"A lot," says Judy Ann Santos when asked about the things she learned after three months of hosting I Do.
She resumes, referring to the show's "boot-camp" format, to which the couples were subjected to challenges and counseling sessions, "Sana nga may ganito bago kami 'kinasal."
At a presscon held earlier, November 4, in 9501 restaurant ELJ Communications Center, Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City, Juday (her nickname) talks about how ABS-CBN's romantic reality show unwittingly served as her "life coach."
One of the things she learned, "Unang-una, yung pagiging honest sa partner.
"Kung ano yung nararamdaman mo, i-verbalize agad para 'di makimkim...'di maging emotional."
Next, she mentions the two common reasons why couples fight: money and time.
MONEY MATTERS. It is a basic need.
Juday underlines, "Kahit wala kang partner, yun pinuproblema.
"It's a reality. It's a necessity."
It's not enough that two people mean the world to each other.
"Love will keep us alive? Hindi na uso yun. Kung 1960s siguro, puwede.
"Ngayon, lahat nabibili."
She then reveals her arrangement with Ryan Agoncillo.
First, allot a certain amount for "personal expenses."
Second, "May intrega monthly."
For her part, her money goes to shoes, bags, and anything for the house and kitchen.
She exclaims, "Nag-go-grocery ako everyday! It's my therapy. Grocery and hardware."
She admits to spending more than Ryan, who splurges on cars.
Juday adds, "Hindi isyu kung bumili si Ryan ng kotse basta may intrega."
She then reiterates where their monthly income goes: "Certain amount for expenses sa house, suweldo ng mga angels [house help], the rest, sa joint account," where they get the money for tuition, insurance, and travels.
Who contributes more?
Her quick reply, "Yung share, not an issue. Bilang individuals, hindi namin pinag-uusapan."
The couple, she advises, should be "more open" and "magaan mag-usap" as far as finances are concerned.
TIME COUNTS. Another important factor in every relationship is "time for each other."
The actress/host is happy that five years after they got married, "We are enjoying...parang boyfriend-girlfriend."
She stresses the importance of "time with your partner and time for yourself."
Lastly, learn to appreciate.
In her case, Juday says with a smile, "We believe in what we have, we value what we have."
I Do will air its final ceremony, where the grand couple will be announced, this Saturday, November 8.