The day after the picnic Ibarra visits the home Tasyo the Philosopher. They talk about a variety of things -- language, history, geography, and nature. They also talk about Elias and how the picnic went the day before. Ibarra learns that it was Dona Consolacion, the "muse of the civil guards," who ordered Elias's arrest. Crisostomo tells the old man the reason for his visit -- to ask for advice regarding his plans of building a schoolhouse. Tasyo responds by telling Ibarra that he had come to the wrong person; that he should rather consult Friar Salvi, the captain, and all the other men in office. Asking for their advice, Tasyo says, does not necessarily mean that Ibarra has to follow them, only that the latter must make it seem like he has high regard for their opinion on the matter. Tasyo further advises him to keep his head down among the friars.
Points of Note:
Tasyo's house looks almost like a library with all his many books.
This chapter has great substance. In contrast to others, where Rizal humorously describes and points out the foolishness of the characters, this one has wisdom as its dominant theme.
Here we read about Rizal's hope of educating his race in the days to come.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What is Rizal's opinion regarding the Tagalog language as it is compared with Spanish and Latin?
Answer: Tagalog is at an advantage over Latin in the alphabet that it uses -- the stress, the intonation, the nuances. Also, the nasal sounds in the Tagalog language cannot be pronounced by the Spanish.
Question: Why does Tasyo suddenly become tearful when Ibarra mentions his plans of putting up a schoolhouse?
Answer: He is overjoyed. This had been one of his dreams.
Question: Why does Tasyo tell Ibarra that the latter was wrong coming to him for advice?
Answer: Tasyo does not wish that his great and honorable undertaking have any connection to a "crazed lunatic." (Read the old man's explanation. It is described in much detail.)
Question: The Philosopher mentions that "the friars are even more powerful than the government." Why is this so?
Answer: First, the corporation or order of the Spanish friars possesses great wealth. Second, most of the townspeople -- especially the women and the mothers -- have unquestioning blind faith on the priests. The government is only a puppet of the church.
Question: What does Tasyo predict about Ibarra's plan of building a schoolhouse?
Answer: The moment the friars disapprove of it, even if Crisostomo has the permission of the government, the plan will fail. Why? The church can revoke any approbation by the state: Simply scare off the mothers, and none of them will ever let their children go to school.