A 102-year old Ilocano grandfather took his oath of allegiance for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship before Deputy, Consul General Angelica C. Escalona at the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu, Hawaii last March 7, 2019.
True-hearted Filipino away from home
Mr Quirino Aglibut Bajet, also known as Victor Aglibut Bajet was born in Santa, Ilocos Sur on March 1, 1917. He migrated to the United States in March 1977 and became a US Citizen on April 13, 1983.
Despite being far from his homeland, Bajet has not forgotten his Filipino roots. According to his daughter, Remedios Pabo, his father maintained an attachment to his country of birth. During his prime, he engaged in discussions with fellow Ilocanos in Hawaii. He developed the habit of listening to local radio programs broadcast in Ilocano and continues to watch Filipino programs in television.
The centenarian’s daughter also shared that even after more than four decades of living in the U.S., his father “ never lost his taste” of Filipino dishes such as pinakbet and dinardaraan (dinuguan).
The DFA also informed that Bajet may qualify as a veteran centenarian under the Centenarians Act of 2016 upon the reacquisition of his Filipino citizenship, as per the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
Mr Bajet may avail the monetary award of P100,000 cash (equivalent to around US$2,000) as part of the additional benefits and privileges granted to Filipino Centenarians, under the Republic Act No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016.
Becoming a Filipino citizen again
Now being a dual citizen, Bajet can exercise Filipino citizen’s rights such as owning land and properties in the Philippines and voting during Philippine elections.
During the oath-taking ceremony at the consulate, Mr Bajet became emotional, particularly as he sang the Philippine national anthem. His family said that he was very appreciative of the opportunity to become a Filipino citizen again.