122-year-old Filipino lola vies for Guinness record as world's oldest living person

by Justine Punzalan
Jun 25, 2020
Francisca Susano who turns 123 this year can still sing and play the harmonica!
PHOTO/S: Hope Sipalay Jeter Canoy on Facebook / CTTO

Francisca Susano is proving that a healthy lifestyle is the best defense against disease and aging.

The 122-year-old native of Negros Occidental survived the deadly Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919 and two world wars—World War I in 1914-1918 and World War II in 1939-1945.

Lola Francisca may just outlive the COVID-19 virus as well.

The secret to her longevity is simple—a nutritious diet packed with veggies that are cooked without additives.

Her family is into farming, and Lola Francisca eats only the vegetables that they grow.

According to her granddaughter Merlene Susano in an interview with GMA 7's Amazing Earth, "Hanggang ngayon, buhay na buhay pa rin si Lola kasi fresh talaga kinakain nila kasi galing doon sa tanim nila."

Merlene elaborated, "Iyong sikreto talaga ni Lola, kumakain sila ng gulay na walang mga spray.

"Kagaya ng mga kalabasa, okra, talong. Lahat ng mga gulay doon sa bundok, walang mga spray.

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"Iyong kinakain ni Lola, palagi doon ay laswa [Ilonggo vegetable soup] na simple ang luto.

"Walang mantika, at saka low salt, at saka walang betsin. At saka parati rin silang kumakain ng honey din—iyong fresh na honey.

"Lahat ng mga kinakain ni Lola is pampahaba ng buhay talaga."

Lola Francisca was born on September 11, 1897, in Barangay Oringao in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

She got married at the age of 14 and gave birth to eight children.

Her eldest is now 99 years old.

Francisca has more than 100 grandchildren up to the fourth degree.

Merlene said her grandmother has difficulty standing up, but she can still hear, speak, and even sing!

She affirmed, "Si Lola tumutugtog pa ng harmonica. Lagi niyang tinutugtog lalo na pag gabi.

"Gigising iyan at tutugtog talaga siya at saka kumakanta."


Another granddaughter, Helen Cachero, said their family had submitted documents to the Guinness Book of World Records to prove her lola may just be the oldest living person today.

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Guinness World Records previously gave the title to Kane Tanaka of Fukuoka, Japan, who was 116 years old during the awarding ceremony on January 30, 2019.


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Francisca Susano who turns 123 this year can still sing and play the harmonica!
PHOTO/S: Hope Sipalay Jeter Canoy on Facebook / CTTO
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