Basilio was introduced in Rizals first novel Noli Me Tangere along with his brother Crispin and mother Sisa. He was known for being calm, diligent and loves to help sick people who are in need. He has an attitude that represent majority of the youth today who lacks interest regarding political matters and prioritizes other things. For Basilio, the most important thing is to finish his studies and earn money parallel to what the contemporary youth prioritizes. Basilios peaceful life changed when he was arrested in Makaraigs house to borrow money. Despite of being innocent, Basilio was left behind the bars because of Captain General wants to instill fear with his constituents. This experience made Basilio accept Simouns offer to join the revolt and start to help him with his plans for the reform.
Basilio is a representation of todays youth who are considered as woke. He forgets his past beliefs and ideas after he realized that the government does not care about who is oppressed. He started working with Simouns violent revolution and does not question anything with the plan since he already believed that the revolt is necessary to create change.
Isagani was first mentioned in Chapter 2 of the novel entitled Below Deck. He is a character often silent unless he very much like the topic wherein he became very outspoken and forth-right. He is one of the most passionate character in the novel for he claims that he will fight for his beliefs and principles to death. Isagani is a very idealistic character in the novel that causes Padre Camora and Se?or Pasta to look down to him which they tend to believe that Isagani lacks experiences which influences his na?ve looks toward his principles.
In Chapter 27 of Fili entitled The Friar and the Filipino, Padre Fernandez and Isagani had an argument regarding the poster which portrays context towards the friars. In this case, Isagani proved that he is a man with an idealistic mind and forth-right attitude that made Padre Fernandez respect him. Padre Fernandez then realize that Isagani is a clearly a man of conviction.
Isagani is indeed a man of principle, a character who is brave enough to speak what he thinks is right and good for the people and to the country. His attitude is the reason why Isagani is involved with different arguments and confrontation with someone such as Chapter 2 where he challenges Padre Camoras claim regarding the persons lack of water intake as well as in Chapter 15 entitled Se?or Pasta, where he defended his principle against Se?or Pastas argument regarding the Spanish academy.
He truly disrespected the authority through his capability to influence people around him with his idealistic principles such as the petition for a Spanish academy to attain an equal education with the Spaniards which put him into bad light, imprisonment.
Additionally, Isagani portrays the concept of idealism towards political reforms. He represented the people who possesses a deep and genuine love and understanding for the country that allows them to believe that everything is possible if it is benefits the country.
He was introduced in El Filibusterismo as a tenant on a farm owned by a different person. In Chapter 4 of the novel entitled Cabesang Tales, he became the Cabeza de Barangay, as his fees for his farm increased until he can no longer resist his urge to protest the friar administration despite his father, Tandang Selo, advised him to not engage nor protest the friars as it will not end well for him.
In his rebellion against the friar administration, Tales urged to patrol his fields with a shot gun that caused everybody to fear him. Despite knowing that Kabesang Tales arguments were right, the court judges decided to side with the friar administration. Since then, he became more furious and refused any negotiation. Despite having his firearms confiscated by the Capitan General for safety measures, Tales finds his own way to protect his field and started using an axe. Unfortunately, he was captured by the tulisans.
Kabesang Tales depicts the injustice experienced by the less fortunate and how easy it is for the administration or politicians to maltreat the less fortunate. In Chapter 4, there is a scene where his father advised him not to join the protest since it may cause harm to them. They were silenced because of fear since the government posses power and money, which always find their way to bend the law and treat everyone unfair.
One of the characters that the author of the novel used was Makaraig, a student who came from a wealthy family. Makaraig is a part of the student association, together with Isagani, who led their fellow students in a petition to establish a Spanish academy for the Filipinos. He was portrayed as a friendly character in the novel whose willingness to use his house for the student association affairs or meetings. His kind heart showed in Chapter 11 where he shares his box with his classmates and invited Tadeo and his townmates to join them considering that he was not close to him. In Chapter 26, it also shows that he also lends money for those who are in need.
In analyzing Makaraigs role on the novel, Rizal used him as one of the major characters who seek change. As for Makaraig, he wanted to have a Spanish academy for the Filipinos to have an opportunity to be educated. As a student who seek for reform, Makaraig represents the student activists in the contemporary society who speaks up for what is right and moral and fight for minority and injustice. Rizals way of using this major character is that he wants to tell the readers that the youth can also do something for the betterment of the country and not only those who have power.
