Segunda Katigbak: Jose Rizal's First Love

 Segunda Katigbak: Jose Rizal's First Love
She was Jose Rizal’s “puppy love” and with her the hero was believed to have had “love at first sight”.
Rizal was 16 years old when one Sunday in 1887 he paid visit to his maternal grandmother in Trozo, Manila and there met, among others, Segunda Katigbak, a two-year-younger-than-him ‘colegiala’. In his ‘Memorias de Un Estudiante de Manila’, Rizal graphically described her as a short lady with “eloquent eyes, rosy cheeks, and smile that reveals very beautiful teeth”. Mariano Katigbak, Segunda’s brother and Rizal’s classmate who was also in the house, probably had no idea that his friend had been experiencing “a love at first sight” being bewitched by his alluring sister.
During the 1880s, the Katigbaks of Batangas were known for their successful and very lucrative coffee industry. When Jose met Segunda, she was at the time a boarding student of La Concordia College where Rizal’s sister Olympia was also studying. Jose and Segunda got to know each other more intimately as his visits to his sister Olympia (or rather to his love interest Segunda) in La Concordia surprisingly became more frequent.
How could Rizal forget that incident when he was urged by other acquaintances and conformed to make a pencil sketch of Segunda? “From time to time”, he later recorded in his diary, “she looked at me, and I blushed.” When Segunda one day gave him a white artificial rose she had made herself at school, he gave her in exchange that pencil sketch he had drawn of her.
In hindsight, we can submit that Rizal was somewhat clueless and naïve. As in the song “Paper Roses,” the artificial flower was perhaps Segunda’s way of insinuating that their affection was hopeless from the very start. The ‘rumor’ that she had been engaged to be married to a fellow-townsman, Manuel Luz, even before she met Pepe, was all along true. Rizal’s discovery of the real score later was probably his major reason, being a man of delicadeza, why he did not propose to her, more than his being ‘torpe’ or a reluctant lover.
It was also at La Concordia where the young lovers talked to each other for the last time. It was a romantic day in December 1877 when the confused Rizal came to see the ever-hopeful Segunda. Rizal said goodbye because he would spend his New Year vacation in his hometown starting the following day. Segunda replied that she was also going home to Lipa a day later. She then maintained silence, perhaps giving Rizal enough opportunity to say anything romantic, especially that sweetest tri-syllabic pronouncement which a lover would want to hear from a beloved. To her surprise, Rizal indeed uttered a three-syllable statement. The young Rizal said, “Well, good-bye” (which is virtually equivalent to today’s cold text message “Ah ok” plus a smiley). “Anyway—I’ll see you when you pass Calamba on your way to Lipa”, he nevertheless promised.
Rizal went home to Calamba and woke up the following day determined to fulfill his promise to Segunda. The steamer carrying Segunda anchored in Biñan so Jose saddled his white horse to wait at the road. When Segunda’s carromata passed by, she smiled and waved her handkerchief to him. Initially wanting to follow, Rizal at the last minute turned his horse around and decided to ride home instead. That incident marked the end of everything between the young lovers.
Segunda returned to Batangas and in due time married Don Manuel Luz y Metra who also hailed from a prominent family in Batangas. Segunda’s husband was actually the nephew of her maternal grandmother.

The Luz-Katigbak ancestral house called ‘Casa de Segunda’, an old ‘bahay-na-bato’ which survived the World War II bombings, still exists today in Lipa on a street ironically named ‘Calle Rizal’. The house was restored as a vacation house and later turned into a private museum. The sportscaster Chino Trinidad, a descendant of Segunda and Manuel, once related in a TV interview that Rizal had gone to ‘Casa de Segunda”, played chess and lost to his Lolo Manuel. The historic house has been declared a National Heritage house in 1996 by the National Historical Commission. (© 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog)


The author's e-book on Jose Rizal's love life
Related articles:

Rizal's Life, Works, and Writings: Online Syllabus and Articles

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:
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Ito ang sagot ko sa tanong ni Charles Wendell. Siguro mai-inspire ako sa maraming bagay lalo na kung marami akong natutunan mula doon na maaari kong i-apply sa buhay. Isa pa, masaya ako dahil nakaranas ako ng ganoong pakiramdam sa unang pagkakataon.

Ito ang sagot ko sa katanungan ni Charles Wendell Vizconde. Siguro po scared tsaka obviously happy. Since first time ma-inlove, hindi mawawala yung doubts and fears na baka masaktan ka lang or something unpleasant might happen and maybe because things might not work out the way it was planned. Happy at the same time kasi usually lahat naman siguro ng na-i-inlove ay talagang nakakaramdam ng extreme happiness siguro nga dahil may inspiration na para bumangon sa umaga or gawin yung mga daily tasks.

