Noli Me Tángere (novel)
Noli Me Tángere (Latin for Touch Me Not) is a novel written by José Rizal, one of the national heroes of the Philippines, during the colonization of the country by Spain to describe perceived inequities of the Spanish Catholic priests and the ruling government.
The original front cover of the book.
|Country||Philippines (first printing in Berlin)|
|Genre||Novel, Fiction, Satire, Philippine History|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|Followed by||El filibusterismo|
Originally written in Spanish, the book is more commonly published and read in the Philippines in either Tagalog or English. Together with its sequel, El Filibusterismo, the reading of Noli is obligatory for high school students throughout the country.
Rizal entitled this novel as such drawing inspiration from "Touch Me Not" — the technical name of a particularly painful type of cancer (back in his time, it is unknown what is the modern name of said disease). He proposed to probe all the cancers of Filipino society that everyone else felt too painful to touch. 
Early English translations of the novel used titles like An Eagle Flight (1900) and The Social Cancer (1912), disregarding the symbolism of the title, but the more recent translations were published using the original Latin title. It has also been noted by the Austro-Hungarian writer Ferdinand Blumentritt that "Noli Me Tángere" was a name used by ophthalmologists for cancer of the eyelids; that as an ophthalmologist himself Rizal was influenced by this fact is suggested in the novel's dedication, "To My household".
José Rizal, a Filipino nationalist and medical doctor, conceived the idea of writing a novel that would expose the ills of Philippine society after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. He preferred that the prospective novel express the way Filipino culture was perceived to be backward, anti-progress, anti-intellectual, and not conducive to the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment. He was then a student of medicine in the Universidad Central de Madrid.
In a reunion of Filipinos at the house of his friend Pedro A. Paterno in Madrid on 2 January 1884, Rizal proposed the writing of a novel about the Philippines written by a group of Filipinos. His proposal was unanimously approved by the Filipinos present at the tite, among whom were Pedro, Maximino Viola and Antonio Paterno, Graciano López Jaena, Evaristo Aguirre, Eduardo de Lete, Julio Llorente and Valentin Ventura. However, this project did not materialize. The people who agreed to help Rizal with the novel did not write anything. Initially, the novel was planned to cover and describe all phases of Filipino life, but almost everybody wanted to write about women. Rizal even saw his companions spend more time gambling and flirting with Spanish women. Because of this, he pulled out of the plan of co-writing with others and decided to draft the novel alone.
Crisostomo Ibarra, the mestizo son of recently deceased Don Rafael Ibarra, is returning to San Diego in Laguna after seven years of study in Europe. Capitan Tiago, a family friend, bids him to spend his first night in Manila where Tiago hosts a reunion party at his riverside home on Anloague Street. Crisostomo obliges. At dinner he encounters old friends, Manila high society, the new curate of San Diego, and Padre Damaso, San Diego’s old curate at the time Ibarra left for Europe. Damaso treats Crisostomo with hostility, surprising the young man who took the friar to be a friend of his father.
Crisostomo excuses himself early and is walking home when Lieutenant Guevarra, another friend of his father, catches up with him. As the two of them walk to Crisostomo’s stop and away from the social elites at the party who may possibly compromise them if they heard, Guevarra reveals to the young man the events leading up to Rafael’s death and Damaso’s role in it. Crisostomo, who has been grieving from the time he learned of his father’s death, decides to forgive and not seek revenge. Guevarra nevertheless warns the young man to be careful.
The following day Crisostomo returns to Capitan Tiago’s home in order to meet with his childhood sweetheart, Tiago’s daughter Maria Clara. The two flirt and reminisce in the azotea, a porch overlooking the river. Maria reads back to Crisostomo his farewell letter wherein he explained to her Rafael’s wish for Crisostomo to set out, to study in order to become a more useful citizen of the country. Seeing Crisostomo agitated at the mention of his father, however, Maria playfully excuses herself, promising to see him again at her family’s San Diego home during the town fiesta.
As the days progress Crisostomo carries out his plan to serve his country as his father wanted. He intends to use his family wealth to build a school, believing his paisanos would benefit from a more modern education than what is offered in the schools run by the government, whose curriculum was heavily tempered by the teachings of the friars. Enjoying massive popular support, even by the Spanish authorities, Crisostomo’s preparations for his school advance quickly in only a few days. He receives counsel from Don Anastasio, a revered local philosopher. He meets and hires a progressive schoolmaster who lamented the friars’ influence on public education and wished to introduce reforms. The building was planned to begin construction with the cornerstone to be laid in a ceremony during San Diego’s town fiesta.
One day, taking a break, Crisostomo, Maria, and their friends get on a boat and go on a picnic along the shores of the Laguna de Bay, away from the town center. It is then discovered that a crocodile had been lurking on the fish pens owned by the Ibarras. Elias, the boat’s pilot, jumps into the water with a bolo knife drawn. Sensing Elias is in danger, Ibarra jumps in as well, and they subdue the animal together. Crisostomo mildly scolds the pilot for his rashness, while Elias proclaims himself in Crisostomo’s debt.
