The Women Of Jose Rizal, Reimagined

    During the anniversary of our great national hero Jose Rizal’s death, we celebrate not just his acts of nationalism, but also his charm, wit, and intelligence which has caught the attention of numerous women throughout his life. Whether some of these women were treated as legitimate lovers or mere flings, we will never know. However, what we do know is that these were women of style, grace, and intelligence—all of whom would probably look just as fabulous as they sound in this day and age.

    With the latter in mind, we had a little time on our hands to reimagine just that.

    SEGUNDA KATIGBAK

    segunda

    Described by Rizal as the girl with “eloquent eyes, rosy cheeks, and a smile that reveals very beautiful teeth”, Segunda was Rizal’s friend and classmate who also happened to cross paths with his sister.

    LEONOR RIVERA

    art - leonora rivera

    Leonor was Rizal’s childhood sweetheart and (shocker!) his cousin as well, since she is the daughter of Rizal’s father’s cousin. The two wrote letters to each other constantly, even after Rizal left for Europe. Amidst her mother’s distaste for Rizal, she continued to like him until she was brought news of his engagement to Ferdinand Blumentritt’s daughter.

    SEIKO USUI

    seiko 2

    Called lovingly by Rizal as “O-Sei-San”, the two met at the Spanish Legation in Tokyo where Seiko was employed. She was a cultured, intelligent 23-year-old who appreciated the fine things in life such as art and literature. No wonder our national hero was drawn to her.

    NELLIE BOUSTEAD

    nellie

    Daughter of British businessman Eduardo Bousted, Nellie was also the fiancée of Antonio Luna. Rizal’s former fencing partner, the two had a whirlwind romance—so much so that Rizal had even thought of marrying her. All this was for nothing in the end, since Nellie had asked Rizal to convert to protestantism which he strongly rejected.

    JOSEPHINE BRACKEN

    josephine

    Rizal’s wife and beloved whom he called“dulce extranjera”, Josephine was born in Hong Kong to Irish parents. She first met Rizal in Dapitan, where her father travelled to meet him for an important eye checkup. The two fell in love eventually and lived in Dapitan, where they had a son named Francisco (who was a stillborn).

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