The Journey

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

Every person has a journey to make. Some jaded with success, others with few failures that tested a seasoned heart to overcome the obstacle with full force and passion. Some coupled with laughter with tears in between. Whatever those journey were, they brought meaning into our lives and soothe our soul of its inner longings.

A lot of things changed in my hometown. There are parts of it I no longer recognize but somehow when I look at the beach, it still gave me a sense of joy that reminded me of Capiz, the town that will always be a part of my journey. A journey that I will always walk with the people who nurtured me with their love throughout the years.

All Journey Leads To Home

After breakfast, I would ask my parents and sisters to bring me to the beach that brought me a lot of happy and wonderful memories. As I gazed at the isolated island, I heard my son's laughter as he played with his cousins. For a while, I saw myself as a little boy having the best time of his life.

They say, all journey leads to home. I hope it does. On my way to the airport on a Holy Friday, the normally busy streets of Manila was almost empty except on areas close to the church. In a country where trials and hardships comes as often as the Sun, faith and religion are vital to its people’s survival. Faith and religion gives them a reason to hope, to dream, to hang on to the words that will give them a better tomorrow.

Time flew by on my 28 days of being around families I missed for 4 years. I felt an intense sadness as we board the plane. I can not describe the emptiness that I felt. I looked at my wife and son, they too have the same sadness in their eyes. I wish we could stay longer if not forever but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to happen yet.

A Journey Of Faith

Lent is a time for people to reflect on the journey they made in their lives according to God‘s plan for them. A lot of times we realize how far we detoured from the right path. It is a time of rediscovering the truth and the path that was meant for us. It is a time to mend our wounded body, mind, heart and soul. It is a time for rebirth, of second chances and salvation. It is a time to heal, to ask forgiveness, to forgive, to start anew.

Bare footed, this man walked the streets on Holy Friday carrying a wooden cross. He made a vow to do this year after year. Miracles do happen in real life and a lot of devotees offer themselves as a form of gratitude for God's blessings in their lives. As I watched this man live his faith, I felt God presence. He does walk with us everyday. Sometimes we are just too busy to notice him. I too am guilty. I was silent for awhile. I prayed for guidance and forgiveness for the times I missed his calling.

A Journey I Will Always Go Back

I had been busy for the past few days doing last-minute errands and saying goodbye to family and friends. My vacation time was coming to the an end. My heart-felt heavy and already missing the company of my love ones. I remember my mom’s  smile to cover up the sadness in her eyes as she hand me an envelope at the bus terminal. She whispered, ” I placed 5,000 pesos in there. Buy something before you go back to Texas.” The rest of the words she didn’t have to say. I knew that she meant to say, ” I love you son, come back soon.” I told my parents as I waved my hand, “No goodbyes, I will be back.” My son waved his hand too as we both walked towards the bus. My journey continues. A journey so connected to my past, present and the future. A journey which I hope and pray will lead me back to my love ones. A journey that I hope will finally lead me home.

A beach at a coastal town called "Basiao." My dad brought me here with my sisters way back when we were still in grade school. It seemed untouched by the changes of time. It felt good to reconnect and make new memories. My parents looked so happy that most of their children are with them that day. It was a priceless moment to see them glow in love and joy.

I hope you enjoyed my post for this week. Every journey is unique and special. Every person has a beautiful journey to share. It may not be perfect but who’s journey is? What part of your journey made you remember that part of your childhood where you are happiest the most? Whatever it is, always carry them with you. There may be days that you need to remember them to make sense of the present.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Events, Island Summer Of 2012, Life, Personal, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to The Journey

  1. Northern Narratives says:

    I very much enjoyed reading this. I like the last paragraph the best.

    • Thank you. Sometimes it’s hard putting feelings into words because It’s like reliving the event again which I know I won’t be able to have for a long time. But then reading comments like yours and the other bloggers, makes it worth it all. Have a blessed day my friend.

  2. Beautiful photos. Sounds like you had a nice trip. Your closing paragraph was very touching. All the best ~Sophia

    • Thanks Sophia. Even if I’m now back in Texas doing my usual routine of work, home, errands and all, I felt that a part of me stayed in the Philippines…part of my heart will always long for the love ones I left behind…

  3. I always enjoy your photos, but I find myself looking forward to the words you share with them even more. What a wonderful journey to share. Thank you:)

    • Thank you Brooke. The beauty about blogging in the WordPress family is that we can be ourselves. We can share our deepest thoughts and feelings and people relate to it in an accepting , positive manner. It’s like having a best friend 24/7…

  4. Sonel says:

    Great entry and beautiful photo’s too Nelson. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  5. Colline says:

    I love that you explored more than one meaning of the word “journey”.

