Inspiring Pinoys

Meet Lola Maria, Zamboanga's Very Own Aquawoman At 76 Years Old


Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Sep 06, 2017

Meet Maria Tequillo, a 76-year old woman, based in Zamboanga. With that description alone, Lola Maria may not seem all too interesting; however, you might change your mind once you discover what Lola Maria does to sustain herself and her 20+ grandchildren.

Read: Millionaire Quits Job To Travel The World, Discovers Filipino Roots For The First Time

You see, Lola Maria, a widow, was once a diver for coral. She had conquered the deep numerous times, collecting pieces of coral to be sold. However, when collecting the treasures of the ocean became outlawed, she was left without a livelihood once more. But she persevered, and eventually started collecting small items and loose change lost in the water. She would keep some of these, and sell the rest, giving her a few pesos with which she can contribute to her family.

What makes Lola Maria extraordinarily special is that she dives deep into the water without any special equipment or breathing gear, and is—in a way—one of the oldest freedivers in the Philippines.

Her “never say die” attitude has blessed her with a multitude of children and grandchildren, all of whom are grateful for her, and only wish to be as compassionate and as selfless as their beloved Lola Maria. She may not have the riches many people crave for, but hers is the vast, open ocean, all to herself. Sometimes, that’s enough.

Watch her inspiring story here:

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