DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – A grandmother known for her “kikay” (fashionable) ways stole the limelight at the Agew na Dagupan (Dagupan Day) celebration yesterday.
For obvious reasons. Aurelia Dimacali Landingin, popularly known as Bai Diding in the village of Bonuan Sabangan here, is 101 years old and she was feted as the city’s oldest living resident.
To the crowd’s delight, she sang her favorite melodies – Atin Cu Pung Singsing, a Capampangan folk song (she hails from Floridablanca, Pampanga), and Diana, popularized by Paul Anka.
She received from Mayor Belen Fernandez a P5,000 cash incentive and a plaque. The previous day, the mayor also gave her a basket of groceries.
According to Landingin, she prays in the morning and evening to thank God for giving her a long life and “for the departed souls so they would not get me yet.” With a smile, she said she still wants to live longer.
In an interview in her home Thursday, Landingin attributed her good health to her strict diet of fish, vegetables and fruits, and milk before bedtime, saying she rarely eats meat.
In her younger years, exercise was part of her daily routine as a plain housewife. Her late husband, Venancio, was a US Army soldier.
When she goes to the bank for her monthly pension, she inevitably catches people’s attention with her looks – her face has makeup, her fingernails and toenails painted with modern nail art, and her thin lips with her favorite red lipstick.
A “kikay kit” – containing different lipsticks, powder and other items – is always by her side. “I don’t feel good if I don’t have my ‘uniform on my face,’” she told The STAR.
A great granddaughter quipped that the first thing Landingin does in the morning is to put on her red lipstick. She also loves clothes (she has two cabinets of them) and whiles away her time in the afternoon by playing tong-its, a card game.