City officials recently honored Gregorio ‘Goyo’ Diccion Santella as a centenarian of the city for this year.
Under Resolution No. 083, series of 2023, local legislators stated that Santella’s secret to his long life is eating his favorite dish ‘pinapaitan nga kalding.’
Further, he reportedly eats in moderation and drinks a lot of water and that he and his wife are still both physically healthy and they walk to the city’s center and parks for fresh air, to connect with nature and as a form of exercise.
The Santella couple also attend regular Sunday masses as part of their religious obligation.
He stated that his exposure to hard labor jobs at an early age made his body firm and mind healthy.
Santella is the eldest of the 6 children of Alejo Santella and Teresa Diccion-Santella, who was born on September 15, 1920 in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur and that he is now 102 years old.
He got married on September 1, 1951 to Josephine Kayan and they were blessed with 3 daughters and 1 son, who are all residing in San Diego, California, USA and that the said children regularly extend support for the daily needs of their parents.
Aside from his sharp memory, Santella reportedly looks younger than his age. Back then, farming was their main source of income and that he was able to extend help to his parents.
He fondly remembers going to school on foot with his siblings in their hometown in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur and they were able to finish their studies.
When World War II was over in 1942 or during the peace time, he then pursued college and graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education.
After graduating from college, Santella immediately applied for a teaching position in Bauko, Mountain Province where he met the love of his life, Ms. Kayan, his co-teacher.
The couple bought a lot at Upper Brookside barangay and built their own home where they started their family in the said area.
Santella was then promoted and assigned as supervisor of the Bureau of Private Schools in Region I under the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) in San Fernando City, La Union until his retirement in 1986.
After retirement from government service, he was offered work in the administration department of the Baguio Central University (BCU).
The council stipulated that Santella be awarded the privileges pursuant to Ordinance No. 45, series of 2013 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.