While she still has to learn a lot about TV hosting, Judy Ann Santos said it was her choice to go back to work via Bet On Your Baby Season 3.
ABS-CBN’s game show will start airing this May.
She elaborated, “Palagi ko sinasabi, ang perfect vehicle always for my comeback is Bet On Your Baby.
“Kasi ang tagal ko nawala.
“I got pregnant. I had to lose the pregnancy weight. I have to take care of my family. I have to take care of myself.
“And yung sepanx [separation anxiety] moment na mawalay ka sa chikiting mo, at least, yung moment mo na may kasama kang ibang chikiting, natatabunan.”
Bet On Your Baby Season 3 is Judy Ann’s comeback project after almost two years of being away from the limelight.
At her solo presscon held in ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater last April 26, the 38-year-old Judy Ann explained why it took so long for her to return to television.
Dubbed by ABS-CBN as the Queen of Pinoy Soap Opera, Judy Ann said she was aware of the ever-changing demands, the tough ratings game, and the quick decisions made in the business of primetime soaps.
GRATEFUL JUDY ANN. Judy Ann said she was determined to continue learning the ropes of being a TV host.
Talking about her deal with ABS-CBN chief operating officer Cory Vidanes, Judy Ann said, “Nakiusap ako na, ‘Tita, baka puwede pong game show muna.’
“Kasi para sakto lang. Kasi sa totoo, kabado ako sa live audience. Kabado ako, period.
“Hindi ako marunong mag-host, period.
“Gusto ko siya unahin kasi ang goal ko for this year is to face my fears."
The actress and endorser continued, “Gusto ko ipi-face ko yung fear ko with a happy mood.
“With people who I know will always be there to look after me and tell me, ‘O, you’re doing great.’
“I have kids with me na puwede akong pasayin sa set.”
Asked about her first taping day for Bet on Your Baby, Judy Ann related, “Nalulala ako! Ang dami kong buckle!
“Ang dami kong moments na natutulala ako. Para akong hihimatayin na hindi ko maintindihan. Tapos ang tagal kong hindi nag-heels.
“Lahat siya nagsama-sama sa isang araw. So, yung puso ko, gusto akong walk-out-an!”
But Judy Ann said she was nothing but grateful to be back.
“Nandun ako sa part na wala akong naramdaman kundi gratefulness kasi nandito pa rin ako.
“Nakabalik pa rin ako.
“At may show na naghihintay sa akin na inaabangan ng mga tao.”
HAPPY REUNION. Judy Ann was filled with mixed emotions when she was reunited with former grand-prize winners of the ABS-CBN game show, Bet on Your Baby.
She was moved to tears upon seeing the married couple Rolando and Badet Ilacad, whose child joined the game show in 2015.
The Ilacads were living under a bridge in Navotas City when they won a house-and-lot at the time.
“Yung episode na yun, regardless kung sinong makarating sa jackpot round, I was really praying na sana may makakuha ng house-and-lot.
“Because yun yung episode na karamihan ng contestants, mga nakatira sa ilalim ng tulay, nakatira sa kariton.
“Kaya nung nanalo sila, lahat kami masaya,” Judy Ann recalled tearfully.
The straight-talking actress drew laughter from the press when she clarified that the house-and-lot and million-peso cash prizes on the show did not come from her.
At one point during the presscon, she exclaimed, “Teka muna, Mars, may gusto akong klaruhin ha?
“Hindi po sa akin galing yung house-and-lot. Baka po kasi habulin ako ng BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue].
“Host po ako. Hindi po ako ang nagbibigay ng isang milyon.
“Pero masaya ako na parte ako ng buhay ng mga batang ito, at nakapagpasaya ang ABS-CBN…
“Naging instrumento lang ako.
“BIR, hindi po sa akin ito galing. Klaruhin natin kasi mahirap na!”
In 2005 the BIR filed a case against Judy Ann for failing to declare all her earnings from her movie and product endorsements for the year 2002.
In 2013, after a lengthy court battle, the Court of Tax Appeals dismissed the tax-evasion case filed by the BIR against the actress.