When I Turn 44

“40’s is a period not to go into a mid-life crisis, it’s that period to create the best moments in life. It’s a time to be the person we missed becoming.”

Looking forward to life’s many new beginnings, adventures and possibilities at age 44.

IMG_3440 “Whatever the past had brought us, whatever life will bring us, so many reasons to hope and stay afloat…”

One day I simply woke up and realize how time passed me by and I barely scratched the full and exciting life I was meant to live and experience. I’d been zombified with work, responsibilities, worries, problems, fears, insecurities and the never-ending demands and expectations of this world.

One day I  just woke up and realize I no longer belong to the world but I belong to the one who created this world and his words alone will satisfy the restless wanderings of the Island Traveler.

Time is a great teacher. Time is a great healer. I’m just glad it wasn’t too late to turn around, change and pursue what truly matters.

IMG_1543 Best Birthday Ever!

I came home from work with all the lights still off. The hallway and living room was unusually dark. I was expecting my son awake and getting ready for school but perhaps he and his mom overslept. Just when I was heading for the bedroom to wake them up, they both jumped behind the kitchen counter yelling, “Surprise!” I was thrilled surprised  and my heart-felt like it just bounced inside my chest.

My wife said, “I got you the happy smile balloons cause I just want you to be happy all the time.” She knew me too well. Truly grateful for having a family who brings me happiness everyday. To me, that’s the best birthday present of all.

That morning my son played the piano while singing shyly, “Happy Birthday Daddy, Happy Birthday Daddy. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday…Happy Birthday Daddy.” His mom whispered, “He stayed late last night practicing and rehearsing that for you.” My heart swelled up. I am the luckiest man on Earth.

IMG_3251 The day after my Birthday I told my wife, “Hey, let’s go to this place where I was told they have Bluebonnets. We can do it after our son’s tutorial in Math.” My wife smiled saying, “Yes, we could.”

We arrived at the place close to sunset, unfortunately no Bluebonnets in sight but instead we found something better…

IMG_3249We found each other having a great time just laughing, sharing stories, running, playing, taking pictures, relaxing by the river, eating custard ice cream, care free with all the time to ourselves, huddled together, watching the beautiful sunset slowly descending till there was no more. It was the perfect birthday celebration. It was the perfect gift of a moment.

IMG_3214“We just need several perfect moments to realize things will be okay…more than okay!” 

We go through life’s many stressful challenges, tragedies, trials, hardships, sufferings and persecutions. Some seem worse than others. Ours may feel worse than others. In all these, what made us make it through? Faith? Hope? Love from family and truest of friends? All of the above and more…

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the Earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” -Job 25-27

When trouble strikes, we can claim with confidence, “Our Redeemer lives!” He does, in each one of us…and that is a priceless gift we all are blessed to have.

IMG_3242 What More Can I Ask?

I have a beautiful wife that loves me and my son dearly. She patiently dreams with me even if so many times those dreams don’t turn exactly the way we hoped them to be. She’s been with me at my worst and celebrated with me at my best. She has my heart surrounded with all things that brings me inner happiness, peace and love that knows no conditions. She shares my many passions. We share each other’s passions.


I am blessed with a son with so much joy and pureness in his heart. A son who reminds me always that age is but a number and that how I feel and live my life determines how old I wanna be. He keeps me young at heart. He reminds me to never be afraid to jump into life’s many adventures. He opens my heart to goodness, forgiveness and trust no matter how many scars I endured through the years. I am a better person because of him. I try my best to be a better person because of him.

With him around, I know I will always feel

With him around, I know I will always feel “Forever Young.”
For a Lego fan, Legoland is the happiest place on Earth. Every day, I would see my son play with his Star Wars Legos, creating his own customized Star Wars Clone Troopers, ships and space stations. The day we went to Legoland California, we saw Star Wars Lego City, it’s one of the coolest section of the park. It was incredible! That day, I noticed that my son was into the thrill rides too. He would burst laughing after each scary ride while me and his mom looked stunned with a look on our face saying, “What just happened?” He is growing up fast…just feel very blessed that I get to see and experience that growth with him.

My Yolified Life

It started with just a simple dream for me and my wife to gain back our health. To ease the many physical ailments we’d been experiencing more and more as we got older. To perhaps be free of our dependence to prescription  and over the counter medications. To lose some excess weight and be fit enough to catch up with our growing 9-year old.

