Filipina woman, 124, believed to be the world's oldest person passes away

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A woman in the Philippines believed to be the world's oldest person has passed away at age 124.

Francisca Susano, known by friends and family as Lola Iska, died in her home in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental province on Monday night November 22, shortly after her family's evening prayer.

Lola's granddaughter Merlene said the super-centerian had complained of breathing difficulties earlier in the afternoon. They applied liniment oil to ease her pain, but Francisca passed away a few hours later.

A cause of death has not been determined, but local health officials said she will be tested for COVID-19.

Francisca turned 124 last September 11, and has been recognised as the oldest living Filipina before her death.

Her family has also submitted her for recognition in the Guinness World Records as the oldest woman ever, but the claim is still being verified. The record currently belongs to Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in southern France at age 22 on August 4, 1997.

Francisca, a former farmhand, said playing the mouth organ helped to keep her mind sharp, while her diet of fresh food, kept her body healthy.

She said she played the harmonica every morning as a form of exercise to keep her lungs strong.

Francisca's carer, Wo Montes, said in 2020 the lady's mind was still agile but she needed help with everyday tasks.

Wo said: 'Everyone loves Francisca. She worked on a farm all of her life so she has always eaten lots of organic, healthy vegetables.'

Francisca's diet contained lots of fresh vegetables and she drank locally-sourced natural honey. Some of her favourite food included squash, eggplant, okra, and other root crops.

The old woman also did gentle stretching with the help of a carer to keep her joints subtle. She spent most of the day in a wheelchair outside the family home.

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