“Before the reward, there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.”
This quotation from Ralph Ransom sums up the entire life of every individual including Tatay Alberto Santillan Paglinawan.
Born on August 20, 1920 in Sagay, Negros Occidental, Tatay Alberto finally reaped the rewards of his sacrifices for over a hundred years as he now enjoys his privileges as one of the country’s recognized Centenarians.
At a young age, Tatay Alberto started working for his family as a fisherman. He used to assist his father in fishing, which is the only source of income of their family. Because he worked earlier than a typical child, Tatay Alberto only finished Grade 1 – enough for him to learn how to write his name legibly and read simple words.
After he married Paterna Alcasaba, he transferred to Sitio Asok in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. There, he was able to buy a parcel of agricultural land which the family managed to cultivate for different crops. Nanay Paterna and Tatay Alberto were blessed with nine children, whom they nurtured with love, compassion and values.
Last July 14, 2021, Tatay Alberto was one of the recipients of the 100,000-peso cash gift from the government as mandated by the Centenarians Act of 2016 being implemented by the DSWD. Aside from the cash gift, Tatay Alberto also received a letter of felicitation signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
As a farmer, Tatay Alberto used the cash gift to buy new equipment that he could use in farming and a solar panel that could help them produce electricity.
Aside from being a Centenarian, he is also a beneficiary of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. With the help of the Social Pension Program, he receives additional cash assistance to augment his daily subsistence and other medical needs.
Now, Tatay Alberto continues to be active in their community church. Further, he regularly attends the activities of the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines (FSCAP) in his barangay.
Tatay Alberto is only one of the members of the elderly sector who were supported and empowered by the programs of the DSWD, most especially amid the pandemic.