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Julia Cleste Smith

Many historians record Segunda Katigbak as Jose Rizals first love when they write about
him, although the first girl to ever catch young Pepes eye was actually Julia. When Jose
was fifteen he saw a pretty, young girl wearing a red skirt trying to catch two butterflies.
As she was daintily sitting by the Los Banos river, Rizal approached her and lovingly offered
her as many butterflies as she wished. Jose and Julia were just way too young and
innocent to have a real relationship at that time so they eventually forgot about one
another.

Not many people know what exactly Julia looked like or what her last name even was but it
was recorded by Joses older sister Triliana that she had a simple kind of beauty with an
innocent charm. Julia seems to be such a mysterious girl but the spontaneous way that
Jose used to get to know her showed just what a sweet guy he was even at such a young
age.

SEGUNDA KATIGBAK: RIZAL'S FIRST LOVE

Jose Rizal was only a young boy of sixteen (16) when he first fell in love, and it was with
Segunda Katigbak, a girl from Lipa, Batangas and two years his junior. He vividly described
her, in his Memorias de Un Estudiante de Manila written in 1881, as: (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 air of sylph, I
do not know what alluring something was all over her being. She was not the most
beautiful woman I had seen but I had never seen one more bewitching and alluring.) It
was truly love at first sight for the young Rizal.

Rizal went to Trozo, Manila one day to visit his grandmother. His friend, Mariano Katigbak,
accompanied him. Mariano's family were close with Rizal's grandmother, and upon arrival
at Lipa, Mariano's sister Segunda was there at the old woman's house along with other
guests.Rizal was drawn to hear instantly.
Some of the other guests knew that Rizal was a skilled painter and asked him to draw a
portrait of Segunda. He obliged, and reluctantly worked on a pencil sketch of the
girl. "From time to time, she looked at me, and I blushed."
Rizal's sister Olympia was a close friend of Segunda and a student at La Concordia College,
and Rizal went to visit her every week, during which he came to know Segunda more
intimately. Their affection for each other grew deeper with every meeting, one that began
with "love at first sight."
The couple began their long distance relationship when Jose left for Europe. They kept in
touch by sending letters and photographs to one another. Their love affair was cut short
when the parents of Rivera intervened. They were not happy about Leonor and Joses
relationship because of the bad reputation Rizal gained in the Philippines for writing Noli
Me Tangere. Leonors mother hid the her letters from Rizal and arranged a marriage for
her with Henry Kipping. When Jose heard of the news that his love of 11 years was married
to someone else, he wept terribly.
Jose Rizal tried to stay loyal to Leonor during their long distance relationship. Once in
awhile he would be charmed by beautiful girls around Europe though he did not want to
take them seriously because of his love for Leonor. It was evident that the two loved each
other intensely. In fact, Jose Rizal was saddened by the fact that Leonor grew sickly and
had insomnia during her marriage with Henry Kipping. Because of her frequent illnesses
she eventually passed away while Rizal was in Dapitan.their relationship may have not
been perfect but the love and dedication they felt for each other can serve as an inspiration
for many couples.
Jacinta Ibardo Laza

Jacinta is a professor from Pakil Laguna. Rizal shortly after losing Segunda Katigbak, he
paid court to a young woman in Pakil, Laguna. Rizal called Jacinta Ibardo Laza Miss L. Rizal
describe Miss L. a fair with seductive and attractive eyes. After visiting her in her house
several times for a tutor lesson in the subject Rhetoric and Poetry, he suddenly stopped his
wooming, and the romance died a natural death. Rizal gave reason why the romance with
Miss L. died because 1. the sweet memory of Segunda was still in his heart, and 2. his
father objected to the romance with Miss L. because she is the professor of Rizal.

LEONOR VALENZUELA

When Rizal was a sophomore at the University of Santo Tomas and was boarding in the
house of Dona Concha Leyva in Intramuros he met Leonor "Orang" Valenzuela, his next-
door neighbor and daughter of Capitan Juan and Capitana Sanday Valenzuela. She was a
tall girl who carried herself with grace and elegance.
Rizal was always welcome at the Valenzuela home. He eventually courted Leonor by
sending her love notes, which he wrote in invisible ink made from a mixture of water and
table salt. He taught Leonor how to read his letters by heating them over a lamp or a
candle to allow the words to surface.
Unfortunately, as with his first love, Jose failed to ask for the lady's hand in marriage.

