Lapu centenarian gets treat, mayor’s visit-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
CIRIACA Dungog put on some lipstick and pulled her white hair into a tight ponytail. Outside what used to be her sari-sari store, she sat in a wheelchair, waiting for her special birthday guest to arrive.
When Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza arrived, Lola Aka, as she is fondly called in the neighborhood, blurted out, “Maayong buntag, mayor (Good morning, mayor)!”Lola Aka celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday.
Mayor Radaza visited the centenarian in Barangay Babag 1 at noon, bringing a cake, a roasted pig, platters of pancit and other foods.
She also gave Lola Aka P10,000, which she said came from her own pocket.
Born in 1912, Lola Aka can no longer walk and can hardly hear. She has six children, one of whom died at the age of 38.
A native of Lapu-Lapu, she is the eldest in a brood of six. All her siblings had passed away.
She now has eight grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
Marcelina Dico, 63, said her mother loves to eat vegetables. “Mukaon na siya ug baboy, pero di lang palabian (She eats pork but just moderate),” Lola Aka’s eldest child said.
Dico said her mother loves to drink softdrink, but they don’t give her softdrink anymore.
Lola Aka, whose husband died in 1993, ran a sari-sari store business. She closed it 10 years ago, Dico said.
Fabiana Oyao, 81, recalled sitting and talking with Lola Aka inside the store after the latter closed the store late at night.
“Manabako na siya usahay pero di gyud na siya muinom (She used to smoke but she never drank alcohol),” Oyao said of her cousin.
Dico said her mother closed her sari-sari store when her knees started to weaken.
When she was younger, Lola Aka used to go out to collect firewood, Dico said.
Lola Aka, who is in the care of her children and grandchildren, now stays in bed every day and watches television. One of her children bought a television set for her.
Dico said her mother has never been admitted to a hospital. They only go to the hospital for check-ups, she said.
Renato Dico, 43, one of Lola Aka’s grandchildren, described her as generous and caring. “Na-spoiled ko ana niya (She spoiled me),” he said.
He recalled his grandmother reminding him to eat his meal before joining a drinking session.
Mayor Radaza said it was the first time she attended a centenarian’s birthday. Last June, a Lapu-Lapu resident turned 100, but she was not able to attend the birthday celebration.
“I wish her happiness and good health,” the mayor said.
Radaza said all senior citizens in the city receive birthday cakes from the City Government.
Dico said her mother was excited to see the mayor. The centenarian wore a red loose blouse, white pants, and black flat sandals. One of her grandchildren helped Lola Aka put on lipstick.
Three of Lola Aka’s children were present at the birthday party.
Yesterday, when the foods were laid on the table and the three candles on the cake were lit, family members, neighbors and visitors sang her the birthday song.
When it was time for her to blow the candles, Lola Aka could not bend her head. The mayor blew the candles for her.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2012.