Captain Tiago and his wife, Dona Pia, have been childless for years. After consulting Friar Damaso of their predicament, the priest advised them to attend holy mass at the town of Ubando. Shortly after, Pia was with child. However, she had become sickly and troubled for the entire duration of her pregnancy. She died after giving birth to a daughter, Maria Clara. The child was raised by Isabel, Tiago's sister. Friar Damaso became her godfather when she was christened. Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra became childhood friends.
Points of Note:
In the long introduction of this chapter, Rizal addresses various superstitious beliefs in the church as well as several rotten methods in the government during that time.
The name of Captain Tiago -- Santiago de los Santos -- connotes that Rizal intends to use his character to discuss matters of religion.
The cause of Dona Pia's death is intentionally not narrated by detail so as to provoke the readers' thoughts. Her sickly and tortured state during the pregnancy was actually on account of the guilt she bore of having a child out of adultery. Maria Clara's biological father is not Captain Tiago, but Friar Damaso.
Captain Tiago and Don Rafael had agreed that Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra would one day be married, and that the two men would engage in business together for the sake of both their children.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Explain Ibarra's disbelief when he learned that his father died in prison.
Answer: Before Crisostomo left for Europe, his father was a wealthy man and was loved by all the people. How he came to be in prison, Ibarra could not point out.
Question: What incriminated Don Rafael as a filibuster?
Answer: A photograph of the late Friar Burgos was found among his possessions. This friar had been hanged for treason.
Question: What turned Friar Damaso against Don Rafael?
Answer: According to Lt. Guevarra, "...that I cannot understand." But it began shortly after Crisostomo left for Europe.