31 August 2021 – City officials honored Marcela Peruko Saito-Unghiyan as a centenarian of the city.
Under Resolution No. 403, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators disclosed that the latest centenarian of the city will be awarded the privileges and benefits pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Ordinance No. 45, series of 2013, as amended by Ordinance No. 53, series of 2016, and further amended by Ordinance No. 84, series of 2019.
At present, Unghiyan is staying with Erlina, her second child, at their family house at Dominican-Mirador barangay.
She shared that she is very happy and contented with the overflowing love and care her children and in-laws, 16 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren, gives her.
Marcela claimed that her secret to long life aside from having regular medical checkups is her strict fish and vegetable diet.
She also practices an active healthy lifestyle by starting her day with simple stretches and walking.
Among her 8 living children, 5 are in Japan with their families who come home regularly to visit her.
Unghiyan celebrated her 100th birthday last June 19, 2021. She is the eldest child among 7 siblings and was born and raised in Camp 7 barangay. Her mother is of Ibaloi descent while her father was from Fukushima, Japan.
Marcela can speak Nihongo fluently being an elementary and high school graduate in a Japanese school which was then located along Otek Street, Baguio City.
Her father was a pioneer of farming in the silk industry in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet, who died during World War II from a bomb explosion while evacuating for safety to the mountains.
After the war, Marcela and her siblings had a chance to visit Japan. Her siblings decided to stay in Japan but Marcela opted to come back to the Philippines because of her growing family.
Currently, her youngest brother, John, is her only surviving sibling who lives in Fukushima, Japan.
Marcela got married at the age of 19 to businessman Alberto Unghiyan, Sr. from Ifugao and they begot 11 children.
She helped in augmenting their income by taking cleaning and laundry jobs from their neighbors.
However, Alberto Sr. reportedly passed away in 1992 at the age of 73 due to a lingering illness.
The city will be granted to the centenarian the appropriate benefits and privileges aside from the approved council resolution honoring her as the city’s latest centenarian. Based on the evaluation conducted by the City Social Welfare and Development Office. – Dexter A. See