Casa de Segunda (The Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House)

Casa de Segunda
The Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House  (by Chito Segismundo)

Casa de Segunda is a traditional bahay na bato (stone house) built circa 1880 in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines. The bahay na bato was considered the home of the Filipino elite during the late 19th century. It reflected the fusion of indigenous and colonial architecture.

Partly damaged by the Second World War in 1942, the house was remodeled in 1956 by Segunda Katigbak’s daughter, Paz Katigbak Luz Vda. de Dimayuga. The grandchildren of Paz, who were born and raised here, restored the house in 1996 to its original form and grandeur, its fountain, fishponds, and orchards.

Today, ancestral homes are not just merely symbols exclusive to the landed gentry. Filipinos now recognize their value as icons of history and cultural identity.

Parts of the Bahay na Bato

Zaguan (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

The zaguan (entrance) which during the olden days was a storage area for agricultural harvests, especially coffee, and the processional carriage or carrozas for the family’s revered santo. It was repurposed and now serves as a receiving area for visitors where they will be oriented about the house and where a portrait of Segunda, the Luz and Katigbak family trees, descendants’ photographs, and heirlooms are on display.

The zaguan’s black and white floor typical of the 19th century is still intact although the house was partially damaged during World War II.  On the ground floor, one can also find the entresuelo which was meant as the servants’ quarters and was sometimes used as an office.

A hagdan (grand staircase) leads to the main floor or the piso principal.  During those days, to ascend to the piso principal was a sign of acceptance by the household. 

Sala Mayor
Sala Mayor (Photo by Renz Katigbak)

On the main floor is the living room or the sala mayor, which displays the family’s best wood furnishings, as well as valuable heirloom pieces, paintings, and antique portraits hanging on the wall. One can also notice the large Venetian mirror which is a chic centerpiece decoration typical of the bygone era. The flooring features mid-sized narra planks of deep warm color. The sliding windows are made of capiz which allows natural light to enter. The baluster-protected ventanillas below the pasemano are opened to let the breeze flow within the house.

Oratorio and Cuartos
Oratorio and Cuarto  (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

The oratorio (prayer area) behind the staircase is also quite impressive. It features the locally made Batangas uno mesa altar. The statues of saints are displayed on top of this magnificent heirloom piece.  Segunda’s novena and prayer pamphlets are encased in two antique frames.

Cuarto (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

cuartos (bedrooms) are located on both sides of the staircase. The master bedroom is furnished with a four-poster narra bed with lace curtain accent and other pieces such as the aparador (wardrobe) and vanity table with a full-length mirror.

The courtyard and fountain (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

The dining area or comedor enjoys the pleasant views of the inner courtyard which features a  quatrefoil-shaped fountain and an abundance of plants and trees surrounding the ancestral compound.

Comedor (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

The entrance gate signage of Casa de Segunda was designed by Lucila “Luchi” Reyes-Resurreccion during the 1996 renovation of the house and surrounding compound. A combination of Friz Quadrata and Arnold Bocklin font, the same Art Deco lettering was used in the book Philippine Ancestral Houses  (1810-1930) by Fernando N. Zialcita, Martin I. Tinio Jr., Neal Oshima, published in 1980. 

Casa de Segunda Signage (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

Family Legacy

Casa de Segunda honors the memory of Segunda Solis Katigbak, the first love of revolutionary novelist and Philippine national hero, José Rizal. Rizal described her charm and beauty in his journal entitled Memorias de un estudiante de Manila: “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...I have already heard about her and that she was going to get married to a relative of hers. Indeed, I noticed a tall man neatly dressed who seemed to be her fiancé.” Thus, ended his first love.

