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444 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1887
“The people do not complain because they have no voice; do not move because they are lethargic, and you say that they do not suffer because you have not seen their hearts bleed.”
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Don't put your hopes in them, put your hopes in yourselves and get to work. They deny you representation in the legislature? So much the better! Even if you succeed in sending your own elected representatives, what will they do there except be drowned out by so many other voices and by their presence appear to sanction the abuses and mistakes committed later on? The fewer rights they give you now, the more you'll have later when you throw off the yoke and pay them back evil for evil. They want to teach you their language? Then cultivate your own, spread it, help the people hold onto their own way of thinking. Instead of aspirations by province, have aspirations as a nation. Instead of subordinated thoughts, have independent thought, because it's not by his laws or his rights or his customs that the Spaniard considers this his home, nor should the people consider this the Spaniard's nation, but he should always be considered the invader and the foreigner. Then sooner or later you'll have your freedom.However, Basilio is determined to remain apolitical. Nevertheless, events soon overtake him.
Toward the end of October, Don Santiago de los Santos, who was generally known as Captain Tiago, gave a dinner party that, despite its having been announced only that afternoon, which was not his usual practice, was the topic of every conversation in Binondo and neighbouring areas, and even as far as Intramuros. In those days, Captain Tiago was considered the most liberal of men, and it was known that the doors of his house, like those of his country, were closed to no one but tradesmen or perhaps a new or daring idea.Both Noli Me Tangere / El Filibusterismo are filled with characters who are richly and wickedly described. We have Doña Victorina, a mixed-race woman who "spoke bad Spanish and was more Spanish than Agustina de Zaragoza" and "looked with disdain on her many Filipino admirers" as "her aspirations lay in another race"; we have Fray Dámaso who speaks not a word of Tagalog but takes confessions from his local congregation not understanding what they are confessing; we have Captain Tiago who competes with Doña Patrocinio for who can give the grandest gifts to the Church: "on holy days, with her family's money, she hired the best orators from Manila's five seminaries, the cathedral's most famous canons, and even the Paulist fathers to preach on profound theological themes to sinners who could only understand the language of the streets".