    • Somehow the word “journey” means a lot to me. It’s something that made me laugh and cry throughout the years. It is something that made me who I am today. Though it constantly change, a lot of which I can’t control, it is nevertheless a thrilling, exciting discovery every time. Thank you for sharing .

  6. A beautiful post on this week’s challenge! :) and suits your blog so well!

    • Thank you. The best journey are the ones we make. It may not be perfect but it’s ours. And a journey shared with others is even better…the more , the merrier.

  7. Jen says:

    I wish I was there instead of in my classroom right now. Great photos.

    • Thanks. Sometimes when I want to see the beach or feel the joy it brings, I just close my eyes and my imagination takes me there. I swear, I can even smell the sea breeze…

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge : Journey (from seedling to scented posy) « Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond…

  9. Fergiemoto says:

    A very touching post. Hopefully you will be able to journey back to home in the future, if that is your desire.

    • Sometimes we need to experience something , to realize what we really want in this life. I know that now. I hope and pray, this is what God’s plan for me and my family. Perhaps in time, he will reveal his plans for me. Happiness for me is being around family…a big family with lots of kids around! thanks.

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Wow I am so touched by your post. I can’t imagine what it has been like to leave your family and move so far away to an unknown country. I lived abroad once for nine months before internet and found it so hard. Your writing is so incredibly beautiful and always touches me. Thank you. I also am so glad you had the opportunity to visit your family and home again, and for a nice long stay. Beautiful post!

    • Thank you my friend. Four years is truly long. Sometimes I wish I did it sooner but then perhaps, it was part of my journey. Anyhow, It was a visit that will give me a sense of positive glow for many days to come. There are no words to describe how good it feels to be close around family in person. Perhaps one day, my journey does lead me back where I had so much wonderful memories. My son told his cousins while they were playing with a huge smile on his face, “I want to live in the Philippines!” I kept quiet knowing I was feeling the same thing.

  11. omel07 says:

    Living far away from loved ones is never easy. But with your courage and determination, you can. And, your journey will definitely lead you home one day. :)

    • I hope it does. I always thought we all deserve a journey that lead to happiness and peace. Of a place, around people that makes us into better, happier person. Best wishes to you my friend.

  12. Angeline M says:

    You’ll go back!

    • I think so. I’m praying hard that it’s the right decision. A decision that God really wants for me. A journey he wishes me to take. I’m just waiting for the right time. Is there one anyway? Thank you Angeline. I always look forward to read your beautiful comments . thank you. God bless you and your family.

  13. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Island Traveler your photography is indeed a wonderful gift, it’s so real to life, I sometimes feel I’m there. Your question was very thought provoking thank you for sharing from your heart it touched mine. My life has been very hard ( see link below ) but as I look back I see God was always there, He knew I was His Child and even after I was told He did not exist and so I denied Him, He was still there, still Loving me … I Loved Him so much and it hurt so much thinking He was not real and that I had been lied to, but today I have no doubts, He is my Abba Father, my Daddy …Oh how He Loves you and me.

    Christian Love and blessings from both of us – Anne

    • Anne, your words always gives me a sense of encouragement and joy, just at the perfect timing of my day when I needed it the most. I may have fallen short at times as to valuing God’s influence in my life but I do know that he was always there, ever ready to catch me when I stumble, raise me up when I’m down, make me smile again when I all I feel is emptiness and despair. We all need him in our journey, whether we acknowledge it or not. His love never ends…Best wishes to you and your love ones.

  14. Elaine says:

    Great photos and a great post.

  15. Cheryl says:

    Wonderful, heart-felt post, as always Mr.B. I am impressed by how loving your family is, despite the distance. So many families that have never been separated by miles, and countries … even continents are not as loving. Hopefully that love will continue to sustain you, your son and wife until next trip home. Thinking of you.

    • Thank you Cheryl. I grew up really close to my family, particularly my siblings , so is my wife. I remember as kids, we would all sleep in one room and talk/play for hours before going to sleep. I believe family is very important especially nowadays. When hardship comes, we need all the love and support that we can get. One day, I hope fate will lead me , my wife and son back to our roots. There are things no amount of money nor success can’t buy. Sadly, I have to leave my country of origin to realize that. But nothing is too late right. take care my friend.

