Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo is a cool mom who knows when she has to play the role of a prudent commander to her kids Yohan, Lucho, and Luna.
At present, she is in the process of learning when to say yes or no to her dalaginding.
The Kapamilya actress says, "Yohan kasi is the eldest. She's 14 already. So looking at her, I cannot compare myself to her kasi at that age, I was working already."
Juday started working at the age of seven after bagging a small part in a Regal Films project Kaming Mga Ulila (1986).
So, when Yohan asks the question, "Mom, at this age, when did you start to go out with friends without a yaya?," her reply is, "Ah, anak hindi ako nakalabas noong bata ako, so hindi applicable sa akin iyan."
Early on, Juday realized that her own mother, Carol Lumagui, has been right all along—indeed, there are certain things in life that you'll only understand once you become a mother.
She continues, "Si Mommy lang would always tell me na, 'Pag naging nanay ka, mahihirapan ka magsabi ng 'oo.' It's hard to say 'yes' to difficult decisions, like yun, going out with friends, you wanna say 'yes,' but you do not trust pa the people around her. So you'll have to say 'no,' and then, at the end of the day, magkakatampuhan kayo."
The 41-year-old star gives glimpses of her life as a mother during the launch of Champion Supra Power Detergent, held on August 5, 2019, at Makati Diamond Residences.
Slowly, she is learning how to address the changes brought about by Yohan's transition from tween to teen.
"It's something that I'm trying to get used to kasi lumalaki na si Yohan, e, at sinusubukan ko na rin i-accept na, at some point, mag-e-eighteen na ito. Sabi ko nga, daan muna tayo ng 16, ha."
But Juday has been grateful for having a responsible panganay.
She explains, "I am just so lucky that I have my eldest daughter to be an example, to set an example, to the younger ones. And she listens naman. May resistance nang very, very slight. And isa rin iyan sa mga sinabi ng nanay ko sa 'kin: 'Magkakaroon ka ng anak na parang ikaw, ang daming dahilan.'"
"Tama na naman siya," she continues, smiling. "Ano na nga ako, e, grand slam na 'ko. Nakuha ko na ang lahat ng awards sa nanay ko. Pa-grand slam na rin si Yohan."
In an Instagram post uploaded last July 7, 2019, Juday showed photos and a video of her and her kids enjoying the rain.
The caption read, "When it rains.. we get silly and happy. [grinning squinting emoji] (basta wag bagyo!) and some grounding on the side.. #simplejoys."
The kids definitely had fun as her post last August 3, 2019, showed Lucho, 8, and Luna, 3, playing in the mud.
The 41-year-old star lets all her kids have the freedom to learn things on their own.
"Hindi nila maiintindihan yung isang bagay na sinasabi mo sa kanila hangga't hindi mo pinapa-experience, e," she says.
If, in case, they end up committing mistakes, the wife of Ryan Agoncillo says it is important to take the time to explain to them what they can learn from the experience.
She cites her post on August 3, 2019, when she told her kids, "O, after that, for sure you're gonna get itchy."
Juday resumes, "Okay lang sa kanila, at least sinabi ko. True enough, nangati nga sila. Kasi lupa yun, e, but they still like it. At least, I was able to tell it to them.
"Playing in the rain, pag sinipon, e, di sinipon. Hindi ako yung overprotective na mom. I allow them to do what they want and then whatever happens after ng ginawa nila, then I explain to them.
"The next time they stay in the rain, they know na kung hanggang ilang minutes sila. Longest is one hour. Most of the time, I join them."
She's not the nagsasaway type.
Judy Ann expounds, "May mga bagay kasi na hangga't maari, gusto mong isa-isahin sa kanila, pero may mga bagay na hindi nila maiintindihan hangga't hindi nila na-e-experience. So I just let them experience, when they ask me something about it, then that's the only time I answer, only if they ask. But if they don't, I still allow them to do it until they learn their lesson."
In everything that she does, Juday is driven by the desire to be always present in her kids' lives. That's why she makes it a point to give them a hundred percent of her attention whenever she's home.
"Hindi naman kasi eight-hour job yung trabaho namin. It's something na uuwi kang pagod ka, and you still wanna spend time with your children, and you still wanna attend to all their activities, their sports and everything, you would want that."
On a normal day with her family, the busy actress/restaurateur/cook wakes up as early as 4:00 in the morning.
"Sinasabayan ko sa breakfast [sina] Yohan and Lucho. Yohan goes to school earlier and wakes up at 4:30 a.m., so I wake up at 4:00 a.m and try to stay with her. And then I wait for Lucho to wake up, then have breakfast with him because he always loves having me and Ryan [during] breakfast, parang nalulungkot siya kapag siya lang."
Juday also brings her kids Lucho and Luna to school.
"[I] bring Lucho to school, and now that Luna is going to school as well, I bring Luna to school at 9:00 a.m. When I get back home, I do my workout, I prepare their baon, then I go to the grocery—yun na yung happy place ko, grocery. Doon na ako sa grocery nag-iisip ng dinner."
But her day doesn't end there.
She spends time with Ryan for a few minutes, cooks dinner, then prepares her kids for bedtime.
"When Ryan comes home from work and tulog si Luna, that's the time we Netflix and chill. Yes, may chill ng mga 30 minutes. And then I prepare their dinner and then we talk over dinner, what happened sa school nila, how was their day. [Tapos] gustung-gusto kong pinapaliguan ang mga anak ko because it's one way for them to tell stories to me na hindi nila masabi over dinner."
No matter how tired she may be, Judy Ann would still choose to do all these things—and more—for her family. And having more kids does not seem to be a bad idea.
She ends, "We really like it that our children know what's right from what's wrong. So our job as parents, hindi mahirap."
"Parang gusto mo pa mag-anak nang mag-anak," she jokes. "Pero parang lang."