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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Judy Ann Santos & Ryan Agoncillo: For Reel & For Real

CONVERSATIONS With Ricky Lo The Philippine Star Updated December 11, 2011 12:00 AM 0 comment to this post 

In My Househusband: Ikaw Na!, their 2011 Metro Filmfest starrer by OctoArts Films, they play a couple they can easily identify with. Photos by Ver Paulino

In reel and in real, Judy Ann “Juday” Santos and Ryan Agoncillo are an interesting couple to watch. On and away from the cameras, they are a natural.
You’ve seen them play almost themselves in the hit Star Cinema Metro Filmfest entriesKasal, Kasali, Kasalo and Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo, both written and directed by Jose Javier Reyes who also helms the couple’s starrer for this year’s Metro Filmfest, OctoArts Films’ My Househusband: Ikaw Na!, with Eugene Domingo (as the couple’s neighbor and kept woman of a rich man).
Ryan and Juday’s characters are almost true-to-life, with whom they can easily identify with. He plays Rod, a bank manager, and Juday plays Mia who opts to stay home to raise their two kids while selling insurance on the side. Then, the bank merges with a bigger bank and Rod finds himself out of work. A reversal of roles happens. Rod stays home with the kids and Mia works full-time as insurance agent.
Not so in real life. Ryan and Juday, who have two kids, adopted daughter Yohan (seven years old) and son Lucho (one year old), beautifully balance pursuing their careers and raising a family without missing a beat — and staying friends in the process with their wit and humor intact.
“Many men today are ‘househusband either by choice or circumstances,” said direk Joey. “In this film, we show the hilarious side of it.”
Married for two years and a half (their wedding in May 2009 was kept confidential, held at a small town in Batangas) after going steady for five years, Ryan and Juday are a perfect match; they complement each other, completing each other, made for each other.
The following Conversation was done last Wednesday after the presscon for My Househusband at a Quezon City resto where Juday treated the press to a merienda of Lugaw sa Bulalo, one of her favorite recipes. The fact that she cooks is a plus factor in their marriage. After a lovers’ quarrel, Juday soothes Ryan’s ruffled feathers by cooking for him a hearty meal. It always works. The best way to a man’s heart is still through his stomach.
So far, what have you learned from and discovered about each other?
Ryan: Ako, madami. Juday has taught me how to be patient. I’m not the most patient person in the world but little by little through her examples, I’ve learned how to think things through. My wife is patient in dealing with everyday problems and I’m learning a lot from her on that score. She’s mentally tough at kailangan ko sabayan ‘yan — ang kanyang fortitude.
Uy, wala bang seven-year itch?
Juday (Joking): Puede bang mag-jump ng one year at sabihing eight years na kami para maiwasan ‘yan? Hahahaha!”
Juday: Anyway, people have known me since I was small. My life has been an open book pero hindi naman talaga ako ma-kuwento. With Rye, I have learned to be open, to be honest. It didn’t happen overnight; I went through a process.Pinagdaanan niya sa akin ‘yung sasabihin niya, ‘Bakit sa ibang tao ko nalalaman?’ I have that kind of ugali kasi, eh. You know, as long as I can preserve it, I will preserve it; hindi na ako nag-i-elaborate, ganyan. But I realized that what he said was true, ‘Na kahit gaano kapangit sabihin mo sa akin, kaysa naman pag-awayan pa natin na hindi na natin ma-resolba.’ He taught me to learn things about me from me and not from other people, and that way he said na mas ma-i-intindihan niya. In the process, I’ve learned to be open and to be honest not only to him but also to myself.”
What do you usually fight about?
Ryan: What do we usually fight about? I think the proper way to answer that is if you are a married person, whether you’re a man or a woman, isipin mo siguro ‘yung mga problemang pinagdadaanan n’yo. Just like any couple, we have problems with ourselves, with our kids, with our jobs, with our schedules, with family, with friends. Since bagong kasal lang kami, we are learning how to deal with these things our way. There are times when I try to solve things by being quiet, kasi ‘yon ang natutuhan ko sa kanya, and there are times when we try to resolve the issues right away. Minsan naman, we realize that it’s not worth a fight, so ‘Mag-enjoy na lang tayo!...Kiss na lang tayo…Mag-date na lang tayo!’ Huwag ng palakihin, tapusin na! I’m happy with the way things are going with my wife. She has a very strong character and she’s very patient. I’m forever grateful for that. Wala na akong mahihiling pa. Complete package ‘to, eh!
You’re right. Beauty and brains…
Juday (Joking again): ‘Yung brains kakapiranggot pa lang. Pag-aaralan ko pang paramihin ‘yon…
Ryan: Maganda, sexy, magaling magluto!
How do you make up after a fight?
 With daughter Yohan and son Lucho: Raising their kids the way their own parents did them.
Juday: Lambingan lang. And then I prepare a good dinner for him.
May gayuma?
Juday: Di ko na kailangan ‘yon. Hahahaha!
Ryan: May power ang luto niya.
What’s Ryan’s favorite dish?
Juday: Everything. He’s my best critic.
(To Ryan) Are you fair? Baka angrating mo lahat masarap?
Ryan: Uhm, madalas masarap. Wala siyang hindi masarap na niluluto; mayroon lang siyang hindi gaanong masarap. As far as her cooking is concerned, she has a certain level of excellence that I’m used to. Kapag hindi umabot, I’m honest naman kasinobody will tell it to her except me. Para matulungan siya to develop her skills as a chef, I have to be honest.
Which of Juday’s dishes do you always crave for?
Ryan (Thinks awhile): Well, madami. Like this morning, I have a most wonderful baon of fried rice,longganisa and fried-roasted beef with gravy. It’s my everyday favorite.
Juday: I prepare his baon when he reports to Eat, Bulaga! every day. I put his lunch box in a bayong, atampipi.
Do the other Bulaga! hosts also bring baon?
Ryan: They do, pero ako lang ang naka-tampipi.
Juday: Kasi parang probinsyang-probinsya kami nakatira, Alabang kasi, eh.
     Isn’t there any jealousy factor in your petty quarrels?
Ryan: Do you mean jealousy over a person? Hindi pa. (Adding in jest) Hindi pa kami umaamin. (Ryan has denied rumors that there’s “something” between him and Bulaga! co-host Daiana Meneses. — RFL)
Juday: Gusto kong isiping tapos na kami doon.

