Inspiring Pinoys

100-year-old Man Remains as one of Ilocos Sur's Finest Craftsmen

Ilocos Sur

A.A. Mercado
A.A. Mercado | Jun 16, 2016

Ismael Favo celebrated his 100th birthday last June 11. Lolo Mael, as he’s fondly known, is the oldest person in San Esteban. He’s also regarded as the town’s best sled maker.

Sleds are essential to the lives of farmers, as these are used for hauling. And since towns in Ilocos Sur such as San Esteban are significantly populated with farmers, sled-making has long been a part of the Ilokano culture. To this day, despite Lolo Mael’s age and against the wishes of his family, the centenarian continues to craft sleds for the farmers in his town. He shares that he’s not ready to give this up since his work makes him happy. Loving what he does is perhaps the secret to his longevity.

Continuing to be active in sled-making is perhaps the reason why Lolo Mael has managed to stay sharp even at 100-years of age. In fact, he can still remember his days as a soldier who once fought for the Philippines during war time. While the admirable Ilokano isn’t able to claim benefits from the government because he no longer has documents pertaining to his stint in the army, he remains proud to have served his country.

Centenarian. Master craftsman. War hero. Men like Ismael Favo only come once in a hundred years.

Story and photos from

Read Related Articles: 

Story Stones: A Symbol of Hope for the Tagbanua Children

A Tattoo-maker Worthy Of National Pride & International Renown: Apo Whang-Od 

Beyond the Ordinary: 60-year-old Couple Tours the Philippines on Scooter

Add to your: Wishlist Done That

Be a Pinoy Wanderer!

Choose Philippines encourages writers, photographers, travelers, bloggers, videographers and everyone with a heart for the Philippines to share their discoveries and travel stories.

Share Your Journey

Other Stories by A.A. Mercado

Tell Us What You Think