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Long lives: Stories & secrets

By MILLET M. MANANQUIL, The Philippine STAR Published Feb 18, 2024 5:00 am

What are the secrets to long life?

A Netflix documentary entitled Live to 100 seeks the formula for longevity by going to six places that had a high population of centenarians. Host Dan Buettner interviewed people and found out factors that led to long lives in each place.

In Okinawa, people ate sweet potatoes, mulberry leaves, squid ink, ampalaya (anti-diabetes) and tofu (anti-cancer).

He was told: Always have fun. Make everyone happy. Avoid loneliness. Most of all, have what is called ikigai, or a sense of purpose.

In Sardinia, Italy, the seniors said: Walk slowly, work but avoid stress, eat vegetables, sourdough bread, beans and pasta.

In Loma Linda, California, Buettner found a community of Adventists, 35 percent of which were vegans or vegetarians. Eat beans to avoid colon cancer. Care for each other. Do sports. Avoid being depressed.

In Ikaria, Greece, olive oil and greens reign supreme. Drink herbal teas to avoid dementia. Use honey straight from the bee to the tea to prevent cancer. Be joyful, keep on dancing.

In Nicoya, Costa Rica, the popular foods were corn, black beans and squash. You don’t need to be wealthy to be healthy. It’s a wrong idea that you need meat for protein. Most of all, you must have a plan de vida. A purpose in life.

In Singapore, the elders said: Eat brown rice, limit your soda, play tennis, work hard, be honest and humble. Be happy. Lonely people don’t live long.

Here in the Philippines we talked to six personalities between the ages of 85 to 100:

Jaime Laya, whose achievements cover banking, education, arts and culture. Maribel Ongpin, who devotes her energy to education, support for the textile industry and social activism. Cesar Virata, who has served the country longest as finance head. Joy Virata, one of the pillars in Philippine theater. Victor Hugo Gutierrez, an architect and businessman. And Juan Ponce Enrile, who has lived so long that he has been dubbed as immortal, and jokingly asked about life during biblical times.

But more than the secrets to long life, we are more concerned about their stories of how pain has enriched their being. And how they live and continue living their lives with a sense of purpose.

Juan Ponce Enrile, 100
‘Google? Why Google when I have been on this planet for 100 years!’
Juan Ponce Enrile says he taught himself how to use the computer.

What events in our country’s history have you witnessed and participated in?

No questions on politics and history, please! Let’s just talk about the current and the future.

But let me tell you that during World War II, I was in the underground from October 1944 to January 1945. I escaped from the Japanese.

You were asked by then President Ferdinand Marcos to lay the plan for martial law, and in 1986 you, together with Fidel Ramos, led the Reform the Armed Forces Movement in the People Power Revolution that led to the ouster of Marcos and his exile with his family in Hawaii. Still, now President Bongbong Marcos has embraced you into Malacañang as his Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. 

Bongbong Marcos may turn out to be one of the best presidents this country will have.

What about the personal milestones in your life?

I have known the depths of misery. I was a fisherman as early as seven years old. That was the livelihood of my stepfather. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and cast the net in the sea for fishing. I have been a farmer, a houseboy, a road worker, a stevedore, a swimmer, water skier, golfer. I know the life of poor people. I know the life of the well-off.

In 1945, I arrived in Manila from Cagayan in uniform. It was my first time to meet my father. My father knew the Maryknoll Sisters so I was enrolled at St. James Academy in Malabon. For college, I went to Ateneo and for law, UP Diliman (graduating cum laude for both). I went to Harvard for my Master of Laws degree.

I took up law because I once experienced injustice. I still have the scars on my arms, which I got when I was ambushed by my upperclassmen who were children of the school’s board of trustees. It was not I who caused the brawl but I was expelled from school. I had to jump out of the window to save my life.

What gives you the most fulfillment? What dreams have you yet to achieve?

With wife Cristina, “the prettiest woman I’ve ever encountered.”

Family. My wife Cristina is the prettiest woman I have ever encountered in my life. I cried when she underwent an operation last year (she is 87) and I thought she was going to go. But God was kind enough not to allow it.

I have two children, Jackie and Katrina, and grandchildren—six girls and two boys—and three great grandchildren, one girl and two boys. I play with them, I embrace them, I kiss them.