Leonor Luntian Rivera


Leonor Rivera was a young lady from Camiling, and a cousin of Jose Rizal. Leonor's father
had provided room and board in Casa Tomasina, Intramuros for Rizal when the youth was
still starting his third year at the university. The young girl was then a student at La
Concordia College where Soledad, Rizal's little sister was also studying.
Leonor was "tender as a budding flower with kindly, wistful eyes." She and Rizal
eventually became engaged. In her letters, she signed her name as "Luntian" in order to
hide their intimate relationship from the girl's parents.
In the autumn of 1890, however, Rizal received a letter from Leonor telling him of her
coming marriage to a man whom her mother chose to be her mate -- an Englishman --
and begged for his forgiveness. This broke Rizal's heart deeply.
Leonor Rivera was a young lady from Camiling, and a cousin of Jose Rizal. Leonor's father
had provided room and board in Casa Tomasina, Intramuros for Rizal when the youth was
still starting his third year at the university. The young girl was then a student at La
Concordia College where Soledad, Rizal's little sister was also studying.
Leonor was "tender as a budding flower with kindly, wistful eyes." She and Rizal
eventually became engaged. In her letters, she signed her name as "Taimis" in order to
hide their intimate relationship from the girl's parents.
In the autumn of 1890, however, Rizal received a letter from Leonor telling him of her
coming marriage to a man whom her mother chose to be her mate -- an Englishman --
and begged for his forgiveness. This broke Rizal's heart deeply.
Consuelo Ortiga Y. Rey

In 1882, when Rizal was a student at the Universidad Central de Madrid, he frequented the
home of Don Pablo Ortiga y Rey, the former city mayor of Manila. He lived with his son
Rafael and his daughter Consuelo.
Rizal, though he wasn't a handsome man, possessed a great deal of charisma and was
gifted with many talents and a deeply noble character. For this reason, it is of no surprise
that Consuelo, the prettier of Don Pablo's daughters, was very taken with him.
Being lonely and somewhat isolated in a foreign country, Rizal found comfort in Consuelo's
vivacious company. He wrote her a poem entitled A La Senorita C.O. y P. (To Miss C.O.y
P.), in which he expressed his great admiration for the lady.
Rizal's romance with Consuelo did not turn into a serious affair; he decided to take a step
back for two reasons: first, he was still engaged to Leonor Rivera at that time; and
second, he was aware of his friend's (Eduardo de Lete) affection for the girl and he did not
want to ruin their friendship over her.

Gertrude Gettie Beckette

In May 1888 Rizal visited London for a short time, boarding the house of the Beckett
family: Mr. & Mrs. Beckett, their two sons, and their four daughters. The eldest daughter
was named Gertrude.
Gertrude was a buxom young lady with blue eyes and brown hair. She fell in love with
Rizal and gave him all of her attention during the family picnics and gatherings. When
Rizal stayed indoors during rainy days painting and sculpting, she helped him mix his
colors and prepare his clay.
Rizal enjoyed her company. Eventually their flirtatious friendship drifted towards a
blossoming romance. He affectionately called her "Gettie," and in return she called him
"Pettie."
Rizal withdrew before his relationship with Gettie could become more serious, realizing that
he had a greater mission to fulfill and that in order to accomplish it he could not yield to
the option of marrying her. At this time, Rizal was at the British Museum, copying and
annotating by hand three hundred pages of Morgas 1609 Sucesos or History of the
Philippines. He suppressed the yearnings of his heart and decided to leave so that the lady
may forget him. Before he did, however, he finished a number of sculptural works, one of
which was a carving of the heads of the Beckett sisters.

Nellie Boustead

In 1891, Rizal took a vacation in Biarritz in order to find reprieve from his troubles in
Madrid. He was a guest of the Boustead family in their winter residence, Villa Eliada. Mr.
and Mrs. Boustead had two beautiful daughters, Adelina and Nellie.

After having lamented his frustrated romance with Leonor Rivera on account of the lady's
engagement to another man, Rizal came to develop considerable affection for Nellie, the
prettier and younger daughter of Mr. Eduardo Boustead. He found her to be
intelligent, morally upright, and full of life. Rizal wrote to his closest friends about his
intention to marry her.

Rizal's friends were delighted to hear that he had found a suitable girl whom he at last
wished to settle down with. Even Antonio Luna, who had previously loved Nellie,
encouraged Rizal to court her and ask for her hand in marriage. With all the
encouragement from the friends he held dear, Rizal wooed Nellie (also called Nelly) who, in
turn, returned his affections.