As Crisostomo’s schoolbuilding plans move forward, Elias warns him of a plot to kill him at the cornerstone-laying. The ceremony involved the massive stone being lowered into a trench by a wooden derrick. Crisostomo being the principal sponsor of the project is to lay the mortar using a trowel at the bottom of the trench. As he prepares to do so, however, the derrick fails and the stone falls into the trench, bringing the derrick down with it in a mighty crash. When the dust clears, a pale, dust-covered Crisostomo stands stiffly by the trench, having narrowly missed the stone. In his place beneath the stone is the would-be assassin. Elias who Crisostomo saw earlier has disappeared.
The festivities continue at Crisostomo’s insistence. Later that evening, he hosts a dinner to which Padre Damaso invites himself. Over dinner the old friar berates Crisostomo, his learning, his journeys, and the schoolbuilding project. The other guests hiss for discretion, but Damaso ignores them and continues in an even louder voice, insulting the memory of Rafael in front of Crisostomo. At the mention of his father, Crisostomo strikes the friar unconscious and holds a dinner knife at his neck. In an impassioned speech Crisostomo narrates to the astonished guests everything Lieutenant Guevarra, who was an officer of the local police, revealed to him on his arrival about Damaso’s schemes that resulted in the death of Rafael. As Crisostomo is about to kill Damaso, however, Maria Clara stays his arm and pleads for mercy.
Crisostomo is excommunicated from the church, but has his excommunication lifted through the intercession of the sympathetic governor general. However, upon his return to San Diego, Maria has turned sickly and refuses to see him. The new curate who Crisostomo met at Tiago’s dinner, Padre Bernardo Salvi, is seen hovering around the house. Crisostomo then meets the inoffensive Linares, a fellow Spaniard who, unlike Crisostomo, had been born in Spain. Tiago presents Linares as Maria’s new suitor.
Sensing Crisostomo’s influence with the government, Elias reveals his true identity to Crisostomo as a member of a revolutionary group, poised for open, violent clash with the government. Elias tells Crisostomo that he managed to delay the group’s plans for revolution by offering to speak to Crisostomo first, that Crisostomo may use his influence to effect the reforms Elias and his group wish to see. In their conversation Elias narrates his family’s history, how his grandfather in his youth worked as a bookkeeper in a Manila office but was accused of arson by the Spaniard owner when the office burned down. He was flogged, imprisoned, and upon his release was shunned by the community as a dangerous lawbreaker. His wife turned to prostitution to support the family but eventually they were driven into the hinterlands.
Crisostomo sympathizes with Elias but insists that he could do nothing, and that the only change he was capable of was through his schoolbuilding project. Rebuffed, Elias advises Crisostomo to avoid any association with him in the future for his own good.
Heartbroken and desperately needing to speak to Maria, Crisostomo turns his focus more towards his school. One evening, though, Elias returns with more information – a rogue uprising was planned for that same night, and the instigators had used Crisostomo’s name in vain to recruit malcontents. The authorities, Elias says, know of the uprising and are prepared to spring a trap on the rebels.
In panic and ready to abandon his project, Crisostomo enlists Elias in sorting out and destroying documents in his study that may implicate him. Elias obliges, but comes across a name familiar to him: Don Pedro Eibarramendia. Crisostomo tells him that Pedro was his great-grandfather, and that they had to shorten his long family name. Elias tells him Eibarramendia was the same Spaniard who accused his grandfather of arson, and was thus the author of the misfortunes of Elias and his family. Frenzied, he raises his bolo to smite Crisostomo, but regains his senses and leaves the house very upset.
The uprising follows through, and many of the rebels are either captured or killed. They point to Crisostomo as instructed and Crisostomo is arrested. The following morning the instigators are found dead – Elias killed them. Elias furthermore sneaks back into the Ibarra mansion during the night and sorts through documents and valuables, then burns down the house.
Some time later Capitan Tiago hosts a dinner at his riverside house in Manila to celebrate Maria Clara’s engagement with Linares. Present at the party were Padre Damaso, Padre Salvi, Lieutenant Guevarra, and other family friends. They were discussing the events that happened in San Diego and Crisostomo’s fate.
Salvi, who lusted after Maria Clara all along, says that he has requested to be transferred to the Convent of the Poor Clares in Manila under the pretense of recent events in San Diego being too great for him to bear. A despondent Guevarra outlines how the court came to condemn Crisostomo. In a signed letter he wrote to a certain woman before leaving for Europe, Crisostomo spoke of his father, an alleged rebel who died in prison. Somehow this letter fell into the hands of an enemy, and Crisostomo's handwriting was imitated to create the bogus orders used to recruit the malcontents to the San Diego uprising. Guevarra loudly remarks that the penmanship on the orders was similar to Crisostomo's penmanship seven years ago, not at the present day. And Crisostomo had only to deny that the signature on the original letter was his, and the charge of sedition founded on those bogus letters would fail. But upon seeing the letter, which was the farewell letter he wrote to Maria Clara, Crisostomo apparently lost the will to fight the charges and owned the letter as his.
