Rudy Fernandez allowed his widow Lorna Tolentino to marry again

by Elyas Isabelo Salanga
Jun 15, 2008
Rudy Fernandez gave his widow Lorna the option to entertain suitors and remarry. But they would have to pass through "the eye of a needle," that is, the approval of Rudy's friends who're all telling her now, "Hindi puwede!"

A week has passed since action superstar Rudy Fernandez passed away, and it's been only three days since he was buried at Heritage Park. Now alone and facing the future, Rudy's widow Lorna Tolentino ponders what to do and how to go on with life without her husband of 25 years.

A few hours after the actor's burial, StarTalk's Lolit Solis interviewed her co-host and friend Lorna on her plans regarding everything Daboy left behind.

"Ngayon na mag-isa ka na lang at wala na si Rudy, ano ang nasa isip mo ngayon?" Lolit asked.

"Parang kagaya din noon na live each day at a time," Lorna answered. "Yun ang parati kong sinasabi, di ba? Na mahirap pangunahan yung pwedeng mangyari. Basta't kung ano na lang, paggising mo sa umaga, saka mo na isipin kung ano dadating at kung ano pa at dapat gawin. Parang ayoko i-plano."

RUDY'S BIRTHDAY GIFTS. "Di ba, nag-birthday si Rudy nung March 3, right after, nagpunta kayo sa U.S.?" Lolit followed. "Balita ko nakakalat pa sa loob ng kuwarto yung birthday gift. Ano ang naalala mo nung nakita mo yun?"

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"Hindi ko nga alam kung papaano," Lorna pondered. "Kung bubuksan ko, saan ko ilalagay, saan ko itatabi...hindi ko naman maisip. Siguro ibibigay ko sa mga bata kasi sila naman talaga—si Mark, si Renz, at si Ralph—e, sila pumili kung ano ang gusto nila."

Lolit asked, "Natakot ka ba sa thought na mag-isa ka na lang?"

"Nagpapalakas ng loob ko siyempre, e, mga anak ko," Lorna revealed. "Alam ko na mag-isa na lang ako, pero kung panghihinaan ako ng loob, kawawa din naman yung mga anak ko. Yun ang naisip ko."

RUDY'S BILINS ABOUT THEIR SONS. One of Rudy's last wishes was for Lorna to take good care of their sons, especially now that they are without a father.

"Actually, naghabilin siya sa mga bata talaga," Lorna admitted. "Katulad kay Renz na huwag nang...si Renz kasi nagkaroon ng hilig sa poker. Yung ano naman na games...so sabi ni Rudy na huwag na nga [ipagpatuloy]. Sabi naman ni Renz na ‘Oo, Papa. Hindi na.' So mayroon din siyang mga bilin sa kanya na alam niya na hindi makakabuti sa mga bata later on."

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Lorna, however, expressed her worries for her kids.

"Kahit papaano, e, mabubuti naman mga anak namin. Madali naman silang makinig. Yun lang, na ikinakatakot ko yung papaano din sila lalakas. Tahimik mga anak ko at hindi mo naman malalaman yung sakit na nararamdaman nila. Sana magamit nila yung sakit na yun na mapabuti lalo sila. Hindi maging outcome, e, pagrerebelde."

What is her message to her kids?

"Huwag naming itigil yung pag-uusap, yung communication namin," Lorna answered. "Sa mga nararamdaman namin. ‘Pag alam naming ang isa't isa...hindi na itinatago ang mga deep loss namin. Doon mo malalaman ang weaknesses namin."

UNEXPECTED VISIT. The joker in Rudy may prompt him to visit Lorna. As Lolit said, "Di ba, si Rudy palabiro? Baka sa mga araw na ito, dumalaw siya, magparamdam."

"Pinag-usapan namin yun, ‘Nay, eh," Lorna said. "Sinabi ko sa kanya na welcome na welcome. Pero kung hindi naman, sabi ko sa kanya, e, i-guide niya ako."

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RUDY'S SURPRISING BILIN TO LORNA. Lorna revealed that Rudy told her that it was okay with him if Lorna entertained suitors again.

"Oo naman, yun din. Isa yun sa mga bilin niya," Lorna said. "At may ibinilin din siya sa akin na may iba siyang alam na kaibigan—hindi naman kaibigan—kakilala na dapat kong iwasan."

When Lolit's eyes lit up, Lorna just laughed and by the looks of it, Lorna has no intention to reveal who exactly Rudy told her to avoid. Changing the subject, Lolit asked when Lorna would return to work.

"Gusto ko lang muna ayusin lahat ng dapat ayusin pa. Gusto niya na kunin ko yung mga magulang niya at mga kapatid niya [their remains] at sama-sama sila [sa Heritage]. Yun ang isa sa mga pakiusap niya sa akin. At ‘pag naayos din ang bahay...e, ang isa din sa plano ko, e, lumipat na muna."

