Jodi Sta. Maria on her blended family with ex-hubby Pampi Lacson
The curse needs to be broken at some point,” said actress Jodi Sta. Maria when Inquirer Entertainment asked her to publicly discuss her decision to form what she refers to as a “blended family” with Pampi Lacson, the father of her only son, Thirdy.
“I grew up not knowing my father. This has a lot of psychological implications to a child, being that the father is an important figure in the child’s life because he provides security and identity. I realized that I should not deny this of Thirdy. In my mind, I said, ‘I grew up without a dad. Does this have to happen to Thirdy, too? Do I let history repeat itself?’ I believe in generational curses. We need to break them, but then, the will to do it should come from us. It was not easy for us but, with God’s guidance, we were able to patch up,” Jodi said.
A blended family is formed when two people agree to be in a relationship that includes a child or children from previous relationships. Jodi and Pampi got married in 2005 and broke up in 2011. Pampi is now with former actress Iwa Moto, with whom he has two kids.
Sharing her story
However, Jodi said the success of a blended family depends on the situation its members are in. “It varies on a case-to-case basis,” she pointed out. “It really depends on what the former partners want for their child. I just want to share my story about our blended family. Of course, as with any couple going through, let’s say, an annulment or separation, there’s a lot of hostility. You’re hostile toward each other because you both want to prove that the other party is wrong. That used to be the situation between Pampi and I.”
She continued: “I saw that it was Thirdy who suffered the most. Para siyang naiipit sa dalawang naguumpugang bato. I kept thinking, I failed to give my son a complete family. I don’t want to deprive him of a peaceful life. I, at least, want him to have parents who can be civil to each other, who can get along. Do I want to raise him in a chaotic environment? Or do I want to be selfless and decide to settle my differences with his father? That was where I was coming from.”
Jodi said that the concept of a blended family can be difficult to understand, especially for the “conservative ones.” But for parents like her and Pampi, she said this became possible because they learned to forgive each other.
“We were able to set aside our personal interests and turned our attention to what our son needed—a peaceful environment. While I know this is not the ideal setup, I realized that it’s also not ideal to continue bickering, to try to hide your children from their other parent. We shouldn’t let our children get stuck in this awkward situation because this will surely have a negative effect on them while growing up—we just don’t know what specifically.”
‘OK na sila’
Jodi then recalled the first time Thirdy saw her and Pampi together in one space. “This was after years of us being hostile to each other. We met at a restaurant in Alabang. Thirdy was quiet but the look in his eyes when he saw me and his Daddy said, ‘Wow! OK na sila!’ That was the first time he saw us talking. It was also the first time Pampi and I agreed not to fight anymore and just try to fix the situation for the sake of our child.”
Jodi said this happened around 2014, “when I started going to church.” She recalled: “Do you know what really led to this change? It was the forgiveness I received from God and the grace that He extended to me. I felt His overflowing love. There was no other way but for the love to also overflow to the people around me. How I looked at them as human beings changed, too.”
However, Jodi said the personal change she experienced did not happen in an instant. “I would pray every single day for the Lord to change my heart. I was pleased that, at that time, Pampi was already OK, too. If not, I don’t think it would work. I know that the Lord was moving in our family, that He loves Thirdy and doesn’t want my son to keep on suffering,” she declared.
Jodi recently had a day-long postbirthday celebration with the children of Kythe Foundation, an organization that provides financial aid to kids who are getting treated for cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Realities of lifeShe said she used to let Thirdy tag along with her during her early years as Kythe Foundation ambassador. “This was because I wanted Thirdy to see the realities of life even at a young age. This wasn’t to say in his face that, ‘You’re blessed. You should be grateful.’ This was for him to see that there is pain and suffering in this world and that if you are in a position to help alleviate or somehow do something about that suffering, why not do it? That’s also one thing I want him to develop while growing up—a heart that is compassionate to those in need.”
Thirdy, now 17, is taking up a culinary arts course. “He really enjoys cooking. I know that this is one of his passions because each time we travel, we always include cooking classes in our itinerary. I also saw that he likes to bake,” the proud mom said. “I’m not the type who would force my son to take up something just because that’s what I want for him. I told him, ‘as long as you feel that’s where you will thrive, where you will become successful, then go ahead. I will support you.’ I will never impose or dictate.” INQ