Little did we know that we will have a 365 degrees turn around in our lifestyle, in the way we think, feel and live.

Little did we know, that our lives will be transformed to something better, happier.

Little did we know, that we will meet so many amazing, very supportive people whose lives too were transformed  and being transformed beyond their wildest dreams. People who above everything else acknowledge their blessings and dependence on God. People who come together from all over the country as one community, sharing with one another gifts of health, positivity, hope, belongingness, love and sense of purpose.

Spring Break 2015, God was truly generous. He found a way for us to go back to California, this time in San Diego. It was our first and it was amazing. We stayed at our relative's place and we felt so at home the moment they open their door to welcome us. Every moment was a beautiful blessing to cherish. So many happy memories with friends and family. So many dreams coming true and unfolding by the day. So many future possibilities happening.  While enjoying the sun, sand and surf  at a beach in Carlsbad, I asked my son,

Spring Break 2015, God was truly generous. He found a way for us to go back to California, this time in San Diego. It was our first and it was amazing. We stayed at our relative’s place and we felt so at home the moment they open their door to welcome us. Every moment was a beautiful blessing to cherish. So many happy memories with friends and family. So many dreams coming true and unfolding by the day. So many future possibilities happening.
While enjoying the sun, sand and surf at a beach in Carlsbad, I asked my son, “What do you wish for?” He stopped digging the sand for a second and said, “I want to move to California.” I then asked my wife, “What do you wish for?” Smiling she whispered, “Same as yours…”
It feels good to dream again. Joining Yoli and meeting new friends with so much positivity and light in them, inspired us to dream again as well as to never give up on the ones we already made. And so with faith in our hearts, we believe those dreams will happen soon.

It’s hard to sum up in words what a “Yolified Life” feels like but I think the video Yoli Mission: We Transform Lives gives the best description of the incredible journey my wife and I had since we both vowed to commit to change. And that same positive change we now happily see happening in the lives of our friends and family whom we share a similar passion in living a fuller, more enriching, quality life.I will not share their pictures here as I respect their privacy but will share the many inspiring health testimonies of my other family, the Yoli family in the link Real People-Real Results.

The video beautifully narrates: What is Yoli? To the ancient  Aztecs it meant “To Live.” To live a life of health. A life of happiness and love. A life of giving. A life of significance and meaning. To live a life of legacy…by sharing…by caring…until every life we touch is transformed by the way we live. Yoli, we transform lives physically, emotionally, financially. This is our mission and it means everything.

In 1 minute and 20 seconds, the video shows what most of us want for ourselves and the people we care about. For more information about Yoli and how it transform lives, please do click the link Yoli Better Body System Videos. We all deserve “to live a life that’s full…meaningfully full.”

Santa Monica Beach...it only took a few hours to build a lifetime of great memories.

Santa Monica Beach…it only took a few hours to build a lifetime of great memories.

When I turn 44 I will…

Be more, live more, love more, laugh more, pray more, give more, forgive more, seek peace and inner joy more, let go and move on more, catch as many stars and dreams more, celebrate moments and build lasting memories more, all of which I will share and take with me wherever I go.

Gliding above the San Diego zoo inside the Skyfari cable ride, we all were super excited. We all wished that the exhilarating moment didn't have to end. I took many pictures hoping to capture and relive the happiness and solitude over and over again. As I'm writing this, I am taken back on the day that we rode the zoo's double deck bus, the male Polar bear dancing by the lagoon trying to impress his girlfriend, the adorable Giant Pandas chewing the bamboo leaves, the flamingos irresistibly funny as they chat among themselves, the lion taking his afternoon nap, he must be so tired that he slept next to his poop...

Gliding above the San Diego zoo inside the Skyfari cable ride, we all were super excited. We all wished that the exhilarating moment didn’t have to end. I took many pictures hoping to capture and relive the happiness and solitude over and over again. As I’m writing this, I am taken back on the day that we rode the zoo’s double deck bus, the male Polar bear dancing by the lagoon trying to impress his girlfriend, the adorable Giant Pandas chewing the bamboo leaves, the flamingos irresistibly funny as they chat at their cocktail party, my son asking me to take his video with the Mountain Lion so he can say, “It’s real!” I find myself smiling, elated, kind of what it felt like when I was having my great adventure at the San Diego Zoo with my family.

