Consuelo Ortiga y Rey: The "Crush ng Bayan" in Rizal's Time

Copyright 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
She was probably very likable because at least two Filipinos in Spain in Jose Rizal’s time had had feelings for her.
Consuelo Ortiga y Rey was considered the prettier of the daughters of Don Pablo Ortiga y Rey, the Spanish liberal and former mayor of Manila who became vice-president of the Council of the Philippines in the Ministry of Colonies. Very supportive to the Filipinos in Madrid, Don Pablo’s house was the common meeting place of ‘Circulo Hispano-Filipino’ members like Rizal. The Ortiga residence was thus frequented by Filipino lads especially that Don Pablo had beautiful daughters.
Consuelo recorded in her diary that she first met Rizal on September 16, 1882 when he went to Spain for the first time primarily to study. The diary entry indicated that they talked the whole night and that the young Filipino said many beautiful things about her. The Spanish ladyalso wrote of a day Rizal spent at their house when he entertained them with his ingenious humor, elegance, and sleight-of-hand tricks.
Most likely, Consuelo had witnessed Rizal’s recitation of a poem on October 4, 1882 in the effort to save a Filipino meeting from disintegration. Rizal had also recorded either in his diary or letters that he attended another meeting of compatriots in Ortiga’s residence on October 7, 1882 and the birthday party of Consuelo’s father on January 15, 1883.
          The following year (1884), Rizal and other compatriots attended (again) the birthday party of Don Pablo in which there was a dance. It was not clear if Rizal had a dance with Consuelo but five days after, he sent her a piece of guimaras cloth. Rizal recorded that he again went to see Consuelo on February 10 after doing something at the university district. On March 15, Rizal and other compatriots—including Eduardo de Lete—were again gathered in the Ortiga house.
Jensen DG. Mañebog, the contributor, is a book author and professorial lecturer in the graduate school of a state university in Metro Manila. His unique e-books on Rizal (available online) comprehensively tackle, among others, the respective life of Rizal’s parents, siblings, co-heroes, and girlfriends. (e-mail:
To leave comments, click first the ‘Like’ button above (if you have not clicked yet).
Use the 'Share' button below or the ‘Send’ button above to invite friends to read this article.


Sponsored Links