The Luz-Katigbak Family Tree (by Renz Katigbak)


That tall man was Manuel Metra Luz who came from one of the most prominent families of Lipa. The Luz clan was a family of businessmen, poets, and scholars. Manuel married Segunda at the young age of 16 in 1879. They were blessed with nine equally bright and gifted children namely:  Cristeta,  Manuel Jr.,, Flora, Justa Inez, Arsenio Nicasio, Valeriano, Maria Paz, Julio, and Fernando. These nine children had passed on these gifts and talents to their children and grandchildren, some of whom prospered and became successful in their chosen fields.  Among the descendants of the Luz-Katigbak couple are:  Sculptor Edgardo Luz Katigbak (one of the sculptors of the Cry of Balintawak, son of Justa Luz), Architect Alfredo Luz and National Artist  Arturo Luz, (a pair of brothers, sons of Valerio Luz) Fashion designer Gerry Katigbak (grandson of Cristeta),  Painter Tensie Dimayuga-Bello (granddaughter of Paz), and Sports broadcaster Chino Trinidad (great-grandson of Flora Luz).

Unveiling of Casa de Segunda's Historical Marker

Historical Marker
Casa de Segunda Historical Marker (Photo by Jeremy Mendoza)

In cooperation with the National Historical Commission, Casa de Segunda, having been declared a heritage house, is proud to honor these outstanding men and women who had contributed to the remnants of the past- be it in the cultural, historical, and the arts – “All echo the timeless qualities of Lipa reminding both residents and visitors alike that those olden days of prosperity need not be a distant memory.”

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15 Replies to “Casa de Segunda (The Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House)”

  1. Mayroon po bang kailangan kausapin na tao kung sakaling ako at ang aking pamilya ay dadalaw sa Casa de Segunda? Mayroon po bang mga panuntunan na dapat sundin sa loob ng makasaysayang bahay na iyon?

  2. hello, thanks for the infos here. very informative. my husband (british) and i are coming to see lipa city on june 2011.. so am now researching on places that we can visit in lipa just for a day or so. thanks again.

  3. Good day! we’re planning to visit your place. open po ba ang casa segunda this sunday,Sept.10? any visiting hours? Allowed po ba ang kumuha ng videos at photos? Magkano po entrance fee? Gumagawa po kasi kme ng TELEMAG. We will wait your reply till tomorrow sept.9 ,9:00 a.m. Thanks. 🙂

  4. i heard our batch in lasalle always hold their reunion here, but not really sure if thats because they know someone or is this venue really open for functions? pls let me know if its really open for private parties and if so how much is it and for how many hours we can reserve it.
    do you also do catering as well? thanks, anabella doble

  5. hi, the place is nice and we want to visit it.madadaan po ba namin toh pag pupunta kami ng Gerthel Beach sa Lobo. We planned to have side tours sa mga historical places na madadaanan namin papuntang Lobo, Batangas.
    Thanks po

  6. Hello.
    How can we go there commuting thru bus from tarlac? Could we have a pre-wedding pictorial?What are your timings? How much it would cost us? Thank you po 🙂


  7. Republic of the Philippines

    July 10, 2012



    Hi! I am Miss Arrian P. Alquiza, a student from University of Northern Philippines. I send a mail to your good office for we are planning to have a fieldtrip in Manila this October 21-25, 2012. We are a student enrolled under Rizal 101 and one of our chosen sites to visit is CASA DE SEGUNDA KATIGBAK.

    In connection to this, may we know the entrance fee for 60 pax plus 1 faculty instructor to visit your place? We are to visit by the 24th of October 2012.

    Hoping for your positive response to this matter.
    Thank you and God bless!

    Sincerely yours,
    AB Tourism IV

  8. Dear sir/ madam
    We would like to visit case de segunda tomorrow, aug 20th. Please can you kindly confirm opening times, entrance fees and information on guided tours if any.

    Many thanks

  9. Goo day po , may i ask po kung may copy po kayo nang origanal floor plan nang Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House? at kung pwede pong mahingi for education purpose po

    1. Hi Kit,

      Unfortunately, Casa de Segunda doesn’t have a copy of the house’s original floor plans.
      A lot of important documents in Lipa were destroyed in World War II.


  10. Hi, just taking my chances if I may conduct a brief interview regarding this house for research purposes.

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