Sixty is the new thirty

60 is the new 30. Joji Ilagan-Bian exemplifies this affirmation best

SO SAID Joji Ilagan-Bian as she opened her speech on her 60th birthday celebration.

“I have celebrated this important milestone in my life in Manila with my family. I knew I just had to have another gathering with the rest of the people I hold dearest to my heart—you,” said Joji as she swept her open hand from her heart to her guests.

The statement coming from this lady, there is not a fraction of a doubt that 60 can indeed be the new 30. She is one of those stylish, poised and well-mannered women who can give justice to the affirmation.

Who else can plan Joji's party best than daughter Nicole (right), raising her glass with sister in law Careen to toast the celebrant's milestone

But to those who know this woman, the outer glow is an emanation of her character. And those who matter most to her were present in the celebration. “Accomplished”, “kind-hearted”, “intelligent” are some of the adjectives her family and friends tag her, description that perhaps are just “scratching the surface”, so to speak, of Joji’s intrinsic nature.

Making a wish & blowing the candle. Sharing the moment with her grandchild, Xander

“Sixty is a time to celebrate. At 60, we are wiser, more flexible and we choose our friends, we can choose whom to love and whom to like,” she said.

The celebrant surrounded with her dearest friends

”Everyone important in my life is present in this room. Family, classmates, friends in the tourism industry, Venture Club, Women in Travel, Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Divine Mercy and business associates, you are the 44 people who have touched my life for a reason. I had special experiences with each one of you. We traveled, laughed, cried and even stressed out together,” Joji shared with a smile.

Joji with her siblings Brian & Edgar with their wives Lalay & Ging

“I am looking forward to more years of celebration. I thank God for blessing with such wonderful people who are with me through and through. Thank you for the friendship, thank you for God’s blessing and than you for this celebration.”

Who doesn't love JIB?

Happy birthday dearest Joji!


[For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit and]

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 16, 2015.

Friends at the party.

More than just Joji's travel buddies & toruism partners Baby Montemayor & Lena Benedicto

Neneng dela Paz, Connie Dy & Vivian Sison

Grace Yap & Boy Guino-o

Joji with Vicky Almeda Emily Domingo, Lilian Abella, Alexis Jamora & Boots Tesoro

Divine Mercy family Edna Ramirez, Emilia Sitjar & Julie Sanz

Just like old times. Joji with her former schoolmates

Friends Joji have laughed & cried with.

My moment with my loves Jojie & Nicole.