— Photos by RAYMUND ISAAC also courtesy of StarStudio mag
Ryan (Seriously now): It’s more of jealousy over time. ‘Yon ang madalas na dahilan.Because we are both busy, so it becomes the source of stress between us.
How’s your adjustment period? Smooth, I hope. Have you gotten used to sleeping beside each other?
Ryan: When we began sleeping on the same bed, I discovered that Juday is a blanket-stealer, nagnanakaw siya ng kumot…at unan. Hanggang ngayon nalalaglag pa rin ako sa bed, actually.
Why, is Juday hyper-active in bed?
Juday: No, I’m not. The bed is too small for us. Hahahaha!
Ryan: For her but not for me. Sinisiksik kasi n’ya ako palagi, eh! It’s like this: I would put two pillows between us, then sleep on one end of the bed; Juday naman on the other end. The pillows are to stop me from accidentally kicking her. Malikot akong matulog, siya masiksik. I would wake up in the middle of the night and find her beside me already.
Juday: In other words, ginagapang ko siya! Hahahaha!
Ryan: One time, I reported to Bulaga! without my voice because I didn’t know that I slept the whole night without a blanket, na kay Juday na! We solved the situation by having one blanket each.
Juday: Gusto ko kasi may kaakap na mainit.
(To Ryan): Have you learned how to change diapers?
Ryan: If not Juday with Yohan helping, it’s the nurse (two of them) who does it. Never me. Hindi ko talaga kaya, kasi madali akong mandiri. Before, I was a bit scared to carry the baby because it was so soft, I was afraid I would break his neck. Now okey na ako.
Are you bringing up your kids the way you were brought up by your parents?
Ryan: A combination of both of my parents’ way and Juday’s mom’s way. But we get pointers from friends. Ruby (Rodriguez, his Bulaga! co-host) has been very helpful, and Sharon (Cuneta) and Sen. Kiko (Pangilinan), too. Sila ‘yung nahihingan namin ng advice. Ruby has also two children na six years ang age-gap like our kids; while Sharon and Kiko have two girls and also have an adopted child. Si Kiko, ang tip niya sa amin is how to speak to the children and how to empower them. Si Ruby teaches us wayskung paano magkakasundo ang ate at ang bunsong lalaki.
Juday: Ryan and I grew up in different times, different situations and different environment. Children today are in different situation and environment, so we cannot really apply to them what was true during our time. But we do teach them the basics, such as tsinelas sa bahay, hugas ng plato after eating, washing their own clothes at mga ganoon. And, most important of all, how to maintain personal hygiene.
You look like you’re on extended honeymoon after all these years. I bet you still say “I love you” to each other at every turn.
Juday: Actually, we are more malambing pa ngayon, mas ma-“I love you” kami sa isa’t-isa, mas mayakap. But we don’t say “I love you” every night. We don’t obligate ourselves to say “I love you” just for the sake of saying “I love you.” It’s better to say “I love you” if it comes from the heart, ‘yung ramdam na ramdam mo.
Ryan: I love you, Juday!

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