Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts.
In one of her most personal vlogs to date, Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio opened up about her relationship with God, which she said she nearly gave up on after dealing with miscarriages and the loss of a loved one.
After her grief counseling, she learned that what she experienced was rapid-fire trauma. “Sunod-sunod daw yung nangyari sa akin and I have had not enough time to get up and recover before another blow comes on me again,” she explained.
The vlogger gave birth to her son in 2014 then lost her second baby in 2016, and then lost another one in 2017. “I got pregnant 2018 so you could just imagine all the hormonal changes that are also influenced heavily by the emotions of not getting the babies,” she recalled.
Her previous miscarriages brought about mixed emotions in line with her pregnancy. “Is it bad that I don’t want to want this baby? Kumbaga, I want the baby. No doubt about it. But I don’t want to want it so much so that when I lose the baby, I will still be okay.”
Not only did it put her relationship with God on hold—it also led to suicidal thoughts. “I was thinking, ‘magkasakit nalang kaya ako?’ I never reached that point of slashing myself or drinking something to kill myself. This is what they call the ‘passing thought.’ It’s a passive kind of suicidal thought that I was telling myself na ‘It would be great kung magkasakit ako ngayon tapos mamatay ako’ and the reason behind that being nobody needs me anymore in this world. ‘This world is not going to lose anything without me.’”
There came a breakthrough when she came across a book about God’s love, thought about her children, and found a reason to live. “Naisip ko lang na Manu is in my tummy, I can’t die right now. It would be totally unfair to wish I was dead and I had a baby in my tummy,” she recalled. “This is why I can say that my children saved me. Of course, only God saves, he does it through a number of things and I think he used my children largely.”
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Just when she was at the point of recovery, she was faced with another blow a few months after giving birth: the death of her dad. “We were supposed to see my dad. Even if we didn’t have the ideal Papa-daughter relationship, I would have wanted to do this to honor him. And then he dies a few days before my flight. Of all (people) naman talaga, namatay siya.”
“I kept complaining and I told God na ‘Ayoko na sayo, ayoko na, break na tayo, wala naman nangyayari pag naniniwala ako sayo. It’s not as if you will solve my problem. Ang dali dali naman nito sayo, others have it so easy, bakit ako nahihirapan?’” she said.
Her healing only began during Father’s Day last year, when she read the Bible's Book of Job. “Job pala is also a name that could actually mean na ‘Where is my father?’ That was Father’s Day.”
“I realized that what God wanted me to feel was like ‘You know I’m not gonna let you go even when you let me go. I’m holding it together,” she said, referring to it as her “major breakthrough.”
Little by little, she was able to connect the missing pieces and make sense of it all. “I feel like God allowed me to lose myself so that I can find myself in Him and I can find my unity and my safe space in Him,” she said.
Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio married Joseph Bonifacio in 2010, with whom she has two kids. After her showbiz career, she later pursued a career in vlogging.
If you think you, your friend, or your family member is considering self-harm or suicide, you may call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518 or 0917-899-USAP (8727) for Globe/TM users, or 0908-639-2672 for Smart users.