Judy Ann Santos firmly believes in utang na loob. Whenthe Regal Entertainment movie Mag-ingat Ka Sa...Kulam was offered to her with atalent fee that's half her usual rate, she accepted the projectwithout hesitation. After all, it was Regal that gave her the break viathe movie Sana Naman (1989). It was a box-office hit even though, at that time,Mother Lily Monteverde, the film outfit's matriarch, admits it was a gamble onher part.
Juday's business manager, Alfie Lorenzo, fondly recalls,"Inaabot pa ng 4 p.m. si Juday sa opisina ng Regal para singilin yung 400 pesosna talent fee niya!"
Of course, after the movie became a hit, Juday's careerballooned to what it is now today. And the actress became one of Regal's prizedpossessions.
"Nagkasunud-sunod na yung movie ni Juday sa Regal, perohindi na 400 pesos ang talent fee niya, nagkaroon na ng comma, naging 400thousand pesos na!" Alfie reveals.
Juday's manager imbued in her thelesson in utang na loob and the age-old Filipino adage "Ang hindi lumingon sapinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa pinanggalingan."
Juday adds, "Kung wala ang Regal, wala rin siguro ako ditosa kinalalagyan ko ngayon. Si Mother Lily lang talaga ang naniwala sa akinnoon, kaya bilang pagtanaw ng utang na loob, ginawa ko ‘tong pelikula."
The actress also has to sacrifice other projects for thesaid movie.
"Ayoko talagang tumanggap ng movie na naglalagay ngprosthetics. Nagkakaroon kasi ako ng skin rashes," explains Juday. "So, ditonagkaroon nga ako ng rashes dahil kailangan talagang mag-prosthetics ako." Andbecause of that, several product endorsements and commercial shoots wereshelved.
But after watching the finished product, Juday raves of howimpressive the movie was in terms of acting and special effects. "Para nasiyang pang-Hollywood!" she enthuses.
More than the talent fee and utang na loob, Juday alsostresses that she really wants to help Mother Lily to still produce movies.Aside from ABS-CBN's Star Cinema and GMA-7's GMA Films, Regal is the only mainstream film company that manages to produce movies all year round.
To this Mother Lily assures, "Kahit hindi masyadong kumikitaang ginagawa ko, I will still make movies. Because, and this is just arepetition, I will always remain a movie fan."
Regal Entertainment celebrates its 48th year inthe film industry, and Mag-ingat Ka Sa... Kulam begins the company's year-longcelebration when the movie opens on October 1 in theaters nationwide.