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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TAGS: Jose Rizal, Girlfriend, Segunda Katigbak, History, Philippine Studies, Filipino Heroes, Segunda Katigbak: Jose Rizal's First Love; Segunda Katigbak: Jose Rizal's First Love
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Nagustohan ko po ang kwentong nasusulat tungkol sa first love ni Rizal at dito ko nakita na may mga bagay na hindi natin pwedeng ipagpilitan.Hindi natin pwedeng piliting maisuot sa ating mga paa ang isang paris ng sapatos na hindi naman kasya masasaktan ka lang.

Mapaglarong tadhana nga naman, kung sino pa ang may nararandaman sa isa't isa, sila pa ang naghiwalay. Pero kung mahal mo talaga, huwag munang hintayin na tadhana pa ang mag husga sa pag-iibigan ninyong dalawa.

An unsuccessful love story ito ang masasabi natin sa unang pag-ibig ni Rizal, siya ay hinahangaan ko dahil kahit alam niyang engage na si Segunda hindi niya pa rin pinagpatuloy ang panliligaw nito at may mga bagay nga naman na dumarating sa ating buhay na hindi talaga para sa atin maaaring may nakalaang plano o bagay ang Diyos para sa ating lahat na siyang ikasasaya natin. Rizal's first love story is so inspiring and I felt flurrying and inlove after reading it.

Sayang , Unang pag ibig ni Jose Rizal ay bigo. Siguro kung hindi lang engage si Segunda Katigbak sinagot nito si Rizal.Problema nga lang si Rizal din ay mahiyain.

My answer to that question is maybe no more because Segunda has the physical characteristic that a woman would ever have.So Rizal wouldn't seek for another woman to be his love.

It is not wasted if Rizal and Segunda are not meant to be. Maybe God has that plan, for Rizal's mission. What do you think? I have a point, right?

It was truly love at first sight for the young Rizal although they had brief encounters, there was already an understanding of their feelings for each other. Rizal, however, knew from the very beginning that their story would not have a happy ending for she was already engaged to someone.

Ipinakita lamang na hindi lahat ng gusto natin ay maaari nating makuha. Maharil may mga taong dumarating sa ating buhay na hindi sinasadyang minahal natin ng sobra, ngunit dapat nating pakatandaan na hindi ibig sabihin na dumating siya sa buhay mo ay hindi na siya aalis, yung iba dumating lang para may matutunan ka at hindi para makasama mo panghabang buhay.

I think Rizal will not involve with other girls because, If he is been married to Segunda. Rizal should be happy forever because he is married to her first love.

Jose Rizal's first love story was beautiful yet disappointing because their story didn't last until the end. If Segunda Katigbak and Jose Rizal were married, I think Jose Rizal will be the happiest man that ever lived because for a common man, being loved by the first women you admire is a once in a lifetime achievement.

mula noon hanggang ngayon natural lang pala ang umibig kahit menor de edad pa ang isang tao. isang evidence neto,at the age of sixteen(16) umibig na si Rizal kay segunda :D

Segunda Katigbak is Dr. Jose Rizal's first love and first heart break. After he experienced it, he learned a lot of things about love that love is not all about happiness because there are times that we experienced problems and misunderstandings.

if ever that Segunda is not engaged with Manuel Luz.. their is a possibility that Rizal will became her Boyfriend..

The best thing that Dr.Jose Rizal do is. He accepted.even though it is very hard to accept that your love ones or your first love is engaged with Manuel Luz..

Dr. Jose Rizal is a nice man. because he also visit Segunda even though Segunda is already married, In the way of playing chess with the husband of Segunda. And that means Rizal accepted the fact. and for me it is the sign of respect..

Para sakin, nakakapanghinayang na hindi nagkatuluyan sina Jose Rizal at Segunda Katigbak dahil mahahalata naman na gusto nila ang isa't isa. Ganoon man, tama din ang kanilang naging desisyon dahil si Segunda ay nakalaan na para kay Manuel Luz kahit noong hindi pa nagkakakilalang dalawa.

It is just a good example of a wonderful dream kahit na nag lead ito sa hindi magandang katapusan. Pero lahat ng bagay na nangyayari sa ating buhay ay plano ng Diyos, marahil may kailangan ka lang matutunan o kaya'y may dapat kang isakripisyo. Ang istorya na tulad nito ay talaga namang nag papahiwatig satin na may bagay na hindi talaga para sa atin dahil may bagay na dapat mo pang gampanan.

