This chapter describes in detail the town of San Diego. It also goes deeper into the roots of the main antagonist, Crisostomo Ibarra.
Points of Note:
San Diego is a fictional name. No town existed by that name in the Philippines the time the Noli was written.
San Diego may be assumed to be a town situated beside Laguna Lake, since it was along this lake that Elias and Ibarra were chased by the civil guards after having narrowly escaped from prison.
We may note that there is always only one descendant in every generation of Ibarra's clan.
All the towns, when they are still developing and building their foundations, have Filipinos for priests. Once they reach maturity and achieve progress, Spanish friars take over.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What characteristic of the Filipino people was Rizal pertaining to when he described the old, rickety wooden bridges?
Answer: Filipinos were sadistic. An old lady crossing the rickety bridge with much difficulty was laughed at instead of being assisted on her way through. Rizal described this in detail so that the natives would despise the attitude and find means to resolve it.
Question: Why would it be correct to assume that Ibarra's great-grandfather, who first came to the town of San Diego, had already spent a considerable number of years in the Philippines?
Answer: His Tagalog was fluent.
Question: How did he come to own the vast forest in San Diego?
Answer: He bought it from the people who claimed ownership of the land. He paid them with money, gems, and clothes.
Question: Was the old man murdered, or did he take his own life?
Answer: This isn't clearly stated in the chapter. There is sufficient reason, however, to believe that either one is possible.