My daughter Katrina has been my guardian. She was with me when I was arrested during the time of President Cory Aquino and brought to Camp Karingal prison.

With granddaughter Kara and daughter Katrina

When I was head of Customs, Katrina was nine years old when she survived a kidnapping attempt. I was very strict and I was cleaning up corruption in Customs. Katrina will make her mark in whatever field she chooses, whether business or government.

Dreams? I believe this country must be united.

Describe your daily routine.

Every day, I read books. I did not waste my time during COVID. I am currently reading James Rickards’ books, like Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, The Road to Ruin: The Global Elite’s Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis.

I learned using the computer myself; I am self-taught. Yes, I do social media, and yes, I understand terms like LOL. Google? Why Google when I have been on this planet for 100 years!

What is your fitness routine? Any sports? Hobbies?

I exercise a little every day, and I walk under the sun. Maybe 25 years ago, I was into dancing the rhumba, the Argentinian tango. I used to do taekwondo when I was in the Department of Defense. I was a black belter.

I don’t watch TV movies. I don’t waste my time on fiction. But my favorite writer was Lloyd Douglas, author of The Robe, The Magnificent Obsession and other works mostly based on the Bible.

How do you describe your diet?

I eat saluyot, dinendeng, patola, bataw. My habits are probably more of rural people’s.

Your advice for a long and meaningful life?

It’s God’s handiwork. He can make life long or short for you. I just move along the road of life, and encounter whatever comes before me.

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from the government for those who turn 100, as you did last Feb. 14?

Maybe I will just keep it in my wallet.

Cesar Virata, 94
‘I walk in the pool three times a week for half an hour. ’
Cesar at his desk doing “homework.”

What events in our nation’s history have you witnessed?

I have been president and am now chairman of the Cavite Historical Society, which celebrates historical events and honors the revolutionaries who fought for freedom from Spain and the United States. I witnessed the uprising of Juan P. Enrile and Fidel D. Ramos against President Ferdinand Marcos and Gen. Fabian Ver in the rivalry of the Ilocanos and its aftermath.

How about milestones in your personal life?

I graduated from the University of the Philippines with degrees in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering in 1952.

I became an instructor in the College of Business Administration in the University of the Philippines and was sent abroad and the Faculty Build-up Program, studied in the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania from 1952 to 1953, and graduated with an MBA in Industrial Management in 1953.I returned to the Philippines and taught in the College of Business of the University of the Philippines in 1953. In 1956, I taught in the Graduate School of Business.

I got married in 1956, and joined SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. then and was responsible for the establishment of agricultural projects in Mindanao like the Dole plantation. I became head of management services of SGV in 1962. In the same year, I was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).

I was asked by President Ferdinand Marcos to work on the Investments Act. During this time, I was undersecretary of Industry and chairman of the Philippine National Bank. After the passage of the act in 1967, I became chairman of the Board of Investments and resigned my positions as undersecretary and chairman of PNB to devote my entire time to the BOI.

I was appointed chairman of the Philippine Panel to negotiate with the United States government on the termination of the Laurel-Langley Agreement on the Parity provision. I became Finance secretary in 1970 and held that position for 16 years.

In 1976, I became chairman of the World Bank Development Committee.

In 1978, I was appointed to the Interim Batasan. In 1984, I ran for the Batasan (Parliament) as representative from Cavite and won. I was nominated by President Marcos as prime minister and was elected by the Batasan in 1984.

In 1987, I set up C. Virata and Associates, a consulting firm. Subsequently, I was recruited by Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco to be chairman of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation while the Ambassador was in Japan. I became vice chairman when Ambassador Yuchengco returned. I have held that position until the present.

Cesar and Joy Virata at a party with friends.

What gives you most fulfillment in life? Any dreams you have yet to achieve?

To know that my children have grown up following our teachings and examples. They are hardworking, honest, kind, and cheerful.

My dream is to see the Philippines become a progressive country—exporting more so that the gap between exports and imports can finally be closed. For the Philippines to be able to lower its birthrate so that families can afford to support their children, keep them in good health, and give them a good education so that they can have good prospects for employment. 

What is your advice for people who want to live a long and meaningful life?

Everything in moderation. Don’t smoke.

What physical fitness routines do you have? Any sports/hobbies?