Guevarra then approaches Maria, who had been listening. Privately but sorrowfully, he congratulates her for her common sense in yielding Crisostomo’s farewell letter. Now, the old officer tells her, she can live a life of peace. Maria is devastated.
Later that evening Crisostomo, having escaped from prison with the help of Elias, climbs up the azotea and confronts Maria in secret. Maria, distraught, does not deny giving up his farewell letter, but explains she did so only because Salvi found Damaso's old letters in the San Diego parsonage, letters from Maria's mother who was then pregnant with Maria. It turns out that Damaso was Maria's father. Salvi promised not to divulge Damaso's letters to the public in exchange for Crisostomo’s farewell letter. Crisostomo forgives her, Maria swears her undying love, and they part with a kiss.
Crisostomo and Elias escape on Elias's boat. They slip unnoticed through the Estero de Binondo and into the Pasig River. Elias tells Crisostomo that his treasures and documents are buried in the middle of the forest owned by the Ibarras in San Diego. Crisostomo tells him of his desire for revenge and revolution, to lengths that even Elias was unwilling to go. Elias tries to reason with him, but sentries catch up with them at the mouth of the Pasig River and pursue them across Laguna de Bay. Elias orders Crisostomo to lie down and to meet with him in a few days at the mausoleum of Crisostomo's grandfather in San Diego, as he jumps into the water in an effort to distract the pursuers. Elias is shot several times.
The following day news of the chase were in the newspapers. It is reported that Crisostomo Ibarra, the fugitive, had been killed by sentries in pursuit. At the news Maria remorsefully demands of Damaso that her wedding with Linares be called off and that she be entered into the cloister, or the grave.
Seeing her resolution, Damaso admits the true reason he ruined the Ibarra family and her relationship with Crisostomo - because he was a mere mestizo and Damaso wanted Maria to be as happy as she could be, and that was possible only if she were to marry a full-blooded peninsular Spaniard. Maria would not hear of it and repeated her ultimatum, the cloister or the grave. Knowing fully why Salvi had earlier requested to be assigned as chaplain in the Convent of the Poor Clares, Damaso pleads with Maria to reconsider, but to no avail. Weeping, Damaso consents, knowing the horrible fate that awaits his daughter within the convent but finding it more tolerable than her suicide.
A few nights later in the forest of the Ibarras, a boy pursues his mother through the darkness. The woman went insane with the constant beating of her husband and the loss of her other son, an altar boy, in the hands of Padre Salvi. Basilio, the boy, catches up with Sisa, her mother, inside the Ibarra mausoleum in the middle of the forest, but the strain had already been too great for Sisa. She dies in Basilio's embrace.
Basilio weeps for his mother, but then looks up to see Elias staring at them. Elias was dying himself, having lost a lot of blood and having had no food or nourishment for several days as he made his way to the mausoleum. He instructs Basilio to burn their bodies and if no one comes, to dig inside the mausoleum. He will find treasure, which he is to use for his own education.
As Basilio leaves to fetch the wood, Elias sinks to the ground and says that he will die without seeing the dawn of freedom for his people, and that those who see it must welcome it and not forget them that died in the darkness.
Rizal finished the novel in December 1886. At first, according to one of Rizal's biographers, Rizal feared the novel might not be printed, and that it would remain unread. He was struggling with financial constraints at the time and thought it would be hard to pursue printing the novel.
Financial aid came from a friend named Máximo Viola; this helped him print the book at Berliner Buchdruckerei-Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin. Rizal was initially hesitant, but Viola insisted and ended up lending Rizal ₱300 for 2,000 copies. The printing was finished earlier than the estimated five months. Viola arrived in Berlin in December 1886, and by March 21, 1887, Rizal had sent a copy of the novel to his friend, Blumentritt.
The book was banned by Spanish authorities in the Philippines, although copies were smuggled into the country. The first Philippine edition (and the second published edition) was finally printed in 1899 in Manila by Chofre y Compania in Escolta.
Recent English editionsEdit
On August 21, 2007, a 480-page English-language version of Noli me tangere was released to major Australian book stores. An Australian edition of the novel was published by Penguin Classics (an imprint by Penguin Books) to represent the company's "commitment to publish the major literary classics of the world." American writer Harold Augenbraum, who first read Noli in 1992, translated the novel. A writer well-acquainted with translating other Hispanophone literary works, Augenbraum proposed to translate the novel after being asked for his next assignment in the publishing company. Intrigued by the novel and knowing more about it, Penguin nixed their plan of adapting existing English versions and instead translated it on their own.