A friend sent me a message on my Birthday. She wrote, “I’m sure this is your best birthday ever because you found inner peace and happiness. Since late last year, our family decided to celebrate each other, friends and family who matter. We have joy and inner peace knowing that we are leaving behind the negativity and ugliness of the past years. This is leading us to a renewed life with Christ, making us grow in Christ. Life is indeed beautiful in Christ.” She was so right.

God bless you all. I’m truly thankful for the generous thoughts, prayers and well wishes. Today, I’m sharing with you one delicious slice of Birthday cake with one Birthday candle full of happy wishes! IMG_3453 From my family to yours, bringing you lasting symbols of peace, love and a happy home…


About Island Traveler

An optimist life traveler hoping to make a difference in this world.
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66 Responses to When I Turn 44

  1. Many Blessings for your Birthday Island Traveler, you Blessed me with your message , Thank you, how wonderful to know regardless of the Storms life brings Our Redeemer Lives and we don’t walk through them alone, His plans for us are also very good too and God protects our Soul.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a Future and a Hope.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    .Much Love, Joy , Peace and Happiness now and for each day dear Island Traveler for you and your Family from both of us – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anne. I always feel God’s closeness and presence every time I read your sharing. In my readings this morning, this struck me the most and I think it is something we all go through everyday but we remain steadfast knowing life everlasting is our ultimate reward for being faithful to Christ.
      “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. “- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
      Thank you for being a thoughtful and generous Christian sister. Though we live across the globe, we share a similar passion, a similar faith that brings us all together. God bless you and your family. Have a great weekend.


      • You have a beautiful way of expression your heart focus Island Traveler, Thank you for your Loving encouragement to us all.

        I have started on your Power point Island Traveler but I was wondering what are your favorite flowers, as we know, all God’s creation shows His greatness and also Praise Him in their uniqueness too, it is different from our uniqueness although no two Snowflakes are the same just like us.

        Blessings dear Brother -Anne.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought I should mention Island Traveler that your Post did not show properly in my Inbox, I could not click on, so I put your Post name in my search engine, perhaps others will have the same problem, let’s hope not.

    Kind regards – Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anne for letting me know. WordPress has updated its features and honestly, a bit confused and unfamiliar with many of them. I kind of still like the old one. I’ll check it out.


      • Yes I agree Island Traveler, Ron says if it works don’t fix it, continual change leads to confusion and a lot have lost customers because of doing this, not everyone appreciates change just for change sake, most feel comfortable with what they know and understand, of course somethings have to change when we become Christians regardless of how settled we are in our old way of life and our Carnal beliefs but these changes must come from our heart not our head or we will never experience real Peace.

        I noticed a few times Island Traveler as I looked back on your Posts that you like Bluebonnet’s but also Orchids, both are beautiful as is all God’s Flower Creation, which one would you like me to focus on in your Power point ?

        Blessings – Anne.


  3. Patrecia (with an E) says:

    Happy Birthday my friend , and many many more! You just wait till you get to be 76, aches and pains and old age…make the most of it whilst you are still young

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking forward to be 76 Patrecia. I just hope by then, I left enough good legacy to make our world a better place for others. Yes, I will sure make the most of it no matter how busy some days can be…God bless my friend and have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve got me singing it. Take a listen and sing along. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you get a chance to look for more bluebonnets. They are still to be found. https://youtu.be/bj_BvlYFyEg

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Georgette. Love the song. Yes, I believe that our Redeemer lives…and he lives in all of us. I do hope to see the bluebonnets still. Hope it’ll all fit tomorrow as we hope to visit Galveston too. Have a blessed weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. M.Winter says:

    Happy Birthday! More to come! Time does fly, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, times does fly. I still have the feeling of time differential in years. 44 physical age but feeling 34 heart and mind…perhaps it’s what happens when you have a kid who brings you his world of youth and it’s many young adventures. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. fgassette says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! God has been good to you. Wishing you more love, peace and happiness in the days ahead.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday Island Traveler! It good to see you so happy with obvious contentment in your soul. The quote that jumped out at me today was simple….”we don’t have to have much, we just need to be more.” Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post about reflections and moving forward in life…marvelous celebration. Happy, happy…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear friend,
    Happy birthday! It takes a heart full of love to make the kind of life and family you have–you know what’s important and you have made that your priority. It is heartwarming to know, and every photograph makes me smile! Wishing you and your family all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank Naomi. Pictures help me remember and bring to life the times I laughed so hard, just happy, no worries. When things are not so bright, these memories never fails to bring back much needed smiles that warms the heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that feeling. One of the reasons I love to post on my blog is because, while I am selecting photographs to help me tell a story, I have a chance to recall and relive those happy memories.


