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Iya not taking blessings during challenging times for granted

By: - Reporter
/ 12:03 AM January 18, 2021

Iya Villania (left) with husband Drew Arellano and their kids

While she’s hopeful that this year will be better than the last, Iya Villania is still keeping her plans conservative.

“Ang hirap umasa!” she quipped, when asked by the Inquirer about how she sees 2021 panning out for her. “I’m just enjoying being with my family.”

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The television host observed that people have been going outside more. But one still can’t be complacent, she stressed, because the pandemic isn’t over. “I feel like more people are starting to ease up. And I’m trying not to give in and be complacent,” she said in a recent virtual conference for GMA 7’s new cooking show, “Eat Well, Live Well, Stay Well.”

“I want to continue being strict in following the protocols,” she added.

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But should the situation improve considerably in the near future, travel will definitely be on her bucket list. “I would love to be able to go out more, even if it’s just out of town. I’m not too sure about going out of the country; I think that’s a long shot. But the moment it’s safe, that’s something I would love to do with the kids,” she related.

The year 2020 was a challenging period, both personally and professionally. But it was still a happy one with the birth of her third child, and first daughter, Alana Lauren.

Things can get quite hectic at home, what with different hosting jobs, a newborn and two toddlers (Primo, 4 and Leon, 2) to take care of.

“My producers are witnesses to what working at home for me is like. Sometimes, even viewers would notice and point out that Primo is in the background, or that they could hear Leon screaming or Alana crying while I’m working,” related Iya, who’s also a show biz anchor for the evening newscast “24 Oras” and a host for the lifestyle show “Mars Pa More.”

But all things considered, the current dynamic in her and husband Drew Arellano’s household is still a “blessing.”

“The year has been hard for many. So, for me to be able to work from home … that’s something I will not take for granted. It’s a blessing. I’m grateful to the Lord for how things turned out. It has been challenging, too, but I’m taking it [in stride]. I’m trying to cherish every minute of it.”

A collaboration between GMA 7 and Ajinomoto Philippines, “Eat Well,” which airs Fridays at 11:20 a.m., is a 10-minute cooking show that aims “to inspire the audience to cook through their stories and discover themselves through food.”

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Iya represents young mothers out there trying to improve their cooking skills as they adapt to life under quarantine. She’s joined by Jose Sarasola, the resident celebrity chef whose goal is to inspire people to eat healthier.

“Hosting a show that encourages people to eat well is great. It’s something I live by. I love working out. But like I have said, living well is also about the quality of the food you eat,” she said. “And I want to be part of the viewers’ journeys.”

Iya admitted that she wasn’t always confident about her cooking skills. “I blame my mother because she’s an excellent cook, which makes me feel that I don’t really have to learn it. It was only after I became a mom myself that I got the hang of it. I felt challenged to come up with dishes that my family can enjoy,” she related. INQ

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