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How Jodi Sta. Maria successfully juggles career, school and family.

I am happy where I am right now. I'm content with what the Lord has given me. I'm in no position to grumble or to complain. I'm just thankful.'

Thus said Jodi Sta. Maria when reporters asked the actress if she had learned to temporarily set aside matters of the heart, now that her schedule was packed with work, school and travel.

Jodi's ex-boyfriend, actor and Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, has apparently moved on, seven months after he announced their breakup.

On Valentine's Day, Jolo posted on his Instagram account a romantic message for Binibining Pilipinas 2016 first runner-up Angelica Recto Alita, much to the surprise of his followers.

'I consider my family a blessing, so are my friends and coworkers, as well as my bosses who continuously give me the opportunity to work,' said Jodi, refusing to elaborate.

Jodi is currently taking up BS Psychology as her premed degree. 'I blocked off my schedule for school every Tuesday. I stay there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the week is family time and work,' she told reporters during the media gathering for her latest film, the Jet Leyco horror-thriller 'Second Coming,' produced by Reality Entertainment.

'I want to pursue and finish studies not just because I want a degree. It's really to be able to put into practice all the tools, skills and knowledge that I will get from studying psychology,' Jodi pointed out. 'There are a lot of hurting, broken people right now. One way for me to serve them is to put to good use what I've learned.'

Asked whether she could also use what she learned from psychology on herself, the actress replied: 'In a way, it makes you understand and know yourself better. You now have a clear view of why you are like this, or why you react that way. There are theories supporting why we have the kind of personality that we have.'

She added, 'When it comes to other people, since you already have that kind of understanding, you tend to be more kind and compassionate.'

She further said: 'This is one way for me to influence and inspire people. Oftentimes, we don't know who among the people we communicate with actually need help and immediate attention. With the response I've been getting (via social media), I realized that there are indeed a lot of people who need encouragement and recognition.'

Only recently, Jodi announced that she topped her class with a GPA of 3.670. 'It's not easy to juggle work and school along with my other personal activities-like being a mom to Thirdy-but I'm glad that I'm able to pull this off. With everything that's happening in my life, I can't say that I've achieved this on my own. God was always with me.'

This 2019, aside from 'Second Coming,' Jodi is also busy with her teleserye, titled 'Mea Culpa' and another horror-thriller flick called 'Clarita' for Black Sheep Films.

For Jodi, who is more identified with romantic comedy films, doing horror was fun. 'At least I get to show a different side of myself. I welcome challenges when it comes to my career. I think it's also good that people see you in different projects, that you are not stereotyped to just one genre. It's also an avenue for you to show people what you can do.'

'Second Coming,' which also features Marvin Agustin, Queenie Lehman and child actress Angelica Ulip, opens today in cinemas nationwide.

'I've never had any encounters with ghosts, but I also have my fears-like the fear of spiders. I tried to conquer arachnophobia by attempting to touch a tarantula (during a trip to Sweden),' Jodi shared with reporters. 'Another is swimming in the cold at night (in the Baltic Sea). Sometimes, your mind messes with you and you think of what you could possibly encounter while you're submerged in dark waters.'
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 27, 2019
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