While the men of San Diego place their bets in the gambling house, Doña Victorina walks through town dressed in ribbons and flowers. She walks with her husband, who fails to stand up for her when passing Civil Guard officers don’t take off their hats for her on their way by. She becomes even angrier when they come upon the ensign and he doesn’t compliment her dress. As they go by the ensign’s house, they see Doña Consolación smoking a cigar in the window. Victorina takes offense that the woman is staring at her. She asks if Consolación is jealous of her, and the two women launch into a verbal fight that quickly escalates into a screaming match for all to hear.
Doña Consolación and Doña Victorina are both Filipina women married to Spaniards who they’d like to think are important and powerful. They most likely recognize elements of themselves in one another—especially regarding the fact that they are Filipina, not Spanish—and thus they fight with one another to prove that they are different. In this way, readers see that social class and culture in Noli Me Tangere often hinges—at least in the characters’ minds—upon a person’s affiliations.
When the fight ends, Doña Victorina tells Don Tiburcio that he will have to challenge the ensign to a duel in order to defend her honor. When he doesn’t agree, she decides that Linares will be the one to take on the ensign. Upon learning this, Linares objects, but Victorina says, “[…] if you don’t I’ll tell Don Santiago that everything you told him is a lie, I’ll tell him—” At this point, Linares interrupts, telling her not to be “imprudent.” Captain Tiago then enters, and Victorina tells him that Linares is going to challenge the ensign, ordering him not to let the young man marry his daughter if he fails to do so. That night, the de Espadañas set off for Manila, leaving Linares behind to defend Doña Victorina’s name.
When Doña Victorina says that she will tell Tiago that Linares has been lying to him, she reveals that the young man—much like his uncle, the fake doctor—is most likely a fraud who is taking advantage of the remoteness of the Philippines from Spain. In other words, Linares has lied to Captain Tiago about who he is, and because the Philippines is geographically isolated from Spain, nobody—except Victoriña—can fact-check him. In this way, Rizal offers a new form of isolation, this time showing how Spaniards benefit from the geographical seclusion brought about by colonialism.