Spotlight

Jodi Sta. Maria: An Empowered Mother On and Off-Screen

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The veteran actress plays a strong character from The Broken Marriage Vow but more importantly, talks to us about being an empowered mother.

Since her pivotal role as Maya dela Rosa in the top-billed teleserye, Please Be Careful with My Heart, Jodi Sta. Maria has portrayed a number of iconic characters—including Amor Powers, which earned her a nomination for the International Emmy Award for Best Actress. With a new TV series in tow, the Primetime Queen sits down with Modern Parenting to talk about her latest show, The Broken Marriage Vow, an adaptation of BBC’s Doctor Foster.

jodi sta. maria stars in the broken marriage vow

This time, Jodi portrays the character of a strong and empowered mother to a teenage son—not too far from who she is in real life.

Highlighting the Filipino Culture in The Broken Marriage Vow

The show’s success is evident—given that it has been adapted in five countries already. Jodi excitedly gives a gist on what to expect. “The story is basically about Dr. Jill Ilustre. She’s a mother, doctor, and wife who believed she had a picture-perfect life. Everything came crashing down when she suspected her husband, David, having an affair. She eventually proved it to be true—with a much younger woman, Lexy.”

jodi sta. maria stars in the broken marriage vow
Jodi wears a sweater from Bardot, skirt from Lady Rustan, cuff from Natori, and earrings from Arnel Papa

“Upon learning about this, she behaves in ways that affect those around her—including her only son, Gio. She becomes obsessed with revenge as she tries to gain back the dignity she believes was taken away from her because of the affair.”

Jodi says that Dreamscape and ABS-CBN made sure the adaptation features our culture. “The series was shot in Baguio. The clothes are very Pinoy featuring our very own designers using local fabric. And there’s a lot of mouth-watering food, too! It’s really a visual feast—from the cinematography down to the production design. The actors who played the different characters were amazing!”

jodi sta. maria stars in the broken marriage vow
Jodi wears a shirt from Lilly Pulitzer, a jacket from Mango, and trousers from Adolfo

Juggling Work and Motherhood During the Pandemic

When asked how it’s been like juggling work and motherhood in the middle of a pandemic, Jodi shares, “It is quite challenging. Especially the lock-in we did for The Broken Marriage Vow. It was probably the longest. Almost two months. It was difficult being away from family. I missed them so much!”

“There was even a time they came up to Baguio to pay me a visit but I couldn’t hug them because we had a protocol to follow. I only waved at them from afar. It was so heartbreaking. But I’m really thankful for the effort they did. We survived with phone calls and FaceTime. I’d check up on everyone from time to time, especially on rest days. I know that it was difficult for Thirdy, too, because he couldn’t leave the house. The best thing I could do is to offer support and encouragement that better days will come and hopefully, soon, things will be back to normal.”

jodi sta. maria stars in the broken marriage vow
Jodi wears a dress by Mark Bumgarner

Being a Student Again

Going back to school and finishing a degree while working and being a mom is no easy feat. But for Jodi, learning new things was something she always looked forward to. “When I was in college pre-pandemic, we did a lot of extracurricular activities in school. And I had a great time with those. Something different from what I’m used to doing. It was a new environment. I was treated like a regular student just like everyone else and I liked that. I looked forward to coming to school every Tuesday even if that means having to be there from 8 AM to 5 PM.”

“When I passed the thesis defense, I cried out of relief, joy, and gratitude. Because I got grilled for three hours! So when I passed, I knew I was bound for graduation. This is something I have always wanted to do. It only took a matter of time. A lot of waiting and being patient in the process. Thirdy hugged me and was super happy for his momma.”

On Her Business Ventures

Starting a business despite many closing down was a bold move for The Broken Marriage Vow actress. Jodi shares, “My partners and I put up The EVE Lifestyle. During the lockdown, we were thinking of how we can help and address the problem at hand. We were thinking about what we can offer to the public that is essential. So we thought of creating Eve Alcomist.”

“It is 70% alcohol with essential oils for an aromatherapeutic effect. It is two in one actually. A sanitizing spray and a body mist at the same time. This is what we did during the pandemic—concocting the perfect product for our consumers. It’s your peace of mind in a bottle. You can check out our Instagram @theevelifestyle and purchase our products on Shopee and Lazada.”

Jodi wears a jumpsuit by Keepsake available at Rustan’s

Additionally, she also co-founded HealthyFix during the height of the lockdown. “A lot of people lost their jobs. So I asked myself—how can we help? And that’s how HealthyFix was born. We wanted our consumers to achieve health and financial freedom with our products by offering them distributorship and reseller packages. Healthy ka na, pwede ka pang kumita. If you are interested, you can visit our Instagram @healthyfixstore or visit our website at www.healthyfixstore.com.”

Why Single Moms Should Still Celebrate Valentine’s Day

When asked what her plans are for Valentine’s Day, Jodi replies that she’ll be spending it with her son, Thirdy. “Take comfort in knowing that you aren’t spending Valentine’s Day alone. You have family and friends. We will never run out of love. It is all around us and Valentine’s Day can still be as romantic. It can still be a whole lot of fun. Remind yourself what an amazing person you are. Celebrate your beauty and strength. Make a list of those people you love and those who love you. By the time you put your pen down, you’d feel blessed and special.”

Valuable Lessons from The Broken Marriage Vow

The Broken Marriage Vow definitely touches on themes that many mothers might be able to relate to. Jodi herself is an empowered mom to her teenage son, Thirdy. “Moms will really do everything for their children even if it pains them. That their love is so much stronger than their pain,” she says.

“Heartbreaks hurt—it is the most brutal yet most powerful teacher. It can help you find your way back to peace and expose the strength you never thought you had. And that life is moving in the direction of your decisions. I hope that we are careful to decide on the choices we make because it will surely affect not only us but the people around us.”

With the many diverse characters Jodi has played, there’s no doubt she’s one of the best actresses of our generation. “I am thankful for everything God has blessed me with. When He gave the dream to perform in my heart, He made sure He’d fulfill it. I don’t really have a dream role but I know one thing: a role that’ll make me doubt myself if I can pull it off excites me. With every role, I consider each one as my dream role. That way, I can give my heart and soul to the project.”

You can catch The Broken Marriage Vow on weeknights at 8:40 PM on Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, TV5, IWantTFC, and Viu.

Words GRETCHEN GATAN FRAGADA
Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Styling SIYA DARYANI and ROSHNI MIRPURI for CLOSET CULTURE
Makeup GHIL SAYO
Hairstyling JOF FANTONE for COLORBAR PH
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ
Shot on location at MANILA MARRIOTT
Special thanks to KITCHEN CITY

Find more stories on Modern Parenting:

Amanda Griffin Jacob: Raising Citizens of the World

KC Montero and Stephanie Dods: On Intuitive Parenting While Raising Wyatt

Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo: A Constant State of Equanimity and Equilibrium

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