David Levithan once said “The secret to living long is to have something to live for”. This is relatable to the story of Rosalia Judilon, a Centenarian from Dasol, Pangasinan. She recently received a cash incentive worth PhP100,000.00 through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) on 20 September 2022. Lola Rosalia thankfully said, ”Bingaybingayek daytoy intedyo sakunto iranod kadagiti pamilyak ken ipanggatang ti kanek. Agyamanak kadakayo, DSWD (I will divide and give it to my family and we will buy food. Thank you very much, DSWD)”.
Lola Rosalia’s niece and caretaker, Nonita Judilon, shared that Lola Rosalia willingly worked as the breadwinner of their family as they were poor. Despite being deaf and blind in her old age, Lola Rosalia remains healthy and does not take any medications or maintenance. Her secret to having a long life is eating vegetables.
Moreover, Jean Lucero, a retired high school teacher expresses her gratitude to Lola Rosalia, “Malapit na kaibigan siya ng magulang ko at tinuturing ko na aking pangalawang magulang. Nagsilbi siya sa amin ng higit na 30 taon. Sobrang matiyaga at masipag. Magaling din siya magluto at maglaba. Hindi siya titigil hangga’t hindi mo sasabihing tapos na siya magtrabaho. Utang na loob ko sa kanya ang buhay ko kahit wala na ang mga magulang ko. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos dahil mahaba ang kaniyang buhay (She is a close friend of my parents and considered as my second. She served us for more than 30 years with patience and hard work. She is also good at cooking and doing laundry. Hence, she will not stop until you tell her she is done working. I owe my life to her even though my parents are gone. I thank God that she has a long lifespan)”.
The awarding of the national cash incentive was held at the Municipal Mayor’s Office of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dasol, Pangasinan headed by Municipal Mayor Rizalde “Sadong” J. Bernal who served as witness during the receipt of a cash incentive. He stated, “Siya ay isang huwaran at nararapat lamang na mabigyan ng pagkilala sa kaniyang natatanging kontribusyon sa aming bayan (She is a role model and deserves to be recognized for her unique contribution to this municipality)”. The LGU Dasol will also provide Lola Rosalia with an additional cash incentive of PhP20,000.00 The Judilon family expressed gratitude to the LGU Dasol and DSWD FO 1 for providing financial assistance and expediting the distribution of the cash gift.
Republic Act 10868 also known as the “Centenarians Act of 2016” stipulates that all Filipino citizens who reach the age of 100 years old, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, shall be honored with a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity and shall receive a centenarian gift in the amount of PhP100,000.00. Further, the centenarians who died upon the effectivity of the law will be given a posthumous plaque of recognition together with the cash incentive to be received by their nearest surviving relative or family. (by: Princess R. Dumpit, Information Officer I, Social Pension Program Management Office/ Social Marketing Unit)