Rizal's marriage proposal failed for two reasons: first, Nellie demanded that he give up his
Catholic faith and convert to Protestantism, which was her religion. Rizal did not like this
idea. Second, Nelly's mother did not approve of Rizal, as she had no desire to entrust her
daughter to a man who was wanting in wealth and persecuted in his own country. In
spite of the circumstances, Rizal and Nellie parted as good friends.

Seiko O Sei San Usui

When Rizal was in Tokyo a few days after he had moved to the Azabu district in 1888, he
spotted a pretty Japanese girl walking past the legion gate. He was captured by the lady's
regal air and charisma and endeavored to find ways to meet her. The girl's name was
Seiko Usui. She lived with her parents and often took afternoon walks by the legation.
Rizal waited by the gate one afternoon and introduced himself.
Rizal and O-Sei-San, as he fondly called her, met almost daily. They toured the beautiful
city spots, enjoyed the scenery, and visited the picturesque shrines. Rizal was then a
lonely young physician, disillusioned by his frustrated romance with Leonor Rivera and
burdened by soured hopes for justice in his country. O-Sei-San provided the beautiful
escape that he deeply needed, and he saw in her the qualities of his ideal woman. He was
her first love.
Because of his deep affection for her, Rizal was almost tempted to settle down in Japan.
Conveniently enough, he was also offered a good position at the Spanish Legation during
that time. Rizal, however, had set his sights on other matters. He decided to leave Japan
and forget his romance, which pained him gravely as attested by an entry in his diary. His
45-day sojourn in Japan was one of the happiest interludes in his life.
Suzanne Jacoby
In Brussels, Rizal lived in a house of the Jacoby sisters: Marie and Suzanne. Marie
Catherine was 55 and Suzanne was 45 years old. Both were besotted by Rizals charming
manners. A niece named Suzanne Thill lived with the Jacobys during Rizals time. Our
historians said Aunt Suzanne Jacoby became Rizals girl friend. Why would Rizal, age 29,
go for a 45 year old, when theres a young 18 year old who is also enjoying his attentions?
Theres a letter signed by a Suzanne saying, in effectI wear out the soles of my shoes
going to the mailbox waiting for a letter from you. Why dont you write, you naughty boy
Ambeth Ocampo give explanations of what it really meantlustful imaginings or naughty
doings while other historians made it to appear like forbidden love between the
two. Rizals room was facing the street on the first floor, above the ground floor. Theres a
Rizal Historical Marker on that building. Susanne Thills room was on the same floor facing
the street, next to Rizals room. The two aunts occupied the second floor above. actually,
the local name for that beloved cutie is Naughty Boy! Now, lets suppose it was Rizal and
Petite Suzanne (not the elderly Tante Suzanne) who enjoyed each others company and
used the naughty boy line to recall strolling down the streets of Brussels, wouldnt that be
a personal private little joke between them? Rizal was then waiting for his novel El
Filibusterismo in the printing press in nearby Ghent.

Josephine Bracken

Rizal's exile in Dapitan was one of the most lonesome and sorrowful periods of his life. He
missed the company of his friends and family, and the death of Leonor Rivera on August
28, 1893 left a gaping void in his heart.
Josephine Bracken arrived at the shores of Dapitan accompanying her blind adoptive
father, Mr. George Taufer. No ophthalmologist in Hong Kong, their home country, could
cure the man's blindness and so they sought the services of the famous Dr. Jose Riza
Rizal and Josephine fell in love at first sight. Their romantic interlude went on for about a
month, after which they decided to marry. The priest of Dapitan, however, refused to
conduct the ceremony without consent from the Bishop of Cebu.
When Mr. Taufer heard of his daughter's plan to marry he became so enraged at the
thought of losing Josephine that he attempted to kill himself with a razor to his throat.
Rizal prevented this tragedy by holding the man's wrists back. Josephine left with her
father on the first available steamer to Manila in order to avoid more trouble. Since Mr.
Taufer's blindness was venereal in nature, it was incurable.
Mr. Taufer went back to Hong Kong alone, and Josephine stayed in Manila with Rizal's
family. At length, she returned to Dapitan. Since no priest would marry them, Rizal and
Josephine held hands, exchanged vows, and married themselves before God.
Rizal and Josephine lived together in Dapitan as husband and wife, and in early 1896 they
were expecting a baby. Unfortunately, Josephine had to go into premature labor after Rizal
played a prank and frightened her. A little boy of eight months was born, who lived for
only three hours. Rizal named him Francisco in honor of his father, and buried the child in
Dapitan.

