On the morning of November 22, Lola Francisca Susano was announced to have passed away at the age of 124. She was believed to be the oldest woman in the world, and the last woman alive from before the 20th century, born September 11, 1897.
For perspective, at the time of her birth, Spain had yet to cede control of the Philippines to the US, William McKinley was the US President, and the ice cream scoop had just been invented that year.
According to the state government of her home province of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental in the Philippines “her official declaration as the oldest person in the world at 124 years old is currently validated by the Guinness World Records” in a Facebook post regarding her passing.
According to the same post, city officials such as the mayor Pedro Zayco Jr. and Vice Mayor Raul Rivera mourned over the loss of Sansao along with her family.
Guinness World Records was still working to verify documents to officially declare her the oldest living person, and will beat the previous record holder Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 in 1997. Unfortunately, due to her passing, they were not able to honor her officially while alive.
The supercentenarian was slated to be gifted a cash gift for her achievement from the Senior Citizens Party-list Representative Rodolfo Ordanes, which was meant to help her and her family over the course of the pandemic.
Cause of death has yet to be determine, but according to city public information officer Jake Carlyne Gonzales, she exhibited no symptoms of COVID-19 prior to her death.
Susano attributed her long life to a variety of factors. She ate a primarily vegetable-based diet as well as refrained from drinking alcohol. She also played the harmonica every single morning, which she claimed kept her lungs healthy.
Want to check out more on more Guinness World Record holders? Check out this story on the man who beat the World Record for most pubs visited in 24 hours.