I walk in the pool three times a week for half an hour. I used to play tennis three times a week and, before that, golf, but after I hurt my knee I had to stop playing tennis. That was about five or six years ago. After my bout with COVID, I have had to use a walker. It is not possible for me to indulge in any sport.

What are “must” foods for you? And what food would you never eat?

For breakfast, I eat fruit, cereal, rice, eggs and a meat. (Joy’s comment: like that Filipino comedian said, “Breakfast is dinner with an egg.”) Lunch includes soup, one main dish, and juice ordered from an RCBC restaurant. Dinner is meat, a vegetable, sometimes a salad, rice, and soup. Always ice cream for dessert. I don’t eat anything related to animal inner organs or animal blood (i.e., dinuguan).

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from the government on your 100th birthday?

Give it to PGH for the children’s ward or to the University of the Philippines Cesar A Virata College of Business.

Joy Virata, 88

‘I will put the P100,000 gift in a fund to help actors and musicians pay medical bills.’

Joy with her RTYA cast during REP’s 50th anniversary

What events in our nation’s history have you witnessed?

Not sure if this would be considered an important event in our nation’s history that I participated in, but the Declaration of Independence in 1898 by Emilio Aguinaldo: I researched, wrote and produced a theatrical story about this event which sometimes is overlooked and forgotten.

The end of World War II and the liberation of Manila and the EDSA Revolution were some things I witnessed.

How about milestones in your personal life?

My stay in the United States when I was 11. My baptism when I was 13. Graduation from high school when I was 15. Meeting Cesar when I was 17. Graduation from college at 19. Being married to Cesar at 20. Starting a family at 21. Getting a master’s degree at 26. Cesar’s entry into government service when I was 30.

Joining Repertory Philippines at 39. Starting REP Children’s Theater at 56. Attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 58. Joining Union Church of Manila and the UCM Chancel Choir at 76. In-between, of course, there were the births of three children, then four grandchildren and then one—and soon to be two—great-grandchildren.

What gives you the most fulfillment in life? Any dreams you have yet to achieve?

Caring for my family and REP’s Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA, formerly REP’s Children’s Theater).

To see all my family happy and well. To see RTYA continue to thrive.

What is your advice for people who want to live a long and meaningful life?

Find something to do that will make even the smallest contribution to humanity and God’s kingdom and that you enjoy doing and keep doing it. Keep active. Exercise. Try to go outdoors as much as possible. Everything in moderation (except when you’re passionate about something). Listen to music. Communicate with people. Manage stress Always have a sense of humor. Have faith. Have a cat.

What is your daily routine?

Cats wake me up at 5 a.m. on the dot. (Don’t ask me how they know what time it is.)

At 7 or 8 a.m., I eat breakfast with Cesar. Although he usually is at the breakfast table finishing breakfast and reading the papers by that time.

Conversations with the Lord. Read the Bible.

I try to start my day with a walk in the garden or in the gym on a treadmill, or in the pool, a shower, reading email, skimming through Facebook, writing (an email letter or, until I finished it last year, my book, or whatever I need to write), besides singing in the choir, I also take private voice lessons online.

I have lunch with Cesar somewhere. Oh, yes, usually, if he can come home from the office at 4 p.m., we have tea and catch up on what’s going on in our lives.

Cesar and I have dinner usually at 6:30 p.m., I take my last pill at 8 p.m. I check if the cats are in the room, see that their food and water dishes are set and get into bed. At 8:30 p.m., I am sound asleep.

What physical fitness routines do you have? Any sports/hobbies?

I try to walk at least half an hour a day—either outdoors or on a treadmill in the gym. I used to swim at least twice a week. I do stretches that the doctor prescribed for my lower back pain.

Don’t know if theater work is a hobby. I love reading and singing. 

How about your diet? What are “must” foods for you? And what food would you never eat?

I eat everything and anything although I try to keep that in moderation. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and prefer meat to fish. 

I love chocolate, strong decaf coffee with whipped milk. On the advice of my grandchildren, drink lots of water, one Shredded Wheat biscuit. Everyone thinks I’m crazy to love Shredded Wheat. I won’t eat alogbati and tofu. 

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from the government on your 100th birthday?

