AMADEA Elviña Medina, the UST alumna proclaimed the “oldest living Thomasian” during the Quadricentennial celebrations last January, died last July 22 of cardiac arrest on the campus where she learned some of life’s greatest lessons. She was 100.

The Thomasian centenarian, who regaled the current generation of UST students with stories of early 20th century campus life, passed away in a coronary care unit of UST Hospital before noon that Friday.

“Lola Deng” or “Tia Ading” graced the Quadricentennial Grand Celebration last January 29.

Amadea, a spinster, must have had a “taste of heaven” during the program as she was a very simple person who did not want to be in the limelight, daughter-in-law Lourdes Medina told the Varsitarian.

“She felt very elated. Talagang excited siya, super. ‘Di makatulog,” she said softly with a smile. “She was asking, ‘What am I going to wear? My hair? What about my jewelry?”

Lourdes said the family was “overwhelmed by the Thomasian community’s empathy” during the wake, adding that Tia Ading “must be all smiles now.”

“She is an embodiment of a true Thomasian—three C’s plus simplicity in all things. She is our Thomasian centenarian saint. She is what UST is all about,” Lourdes said.

In her last letter to her eldest granddaughter Christina, Lola Deng wrote in cursive, “Remember that I always think of you and will consistently pray for the best in life. Believe me, looking at your family photo is one of the joys of my recent years. Love, Lola Deng.”

She lived up to a hundred years, but remained witty and in good health, with a sense of humor as well.


Amadea’s nephew Cesar Medina said she was a selfless person who did not want to bother anyone, even if she needed help.

“Ayaw niya maging pabigat,” grandniece Jamila Angela said.

Lourdes said “It was her choice not to get married,” but Amadea enjoyed “single-blessedness” by taking care of her bedridden sister and spoiling her nieces and nephews.

Lola Deng always protected the underdog, and stopped fights among grand nieces and nephews, even though her body was frail. Lola Deng never got angry and always told them to love each other.

Jaycee Ann, another grandniece, said Lola Deng “would keep them bonded together,” especially when there were family problems.

Lourdes said Amadea was very sweet and said things straight from the heart.
“Parang alam niya kung ano yung gusto mong marinig,” Lourdes said.

It was very easy to make her smile and she was very appreciative, even of simple gifts.

The magna cum laude from the College of Education had a sharp memory as she never forgot significant stories about her life as a student in the University, her travels around the world, and her experiences during the Japanese occupation.

In UST, Lola Deng told the younger Medinas, men were separated from women, and the nuns were very strict. Lola Deng emphasized the value of education and encouraged family members to “strive for perfection.”

On March 31, she celebrated her 100th birthday at the Crown Plaza Hotel with family and friends.

Though she was sick and coughing, and was even hospitalized after, she was “gracious” and “vibrant,” and was able to deliver an “inspiring” message to her guests.

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Amadea was a faithful person who heard Mass every Sunday, a trait that she passed on to the younger Medinas.

“The way she lived was very peaceful. Ganoon din siya nag-exit,” Lourdes said.

Lola Deng had a way with words. Her famous line, “UST will always be a majestic castle in the middle of the desert,” will remain in the minds and in the hearts of the Thomasian community.

Her remains were cremated last July 29. Daphne J. Magturo and Rafael L. Antonio


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