Rizal Life

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Segunda Katigbak - was born in 1863 (date unknown) to Norberto Kalaw Katigbak and Justa Solis. She was the second child in a family of seven-- Mariano, Norberto Jr., Carmina, Ysabel, Ynes and Jose. Younger sister Ynes became a nun. With the second marriage of her father to Macaria Mendoza, Segunda had other siblings-- Josefina, Leon, Justa, Bartolome, Guillermo, Nanoy, Margarita and Sinforosa. The Catigbacs (later spelled with a K) were a prominent family in Lipa and had an abundance of wealth especially from 1886 to 1888 when Lipa became the world's sole supplier of coffee. In fact, Lipa had an annual income of 4 million pesos from the coffee industry alone! This led the elated Queen Cristina of Spain to elevate the town to the rank of a city and gave it the grand name Villa de Lipa. Prominent families had houses which occupied an entire block, with fruit bearing trees behind them. Aristocratic women, among them Segunda, wore sapatillas that had diamonds. Children of these families were sent to Manila for school and eventually to great cities in Europe for higher degrees. At a young age, Segunda was sent by her parents to Manila's best school for girls, the Colegio de la Concordia in Paco where she became an interna to the nuns. Going to Manila from Lipa meant taking the carromata to Calamba, and the boat to Manila via Laguna de Bay and Pasig River. Elder brother Mariano was sent to the Ateneo de Municipal in Intramuros where he became a good friend to Jose Mercado (Rizal). She on the other hand, became close to Pepe's sister Olimpia who was her classmate and good friend at the colegio. Segunda first met Rizal in a party of a relative of Rizal in Manila. Pepe's frequent visits to Olimpia led him to befriend Segunda. For about seven months, he became infatuated with her that he showered her with much attention, writing romantic poems and catching her beauty in his sketches. Pepe immortalizes Segunda's beauty with his words, (She was) short, with expressive eyes, ardent at times and drooping at other times, pinkish, a smile so bewitching and provocative that revealed some very beautiful teeth; with an aura of sylph, I don't know what alluring something was all over her being. His regular visits to Segunda at the Concordia was often marked with silence. In 1882, Rizal wrote his Memorias de Un Estudiante where he narrates his infatuation for her, sketching her beautifully, and in exchange Segunda giving him a white paper flower which again, was very symbolic. He wrote again, "Her looks were glorious in their sweetness and expressiveness; her voice was melodious and I thought an enchantment accompanied every movement. Langour penetrated my heart, and I had feelings I had never known before". This childish infatuation did not blossom into romance as she was engaged to a tall man also from Lipa, Manuel Luz. Manuel was more acceptable to her family since the predominant practice at that time was for maidens to marry men within the same social circle in the locality. Resigning to fate, Rizal wrote of his first love: “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 ilusions return, yes, but indifferent, uncertain, ready for the first betrayal on the path of love”. Segunda Katigbak was her puppy love. Unfortunately, his first love was engaged to be married to a town mate- Manuel Luz. After his admiration for a short girl in the person of Segunda, then came Leonor Valenzuela, a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink, that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a last goodbye. Leonor Valenzuela - a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink, that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a...
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