Truthfully, if no one in my family needed it, or for that matter, if I didn’t need it, I would put it in a fund to help actors and musicians pay medical bills.

Jaime Laya, 85
‘I experienced the positive side of martial law: law-abiding citizens.
Jaime Laya with his books.

And improvements in the budget process that I was able to introduce.’

What are the most important events in our nation’s history that you have witnessed ?

I was born in 1939 and experienced a bit of the hardships of World War II. I was too young and insulated to realize what was going on but I saw the red skies at night that was South Manila burning, Japanese patrols, and happy crowds when American troops marched down Rizal Avenue in 1945. An American soldier, the Texan Joseph Slay, was briefly billeted at our home in Sampaloc. He slept without a mosquito net but after spraying the room with DDT.

As a University of the Philippines (UP) faculty member, I was on campus when leftists took over and formed the “Diliman Republic.” Molotov cocktails were being thrown everywhere. They ran the radio station DZUP and broadcast anti Marcos diatribes, punctuated by a tape of creaking bedsprings and a baritone singing Pamulinawen to a lady bedmate. 

Once I was driving home from a Management Association of the Philippines dinner at the Hilton Hotel on United Nations Avenue and passed Aviles Street just after a leftist rally. Broken glass and debris littered the street under dangling electric lines, watchful police still on the sidewalks. 

I also experienced the positive side of Martial Law: law-abiding citizens, improvements in the budget process that I was able to introduce as Minister of the Budget. 

I also experienced the financial crisis of 1984, when foreign financing dried up and the Philippines had to declare a debt standstill, supposedly the doing of powerful countries seeking Marcos’ ouster.

Jaime Laya partying.

In 1986, learning I was unemployed while coming from a courtesy call on Mrs. Aquino by the Marcos cabinet led by Cesar Virata. The radio announcement was that we had all been replaced.

How about milestones in your personal life?

I would single out the following milestones—death of my father in a car accident when I was 13, graduating from U.P with honors at 18 (unlike now, we only had one summa cum laude, four magna cum laudes and about 16 cum laudes); graduate study in the United States (MS at Georgia Tech, Ph.D. at Stanford University); teaching at UP, rising from assistant instructor to professor and dean); service in government as NEDA Deputy Director General, Central Bank Deputy Governor, Minister of Budget, Central Bank Governor, Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, chairman of the Cultural Center of the Philippines; professional practice as CPA and management consultant (from a three-person company in 1986 to a 300-person staff and third largest in the profession when I retired in 2004), to independent director of five listed companies, and now president of a universal bank.

I have four children, two with senior positions in Spanish and Singaporean companies, World Bank staff member, and physician at St. Luke’s Global City. Grandchildren, one a Harvard graduate and currently an MBA student at MIT, another a Harvard graduate working in a U.S. finance company and about to return to school for her MBA; and three grade school children in some of the best schools in Singapore and Manila.

What gives you most fulfillment in life? Any dreams you have yet to achieve?

I’ve tried to do my best in whatever I’m involved in—whether in academe, in the public service, in professional practice, in banking, and in the arts. Doing my best, with or without recognition from others, is fulfilment enough for me. That my children have achieved success in their respective fields and are themselves good parents is reward enough. 

Dreams yet to achieve, I suppose having a peaceful retirement while still in good health.

What is your advice for people who want to live a long and meaningful life?

My father died in an automobile accident when I was 14, and he 41. That made me think of what I wanted to do or be if I only had 27 years left, which is the advice I would give to others: set an objective and work towards it. My parents and grandparents taught lessons by example, not through words. They never took advantage of anyone, spoke ill of others, were not discouraged by misfortune. Only once did my mother sit down to give me detailed advice: Go the extra mile, don’t wait for others to tell you what to do, do what needs to be done. I would add, keep your sense of humor, don’t let defeat defeat you, guide and help others to the extent you can, lead a healthy life, keep your word.

What is your daily routine as you wake up and before going to bed?

On waking up, I decide whether to exercise or not, depending on what my day’s schedule is. I still work and go to the office and to meetings everyday. Time permitting, I walk the two blocks to Makati Sports Club to swim or to or hop on the treadmill. I am on intermittent fasting and skip breakfast, keeping to one or two cups of black coffee and then do exercise for maybe 40 minutes. Work schedule permitting, I spend the next 20 minutes sweating in the sauna. Except when I have a lunch meeting, I stick to a sandwich or a couple of slices of pizza at about 1 p.m.—I try to keep to a 16-hour fasting schedule to keep my weight down.

