Alma Moreno, Lolit Solis, and Merle Fernandez speak endearingly of Daboy

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Rudy Fernandez’s former live-in partner Alma Moreno (inset, top) talks about the mischievous humor shewill miss most about Rudy. His sister MerleFernandez (inset, middle) feels depressed about losing her only brother and tells aboutRudy’s childhood. Lolit Solis's (inset, bottom) heart goes out to Lorna, having seen how Rudy suffered in his last days.



As part of Startalk'slive coverage on Rudy Fernandez's wake yesterday, June 7, thelast interview of action superstar Rudy Fernandez was replayed. The footage was the show's May 17episode, showing a phone patch with Lorna Tolentino and a cheerful but weak-voiced Rudy who laughed and joked with Butch Francisco and Lolit Solis.

LOLIT SOLIS. After watching the clip, Joey de Leon noticed that Lolit, who is also Rudy's manager, looked like she was in deep thought. Whatexactly was she thinking during that May 17 conversation?

"Di ba si Lorna, parang ang saya-saya?" Lolit explained.Then she added, "Si Lorna parang in denial... Di ba, parang nag-aagawan pa silang telepono ni Daboy? Parang akala mo sakit lang ni Daboy, e, lagnat, di ba?Parang...nalulungkot ako talaga kay Lorna.

"Kasi last night, nag-usap kami. Sabi niya, ‘Naku ‘Nay,mataas [blood] platelet ni Daboy. Talagang pagaling na siya.' Samantalang, noong nakitako siya [Rudy], talagang parang paalis na siya. Parang yun na talaga hitsuraniya. Kaya parang hindi ko maintindihan kung saan kinukuha ni Lorna yung lakasng loob niya. Kung papaano niya natatangap lahat."

Lolit revealed another thing about Lorna. She said, "Sabi ngani Lorna sa akin, pagka daw umiiyak siya, pupunta daw siyang banyo. Ginagawaniya, iyak daw siya nang iyak sa banyo. Paglabas niya, winiwisikan niya ngtubig ang mga mata niya para hindi mapansin ni Daboy na umiyak siya."

After her short revelation on Lorna, Joey asked if Lolitwould miss Rudy. Almost immediately, Lolit let out a loud "Oo!"

Then she added,"Biro mo Joey, ha, in pain na siya at sa ospital. Talagang in pain na, yungmalungkot kami ni Mother Lily [Monteverde] at nakatingin kami sa kanya dahilparang umuungol siya. ‘Tapos narinig namin na sabi niya na, ‘Tawagin ninyo siMark Herras...' so nagulat kami ni Mother. Akala namin, baka nagde-deliryo na.Maya-maya lumabas yung nurse, ‘tapos pagpasok, kasama yung attendant. Bata payung attendant, ‘tapos spike-spike yung buhok. ‘Tapos sabi agad ni Rudy, ‘Diba, para siyang StarStruck?' Talagangkahit pa in pain siya, meron pa rin siyang sense of humor."

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When Rudy decided to get out of the hospital to come home,did Lolit feel that Rudy was ready to go?

"Parang alam na niya talaga," Lolit answered. "Parang anggusto niya talaga, e, sa bahay niya mangyari...mapilit talaga si Daboy na umuwi.Nung pag-uwi niya, nag-thumbs up pa siya. Masaya talaga siya na nakauwi nasiya."

When was the last time they had a one-on-one talk?

"Noong huling Miyekules na pumasok ako sa kuwarto niya saWhite Plains, na-shock ako na ibang-iba na hitsura. ‘Tapos dapat bukas [June8], pupunta dapat akong Macau. Sabi ko, dalaw muna kay Daboy para malaman niya.Pagpasok ko sa kuwarto, sabi ko na, ‘Hoy, Daboy, sa Linggo pupunta akong Macau,ha. Baka mamaya may mangyari, ha. Martes pa uwi ko...' Pero sa pagiging pilyo niDaboy, ngayon niya yata ginusto [na pumanaw] para hindi ako makaalis. Ganyan‘yan, e, meron talagang kapilyuhan ‘yan."

ALMA MORENO. Rudy'sformer live-in partner Alma Moreno was among those who came early to theactor's wake. Startalk's ButchFrancisco wasted no time in asking her about the fond memories she had of Rudy.

"Noong nagte-taping kami ng Daboy and Da Girl [sitcom in GMA-7]," Alma revealed. "'Tapos sa telepono, ‘pagkausap ko siya...ay! ‘Tapos noong may sakit ako, sabi niya sa akin na kukunin dawako ni Lord. So ibig sabihin kasi, si Daboy, tuwing makikita ako, e, mang-aasar,mang-iinis. Pero masaya siyang kasama."

"So yun yung mami-miss mo?" asked Butch.

"Oo, yung pang-aasar!" laughed Alma.

Butch then wandered to a past issue where Lolit reportedlygot angry at Alma for not visiting Rudy.

"Nasaktan nga ako doon, e," Alma said. "Sabi ko, ‘Nanay,dumalaw na ho ako.' Sabi niya, ‘Kailan? Kailan?' So, sinabi ko sa kanya, ‘tapossinabi ko na hindi ko naman kailangan ipagsabi na dumalaw ka. ‘Tapos importantena ipinagdadasal ko si Daboy. Nag-o-offer pa rin ako ng mass for Daboy.Kumbaga, hindi ko naman kailangan ipagsabi iyon.

