Mayor Odsey inspires Besao senior citizens

BESAO, Mountain Province – A 100-year old senior citizen was awarded a Certificate of Recognition as a centenarian during the celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week in Besao, Mountain Province on October 13, 2018.

Sixto Dasing of Bunga, Catengan in Besao shared to the audience that he was able to reach the centennial age because of healthy lifestyle and having faith in the Almighty. A centenarian is defined as someone who is one hundred years old or older.

To give more life to the occasion, the town of Besao invited Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey to grace the celebration.

Speaking before hundreds of senior citizens in the audience, Odsey attested that in Mountain Province, like the other provinces in the Cordillera, it is every day that honor and respect is given to the elderly.

He shared that in other countries and in other communities, it is saddening that senior citizens have to struggle to be respected and to be cared for as they are sent to homes for the elderly where people who are not their family provide them care. He, however, said that this is not the case in the Philippines.

“As a senior citizen myself, I know that respect for elders is ingrained in our culture as I-Montanosa. Senior citizens play a vital role in the decision making in our families and communities. We know and feel that we are wanted and needed by our communities. We provided guidance from years of experience. We need them as they need us,” the mayor voiced.

With this, he encouraged the senior citizens to make and live the best of their remaining years, and not to fade in oblivion.

Odesy also invited the senior citizens of Besao to visit anytime the newly constructed Bontoc Municipal Capitol. He said that there is a designated Center for Senior Citizens complete with a Person with Disability (PWD) ramp, a kitchen and restrooms. He added that the center shall serve as a place where the elderly can hold their meetings, practice their songs and dances; and among other activities.

Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog II commended the senior citizens in his town for reaching their twilight years which is a manifestation that they have taken good care of their health. Likewise, he thanked them for their active participation in the development of Besao and unselfishly sharing whatever they can to help.

Bantog also assured that support of the Besao Municipal Government to all the welfares of the senior citizens, at the same time solicited their wisdom to teach to the younger generation the indigenous health practices to reach the same age that they have attained.

Elderly Week is celebrated every October 1 to 7 of every year which aims to maximize the contributions of senior citizens in nation building.  However, the municipality opted to have it on a later date.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakakatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga”.

By Alpine L. Killa

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