"I have had better thoughts, and I believe that making my father's wishes come true is worth more than weeping for him, and much more than avenging him." ― Ibarra[source]
Crisostomo Ibarra, full name Juan Crisostomo Ibarra y Magsalin, was a young student in San Diego. Following his father's death, he returned to his hometown and sought to establish a proper school there, only to face numerous obstacles from the local figures. Implicated in a revolt, he later fled the town and forged a new identity as the jeweler Simoun.


Early History

Crisostomo was born into the Ibarra Family, raised by his father Don Rafael.[1] Growing up in San Diego, he became childhood friends with Maria Clara. In 1874, he left to study in Europe; while he was away, Don Rafael and Capitan Tiago betrothed him to Maria Clara.[2] He later returned after seven years upon hearing about the death of his father.[1]

Return Home

At the end of October in 1881, Ibarra attended the party of Capitan Tiago, drawing attention to all the guests upon his arrival. Greeting Padre Damaso, whom he knew to be his father's close friend, Ibarra was surprised as the priest disavowed any close friendship with Don Rafael.[1] Later on, during the dinner, Padre Damaso belittled Ibarra's studies abroad. Offended, Ibarra left the party.[3]

As he walked to Plaza Binondo, Ibarra was approached by Lieutenant Guevarra, who related to him how his father died: he had died in incarceration after accidentally killing a Spanish tax collector and was branded a filibuster.[4] Arriving at his hotel, Ibarra became troubled over his father's death.[5]

The following day, Ibarra visited Maria Clara and the two spoke privately, professing their love for one another and showing that the mementos they saved from each other. As Maria Clara read Ibarra's farewell letter before leaving for Europe, Ibarra remembered his All Saints' Day obligations, and left.[6]

While riding through Manila in a carriage, Ibarra was disturbed by the lack of progress.[7] The following day, All Saints' Day, Ibarra visited the cemetery of San Diego with a servant, searching for his father's body. Questioning one of the gravediggers there, Ibarra learned that the town curate had ordered Don Rafael's body to be exhumed and buried in the Chinese cemetery; however, as it was raining, the gravedigger dumped it in the lake instead. Angry, Ibarra left the cemetery.

Running into Padre Salvi at the cemetery gate, Ibarra, under the impression that he was the one who ordered his father's body to be transferred, attacked him, only for him to reveal that it was Padre Damaso.[8]

His Father's Dream

The next day, Ibarra spoke with San Diego's schoolmaster about his plans to establish a school in the town, learning of his obstacles in educating the town's children.[9] Later on, Ibarra invited both Maria Clara and Padre Salvi to a picnic in the woods.[10]

During the trip, Ibarra and his friends went fishing on the lake. As they encountered a crocodile, the pilot, Elias, jumped into the lake. After Elias failed to come up to the surface after a while, Ibarra dove in as well, saving his life.[11] Later on during the picnic, Ibarra received news that his plans for the school had been approved. As the Guardia Civil arrived, searching for Elias and chastising Ibarra for inviting a fugitive to his picnic, Ibarra brushed them off.[11]

Later on, Ibarra consulted with the town sage, Pilosopo Tasio, about his proposed school. Although advised not to continue with his plans in order not to anger the friars and government officials, Ibarra pushed through with his plans.[12] While walking with Maria Clara, Ibarra encountered a leper and watched as she gave the leper her locket.[13]

As the town fiesta drew near Ibarra fell ill, he received a letter from Maria Clara, expressing her worry.[14] On the last day of the fiesta, Ibarra attended Padre Damaso's sermon; as Padre Damaso made vague swipes at him, Ibarra was discreetly warned by Elias that his life was in danger.[15] Later on, during the school's cornerstone-laying ceremony, Ibarra narrowly avoided being killed by the derrick operator, Elias having saved him.[16]

Hidden Enemies

Ibarra was later visited by Elias at his house, who warned him about his enemies and affirmed that he had saved him to repay his life debt.[17] During the celebratory dinner for the school, Ibarra was offended as Padre Damaso insulted his father's memory, almost killing him. As Maria Clara intervened, Ibarra became excommunicated as a result.[18] Soon after, he met with the governor-general, who assured him that he would speak with the archbishop to undo the excommunication.[19]

