With roughly three decades in showbiz under her belt and, teleserye superstar Judy Ann Santos recently declared that she has already gotten past her “pa-tweetums” phase as an actor. She said she has evolved to become someone who uses her craft not only as a means to entertain but also to educate.
Juday, who’s the lead actress of the controversial soap Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala which delves on violence against women and women empowerment said that at 35, it is high time for her to “give back” and “awaken” the viewers as to the harsh realities that women face these days by embarking on socially relevant entertainment projects.
“Tapos na po ako sa paggawa ng pelikulang tweetums. Tapos na po ako sa sa paggawa ng pelikula na kuning kuning ng bumabaril ka. Oras na para magbigay ng makabuluhang teleserye, makabuluhang proyekto,” she said during the recent farewell press conference of HKLM.
Did her staunch interest for the advocacy come before, during or after the project was offered? “Even before na mapagusapan na ganitong klaseng teleserye ang gagawin ko. Siyempre gusto mo ba sa puso mo na makita na may mga babae na naaabuso or nabubugbog? Kahit pati sa kabataan?” she told the reporters.
Although she has shared that, in her own way, she has been actively campaigning for women empowerment long before the project was even presented to her, Juday confessed that the soap’s compelling and socially significant theme became its biggest “selling point” for her.
“Sa mga teleseryeng nagdaan halos wala namang adbokasiyang pinapakita sa mga tao kundi magpatulo ng luha, pag minsan magpakilig or magalit ang mga viewers. Sa pagkakataong ito, maiba naman,” she enthused.
Her two-year hiatus from acting, Juday said has, in a way, lent her some perspective as to which course she wants her career to flourish on. “Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito gusto ko paglaki ng mga anak ko, pag napanood nila ito, magiging proud sila sa akin na may pinaglaban ako, yun ang Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala kasi nabigyan ko dito ng lakas ng loob ang mga kababaihan na ipaglaban ang mga karapatan nila,” Juday supplied.
During the course of the press conference, the former Mara Clara star even shared that her interest for women empowerment even flew to greater heights while filming the soap, so much so that she has decided to master Krav Maga—a tactical martial arts system developed in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing and focuses on disarming attackers—and eventually teach them to other women for self-defense.
So is this the start of advocacy-driven projects for the young superstar?
Juday said a big yes simply because “… Sa observation ko ang Pilipino as a whole talagang teleserye a day sila. Hindi ka makakatawid ng isang adbokasiya na ganito katindi kung hindi mo idadaan sa teleserye.”
She continued, “Para sa akin kinailangan pa pala naming gawing isang magandang istorya sa isang magandang teleserye para maipamulat natin sa mga babae na ‘Mars hindi ka dapat nagpapabugbog mars kahit na asawa mo yan!’ Hindi dapat pero kailangan nating idaan sa drama.”
With the burgeoning list of advocacies that need dissemination to a wider audience in mind, the wife of host-actor Ryan Agoncillo declared, “…Kung ito ang magiging paraan para mabuksan ang mata ng mga tao sa isang advocacy maliban sa women empowerment, oo naman ito ang magiging batayan ko sa pagtanggap ng mga susunod pang projects kung meron man.”