NMT Chapter 10: The Town (See other Noli Me Tangere Chapter Summaries)
(Napanuod mo na ba yung kwento ni Pareng Ed, isang masipag at matiyagang OFW na naubos ang pera nung na-ospital ang kanyang anak, pero nakabangon mula sa kahirapan gamit ang isang… panuorin mo ang kwento niya dito.)
This chapter describes the town of San Diego and the lineage of Crisostomo Ibarra (surprisingly, each generation bore only one child). We learn that at that time, there was no such town called San Diego in the Philippines. We can assume, however, that the town is located near the shore of Laguna Lake, because this is where the guardia civiles chased Ibarra and Elias when the former escaped from prison.
Note also that each town is initially taken care of by a Pilipino priest. Once the town prospers, the Spanish friars take over.
Rizal likens Philippine culture to a swaying, wooden bridge. Pinoys enjoy scenes of tragedy or misfortune. We tend to laugh at disabled people (this was during Rizal’s time and perhaps even up to today) — the kids swimming in the lake laughed at an old woman who was having a hard time crossing the bridge; they should’ve helped her instead. Rizal pointed it out in hopes that people would correct this kind of behavior. Did he succeed?
Ibarra’s ancestor, who first came to San Diego, had lived long in the Philippines. He was very fluent with the Tagalog language.
How the Ibarras acquired the forest in San Diego. The first Ibarra in San Diego gave cash, jewelry and clothes to those who claimed to own the forest.
People, however, feared the forest. You know how forests are: cold, dark, eerie, strange sounds… and don’t forget those malaria-bearing mosquitoes.
A description of Don Saturnino. Spanish mestizo, probably the Fernando Jose type (hello there, Rosalinda fans!) He was very strict, but was also hardworking. He helped contribute to San Diego’s progress.
Don Saturnina’s wife. We can’t tell for sure if she was a Filipina from Manila, a Spanish mestiza, or a Spaniard born and raised in Manila. It’s also possible she was a native.
Geez, do people really care about Ibarra’s lineage? Apparently so. Ibarra’s ancestors had a mean streak, but their blood soon mixed with native understanding, compassion and self-control.
(Do you want to know how other Pinoys are succeeding online? Read this.)
Manny M. Viloria