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"Pero si Mark [Anthony Fernandez, Rudy and Alma's son], lagikong tinatanong na ‘Kumusta na si Daboy?' Kasi hangga't maaari, gusto ko namakita si Daboy na si Daboy. Yung masayahin. So, nung dumalaw ako sa hospital,hindi na ako nagpahalata. Nagulat ako na iba na hitsura ni Daboy kaya hindi koalam kung magsasalita ako.

"Pero saludo ako kay Lorna. Kasi si Lorna yung nagpapatawa,nagpapasaya kay Daboy. Sabi pa ni Daboy, ‘Tingnan mo si ‘Ness, o, iiyak na, iiyakna!' Sabi niyang ganun. Nang-iinis pa rin. Sabi ko nga, ‘Hindi, a! Bakit kitaiiyakan?' Ganoon, yung nagbibiruan," Alma narrated.

Since Daboy always joked around, were there any serioustalks between her and Rudy?

"Hindi, puro pabiro sa amin," the actress-politician said."Nagbibiruan kami tungkol sa laptop niya, etc. Puro jokes. Kumbaga kami ni LT,puro kuwentuhan. Pero ‘tapos nun, tinanong ko siya ng seryoso. Sabi ko,‘Kumusta ka na?' Sabi niya na hindi daw siya nakatulog kasi masakit. ‘Tapos sabiniya, ‘Ness, masakit talaga. Pagod na ako.' Yun na. ‘Tapos hindi na akonagsalita kasi kailangan hindi ka magpapahalata, pero gusto ko na umiyak peropinipigil ko."

Butch admitted that of all people next to Lorna, he wasworried about Mark. As Mark's mom, did he ever pour out his feelings to Alma?

"Sa totoo lang, noong nabubuhay pa si Daboy, kausap ko siManay Lolit, binibilin ko talaga si Mark na tulungan ako na iprepara si Mark.Kaya ngayon, yun ang takot ko kaya kinakausap ko. Dahil nung kausap ko sa phonesi Mark, pinipigil niya yung iyak niya. Hindi siya makapaniwala na wala na angpapa niya. So, sabi ko nga sa kanya na iiyak niya ‘yan. ‘Tapos, alam ko na itinatagoniya. Kahit ngayon, sinamahan ko siya sa kabaong ng papa niya...pinipigil niya, e."

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Since she and Rudy didn't have a serious talk beforehe passed away, what would she have said if they had spoken?

"Actually, bago pumunta ng States si Daboy at si Lorna paramagpagamot, matagal kaming nagkausap tungkol kay Mark. Natutuwa na siya kayMark, sa career ni Mark. Mas matipid daw siya at mas makunat na daw. Yung mgaganun! Kaya tawa kami nang tawa. Kaya sabi ko nga na sana tuloy-tuloy. Perokagabi, nung medyo nanghihina na si Daboy, nag-usap na sila. Hindi ko alam kungano pinag-usapan nila ni Mark."

What support is Alma ready to give to Lorna?

"Basta sabi ko kay LT, unang tawag ko kay Mark kanina na kumustana si Lorna at alalayan niya si Tita Lorna niya. Nandito lang ako kay LT nanakasuporta para sa kanya," Alma said.

MERLE FERNANDEZ. Butchalso interviewed Rudy's elder sister Merle Fernandez, a popular actress in the ‘70s.

Butch asked Merle if it was true thatthe Fernandez siblings were eight in all: three boys and five girls. Merle confirmedthis, adding that two boys died at an early age, so Rudy was the onlyboy left in the company of five sisters.

"Siya nga ang aming pride, and joy, and jewel," Merle said.Then her voice cracking, she added, "'tapos kinuha pa..."

Quickly changing the topic, Butch asked about the 13-year agegap between Merle and Rudy, and if he had a nickname before.

"Ang tawag namin sa kanya, Opo Ino," Merle cheerfully said."It stands for Rodolfo [Rudolph] Valentino, kasi doon siya ipinaglihi ng nanaynamin. Actually, matagal nang patay si Rudolph Valentino, pero naglagay ngpictures nanay namin. Siguro, gusto ng nanay ko na paglihian ng maganda kayapinili niya pictures ni Rudolph. Kaya yun ang tawag namin sa kanya."

Valentino was a popular and very handsome Italianactor in the '20s whose sudden death caused mass hysteria.

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No wonder Rudy's a looker, Butch said.

"Sa tingin ko, mas guwapo pa siya kaysa kay RudolphValentino," Merle quickly pointed out.

As a kid, was Rudy already pilyo?

"Maliit pa si Rudy, super-bait na," Merle happily recalled."Super-bait at si Rudy ay mahiyaing tao at hindi mo aakalain na siya ay magigingartista. In fact, ako ang nagsabi na mag-artista siya. Noong fifteen years oldsiya, blooming siya. Pero noong araw, payatot ‘yan. ‘Tapos tukso namin noon sakanya na ‘Rudy, ang laki ng ilong mo, para kang Unidentified Flying Object!'Tapos ‘pag tiningnan mo lang siya, masyado siyang meek. ‘Pag tiningnan mo siyanang matagal, iiyak na siya."

During Rudy's final days, did she and Rudy spend time together?

"Ah, oo," Merle said. "Of course. Magmula noong nagkasakitsiya, parating every Thursday...nasa Thursday group kami, kaming magkakapatid.Pero ako, parating present. Kasi si Rudy, kami ang mag-best friend, e. Althoughlahat ng kapatid niya mahal niya, of course."

Merle expressed bereavement over her brother's death. "Si Rudy na lang mundo ko, nawala pa."


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