Multi-faceted on and off screen: The many passions of Jodi Sta. Maria

Euden Valdez - Philstar.com
Multi-faceted on and off screen: The many passions of Jodi Sta. Maria
As an actress, Jodi Sta. Maria always welcomes challenging and new roles, or as she said it, “roles that are seemingly impossible to pull off.”
Photo / VIU Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Jodi Sta. Maria has been making her mark in the entertainment industry with recent, unforgettable roles on screen. Who doesn’t know Doc Jill Ilustre’s controversial line, “Papunta pa lang tayo sa exciting part,” in “The Broken Marriage Vow”?

Nowadays, she’s getting raves as Rose Jacinto in “Unbreak My Heart,” the groundbreaking collaboration between GMA and ABS-CBN, and a production by Dreamscape Entertainment in partnership with VIU. Both shows have even become the most watched series on VIU.

Jodi Sta. Maria as Doc Jill Ilustre (left) and as Chef Rose Jacinto
Screengrabs/VIU Philippines

Off screen, the seasoned actress is as passionate, always learning new things and discovering new experiences.

In fact, Jodi even took a certificate course in cooking and baking at the Center of Asian Culinary Studies (CACS) to better portray her latest character in “Unbreak My Heart.”

“As an actor, I do certain things to prepare me for a role such as this one. Rose Jacinto is a chef. I needed to learn knife skills, how to flambé, and observe how people in the industry relate to one another in the kitchen. It was immersive for me and while being in class, I enjoyed the whole process,” Jodi in an exclusive interview with Philstar.com recounts.

At the end of the course, she also had a better appreciation for those working in the hospitality and culinary industries. What’s even more interesting is that she got to be in the same class as her son, Thirdy.

“When he learned that I enrolled in CACS for my role, he said it is something he would want to do as well. Before we used to discuss about it. I mean, like, ‘What if classmates tayo ‘no?’ Then it happened!” Jodi shared.

“It was such a wonderful experience being classmates with my son for a class,” she enthused.

According to her, Thirdy is exposed to different cuisines because they travel a lot together. They even include cooking classes in their itineraries.

Yes, traveling is Jodi’s other passion in life.

“I am a self-confessed wanderlust,” she proudly tells. “I am a firm believer that some of the most wonderful stories and learnings are in between the pages of a passport.”

This year alone, Jodi went to Japan to enjoy a lovely holiday with her family, and then to Singapore during the Holy Week break.

Just before resuming taping for “Unbreak My Heart,” the actress also traveled to Vietnam. And for her birthday celebration last June, she embarked on a trip to Central Asia!

“We went to three countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. I super enjoyed the trip I felt nga na super bitin. It’s exotic for me ha. They have a rich history and the culture and people are just wonderful,” she shared.

Asked how she manages to travel despite her busy schedule, Jodi answered, “It’s about making time for what’s important to me, for what recharges me and fills my soul. Traveling grounds me in so many ways. It’s the perfect reminder that I am just a speck in this vast universe. It makes you less judgmental, it makes you understand people more. It makes you grateful to be living in a diverse world.”

Being multi-faceted comes natural for Jodi, especially at this point in her life.

“I guess I have already determined the things I can and cannot do, what I Iike and I don’t like, what I need and do not need. My hobbies and interests revolve around these things. I am all for growth and improvement and new and fresh experiences help me discover more about who I am and at the same time enrich my life,” she explained.

The same is true for her craft, as she always welcomes challenging and new roles, or as she said it, “roles that are seemingly impossible to pull off.” Both Doc Jill and Rose are two perfect examples.

“Those roles that make me doubt if I can do it or not. I want to do the roles that scare me because when I am taken out of my comfort zone, then there is growth on the other end of the road,” Jodi shares.

Indeed, her true-to-life portrayal of Doc Jill won her the Asian Academy Creative Awards Best Actress.

But winning such awards doesn’t mean Jodi will be complacent.

Photo/VIU Philippines

“Awards for me are validation and an affirmation of all the effort and hard work that I have put in a project. But just because you have it doesn’t mean that it should get in your head and be complacent. It should motivate you to learn more, and improve more to keep bettering your craft,” she tells.

She also gives back to the industry and inspires fellow and young actors. Recently, she was featured in Asian Academy of Creative Arts 2023 Producer Summit and Masterclass (Online). Her award-winning role in “The Broken Marriage Vow” served as a case study along with six fellow panelists and actors.

Discover more about Jodi’s journey as an actress in this exclusive interview with VIU here

Screengrab/VIU Philippines

You can watch "The Broken Marriage Vow" and "Unbreak My Heart" for free or watch without ads for as low as P29. Just visit www.viu.com or download the VIU app via Play Store or Apple Store.

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