Capitan Tiago Capitán Santiago de los Santos or simply Capitán Tiago is the foster father of Maria Clara, the heroine in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and the husband of Pia Alba.
Contents 1 Appearance 2 Character description 3 Role in the novel 4 Symbolism 5 References 6 Citation Appearance Capitan Tiago is described in the novel as a short, fat man with clear complexion. He looks young; around his mid-30's. The capitan would have looked handsome had his face retained symmetry despite his excessive chewing of tobacco and buyo. Despite his vices, he remained presentable with his black hair cut long in front and short at the back on his small round head, small but not slanted eyes, slender nose, and white teeth.
In the end of the story, he is depicted as a small, bent man with jaundiced skin. He becomes thin and had stained, dirty fingernails. His eyes becomes sunken with an empty stare. He uses a cane to support himself and loiters at a Chinese shop in Calle Sto. Cristo but goes to the public opium smoking room at night.
Character description Capitan Tiago is one of the affluent landlords of Binondo and owned vast tracts of farm lands in Pampanga and Laguna. He is said to favor the town of San Diego, a place where he spends about two months of every year. He enjoys the cockpit, agreeable baths, and memories of the place.
Aside from the income earned from his estates, Capitan Tiago also had businesses. One of these businesses is the opium monopoly with the Chinese which raked in big money. He also had profitable contracts with the Philippine government, from providing zacate to feeding the imprisoned in Bilibid. No one can equal his influence except for a certain Perez, who was also close to the authorities and had vast lands.
Capitan Tiago was also religious, in an ironic kind of way. He paid for masses from the priests and rosaries from the poor. He also believed in saints (such as St. Lucy, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Pascual Bailon, St. Anthony the Abbot, St. Peter the Martyr, and St. Francis of Assissi) and prays that they intercede for him. His most favorite was the Lady of Peace and Prosperous Voyages which he would visit, especially the batis where she is said to have taken baths. His only competition was a certain old woman named Doña Patrocinio. She often surpassed whatever Capitan Tiago spent for the Church.
Role in the novel Capitan Tiago considers himself one of the Spaniards and never one from the natives. However, he was actually a son of a miser, Malabon sugar-planter, who was wealthy but would not consider having him educated. He learned from a Dominican priest whom he assisted. His studies ended when the priest and his father died. When he married Doña Pia Alba, his fortune was made.
Capitan Tiago’s wife wanted to pursue farming, so they bought a plot in San Diego and became good friends with Padre Damaso Vardolagas and Don Rafael Ibarra. After 6 years of being married and having done all the novena and pilgrimages for an heir, they were blessed with a child. This was after Padre Damaso suggested that Dona Pia dance in Obando during the feast of San Pascual Bailon, Our Lady of Salambaw and Sta. Clara. He became a widower after his wife died of puerperal fever, leaving behind a mestiza daughter, Maria Clara. Despite the fact that the child looked nothing like the couple, the Capitan assumed it was because his daughter's countenance was due to the beautiful sculptures his pregnant wife had been seen crying over.
Although Capitan Tiago and Don Rafael had already agreed to marry their children, the he had reneged his promise after Padre Damaso had warned him of the harm Crisostomo Ibarra would cause him once the young man becomes his son-in-law. He now favors the young Spanish gentleman, Don Alfonso Linares de Espadaña but his daughter instead chooses to become a nun of Sta. Clara.
After his child enters the convent, Capitan Tiago becomes depressed. He began to gamble and smoke opium.
Symbolism Capitan Tiago was a typical character during the time of Jose Rizal. He is a rich native-born Filipino who rubbed elbows with the powers that be during that time. He symbolizes the rich Filipinos who oppress their fellow countrymen in exchange for the influence and the riches that they might gain from their powerful associations.
References Noli Me Tangere/ The Social Cancer: Charles Derbyshire English translation by Rizal, Jose. Filipiniana.net. (Accessed on 01 June 2011). Buod Ng Noli Me Tangere (Chapter Summaries in Tagalog). Viloria.com. (Accessed on 02 June 2011). The Characters. Kapit Bisig. (Accessed on 02 June 2011). The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Social Cancer, by José Rizal. Gutenberg. (Accessed on 02 June 2011). Noli me Tangere - Buod ng mga Kabanata sa Noli me Tangere. Noli me Tangere. (Accessed on 02 June 2011). Noli me Tangere. E-notes. ( (Accessed on 01 June 2011). NOVEL: NOLI ME TANGERE BY JOSÉ RIZAL. Mandirigma.org. (Accessed on 01 June 2011). Noli me Tangere: Mga Tauhan. Jose Rizal. (Accessed on 01 June 2011). Mga Tauhan sa Noli me Tangere. Scribd. (Accessed on 01 June 2011). Citation Error creating thumbnail: File seems to be missing: Original content from WikiPilipinas. under GNU Free Documentation License. See full disclaimer.
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