  10. Happy birthday! All the best to you and your precious family! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. They key is to listen to listen to yourself. Too many people are distracted by their worries, stresses, etc. to really hear what their bodies are telling them. Happy health to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, totally agree. Living in America was not all I hope to be. People complain so much of being stressed out, so many people unhappy with their job and situations yet keep hoarding material things. So many people whining that they don’t have enough yet keeps texting on their latest smartphone, tablet or lap tap, wears expensive bags and drive fancy cars. From where I grew up, “not having much,” means you could hardly eat three times a day and not indulge in buffets and throw food. Not having much means riding tricycles or walk several miles to work. Not having much means actually asking a neighbor to let you use their phone. I’m guilty for allowing myself to listen to so many people about what’s good for me. So many told me to “buy this, buy that,” “invest on this, it’s the best future investment for you,” or just be blinded with what the material world has to offer that I forgot for years why I even came to this country. So many many happiness based on fleeting and temporary gratification. Thank God, I woke up… of course I had to fall first flat on my face…even way flatter as some people I know stepped on me as well. I can only laugh at it now as I have let go and moved on. Thank God for that as well! Thanks.


  12. Nice sharing 🙂 Life indeed is meant to be shared, to be enjoyed and nourished no matter what 🙂 Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mariannegv says:

    What a great day with your family. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. bebs1 says:

    Belated happy birthday IT. Hope all your dreams will come true!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lucid Gypsy says:

    A belated Happy Birthday to you and thanks for the cake! You have such a lovely family 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Happy belated birthday Mr. B. Your photos are wonderful. You all look so happy. The feeling is contagious. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was and I am. Sometimes I still have moments when my happy bubble burst into pieces by someone’s negativity, anger, bitterness, cruelty, or plain insensitiveness but all I have to do is remember this moments, pray and realize, I choose to be positive, I choose to be happy and remain hopeful, I choose words of faith and encouragement, I choose to dream again, forgive and move on…works every time. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. janna hill says:

    You are half way to 88 and looking great! Stay (+)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Been reading more and finding ways on how we can catch up with our Healthspan with our Lifespan and how achieving Healthspan now is the secret to looking young, feeling young and away from being inflicted with debilitating chronic, even life threatening diseases. 40’s is the perfect age to choose the quality of life we all wish to have 10 years from now, gets a bit alarming after that if we choose not to do anything. My hope, to grow old with quality healthy life so I can enjoy my son’s growing up years, perhaps still get to run and chase my further grandkids. Perhaps some island cruising with my wife or just go back to the Philippines and leave a legacy of goodness to those in need.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Happy Birthday, it is so nice to see someone so happy, sharing so much mutual appreciation with their family!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Janice Wald says:

    I came over to say thank you so much for following my blog, and I found this wonderfully engaged community. You must be so proud of the community you’ve built. Thank you for the follow. I’m truly honored. Nice to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am Janice. These are the most amazing, generous, talented bloggers friends out there. Very blessed to have them trough the years of my many life adventures, both the good and the bad. They are “Family!” Thanks.


  20. nowathome says:

    Life is indeed beautiful in Christ.!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. thedailydish says:

