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Casa de Segunda: Rizal’s First Love in Lipa Batangas City

Casa Segunda Katigbak

Luz-Katigbak House, more commonly referred to as Casa de Segunda, is one of the must-see destination for anyone who plans on going to Lipa City, Batangas. Owned by Dona Segunda Solis Katigbak, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first love, Casa de Segunda is a source of pride for Lipa citizens for its rich history.

Join us as we take an in-depth look at what makes this place special.Casa Segunda Katigbak

Ancestral History of Casa de Segunda

Casa de Segunda was built by during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines during the early years of 1880s. Don Norberto Calao Katigbak, a governor in his time, was responsible for the construction of the house for the Katigbaks.

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Casa Segunda Katigbak

The Katigbak family was notable for their wealth as well as being successful in the coffee industry at the time. He chose Lipa because he owned parcels of land in Batangas. As Dona Segunda’s father, Don Norberto bestowed the home to her as a gift.

At the time, Jose Rizal would meet Dona Segunda through his sister, the late Olimpia Rizal. Unfortunately for Rizal, Dona Segunda was set to be married to another man, from a wealthy family in Lipa, Batangas. Rizal did not stand a chance, despite courting her through romantic poetry and bouquets of flowers.

 

For a while, the Luz-Katigbak was affected by the event of World War II but subsequently repaired by Paz Luz-Dimayuga, who is appointed as the house turned museum’s caretaker.

The great-granddaughter of Dona Segunda as well as their neighbour Ms. Lileth Malabanan provide the maintenance, management, and tourism of Casa de Segunda.

Beauty in Design: Heritage Home of Segunda Katigbak

Casa de Segunda’s architecture is similar to that of those found in the Spanish era called “bahay na bato”. Windows adorn the walls of the house with woodwork accompanying the floors reminiscent that of a traditional Filipino house built a century ago.

Inside the house, you’ll be given copies of the portraits of Segunda herself as well as of her parents and the past heirs of the house, surrounded by artifacts of their time.

World War II greatly affected the area surrounding the museum and itself being burned and weakening its structural integrity. It was only when it was repaired 14 years later, that the house’s beauty was restored, albeit having to replace the original materials that were destroyed.

The design of the house evolved from being built in the shape of an square to gradually being renovated into being L-shaped.Arguably the main attraction would be the courtyard.

Beautiful orchards in the garden, a fountain, and a fishpond greet you and is considered as the main attraction upon entering the premises.

The wooden windows prevent rainwater from accumulating in the window sills and allow cool breeze to enter the house. The master’s bedroom is made from narra, with adjacent furniture and bed linings crocheted.

Lastly, you’ll notice mannequins in the bedroom that have the clothes that Segunda wore. If you have ever visited a typical 19th-Century Filipino ancestral home, you’ll readily be comfortable visiting this place.

A Cultural Experience

What to do in Lipa Batangas3

By 1996, Dimayuga’s grandchildren were able to restore the house to its former glory. It is absolutely worth a trip to Lipa, Batangas to appreciate and get in touch with the nation’s small snippet through history.

 

Casa Segunda Katigbak

Address: 198 Rizal Street, Lipa City, Batangas (map here)

Entrance Fee: Php 60

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