Most of us know Judy Ann Santos as the young superstar of her generation.
From being a TV and movie star to becoming a host, a chef, and a mom—Juday has always come across as a simple and down-to-earth personality.
But how does it feel to be the brother of Judy Ann Santos?
This is what PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Jeffrey Santos when we caught up with him recently.
He answered, “It’s such a blessing na maging kapatid ni Juday, kasi alam naman natin na hindi siya madamot, she doesn’t suppress, she doesn’t control… she doesn’t even imply na she’s Judy Ann Santos na kapatid mo
“She’s just there as your sister.”
Jeffrey added, “The names never mattered. The accolades never mattered. Kung ano man yung kinasikatan niya, kinasikatan ko, never mattered. Basta pag nandun kami, yung hawak niya sa akin, kuya niya ako, yung hawak ko sa kanya, bunso ko siya.
“Wala, walang ano, alam mo naman, e, bahay, e. It is not a house, it’s a home. In every sense of the word, in every sense of the word.”
Even during the time when it was Jeffrey who was the popular male teen star, and Juday was just starting out in showbiz, Jeffrey said at home, everyone was equal. They did not bring their popularity or stardom back at home.
“Ang pag-aartista sa amin talaga was just a way to make money, dahil walang tatanggap sa amin sa trabaho, dahil wala kaming mga diploma. It was just a means for us to get by, it was never a want or a whim, it was necessity.
“That’s what made us different.”
PEP.ph caught up with Jeffrey at the presscon of the musical The Lost Sheep last September 8 at the Trellis Restaurant in Quezon City.
Jeffrey plays the role of Peter in the play, written and directed by Jon Achaval, which will be shown on October 27 (4pm and 7pm) at the Star Theater in CCP Complex, Pasay City.
Jeffrey further talked about how it was working in showbiz. It’s not about fame, he said. They have always held on to their professionalism, and value their work.
He said, “Kaya kami siguro…kaya tumaas ang respeto namin sa trabahong to, dahil inalagaan kami nung trabaho. Sa takot naming mawalan ng trabaho, nirespeto namin, at inalagaan namin, kaya inaalagaan din kami in return.
“Kaya kahit ilang araw, ilang taon kaming hindi gumawa, pag gumawa kami kahit papaano yung retention ng trabaho namin from a previous na trabaho, naaalala, e.
“It’s not actually a timeless piece of work na ginawa namin, it’s just that since wala naman ibang nababalitaan sa amin, it just stays there. Kumbaga sa [Facebook] wall, hindi siya na-o-overfeed, so hindi siya nag-i-scroll down, kung saan mo siya iniwan nandun lang siya, dahil walang intriga.
“Actually kaming dalawa ang pinaka-boring na artista siguro, e,” Jeffrey mused.
Juday hardly figures in intrigues, we commented.
He agreed, saying, “Wala. Kaya pinakamaliliit na intriga kay bunso pinalalaki, e. Remember the Meralco fiasco? Ang liit-liit na bagay, ipapatawag siya ng Senado? What the…”
He was referring to Juday's MERALCO infommercial defending system's loss back in 2008.
Both Jeffrey and Juday had led less-controversial lives.
“Wala, kasi nga we learned to respect the job, even before it gave us all of this.
“Natakot kaming mawalan ng trabaho dahil natakot kaming mawalan ng pera, dahil alam namin pag wala kaming trabaho hindi kami kakain.”
All these, they had to learn at a young age.
“The hard way. At an early age. So, kaya kami pag nag-uusap-usap kami, 'tapos may mga nakakarating sa amin, ‘A, si ganito, ang yabang sa set!’
“You know, it breaks our heart na these actors na nakakarating sa amin, ke totoo man, ke hindi—siyempre, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt—it breaks our heart na wala kaming ganyan noon, e.
“We don’t have acting coaches, all we had was a break, an opportunity to showcase what we knew, a one-time thing.
“Hindi katulad ngayon na kapag pumalpak ka puwede kang umulit, dahil ine-invest-an ka. Dati wala nun. They took a chance, and if you made it, good, if not, next time.”
Being in showbiz then was a hit or miss.
Jeffrey countered, “Make or break! Anong hit or miss? Lahat ng moves mo, make or break. Hindi ka puwedeng magkamali noon.
"Hindi katulad ngayon, you have these powerful people behind you, na kahit magkamali ka, pag may tiwala sa iyo, may damage control, may beauty shots.”
He added, “That’s why kami, before it was granted to us, we appreciated it, dahil sa amin it was a need, it was never a want, na lumaki ako, ‘Gusto kong mag-artista!’
“No! I wanted to be a pilot, may kanya-kanya kaming ambisyon, but because of, you know, the hands that were dealt to us, naiba nang kaunti. Walang… no regrets naman, no regrets.”