Noli me tángere
* To whom is the Noli Me Tangere
dedicated? Is this dedication a keynote to the reform movement?
* Where did Rizal obtain inspiration for the name of this book?
From the Gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 17. The Latin vulgate reads, "Noli
me tángere" for "do not touch me." The entire verse in English reads, Jesus
said to her [Mary Magdalene], "Do not hold no to me, because I have not yet
ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am
ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (NRSV)
Rizal was expressing a hope that in the future a type of "ascension" would
take place and the Philippines would come fully into its own.
* Why did Rizal open his story with a social affair?
* Make a list of the principal characters introduced in the first chapters.
* What parallelism did Rizal draw between Capitan Tiago's home and his
* How did the friars implement the vows of "poverty, chastity, and
obedience" in the Philippines?
* What are your first impressions of Padre Damaso?
* State the worst traits of the Indios according to the Spanish.
* How did Tiya Isabel entertain her visitors? How did the young girls behave
* How did Padre Damaso lose his assignment as curate of San Diego?
* Does the host sit at the table with his guests? Who occupies the head?
* What innovation did Crisostomo bring from Germany? Is this acceptable in
our present-day society?
* What does Rizal mean by "jele jele bago quire?"
Why was Father Damaso so cross at the dinner? Why did Ibarra leave early?
* How did the Governor-General learn of the incidents at Capitan Tiago's
* What was the best way for Europeans to learn about the country according
to Padre Damaso?
* Explain how Rizal came to write Noli Me Tangere?
* What deterred Rizal from the immediate publication of the Noli?
* What learned societies admitted Rizal as a member?
* Name some other European scholars who were friends and admirers of Rizal?
* Who was Rizal's traveling companion in Europe before returning to the
* Why did Rizal return to the Philippines in 1887?
* Who was the Governor-General at the time?
* Why was Rizal summoned to Malacañang?
* Why was the Noli Me Tangere banned from circulation?
* Describe Rizal's activities at Calamba during his sojourn in the
* Why did Rizal not stay long in the Philippines?
* How did Rizal return to Europe?
* What was his impression of America?
* Why did Rizal linger in London?
* What other literary works did he write at about this time?
* What frustrations and disappointments did he experience at this time?
* Where and when was the Fili published? Who was the friend in need?
* How did his contemporaries receive the Filipino in Europe?
* Why did Rizal project a second return to the Philippines?
* Why did Rizal stop at Hong Kong on his way to the Philippines?
* When does the "cities" of the dead" become populated?
* Respect for the dead was a cardinal trait of the pre-Spanish Indio. Did
the Spaniards encourage this trait?
* Why did Crisostomo fail to locate the grave of his father?
* What incidents" foretold the coming of storms?
* How did Tasio acquire the reputation of a "fool"? A philosopher? Would you
consider him a fool today? Explain.
* Did Tasio believe that only Catholics go to heaven? Did he believe in
masses for the dead? Did he believe in God?
* Where did Christians get the idea of Purgatory?
* Who were the sacristans? Their tribulations? What became of Crispin?
* Is the ringing of the bells advisable during thunderstorms?
* Would you consider Sisa a good mother? How did she lose her mind?
* What were Basilio's plans after Crispin's disappearance?
* What are indulgences? Why did the friars encourage belief in indulgences?
* Would you care to be a schoolmaster during the Spanish regime?
* What was the equivalent of the present town mayor? What were his duties
and obligations? Was his job to be envied? Explain.
* What was the main purpose of the town hall meeting?
* Who effective were the decisions of the Municipal Council?
* What preparations were made for the town fiesta? Are town fiestas
desirable or not? Explain?
* What were the effects of the arrival of Maria Clara at San Diego?
* What were Ibarra's plans for Maria Clara's entertainment?
* Why was Padre Salvi invited to the picnic? How did he behave?
* Who were the young ladies who joined the picnic? What were the tricks
played by the young men?
* Why was the first corral devoid of fish?
* Why did the boatman (Elias) plunge himself into the lake? Who saved his
life? What were the effects of this?
* How would you describe Maria Clara's song?
* What was at stake in the game of chess between Ibarra and Capitan Basilio?
* What telegrams did Ibarra receive during the picnic?
* Who sent the guardia civil to the picnic grounds? Why?
* Tasio was not convinced that Padre Salvi favored the school project. Why?
* When was the cornerstone-laying ceremony scheduled to take place?
* What were the main religious features of a provincial fiesta?
* How did people entertain themselves?
* Why did Maria Clara give her locket to the leper?
* What was the theme of Padre Damaso's sermon?
* What did Elias whisper to Ibarra at the church?
* Who participated in the cornerstone ceremony?
* Was the "accident" a preconceived plot? Explain?
* Who saved the life of Ibarra? Who was the victim?
* What provocation impelled Ibarra to manhandle Padre Damaso?
* Who saved the life of the turbulent priest? What was the immediate effect?
* Describe the religious procession that ended the town fiesta? Are there
similar spectacles today?
* Who was Doña Consolacion? Why was she called the "muse of the Civil
* Why did the Governor-General choose to stay in the house of Captain Tiago?
* Why were the Governor-General's not powerful in those days?
* What was the Governor-General's attitude toward Crisostomo Ibarra?
* What did the case of Dr. De Espandaña illustrate?
* What happened with the two Doñas met?
* Why did Maria Clara get sick? Who cured her?
* How was Ibarra's excommunication removed? What were the effects of
* Who was Linares? Why did Padre Damaso decide to wed Maria Clara to Linares?
* Why was Padre Salvi anxious to be with Maria Clara during her illness?
* Why did the people become "tulisan" during the Spanish regime?
* What did the "Tulisan" want of Ibarra? Why did not Ibarra listen to them?
* Was the cockpit a necessary evil in those days? Today?
* How did Elias discover the plot to implicate Ibarra in an attack on the
* How did Elias react to his discovery that Ibarra's ancestor was the cause
of his (Elias') family's misfortune?
* Who were credited with putting down the "rebellion"? Rewards?
* Who were the persons implicated in the so-called "uprising"? The
mastermind behind it?
* Give the people's reaction to Ibarra's arrest?
* What was the deciding "evidence" against Ibarra during his trial?
* Why was Maria Clara willing to assent to her marriage with Linares?
* What did Ibarra learn from Maria Clara during their last meeting?
* What did Ibarra learn from Maria Clara during their last meeting?
* Was Crisostomo killed in the chase on the lake? What happened to Elias?
* Why was Padre Damaso thunderstruck by Maria Clara's decision to enter the
* What were Padre Damaso's motives in preventing Maria Clara's marriage to
* How did Basilio find his mother? Who helped him bury his mother?
* What evidences may be cited to show that Padre Damaso's fears for Maria
Clara were founded?
* What became of Capitan Tiago after Maria Clara entered the nunnery? Of
* Can you explain why Rizal began his story on All Saint's Day and ended it
on Christmas Eve?
* After reading the Noli could you agree with Parade that the friars were
the real masters in the Philippines?
* As an instrument of the propaganda list the demands posed by the NOLI?
* What was the philosophical approach to the teaching of the Noli? Other
* Quote some of the famous teachings and passages from the Noli and the Fili?
These Questions come from the book, A
Portable Rizal Reader: Selected Essays & Poems by Maximo P. Fabella
To order a copy