Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Ryan Agoncillo (MNS photo)

MANILA, Apr 21 (Mabuhay) — Making sure their children had something to look froward to and securing their staff’s jobs were what kept Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Ryan Agoncillo going in two years under the pandemic, the couple said.

“The hope that I had to keep alive was somebody else’s … ’Yung pangarap ng mga anak mo, ng mga katrabaho natin,” Agoncillo shared with Fr. Tito Caluag in the 100th episode of “Kapamilya Journeys of Hope”.

The couple’s restaurant Angrydobo, bore the effects of pandemic restrictions, as sales went down and the Agoncillos began considering laying off workers.

The couple and their team were ready to shift operations of the Angrydobo at home – instead of at physical stores – just to keep the restaurant afloat without letting go of employees amid the health crisis that closed down many other food and beverage businesses.

“We were blessed kasi ’yun din ang sentimyento ng mga tao namin,” Agoncillo said.

” ’Yun pala, nagsusuklian kami ng hope for each other. Ganu’n din sila sa amin. ’Yung mga tao namin, sila mismo nagsasabi, kahit matulog kami sa tindahan ’wag lang tayo magsara. We had to fight for the other’s person’s hope.”

Hope in little things also kept the Agoncillos going at home. They made up for days spent in locked-in tapings away from their children – Johanna, Lucho, and Luna – with promises of activities together.

“They always had to have something to look forward to. Whether it was a physical activity or a reward to look forward to, something at the end of the day or week or month. Hindi kailangan malaki,” Agoncillo said.

For Judy Ann, her role as a mother had to be prioritized over her role as an actress.

“Parang pinipilit kong tapusin ’yung trabaho ko na lang para matapos at makauwi. So bakit pa ako papasok sa ganu’n kung hindi ako willing na i-sacrifice ’yung part ng pagiging nanay at asawa ko?” she reflected.

She instead took the situation as a chance to spend more time with their children, a decision the couple said paid off seeing their children grow closer to them.

“Nakakalma sila when they see me and Ry sa baba. Just seeing us there right after they have to go out and get a screen break (from their online classes), yayakap lang sila,” Santos-Agoncillo said.

When the children transitioned to hybrid classes, Johann and Lucho said they liked to maintain spending time with their parents.

“Sabi niya (Lucho), ‘I’m OK din with hybrid, because I like stepping out and I’m comforted by seeing you, I actually like, you know, staying home with us.’ This was echoed by Johann. They’re responding well, and I’m just thankful for that,” Agoncillo said.

Making plans and having dreams may have become impossible with the pandemic still around, but the Agoncillos have found new purpose in living not for themselves but for others.

“Ang gusto ko matupad ang dreams ni Judy Ann, ni Johann, ni Lucho, ni Luna. Pero ano ang dream ko para sa sarili ko? Gusto kong tanganan na as the world opens hawak ko pa rin ‘yung lesson na helping others achieve their dreams,” Agoncillo said.  (MNS)

READ NEXT: Carlo Aquino on unrelenting bashers: ‘Wala ako magagawa sa opinyon ng iba’