half was Balbino Mauricio one of the three Filipinos
(Jose Maria Basa and Manuel Yriarte were the other two) who welcomed him in Hong Kong.
He is a common person who wanted to take a revolution against Spaniards for the
injustice that happened to his fellow countrymen.
Elias was the representation of alter ego of Rizal to represent his own opinions about
One research suggested that the Elias was named after one of his favorite character in the
bible, Elias, prophet of Israel who fight and challenge priest of Baal who allows the graven
image in Israel.
She symbolizes the stand of women with their own rights and control. Rizal used Salome
to show that even women will not be included in the revolutionary journey; they can still bring
help by allowing their men to fight (greatest sacrifice of Salome) and continue to live without
Doña Victorina de los Reyes de Espadaña
Doña Victorina symbolized the colonial mentality among Filipinos during Rizal time and
based from the persona of Doña Agustina Medel, a rich landlady.
He symbolizes a person that even life already challenge him at the early age until the day
he grow up, he still continue to fight and show that he can survive. Though, the time will come
that he will think for his own good but at the end of the day, he still choose to be good.
His name was based from the Crisostomo sibling of Hagonoy.
Narcisa or Sisa
Sisa symbolized a lot of things in Filipino society during Rizal’s time. She was used by Rizal
to illustrate the typical characteristics of Filipino mothers, willing to defend her children from all
forms of injustice and accusations.
Researches revealed that Sisa was the depiction of his mother, Teodora Alonso and Patria
(Philippines) while the name was based from one of her sister Narcisa Rizal.
Padre Damaso/Padre salvi - Dámaso Verdolagas /Bernandino Salvi
These two friars represent the abusive persons with their superiority in the community.
According to Ambeth Ocampo(historian), he revealed that the true antagonist was not
Padre Damaso but Padre Salvi for he has hidden desires with Maria Clara and a plan to execute
Crisostomo Ibarra. He added that Padre Damaso just wanted to protect Maria Clara and
explained that Padre Damaso didn’t rape Pia Alba but rather she wanted care and concern.
However, John Nery (historian) said that Padre Damaso was the true antagonist because
it is clearly stated in the novel. He added that Damaso was the symbol of destructive friar in
Spanish era.
Padre Damaso was based from the domineering friars in Spanish period while Padre
Salvi was based from Antonio Piemavieja, the hated Augustinian friar who was killed during the
Padre Florentino
He symbolizes the family-oriented personality of the Filipino. Though he wanted to travel
but his mother forced him to become a priest. At first, it was against his will but as time goes by,
he already love the calling if becoming a priest since it is a way of serving God and his fellow
Abraham Ibañez or Ben Zayb(anagram of his name)
He symbolizes boastful persons who think that they are the “only ones” showing concern
with their country.
Teniente Guevarra
He symbolizes political leaders who have concern with their people.
Don Raphael Ibarra/Pia Alba de los Santos/Crispin
These three characters suffer similar abused from the Spanish friars. All of them keep it
to themselves and sacrifice a lot for their family.
They are the another interpretation of Patria and Teodora Alonso. The name Crispin was
from also from the Crisostomo brothers of Hagonoy.