Segunda spent her last days in that home. She suffered from stroke and later passed away on June 16, 1943. Q: Sa iyong tingin, kanino magiging masaya si Segunda, kay Rizal o kay Manuel Luz?

Syempre, kay Rizal. Nagkakamabutihan na sila ni Rizal, eh. Posibleng magiging mas masaya sya kay Rizal dahil 'arrange' lang naman sila ni Manuel. Samakatwid, wala pang pag ibig na namamagitan sa kanila ni Manuel.

Hindi. Lalo na at may pagka-'rebelde' si Rizal. Ipaglalaban nya pa rin ang karapatan ng mga kababayan, at maghihirap din si Segunda dahil baka manganganib din sila katulad ng pamilya ni Rizal.

Additional Information: Segunda, who was only 16 then, married Manuel on January 12, 1879. She must have had a happy wedded life for their union produced thirteen children but only 9 lived. Question: Sang-ayon ba kayo sa arranged marriage?

Para sa akin hindi, dahil sagrado ang kasal at simbolo ito ng pag-ibig ng dalawang tao. Sa tingin ko rin hindi ito dapat pinagdedesisyunan ng iba.

Para sa akin hindi, kahit pa totoong "parents know best", hindi tamang panghimasukan ito dahil lang sa interes ng pamilya. Sa kaso ni Segunda at Jose naging hadlang ang fixed marriage sa kanilang pagmamahalan. Hindi na tuloy nagawang sabihin ni Rizal ang nararamdaman para kay Segunda. Kailangang tayo ang pumili ng taong gusto nating makasama habangbuhay para walang regrets sa huli dahil kasiyahan at kinabukasan natin ang nakataya rito.

para sa akin hindi, dahil ang kasal ay hindi simpleng kasulatan at palitan ng pangako na kapag ayaw mo na ay puwedeng bawiin. Ito ay isang panghabangbuhay na commitment at panibagong kabanata ng buhay ng isang tao. Hindi na dapat iba ang pumipili ng ating makakasama. Mahalaga na may sariling desisyon tayo.

Para sa akin depende, dahil maari kasing maging successful ito o hindi. Sa kaso ni Segunda naging maayos naman ang relasyon niya kay manuel Luz. Natutunan naman ang pagmamahal sa pagdaan ng panahon. Dahil magkaiba na ang kultura noon at ngayon kaya nagkakaiba rin ang opinyon ukol sa fixed marriage
Emmanuel James Nadres's picture

Who knew our national hero was so much like present lovers. He sure is a strong lover, He never stopped loving another woman.

It is sad to think that they didnt get to have a happy ending with each other because Segunda was destined to be with other man.But still glad to know that even our own hero was struck by what they called "love at first sight" as i imagine rizal's blushing and being "torpe".

Sa tingin ko kung napaaga ng konti ang pag kakilala ni jose at segunda sila ang nag katuluyan :)
Hanna Plaza's picture

Rizal, finding his first love at the age of 16, was very innocent and idealistic because he could have been unsure yet of an idea to face this kind of affair with her which led him in ending what they had started. We people tend to find perfection on our first love but only lead us to an experience and a big realization of the lessons we can apply on our next chapter of our lives.

I think their love was very pure enough that it will last. If only Rizal continued to pursue his love for her then Rizal might not have other girls in his life.

Siguro para sa akin pinili na lang ni Jose na ipaubaya si Segunda kay Manuel tutal mas nauna naman silang nagkakilala at dahil na rin siguro sa “rumor” na kumalat. Nagparaya na lang si Jose kahit may nararamdaman siya para kay Segunda upang hindi na gumulo ang sitwasyon nilang dalawa.

If I were to be asked about the possible reasons why Dr. Jose Rizal and Segunda Katigbak didn't end up together, then I would say that there could be two: one is that, he was still young during such time, and I believe that it's not the right time for him to prioritize his love interest; and second is that, God has a better plan for him which we're all aware of. Perhaps God wanted him to end up being an outstanding hero rather than being a husband; we all know that it worked out-independence and a notable hero/model for us,Filipinos-which is truly worth dying for.

Kung hindi sana engaged si Segunda baka naging sila ni rizal. Pero kahit na nawala ang first love niya ay maytoon namang pumalit at hindi lang isa. At sa tingin ko rin ay hindi magloloko sa babae si rizal kung hindi siya naloko.

