Actress Jodi Sta. Maria is one strong woman. She is a single mom to son Thirdy, but that doesn't stop her from working hard to reach her other goals. She is currently sttudying to become a doctor, and she was in successful teleserye 100 Days to Heaven in 2011.

What can you learn from this star's colorful experiences? Read on to find out.


1. PUT YOUR CHILDREN FIRST.

No matter how busy Jodi is with her schedule, she always makes it a point to spend time with Thirdy. Whenever she gets home early from work or school, they even do their homework together. "Kapag may time talaga ako, nagtutulungan kami sa assignment. (When I have time, the two of us really help each other with our homework.)"


2. APPRECIATE YOUR PARENTS.

Jodi takes inspiration from her mom, who also had to raise kids on her own. "Mas naging close kami nung naging mom na rin ako kasi mas na-appreciate ko siya as a mom, as a person, in a way na nalaman ko na ito pala 'yung pinagdaanan ng mom ko sa pagpapalaki sa akin. (We've grown closer ever since I became a mom because now I appreciate her as a mom, as a person, in a way that makes me understand this is what she went through when she was raising me.)"


3. DON'T GIVE UP.

Jodi originally wanted to become a doctor, but she found herself stumbling into showbiz by accident. Now she's balancing her career as an actress with chasing after her original dream; she is currently in pre-med. "Kung dumating man yung time na hindi kayanin talaga, di natin masasabi, at least masasabi ko sa sarili ko na I tried my best na i-pursue yung long-time dream ko. (Even if a time comes when I can't do this anymore, at least I'll be able to tell myself that I tried my best to pursue my long-time dream.)"


4. BE YOURSELF.

Jodi is a simple person who doesn't like dressing up or putting on makeup. There are even times when she only wears lip gloss and cheek tint with her comfiest clothes. "Kasi parang feeling ko that's the only time I get to be me, I get to be myself. Kapag nagme-makeup ako, it's not me nanaman. It's Jodi the artista."


5. MAKE TIME FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

Jodi admits that she's always wanted to go back to school, but in the past, she told herself that she didn't have time for it. "Then I realized na hindi talaga ako magkakaroon ng time kasi hindi talaga ako pwede tumigil sa kaka-work--work will always be there. So ginawa ko na lang, kung kaya naman pagsabayin, bakit hindi? (Then I realized I'll never have time because I can't stop working--work will always be there. So what I did was, if it's possible to do both, why not?)"


(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine as "A Time for Everything" in December 2011; adapted for use in Female Network; photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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