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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Gardener

On my 8th day of Oprah & Deepak's 21-day Meditation Challenge, was asked to write an honest letter to myself as a reflection for the day and wanted to share here that same letter. 

As instructed in the exercises, we were asked to just write anything that came into mind fresh from the meditation and was so surprised by how inspiring and heartwarming the letter was. Believe it was the message that God has been trying to make me understand these past few weeks. And, once again, it is GRACE.

Dear Milli,
I just want you to know that it is not your fault, that you have made the perfect choice (because it is YOUR choice), that it is OK that you have not had a romantic relationship in almost a decade. You never closed yourself up to possibilities; you have always been open, understanding, loving, beautiful, passionate but it's just that the wrong men came your way and the right one has yet to find you. Do you know that God has been pruning you all this time? You were never dry or wasting away or withering. In fact, you have always been blooming but in the shade because The Gardener thought it best to take care of you, nurture you without showing you off first in the garden. You are one of those rare and delicate creatures that needed a different kind of watering, fertilizing and sheltering but you just wait and see. Your season is almost here and He would soon take you out in the garden, replant you in the rich earth and let your beauty bask in the warmth of the sun.  
You're almost ready, Milli. Hold on there and He will soon finish His work in you. And soon enough the Gardener will open the doors, invite Mr. Right into the garden to show and share with him His precious and beloved masterpiece that is you.

If you are on a journey to spiritual maturity or want to relieve stress, I encourage you to add meditation to your prayer time. It is through here that I learned to be quiet and still and listen to the Lord's voice. It is a marvelous experience to be caressed by the Love and Grace of the Lord and these moments often occur in our silence. 
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Brand Are You?

This article was previously published at the Makati Feast Glorietta Bulletin last June 16, 2013.

Disgrasiyada. Immoral. Hiwalay. Sinner.

Believe it or not, these social stigmas are still being attached to single parents today. I don’t know if it’s just plain luck but in my 13 years as a single mom, I have yet to meet someone who would scoff at me and brand me with those words.
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Running on Empty

A few weeks back, I got a PM via Facebook from a school friend whom I haven't seen since we graduated years ago (won't say here what year to protect her identity. And my age...LOL). She asked how I was coping with the loneliness that comes from being a single mom, since she was one herself.

The first thing that came into my mind was "I was?" Well, of course she only knew of the Milli who posted usually positive, grateful and inspirational messages on my wall but not the person who lately cries herself to sleep, staring at the empty space on the other half of my bed and wondering about the basketball team that should have been my children--- a dream I've had since I was a little girl growing up with only one sibling. Of course, the trooper that I was, I shared with her how through prayer, renewal of Faith and having a support group helps a lot. I felt like a hack. 

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Open Letter to Angelina Jolie, The Bravest Mom I Have Ever Known

Dear Angie,

I don't even know if you will ever read this letter but I'm writing it anyway, even if it's just to console the sobbing mess that I am upon reading your revelation in The New York Times about your preventative double mastectomy.

Your courageous decision touched my heart so deeply, as I felt it was made not out of vanity, rather for your children and hopefully for their children. Indeed a mother's love knows no bounds and your choice is a living testament to that. 

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Friday, April 19, 2013


It has almost been 3 weeks now that I've been asked by my Dad and my Stepmom to be caretaker of their condo unit in Gramercy Residences and guardian of my 3-year old half-sister Gianna.

The experience was challenging with my sister crying almost everyday but I felt giddy, not having been trusted with such an enormous responsibility since I quit my job at the Consulate last year. I knew I could do this and was elated that my Dad even thought of me when he could have asked someone from among his dozens of relatives.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

100 Things You Ought To Know about Me

"The unexamined life is not worth living." ~ Socrates

That's probably the quote from high school that stuck with me the most. So at 38 today, I decided to go back on my life and look if I've examined my life well enough and found the journey quite liberating. 

I thought of sharing here what I found out about myself in the hopes that you'll get an idea of who I am or if you already know me, at least to understand me better. Fair warning, if you get offended by some of the facts I reveal here, I won't be sorry :)

Read on...

1. I was at my happiest when I was pregnant with Marti. 
me and my Marti

2. Kindness is always better.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

My Other Half
Alone on the rooftop with Jon Hopkins' Cold Out There on repeat, I stare at the spiraling glow of the cigarette slowly eating its way to the filter. The never-ending, nagging question presents itself again: Why are you doing this? 

Because it makes me handle the loneliness. Somehow. 

But there's another way to handle that. 

What? I ask and there's just silence. 