Reaction and legacyEdit
This novel and its sequel, El filibusterismo (nicknamed El fili), were banned by Spanish authorities in the Philippines because of their allegations of corruption and abuse by the colonial government and the Catholic Church. Copies of the book were nevertheless smuggled in and hidden, and when Rizal returned to the Philippines after completing medical studies, he quickly ran afoul of the local government. A few days after his arrival, Rizal was summoned to Malacañan Palace by Governor-General Emilio Terrero, who told him of the charge that Noli me tangere contained subversive elements. After a discussion, Terrero was appeased but still unable to offer resistance to pressure from the Church against the book. The persecution can be discerned from Rizal's letter to Leitmeritz:
|“||My book made a lot of noise; everywhere, I am asked about it. They wanted to anathematize me ['to excommunicate me'] because of it... I am considered a German spy, an agent of Bismarck, they say I am a Protestant, a freemason, a sorcerer, a damned soul and evil. It is whispered that I want to draw plans, that I have a foreign passport and that I wander through the streets by night...||”|
Rizal was exiled to Dapitan in Mindanao, then later arrested for "inciting rebellion" based largely on his writings. Rizal was executed by firing squad at the Luneta outside Manila's walls on December 30, 1896 at the age of thirty-five, at the park that now bears his name.
Influence on Filipino nationalismEdit
Rizal depicted nationality by emphasizing the positive qualities of Filipinos: the devotion of a Filipina and her influence on a man's life, the deep sense of gratitude, and the solid common sense of the Filipinos under the Spanish regime.
The work was instrumental in creating a unified Filipino national identity and consciousness, as many natives previously identified with their respective regions. It lampooned, caricatured and exposed various elements in colonial society. Two characters in particular have become classics in Filipino culture: María Clara, who has become a personification of the ideal Filipino woman, loving and unwavering in her loyalty to her spouse; and the priest Father Dámaso, who reflects the covert fathering of illegitimate children by members of the Spanish clergy.
The book indirectly influenced the Philippine Revolution of independence from the Spanish Empire, even though Rizal actually advocated direct representation to the Spanish government and an overall larger role for the Philippines within Spain's political affairs. In 1956, Congress passed Republic Act 1425, more popularly known as the Rizal Law, which requires all levels in Philippine schools to teach the novel as part of their curriculum. Noli me tangere is being taught to third year secondary school students, while its sequel El filibusterismo is being taught for fourth year secondary school students. The novels are incorporated to their study and survey of Philippine literature. Both of Rizal's novels were initially banned from Catholic educational institutions given its negative portrayal of the Church, but this taboo has been largely superseded as religious schools conformed to the Rizal Law.
Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin, commonly referred to the novel as Ibarra or Crisóstomo, is the novel's protagonist. The mestizo (mixed-race) son of Filipino businessman Don Rafael Ibarra, he studied in Europe for seven years. Ibarra is also María Clara's fiancé.
María Clara de los Santos y Alba, commonly referred to as María Clara, is Ibarra's fiancée and the most beautiful and widely celebrated girl in San Diego. She was raised by Capitán Tiago de los Santos, and his cousin, Isabel. In the later parts of the novel, she was revealed to be an illegitimate daughter of Father Dámaso, the comer curate of the town, and Doña Pía Alba, Capitán Tiago's wife, who had died giving birth to María Clara.
At the novel's end, a heartbroken yet resolved María Clara entered the Beaterio de Santa Clara (a nunnery) after learning the truth of her parentage and mistakenly believing her lover Crisóstomo to have been killed. In the epilogue, Rizal stated that it is unknown if María Clara is still living within the walls of the convent or she is already dead.
Don Santiago de los Santos, known by his nickname Tiago and political title Kapitán Tiago is it is said that Kapitán Tiago is the richest man in the region of Binondo and he possessed real properties in Pampanga and Laguna de Bay. He is also said to be a good Catholic, a friend of the Spanish government and thus was considered a Spaniard by the colonial elite. Capitán Tiago never attended school, so he became the domestic helper of a Dominican friar who gave him an informal education. He later married Pía Alba from Santa Cruz.
Dámaso Verdolagas, or Padre Dámaso is a Franciscan friar and the former parish curate of San Diego. He is notorious for speaking with harsh words, highhandedness, and his cruelty during his ministry in the town. An enemy of Crisóstomo's father, Don Rafael Ibarra, Dámaso is revealed to be María Clara's biological father. Later, he and María Clara had bitter arguments whether she would marry Alfonso Linares de Espadaña (which he preferred) or to enter the nunnery (her desperate alternative). At the end of the novel, he is again reassigned to a distant town and later found dead in his bed.
Elías is Ibarra's mysterious friend and ally. Elías made his first appearance as a pilot during a picnic of Ibarra and María Clara and her friends. He wants to revolutionize the country and to be freed from Spanish oppression.
