- Posted August 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
What it’s like being a triplet?
What’s it like to be a twin/triplet?
Which one of you is older?
So you have the same birthday and everything?
Why aren’t you guys dressed the same?
If I inch you, does your twin/triplet feel it?
They become cynosure in the community.
Cases in point:
Maria Magdalena, Maria Cleofe and Maria Salome were born on Feb. 16, 1928, an event that was a shock to their parents; Lucio Buagas and his wife Feliciana (nee Lumain).
Their birth was years before ante-natal scans, and their mother was expecting only one child but produced the three babies.
The triplets, who are identical, caused a stir when they were born in the remote town of Corella, Bohol, Philippines.
They were once held by locals as the Philippine oldest surviving triplets.
I attended the triplet’s birthday in 2012. I’d learned about their experiences when they were young and their activities at old age.
The triplets said that Maria Salome was the eldest, followed by Maria Cleofe and Maria Magdalena was considered the youngest. Their parents put bracelets with numbers 1,2 and 3 on each of their wrists so people can tell them apart.
At their baptism, they said they were separately brought in and out of the church using a different passageway. Old-timers had given strict orders not to bring them together because they believed it was bad luck.
When their mother took them a mile to see their grandparents, the journey took hours because many people wanted a look at them.
The triplets were nicknamed "Tres Marias” at school and in the community because people could not tell them apart. They sat far from each other in class so the teacher would not mix them up.
They were all dressed the same by their mother, and they shared the same interests and tastes.
When they were seven years old, their mom passed away. Their father took good care of them and their other siblings.
All of them got married. They became businesswomen and travelled to Visayas and Mindanao as jewelry buyers.
At age 84, the "Tres Marias" were fit and healthy. They had just arthritis like other old grandmas. They had no age-related memory loss . They read newspapers. And they did household chores. They were also active in community and parish works.
I asked them about their secret to longevity. They all said, “Faith in God and proper diet.” A must for every meal were vegetables, fruits and fish and seldom on meat.
Update: Maria Salome passed away in 2012 months after they had celebrated their 84th birthday.
Miles away from Corella town, triplets can also be found in Calayugan Sur, Sandingan, Loon, Bohol, Philippines.
They were born on Nov. 7, 2010.
James Carlo, James Ryan and James Bryan are identical triplets of Jose Ramil and Leonora Luzon.
People are visiting this little barangay to see the triplets.
According to Jose Ramil, a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) driver, having triplets has got to be expensive since prices of basic commodities are rising sharply. His income was not enough for the family, having two kids and a triplet.
Update: The boys are now three years old. Their father is still a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) driver.