Hindi sa lahat ng panahon ay makukuha mo yung gusto mo, kasi kung alam mo naman na hindi siya para sa’yo. Dapat kailangan mong tanggapin na hindi kayo para sa isa’t isa at palayain ang nararamdaman ng puso mo. Love takes time.

Sa istorya ng unang pag-ibig ni Rizal ay aking napagtanto na maraming taong darating sa buhay ng bawat tao, subalit hindi natin alam kung sila ba ang taong nakalaan para sa atin o sila ba ay binigay ng Diyos upang maramdamin natin ang sarap ng pag-ibig sa maikling panahon. Natutunan ko sa istoryang ito na pagdating sa pag-ibig, mararanasan nating masaktan o maiwan, subalit hindi ito dapat maging rason upang tayo ay tumigil na umibig, sa halip, ay maging inspirasyon upang tayo ay magmahal muli at iparamdam sa mga taong darating pa sa ating buhay ang tunay na pag-ibig.

For me Dr. Jose Rizal's first love is just a puppy love, Because if Dr. Jose Rizal love him so much, he will do many option to get Segunda.

Sa storya ng unang pag-ibig ni Rizal ay nangangahulugan na hindi madaling makuha ang isang bagay. Huwag mo nang ipagpilitan ang sarili mo sa kanya kung hindi naman talaga kayo para sa isa't-isa. Sa kasalukuyan ay may mga ganitong pangyayari tayong nararanasan. Kung sa unang pag-ibig natin ay nabibigo tayo katulad na lamang ni Rizal, huwag mawalan ng pag-asa sapagkat may mas magandang plano ang Diyos para sa atin. Kung madapa ay agad bumangon at ipagpatuloy ang buhay.

Hindi naman talaga torpe si Rizal siya lamang ay sadyang magalang at nirerespeto nya ang mga babae. sa tingin ko dahil hindi sila nagkatuluyan ay dahil alam ni rizal na may mapapangasawa na si katigbak. ngunit may magandang naidulot naman ito. dahil na patuloy ni rizal ang mga hangarin para sa inang bayan.

Pinapaliwanag lang dito na si rizal ay nakadama ng unang pag ibig nung nakita pa lamang nya si segunda, ngunit ng kalaunan si segunda na din ang tumapos at nagbigay ng mga senyales kay rizal na wala din patutunguhan ang kanilang pagtitinginan dahil nakatakda na syang ikasal na inayos na ng kanyang mga magulang habang siyay bata pa.

Maging maingat tayo sa pagmamahal sa isang tao dahil hindi naman natin alam kung ano ang mangyayari sa bandang dulo ng inyong kwento.Matuto tayong maging handa,maghintay at sumunod sa daloy ng buhay upang hindi tayo masaktan.

For me, a chance existed for Dr Jose Rizal and Segunda Katigbak to end up happily together but Rizal was just too shy to admit his true feelings to Segunda. I believe that this was due to the lack of love experience.

Why do Dr. Jose Rizal didn't fight his feelings for Segunda Katigbak, who made him first to blushed and "feel that love at first sight"?How do you think will Rizal felt if Segunda Katigbak became his wife?

If Rizal got married to Segunda Katigbak that time, do you think he can be one of the heroes of the Philippines? If he did, it will affect on whats happening to us right now. Maybe we are now still slaved by the Kastila. And if he really married to Segunda, I think he will not be able to awake to nation on whats happening that time. For me he just made the right choice. :)

If Rizal got married to Segunda Katigbak that time, do you think he can be one of the heroes of the Philippines? If he did, it will affect on whats happening to us right now. Maybe we are now still slaved by the Kastila. And if he really married to Segunda, I think he will not be able to awake to nation on whats happening that time. For me he just made the right choice. :)

Having a Heartbroken is part of growing up. Look at how many girlfriends Jose Rizal got.

It was indeed love happens at first sight, but I think Rizal wasn't really fall in love with Katigbak, he was just driven by his feelings by a beautiful young Katigbak who was Rizal's first girl who had a conversation with, beside his sisters. And being a teenager, even Rizal did not escape to that so-called "puppy love".

Para sa akin naman, Kung naging magkasintahan at nagkatuluyan sila ni Segunda Katigbak maaring hindi na niya nasulat ang mga nobelang Noli at El Fili sapagkat nakafocus na ang kanyang isip sa kanyang pamilya.... Nice Story! :)

I think ManuelLuz is deserved to be the husband of Segunda Katigbak because she engaged before she met Pepe. According to my own Dr.Jose Rizal did'nt want a rivalry,so he went to his hometown and spend his days.