The 50th chapter of the novel explores the past of Elías and history of his family. In the past, Ibarra's great-grandfather condemned Elías' grandfather (Ingkong) of burning a warehouse which led to misfortune for Elías' family. This led to Ingkong to commit suicide. Meanwhile, Impong (Ingkong's wife, Elias' grandmother), who resorted to prostitution to earn money, was accused of killing her husband as she did not bury him. She was to be punished after she gave birth to her second child, who unfortunately died upon birth. In order to avoid her punishment, she, and her son fled to another province. There, she gave birth to another boy (Elias' father). Seeking revenge, the eldest son (named "Balat" ) became a rebel. One day, Impong found Balat's head hanged on a tree while the other parts of the body were scattered around the province. This shocked Impong which caused her to die. The youngest son fled upon finding out as he knew he will be accused. He fled to Tayabas where he met and fell in love with a girl but her father refused his hand as her family had discovered his past and lineage. Being rich, the father imprisoned the youngest son, but got the girl pregnant. The girl died upon giving birth to twins, a girl and a boy named Elias. In the long run, Elías and his twin sister were raised by their maternal grandfather. They lived luxuriously, but then a servant revealed to them their true parentage, and that their father was one of the servants. The father died after revealing to Elias and her sister their history. One day, his sister disappeared which led him to search for her. His search led him into different places, and finally, he became a fugitive and subversive.
When Ibarra had been escaped in prison, they had been attacked Guardia Civil and Elias was hit by the shots of the civils and command Ibarra to hide.Two days later, he command Basilio to get things to cremate Sisa and him.After a long last words he passed away.
Filosofo Tacio, known by his Tagalized name Pilosopong Tasyo, is another major character in the story. Seeking for reforms from the government, he expresses his ideals in paper written in a cryptographic alphabet similar from hieroglyphs and Coptic figures hoping "that the future generations may be able to decipher it" and realized the abuse and oppression done by the conquerors.
His full name is only known as Don Anastasio. The educated inhabitants of San Diego labeled him as Filosofo Tacio (Tacio the Sage) while others called him as Tacio el Loco (Tacio the Insane) due to his exceptional talent for reasoning.
Doña Victorina de los Reyes de Espadaña, commonly known as Doña Victorina, is an ambitious Filipina who classifies herself as a Spanish and mimics Spanish ladies by putting on heavy make-up. The novel narrates Doña Victorina's younger days: she had lots of admirers, but she spurned them all because none of them were Spaniards. Later on, she met and married Don Tiburcio de Espadaña, an official of the customs bureau ten years her junior. However, their marriage is childless.
Her husband assumes the title of medical "doctor" even though he never attended medical school; using fake documents and certificates, Tiburcio illegally practices medicine. Tiburcio's usage of the title Dr. consequently makes Victorina assume the title Dra. (doctora, female doctor). Apparently, she uses the whole name Doña Victorina de los Reyes de de Espadaña, with double de to emphasize her marriage surname. She seems to feel that this awkward titling makes her more "sophisticated."
Sisa, Crispín, and BasilioEdit
Sisa, Crispín, and Basilio represent a Filipino family persecuted by the Spanish authorities:
- Narcisa or Sisa is the deranged mother of Basilio and Crispín. Described as beautiful and young, although she loves her children very much, she can not protect them from the beatings of her husband, Pedro.
- Crispín is Sisa's 7-year-old son. An altar boy, he was unjustly accused of stealing money from the church. After failing to force Crispín to return the money he allegedly stole, Father Salví and the head sacristan killed him. It is not directly stated that he was killed, but a dream of Basilio's suggests that Crispín died during his encounter with Padre Salví and his minion.
- Basilio is Sisa's 10-year-old son. An acolyte tasked with ring the church's bells for the Angelus, he faced the dread of losing his younger brother and the descent of his mother into insanity. At the end of the novel, a dying Elías requested Basilio to cremate him and Sisa in the woods in exchange for a chest of gold located nearby. He will later play a major role in El Filibusterismo.
Due to their tragic but endearing story, these characters are often parodied in modern Filipino popular culture.
- Salomé is Elías' sweetheart. She lived in a little house by the lake, and though Elías would like to marry her, he tells her that it would do her or their children no good to be related to a fugitive like himself. In the original publication of Noli, the chapter that explores the identity of Elías and Salomé was omitted, classifying her as a total non-existing character. This chapter, entitled Elías y Salomé was probably the 25th chapter of the novel. However, recent editions and translations of Noli provides the inclusion of this chapter, either on the appendix or renamed as Chapter X (Ex).
There are a number of secondary and minor characters in Noli Me Tángere. Items indicated inside the parenthesis are the standard Filipinization of the Spanish names in the novel.
- Padre Hernándo de la Sibyla – a Dominican friar. He is described as short and has fair skin. He is instructed by an old priest in his order to watch Crisóstomo Ibarra.