No doubt about it. I am a congenital tsundoku. I have books on things I’m interested in and on things I’d like to know about. That’s why on and under all surfaces in my bedroom are books waiting to be read—on history, economics, paintings and painters, numbers, architecture, murder mysteries, opera, native trees, i.e., all the subjects I’m interested in. At other times I bring out my rosary. It just happens that I reach dreamland almost immediately after I open a book or say “I believe…” Not everyone passes out so quickly and my wife was always tempted to give me a kick. 

What physical fitness routines do you follow? Any sports and hobbies?

 I was always the smallest kid in grade and high school and was always outrun, out-dribbled, out-basketed, and in general clobbered in everything. I therefore avoided sports of all kinds. Swimming was a required PE course in college and I managed to do four laps hanging on to the side of the pool (I reported to my teacher that I did 16 and he gave me the benefit of the doubt). I did manage to learn swimming years later and now I do one kilometer non-stop when the spirit moves. I alternate doing laps (usually 400-800 meters) and stationary bike (40 minutes). I walk with a cane to avoid slipping and managed some 10,000 steps a day while in New York last December.

That’s Jaime swimming

I collect stuff. As a kid, I collected coins and stamps. In time, I switched to books (mostly Filipiniana), paintings, santos, furniture, and odds and ends that remind me of my childhood and what I imagine my ancestors used. I used to prowl Mabini antique shops every Saturday but now only a handful of old timers remain and with slim pickings. I check out online sellers and auction catalogues and sometimes find something nice, like a Pacita Abad (the subject of an ongoing San Francisco Museum of Modern Art retrospective) that no one else seems to have recognized.

How about your diet? What are your favorite foods? And what food would you never eat?

I’m lucky I like ampalaya, nuts, beans and other food that happen to be healthy. I like peanuts but I had to go slow after a sudden gout attack. I like kari-kari—just the veggies—but it has peanuts and so have to control myself. I also stopped eating rice and drinking coconut water when I learned my blood sugar is borderline diabetic. Apart from nuts, my snack staple is chicharon.  My bad cholesterol level is okay and whenever I can, I gorge on chicharon and lechon skin with liver sauce. I never liked the taste of beer but I’ve been trying to learn—with limited success—the difference between say merlot and cabernet sauvignon. 

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from the government on your 100th birthday?

Hopefully neither I nor any of my children will be in need in five years’ time although with war in Ukraine and the Middle East and with global warming, one can’t be over confident. Anyway, it would be good to let the money go to deserving causes.

Victor Hugo Gutierrez, 96
‘Don’t worry, be happy! Every day that we wake up is a bonus.’
Victor Gutierrez will always say yes to travel. His recent photo was taken in Valencia, Spain

What historical events have you witnessed?

World War II is a vivid memory. I still remember the siren that the Japanese airplanes were arriving back in school. I was 12 years old during the Japanese Occupation. It was a difficult time because one wrong look at a Japanese soldier and you could be dead. The assumption was, if you were not with them, you were against them.We just learned to live in the shadows to avoid any kind of attention. In fact, we lived in a barrio so quiet that guerillas were able to hide in our home. We housed and fed five to 10 at a time. I remember them being so grateful and courteous. Imagine accommodating strangers at the risk of being caught by the Japanese.

How about milestones in your personal life?

When I got married to my wife, Amada, and we raised our eight children (Vitt, Vittsi, Tres, Reimon, Louie, Loo, Agnes and Dulzzi). And now, seeing my grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up. What a blessing they all are to me.

I’m an architect and a businessman. I’m a member of the Knights of Columbus, and Marriage Encounter.

Louie, Loo, Agnes and Dulzzi are just four of his eight children who all live close by to keep him company.

What gives you the most fulfillment in life? Any dreams you have yet to achieve?

Spending quality time with my family and traveling. I most especially like our beach trips. 

What is your advice for people who want to live a long and meaningful life?

Don’t worry, be happy! Every day that we wake up is a bonus, especially for 96-year-olds like me. Know who your people are so you can surround yourself with those who prioritize your happiness. 

