Ryan reveals Judy Ann’s ‘brilliant’ house rules during lockdown
How TV host Ryan Agoncillo and wife, actress Judy Ann Santos, explained to their children all about the pandemic and the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is a story worth telling.
“We presented it to them like a war scenario,” Ryan told Inquirer Entertainment.
“We told them that we are on isolation so people can’t go to work, and that we have to treat everything we have as if it will eventually run out,” Ryan recalled. The couple has three kids—Yohan, 16; Lucho, 10; and Luna, 4.
“We did it slowly. We tried not to scare them, but we let them understand the significance of what’s happening, so they won’t take things for granted. We had to make them realize that we’re lucky to be in one house, or that we even have a house; that we’re lucky to have supplies coming in,” the TV host said.
Ryan said Judy Ann “did something brilliant” a week after the ECQ was first implemented. He admitted that he wasn’t aware of the effect of his wife’s gesture until a little while later.
He recalled, “It had been a pretty heavy week. Our community had already been on ‘military’ lockdown early on and we’ve been issued quarantine passes ahead of everyone else, so it was already difficult to go out.
“We would eat a set of food for dinner, then eat the same thing the following day. One day, my wife surprised us with food delivery. The meal had been simple—French fries, chicken nuggets and burgers—pero party na! That’s how we introduced the idea to the kids—that from that moment on, we would have to make sacrifices.”
The couple had also set rules on the consumption of electricity.
“You can’t turn on the air conditioner if you’re alone in a room. There has to be at least three members of the family with you before you can use it,” Ryan explained. “As a result, we now all stay together in the living room. We’ve been doing this since Day 1. Now, it’s become a habit.”
When asked about how difficult it was for him to adjust to the isolation, Ryan said being stuck at home was “no big deal” for him, “because we eventually learned to adjust our habits.”
What made him more anxious was thinking about what would eventually happen to their restaurant businesses and to the noontime game show “Eat…Bulaga!” where he is a regular host.
“We were happy to stay indoors. Before the lockdown, we were already on a weeklong break. We had canceled work because we wanted to be safe already,” he recalled.
During the interview, Ryan said he was seated on the couch, “just like I always am when I’m here at home. The only difference is that if you weren’t interviewing me, then I’m either in a video meeting or in an exchange of emails. Isolation is a big deal, yes, but there are much bigger things to consider.”
Ryan then added that he wasn’t so worried about his colleagues in the industry because “I’m seeing a lot of good things happening right now. We see people reaching out to each other—and there’s no longer any distinction between media practitioners, like us, and civilians. Social media has blurred the lines even more,” he observed. “I think we’re all really just coping. There’s a lot of faith being restored on a daily basis on humanity for me.”
These days, Ryan said his concern was geared particularly toward the employees of their Angrydobo Manila branch.
“I keep thinking if they’re all OK, because we were finally allowed to operate recently,” he said. “I would also wake up thinking about what would happen once the lockdown has been lifted, because it’s not necessarily safe out there. There will be new problems for sure. We would just have to roll with the punches and try to be a few steps ahead of our anxiety.” INQ