Career-wise, Be Careful With My Heart has put Jodi into the map as the next leading lady to watch out for during its high time.
But the fact that her show, as well as her role, had such a huge following, enabled Jodi to become more aware of her responsibilities to her diverse audience.
On a personal level, the show has changed Jodi in ways that the fans did not really see or even hear about.
In keeping with the show’s positive and light image, Jodi also imbibed a good-natured aura since Maya came into her life. She admitted that, aside from finding her faith, Maya also helped her drop her bad habits like smoking and drinking.
But before her major career turnaround happened with the help of Maya dela Rosa, Jodi has actually been in the business for a while now.
In fact, Jodi has actually had a number of goody roles before Maya came along. She was Tricia "Sophia Delgado" Manalastas on the primetime soap 100 Days to Heaven. Prior to that she was Ruth de Leon in Noah opposite Piolo Pascual.
Jodi was also part of the soap Tanging Yaman as Erich Gonzales’ sister Marina Dimaguiba.
As an actress, Jodi did not just box herself into doing drama projects as she also ventured into action with the TV show Palos and into horror with the film Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara.
But the other role where she also made a mark was on the original version of the hit soap Pangako Sa’Yo starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa where she breathed life to Lia Buenavista.
But perhaps it could be said that the brightest times in Jodi’s career started during Be Careful with My Heart and after it.
Although her versatility as an actress was already a given, Jodi, after earning her leading lady status as Maya, further earned her roles that further showcased her acting chops.
She excellently took on rich and poor roles. While she became picky with her projects, Jodi did not allow herself to be typecast into a protagonist or an antagonist.
She did not bat an eyelash when she took on the role of Stella de Castro in the late Wenn Deramas horror Maria Leonora Teresa together with Iza Calzado and Zanjoe Marudo. But she also embraced her funny and side with her portrayal of Mel on the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival ensemble film entry All You Need is Pag-Ibig opposite Ian Veneracion.
However, the role, which earned her, a bunch of raves was her reprising of the iconic character Amor Powers in the 2015 remake of Pangako Sa’Yo starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. It was on the said show when her chemistry with Ian was first discovered as he reprised the role of Eduardo Buenavista.
According to Jodi, much of the skill and artistry that she has been showcasing since then until today could be traced from the trainings that she got when she first stepped foot in ABS-CBN some 17 years ago.
After being launched as part of Star Circle Batch 7 in 1998, Jodi’s first project was the monumental youth-oriented drama series Tabing Ilog.
The show had Jodi working with John Lloyd Cruz, Desiree del Valle, Paolo Contis, Kaye Abad, Patrick Garcia, Paula Peralejo and her then love team Baron Geisler.
It was seasoned host Boy Abunda who pointed out that most, if not all, of the cast of the now defunct show came to be known as the industry’s most reliable stars.
Jodi Sta. Maria