With practicality and her premium as an actress as her top considerations, soap opera superstar Judy Ann Santos has admitted that it’s every network’s ball game as of the moment in terms of signing her up as their talent.
Since her contract with ABS-CBN has expired “matagal na,” Judy Ann confirmed during the farewell press conference of her comeback teleserye on August 15 that she has indeed received offers from rival networks. However, she reiterated that “doors for ABS-CBN will always, always be open” because according to her the Kapamilya network will always be her “mother network, my mother station.”
“Gaya ng sinabi ko marami kong invitations for dinner and contracts, hindi ko po itatago yan and honestly nakakataba ng puso na andaming gustong kumuha sa serbisyo mo pero babalik at babalik po ako dun sa moment na kailangan kong pag-aralan lahat,” said she.
Following the announcement of the exit of her soap, Judy Ann has asked to take a time off of about a month with her husband and kids to be able to sort things out about her next career move.
“Ayokong magdesisyon ng masama ang loob ko, ayokong magdesisyon dahil nao-overwhelm ako with happiness sa mga napakagandang salita na binabato ng mga tao samin with Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala. Halo halo ako ngayon eh, masaya na malungkot na bitter…” the actress described all that’s been going on in her head.
She continued, “But at the end of the day we’d always go back to where you would feel that your worth is needed and I am just praying na ibigay lang po sa akin ito. Do not judge me tao lang po ako.”
However, Judy Ann became evasive when asked if she would prefer to either be an exclusive of freelance talent saying that “Really walang kasiguraduhan sa lahat, mapa-exclusive or freelance. Walang kasiguraduhan sa lahat. Lahat naman yan magiging sigurado base sa kung anong trabaho ipapakita mo. Nasa-sayo parin naman yan at the end of the day.”
One of the most intriguing words that the prime actress has repeatedly used during the event as to what would hugely weigh down on her decision was the word “practicality.” When prodded by the media to define what she actually meant by it, she responded, “Marami. Sa sweldo. Pagiging praktikal pagdating sa premium.”
Despite her A-Lister status, Judy Ann admittedly underscored that she is in no position to blatantly reject any offers from other networks because “… Para sakin wala po ako sa posisyon na magsabi na hindi ko kailangan ang kahit na sino sa ngayon. Lahat sila kailangan ko. Lahat ng nag-o-offer ngayon tina-take ko into consideration. Sino ba ako para magsabing hindi ko kayo kailangan. Wala ako don.”
Given the gravity of the decision that she has to make, Judy Ann has clarified that she hasn’t really arrived to a decision as yet if she would remain to be a Kapamilya or not. What she wanted most at this point though is to really “process” everything down to the last detail “kasi ayokong dumating ako sa punto na nag-decide ako kasi masama ang loob ko then at the end of the day hindi naman pala ako masaya. So ma-klaro lang lahat ito, kung saan ako magiging masaya at kung saan maibibigay yung worth ko doon ako. But just to clarify things, first option would always be ABS.”
Just before people could write her off as an ingrate, Judy Ann acknowledged the fact that she owes a lot of her success as an actress to ABS-CBN.
“… Yung utang na loob ko with ABS hindi naman talaga matatawaran yun kahit kailan. Hindi ko naman ikinakaila sa mga tao na Malaking bahagi ang ABS sa karera ko at sa personal kong buhay. Hindi siguro, wala ako sa kinalulugaran ko ngayon kung hindi sa tulong ng ABS-CBN pero sa lahat naman ng magkakapamilya di ba dumarating kayo sa puntong hindi kayo nagkakaunawaan pero para sa akin lahat naman ng pinagdadaanan natin ngayon may dahilan, may rason.”
“Ang rason ko lang ngayon siguro pinaparamdam lang din ng Diyos na lahat pwedeng magbago na wag tayong bumase sa pangalang ipinatong sa ulo, [at] lahat tayo nagta-trabaho lang,” said the hailed Queen of Teleserye.
If she were much younger, according to Judy Ann, she might have hastily decided based on her emotions “but since I am a mother, I am a wife and I want to say that I am professional with what I do. I would decide where my heart would be happy and me as an actor as well.”
On HKLM’s ending
With the coinciding announcement of the sudden exit and rumored change in timeslot of Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala many were able to presuppose that the incident was largely precipitated by the slated debut of the Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla starrer “Got To Believe” Kathryn on primetime, something which Judy Ann quickly clarified.
“Lahat naman tayo bilang artista meron tayong kanya-kanyang moment to shine and I would give Kathryn and Daniel that time to shine because this is their time, really di ba? Lahat naman tayo nagdaan na diyan. At wala akong karapatan na hadlangan kung ano man ang moment ng mga bagets na ito dahil deserve nila yan, they’ve been working on this project for I guess the longest time also. Hindi ko na alam kung paano ko lilinisin ang issue na yan dahil hindi ko na hawak ang iniisip ng mga tao but just to make things clear hindi ang Got to Believe ang rason kaya ako dumating sa puntong tapusin siya agad,” she told the reporters.
Getting to the crux of the matter she reasoned, “It was a decision that I had to make kasi gusto ko sa comeback teleserye ko mapanood naman ng lahat ng tao, ng lahat ng Pilipino yung pagtatapos ng teleserye naming sa tamang oras.”
During the press conference, Judy Ann emotionally owned up to the responsibility why HKLM was wrapping up two weeks earlier than scheduled.
“Originally, it should’ve been moved to fourth timeslot. I asked the management kung puwedeng third na muna and earlier kami matatapos. I really appreciate the fact na pinagbigyan nila ako. Kasi, di ba, masarap mag-ending na mapapanood ng lahat ng tao?”
“At the same time, yung palakpak ay mas matindi kapag gising yung mga tao kaysa sa palakpak na parang nananaginip na lang sila kasi hindi naman nila napanood yung ending," explained Judy Ann.
The decision she told the press never came easy, especially since they have labored over the soap for a year. But then again she emphasized, “Gusto kong mamaalam sa teleserye nang taas-noo.”
After everything that has happened from what she describes as her “love-hate relationship” with ABS-CBN, is she harboring any grudge towards the network?
“Siguro nung mga nakaraang linggo oo. Hindi ko itatanggi yan. Alam niyo naman yan, very vocal ako. Nakakatawa naman kung sasabihin ko na NEVER na sumama ang loob ko. Pero naiintindihan ko na lahat ng ito, it all boils down to the fact na trabaho ito at bilang network kailangan rin nilang isipin yung mga dapat nilang gawin na steps.
“Ako naman bilang actor kailangan kong isipin yung magiging premium ko sa tao at yung premium ko sa sarili ko. It’s two different things na kailangan kong itawid sa management,” Judy Ann honestly supplied.
In the end, Judy Ann said that her decision to take a time off to reassess things is not caused by the lack of projects for her after HKLM. If anything, the young superstar is a top choice to host the local franchise of the hit US game show Bet On Your Baby.
“No, projects are there lahat sila naka-line up it was me who said na I have to stop, I have to think. I have to recharge kasi gusto ko pagnagumpisa ako ng project it’s a new beginning yung napatawad na, nakapagpatawad kana sa mga tao. Ikaw mismo sa sarili mo na-forgive mo na yung sarili mo for being an impakta.
“Siguro gusto ko munang kalmahin yung sarili ko kasi ayoko naman yung moment na ganito eh. Ayoko yung moment na nagiging impakta ka. So kailangan ko munang bumalik sa zero para magstart ako ng bago,” ended the former Mara Clara star.