Judy Ann Santos unveils her sweet side, and talks about how she stays fit amid all that food
By MAAN D'ASIS PAMARAN , Photos by JESSIE BUNYI VILLANUEVA
November 26, 2012, 1:44pm
Her star started to rise when she was being slapped around. As TV’s original Mara, Judy Ann Santos was the reason why a lot of household activity stopped in the afternoons – for several years, as viewers rooted for this round-faced cherub as she faced the seemingly insurmountable challenges of her everyday life. In the end, she was able to win against the evil schemes of Clara and Gary, and establish herself as the “Tunay na Del Valle”.
By the time Mara’s ordeals were over, Judy Ann had already blossomed into a teenager. In the natural progression of Pinoy TV careers, she crossed over from doing drama to teeny-bopper roles. The comedies that have song-and-dance numbers in them, and those cutesy romance movies paired with the hottest young actors at the time. Her “baby fat” was still there, and it gave a signal to impressionable fans that one did not have to be wafer-thin to be successful in showbiz. She did lose weight along the way, and was soon confident enough to wear spandex, as superhero Krystala in the ABS-CBN fantaserye back in 2004, where she helped rid the world of dastardly villains.
While any Judy Ann-starrer would mean queues at the box office, her succeeding blockbuster movies involved her life as a wife. Metro Manila Film Festival entries Kasal Kasali Kasalo, Sakal Sakali Saklolo and House Husband ensconced her in moviegoers’ minds as the quintessential domestic diva who took marriage and motherhood with a spring in her step.
Her real life imitates her art, as she is actually married to her MMFF movie co-star Ryan Agoncillo, and is mom to Yohan and Lucho. At the launch of her Goldilocks specialty creation called the PB Chocolate Celebration Cake, she gave a glimpse of her life at home: The day turned out to be Yohan’s birthday, and they were getting ready to hear Mass after the event. While graciously giving the MB team time for an interview, she was also efficiently instructing her assistant to meet them at the church with a cardigan to cover her off-shoulder outfit and flat shoes to replace her high heels – a sign of true mommyhood multitasking from a certified star.
She also gamely shared a Yohan anecdote to members of the press. “We had to place a rush order with Goldilocks for her cake. Her favorite right now is One Direction, as in patay na patay siya sa kanila! We had a cake made with their images printed on the icing. She planted a kiss on each and every one of their faces. So, at eight, may boyfriend na siya, apat pa, at take note, hindi local!” she jokes.
Food plays a central part in their lives, as she says she likes to cook for husband Ryan, whom she describes as quite unfussy. “Steaks are his favorite, and I also try to get him to eat his vegetables,” she says. Her own Goldilocks cake creation is also, well, a slice of her personal life. “I had a session with their Marketing Director, Miss Pinky Yee, where we put together a cake using ingredients of my choice. The flavors that I chose are close to my heart – the PB Cake is actually peanut butter, bananas, cashews. Peanut butter and bananas, because that was what I ate a lot of during my pregnancy with Lucho – those were responsible for my weight gain!” she laughs. Then she shares a more poignant part of her history: “When I was in school, my baon would not be enough to buy cashews sold outside the church in Antipolo, so kumukupit ako sa mga tindera.”
Now that she is a superstar in her own right, her challenge would be dealing with stress. But she says she has her own simple solution for dealing with it. “The moment that I know that I am going home, I feel relaxed already. Automatic na sa akin 'yan. Plus, since it takes me about an hour to get home from work, I already have my alone time in the car, where I can take a nap.”
Because she works so closely with food these days, as host of ABS-CBN’s local "Master Chef" franchise, she makes sure to maintain her weight. “I like getting my nutrition from healthy shakes, and I also exercise. My workout now includes running, zumba, and crossfit training. I do these around the house, so nobody can see me,” she laughs.
Aside from her more serious side as the host of the "Master Chef" series, Judy Ann unleashes her more youthful and playful self in the upcoming MMFF fantasy/comedy movie Si Enteng, Si Agimat, at Ako with Vic Sotto and Bong Revilla Jr.