Later on, while Maria Clara, her friends, Don Filipo and Padre Salvi were watching a play, Ibarra attempted to join them, only for Don Filipo to prohibit him from watching; offended, he walked out.[20] Sometime after, Ibarra was visited by Lucas, apparently the derrick operator's brother. Lucas then asked for money from Ibarra, to which he refused.[21]

Sometime after, Ibarra attempted to visit Maria Clara at her house, only to see her with another man, Linares.[22] Ibarra later went on a boat ride with Elias on the lake and the two spoke about their respective dreams. When Elias attempted to convince Ibarra to work for reforms, Ibarra argued that certain evils were necessary in society.[23] Elias then related the tale of his family's misfortune, which, unbenknownst to Ibarra, was actually instigated by his great-grandfather Don Pedro.[24]

Later on, after Ibarra's excommunication was lifted and he insisted on seeing Maria Clara.[25] Ibarra was later warned by Elias that he would be implicated in an impending revolt; alarmed, Ibarra disposed of any letters that could be used against him with Elias' help. During the process, Elias learned that Ibarra's great-grandfather was the one who started his family's misfortune and, almost killing Ibarra, left soon after.[26]

From Bad to Worse

As the attack broke out, Ibarra was arrested by the Guardia Civil.[27] Later on, Ibarra was cursed by the townspeople when he was led out of his cell to be transferred to the provincial capital.[28] Afterwards, Ibarra was broken out of prison by Elias, and the two traveled to Capitan Tiago's house. There, Ibarra climbed up the wall and met with Maria Clara, the two sharing their tearful goodbyes.[29]

Ibarra went back to the boat with Elias, going along the Pasig River. During the trip, they were pursued by the Guardia Civil; Elias then jumped into the water as a diversion while Ibarra hid in the boat, the two having agreed to meet at the grave of Don Pedro.[30]

Arriving there after a few days, Ibarra found Elias dead along with a boy, Basilio. The two built a pyre and burned Elias' body. After giving him a few gold coins, Ibarra told Basilio to leave the place.[31] Soon after, Ibarra fled San Diego and forged a new identity as the jeweler Simoun.[32]

Personality and Traits

Ibarra was an earnest and idealistic young man. Influenced by his European education, he sought to improve the country; as part of this, he believed in the power of education to enact reforms and made efforts to establish a school in San Diego to this end. As part of this idealism, Ibarra believed in the good of all people and was unaware of his enemies. Despite all this, Ibarra also believed that some forms of oppression were necessary for society to function, such as the abusive Guardia Civil.

As the son of a wealthy family, Ibarra conducted himself with the proper etiquette befitting his status, and made sure to be polite to everyone. He was, however, not above breaking this decorum when it meant defending his father's memory or saving someone's life. He could also be annoyed at people who went against his wishes, as with the case of Lucas and the gravedigger.

Character Connections

Elias: A man who helped Ibarra on numerous occasions. While on the lake, Ibarra thought nothing of risking his life in order to save him, as emblematic of his altruism. Ibarra was grateful to Elias for repeatedly saving him, and thus trusted him as an informant and eventual confidant. The two men were set apart by their backgrounds; despite this, Ibarra was receptive to Elias' ideals and sought to genuinely understand him. Elias' death by the hands of the Guardia Civil was one of the factors that pushed Ibarra to become Simoun, living out Elias' revolutionary ideals to an unhealthy extreme.


Conceptualization and Origin

  • Ibarra is theorized to be a stand-in for Rizal, fitting his physical description.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 2
  2. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 6
  3. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 3
  4. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 4
  5. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 5
  6. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 7
  7. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 8
  8. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 13
  9. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 19
  10. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 22
  11. 11.0 11.1 Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 23
  12. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 25
  13. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 27
  14. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 28
  15. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 31
  16. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 32
  17. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 33
  18. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 34
  19. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 37
  20. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 40
  21. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 41
  22. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 48
  23. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 49
  24. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 50
  25. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 51
  26. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 54
  27. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 55
  28. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 58
  29. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 60
  30. Noli Me Tangere – Chapter 61
  31. El Filibusterismo – Chapter 6
  32. El Filibusterismo – Chapter 7
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