ANOTHER centenarian was given a birthday blowout by the Lapu-Lapu City Government on Tuesday, March 12.
This time, 100-year-old Margarita Atillo got the surprise of her life when she received a cake, tasty dishes and P100,000 cash.
“Mentras buhi pa si Mama, kanang kwartaha ako gyud nang tagoan. I-bangko gyud na kay si Mama man god mokaon pa siya (While Mama is still alive, we will keep that money and put it in the bank because Mama will still eat),” said Erlinda, the 67-year-old daughter of Atillo.
Erlinda said they will also use the money in the event that her mother gets sick.
Mayor Paz Radaza personally gave the presents to Atillo, whose family has been living in Sitio Lasang-Soong, Barangay Mactan since 1980.
Atillo has eight children, two of whom had passed away. She has nearly 80 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was widowed in 1975.
Atillo’s relatives and neighbors joined the birthday bash.
For Radaza, it is a source of joy that there are several centenarians living in the city.
Last week, 102-year-old Maximina Quintero of Barangay Pusok was also surprised by the City Government.
“It’s possible that their eating habits and most probably the way their family took care of them contributed to their long life,” Radaza said.
Atillo’s two daughters, Erlinda and Herminia, 80, said their mother’s secret to a long life is eating vegetables and excluding meat in her daily diet.
When they were young, they ate meat only on Sundays. Atillo also did not season the meat with salt or monosodium glutamate (vetsin).
The Atillos were originally from Borbon in northern Cebu before they moved to Lapu-Lapu.
Atillo, who had to be taken to the hospital only once, has difficulty hearing these days. She would respond, though, when her children and grandchildren whispered something in her ear.
She also often takes walks in the neighborhood with a companion guiding her. (From GCM of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)