PILAR, Bataan: For someone who is 100 years old, blind and confined to a wheelchair, Teodora “Doray” Baluyot still has a sharp mind.
Her secret? She has a cheerful disposition and enjoys singing “Ay, Ay Kay Lungkot” and “Bukid ay Basa” among others.
She also credits her longevity to her love of paksiw na isda, sinigang sa kamatis na isda, vegetables and shrimps.
“Mahilig siya sa paksiw na isda at hinalabos na hipon sa almusal [She is fond of paksiw na isda and hinabalos na hipon at breakfast],” said retired school teacher Rosa Valerio, 70, one of her eight children.
Of the seven living ones, two are businessmen, two are retired members of the United States Navy, one is a retired budget analyst, one a farmer, and another is a teacher.
From her eight kids, Doray has 31 grandchildren and 53 great grandchildren.
Her husband was a farmer and the couple raised their kids by selling palay grains in Olongapo City. In 2001, Doray became a widow but that did not stop her from taking care of her kids.
Two years ago, Doray suffered a fracture in one of her legs and could not walk since then. She was blinded by glaucoma five years ago.
When she celebrated her birthday on May 16, the centenarian wished “Sana maging maligaya tayong lahat at humaba ang buhay. Maalis lahat karamdaman sa ating katawan para maging masaya [I wish we will all be happy and have long lives. I hope all our illnesses will disappear so we will all be happy].”
“Magmahalan kayo, magtulungan at laging manalangin sa Diyos [Let us love one another, help each other, and pray always],” Rosa quoted her mother as saying. Afterwards, |Doray recited the Lord’s Prayer.
“Very blessed kaming magkakapatid dahil mabuting asal ang itinuro sa amin ng aming ina. Humaba pa sana buhay niya sapagka’t siya ang inspirasyon namin at gabay [We are lucky because our mom taught us good manners. We hope she lives longer because she is our inspiration and guide],” said Rodolfo Baluyot, 60, the youngest of Doray’s kids and a retired US Navyman.
Rosa said their mother dissuaded them and her granddaughters from eloping with their boyfriends.
“Ayaw niyang maulit ang nangyari sa kanya na 16 na taong gulang pa lamang siya ay nagtanan at nag-asawa na [She eloped at age 16 and did not want the same thing to happen to us],” she said.
During the Holy Mass held in the residence of Rosa in Bantan Munti here, the centenarian joined the rest of the churchgoers in singing.
Doray was in high spirits as she sung “Hallelujah” and the “Lord’s Prayer.”
When Pilar parish priest Fr. Josue Enero led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday” to Doray, the latter sang with them and clapped her hands. She continued singing even when the others stopped.
“Maraming salamat,” Doray said when asked by the priest what she wanted to tell her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other relatives.
“Kami ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil inspirasyon kayo sa amin [We should be thanking you because you are our inspiration],” Enero said.