Showing posts with label secrets to longevity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label secrets to longevity. Show all posts

Saturday, July 11, 2015

107-year-old Boholano credits God and malunggay for his longevity

Surrounded by children, grandchildren, great grand children and great great grand children, and the promise of more to come, Pedro Laquinta Samuya (Lolo Indong to his family and friends), a retired Boholano guerrilla warrior, teacher and municipal mayor turned 107 on Wednesday, June 17, and is nowhere near to slowing down.

Samuya might be the province’s oldest man, surviving mayor and world war veteran.

What’s the secret to his longevity?

“Mag-ampo ra. Kini karun santos ang sandiganan nako. Kana  Santisima Trinidad ug San Roque. Mao na gitug-an sa akong inahan nga debusyunan para makatabang nako ug para  walay panulay makasugal. Tinuod jud na (I always pray. My favorite saints have helped me especially my devotion to the Santisima Trinidad and San Roque. My mother told me to continue keep my devotion to help me through my hardships and to ward off devils),” said Samuya.
Pedro Samuya celebrates his 107th birthday
.-Photo by Joshua Fullido
Besides keeping busy, Samuya believes his diet has played a big role in getting to 107. He mainly consumes fruit, vegetables and fish. He likes poultry and seafood, but he rarely eats pork, beef and carabeef.

He credits a very special vegetable for his good health and longevity: horseradish tree or malunggay.

““Kamunggay jud ang number 1..perti ka sustansya na (Malunggay is the number one, it’s super nutritious),” said Samuya.

His youngest daughter Cecilia Samuya-Asoy,65, said that his father’s meal includes fish and law-oy (vegetable stew) with lots of malunggay leaves.

“Mao na iyang request kanang law-oy. Hilig na siya law-oy nga naay kamunggay, (He asks for vegetable stew in his meal. He likes law-oy so much with malunggay),” said Samuya-Asoy.

Samuya could still walk but lately he’s using cane for balance. He could still read without eyeglasses. And Samuya remained mentally sharp and still possessed what his children described as “amazing” long-term memory. He ably conversed with his grandkids, except he has to use a hearing aid to hear them better.

It's hard to image a world before television, radio, cars, or cell phones, but Samuya is alive to tell what Bohol was like in the early 1900s.

“Kining lugara kakahuyan pa ni unya daghan sagbut mga bugang nanubo diri. Walay usa nagpuyo pero dinilang ko mingpuyo, (This place (San Isidro town) had many trees and pampas grass trees sprouted naturally. No one lives here but I decided to settle down here,” said Samuya.

Pedro Samuya with the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos when the former was chosen as
 the Most Outstanding Mayor of the Philippines in 1977. –Courtesy: Samuya Family
Samuya lives at his old house in San Isidro which was destroyed by the earthquake in 2013. He may be at his home, but that's not stopping him from getting some exercise.

He spends his days walking inside the house, seating in a small chair outside the house to look for passers and praying in a small chapel adjacent to his room.

He stays healthy and vibrant until he became a centenarian. Solitude may have its benefits, according to children. Samuya’s wife Tiburcia died on August 2, 2000 when Samuya was in his late nineties. But he didn’t remarry, instead choosing to keep himself busy in public service and other community activities.

“Mananggot pa na siya maskin 80 years old na siya para himuon niyang tuba (At 80 years old, Lolo Indong climbed coconut trees to collect sap from the palm’s flowers for tuba, a coconut sap wine),” said great grandchild Jaime Laquinta, 46. “Bag-o pa na siya dili na makaadto sa iyang baul (It is just lately that he could not visit his little farm).”

Samuya has without any serious illnesses or ailments. But the family was very anxious when Samuya injured in a fall and wounded his head two days after typhoon Yolanda in 2013 while walking in the terrace while raining, said Samuya-Asoy. He was brought to Catigbian District Hospital for treatment and he had to endure pain. He worried he wouldn’t be able to pray.

But as he recovered, Samuya kept praying and walking, Samuya-Asoy said.

Second world war veteran Pedro Samuya wearing 
his guerrilla uniform. Courtesy: Samuya Family
He fills his days with praying, walking and visits from family, including great-great-grandchildren.

“I just am thankful for every day that passes that I’ll be able to pray,” Samuya said. 

Samuya taught his children the life of prayer and humility.

“Iyang gibilin ni papa namo kanang ‘have faith in God, forget worries’. Mao jud nay kanunay gihatag sa iyang mga anak, (Father told us to have faith in God and forget worries),” said  Samuya-Asoy.

“Iyang pagkadiyosnon..gihatag niya mga anak niya.mao na iyang gipamatuto namo hangtud karun. Iyang pagkamatinud-anon sa pagservice sa mga tawo nga kinasingkasing nga walay kapin kun kulang, (He taught us to be prayerful. We saw him being sincere in his public service, how he served the people)” said Liliosa Samuya-Bahulay.

Pedro Samuya was born on June 17, 1908 to Dominggo, a farmer, and Matea, a housekeeper, from Antequera town.  He married Tiburcia Verdad Suaybaguio on Feb. 10, 1994 solemnized by Rev. Fr. Arnold Villas. They have four children who are still alive: Quirino, 71, a retired elementary teacher; Requillo, 69, a retired teacher and town mayor of San Isidro in Bohol; Liliosa, 66, a retired budget officer; and Cecilia, 65, a retired master teacher.

Now, Samuya has 18 grandchildren, 13 great grand children and 15 great great grand children.

Samuya taught automotive engineering at the Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1934-1940. He joined the Antequera Bolo movement during the second world war in 1942-1945. He taught elementary at San Isidro Central School in 1946-1966.

When barangay Agbun of Antequera (then became barangay of Catigbian town) was created into San Isidro town in 1969, Samuya was the first appointed mayor. He was also the first elected mayor from 1970-1980. 

The human life span has reduced drastically and we hardly 
see people surviving past 100 years. But for Pedro Samuya, 
he credits God and malunggay for longevity. 
-Photo by Joshua Fullido
In 1977, he was awarded as one of The Outstanding Mayors of the Year from the Philippine Life for “his outstanding local executive who has rendered distinguished and exemplary performance in the New Society.” In 1978, he also received the Defender of Good Government, Outstanding Mayor of the Year and Model Citizen of the New Society from the members of the Executive Development and Research of the Philippines for  his “performance in the field of education, health, peace and  order, social welfare and your effort in bringing up the ideals  of good government closer to the people.”

He also created the San Isidro High School for students would no longer study in the neighboring towns of Antequera  and Catigbian.  He also founded the senior citizens association in his hometown.