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Missing My Babies

In our usual morning routine, I would sit in the living room and work on oDesk while my nephew Asti would watch his Disney Junior shows and he's into his shows so much, you'll regret it if you so much as touch him while he's watching.

But today as he was watching his favorite Hi-Five, I caressed his back as he was coughing then he smiled at me, took my hand and held it as he continued to watch his show.

I looked at our hands and tears started to burn my eyes. I thought, how I miss my babies. Yes, babies. Because as far as I could remember, I have dreamed of having a brood of five or at least three especially when my Mom only had me and my sister.

Don't get me wrong, I love my son. He's the best thing that's ever happened in my life but I thought he'd have four siblings by now.

Maybe it's because I'll be 38 soon and realizing the 40 years I have left on this earth---if I'm lucky---seem such short a time to spend with my future children if they will ever exist.

But I still look forward to whatever God has in store for me. After all, He is the Restorer of lost time.
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Seven Hours in Bed with Christian Grey

I vowed never, ever to read this book, being turned off by a similarly too-much-hyped one that, only because of my sister's raving reviews over it, made me read it and spent the next two weeks stuck on page 5 of the first book in its trilogy. Twilight left such a lingering bad taste in my literary mouth that I haven't read any fiction for the past 5 years. Until last night.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Supplied by The Source of All Good Things

As requested by my friend Wendy from our Makati Feast community, I'm reposting here my write-up for the Feast Glorietta bulletin of January 20, 2013

Supplied by The Source of All Good Things
By Millicent Reyes

John Paul Getty, one of the richest American who ever lived, said this: “If you can count your money, then you don’t have a billion dollars”.

Well, in the last six months after I quit my high-paying job and my finances got almost depleted, my perspective on wealth has certainly changed a whole lot. I learned to count or value what is essential in my life and not what is impermanent. I thought that what I had lost was precious when in fact I had gained something that by God’s Grace has multiplied my abundance manifold: Humility. Humility has gained me more riches than ever: a better relationship with my Dad and his new family, more cordiality with my son’s father and his family, a career that lacked prestige but allowed me more time with my family and with more opportunities to serve in God’s Kingdom, and humility has even taught me to respect money by managing my finances to the very cent and living a simple life. Most of all, humility has taught me that all of my needs have been provided and will continue to be so by the Source of All Good Things who is the Heavenly Father.

Brother Randy Borromeo aptly began the first series of talks of the Makati Feast for this year entitled, Guaranteed: Three Things God Promises You; Talk 1: Supply with his favorite Bible verse from Philippians 4:19, “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Many times, particularly when we are at our lowest, we fail to see the Hand of God working in our lives, providing what we actually need. We pray for a better job then get depressed when we don’t get it when actually God is teaching us to be better employees. We pray for freedom from debt yet we despair when our bills continue to pile up when God is actually teaching us to use money more wisely. We pray for better relationships and become hopeless when things don’t work out when God is teaching us to be more forgiving and loving. In all these scenarios God had already answered our prayers “according to His riches in glory” yet we fail to see it.

Do you think God doesn't hear your prayers, your dreams? Of course He does; He is the Architect of all dreams, the seeds of which He had planted within us! But aside from our eyes and hearts sometimes not open to the Goodness of the Lord, our current resources also do not match our dreams, delaying their fulfillment. Brother Randy shared that we must choose to either “downgrade” our dreams to match our resources or “upgrade” our resources to match our dreams. Whichever we choose, it would be God’s Perfect Will for His Will is solely for our goodness and nothing else.

So always, always remember your blessings since the adage “Count your blessings” seems an impossible feat now because after all, God’s Grace outnumbers all the billions of this world.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Lord Has Made Me Malleable!

It was another great start for the New Year with our return to our second family, the Makati Feast Legaspi which we haven't been to for so many months, even before the Christmas break.

Marti and I tagged along my nephew Asti whom the Feasters last saw when he was just a few months old and when they saw him already walking and in jeans, Asti's favorite Feasters Bro. Ed and Bro. Monty rushed to hug him. This is why I love coming here, you're always warmly welcomed, even warmer than attending a family reunion. Well, at least for me it feels that way. 

Tita Eva was there, with her bright smile and cozy hugs I always look forward to. Saw my Care Group (CG) mates Jen and Gail whom I haven't seen for awhile. Talked to Bro. Monty about the new CG of Separated Brothers and promised to compare notes later on how we could serve more brothers and sisters in our respective CGs.

Brother Randy's talk on "Solutions" was, as always, phenomenal. Let me share with you the notes of the talk I took down:
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