MANILA — By her own admission, showbiz is all Judy Ann Santos has known for most of her life, with a career spanning more than three decades.
That changed drastically for the local superstar in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has halted industries, as well as the government shutdown of her home network ABS-CBN.
"Sanay ako, buong buhay ko, pag-aartista 'yung ginagawa ko," Santos said in an interview with Korina Sanchez on "Rated K."
"At some point, kinailangan ko i-stretch out kung ano pa 'yung kapasidad ko, kung ano pa ang puwede ko gawin outside show business. We're on lockdown, ABS-CBN is totally locked down."
Aside from being a film veteran, Santos is a chef with a popular YouTube channel, as well as a restaurant owner with husband Ryan Agoncillo.
"Sa edad kong 'to na mayroon kaming maliliit na mga supling, we have to really find ways to earn money and help people at the same time and, of course, enjoy our time with the kids," she said.
Santos, 42, has three children with Agoncillo.
Referring to the months-long lockdown, Santos said: "Realization of so many things 'yung nangyari. Kakalkalin mo talaga 'yung inner talent mo. Ano pa ang meron ako? Dapat mayroon pa akong alam."
During the community quarantine, Santos studied gardening and cultivating her own vegetables. Admittedly not tech-savvy, Santos also learned tasks which to some people may be easy or trivial, such as going on a video call via desktop or using a printer.
"May mga bagay akong nagawa na hindi ko alam kaya ko palang gawin," she said.
"Marami akong na-discover sa sarili ko. Mas na-boost pa 'yung self-esteem ko, kasi now I know mabubuhay ako, kasi kaya ko pala mag-adapt to change."
Santos is currently the host of Kapamilya Channel's "Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan," a public service program which also dramatizes inspiring stories of kindness amid the pandemic.