City officials recently honored Benita de Guzman Saldito as the latest centenarian of the city.
Under Resolution NO. 184, series of 2022, local legislators stated that Benita turned 100 last March 23, 2022 where at present, she already has 13 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Further, her daughter and granddaughter take turns in taking care of her as she could hardly walk and would lie in her bed most of the time.
She could also hardly recognize her family members and would oftentimes mix up her grandchildren’s names, and could hardly hear.
However, she was never confined in a hospital and is not suffering from any chronic illness despite her age.
According to her family, the reason for Benita’s long life is due to healthy living and proper care of her family.
Saldito was born in Poblacion, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija on March 23, 1922 and she is the youngest among the 5 siblings in the family. She was only able to finish Grade 1 due to financial constraints and worked instead at such an early age in the farm to help her parents sustain their daily needs.
She was only 17 years old when she met Jose Martinez Matias, a carpenter from La Paz, Tarlac, who she lived with and begot 5 children. They stayed at Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija for almost 10 years until 1949 when the family transferred to La Paz, Tarlac where Jose was employed as an on-call carpenter at Camp Macabulos, Tarlac.
In 1971, her husband was transferred to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) as a maintenance officer and was able to acquire a small property at Purok 3, Pinget where they built their own house.
Sadly, Jose died on May 18, 1973 due to a chronic illness making Benita decide to stay with her sister at Quezon, Nueva Ecija for almost 19 years.
In 1994, Benita’s daughter, Gloria Brioso, convinced her to stay with them at Pinget which she agreed to help her daughter in rearing her children and grandchildren.
Her granddaughter Zyra described her to be industrious as she kept herself busy gardening in their backyard and would even till their neighbors’ vacant lots planting root crops and vegetables.
The council ordered that the latest city centenarian be awarded the privileges pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Ordinance No. 45, series of 2018 as amended by Ordinance No. 53, series of 2016 and further amended by Ordinance No. 84, series of 2019 as amended by Ordinance No. 10, series of 2022.