MISSING DABOY ON FATHER'S DAY. Lorna said that what she misses most about Daboy was his smile.

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"Iba tumawa si Rudy," Lorna fondly said. "Iba ang ngiti niya. Yung pagiging organize din niya sa lahat ng bagay."

So, what are her plans for Father's Day?

"Dito lang kami sa Heritage," Lorna said.

What is Lorna's message to Rudy, as if he were just around?

"Yung kanyang buhay, alam ko, isa a life well-lived. Mabuti yung mga itinanim niya sa lahat ng tao kaya well-loved din siya. Yung battle na dinaanan niya, kumbaga, inspirasyon sa lahat, di ba, yung paglaban niya sa laban na yun, e, hindi niya talaga sinukuan hanggang sa huling sandali. Talagang lumaban siya nang husto. 'Tapos marami siyang ibinigay na lakas na pagkamahina kami, titingnan namin, e."

LORNA ACCEPTS BEING A WIDOW. Recently, Lorna has been wearing black instead of the usual colored prints. For her, this is a statement that she is now a widow.

"Parang ang white, e, para magaan lang for everybody and for him kasi parang ang last na gusto niya na last na suotin, eh white. But now, I feel the heaviness and it's not that light anymore. Parte yun, na ayoko tanggapin na biyuda na ako, pero yun talaga. So sige, might as well wear black."

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Was Rudy strict about his wish that his family must not mourn for him?

"Siguro naman bibigyan niya ako ng leeway," Lorna said. "Because I tried not to cry, I tried to be strong, I tried to have that courage na gusto niya. Siguro ngayon, pagbigyan niya naman ako."

LORNA SAYS HER MANY THANKS TO ALL THEIR FRIENDS. "Maraming salamat sa mga taong pumunta at nakiramay sa amin. Alam ko na maligayang-maligaya si Rudy dahil yun ang gusto niya na may makakita sa kanya. I know he's very happy and fulfilled. Yung mga kaibigan na tumulong. Nakita kasi nila na sa dinaanan namin...maraming salamat sa nagpadala ng bulaklak! Sa mga nagpadala ng pagkain...yung dapat alalahanin, e, hindi na aalahanin, so maraming salamat sa lahat!"

MOVING ON. In a separate interview, StarTalk co-host Butch Francisco asked Lorna if moving on was part of her fight against loneliness night after night after Rudy was gone.

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Lorna answered, “Pagpasok namin [sa bahay], wala akong sinabi kung hindi, ‘Papa…papa…’ Iniisip ko na he’s around and I believe that he is around.”

How about the first night? Did she spend it alone in the bedroom or was she with the kids?

“Si Ralph sa baba, si Renz sa tabi ko. 'Tapos lumipat si Ralph…salitan sila para medyo maluwag.”

However, Lorna couldn’t sleep. She revealed, “Yung tulog ko, putul-putol. Hindi siya ganun kasarap, na iba pa rin na alam mo na nandiyan lang. So tuwing babangon ako, punta ng banyo. Pagbalik ko, iiyak ako.

"'Tapos, nakakatulog naman ako ulit. Kasi, 'pag tumingin ka sa paligid mo, nandoon lahat, e. Kahit sa bagay, on every corner ng house, nandoon siya [Rudy]. Everything na makita mo, nandoon siya. Alam mo yun, marami kaming ginawa talaga na bagay na halos lahat nandodoon sa loob ng kuwarto.”

Did she at any point felt Rudy’s spiritual presence?

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“Wala pa,” Lorna said. “Except that alam ko na nararamdaman ko na nandiyan siya. He’s just there, looking at us, guiding us.”

Well if ever Rudy decides to “visit," would Lorna welcome it?

“Pinag-usapan namin yun. Anytime. Huwag lang niya ako bibiglain, ha!” Lorna laughed. Then she added, “Mamaya tumalbog puso ko!"

SUITORS. Butch related how former President Joseph Estrada told Lorna that she shouldn’t marry immediately. How’s Lorna taking this?

Lorna laughingly answered, “Lahat naman sila, e, parang ‘O, ha. Hindi puwede!’ Ang dami nilang [suitors] dadaanan! Kawawa nga, e. Hinde ko naman iniisip yun.

Then Lorna quipped, “So, sorry na lang kung meron pero wala din sa isip ko kung sino man ang naghahangad, sana hopefully, well…” It was all meant as a joke, but still, Lorna looked up, smiled and apologetically said, “Sorry, Papa! Joke!”

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Rudy Fernandez gave his widow Lorna the option to entertain suitors and remarry. But they would have to pass through "the eye of a needle," that is, the approval of Rudy's friends who're all telling her now, "Hindi puwede!"
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