Judy Ann Santos lives life on her own terms

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At 30, Judy Ann ishaving the time of her life. "I'm enjoying being 30. Feeling ko, ang lawakng isip ko." There is so much to look forward to, and clearly, the best isyet to come for Judy Ann.


Die-hardfans of Judy Ann Santoswill be able to recite a litany of her movies, teleseryes,love teams and leading men, and perhaps even the awards she has garnered in thetwo decades she has been in show business. But lately, it seems that Judy Ann's resume is filling up with quite anumber of extra-curricular activities that the public is not privy to.

"Twenty-twoyears ko nang na-create yung pagiging artista ko," she tells MarieClairemagazine as she graces the cover of their November issue, "Aftera while, you get used to it and you want to go to another level in your life."

In this new stage of her life, Judy Ann finds herself channeling her creativityaway from the spotlight and into the kitchen, cultivating her passion forcooking. She is currently completing her second culinary arts course at theCenter for Asian Culinary Studies under the guidance of chef Gene Gonzalez.

Judy Annhas also shifted from acting to producing independent films. Ploning,Judy Ann's first shot at independent filmmaking, has made it as thePhilippines' bet to the Oscars. As she considers producing Ploning hergreatest achievement to date, she wants to continue making independent films.

"Siguro paisa-isa.I don't want to produce somethingheavy for the meantime," she says, revealing that what she wants for now is tosimply enjoy the experience of making independent film projects. "Gusto ko langmakatulong."

Outside ofacting and filmmaking, Judy Ann is busy as head of the Touch A Heart Foundation,which addresses the educational and agricultural needs of a community of Aetasin Bataan, and provides medical supplies for the hospital in Cuyo Island,Palawan. A housing project to help revive the careers of veteran actors,small-time comedians and action film sidekicks is also in the works.

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ThisNovember, Marie Claire magazinehonors Judy Ann as one of 10 Women of the World for 2008,recognizing her for her craft, her staunch support for the country'sindependent film industry, and her commitment to foundations that helpothers in need.

All of these accomplishments stem from the fact that JudyAnn has finally taken the reins on her own life. "Most of the time, I'm the onewho goes with the flow. I think it's about time na ako naman yung masunod,"she tells MarieClaire. She points out that she has given much of her life to theshowbiz industry. "I suppose people will understand me if I give some time tomyself."

Read more about her plans for the futurein the third anniversary issue of Marie Claire this November. Marie Claire is available in newsstandsand bookstores nationwide.


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