Batangas Chasing Wonders Heritage Lipa

Casa De Segunda: Exploring The Home of Rizal’s First Love

Casa De Segunda, situated in the busy streets of Lipa, Batangas, is now a 136-year old ancestral house. This is not the typical ancestral house as this is where Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak, lived.

Note: This is our second stop for our two-day CALABARZON culinary tour after a hearty breakfast at Asiong’s of Cavite in Silang, Cavite.

After an hour drive from my newly claimed happy place, Asiongs in Silang, Cavite, this quaint ancestral house greeted us.

  • Address: 198 Rizal Street, Lipa City, Batangas
  • Casa De Segunda Entrance Fee: P60 ($1.2)

I was all the more fascinated when I learned that before going inside, guests should ring the old bell to enter the casa! Being a city girl who is not used to seeing something like this in the metro, I felt I was transported to the 1880s era.

Hello, Casa De Segunda!

We entered an old gate and a number of Balete trees welcomed us. It was not that creepy for me as old houses always fascinate me – minus the infamous things that happened there, of course. This has been home to some Japanese as well when they forced Filipino to surrender their homes to them. Thinking about it, ilan na kaya ang namatay sa bahay na ‘to?

Stairway going to the second floor of the building

The old fountain at the center of the front yard caught my attention first. Its design made me think of how creative the people were before. And mind you, it’s still intact and working.

After a while, I saw an old woman now present and mingling with the team. Found out that she is the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak.

The History of Casa De Segunda

Casa De Segunda is named after Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak. The house is built in 1860s by Don Norberto Calao Katigbak, a gobernadorcillo, from 1862 to 1863, and was given to his daughter, Doña Segunda Solis Katigbak, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first love.

The house has been repaired in the year 1956 by Paz-Luz Dimayuga and eventually declared as one of the national heritage houses in the Philippines by the National Historic Institute.

Now, Casa De Segunda has been opened to the public as a museum for 20 years already.

A Tour Inside Casa De Segunda

Lola Lilet Malabanan, the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak (she calls her Lola Unday), has been the tour guide of the casa for over 20 years already.

She started to tour us around the first floor of the house. As she was looking back, she noted about how the Katigbak Family were so prominent before, how the Japanese invaded the big houses of Lipa, and how Lipa has been one of the richest towns before because it was once the sole coffee maker/exporter worldwide.

The first floor now looks like a receiving area with a big painting of Segunda Katigbak, old sala set, and some old pots and ornaments.

_Upon entrance, you will see this big portrait of Segunda Katigbak like her way of welcoming you to her house.

After checking out the living room, we went straight to their dining area. Plates and glasses used by the Katigbak’s were still there and intact together with the cooking wares.

While Lola Milet was talking about their dining area, I was actually thinking I hope our family also tried to keep some of the old things and bauls of our great-great grandparents. What we only have now is the aparador of our Lola. Hope our Lolo’s baul is still in our ancestral house in Masbate.

Anyway, going back, after touring around the first floor, we were guided to the second floor of Casa De Segunda. I was amazed by how grand the casa is. Naisip ko, anu-ano kaya ang mga nangyari dito noon?

And then a strong wind blew us while Lola’s still touring us around. Medyo creepy. I can feel something heavy. Hehe.

Living Room at the second floor

They went to the rooms while I was still enjoying the fresh air of Lipa.

I love how well-ventilated the place is. Every where I look, I see windows. Nakakatuwa.

We went to the bedrooms of the house as well and it’s a bit creepy for me. Hehe.

Casa De Segunda Balcony
Casa De Segunda Balcony
Casa De Segunda Balcony

Pia’s Thoughts

I don’t know but the makabayan in me is proud that there’s a house that was spared in wars because this tells so much about the past.

Ever since I went to Corregidor and Bataan, I’m glad that my trips are all connected with history. I am not really interested before with history even in my highschool and college years, but everything has changed after my trip to Corregidor. Its like really going back to your roots and knowing what really happened then.

First floor living room

If you are around Lipa and would like to have a sidetrip at Casa De Segunda, please see below details.

This is the second stop of our two-day CALABARZON Culinary Tour. Warmest thanks to the Department of Tourism Region IV-A and to QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies).

Check out our CALABARZON Culinary Tour Travel Series:

  1. CALABARZON Culinary Tour: 2-Day Food Crawl in the South
  2. Asiong’s of Cavite | A Taste of Authentic Caviteño Dishes
  3. Casa De Segunda: Exploring The Home of Rizal’s First Love

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