Inday Torak, Rizal's fling in Dapitan

DAPITAN CITY - History books say that it was in this remote place of Dr. Jose P.
Rizal's exile from June 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896 that he met and fell in love with
Irish Josephine Bracken. But known only to Dapitanons, our national hero had also
another fling here - a homey young girl named Pastora Nececsario, or known here
as "Inday1 Torak."

A few months after his four-year exile started with his arrival here on June 17,
1892, Rizal and his Spanish warden Capitan Ricardo Carnicero, who was also
Dapitan's politico-military governor, transferred to the house of Don Ramon
Carreon while Carnicero's home near the Catholic Church was undergoing
renovation.

It was during that time when Rizal saw Inday Torak, the neighbor of Don Carreon in
nearby village called "Balikasan2 ".

"The Senor Rizal-Inday Torak love affair is like that of Sir Chief-Maya plot, there
never was a formal courtship, just MU or mutual understanding or mag-un. But the
grapevine that followed the two persisted in Dapitan," said Gabriel Cad, curator of
the Rizal Shrine here.

In fact, Cad's grandfather, Florentino A. Cad (1901-1991) wrote in his undated


memoir: "There was a time when I was so stricken with an overwhelming curiosity
as to Rizal's feelings towards our women in Dapitan that I spent a couple of days
roaming around town just to (get information) about the old and (persistent) rumor
that Pastora Necessario had been the object of attention and affection of Rizal."

Cad the grandfather, according to Cad the grandson, eventually ended his
interviews with Inday Torak.

In his memoir, Cad the grandfather said, "Even though (Pastora Necesario) was
already past middle age, she still (had) traces of rare beauty and charm. She must
be one of the most popular belles in our town during her heyday."

Inday Torak narrated to Cad the grandfather that she was still in her early teens
when she first saw Capitan Cernicero's groovy prisoner. She said that from the
window of Don Ramon's house facing their house, Rizal would always take a peek
at her while weaving at her loom. Inday Torak usually weaves at her loom below
their house. In early Dapitan, houses were built with high posts so the space below
can be used as the parking area of "karomata" (two-wheel cart pulled by a
carabao), a place where they could make furniture, a place for looms or where they
could tie their livestock when it rains.

One day the surprise of her life came, Inday Torak told Cad the grandfather, when
that strange but handsome face she used to see at her neighbor's window suddenly
showed up on top of a luscious and well-carved lean body.

Rizal introduced himself first to the parents, and then to Inday Torak. Then our
national hero gave her a six-inch statuette of a girl in the act of weaving, which
shocked the Dapitanon leading lady because she saw herself in the image made of
clay known here as "pekpekon." "Rizal became a regular visitor of the Necesario
household," Cad the grandfather said in his memoir. "According to (Inday) Torak,
(Rizal) never spoke about his personal feelings for her although she would always
see admiration and affection for her in his eyes."

Inday Torak also revealed that Rizal gave her several poems, which unfortunately
she did not understand because it was written in Spanish. And Rizal did not tell
Inday Torak what the poem meant. But in at least one of his letters to his sister
Trinidad,Rizal revealed that she liked Inday Torak for being homey yet had strong
social concern.

In a letter to Trinidad believed to be written in 1894, Rizal said: "El Primo de


Pastora ya esta y bien." (The first thing from Pastora is doing good to the people.)
After Rizal transferred to Talisay, an estate one kilometer away from the town
center, he still visited Inday Torak, perhaps until the arrival of Bracken, who
accompanied her stepfather Senor Taufer see Rizal for an eye consultation.

Bracken eventually became Rizal's mistress, and they lived together in Talisay. "I
asked (Inday) Torak pointedly whether she loved Rizal," Cad the grandfather said in
his memoir. "She (answered) she could not understand her feelings at that time,
but she was (sure) that she respected and admired him very much because of his
gentle and charming manners and his unfailing courtesy."

And Cad the grandfather, too, admired the ideals of Rizal that he wrote in his
memoir: "Looking back, it sometimes crosses my mind that if he had stayed longer
or if Josephine Bracken did not appear(Rizal might have been more successful) in
Dapitan, and he would have decided to make this place of his exile his permanent
retreat."