KALIBO, Aklan, May 19 (PIA6) -- Want to live a hundred and more? Eat vegetables and fruits, according to an Aklanon centenarian who, at 117, could well be the country’s, if not the world’s oldest living person at this time.
Among the 30 centenarians in Aklan who received P100,000 cash each as incentive in recognition of their long life and contribution in nation-building, Lola Radigondes Burnasal stood out among the rest of the centenarians for being the oldest.
Officially, she was 116 when she received her cash incentive on May 4, but on May 9, she turned 117, having been born on May 9, 1900, as seen on the record of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Later in the week, to prove that she is indeed 117, her children went to a local radio station where she was interviewed earlier after receiving her cash incentive, to show her birth certificate, which indeed showed that she is as old as she claims to be.
When interviewed by the local media as to her secret for her long life, she said she only consumes mostly fruits and vegetables.
She came on a wheelchair to receive her P100,000, but at home, according to her children, she exercises by pulling out weeds in the garden.
She also goes to Mass unassisted, according to her children.
Her senses are also active – as evidenced by her radio interviews where the reporter had to ask questions only once, which she readily answered.
Being 117, she shared that she also experiences body pains sometimes, particularly on her waist.
She said she thanks and is grateful to God for her long life, and for giving her 9 children who continue to love and care for her.
Lola Radigondes, although now residing in Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan, was born on May 9, 1900 in Barangay Janlud, Libacao, Aklan.
His husband had been dead for a long time already.
The DSWD 6 initially distributed P100,000 each to 30 Aklanon centenarians on May 4, but there are still those whose records are being verified by the DSWD if indeed, they are qualified for the cash incentives.
In the list provided by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here, of the 30 centenarians – Kalibo had the highest number with 8, followed by Banga and Tangalan, both with 4; Libacao, 3; Lezo, Madalag, Makato with 3 each; and 1 each for Altavas, Batan, Ibajay, Nabas and New Washington.
Evangelina Gallega, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO), said the DSWD and the PSWDO-Aklan will yet be gathering records of other centenarians of the the country to know if indeed Lola Radigondes of Aklan is the oldest person in the Philippines, and the world. (JCM/VGV PIA6 Aklan)