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  • These 3 Celeb Moms Went Back to School to Pursue Their Passion

    Belinda Panelo, Jodi Sta. Maria and G. Toengi prove a mom's multitasking prowess.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
These 3 Celeb Moms Went Back to School to Pursue Their Passion
  • Kids aren’t the only ones going back to school this year. Three celeb moms have been hitting the books to chase their dreams. 

    Belinda Panelo

    A post shared by bee_panelo (@bee_panelo) on Jun 5, 2016 at 11:57am PDT

    You might remember her from the late 90s when she was an MTV VJ or for her role in the teleserye Sa Puso Ko, Iingatan Ka. Today, she's a mom who lives in the U.S. with her family and is currently a student at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    “I feel truly honored. UCLA is one of the top institutions in the country, and the application process is highly competitive as you know,” she told celeb mom-friend G Toengi (who also went back to school as a mom -- see below) in an interview for Asian Journal.  

    She’s enrolled in pre-global studies. It’s a course, she said, that integrates a lot of her interests including sociology and economics. At the end of the semester, she plans to petition to be accepted into the UCLA’s global studies program, which only takes 100 students. 


    When asked about the challenges of being a mom and a student at the same time, Belinda told Asian Journal, “Trying to balance family responsibilities with schoolwork has been a master class in organized chaos. There are many more dishes in the sink, and the mountain of laundry is laughably limitless, but hey, I got an ‘A’ on my last test.”

    The mom of two admits that going back to school was something she’d been considering for a while now. “I’ve been wanting to go back to school for a very long time, but the timing never seemed right. As the years went by and I got older and older, I realized that I could no longer rely on timing.” Hear that mom? Just go for it! 

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    Jodi Sta. Maria

    There's a lot to admire about celeb mom Jodi Sta. Maria. At 34 years old, she's a successful actress, a doting single mom to 12-year-old son Thirdy, and now she's pursuing a path where she can be part of the medical profession.

    Jodi always dreamt to become a doctor; she even had a specialty in mind, oncology, which specializes in cancer diagnosis and treatment. She was studying medical biology in De La Salle University-Cavite when the responsibilities of her acting career took over her life. “Naging sobrang hirap iyong pagsabayin iyong pag-aaral at pag-aartista. It really took a toll on my health,” recalled the mom in an interview on the TV show “Tonight with Boy Abunda.” 


    In an Instagram post in February of this year, Jodi revealed her determination to pick up where she left off with her pre-med studies. She entered a home-school study program for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree offered by Southville Internationa School and Colleges.  

    “I’m very grateful na I was able to find a school na meron silang home study program kung saan, pwede kong ituloy ang pre-med school ko,” she told Philippine Star.   


    Now, with a home study program that allows for a flexible schedule, she’s hoping that her dreams can finally come true. “I know that God has been opening doors for me to be able to finish what I've started,” said Jodi, who added that if everything goes well, she will be able to attain a college degree in two years. Good luck, Jodi!  

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    G Toengi

    Belinda isn't the only celeb mom to go to UCLA. Giselle “G” Toengi, the 90s "It Girl" and now a devoted wife and mom of two living in California, had graduated with honors from the same university with a degree in communications back in 2011.   

    She told ABS-CBN News, “There's no better culmination for me because I worked so hard going back to school, having two kids, it's a lot of work. But it all seems worth it knowing at the very end, dala-dala ko yung flag ng Pilipinas.” 

    G rose to stardom when she was 16 and didn't get the chance to finish her studies, reported Asian Journal. Today, she is the host and producer of “Kababayan Today,” a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipinos living in America.  

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