What if Jose Rizal didn't left Segunda katigbak for a vacation just to spend his new year in his hometown. If Jose Rizal and Segunda Katigbak it would be engaged?

Why is it Jose Rizal did not fight for his love to Segunda despite of all the odds? Instead of turning his horse and went home, why he did not follow Segunda's carromata? Is she really his first love or just a puppy love? ***Maybe his feelings to Segunda wasn't love at first sight it's only like at first sight?What do you think?
Elixer Lucas's picture

Mas pinili ni Dr. Jose Rizal na putulin ang ano mang namamagitan sa kanila ni Segunda Katigbak dahil siguro alam nya na maraming hahadlang sa kanilang pagmamahalan. Dahil naka-fix marriage na si Segunda kay Don Manuel Luz y Metra. Minsan kailangan natin magsakripisyo para sa ikabubuti natin at ng iba.

Mas pabor ako sa naging desisyon ni Dr.Jose Rizal na talikuran din kung ano man ang mayroon sila ni Segunda dahil nga SA may nakatakda ng ipakasal ito kay Don Manuel Luz.alam niya rin na dun sasaya si segunda. Sabi nga nila na may taong nakalaan para satin.

Tama lang ang ginawang Pagpapakasal ni Segunda na magpakasal kay Manuel Luz dahil kung si Dr.Jose Rizal ang kanyang pinili ay maaring hindi siya tuluyan ng ating bayani sapagkat sinasabi na kapag si Dr. Jose P. Rizal ay nakakita o nakatagpo ng magandang babae at sila ay nakapagtitigan iniisip agad ng ating bayani na pag ibig na kanyang naramdaman at iniisip agad niya ng may gusto ang babae din sakanya, kagaya nalang ng mga niligawan at naging nobya niya na sina Leonor Rivera, Leonor Valenzuela,Consuelo Ortega y Perez,O Sei San, Josephine Bracken at marami pang iba .

Naging malungkot ang buhay ni Rizal. Heart breaking ang nangyari sa kanya. Dahil sa pagmamahal nyang walang kinahantungan dahil sa ikakakasal na si segunda katigbak. Pero sa tingin ko ito ang naging inspirasyon sa kanya upang magawa ang kanyang librong nailimbag.

Naipakita naman ni Jose Rizal yung pagmamahal nya kay Segunda Solis Katigbak, ganun din si Katigbak para kay Rizal. Siguro hindi talaga sila tadhana para sa isa't isa kaya hindi rin nagwork ang relationship nila.

Rizal's life was miserable, he courted Segunda and suddenly she was getting married. This is a tragic episode of his life. His efforts were put to nothing.

Ang pag-ibig sa aking opinyon ay hindi dumedepende sa ilang saglit na tinggin lamang, ito ay nararapat na bigyan nang panahon upang masabing ikaw nga ay umiibig. Marahil ang nagawang aksyon ni Dr. Jose Rizal na pag-alis ay dahilan sa kanyang nararamdamang kawalang pag-asa sa kanyang minamahal na si Segunda.

Pero Kung ako ang tatanungin sang ayon ako sa ginawang pagtalikod ni Rizal sa kanyang nararamdaman para sa kanyang unang pag-ibig na si Segunda Katigbak dahil ito'y nagbunga ng maganda sa kanya at maging sa ating bansa ngunit kung nagkataon at hindi niya sinakripisyo ang kanyang nararamdaman at sila ang nagkatuluyan may posibilidad na hindi panulat at papel ang kanyang hawak kundi gatas ng kanyang mga anak. At panigurado wala tayong Dr. Jose P. Rizal na tinitingala at ipinagmamalaki.

Pero Kung ako ang tatanungin sang ayon ako sa ginawang pagtalikod ni Rizal sa kanyang nararamdaman para sa kanyang unang pag-ibig na si Segunda Katigbak dahil ito'y nagbunga ng maganda sa kanya at maging sa ating bansa ngunit kung nagkataon at hindi niya sinakripisyo ang kanyang nararamdaman at sila ang nagkatuluyan may posibilidad na hindi panulat at papel ang kanyang hawak kundi gatas ng kanyang mga anak. At panigurado wala tayong Dr. Jose P. Rizal na tinitingala at ipinagmamalaki.

If Segunda not married to manuel luz and he accepted Rizal's Love. Rizal Will never motivated and inspired to wrote the novel "Noli Me Tangere" And "El Filibusterismo".

