Maricar Reyes reflected on her life after being embroiled in a scandal more than a decade ago, and how she began her journey toward healing.
Reyes recalled the exact moment she learned about the controversy while speaking with Toni Gonzaga for the host’s vlog.
“Sobra akong top of the world. I had a serye na part ako ng main cast. ‘Lovers In Paris’ ‘yun, nagte-tape na kami, hindi pa sila umeere. I just came from taping. I went straight to the race. Maganda ‘yung time ko, ang saya-saya. Everything was looking good tapos biglang hatak,” she said.
Reyes stated that one of her friends called her and inquired about a tabloid item, but she simply laughed it off. Her agent called her, and that’s when she felt the shock.
“Parang nag-quiet lahat ng paligid. Siguro kasi it’s still denial, may disbelief,” she said.
Reyes recalled a traumatic period in her life, saying, “I think sa sobrang hindi kaya ng utak ko [i-process], nag-shut down na lang siya.”
“I actually don’t remember when I cried. Siguro ang tagal kung kailan ko siya iniyak. Kasi nakapag-work pa ako, meron pa akong taping a day or two after. ‘Yun ‘yung ‘Precious Hearts.’”
Reyes was so convinced that it was the end of her that she contemplated suicide.
“’Yung time na ‘yun, nung nandoon ako sa house, all these thoughts, doon siya na talaga nag-sink na totoo ito, there is no way that you can retract this. You cannot get back what you lost. Doon ako parang, ‘Ang unfair.’”
“Kaya ko naisip din ‘yung suicide kasi parang wala na akong way para gumanti. It’s more of the shame sa sarili, causing shame to others that you love. Siyempre naro-romanticize mo siya pero when you really think about it, [kapag naiisip ko] how my family would react, parang mas lalong hindi fair sa kanila,” she added.
Reyes stated that the only time she stopped thinking about suicide was when she considered what her family would go through if she went through with it.
At the time, Reyes focused her entire attention on working harder.
“It’s really doing the next thing na kailangan mong gawin. Work really helps. Having responsibility na alam ko na people on the set will be depending on me to show up, in a way parang kailangan ko din buhayin ‘yung sarili ko. Kasi at that time, hindi na ako dependent sa parents ko and I didn’t want to be a freeloader sa kanila the whole time,” she added.
She also mentioned Yeng Constantino’s role in her “slow and steady” healing journey.
“Nagha-highlight siya ng Bible. It was the first time that I saw anybody in my life doing that. Kami lagi ‘yung buddy ni Yeng. We wouldn’t really talk about God. Hindi naman siya pushy. But towards our last show, sabi niya, ‘Meron akong mentor. If you want lang to talk to somebody, you can go to her.’”
Reyes recalls speaking with Constantino’s mentor, and their discussions led her to develop a relationship with God.
“At that time din, parang wala na akong choice. Saan pa ba? Lahat na-try na, eh di i-try mo na rin [basahin ‘yung Bible]. Being the studious person that I am, and ‘yun nga nagmamadali ako [maka-recover], I read the whole thing in three months,” she said.
“During the process of reading, doon ko naramdaman na parang kinakausap ka ni God. ‘Yung mga stories that would stick out, may mga stories na, ‘Uy parang ako iyan ah.’ It’s just the feeling na tumama,” she said.
For Reyes, it was an overwhelming and humbling feeling to know that God loved her even when she was at her worst.