Quiroga is a Chinese merchant who aspire to be a consul of the Consulate of China in the Philippines. Throughout the story, he is known to be a very wealth merchant and influencer. He proclaimed that he can get anything from the customs that even Simoun cannot do anything due to the favors he can get from the officials. Quiroga is also one of Simouns conspirators in planning the bombing act by helping him in hiding his firearms in his warehouse.
Rizal used Quiroga to portray the Chinese mestizos in the novel. He showed up in Chapter 16 where the story mainly focused on him. His personality showed in this chapter. He prepared a festive dinner attended by government officials, friars, soldiers and customers in order to gain favor.
Quirogas character was used by Rizal to show the personality of a Chinese national during his time. He used Quiroga to portray the hypocrisy and greed of the Chinese to earn money where they were ready to do anything just for money. Rizal showed in the novel the growth of a Chinese during his time as well as their dominance during Spanish-colonial times.
The highest official in the novel. The character of Captain General can be portrayed as a self-centered leader who highly thinks about what other people thinks of him. Rizal portrayed him as a poor leader as he makes decisions, he only thinks about what will make his reputation look good. He is also a close-minded person who does not accepts or listen to other people opinion when it comes to his governance specially when someone does not agree on him. Simoun uses the General through the novel in achieving his missions for the Philippines.
Having the highest rank, Captain General got all the respect and fear by the Filipinos during the time. He believes that achieving a greater good for the country must have sacrifices. Although this was something we can agree on, his ways on executing his governance was the problem. He shows rudeness to anyone who does not agree on him, in Chapter 11 he used bigger issues to disregard small problems and uses his authority to instill fear to his people and abuses his power which can be seen in Chapter 32 of the novel as he leave Basilio in jail despite his innocence.
Furthermore, the Captain Generals character was used and manipulated by Simouns personal agenda. The portrayal of Rizal to the highest official as a weak leader, indecisive, easily manipulated, abusive, corrupt represents the current situation of the Philippine government officials. Although his character was portrayed like that, it was an instrument for Simoun to start the revolution. Simoun somehow influenced the Generals bad decision which help him to make the people show discontent to the government.
In the contemporary society, these officials are the one who are weak, prone to corruption, and easy to be manipulated by the higher sectors. These officials who lacks knowledge, credential, understanding on the policies and laws, shows no interest with the betterment of the country, not open with outside criticisms, and having no firm stand in argument are the one who can be considered the Captain General of todays world.
Is an old Filipino lawyer, a selfish man with no love for his fellow Filipino people. He is the lawyer consultant of the friars having grayish hair and baldness in appearance. In Chapter 15 of the novel entitled Se?or Pasta, he represents the individuals within a society whose generosity and sympathetic personality applies only to rich and powerful people. He lacked sense of national sentiment of the country as he opposed Isaganis proposal to help students attain education reform that can establish an equal leaning to all Filipino.
In the novel, Se?or Pasta is a skilled lawyer whose afraid to implement the educational reform for he finds it as a threat that if Filipino people would be given a chance to acquire such proper education then it would not be possible for people such Se?or Pasta to manipulate the Filipino for their potentials and skills as an individual which will no longer be hindered or impeded. Se?or Pasta symbolizes the rich and powerful individuals in contemporary society who tends to oppress the Filipinos in their right to live.
Placido Penitente is a student from UST who wanted to become a lawyer because of his parents wish. He was considered as good student however during his 4 years stay in UST his interest towards education changed. He was also one of Simouns trusted allies who supports his plans in starting revolution.
Despite of being one of the novels minor character, Rizal was able to make Placido Penitentes image an instrument in stimulating revolution among the Filipinos. Looking deeply on his character one thing that catches readers attention was his name. Placido Penitentes name came from the word Placido meaning silent and Penitente meaning suffering. Silent Suffering. His attitude towards Padre Millon, his Physics professor who picks on him intentionally, where he controls his temper and still showing respect despite being mad. To my own interpretation of Placido, Rizal may want to use his character to portray Filipinos during his time who continuously enduring pain and suffering. Filipinos who tries to hide their discontent or are not allowed to speak up against the Friars in his time. Through his character Rizal may want us to realize that when we try to hide our feelings and discontent towards something specially the government, they will just continue their wrong doings until we lose something, we value the most.