    Happy birthday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The Guat says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude Can I tell you how amazingly inspiring this was to hear! Happy Birthday!!! And thanks for sending a shot of vitality and energy and life my way on your special day my friend! So glad that you guys were able to make it to San Diego. It is beautiful down here and I bet that Legoland was definitely an amazing adventure that blew your son’s mind away. That Star Wars exhibit is truly awesome! Great pictures by the way. Truly blessed. And thanks for spreading your 44 years of wisdom my way. I’m heading close to the BIG 4-0 and hearing words like that from you and others is reassuring for what is coming up. Thank you my friend. 🙂 I particularly LOVED “We don’t need to have much, we need to be more.” AWESOME quote. Blew me away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  24. Thanks my friend. The last several years, life thought me a priceless lesson during the most difficult of times, that “We don’t need to have much, we just need to be more.” Even if we think we are not as materially blessed as others, we actually have so much to give and share like quality time with family and friends, creating for them happy fun memories that will inspire them one day when they too will have their own battles and challenges. Also, it’s when I gave up so much material things and downgraded did I once again experience that bliss and solitude I used to have when I barely got anything in my pocket in the Philippines. I hardly got anything then materially but I had the most amazing walks along the beach by sunrise or sunset without worries in the world. I also have so many friends that were so genuinely real, humble and giving…friends who are there simple because they are “true friends.” Here in America, sadly I met so many friends who only are there when they have something to gain or during the “happy hour”, good thing I have my bloggers friends who in all honesty gave me the most encouraging support when I was going through some rough moments. Of course there’s my wife, my son and God… who makes me feel each day truly rich and blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Debbie M. says:

    Only a young 44? (I am in my fifth decade by just a little!) One of the best things about growing older is that we can be “silly” without worrying about what other people think. We are finally understanding and living out the wisdom of what is truly important in life. Birthdays and the passing years are the way to record the many blessings in our lives. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Debbie. I so agree, “One of the best things about growing older is that we can be “silly” without worrying about what other people think. We are finally understanding and living out the wisdom of what is truly important in life.” I do wish I learned that wisdom sooner but no regrets as I know God has so much more in store for me and my family in this lifetime. All the best to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Maya Puspa says:

    Happy birthday! Such a wonderful celebration. I envy you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. A very happy birthday to you, IT. May God continue to bless you richly and reward you and your family for all the blessings you’ve give us through your postings and photographs. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos with us. Have a fabulous birthday month!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the generous well wishes my friend. God’s blessings are indeed the gifts I hope and pray on my birthday and to all the birthdays of our blogging community. Always a joy to share my world to all of you through postings and photographs. That too, a blessing I am thankful for. God bless you and your family.


  28. arlene says:

    The dreams you hold, the precious moments, the little things that make you smile…these make life a wonderful journey to explore. Thank you again for sharing this inspiring and lovely post and the beautiful photos of your family. Belated happy birthday! May you always be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will remember this always, “The dreams you hold, the precious moments, the little things that make you smile…these make life a wonderful journey to explore.” Thanks Arlene. I am thankful each day for the gift of family and friends who always have me in their thoughts, heart and prayers. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. naomimgruer says:

    What lovely birthday pictures of you and your loving family! Happy bday and wishing you a wonderful year.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Barb says:

    He is risen indeed. Happy Birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Sherri says:

    I am sorry to be so late here my dear friend. A family emergency and my brother taken suddenly and frighteningly ill last week and now, thank the Lord, recovering as am I from the awful shock. I am catching up but way behind because of it but I want to wish you a very Happy Belated Birthday and what a wonderfully inspiring and faith-fllled post, sharing the joy of the Lord and all he has blessed you and your beautiful family with. I also smile and my heart glows with the warmth and happiness of so many joy-filled memories of my days spent with my children in San Diego as our last holiday in California before we moved away back to the UK to start our new life. We adored the zoo and the year before we also visited Legoland which is an amazing place too. So you walk with your family in the same places where we once walked, and I felt the same as you, waking up from hurt and pain and wondering where life had taken me, but then so thankful in my heart for all that was so good and pure and blessed and for all that was yet to come. And still is!! Beautiful photos and memories in the making. God bless you and your family always and thank you so much for making me smile today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Small world Sherri. It’s an exciting news to discover another blogger friend, walking the same place we’ve walked. And heart-warming to know they went through life’s pain and challenges kind of similar to ours. It gives us comfort that we are not alone and that we have God to help us through this difficult times. Praying for your brother’s healing and recovery. Thank you my friend for always being there and for all the encouraging words and kind, generous thoughts. God bless you and your family always.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Happy birthday. And glad you are taking steps to evaluate what you’ve done and where you’re headed. We all need reminders to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. It is good to look back, to remember our mistakes and the hurts of the past so we can look forward to a better future with new hopes and beginnings. To start fresh. To embrace what is positive and good in our lives. To embark on a new journey with renewed energy and optimism. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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