- Padre Bernardo Salví – the successor of Padre Dámaso as the Franciscan curate of San Diego, and who secretly lusts after María Clara. He is described to be very thin and sickly. It is also hinted that his surname, "Salvi" is the shorter form of "Salvi" ("salvation"), or "Salvi" is short for "salvaje" ("savage", "wild") hinting at the fact that he is willing to kill an innocent child, Crispín, who he accused of stealing money worth 2 onzas.
- El Alférez (Alperes) – the unnamed chief of the local Guardia Civil and husband of Doña Consolación. He is the sworn enemy of the priests in the town's power struggle.
- Doña Consolación – wife of the Alférez, nicknamed as la musa de los guardias civiles ("The muse of the Civil Guard") or la Alféreza. She was a former laundrywoman who passes herself as a peninsular, and is best remembered for her abusive treatment of Sisa.
- Don Tiburcio de Espadaña – A Spanish quack doctor who is weak and submissive to his pretentious wife, Doña Victorina.
- Tenyente Guevarra - a close friend of Don Rafael Ibarra. He reveals to Crisóstomo how Don Rafael Ibarra's death came about.
- Alfonso Linares – A distant nephew of Tiburcio de Espadaña, the would-be fiancé of María Clara. Although he presented himself as a practitioner of law, it was later revealed that he is, like Don Tiburcio, a fraud. He later died from medications Don Tiburcio had given him.
- Tíya Isabel – Capitán Tiago's cousin, who helped raise María Clara and served as a surrogate mother figure.
- Governor-General (Gobernador-Heneral) – Unnamed in the novel, he is the most powerful colonial official in the Philippines. He harbours great disdain for the friars and corrupt officials, and sympathises with Ibarra.
- Don Filipo Lino – vice mayor of the town of San Diego, leader of the liberals.
- Padre Manuel Martín – he is the linguist curate of a nearby town who delivers the sermon during San Diego's fiesta.
- Don Rafael Ibarra – the deceased father of Crisóstomo Ibarra. Though he was the richest man in San Diego, he was also the most virtuous and generous.
- Doña Pía Alba – wife of Capitán Tiago and mother of María Clara, she had died giving birth to her daughter. In reality, she was raped by Padre Dámaso.
- Don Pedro Eibarramendia - Crisóstomo Ibarra's Basque great-grandfather who falsely accused Elias's grandfather and ruined his family. The surname was later shortened to Ibarra, hence Elias does not realize the relationship at first.
- Albino - a seminarian who follows Crisostomo Ibarra in a picnic with Maria Clara's friends.
Many English and Tagalog translations have been made of Noli Me Tángere, as well as a few other languages. The copyrights of the original text have expired, and the copyrights of some translators have also expired, so certain translations are in the public domain and have been put online by Project Gutenberg.
- Friars and Filipinos (1900) by Frank Ernest Gannett. Available freely via Project Gutenberg.
- The Social Cancer (1912) by Charles Derbyshire. Available freely via Project Gutenberg.
- "Noli Me Tángere": A Complete English Translation of Noli Me Tángere from the Spanish of Dr. José Rizal (1956) by Senator Camilo Osías.
- The Lost Eden (1961) by Leon Ma. Guerrero.
- Noli Me Tángere (1997) by Maria Soledad Locsin.
- Noli Me Tángere (2006) by Harold Augenbraum. Published by Penguin Classics.
- Noli Me Tángere: A Shortened Version in Modern English Translated with an Introduction and Notes (2016) by Nicholas Tamblyn. 
- Noli Me Tángere (also titled Huwag Akong Salangin Nino Man/Nobody Dare Touch Me) (1906) by Dr. Pascual H. Poblete. Available freely via Project Gutenberg.
- Noli Me Tángere (1997) by Virgilio Almario.
- Noli Me Tángere (1999) by Ofelia Jamilosa-Silapan, Tagalog translation of the English translation by León Ma. Guerrero.
- Au Pays des Moines (In the Land of Monks) (1899, French) by Henri Lucas and Ramon Sempau. Available freely via Project Gutenberg.
- N'y touchez pas! (Don't touch it!) (1980, French) Translation by Jovita Ventura Castro, Collection UNESCO, Connaissance de l'Orient, Gallimard, Paris.
- Noli me tángere (1987, German) by Annemarie del Cueto-Mörth. Published by Insel Verlag.
- Noli me tángere (2003, Italian) by Vasco Caini. Published by Debatte editore, Livorno, Italy, ISBN 88-86705-26-3.
- Noli me Tángere: Filippijnsche roman (Noli Me Tángere: Filipino Novel) (1912, Dutch) by Abraham Anthony Fokker, published by Soerabaijasch Handelsblad. Available freely via Project Gutenberg.
The Noli has been adapted for literature, theater, television, and film.
- 1915: Noli Me Tángere, a silent film adaptation by Edward M. Gross.
- 1930: Noli Me Tángere, another silent film adaptation, directed by José Nepomuceno under Malayan Movies.