Padre Florentino was the only Indio priest in the novel he was part of a rich family and as his mother forced him to enter seminary became a priest at the age of 25. Padre Florentino shows a good moral character which is very different from the other priests in the novel which contributes on why Simoun trust him so much. He was highly respected by a lot of people and shows sympathy and good relationship with other characters in the novel. He was also Isaganis God Father and through him we can say Padre Florentino was a good person as he raised someone like Isagani.
Theres a lot of event in the novel that shows Padre Florentinos good moral character from letting Don Tiburcio live in his place, help Isagani to be freed from person and helping Simoun on the last part of the novel. But the most notable character of Padre Florentino was that his character was used by Rizal to show his disapproval in violent revolt on Chapter 39 Florentino stated
No, if our country is to be free one day it would not be through vice and crime; it will not be by corrupting its sons, deceiving some, buying others, no! Redemption implies virtue, virtue, sacrifice, and sacrifice, love! (Padre Florentino, Chapter 39)
This passage from the book reminds me of a quote by Confucius don’t do unto others what others do unto you if the Indios wanted freedom from violence and corruption they have to achieved it the right way without using violence Florentino believes that the suffering experienced by the Indios can later help them in achieving freedom. Another symbolic event Rizal used through Florentinos character was when he threw out Simouns chest of jewels believe it represents greed and by doing it he somehow helping the people to get rid the source of all the sufferings. Rizal was great in using Florentinos character in showing his own ideals toward achieving political reforms. That education and enlightenment from the real root of the problem was the solution for it. Florentino was Isaganis adoptive father on the novel and Isagani was known for being an ideal student with good manners, intelligent and care about reforms as he was with Makaraig who leads the petition of Academy for Spanish. Florentino shows support on Isaganis active involvement for petition of their organization as he also shows sadness that the youth doesnt show interest with the betterment of the country. Florentino just like Rizal believes that youth is the future of the country as they will soon lead the nation.
THE SOCIETY DURING RIZALS TIME
In the time of Rizal, the entire Philippines was under the Spanish colonization where in, the government is more likely controlled by priest rather than officials. Rebellion was still in rampage, there was still a large resistance against the Spaniards. Filipinos or Indios, as we are been called, were put into slavery and the exploitation of resources was at large.
The political situation in Rizals time was a great movement but they do abuse the Filipinos that are their attendant, the entire Philippines was under the Spanish colonization. Wherein, the government is more likely controlled by the priest rather than officials which is called Frailocracy. The shadows of Spains decadence darkened Philippine skies. The Filipino people agonized beneath the yoke of Spanish misrule for they were unfortunate victims of the evils of an unjust, bigoted and deteriorating colonial administrating colonial power.
One issue during the Spanish colonial period is the instability of colonial administration. The Spanish politics back then is not stable since the turbulent reign of King Ferdinand VII. 1 magistrate was assigned to the Philippines back then but use the route through the cape of good hope. Because of this instability, new issues arise such as corrupt colonial official or corrupt officialdom. Some Spaniards who were sent to the Philippines were not the likes of the Spaniard such as Gen Rafael de Izquierdo, a boastful ruthless general who commanded the execution of GOMBURZA and Gen. Primo de Rivera who became rich by accepting bribes from the casinos in Manila which he scandalously allowed to operate. Another issue is the Philippine representation in the Spanish Cortes which the Filipinos was not given enough time to address their problems and need which Ventura de los Reyes was the first representative. Human rights were also denied to Filipinos connected with racial discrimination. Filipinos were deprived of their freedom of speech, press, association, and other human rights except the freedom of religion. There is also no equality of law and maladministration of justice. Justice during the time, were very costly, partial and slow. Forced labor or also known as Polo is also present during the time where adult males from 16-60 were obliged to work for 40 days a year. The Polista, people who perform polo, are supposed to received 50 cents or 2 pesetas but was receiving only half of it, worst nothing. The Haciendas was also owned by Friars with different religious orders wherein they obtain their ownership from the Spanish crown and not on the original landlords.