A Red Deer centenarian celebrated with a pandemic-safe event on Saturday.
To mark the special occasion, friends and family visited Juliana Celso to waive at her through a big picture window at her home during the day, and a Zoom call put her in touch with relatives in Edmonton, New Jersey, Australia, San Francisco and the Philippines that night.
Her daughter Julie Letaba said each household took turns at the window to take pictures and be as close to the 100-year-old birthday girl as possible.
“We’re really careful because of her age. With the blessing of God, she is healthy. Not even a cold or anything like that,” said Letaba.
Celso, whose birthday was Jan. 28, lives with one of her daughters in Red Deer.
Celso came to Canada from the Philippines around 1999 as a landed immigrant. Five of her children live in Red Deer and Calgary, and one resides in the Philippines.
She has 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren living in Canada and the Philippines.
When Celso was younger, her favourite hobby was sewing, Letaba said.
“When the kids were little she liked sewing kids clothes.”
During the pandemic, Letaba said her mother, who can still walk with the assistance of a cane, has kept in touch with family via Facebook by using her tablet to see posted photos.
Letaba said the original plan was to have a big birthday celebration at a hotel. With the pandemic, the family was still determined to recognize Celso’s landmark birthday, so arrangements were made for a safe alternative.