And I always tell my children and grandchildren, “Forward ever, backward never!” Just keep moving, in all aspects of your life. 

What is your daily routine?

I pray upon waking up and hear Mass either online or at the church which is a few meters from my house. God is so good that I get to wake up another day! I listen to my polka music while having breakfast. Read the newspaper. The Philippine STAR, of course! Printed version is a must. I pray the rosary via video call daily at 11 a.m. I go with my children to try out new restaurants, visit my wife Amada’s resting place in Heritage Park and then drop by my son Louie’s Community Farm in BGC for light exercise and vitamin D. 

What physical fitness routines do you have? Any sports or hobbies?

I have a personal trainer three times a week, and my favorite workout is TRX. I can tinker on my grand piano for hours. I also love to paint, draw sketches, swim and gardening. When I can, I ride my speedboat which I’ve had since I was working as an OFW architect in Guam in the mid ‘50s. I can’t complete 19 holes anymore but I love playing golf. I putt at home. 

What food do you eat? And what food would you never eat?

I am a typical Kapampangan who loves good food. On cheat days, I eat lechon and Betis’ chicharon. My favorite fruits are mangoes, bananas, chico and guyabano which we harvest from our very own Prado farms. 

After my stroke when I turned 80, I started to eat healthy. My diet consists of fish and veggies. If I eat meat, it has to be lean, minus all excess oil. My favorites are paksiw na isda, gatas ng kalabaw, chicken breast, avocado, bananas and homemade tsokolate with air-fried suman

I was never fond of watermelon. Hito also, because it reminds me of the fish swimming in mud at the sementeryo in our barrio.

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from the government on your 100th birthday?

I will treat my whole family out to lunch. I want to see the entire family together as some live abroad. Although if we account for every one of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, we might just have enough to eat at McDo! And that is perfectly fine!

Some of it will be for donating school supplies for those in need. As I remember, way back when, my parents couldn’t afford to buy me some.

Maribel Ongpin, 86
‘Walking has been my habit since World War II, when none of my classmates or my family had cars.’
Maribel Ongpin in golfing mode: Last Jan. 21, 2023, she won Class D in the Manila Golf Ladies Club Championship.

What events in our nation’s history have you witnessed?

World War II and the carpet bombing of Baguio which killed my father. The election of Ramon Magsaysay and having a photo of him in front of the Mansion House in Baguio. EDSA Revolution 1. Filipino women elevating themselves to national life, big business, professions, art, career heights, as well as being pillars of their family, and the nation acknowledged.

How about milestones in your personal life?

Going to college and graduate school on scholarships. Coming home to teach and raise a family. Carrying on after the untimely death of my husband (Jaime).

What gives you the most fulfillment in life?

Helping others besides my family—in education, in employment opportunities, in the advocacy of Filipino artists and weavers, helping out in my neighborhood, overseeing a book club, taking care and having fun with my cats and dogs, enjoying my garden, and watching my grandchildren grow up.

Dreams you have yet to achieve?

Many dreams left, much to strive for yet; that is living.

Maribel with her seven granddaughters, Christmas 2023, (from left): Seve Ongpin, Rocio Duarte, Ali Ongpin, Sasa Ongpin, Marianna Ongpin, Rosanna Periquet, Roberta Periquet. Maribel also has six grandsons.

What physical fitness routines do you follow? Any sports or hobbies?

Physical fitness is mainly walking. It is a habit formed when I grew up in Baguio after World War II. We all walked everywhere. Not one of my classmates’ families or my family had cars.

My sports are golf and tennis, which means walking or using your legs. These have been my sports for decades. It is nothing to wonder about. These are just habits I have never given up.

How about your diet? What are the must foods for you? What food would you never eat?

My diet is to eat anything and almost everything in moderation. Must foods are fruits, vegetables and grains like lentils, beans, mongo, rice. I also indulge in carbohydrates within limits. I do not like to eat meat that comes from innards like liver (except foie gras), tongue, brain, etc.

What is your advice for a long and meaningful life?

Live a life that makes a difference for others positively. Be interested in and participate in the life of others.

What will you do with the P100,000 gift from government when you turn 100?

I am not counting on either, but if I do receive that cash, it will be mad money which will be given away for fun or for meaningful reasons.