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DELIVERANCE

22 June 2023

San Jose, GENERAL SANTOS CITY



Inclement weather, impassable road, and remoteness are no match to the determined efforts of government workers to deliver assistance and recognition to senior citizens who have reached the milestone age of 100 years old.


Luheng Cayok, a 102-year-old belonging to the Tboli tribe, is one of the many centenarians who received a felicitation letter from no less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr for living a full life. Along with the letter, he received ₱100,000 Centenarian Gift under Republic Act 10868 through the Department of Social Welfare and Development office. He likewise received additional ₱10,000 cash assistance from the National Commission of Senior Citizens.


He stands to receive another ₱100,000 from the city government of General Santos City. It took more than 2 years before he received his gift due to the voluminous documents required to process his cash assistance. Members of the Indigenous People's communities are hard-pressed to produce birth certificates as not until lately are they conscious of registering live births.


The first thing Luhen asked from his daughter is to buy him eggs although his children prepared a hearty no frill 'native' chicken soup for guests who barely fitted inside his decrepit GI sheet-roofed house. Luheng said his secret to living long is avoiding fried, sweet and salty foods. He also is a non-smoker and does not drink liquor or any alcoholic beverage. He however munches a lot of sugar cane. Only 3 of his 11 children are alive. Their ages are 80, 72, and 70.


Barangay San Jose is the last village before reaching the neighboring town of Tboli in South Cotabato. The village where centenarian Luheng lives lies near a trekking trail that leads to the majestic tourist destination that is Lake Holon.



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