  16. cocomino says:

    Nice post. It’s touching. We have own journey which are precious and we never forget.

    • That is right. Everyone has his own journey to make. It’s how we travel those journeys and savor each event that makes the difference. We have only one life to live and thus we need to live them to the fullest…with joy, love, peace, with the capacity to make a positive difference on others. Thanks.

  17. I tend to think that we make our own journeys, but it’s a true fact of life that there’s only so much we can influence and sometimes our journeys don’t take us where we want to go no matter how hard we try. Or we’re just not ready to be there yet. I lived 17000kms away from home for 12 years, and it taught me so much and brought me wonderful things, including an amazing husband, and just before Christmas last year, I came home. It’s been wonderful. I hope your journey works out for you too; growing up by such a beautiful beach must have been amazing. Not all homes are so picturesque!

    • Thank you my friend. Love your words of encouragement. thanks for sharing. You’re right, we can only do as much and sometimes our journeys don’t take us where we want to go no matter how much we try. Everything happens for a reason, we may not know it now but something better awaits for all of us. Whatever it may be, I bet it’s something that will make us happy all the time. Being around family on holidays , or any other day brings a sense of connection of our past that most of us have forgotten trying to live the present. God bless you and your family.

  18. Sabina Brave says:

    Have a good trip, and come back home safe. :)

    • I’m finally home, safe and all. Thank you. I’m a bit sad now, missing family I’d been with for almost a month. I felt blessed though that I had this chance to be with them.

  19. Cafe says:

    Your photos are always so beautiful and your words powerful.

  20. Madhu says:

    Another beautiful and moving post!

  21. Gilly Gee says:

    Bless you, the time will soon pass and you will be able to return :-)

  22. Lynne Ayers says:

    A journey home – a fitting post for the ‘journey’ challenge.

  23. jakesprinter says:

    Great entry for this week theme Journey my friend excellent work :)

  24. */-)ndr¡X* says:

    This is for you my friend! Love the images, they are wonderful my friend! :D

  25. thirdhandart says:

    What a beautiful journey! I hope everything works out and you are able to rejoin your loved ones soon. Home is where the heart is… and your heart is with your family. Take care.

    • Love this one, “Home is where the heart is… and your heart is with your family.” So true. Thank you . I wish you and your family all the best. Take care too.

  26. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey « Thirdhandart's Weblog

  27. pix & kardz says:

    thanks for sharing, island traveler. today your post opened easily, and my browser did not shut down. yay!
    i found your photo of the man carrying the cross quite poignant – even more so because of your caption underneath the photo. i think the wonderful thing about our spiritual journey is that even if/when we forget, we are not forgotten. and God is not even angry or upset when we forget him. just very thrilled when we remember him again. but he certainly never forgets us. how cool is that!
    enjoy the journey!

    • Yay! My computer is working fast too for the past 2 days. The man really caught my attention. I forgotten how Lent is celebrated in certain parts of the Philippines. It’s a huge event and people would offer sacrifices like the one in the picture to at least carry part of the cross Jesus did for them. It’s a humbling event and it makes me realize God’s tremendous love for us everyday no matter how much we hurt him throughout the years. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend.

  28. frizztext says:

    I’m impressed by your Holy Friday photos …

      • frizztext says:

        I also like your tribute to your dad: “…My dad brought me here with my sisters way back when we were still in grade school. It seemed untouched by the changes of time. It felt good to reconnect and make new memories. My parents looked so happy that most of their children are with them that day…”

      • My parents did look so happy and seeing that made me realize how important this visit is for them. If I can only do it every year, I would. Life is short not to spend it among people we care about. My parents are not getting any younger. I do wish to spend more time with them as they get older. I believe it’s the right thing to do. It’s what my heart is telling me. Thanks for sharing.

  29. It looks like such a beautiful place. And I much prefer the way Holy Week is celebrated there than with the excessive demonstrations of wealth in Spain.

    • One thing I admire where poverty is part of the daily life is that people practice their faith with so much passion. When a person face problems, they seek God and his blessing. I know that because for so many times I too asked for help. I too went around the richer areas of Manila and sadly, it doesn’t compare to the religious devotion of the poorer communities. I have pictures showing a Casino in an expensive mall open on Holy Thursday. I thought it was a insensitive and sinful if one’s religion requires respecting the sanctity of Lent. Thanks for sharing.

