Everyone is getting ready for the town fiesta. The streets are bedazzled with colorful buntings, the band is playing the grandest music, and all the kitchens are busy. Crisostomo Ibarra is busy working out the plans for the new schoolhouse. His architect, Nol Juan, observes the unique rafter that will be used to put down the cornerstone. A man with yellowish skin is in charge of building the contraption. Many women and children help out in the project. Even those that are formerly considered "enemies of the town" extended a hand. Crisostomo Ibarra becomes the role model of the children -- the person they would want to become when they grow up. Ibarra reports to Tasyo the Philosopher the obvious success of his new project. The sage in return responds, "If you are greeted with smiles, be more watchful of enemies hiding in the shadows..."
Points of Note:
Philippine fiestas are for everyone's enjoyment, friend and foe, rich and poor.
This chapter describes in detail how the fiesta is a great opportunity to showcase art, sculptures, tapestries, and many more. Rizal also exhibits in this chapter the Filipinos' inherent love for music.
The rafter holding the cornerstone, and the yellowish man who is building it, are vital to the story. Their purpose in the story can be read in the succeeding chapters.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What can be said about Friar Salvi offering his part in putting up the school?
Answer: It is rather suspicious.
Question: Who is the only person who is doubtful about the success of Ibarra's project?
Answer: Tasyo the Philosopher. He is the one who knows best the heart of the nation that is not so familiar to Ibarra, and the strong feelings and emotions it harbors.