Switching Channels

Motherhood and Judy Ann Santos

Judy Ann Santos (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)I still can't get used to the idea that Judy Ann Santos is already a parent, a mother of two children at that. I still cannot separate her from the world of fantasy that she belongs to, a world where movie and TV queens remain young forever and motherhood is usually hidden from public view. I only accepted Juday as a mama when I saw her come out in commercials with her seven-year-old daughter Yohan.

At the launch of her new product endorsement, I had a chance to do a one on one with her. In previous press cons, we had always discussed her movie and TV projects and the latest show biz intrigue about her. Interviewing her about motherhood was a new thing to me.

The most logical first question was, of course. "How has motherhood affected your personal life as well as your show biz career?" Personally, she says has learned to be a selfless individual. "Totoo pala ang sabi sa akin ng friends ko who are moms. You are not allowed to get tired. You really have to be a giving person," she says.

As far as work is concerned, she's getting a lot of offers for endorsements. Juday is also working on a movie called "My House Husband" with her hubby, Ryan Agoncillo, for the Metro Manila Film Festival. Her cooking show for kiddie chefs, "Junior Master Chef," is airing this month on ABS-CBN. She actually took several courses on the culinary arts to prepare for this show. In the past, when friends asked her about cooking matters, she would consult the Internet. Now, she can answer most of their questions.

Juday confided that she is more careful about her choice of projects. There are some limitations on how late she can work. As much as possible, she prefers a 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule so she can spend time on her maternal activities.

Although Juday has a nurse and a yaya taking care of Yohan and 10-month-old Lucho, she makes it a point to spend quality time with them. She's always up at the ungodly hour of five a.m. to see her daughter off to school. She makes that special effort to be with her first thing in the morning because Yohan is already asleep by the time Juday gets home in the evening.

Aside from this early morning ritual, there are two other things that she will not assign to her yaya. One, she wants to personally prepare the food for Lucho, and make sure he has his daily diet of fruits and vegetables. Two, she's always around when the family goes to Sunday Mass.

The actress has fond memories of her kids when they were only a few weeks old. "They were happy babies," recalls Juday. "They would cry but only when they were hungry or when their diapers had to be changed." I ask her who got up when the babies woke up crying in the wee hours of the morning. "Ako ang nagigising, she says. "Pero Ryan always gets up too to help me comfort the baby." Does Ryan ever change diapers? Ryan has no problem when it comes to changing wet diapers. However, when the baby's diaper is soiled, he leaves it to Juday or the yaya.

When her second child, Lucho, was born, Yohan was a bit jealous at the start. She would always want to sleep in Juday's bed. Eventually, she outgrew this insecurity and slept in her own bed. She learned to accept her younger brother as a part of the family.


Judays' kids are quite active so from time to time they may bump into walls or worse, sharp objects. Juday has solved the problem by buying helmets for her kids so they don't get hurt when they play rough in the house.

Circumcision is a sensitive subject so I was hesitant to ask her about it at first. I did ask her eventually. She does not believe in circumcising a baby boy at birth. She subscribes to the traditional belief that circumcision is a rite of passage so she wants Lucho to experience this when he's a bit older. "Hindi na nga sila nabubuntis. Dapat naman ma-experience niya ang hindi nae-experience ng babae." She explains.

Many grandparents usually believe it is their duty to spoil their apos. Juday says she has no problem with Ryan's parents and her mom. The three of them know what their apos are not allowed to eat or do, according to Juday. "Ewan ko lang what happens when I'm not around," she chuckles.

Ten months after she gave birth to Lucho, Juday has already lost half of what she gained during her pregnancy. She's on the Cohen diet, a program designed by the Cohen clinic. She should be back to her fighting weight in no time at all.

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