- 1951: National Artist for Cinema Gerardo de León directed a motion picture titled Sisa, starring Anita Linda in the role of the titular character.
- 1957: Noli Me Tángere: The Opera, an opera in Filipino (Tagalog) composed by National Artist for Music Felipe Padilla de Leon with libretto by National Artist for Visual Arts Guillermo Tolentino. World premiere in 1957 at Far Eastern University Auditorium. Staged in 1974 at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater. Staged in 1987 by Fides Cuyugan-Asensio's Music Theater Foundation at the CCP. Staged in 2011 (Nov) and 2012 (July-Aug) by Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at Guerrero Theater, University of the Philippines. Staged in 2013, one night only, by Far Eastern University as part of its 85th anniversary at Far Eastern University Auditorium. Staged in 2014, produced by J&S Productions at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila. Staged in 2017, produced by J&S Productions at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP.
International stagings: In 1988, Music Theater Foundation's 1987 production was toured in the USA with reduced performers in 1988 in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Los Angeles. The first documented staging by a local group in the USA was in 2012, produced by KGB Productions and staged by da Corneto Opera Company at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago, performed in Filipino with English supertitles. Staged in 2013 in New York, produced by Edwin Josue at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College. Staged in 2014 in Washington, DC, produced by Edwin Josue at Eisenhower Theater, Kennedy Center. Staged in 2016 in Richmond, Virginia, produced by Capitol Opera Richmond at Henrico Theatre. To be staged in June 2017 in Boston, produced by KGB Productions and staged by Opera Brittenica, venue TBA.
- 1961: Noli Me Tángere, a faithful film adaptation of the novel, was directed by Gerardo de León for Bayanihan-Arriva Productions, featuring Eddie del Mar in the role of Crisóstomo Ibarra. Released for the birth centenary of José Rizal, the motion picture was awarded the Best Picture in the 10th FAMAS Awards.
- 1979: Kanser (Noli Me Tangere), play in Filipino (Tagalog) written by Jomar Fleras. World premiere in 1979 at Cultural Center of the Philippines by theater group Bulwagang Gantimpala. It has been staged annually by Gantimpala Theater (the group's new name) since 1989. In 2015, it was adapted into a sung-through musical by Gantimpala Theater with music composed by Joed Balsamo.
- 1992: Noli Me Tángere, a 13-episode TV series by Eddie S. Romero. This adaptation features Joel Torre in the role of Crisóstomo Ibarra, Chin Chin Gutierrez as María Clara, and Tetchie Agbayani as Sisa.
- 1995: Noli Me Tángere, a Filipino (Tagalog) musical adaptation of the novel staged by theater company Tanghalang Pilipino with libretto (book and lyrics) by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera and music by Ryan Cayabyab. It premiered in 1995 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, directed by Nonon Padilla. It went on to tour Japan. It starred John Arcilla and Audie Gemora alternating as Crisóstomo Ibarra, Monique Wilson as María Clara, and Regine Velasquez as Sisa. Bernardo Bernardo and Bodjie Pascua alternated as Padre Damaso, and Nanette Inventor and Sheila Francisco as Dona Victorina. It was restaged in 2005, directed by Paul Morales, and in 2011, directed by Audie Gemora. In 2014, it was staged in Los Angeles, directed by Olga Natividad.
- Several excerpts from Noli Me Tángere were dramatized in the 1998 film José Rizal, with Joel Torre as Crisóstomo Ibarra and Monique Wilson as María Clara.
- 1998: Sisa, a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. Written and directed by Mario O'Hara.
- 2005: Noli Me Tángere 2, a modern literary adaptation of the novel written by Roger Olivares.
- 2008–2009: Noli at Fili: Dekada 2000, a stage adaptation of Noli Me Tángere and El Filibusterismo by the Philippine Educational Theater Association, set in the present day, in the fictional town of Maypajo in the province of San Lorenzo. Written by Nicanor G. Tiongson and directed by Soxie Topacio.
In popular cultureEdit
- A series of streets in the Sampaloc area of Manila are named after the characters Ibarra, Sisa and Basilio.
- A street in Makati city is called Ibarra Street between Matanzas and Guernica streets
- A restaurant serving Filipino cuisine at Greenbelt in Makati is called Restaurante Pia y Damaso, after María Clara's biological parents.
- A restaurant chain called Crisostomo features dishes from Filipino history and culture such as "Atcharra ni Ibarra". Its sister restaurant is called Elías.
- Jose, Ricardo (1998). KASAYSAYAN The Story of The Filipino People ( Reform and Revolution ). Philippines: Asia Publishing Company Limited. p. 83. ISBN 962-258-230-3.
