Crisostomo Ibarra together with a servant arrived at San Diego Cemetery to look for the grave of his father and was unsuccessful. He asked a gravedigger for help and the gravedigger replied that they were ordered by Padre Damaso to dig Don’s body and that they have dumped it to the river instead of reburying it to the Chinese cemetery. This made Ibarra angry.
Crispin and Basilio are sacristans at the church in San Diego. Crispin was accused of stealing two gold pieces and he also receives beating and whipping. Sisa was the mother of Crispin and Basilio. Later on, only Basilio has arrived home. Basilio arrives home wounded by a gunshot fired at him by the Guardia Civil. He told his mother that Crispin stayed at the church convent because he was accused of stealing.
After vainly searching for Crispin and Basilio, the Guardia Civil decide to arrest Sisa in order to compel her sons to surrender and return the money they have stolen. Due to the anguish and public humiliation Sisa suffers, she becomes insane.
Padre Damaso belittles Ibarra for building a school. Ibarra remains silent, but when Padre Damaso insults his father’s honor, Ibarra lunges at the curate with a knife in hand, threatening to kill him. Fortunately, Maria Clara intervenes.
Ibarra enters CapitanTiago’s house, as soon as he hears shots fired near the convent. Ibarrareturns to his house, and is arrested by the Guardia Civil. Ibarra, together with the other prisoners, are led out of their cells to be transported to the provincial capital. Along the way, Ibarra is cursed, stoned, and ridiculed by the people, blaming him for their misfortunes and hardships.
Out of desperation of knowing Ibarra has been killed, Maria Clara asks Padre Damaso to break her marriage engagement and to permit her to enter the nunnery.