Maricar Reyes finally aired her story on how she bounced back from a traumatic past. ICYMI, she recently launched a self-titled book, chronicling her long journey towards loving herself and encouraging others that healing is possible.

In her first tell-all interview after 12 years, she spoke at length about the controversial sex tape that shook her life in 2009.

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“Life ko talaga before, dami kong tinatago. And I didn’t even realize it was wrong. Daming white lies, small sins,” she shared. “I realized I’m not a victim. Dami nagsasabi, ‘Uy, victim ka lang, wala kang ginagawang masama.’ Meron eh, di nyo lang nakikita. It was my life choices that got me there. Slow and steady improvements got me out.”

The actress also talked about her love story with Richard Poon, with whom she tied the knot at an intimate ceremony in 2013. During the fitting of her bridal gown, she revealed a heartwarming moment between her and her mother, who got emotional about their wedding. She said, “My mom’s eyes suddenly filled with tears. Though we never directly talked about it, I knew my mother had feared that I might never find someone who wanted to marry me.Maricar reyes talks about her momFacebook/Maricar Reyes Poon

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“As a woman, she knew how painful it was to get through the rest of my life with a destroyed reputation. Nakita ko from the corner of my eye, gumaganun sya. I rushed to her. I tried to comfort her. Na-feel ko naman sa kanya na hindi siya sad tears. It was siguro for her, it was a moment na totoo na. Ikakasal na talaga siya.”

Looking back, Maricar says the *painful* experience certainly changed her life. “I’m not thankful for the scandal nor would I want to relive it all over again, but I would never trade the lessons I learned. Never.”

She revealed a letter she wrote for her younger self, which she also shared in the book. It reads, “Dearest younger self, I wish I could give you a big hug. I hope you will believe me that in your present suffering, you are not alone. However, I know realistically that nothing I say now will instantly remove all your pain and all your suffering. What happened to you is devastating.

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“Remember that it’s okay to grieve. But at one point you must decide to get up, face the problem and look for solutions. You may not know if God changed every single person who uploaded, watched, and shared the video, but you will know for sure that he changed us.”

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Female Network editors.

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