Woman makes it to 106 without a day in hospital-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
WHEN she was stronger, Olympia Judilla chased away children who climbed the water apple tree in her backyard.
Now, she spends her days inside her room, turning the pages of books she cannot read.
Judilla turned 106 yesterday. She was born on Sept. 17, 1906.
These days, she can no longer walk. She rides a wheelchair every time she leaves her room. When talking to her, her daughter and grandchildren have to speak loud to be heard.
But Lucia Judilla Morpos, 76, Judilla’s only child, said her mother has never been sick, except for cough and colds.
“Wa gyud na siya katilaw ug ospital (She has never been to a hospital),” she said.
Judilla, who has six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, grew up in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, where she still lives. She raised her daughter alone, planting crops and making landang or jelly balls made from palm flour, which are commonly used in “binignit” stew.
Morpos said her mother stopped planting sugarcane, corn and rice when big establishments started occupying the farmlands.
Judilla loves vegetables, which may help explain why she’s a centenarian. But she also loves to eat chorizo, her daughter said.
“Maayo gihapon iyang panan-aw. Ang iyang pandungog lang ang problema (She can still see clearly. Her only problem is her hearing),” Morpos said.
A few years back, Judilla still walked around the house and could even eat by herself.
Clark Dale Morpos, 17, Judilla’s eldest great grandchild, remembered the days when she chased him and his playmates away from the tambis or water apple tree.
She kept telling them that she spent P8 to have the tree in the backyard, said Clark Dale, who is the chair of the Sangguniang Kabataan in Paknaan.
Judilla’s family bought a wheelchair for her a year ago, but she rarely uses it.
Morpos said her mother loves looking at pages of books. Unable to go to school as a child, Judilla has never learned how to read and write.
Judilla will be one of the few centenarians who will be honored by the Mandaue City Government in October.
Khai Morpos, 37, Judilla’s youngest grandchild, said her grandmother is emotional every time she talks about the war.
For her grandmother’s 106th birthday, she wrote a sonnet.
A part of it reads: “I shall ever be thankful/ For the wonderful years growing up with your care/ Those bedtime stories of ghosts that brought a smile/ And your adventures in the war that made me cry/ Not to forget your lullaby, the butterfly song that makes me sigh.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 18, 2012.