MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Apr. 4 (PIA) – “Mama Palab” as what her nearest kin , including her nieces and nephews called her, was born in Loon, Bohol on January 20, 1917. She just turned 100 years old last 20th of January, this year.

In her teen-age days, Flaviana “Mama Palab” Soler, migrated to Leyte at the age of 18 to find a living, first in Ormoc before going to Maasin, where she thought was still uncrowded at that time, and finding work is easier.

She got married at the age of 22 to Michael Plateros, where she got her surname “Plateros” and was blessed with 2 children. Unfortunately, her first born child died at the age of 2 during World War II, and 10 years later, her husband died. She was a widow at the age of 32.

Her second child, Maximo “Boy” Plateros was her companion, living with her over the years, together with Boy’s family, Celestial, his wife and their children May Ann Celeste, a Medical Technology graduate and Jone Louise Christie who is now working in Canada.

Boy’s family is quite well-off. His wife is a retired government employee from the provincial hospital as medical technologist. But unfortunately, Boy who served as Kagawad in Barangay Tagnipa for around 20 years, died more than 3 years ago with prostate cancer. His family took turns in attending to Mama Palab’s needs.

Mama Palab was very generous to her nephews and nieces, assisting them in their studies until they graduated from college. During her relatives’ schooling, their free time was spent in assisting at a local merchandising store called Bohol Merchant where Mama Palab earned her day-to-day living. All of her school-assisted nephews and nieces were successful in their own fields and are now working in different government/private institutions.

Two are teachers, one working here in Southern Leyte and the othero in San Carlos University, Cebu City; another one is an employee of the Department of Agrarian Reform; a fulfilled businessman; one is an active soldier of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; an employee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Provincial Office, among the few. They were even adopted by Mama Palab, but not legally, confided “Ian” (Mary Ann Celeste) who was beside Na Palab when PIA visited for an interview.

When their local merchandising store was closed, they opened a small carenderia just near the school premises. “Lola Palab can still manage to walk on her own, and even attend to customers at their small eatery, and give money changes to customers,” Ian narrated.

Mama Palab is only taking maintenance medicines for high blood pressure. Though she has a difficulty in hearing, those living within their family are already familiar to communicating with her, said Ian.

As of this writing, Mama Palab was readied for an interview by the crew from PTV4 set on Saturday, April 8, 2017 for the “Like Pinas” program, in which one of the features is the newly-passed centenarian law.

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