  30. yen says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you got to spend precious time with your family here in the Philippines. I like your beach shots.

  31. It’s amazing how our spiritual journeys are intertwined with our physical journeys to places and people we love. As a mother, I can resonate with your mother’s mix of joy and sadness at the bus terminal. I felt the same way saying good-bye for now to my son at the airport four days ago…

    • I wish life is more simple. That we would always be close to the people we love. One day, I may be in a similar boat as my mom when my son grows old. I still have hopes that one day I get to live close to them and the rest of my siblings. I still believe that our journey will lead us to where we are the happiest…and God knows the inner longings of our heart. I wish for you and your son to reunite soon .Take care my friend.

  32. Beautiful post. I hope you’ll get a chance to go home to visit your family again very soon :)

  33. Thanks for the thoughtful essay! Great photos as always :)

  34. Arindam says:

    Bro this line you wrote- “Faith and religion gives them a reason to hope, to dream, to hang on to the words that will give them a better tomorrow.” is so true. This is also applied to my country’s people. They still believe that- faith & religion can give them a better tomorrow.
    It’s a beautiful & thoughtful post. Your word always touches the reader’s heart and give something to learn & remember through out this journey of life. Great post bro. :)

    • Thanks Bro. People whose faith and religion becomes their main hope are so lucky in so many ways. For one, I bet they feel closer to their God and always in constant prayer. Riches is not about material wealth but having a faith that makes you strive to have a clean heart and soul. Honestly, I felt more happier when I have less. Life was more simple and more meaningful.

  35. Life itself is a journey. A journey that hopefully will lead us home – where are heart is. Nice post.

    • It’s amazing how home can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I know that home is where my son and wife is. But I also know that home is a physical place that we can feel most happy and fulfilled. My wife and I agreed now where that “home” is for us and even our 6 year old agrees. Where praying , that one day, our wish will happen. For now, as they say, “home is where your heart is.” And that can be anywhere as long as my family is with me. God bless and thanks.

  36. Patti Kuche says:

    A true journey of the heart! So happy for you and your family that you were able to enjoy the simple pleasures of being together again with new memories being handed down – I love the beach shot with the adult and younger children looking out across the waves into that amazing sky. Beautiful!

    • The people in that shot were just a fraction of my big family. When I’m with them, nothing matters. I can be myself, I can laugh, I can wake up each day with a smile knowing at the end of the day, a have a huge family that loves me. Most of my vacation days were spent on making the most memories and time with them from drinking a brewed coffee in the morning to a walk by the beach with the setting of the sun. Happiness can be found in the most simple of experiences. Thanks Patti. Best wishes to you my friend.

  37. Barb says:

    Beautiful post, and beautiful words. I always enjoy visiting your site. It transports me to another world and a softer heart. Thanks.

    • Thanks Barb. When I write something, it also feels like I’m meditating and reflecting on what’s important in my life. It allows me to search for answers that I asked myself for so long. It allows me to hear what my heart wants. The gift of writing and blogging is that we get to see what our soul really wants.

  38. eof737 says:

    I love the festive nature of the photos. ;-)

  39. Beautiful photos. Looks like it was a fabulous visit. The barefooted man. Oh my. Thank you for sharing and for visiting my blog.

  40. The Guat says:

    I love the first picture. Good journey photos.

  41. elspethc says:

    Thanks for following me – may my journey add to yours. I really like your photos especially the 3rd one with man and 5 boys looking at the sea.

  42. jhirzel88 says:

    Well, I remember the first time that we left to Germany. I missed my grandparents very much. I only got to visit them every summer, and whenever I boarded that plane, I felt a sorry sadness come.

    I’m glad you thought about all the wonderful things of your journey, rather than letting it slip by.

  43. jhirzel88 says:

    I agree about the religion thing. After you talked about the man with the wooden cross and comparing that with the fact that you haven’t been into it as much as he was, you still have faith in God no matter what. I feel the same way. I don’t even attend church anymore, because I feel it is a waste of time between going to school and using the computer ever so often as I do.

    • We still do need God and our faith. Religion gives us a sense of purpose and direction. It gives us hope that someone up there with greater power will help us, guide us, bless us. Sadly, it’s easy to be caught up by the busy lifestyle of this world. And I’m no exception. We just have to try and give our best. Thank you for the generous sharing.

  44. Pingback: Island Summer: Revisiting Capiz | this man's journey

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