Oldest living Filipino, Lola Francisca Susano, turns 123


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over our heads and spirits have been low for the past few months. With frontliners continuing to fight the virus in their PPEs, it’s hard to imagine how the future will go. 

However, this 123-year old lola reminds us that things can eventually get better. As the oldest living Filipino, she has lived through the reigns of all the presidents of the Philippines, the Spanish flu, and both World Wars. And as she turns 123 years old this 11th September, we can only hope that the pandemic finally ends so that she can live the rest of her birthdays worry-free.


Francisca Susano, the 123-year old lola from Negros Occidental


123 years old - lola francisca
Image credit:
Newspapers.ph

We’ve all imagined how we’d look like when we become grey-haired and wrinkly skinned, but very few of us actually expect to live to a hundred years old. Lola Francisca Susano, however, exceeded all such expectations and is currently the oldest living Filipino.

Lola Francisca celebrates her birthday today, 11st September, in her humble home in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Born on 11th September 1897, she will be turning 123 years old today – that’s older than sliced bread and lipstick!


Extraordinary things about being 123 years old


123 years old lola
Lola Francisca celebrating her 122nd birthday in 2019

Image credit: Newspapers.ph

Having lived 123 years, Lola Francisca has experienced many things that we can only read about in history books today. She has lived through the reigns of all the presidents of the Philippines, being a little over 1 year old when Emilio Aguinaldo took the title of the country’s first president. She’s also lived through global historical events such as the Spanish flu and both World Wars.

Aside from these, she is now a grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother to over 100 children.


The key to long life


123 years old - vegetables
Image adapted from:
Marisol Benitez

According to Lola Francisca through an interview with GMA, the secret to living to the age of 123 like her isn’t even a secret. Vegetables are her the key to long life. Lola Francisca likes to keep a healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables, from squash to eggplants to okra.

Despite her old age, lola also likes to get her exercise in. The oldest living Filipino exercises her lungs every morning by playing the harmonica, and even occasionally sings with her grandchildren. She also does some basic stretching exercises, which is more than some of us can say for ourselves.


Health is wealth for the oldest living Filipino


If there’s anything to learn from Lola Francisca and her 123 years that went into becoming the oldest living Filipino, it’s that maybe we should put down that bag of chips and pick up those dumb bells. Health is wealth, after all. 

The saying is a cliche but also very true – Lola Francisca is definitely wealthy in terms of family, years, and memories, all because she took and continues to take care of her health.

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: Newspapers.ph

Enjoying The Smart Local Philippines? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more stories like this.