When the creative team of ABS-CBN was thinking of a new soap opera for Judy Ann Santos, they wanted to produce a project that was very close to her heart. For this reason, they prepared a teleserye that would showcase the culinary talent of the 29-year old actress.
Director Rory Quintos shares, "It helped a lot that she was taking up lessons as a chef. We thought, ‘Why not use the skills of the lead actress?’"
Not only did Judy Ann finish her culinary course from the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, she also graduated with honors after completing her four-month course. Last December, she was awarded a silver medal for Basic Skills in Cooking and a gold medal for Advanced Cooking Skills.
Judy Ann was very grateful for the chance to hone her skills in these two fields. "Na-excite po ako at na-pressure ako. I had to study hard as a chef. I had to work double time as chef.
"Two passions na napagsama-sama sa isang soap so tuwang-tuwa ako. Makikita ng viewers na I can also do something aside from acting."
Thus Ysabella was born. This primetime soap opera is launched in time for her 20th anniversary in showbiz this year. This marks Judy Ann’s fourth collaboration with director Rory and her second teleserye with boyfriend Ryan Agoncillo. Don Cuaresma co-directs this soap, with Ricky Lee as creative manager and Henry Quintarin as head writer.
Yeng Constantino is the voice behind the theme song "’Wag Mong Iwan ang Puso Ko," written by Ogie Alcasid. The sub-theme song entitled "Para Lang sa ‘Yo" was performed by Aiza Seguerra.
When Judy Ann was asked if she was open to the possibility of having her own cooking show in the future, she narrated that she and Ryan have been thinking about it already. "Definitely po. Ryan and I have been talking about it. Siguro magsisimula po muna kami sa cooking video then yung proceeds, ipupundar po namin sa Touch a Heart Foundation."
YSABELLA’S STORY. This new primetime soap revolves around the story of a young cook named Ysabella Cuenca. At an early age, Ysay (played by Celine Lim as the young Ysabella) develops an inclination for cooking, and dreams of becoming a great cook like her mother (Rosanna Roces as Rosario Cuenca).
However, her mother’s misfortune causes Ysay to taste the bitterness of life. This teaches her to be meticulous and devoted to her cooking, and cynical when it comes to love. She grows with one goal in mind—to be the best cook in their area and exact revenge on the woman who was responsible for her mother’s misery.
Along the way, Ysay meets two men who will show her how sweet it is to fall in love. Who will give her the right mixture of happiness? Will it be the cocky, street-smart Andrew Amarillo (Ryan Agoncillo) or the sexy chef Mito Valenzuela (Derek Ramsay)?
Expect a hint of comedy, a dash of romance and a heaping amount of drama in Ysabella. Join Ysay as she looks for the ingredients for a fulfilling life starting June 25 on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. Ysabella airs every weeknight after TV Patrol.