Mothers will always find the strength and courage—for their family
Just released on September 1, 6:00 p.m., Boy Abunda’s The Interviewer invited LJ Reyes to finally share her side of the story.
But the mother-of-two has always kept her silence, more so now that she has two children to protect. She flew to New York, USA, to be with her family (who is based there) last August 25. She, together with her two children Aki and Summer, were on their way to the airport when Boy Abunda called her back. He had missed calls from her. She wanted to talk to someone she could trust, and how to deal with what she has been going through.
“Kung ako lang kasi ang involved, I could have kept my silence. Kaya kong manahimik, lagi kong sinasabi, first and foremost, I am a mother of two beautiful kids and kapag sila na ang apektado, kahit sinong nanay will step up and defend mga anak nila at ang pamilya niya,” she starts off.
“We left because I felt like I really needed to get myself and the kids out of the situation physically para matulungan kami mentally and emotionally to recover as a family,” on why she left the country.
When asked if there was any third party, LJ couldn’t answer for about 15 seconds, saying, “I think maraming makakasagot niyan, kahit hindi ako sumagot.” She also said that it was the least of her concerns.
The main reason why she said yes to this exclusive interview with Boy Abunda is this: “Kahit nandito na ako, I will never go into details, particularly because ayoko po ng may masabi ng hindi maganda. Ang gusto ko lang huwag magamit mga anak ko. Gusto ko lang po maintindihan ng publiko bakit ako umalis at huwag na gumawa ng iba’t iibang kwento.”
She also admitted that this has been going on for several months, starting late last year. She even confronted Paolo Contis (her partner for six years), asking if anything has changed, but the talks felt like she was talking right through him. Paolo would always shrugged it off, but LJ knew he had changed. “He's a very homebody, kung pwede hindi siya aalis ng bahay, hindi sya aalis ng bahay.”
There would be “reports,” and "revelations after revelations," but no proof at that time. All this information can be confusing and shocking for any person to find out. She didn’t know what was real and wasn’t. All she knew was to surrender her faith in God. “Minsan tinatanong ko sa sarili ko kung ito ba ang tama para sa anak ko at sa pamilya ko. Pero humihingi ako ng wisdom sa Panginoon na malaman ko kung tama po ba ginagawa ako. I was holding everything together. Umabot na nakakalbo na kilay ko. Kasi yun mga kapatid ko hindi alam, bigla na lang kao nag breakdown na sobrang sakit at hirap. Pero kumapit ako, para sa mga anak ko. Kasi kung walang batang involved, okay lang. Hindi ko pipilitin sarili ko.”
And she did try to save the relationship. “I tried, sa totoo lang, iyan po ginagawa ko for the past several months. Sa totoo lang, nagbreak na po kami pero after a few days, na-realize ko na hindi pwedeng ganito, may mga bata kami. Nagbaba po akong pride, kahit ako ay nasasaktan, titiisin ko ng para sa mga bata. Kasi naisip ko na kailangan nila ng complete family. Tinanong ko siya kung if he wants to take us back, pero hindi na daw.”
“Sinubukan ko pong huwag maramdaman ng anak ko at ng public. Pero, it's been really difficult, Tito Boy.” Difficult because she kept quiet, even her family didn’t know what she was going through.
All she could think about was her family, and to remain strong for them, especially for her two kids. “Buti na lang po, mga anak ko ay napaka-sweet. Siguro nararamdaman nila. Lagi nila sinasabi, 'I love you, mommy.’”
Her eldest son Aki was empathic enough to know something was amiss. He asked her what was happening. “Napasakit ng tanong sa akin ng anak ko iyan. I needed time, hindi ko po masagot on the spot,” she told Tito Boy. “Wait lang, sasagutin kita. Nag-gather ako kung ano sasabihin ko sa kanya. Gusto ko kasi galing sa akin ang truth. Sa panahon ngayon ng social media, marami siyang mabasa, marami siyang marinig, marami magagawa ng kwento. Gusto ko galing sa akin. ‘I will never lie to you ako ang paniniwalaan mo. Kung meron kang tanong, sasagutin ko.’”
And she did tell Aki, and apologized, “I’m sorry for everything. I wanted a complete family for you.” Aki cut her off, reassuring her, “You complete us mom.”
“Grabe yun kirot ko sa puso. Na-touch ako sa bata. Pero napakasweet na bata po ni Aki talaga,” she adds, tears falling down.
With everything that she has been through, she still didn’t unfollow Paolo despite Paolo unfollowing her. “Sobrang nagulat ako doon. I felt disrespected—not just for myself but also for my kids,” she says.
LJ is still going through a lot, but bringing herself and her two kids to the US has also helped her gather the strength and courage to take on this chapter in their lives. Having her family beside her has also been a great help. “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa Diyos. It was God-given strength (that helped me). It’s difficult enough to see somebody you trust, love, and you gave your whole life to changed. Pero mas mahirap na makitang nasasaktan mga anak mo."
She ends the interview by asking viewers and her fans and followers to pray for her. “Dasal na bigyan ako ng lakas at wisdom para guide niya ako, kasi kahit ako, hindi ko alam kung paano magsisimula pero nandito po ako kasi gaya ng sabi ko kanina. I will walk blindly para sa mga anak ko, kahit wala akong lakas, gagapang ako para sa pamilya ko para maging okay sila.”