SIMPLE AND SMILING during her birthday celebration on March 6, 2024 at their ancestral home in Bangued, Abra, Abreño Centenarian
Concepcion “Nanang Ancing” Castañeda Astudillo gamely poses for group photo opportunities with family and friends as well as the
team from DSWD, DSWD-CAR, and SWAD-Abra, led by Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs under Operations Group
Florentino Y. Loyola, Jr. and DSWD-CAR Concurrent OIC-Regional Director (RD) and Assistant RD for Operations Enrique H. Gascon,

Bangued, Abra— For this centenarian, age is just a number.

Fondly called “Nanang Ancing” by family and friends, Concepcion Castañeda Astudillo beamed in her pale purple dress while four generations of her family surrounded her, as she celebrated her 100th year on March 6, 2024.

Likewise, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), led by DSWD Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs under Operations Group Florentino Y. Loyola, Jr., and DSWD-CAR Concurrent OIC-Regional Director (RD) and Assistant RD for Operations Enrique H. Gascon, Jr., the Local Government Unit (LGU)  of Bangued hailed the milestone of Nanang and honored her remarkable journey with the conferment of Certificate of Recognition, P100,000 cash gift, Letter of Felicitation signed by the President of the Philippines.

This is in accordance with Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016.


Doting mom, hobbyist

To many who have come to know her, Nanang Ancing is a living testament to a century of faith, love and resilience. After the simple birthday party, Nanang Ancing reclined at their living room, joined by her daughters, Juliet and Estrella—both now in their 60s—to help relate her remarkable life story. Though unable to fully articulate thoughts and ideas through speech, Juliet, a retired school nurse, said Nanang makes up for this through gestures and recollections of her hobbies and routines that her children have also taken to heart.

Having experienced the hardships of the Japanese occupation period of the country during World War II in the early years of her life, Estrella—a retired Medical Technologist—related how their mother, along with their late father, told them tales of survival and making do with the restrictions. As teenagers of the “Greatest Generation” during those years in Abra, they said Nanang, as the 5th of 8 siblings, helped out in any way she can for their family’s needs, including selling kamote (sweet potato), “tagapulot” (sugarcane muscovado), and even jewelries to help make ends meet.

“She is a very caring and loving mother to us,” said Juliet, the fifth of Nanang Ancing’s 8 children, adding that her character has already made an indelible mark on her family, with 16 grandkids, and 8 great-grandkids. As a housewife, she doted over and built up their family with her husband, who was a WWII guerilla unit veteran recognized by the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). Their children could recall how their parents prioritized their schooling and giving the best for them.

In her younger days, Nanang Ancing was active serving in their local Catholic church, encouraging their family in faith, and ultimately serving as a mother butler in her later years. According to them, as long as she lived, they remarked that she had no vices, but only enjoys playing board games—especially a friendly game of Bingo, they quipped—with the family. Estrella added that they still bring her newspapers to read, as she enjoys keeping up to date with the news and updates in the community.


Treasuring health, family

Not looking her age, Nanang Ancing is used to be referred to only as a senior citizen, owing to the vibrant aura about herself. However, they recounted that when Nanang Ancing was 92 yrs. old, she had to undergo a hip replacement surgery after a fall at their house, going through therapy for 3 to 4 months in Manila then going back to Abra to fully recover and stay healthy as ever. Recently, she joined a road trip with her intergenerational kith and kins to Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Baguio City, reveling in the opportunity to go out with the whole family as well as to eat her favorite foods.

Presently, her daughters are pushing for Nanang Ancing to eat more vegetables and fish, as was her usual diet through all her years; however, they conceded that she insists on still eating meat. Noting that she has no diabetes, high blood, or any other major illness at her age, they remarked how she treasured her health in order to continue caring for their family.

Although currently Nanang Ancing faces no health scares, her family always carefully looks after her. “Dawdawat mi mt lang, iiwas to aksidente, agpigsa pay isuna, (We continue to pray for her, to avoid accidents, and for her to stay strong),” said Juliet.

Nanang Ancing’s story, reflecting an attitude of gratitude, is a testament to a fruitful centennial life, blessing her family and others to share in her lifelong journey. ###DSWD-CAR Social Marketing Unit – Christian Robert M. Sandoval, Administrative Officer IV/Information Officer II

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