- "Noli Me Tángere". Jose Rizal University. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- Ubalde, Mark J. (2007-08-22). "Rizal's Noli hits major Aussie book shelves". GMA News. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- Republic Act 1425: An Act to Include in the Curricula of All Public and Private Schools, Colleges and Universities Course on the Life, Works, and Writings of Jose Rizal, Particularly His Novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Authorizing the Printing and Distribution Thereof, and for Other Purposes.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "II: Crisostomo Ibarra". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "VI: Capitan Tiago". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "LXII: Padre Damaso Explains". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "Epilogue". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "I: A Social Gathering". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "LX: Maria Clara Weds". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "XXII: Fishing". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "XXIV: In the Wood". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "L: Elias". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- In Chapter 25, Filosofo Tacio insisted to Ibarra that he cannot understand hieroglyphs or Coptic. Instead, he writes using an invented form of alphabet that is based on Tagalog language. Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "XXV: In the House of the Sage". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "XXV: In the House of the Sage". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Derbyshire, Charles (1912). "XLVII: The Espadañas". The Social Cancer. New York: World Book Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Friars and Filipinos". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "The Social Cancer: A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "Noli me tangere : a complete English translation of Noli me tangere from the Spanish of Dr. Jose Rizal / by Camilo Osias". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "The lost Eden (Noli me tangere) A completely new translation for the contemporary reader by Leon Ma. Guerrero. Foreword by James A. Michener". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Noli Me Tangere". Google Books. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Noli Me Tangere". Google Books. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Noli Me Tángere: A Shortened Version in Modern English Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Nicholas Tamblyn". amazon.com. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "Noli Me Tangere/Huag Acong Salangin Nino Man: Pascual Poblete Filipino translation by Rizal, Jose". Filipiniana.net. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Noli Me Tangere". Archived from the original on September 7, 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Au Pays des Moines". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Noli me Tangere: Filippijnsche roman". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- "Critic After Dark: Ambitious failures (part 2)". Noel Vera. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- Vail Kabristante, George (September 25, 2008). "Jose Nepomuceno: The Father of R.P. Movies". pelikulaatbp.blogspot.com. from Jingle Extra Hot Movie Entertainment Magazine, no. 13, May 4, 1981. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "On the FEU stage".
- "The Odyssey of De Leon's 'Noli Me Tangere' From Manila to USA and Back".
- "Dulaang UP's 'Noli' opera opens Nov. 21 by Walter Ang". Ang, Walter. "Dulaang UP's 'Noli' opera opens Nov. 21".
- "'Noli Me Tangere: The Opera' restaging opens Dulaang UP's 37th seaon".
- "De Leon's "Noli Me Tangere" at FEU"". January 22, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "J&S Productions About Us Page".
- Tariman, Pablo A. "The Odyssey of De Leon's 'Noli me Tangere' From Manila to USA and Back".
- "Karrel G. Bernardo Productions produces Noli Me Tangere the Opera".
- Schweitzer, Viven (October 8, 2013). "Filipino Opera, Informed by Oppression — 'Noli Me Tangere,' at the Kaye Playhouse". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "'Noli Me Tangere' Filipino opera will tell moving tale at Kennedy Center".
- Farrell, Tony (September 24, 2016). "Capitol Opera Richmond tackles "Noli Me Tangere" in Tagalog". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "Opera Brittenica website".
- "Views From The Pamang — 196: Eddie Del Mar, Kapampangan 'Rizal' of the Silver Screen". Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- "Noli me Tangere (1961)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- gibbs cadiz (2012-08-22). "GIBBS CADIZ: Gantimpala Theater's Kanser (Noli Me Tangere) returns". Gibbscadiz.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "Words of Walter: Gantimpala Theater Foundation is looking for a new home". Wordsofwalter.blogspot.in. 2014-10-25. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "After 35 years, 'Kanser'–Gantimpala's 'Noli' adaptation–now a musical".
- "Noli me Tangere musical". Ang, Walter. "Cayabyab-Lumbera’s ‘Noli’ musical to debut in Los Angeles by Walter Ang. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
- "Sisa (1999)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- "At Last After 118 yrs.. A sequel to Jose Rizal's classic". Roger Olivares. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- "Experience Theater. Experience PETA". Philippine Educational Theater Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- "Restaurante Pia Y Damaso". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- Original text in Spanish (complete novel)
- Book notes/Summary in Tagalog (Noli Me Tangere)
- Book notes/Summary in English (The Social Cancer)
- Complete English version (The Social Cancer)
- Full Text English translation
- Complete text: HTML, images, OCR (in Spanish)
- Charles Derbyshire English translation
- Pascual Poblete Tagalog translation
- Noli Me Tangere public domain audiobook at LibriVox
- Noli Me Tangere: Deciphered in Filipino
- Rizal's Little Odyssey
- Noli Me Tangere 13-episode television series from the Cultural Center of the Philippines
- ¡Caiñgat Cayo!
- Fan Language, an article by Ambeth R. Ocampo regarding romantic practices and sensual undertones which can be found in the unabridged version of Noli Me Tangere, from his Looking Back column on the pages of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 2, 2005, page 13, news.google.com
- Opere di José Rizal, versione italiana di Vasco Caini