Kung hindi sana engaged si Segunda Katigbak. Sila sana ni Dr. Jose Rizal ang nag katuluyan , pero tama lang ang desisyon ni Rizal baka kasi siguro alam niya na mas madami siyang maililigtas sa isang sakripisyo na gagawin niya.

“Esto es concluye asi! Concluyeron mis juveniles y confiados amores! Concluyeron mis primeras horas de mi primer amor. Mi virgen corazon llorará por siempre el arriesgado paso que dió en el abismo cubierto de flores. Mi illusion volverá, si, pero indiferente, incomprensible y preparandome la primera decepción en el camino del sentimiento.” (Ended at an early hour, my first love! My virgin heart will always mourn the reckless step it took on the flower-decked abyss. My illusions return, yes, but indifferent, uncertain, ready for the first betrayal on the path of grief.)

Kung mas maaga pa sanang umamin si Dr. Jose P. Rizal, maaaring magbago pa ang isip ni Segunda at hindi ituloy ang pagpapakasal kay Manuel Luz. Dahil base sa paraang kanilang pamamaalam sa isa't isa, mararamdaman ang pagmamahalan nila.

If Segunda weren't engage to his fiance, I think even if Rizal is "torpe" he is planning to propose to her and I think Segunda wouldn't rejected his proposal because obviously she also in love with him.

Dr. Jose Rizal lacked confidence at expressing his love for Segunada. If Rizal had enough courage to tell Segunda the three-syllable statement; I love you, maybe Segunda didn't have to go back to Lipa to marry Don Manuel Luz y Metra.

Sa ginawa Jose Rizal,ipnakita lamang nya na sya ay isang tunay na lalaki at may pinag aralan ng di na sya magtapat kay Sugunda ng malaman nyang ito ay ay pag mamay ari na ng iba.

Isn't a sad story? The first love story of Dr. Jose Rizal.

I think all that happened back in that time, has became an important part why we have Rizal as our National Hero and also, it is one of the reasons that served as an inspiration for the creation of his brilliant works. (Books, poems, etc.)

OO, sa tingin ko may posibilidad na magkatuluyan sila dahil parang maypagtingin din si segunda kay rizal ngunit nalaman rizal na ikakasal na si segunda sa kababata nito na si manuel luz, marahil ay napagisip-isp rin niya na wala na siyang magagawa para mapasakanya si segunda.Sinabi din dito na base sa mga galaw ni segunda na nagpapahiwatig na gusto rin niya rizal kaya hindi malayong magkakatuluyan sila kung hindi lang nakatali si segunda kay manuel luz.

Love does not flow how we want it to be.

We all are not sure that our puppy love to one woman will still be a puppy love .There is a tendency that it will grow into true love.

Rizal's love to Segunda is what we call "puppy love" or immature love. There are two things that can happen when you have a puppy love, one is it can develop to a real love or the other way around where it can only last for sometime.

Rizal's First Love is nowadays called "Puppy Love". Its a wonderful thing to happen, but will never last.

Rizal first love is what we call immature love or puppet love but in the time of Rizal, puppet love can develop in to true love.

I can imagine that a genius like Jose Rizal still have a time for love. So i can say the more that i know the more i don't know..

Ang kwento nina Jose Rizal at Segunda Katigbak ay isa lamang halimbawa na minsan mas ok na maglet go na lamang sa nararamdaman kung ang taong pinaglalaanan mo ng pagmamahal mo ay nakalaan na o para na sa iba. At salamat rin dito dahil mas lalo kong naintindihan at nakilala ang first love ni Rizal na si Segunda Katigbak.

Most people experience this on their early teens, which is normal. This just proves that even great heroes like Rizal lived as human beings.

Para sakin napakaganda ng kwento nilang dalawa nakakatuwa nga kung paano sila naging magkaibigan , Katulad na nga lang ng pangyayaring naging magkaibigan si Jose Rizal at ang kapatid ni Segunda at pagiging malapit rin ni Segunda kay Olympia na kapatid naman ni jose Rizal Kung siguro'y nakatuluyan sila , marahil mas makulay ang buhay ni Rizal, marahil rin baka dito nakalimutan niya ang Planong Ipaglaban ang Pilipinas , Comment ko lang naman po ito syempre kasi may posibilidad rin naman po diba ?

It is never a sin to fall in love at a young age like what Dr. Jose Rizal felt for Segunda Katigbak. It only depends on how both parties will handle the situation.

Anu ikinamatay ni Segunda?


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