Melody Reyes lives with her mother and brother in Cavite. Her father works as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia.
She is a graduate of the Mapua Institute of Technology and she works as an integrated circuit layout engineer at Lattice Semiconductor in Muntinlupa City.
She says she grew up not going to Mass every Sunday. Her family heard Mass only occasionally.
In school, I was an honor student. I studied well and graduated with honors in grade school and high school. I went to a respected engineering university.
In college, I stopped going to Mass altogether because I didn’t have time. Besides, Mass for me was boring and so I usually dozed off every time I attended.
I remember spending my Sundays working on school projects. But, I didn’t forget to hear Mass on my birthday and Christmas. This went on until I started working.
The company shut down, so with nothing better else to do, I played online games and got addicted. Online, I met a guy –- a foreigner. Here, let me call him Joel. We started chatting online daily and eventually, he courted me. I liked him but I never agreed to be his girlfriend. I took it as child’s play. Who takes a virtual relationship seriously? But, since I enjoyed his company, we remained friends and kept in touch every day.
In the course of one and a half years of our “relationship,” Joel sent me letters, greeting cards, chocolates, and stuffed toy via courier. He kept on insisting that we become a couple. I didn’t want to get into a relationship with someone I just met on the Internet, so I chose to dump him. I thought maybe if we met in person then I would consider being his girl. But he never had plans of coming over to the Philippines.
We didn’t have any communication after I said “No.” After six months, Joel resurfaced and told me he was getting married. That’s when I realized my folly. I started asking myself, why didn’t I take him seriously back then. I felt bad and cried about it.
I stopped playing in the virtual world. I knew I would only feel bad if I saw him playing online, too.
Finding The Feast
It was around this time in 2010, when my co-worker, Melvin Yee, invited me to attend The Feast at Valle Verde, Pasig City. I thought it would be good for me to get my mind off Joel and online games.
So, I gave The Feast a try. I loved it. People welcomed me warmly. I felt at peace attending the Mass and listening to the talk there. The lively music and the flashing lights kept me awake during the entire session. For the first time, I felt so passionate in praising and worshipping God. So I kept going to The Feast until I could already laugh about my heartbreak.
Eventually, I started serving as an usher and signed up for a Light Group (LG), and for the spiritual formation program.
Back to the Church
Today, eight years after, I have gone a long way, not just in my faith community but more important, in my faith walk. I became an LG head and a Head Usher some years back and to date, I continue to serve God fervently through these tasks.
I am now a new person and I see things differently. I see how God truly loves me. With His benevolent love, I have learned to become loving and generous to myself and others.
My Sunday is now incomplete if I don’t go to The Feast. I rarely miss attending one on Sundays. If I do, I make sure I hear Mass at our parish church, at least.
In my dealings with my family, I am able to share with them the teachings at The Feast. With nuggets of wisdom I have learned at The Feast, I have been able to help my family cope, especially when we face trials.
I am glad that my 15-year-old brother Jason goes to a Catholic school, where he is taught the importance of Mass and to become a regular churchgoer.