Being in the showbiz industry for more than three decades, Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo has already proven to everyone that she is more than deserving of titles given to her in showbiz, such “Queen of the Philippine Soap Opera.” But above all, many people, many fans look up to and love Juday for her kind heart.
In this special episode of Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan on May 22 celebrating Judy Ann’s birthday, King of Talk Boy Abunda took over Judy Ann’s hosting duties for her to hear stories of how she has helped people around her, and how it gave a huge impact in their lives.
One of these people was Jesus “Jess” Osida, Judy Ann’s first manager and a retired talent coordinator of ABS-CBN. He was the one who guided Judy Ann when she was just starting in her career as a child actress. Judy Ann was just nine years old when Jess would always accompany her whenever she would audition for a role in a film, or show, or commercial. Jess shared that Judy Ann has always been kind-hearted and very hardworking. But there came a time when Jess had to let go of Judy Ann because he thought she would be given more career opportunities if she would be handled by a more experienced manager. Jess shared that his heart is always filled with joy whenever Juday tells people that he’s the one who first guided her and discovered her talent. Above all, Jess is most grateful for how Juday has always been there for whenever he needs help. He shared that he even received a watch from Juday. But apart from the material things, Juday has always been ready and willing to help Jess whenever he was in a difficult situation. After having the chance to take care of Judy Ann, Jess was once again given the opportunity to be a parent to his adopted child, John Jesus. Just like how he has taken good care of Juday, Jess has also been a great parent to his son.
Aside from being a multi-awarded actress, what makes Judy Ann empowered and special is her passion for cooking. Jyzelle Yu, the kitchen head of Judy Ann’s restaurant Angrydobo, is another person who is very thankful for all the help that Judy Ann has given her. Ever since Jyzelle was young, she has been sure that working in the kitchen is the career path. She was encouraged by her father to work in their family business, however, she knew that she really wanted to pursue a career in culinary arts.
After graduating with a degree in culinary arts, Jyzelle thought she was going to get a job immediately, however it became a very challenging time for her because of multiple rejections. She tried to apply in hotels, however, they didn’t believe in her capabilities. Until Jyzelle saw the ad from Angrydobo on the internet and that time, the restaurant was just starting. She applied not knowing that the owner was none other than Judy Ann. And Jyzelle was very happy Judy Ann hired her. And just three months after she got accepted, Jyzelle was already promoted to be the kitchen manager of the restaurant. And she was more than grateful to have been trusted by Judy Ann. Jyzelle described the actress as their second mother because she always made them feel that they still have someone who looks after them even when they are in work. Jyzelle has always appreciated how Judy Ann would always check up on them even if she’s not around. To show her appreciation towards all the help and the trust that Judy Ann has given her, Jyzelle gave the actress a bandana which symbolizes the carefree and chill personality that Jyzelle sees in their “Chef J.” She added that it will also remind her of how to always keep fighting and pursuing her dreams.
There might have been a lot of things that have changed in Judy Ann’s life but one of those that will remain the same is her solid fan base. And one Judy Ann’s solid supporters is Jinky Paglomutan, who has followed Juday for more than 20 years. She and her group would always go to the tapings of Juday’s shows. She could still remember how they would sometimes serve as Juday’s human barricades just so she could be protected from all the aggressive fans. Jinky always dreamt of finishing her studies so she could provide a better and comfortable life for her family. She went to Manila after finishing high school to work as a factory worker.
What alleviated her loneliness from being away from her family was watching Juday’s shows, especially Mara Clara where Jinky was beyond amazed by the actress’ acting prowess. Apart from that, she also found Juday’s roles very relatable. Jinky found a family in the solid fan group of Juday she became part of. The members of the group promised that they wouldn’t get married until Juday finds a man that would truly love her. And so after the actress got married, Jinky also had her own family, however, her married life wasn’t successful.
One of the most difficult phases in Jinky’s life was when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. And her idol Judy Ann was there to help her with all the hospital expenses. Jinky shared that the actress really took efforts to know about her real condition. To show her appreciation towards everything that Judy Ann has done to help her, Jinky gave her a religious token, which will always guide her and her family.
Judy Ann’s closest friends in showbiz including Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli, Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid, Iza Calzado, Jolina Magdangal, Sharon Cuneta, and Tito Boy gave surprise birthday messages for her.“Madalas sinasabi si Juday, mabuting kaibigan, mabuting ina, mabuting anak, mabuti, mabuti, mabuti, because that is true. Mabuti kang tao. You are a beautiful human being,” Tito Boy told Juday.
Her family including her mom Carol Santos, her brother Jeffrey Santos, her sister Jack Santos, her children Yohan, Lucho, and Luna Agoncillo also gave their most heartfelt and thoughtful messages to Judy Ann.“Napakalaki ng utang na loob ko sa industriyang ito. Walang malaki o maliit na tao para sa akin. Lahat ng tao para sa akin ay tao. Minamahal ko sila at itinuturing ko silang pamilya,” Judy Ann emotionally shared to everyone.
“Sa mga taong nai-inspire ko, thank you. Sa mga taong nagmamahal sa akin, maraming maraming salamat. Buo ako. Buong-buo na ang buhay ko,” Juday said.
These inspirational stories of kindness and hope are told weekly on Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan, hosted by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo, which airs Saturdays at 7pm on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.