Noli Me Tangere/I: A Social Gathering

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Una reunion is the first chapter of Noli me Tangere. It may be translated as "A Banquet" or "A Social Gathering in English, while "Isang Salu-Salo/Handaan". In this chapter, Kapitan Tiyago, the gobernadorcillo of San Diego offered a food banquet which invited many people from the town including parish priests, civil guards and lay people regardless of nationality. The novel ended when Kapitan Tiyago entered the main hall and with another young man, attempting to introduce the latter.

Appearances[edit]

  • Kapitan Tiyago
  • Tiya Isabel
  • Tenyente Guevara
  • Padre Sibyla
  • Padre Damaso
  • Padre Salvi
  • Senor Laruja
  • Don Tiburcio de Espadaña
  • Doña Victorina de Espadaña
  • Minor characters

Summary[edit]

Kapitan Tiyago hosted a flamboyant occasion announced throughout San Diego and nearby towns of Pasig and Binundok (Binondo). Kapitan Tiyago's house was described as being in Daang Anloague (Anloague Street) near one of the streaming rivulets of Pasig River called Binundok River. The news of such was like a thunder that traveled all over–invited or not, everyone wanted to be at the party.

When the night came, the de los Santos house was full of gaiety. Visitors came from all over and were being entertained by Kapitan Tiyago's cousin, Tiya Isabel. The hall room was full of portraits of Virgin Mary. Women and men were separated into separate seating arrangements. Moreover, almost all of joy was in the circle of Tenyente Guevara (lieutenant-general of the Guardia Civil), Padre Sibyla (the parish curate of Binundok), Padre Damaso (former curate of San Diego), Padre Salvi (the present curate of San Diego), Senor Laruja and a Spanish man with red hair.

While chatting, Padre Damaso mentioned the Indio* indolence and foolishness. The man with red hair counteracted Padre Damaso's comment that it may be the Spanish people's supposition because the Spanish authorities wanted to conceal their incapability with the colonial administration. Senor Laruja, on the other hand, agreed with Padre Damaso. With the red man's comment, Padre Damaso began to think that all other people in their circle began to be dubious with him, he narrated his twenty years of living in San Diego. He said that when he came to San Diego, the townsfolk greeted him with marching band, flower festival, and plenty of food. When he left San Diego, however, few people only bid goodbye to him–the hermano tercero** and few crying old ladies. At this moment, Padre Damaso grew red in anger and punched his chair. He shouted, "Are the curates free of their own will or not?" He also mentioned that a curate must be free if he ordered to dig up the corpse of a heretic to dispose it from a Catholic cemetery. He also noted that even the King of Spain must not care if a curate do this.

Tenyente Guevara stood from his chair and retorted that the gobernador-heneral is the King's representative to the Philippine Islands so he has the right to remove Padre Damaso from the parish and throw him to another town, and that this was done because the former curate had the corpse of a noble removed from his grave while his only son was in Europe.

After the debate, Padre Sibyla took the opportunity to pacify the two, so peace returned in the hall.

Other visitors came later, including the couple de Espadaña. Doña Victorina wore a European dress, which Guevara accidentally stepped on. Victorina was angered, to which Guevara only replied that he was looking at her curly hair.

Then Kapitan Tiyago came and introduced a certain fresh good-looking man beside him.

Notes[edit]

* In hispanic Philippines, the Filipino society is divided into two groups: first, being the Filipinos. They are wealthy people that were born in the Philippines having no traces of Spanish ancestry. Some of these people own haciendas (huge areas of land) and seek political office. Sometimes, they can achieve gobernadorcillo office. On the other hand, Indios are non-Spanish people that were not born into wealthy family. This includes commoners who are regarded as slaves, common workers, farmers, and uneducated people. The third group, Ilustrados only came in the mid-19th century. Philippine Revolution mainly started among indios.
** Hermano tercero, in English "third brother", was one of local official in a town government.

Did you know?[edit]

  • This novel can be treated as "seasoned with native color" because Rizal used Filipino native terms in describing instances in this novel. For example, he mentioned the following phrases in original Spanish novel:
Tinola es un gulai de gallina (The tinola is made from vegetables with chicken)
Guando haya frecuentado fiestas y bailujan (...if he could always go in a dance festival...)