Delfina Rizal Herbosa de Natividad was born on December 20, 1879 in Calamba, Laguna to Mariano Herbosa and Lucia Rizal, sister of Jose Rizal. Delfina joined the women’s section of the Katipunan at the age of 13 due to her desire to fight oppression after her father, who died of cholera, was denied a Christian burial by the Spanish friars because of the claim that he did not go to confession. It was apparent that the reason for their refusal was because he was related to Jose Rizal, whose novel, Noll Me Tangere, exposed the abuses of the Spaniards.
Delfina was initiated into the secret revolutionary society along with her relatives – Jose Rizal, Trinidad Rizal and Angelica Lopez Rizal. She met Jose Salvador Natividad in the Katipunan, whom she married on February 9, 1898 when she was 19. They were together in various battles against the Spaniards. Her husband later became one of the generals in the Philippine Revolution, and was among the leaders present at Biak-na-Bato. His husband was appointed by Emilio Aguinaldo to negotiate with the Spanish Colonial Government along with Pedro Paterno. However, he was rejected by Governor General Primo de Rivera, who preferred the more moderate and accommodating Paterno. He was prevented from signing the Pact of Biak-na-Bato when it was concluded on December 14, 1897. Delfina accompanied her husband to his self-exile in Hong Kong.
While in exile in Hong Kong, Aguinaldo commissioned Felipe Agoncillo’s wife, Marcela, to sew a flag for the Philippine Republic. Marcela asked Delfina to help her and her daughter, Lorenzana, sew the flag, which they finished in five (5) days.
Delfina and her husband had a daughter named Paz. Unfortunately, their daughter tragically died when an alcohol lamp accidentally fell on her. She was barely two years old when the incident happened. The death of Delfina on March 10, 1900 at the age of 21 might be due to the sorrow and mental anguish caused by the sudden demise of her beloved daughter. Delfina was known for being one of the three women who sewed together the Philippine Flag, and for being the niece of the National Hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal.
De Ocampo, Esteban. The Rizal Family. Manila: 1954.
“Delfina Herbosa De Natividad.” Knights of Rizal in Belgium. Accessed September 04, 2020. https://www.knights-of-rizal.be/delfina-herbosa-de-natividad/.
Herbosa, Francisco. The Rizals: As my father knew them. Quezon City: Almijo Commercial, 2000.
Zaide, Gregorio F. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Bookstore, 1970.
Ma. Jossel Emmanuelle P. Manalo