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The Title of the Novel

Updated on March 7, 2010

The Title of the Novel

“Noli Me Tangere” is a Latin word which means “Touch Me Not”. It was taken from the bible but Jose Rizal made a mistake when he said that it was taken from the Gospel of St. Luke. It should be the gospel of St. John (Chapter 20, verses 13 to 17). According to St. John, on the First Easter Sunday, St. Mary Magdalene visited the Holy Sepulcher, and to her out Lord Jesus, just arisen from the dead:

Touch me not; I am not  yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say unto my Father: and to my God and you God.” Rizal dedicated the book to the Philippines, “ To my Fatherland”.


The Noli Me Tangere

The novel contains 63 chapters and an epilogue. “ Noli Me Tangere” was not a product of pure imagination. It was a true story of Philippine condition in the last decades of desperate Spanish rule. The places and people, and situations existed in his time. Names were changed but they were representation of realities.

The Characters

Elias and Ibarra                         - conjured up the two personalities of Jose Rizal;

Maria Clara                              - Leonor Rivera in real life, the cousin of Rizal whom he fell in love with. In real life she became unfaithful and married an Englishman but in his novel he pictured her out as a loyal lover;

Tasio, the Philosopher             - was Paciano, the brother of Jose Rizal and a later ego. An influential
person in the life of Jose Rizal;

Padre Salvi                             - Padre Antonio Piernavieja, the despised Augustinian Friar of Cavite  was killed by the patriots during the revolution;

Capitan Tiago                          - Capitan Hilario Sunico of San Nicholas;

Dona Victorina                        - Dona Agustina Medel;

Basilio and Crispin                  - Crisostomo brothers of Hagonoy;

Padre Damaso                        - a domineering friar during the days of Jose Rizal, who was arrogant, immoral, and anti-Filipino;


Elias and Salome

This the title of the deleted chapter of the “Noli Me Tangere”. It was blue penciled for economic

reason, to  reduce the number of pages of the manuscript so that the cost of printing was lessened.

Jose Rizal’s Friends Praised the Noli


Although the enemies of Jose Rizal condemned the book but his friends recognized it as one of the great novels.


“It has been written with the blood of the heart, and so the heart also speaks”



“If the Don Quixote immortalizes its author because it exposes to the world the ailments of Spain, you “Noli Me Tangere” will bring you an equal glory”.


                                                            Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor


The song of Maria Clara was included in his novel. His novel aroused the ire of his enemies who condemned it as expected. It was confirmed by his statement, “The government and the friars will probably attack the work, refuting my statements. But I trust in the God of truth and the persons who have actually seen our sufferings”.


Because of the novel, Jose Rizal was suspected of being a French spy and at one time a Berlin police officer requested to see his passport, but with the help of Viola and his proficiency in the use of the German language, he was able to convience the authorities that he was a Filipino physician and scientist and that he was there only to observe the lifestyles and customs of the inhabitants of the place.

After the novel was printed, Jose Rizal finally received his long been delayed allowance form home. He immediately paid Viola of 300 pesos he owed and decided to see places of Europe before going home to the Philippines.


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      lmntrix_26 3 years ago

      sisa in real life

    • profile image

      bad image 5 years ago

      Sobresaliente, viva la rasa

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      cheerry 6 years ago

      as a filipino citizen,,,!!!!!im very proud being a filipino because of heroic deeds of our national hero!!!he wanted only the good of his fellowmen in his own country

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      Shenna Sunico 7 years ago

      Wow, i feel so proud that Cpt. Hilario and I share a last name! =)) HEHE. I am so PROUD to be a filipino. Not only because of what Rizal did but because of what our heros and fellow men have this deep desire to fullfil our country's independence and freedom!