I think ManuelLuz is deserved to be the wife of Segunda Katigbak because she engaged before she met Pepe. According to my own Dr.Jose Rizal did'nt want a rivalry,so he went to his hometown and spend his days.

I didn't know that rizal was so "TORPE". i've known him as a sweetlover. And now i am getting interested studying his own life.

Rizal was nice to Segunda Katigbak, that is the right thing to do in respecting women. It is an inspiring thing for the boys so that they know love at first sight is true. But not all first love will never ends. All of us experience different kind of relationships. More learnings. Question: kung papipiliin, cnu ang mas gusto ni rizal, c Segunda katigbak o ang napangasawa ni rizal?

I understand Rizal why he did turned his horse around and decided to go home because from the very start their love story was hopeless and Rizal has no strength to fight for it because at the end he know he will just get lost.

Sa aking pong palagay ay si Dr. Jose Rizal po nadismaya nang malaman niya na wala po siyang pag-asa kay segunda simula po ni yun turing nalang po niya kay segunda ay isang kaibigan pero dahil frist love niya si segunda kaya tinupad niya ang pangako kay segunda. Sa unang pagkakataon siya po ay naging sawi sa pagibig at dahil po ay first love niya ito naging malaking kabiguan ito para sa kanya na hindi niya napagtapat kay segunda ang kanyang nararamdaman.

Sa tingin ko kung si Segunda ay hindi engage kay Don Manuel Luz, mag tatapat si Rizal ng kanyang nararamdaman para sa dalaga, at malaki ang magiging papel ni Segunda sa buhay ng ating bayani. At dahil si Rizal ay isang maginoo at may delicadeza na tao hindi na niya pinili pang manghimasok sa buhay at pag-ibig ni Segunda sapagkat alam niya na ito ay nakatakda na para sa ibang lalaki.

Nakakatuwang isipin na yung mga lalaki noong mga panahon ni Rizal ay nag eefort para ipakita sa babae na gusto nila ito tulad ng paggawa ng mga bagay para maimpress nila ang kanilang mga nagugustuhan.

Kung iisiping mabuti, talagang nakakapanghinayang ang hindi natuloy na pag iibigan ni Pepe at Katigbak. May nangyayari talaga na pagdating sa first love ay hindi nagkakatuluyan. Pero sabi nga nila First Love Never Dies. May dahilan ang lahat kung bakit hindi sila nagkatuluyan pero talagang hanga ako kay Pepe. Nagpaubaya siya. Isa siyang tunay na lalaki :)

Segunda Katigbak is Jose Rizal's puppy love. He do such things such as sketching Segunda's face and writing her in his diary,etc. I think if Jose Rizal is old enough in that time, he will proved to Segunda's parents that he is very inlove with Segunda.

Segunda has obviously caught Rizal's eyes because of her “eloquent eyes, rosy cheeks, and smile that reveals very beautiful teeth”.Even though their love didn't last because of Segunda's parents that follows their tradition it is Rizal's first love.

Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met. Like Rizal's first love for Segunda Katigbak.

sa edad na 16 ay nakitaan na sya ng pagiging malapit sa mga babae kay hindi nakapag tataka na sa bawat bansang kanyang napuntahan ay mayron syang napupusuan.

I search and I found out that the code name of segunda Katigbak in Rizal's Diary is "K". Now i know that Segunda Katigbak is Jose Rizal's first love.

Sa katunayan ay hindi naman talaga torpe si Rizal. Nirerespeto niya lamang si Katigbak dahil alam niya na may mapapangasawa na siya. ang mga pangyayari namang ito ay may magandang idinulot, dahil dito napagpatuloy ni rizal ang kanyang mga hangarin para sa inang bayan.

Sa katunayan ay hindi naman talaga torpe si Rizal. Nirerespeto niya lamang si Katigbak dahil alam niya na may mapapangasawa na siya. ang mga pangyayari namang ito ay may magandang idinulot, dahil dito napagpatuloy ni rizal ang kanyang mga hangarin para sa inang bayan.


Para saking palagay kaya kaya di sila nagkatuluyan ay dahil ayaw ng magulang ni Segunda Katigbak kay Rizal at ninais na ipakasal kay Don Manuel Luz y Metra kaysa kay Jose Rizal. Mas mabuti narin siguro na hindi sila nagkatuluyan at naging Pambansang Bayani natin siya.

I call it The Puppy Love ...because Rizal decided to take a step back for a reasons; a reason that he was still engaged to Leonor Rivera.


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