October 1, 2023

City officials recently honored Benita de Guzman Saldito as the latest centenarian of the city.

Under Resolution 184, s. 2022, the city council stated Benita turned 100 last March 23. She has 13 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The council ordered the latest city centenarian be awarded the privileges pursuant to Ordinance 45, s. 2018 as amended by Ordinance 10, s. 2022.

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 often mix up her grandchildren’s names. She could hardly hear.

 However, she was never confined in a hospital and is not suffering from any chronic illness despite her age.

Benita was born in Poblacion, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija on March 23, 1922, the youngest among five siblings.

She finished grade 1 only due to financial constraints and worked at 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, whom she lived with and begot five children.

They stayed in Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija 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 as a maintenance officer and was able to acquire a small property at Purok 3, Pinget where they built their house.

 Jose died on May 18, 1973 due to a chronic illness making Benita decide to stay with her sister in Quezon, Nueva Ecija for almost 19 years.

In 1994, Benita’s daughter, Gloria Brioso, convinced her to stay with them at Pinget, to 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 for root crops and vegetables. – PIO release