Woman in Minglanilla remembers life in war-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A WOMAN living in Minglanilla, Cebu celebrated her 101st birthday yesterday.
Though her knees are weak and her vision blurry, Francisca Manacap Juezan was all smiles yesterday when her children joined her in her house in Barangay Pakigne, Minglanilla.
Juezan, fondly called “Lola Kikay” by her loved ones, said she was born in 1910. But records of her birth have been lost or destroyed.
Juezan told Sun.Star Cebu she grew up in the mountain barangays of Minglanilla. At age 13, she met her future husband, Jesus Juezan.
Juezan said her family didn’t approve of her relationship with Jesus.
She and Jesus eloped and got married. She was 14, Jesus was 15.
Their marriage produced eight children: Dolores, Alicia, Betty, Roy, Mady, Nita, Nestor and Marlon. Three of her children have died.
During World War II, Juezan and her family witnessed the flight of the Americans and the start the Japanese occupation.
Juezan said she and her family would often escape from the Japanese soldiers by hiding in trenches they built as temporary shelters.
She remembered how some of her relatives and friends died during those times. To earn a living, Juezan sewed for a living.
When Cebu was liberated, Juezan and Jesus rebuilt their family. Jesus worked as a policeman while Juezan cooked and sold food.
Jesus died in 1992.
Mady, one of Juezan’s sons, said they had a grand celebration when his mother turned 100 last year.
Juezan’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, including those living outside the country, came to Cebu to celebrate with her.
Mady, a former barangay chief of Pakigne, said Juezan was healthy enough to cook for the occasion. This year, she started feeling ill and staying in bed. But doctors found nothing wrong with her health.
“Bisag kapila pa namu siya gipalaboratory, wala man gyuy makit-an nga sakit sa iya (Laboratory tests showed she is not suffering from anything),” Mady said.
Mady described her mother as a patient and loving woman.
“Mapinanggaon gyud si mama, labi na sa iyang mga anak. Mao nang ang mga anak niya nigam gyud sa iya (She loved us and took care of us. That’s we’re taking good care of her),” Mady said.
Juezan said her secret to a long life are prayers and good dietary habits. He eats mostly vegetables.
Juezan said she doesn’t know when her time will come. As of now, she is happy he is given one more day to live.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2012.