As a Department mandated to help the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals and families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) implemented programs, services, and incentives to senior citizens.
According to a study, the average life expectancy in the Philippines is around 71 years old, but three women from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, surpassed it. They shared a bit about themselves and their experiences of a century of living.
Lola Genoviva, 101 years old, was a retired teacher for grades one, two, and three, wherein she found fond for teaching small children until she retired from teaching at the age of 61 in 1981.
“Gusto ko magmaestra kay gusto ko magtudlo sa mga bata (I want to be a teacher because I want to teach children),” she said.
Despite her age, Lola Genoviva still has her sharp memory and could still recall the names of her children and grandchildren.
She recalled that, way back then, she was an active member of their church and community. In fact, she always taught dances to people.
“I won a pageant in 1992. I was 72,” she said in her local language.
Lola Genoviva shared being cautious in her actions and food could be factors why she reached her age.
Lola Socorro, also once a teacher, shifted her career at the hospital later in her life.
Way back in her youth, she loved to dance with the rhythm and sound of music such as Curacha, Rock n’ Roll, and some of their native dances.
Lola Socorro shared that some of her relatives were also centenarians. Some even lived more than 120 years.
She said that she has no secret to reaching her old age as she eats any type of food and does not drink liquors.
“Dili mag abusar sa ilang kaugalingon, mokaon og sakto ug dili magpalabi ug paglinaw sa pagpuyo ug dili mangitag away (Don’t abuse your self, eat right amount of food, and live in peace),” she advised.
Another centenarian, Lola Rosita, 100 years old, was a tailor who made gowns and costumes for special occasions.
Lola Rosita could not believe she reached 100 years old.
Despite hearing difficulty, she could still manage to talk to people and throw some good jokes.
These three centenarians received a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating each for their longevity; and a Centenarian gift of Php 100,000 from DSWD.
Republic Act (RA) No.10868 or the Centenarian Act of 2016 states that all Filipinos, who have reached 100 years old and above, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, shall receive a centenarian gift and a letter of felicitation.
The centenarians and their families or guardians were grateful for the gift they received from the government as it helped in their maintenance and daily subsistence.
“Palit namog pagkaon ug tambal. Daghan salamat sa tanan nga nitabang kanamo kay dako kining tabang,” said Lola Genoviva.
Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap thanked DSWD for including them in their programs, like the assistance to centenarians.
“The 100 thousand pesos they receive from DSWD is a big help for the family, especially this time of the pandemic,” said Yap.
Yap added that on top of the 100 thousand from the DSWD, the city also gives 20 thousand pesos to the centenarians, who are currently living in the city.
“The impact is that the centenarians are very happy as they will be able to use the money as well as buy things that they need to buy,” said Yap
Since their 2016 data, 12 centenarians in the city were given centenarian gifts from the government. ###