Lolo Eusebio couldn’t contain his happiness upon learning that he will receive a cheque from the Cebu Provincial Government as an incentive for reaching the age of 100 and beyond.
Representatives from the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) personally went to Lolo Eusebio’s home in Barangay Pangpang, a mountain barangay in Barili town, to deliver the P20k cheque on March 11.
The awarding of P20,000 cash incentives to centenarians is part of the services under the Provincial Senior Citizens’ Council, which Board Member Raul Alcoseba authored. The Council’s mandate is to look after the well-being of the elderly and provide a comprehensive healthcare and rehabilitation system for disabled senior citizens.
The Cebu Provincial Government has awarded 28 centenarians since 2014.
Former barangay chief
Eusebio Lacostales was born Aug. 14, 1915. He grew up in the quaint and quiet town of Barili where he met his wife and started a family. He still lives in the same house in which he and his wife raised his seven children. His wife died in 1991.
Aside from being a farmer, Lolo Eusebio has been serving the public as a barangay captain in Barangay Pang Pang for more than two decades since 1965.
He was a bit of a luminary in his barangay back in the day. Now he lived to see the roles reversed.
“Ilado ug pinangga kaayo na sa mga tawo diri si Papa. Tungod tingali kay taas-taas gyud iyang panerbisyo sa barangay. Padaganon pa unta siya ug pagka-kapitan nga nag-edad na siya ug 80-anyos, pero wala na mi nanugot kay papahuwayon na gyud namo siya sa pagpanarbaho (Many people know and are fond of Papa. It could be because of his long public service in the barangay. People wanted him to run again when he was 80 but we did not agree because we want him to take a break from work),” daughter Maria Lacostalis said.
During his stint as a barangay chief, his greatest accomplishment was building a road in their barangay connecting to the main road.
“Mao ra gyud na akong gihangyo sa mga opisyales kaniadto, ug mahimo na nga dalan, mahimo nakong mamatay (I asked the officials before to build that road. I told them that if that road is done then I can die in peace),” Lolo Eusebio said.
Aside from the road accomplishment, his projects were building water wells, distribution of sprayers for fertilizers and shovels for the farmers in the barangay.
“Pinobre lang gyud”
Keeping a low-key life, exercise, and being happy in your work are among the secrets to longevity, according to Lolo Eusebio.
He said being around people, especially with loved ones, and spending time helping the community gives him a huge sense of fulfillment.
Lolo Eusebio also shared a common secret among centenarians, which is to live a healthy life by eating more vegetables, fish and organic corn grits.
“Tibu-ok kinabuhi nako, kaon ra ko’g mais, isda ug utan. Ah, panagsa ra ang baboy. Maggamit ra sad mi og asin. Kung mahimo walay Ajinomoto (All my life, I only eat corn, fish and vegetables, and rarely meat. We also use salt. If possible, no Ajinomoto or monosodium glutamate),” Lolo Eusebio said.
He also advised to always follow doctor’s advice.
“Kutob sa unsay isulti sa doctor nga di maayo para sa akong lawas, mohunong gyud ko. Kay sila ma’y nakahibalo parte sa kahimsog sa lawas, mao nga mopatu-o gyud ta (I follow whatever the doctors say because they know more about the status of our health),” he said.
The life expectancy of average Filipinos is only up to 71 years old. Living three decades past the life expectancy is a great achievement worthy of emulation and public recognition. Heart Rizarri