Not many people know that Judy Ann Santos does charity work for an Aeta community in Zambales. In fact, she’s been doing it for almost a decade.
“I started helping this Aeta community since 2003 pa. Tuwing birthday ko, nagdadala ako ng pagkain at mga regalo para sa kanila. Doon na rin ako nagpa-party,” the actress said.
Judy Ann celebrated her 34th birthday last May 11 in Singapore on a family trip that was a gift from her husband, “Talentadong Pinoy” host Ryan Agoncillo.
“Kasama rin si mommy (Carol Santos) at mga in-laws ko (Chito and Rowena Agoncillo). Nag-enjoy ang mga bata (Yohan and Lucho) sa bakasyon naming pamilya. Kasi mga six days din kami roon,” she shared.
Although she wasn’t able to spend her last birthday with the Aetas, she has not forgotten them.
“Marami pa akong gustong gawin for their community. And God-willing, matutupad ko lahat ‘yan para sa kanila,” she vowed.
Judy Ann dreams of putting up learning centers in the Aeta community to give the Aeta kids a chance for a better education.
“Yun ang inaasikaso ko ngayon, and unti-unti, nangyayari naman,” she said. “May mga kinausap na kami na mga puwedeng mag-asikaso sa paggawa ng mga learning centers. Tsine-check na lang namin ‘yan every week kung ano na ang development.”
Her efforts have been welcomed by the educated among the Aetas.
“Marami naman sa community ang nakapag-aral na, and they want to share their knowledge sa ibang mga bata roon. Kaya dasal ko na matupad lahat ‘yan. Isang magandang birthday gift ito sa akin every year na may isang batang Aeta na makapag-aral,” Judy Ann said.
Meanwhile, she is about to start a new drama series for ABS-CBN that will pair her with Sam Milby.
“Matagal na rin akong hindi gumawa ng drama series. The last one I did was ‘Habang May Buhay’ noong 2010 pa. So parang balik lang tayo ulit sa dating ginagawa natin.”
This time, however, she expects a less demanding workload for the sake of her two children.
“I have two kids na inaasikaso every day. Para kasing ang hirap na mag-taping ako for three times a week. May cut-off time na rin kasi ako. Hanggang 12 midnight lang ako puwedeng mag-taping.
“More than my career nga sa showbiz, priority ko ang pamilya ko. Ayokong masyadong masubsob sa career ko tapos napapabayaan ko ang mga anak ko. Hindi naman tama iyon.”
Even so, she managed to do an indie film recently. She leads an all-star cast in “Mga Mumunting Lihim”, Jose Javier Reyes’ entry in the upcoming Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
She is also looking forward to sharing top billing with Vic Sotto and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. in a big movie meant for the Metro Manila Film Festival in December.
Her role was originally mean for Ai-Ai delas Alas, who bailed out due to personal reasons.
“Natuwa naman ako at ako ang pinalit kay Ms. Ai-Ai. Kinausap din ako ni Ai at sinabi niya na gusto niya na ako ang pumalit sa role niya sa movie with Bossing Vic and Senator Bong.
“Siyempre, natuwa naman ako kasi malaking pelikula ito. First time ko to work with Bossing Vic at second time ko na with Senator Bong. Nag-pair na kami ni Senator Bong sa ‘Minsan Ko Lang Sasabihin’ in 2000.
“Last year sa MMFF, pare-pareho kaming may mga pelikula. This year, magkakasama naman kami. Masaya ang Pasko, ‘di ba?”
Well, Christmas is still six months away. In the next two months, Judy Ann the celebrity endorser will be busy touring malls and supermarkets to promote the 100% Panatag World of Lactum.
You may catch her in the following venues: Puregold Caloocan (June 2-3), Trinoma Mall (June 16-17), CSI Dagupan (June 23-24), Puregold Tanza (June 30 and July 1), Robinsons Novaliches (July 7-8), Ever Commonwealth (July 14-15), and Waltermart North EDSA (July28-29).