About the author: Consuelo Ortiga y Perez (c.1863 — ?). Among other distinctions, her father was a former Mayor of Manila. Eduardo de Lete wrote,
[She was the] daughter of Mr. Pablo Ortiga y Rey, Counselor of the Philippines, whose house at Madrid Rizal and other Filipinos frequented…
After the death of Don Pablo years later, his son Rafael went to the Philippines to fill a post. When his sister Consuelo was ready to leave for Manila, she received the news of his demise. She was left alone and abandoned in Madrid. A romantic girl deprived of her mother at an early age, possessing an education rare in those times, she saw all her love affairs crumble and all her illusions wither. She was very unfortunate, dying alone, sad, and abandoned, a victim of tuberculosis.
An excellent and illustrious friend communicated to me this news when I went to Madrid as representative of a very important news agency of London on the occasion of the marriage of King Alfonso XIII in 1906.
Jose Rizal composed a poem on August 22, 1883, dedicated to her, “A la Senorita C.O. y R.”
About the diary: The Philippine Diary Project makes use of two versions of the diary, one in the original Spanish, the other, an English translation.
The typescript of the diary in the original Spanish is in the collection of the National Library of the Philippines, Memorias intimas: notas extractados de las memorias intimas de la Senorita Consuelo Ortigas Y Rey, a la que requirio de amores Jose Rizal y Mercado, con unas breves explicaciones de Don Eduardo de Lete.
The English version was was published in The Journal of History, Vol. 7, No. 3 (1959).
In the footnotes, the following information is provided by Eduardo de Lete:
These are extracts from the diary of Consuelo Ortiga y Peréz… The diary came from Mr. Eduardo de Lete, one of Rizal’s contemporaries who became the fiancée of Miss Ortiga.
After the last entry comes this note, also by de Lete:
Here ends the intimate diary of Miss Consuelo Ortiga y Perez; I don’t know whether because of the formalization of our engagement – the reason why the Filipinos stopped gathering at the house of the Counselor of the Philippines, Mr. Pablo Ortiga y Rey, named by Rizal and companions, El Padre Eterno (The Eternal Father) – or because she lost the humor and she did not continue it.