Many gifts are offered for Maria Clara's wedding to Linares. Friar Damaso arrives, cheerful. He notices, however, that the maiden is rather pale and distraught. Maria Clara cries on his shoulders and asks him to tell Captain Tiago to call off the wedding. She tells him of her last encounter with Ibarra on the azotea, but leaves out the part about knowing the true story of her birth. She tells Damaso that as long as Ibarra was alive she was willing to suffer, content with hearing the occasional mention of his name. But now that he is gone -- she had learned that Ibarra was killed as he tried to escape the guards -- she no longer has any reason to suffer. She asks Friar Damaso to grant her permission to enter the nunnery, and, after much hesitation, the priest consents.
Points of Note:
News has already spread that Ibarra was killed in the lake.
Even if a man is of pure Spanish descent, if he is born in the Philippines, he is regarded as lower than those who are born in Spain.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why does Maria Clara look cold, pale and shaky?
Answer: She is experiencing an intense mix of emotions: grief over Ibarra's death, sadness over her intended marriage, pity for her poor dead mother's sad fate and for the man she had known to be her father (Tiago), and resentment for Friar Damaso who she knows is the cause of it all.
Question: Why does Maria Clara agree to marry Linares when Ibarra is still alive, but when she learns of his death, refuses to be tied to anyone else?
Answer: Maria Clara knew when Ibarra was still alive that Damaso and Salvi would never leave him alone until they made sure he wallowed in misery. She thought that marrying another man would save Crisostomo from the friars. She was willing to give up her happiness and live a life of pain and suffering for Ibarra. But now that Ibarra is dead, there is no more reason for her to suffer.