Eleven Negros Oriental centenarians each received P90,999 in a ceremony yesterday, attended by Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 18 director Shailyn Sun Lucero and provincial government officials, headed by Gov. Roel Degamo.
The awardees were Constancia Agbon, 101 years old, from Poblacion in Guihulngan City; Demetria Aldecoa, 106, Dumaguete City; Dionesia Comcom, 114, Bonawon, Siaton; Virginia Escares, 102, Mabigo, Canlaon City; Milagros Fortuito, 101, Sibulan; Margarito Init, 105, of Jawa in Valencia town;
Dalmacia Jamin, 107, Mabuhay, Sta. Catalina; Restituta Remollo, 101, Sto. Niño, San Jose; Fuastino Ricaborda, 101, Alangilan in Sta Catalina; Basilia Torres, 101, San. Cruz Viejo in Tanjay City, and Socorro Valencia, 106, of Guihulngan City.
Nine of the 11 centenarians are female, and two male.
Degamo stressed the need for our old generation to be recognized because “if not for them, we won’t be here, and that we should follow in their footsteps, know their secrets, and live with it.”
Federation of Senior Citizens Association president, Brigido Bayawa, who is 84 years old, said if it is God’s will for him to reach 100 years, he would be glad to wait for that time so he will also receive such recognition.
The oldest of the awardees, Dionesia Comcom, said she has no secrets in reaching 114, its all God’s will. She said she could still remember that her family had been neighbors with Degamo’s family in Bonawon, Siaton, and that one time, she caught the boy, who is now the governor of the province, throwing stones at their mango tree.
Lucero lauded the efforts of the provincial government in recognizing the centenarians in the province, and finding ways to give them financial assistance.
Records will show that the municipality of Siaton in Negros Oriental was the first local government unit to initiate the giving of recognition to centenarians.
Under the Negros Island Region, Lucero said she is also aware that Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are also doing their share in recognizing centenarian residents.*JG