Judy Ann Santos’ ‘Starla’ has 5 lessons for the new year

BETWEEN now and the start of the New Year, this time always brings out the best in people. It’s the season of giving, after all. The thing is, we need kindness and compassion all-year round, and there’s no better way to ring in 2020 than trying to become a better version of yourself, for your loved ones and for others.

With her children in mind, Judy Ann Santos made her TV comeback via ABS-CBN’s “Starla,” a very timely series that centers around family and the real meaning of the holiday season—beyond the traditional gift-giving and festivities.

It’s time to get rid of negativity and bitterness, if we are to take into heart these lessons that Teresa (Judy Ann), her family, and the galaxy’s millions of wishing stars taught us in “Starla.”

Helping others while expecting nothing in return

Even magical creatures need support too. In the series, kiddie protagonist Buboy (Enzo Pelojero) offered to help Starla (Jana Agoncillo) to grant at least 50 wishes in order for her to become a full-fledged wishing star, even teaching her along the way what constitutes a bad wish and a good wish.

Teresa, at first a self-serving lawyer, has always had a heart for the less fortunate. Even though rich and successful, she takes her pro bono cases just as seriously as her high profile clients, going so far as to firing an arrogant lawyer who neglected one of their poor clients. When she was jailed, Teresa also offered her services to her fellow inmates for free because she dreaded the reality that some of them, especially the innocent ones, got separated from their families.

Revenge is never the answer

Teresa’s deep-seated resentment towards his father Greggy (Joel Torre) and her hometown Barrio Maulap made revenge the fundamental driving force in her life. Blinded by rage, she spent months sabotaging the livelihood, resources, and even safety of the community. After witnessing firsthand how much havoc her plans have caused her neighbors, she made a change of heart that ultimately led her to resign from her company.

Holding yourself accountable and making up for your mistakes

Mang Greggy stayed in prison for years for defending other people, and consequently lost his wife and daughter. After being paroled, Mang Greggy became a recluse and stopped opening up his life to other people.

But when Teresa came back to his life, he acknowledged his shortcomings as a husband and a father and remained determined to woo Teresa without sacrificing his principles. For her part, Teresa also owned up to everyone about her evil schemes and vowed to defend them and their rights.

It’s never too late to ask for and offer forgiveness

In a heartrending scene that moved viewers, Teresa told his father Greggy that she had forgiven him, let go of her pride, and finally sought forgiveness from him.

“You’re just doing your duty to others. Now I understand that the world isn’t fair to everyone. Some people get stepped on and are taken advantage of. I understand that you want to right the wrongs in the world the way you know how,” she tearfully said to her father. By then, Teresa was all for reconciliation and ready to repair their relationship.

Encourage kindness and pay it forward

After Buboy lost his parents, Mang Greggy was the first person to show him empathy. Even when Greggy was grumpy and avoidant of other people, Buboy saw through his adoptive dad’s heart and has always made sure to pay it forward to people in need.

Buboy, with the help of Starla, orchestrated many miracles in Barrio Maulap in order to get it back on its feet, including treating the town’s crops, restoring power to every home, healing a sick mom, or defending a bullied kid.

Watch “Starla” weeknights on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. (PR)