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Isagani is a poor law student, poet, and the bestfriend of Basilio in Jose Rizal’s novel, El Filibusterismo. He supported the move to have an academy where indios like himself can learn the Spanish language. He was a nephew of Padre Florentino and the former sweetheart of Paulita Gomez who married the rich mestizo, Juanito Pelaez.

Character description

Isagani was a poor student of law at the Ateneo Municipal. He was also a poet and was described as quiet and inquisitive. Albeit his reserved nature, Isagani is the type who will fight for what he thinks is just.

Isagani is an idealist and he dreams of having a school where native-born Filipinos like him can learn the Spanish language for he believes that this can help them uplift their lives. Unfortunately, being the niece of the Doña Victorina who is discriminating of indios, his lady love did not share the same enthusiasm.

Isagani is a faithful lover; he has remained in love with Paulita even after he was dumped for Juanito.

Role in the novel

Together with Basilio in Chapter 2, Isagani tells Don Basilio of the students’ plan to build a Spanish academy. Don Basilio, however, is cynical about the plan and tells the lads that it would not possible. Later on, he contradicts Simoun after the latter told Basilio that the people in their province cannot afford the jewelry he is selling. Instead, he proudly stated that the townsfolk do not need to wear jewelry. It is also in the same chapter where his poem about fire helping water and vice versa to create steam was mentioned by Basilio to Simoun to which the latter regarded as idealistic.

In Chapter 24, Isagani shares to Paulita his vision of the country where the Philippines will be as progressive as England. She mocks the idea and tells his that her Aunt thinks the country will remain enslaved forever.

Isagani was the reason why Simoun’s revolutionary plot against the Spanish government did not materialize. After learning about the entire plan from Basilio, he throws the lamp in the river which was supposed to be used in igniting the planned explosion that would happen during Paulita and Juanito’s wedding reception.


Isagani is the symbol of the youth whose love for the country is great to the point of being branded as idealistic.

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