While the pandemic has threatened life’s longevity among many individuals, Lola Francisca Susano proves that a healthy lifestyle is actually the best defense against diseases and aging. Surpassing Jeanne Calment, who was considered the oldest living person at the age of 122 years and 164 days, Susano will be turning 124 years old this September 11.
The supercentenarian was recently acknowledged by the Guinness Organization as the oldest living person after submitting all required documents. Lola Francisca has lived through the reigns of all the presidents of the Philippines – yes, since Emilio Aguinaldo’s presidency in 1899 up to this year’s Duterte administration. She was born before the Philippines gained independence and witnessed both World Wars. (How cool is that?!)
Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, Lola Francisca has also survived the smallpox pandemic in the early 1900s, the cholera pandemic in 1905, and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. What’s more interesting is that, living such long life runs through her family as eight of her fourteen children are still alive. In fact, the oldest will also be turning a hundred this year!
People residing in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental considers Lola Francisca as a true “national treasure” given that she was able to live through the Martial Law, People Power, not to mention the many super typhoons and natural calamities experienced by the country.
Before she was declared as the world’s oldest living person by the Guinness Book of World Records, Lola Francisca became also one of the awardees under the Negros First Centenarian Act of 2015.
What’s the Secret to a Long Life according to Lola Francisca Susano?
According to reports, Lola Susana is still able to speak fluently, walk, and even play the harmonica. The secret to her long life includes a healthy lifestyle (diet mainly consisting of vegetables and a little meat with no pork) and a positive outlook in life. She says that abstinence from alcohol also played a big role in living such a healthy and long life.
Lola Francisca is the living proof of the adage that goes: health is wealth. And if we, Filipinos, would like to get through this pandemic, the way she survived through all the historic events and pandemic that threatened the world, we have to be more conscious as well with our diet (ready to say goodbye to those chips and samgyupsal?) and keep a healthy lifestyle by regularly doing some exercise and keeping a positive outlook in life.