A youthful glow behind the old age is manifested in the face and personality of a centenarian in Brgy. Puroc a Dacquel, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Her secret? Those sweet smiles, laughter, and charm have been part of her daily life leaving her body invigorated. 

This is Lola Michaela “Maxima” Adriatico, the only centenarian in Vigan City. At her very old age, she can still remember her birthday, 21 April 1917 and her experiences during the Japanese regime. 

According to her, “Ragragsakek lang ti bagik tapno nalag-an a kanayon ti riknak. Inaklon kon a saan nakon a nakaasawa ta saan a simrek ditoy pusok ti inpakita da a panagayat  (I always make myself happy to make me feel better every day. I already accepted that I do not have the chance to get married because I did not feel the love my suitors showed me).”

Despite her metal plated low extremities, she can still manage to take few steps and sit on her wheel chair and roam around her house.

Amazingly, Lola Maxima can still insert thread into a needle with her naked eye since she was then a dressmaker during her younger years. Aside from that, she also raised pigs and cows and planted corn and peanuts for a living.

Lola Maxima received her centenarian gift last year and was deposited in the bank for future purposes. Annually, the City Government of Vigan is also giving PhP10,000.00 and PhP15,000.00 from the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur to all centenarians.

Behind her optimistic outlook in life is the tender loving care of Cely Adriatico, 63, wife of Lola Maxima’s nephew who lives few meters away from her house.

Cely has been attending to the needs of Lola Maxima for four years. “An-anusak isuna ta siak to met ket kaslan to kanyana. Ken siak lang ti nabati ditoyen a mabalin a mangkita kanyana (I patiently take care of her because I will be like her also. And I am the only one left here to look after her),” Cely said.

Lola Maxima’s ultimate prayer is for the Lord’s daily guidance and mercy and make her live more according to His will. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)