Lorna Tolentino relates her solemn and funny experiences in the Holy Land

Before going to the Holy Land, Lorna Tolentinoand her sons did some research together on the places they were going to visit.For Lorna, what's important was the bonding time that she had with her sons.



Lorna Tolentino recently arrived fromthe Holy Land to talk about her two-week stay spiritual journey with sons RenzMarion and Ralph. Yesterday on Startalk,Lorna had a heart to heart talk with her friends and Startalk hostsJoey de Leon, Lolit Solis, and Butch Francisco.

After the "Welcome back" greetings andthe usual Joey de Leon humor ("Lolit, lumayo ka kay Lorna, baka matunaw ka!Holy ‘yan!"), they discussed Lorna's trip, particularly her first visit tothe Church of Ascencion.

"Yung first na first na church napinuntahan namin," Lorna began, "e, yung Church of Ascencion. Yun yung churchng mga widows. Noong nalaman ko ‘yon, medyo lumihis ako ng landas sa dapat napupuntahan pa. Nandoon kasi sila sa ibaba ng church, ‘tapos mayroon pa silangmisa na parang magpe-pray muna sila, e, ako hindi na. Dumiretso na ako doon sachurch. Nagdasal ako kasi sobrang simple lang nung simbahan. And, noong nasaharap ako noong altar, lumuhod ako at sinabi ko na, ‘Babe, [Rudy] paramdam kanaman sa akin.' Noong sinabi ko yun, e, naramdaman ko talaga. Parang lahat ngbalahibo mo, tatayo ‘tapos parang yung puso ko kalmado pero alam ko na maysakit. So, sabi ko, nandito siya. And I prayed to God diretso na and to him aswell."

"So, senyales iyon na Rudy's in a betterplace?" Butch asked.

"Sigurado ako doon," Lorna answered. "Actually,yun ang consolation na, if you lose someone, siguro alam mo na talagang he's ina better place. He's safely home, the real home."

What did Lorna realize after her church visit?

"Marami, kasi it's not only a healingprocess," Lorna said. "It's an encounter with Jesus, with Mother Mary, with allthe saints, di ba? Yung lahat ng pinagdaanan ni Hesus para iligtas tayo,mapagdaanan mo din."

After all her experiences in the HolyLand, did her pain lessen?

"Kahit papaano, e, oo naman," Lornasaid. "Nakakapag-pictorial na ako sa Forever Flawless and Good Housekeeping andMy PLDT DSL. Unti-unti, e, I'm moving on. 'Pag may free time, e, inaasikaso kopa rin ang dapat asikasuhin for him."

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ORIGINALPLANS. Lorna's trip to the Holy Land wasactually planned way back when Rudy first had his operation. Thetrip would originally be composed of Rudy and his friends, Sen. BongRevilla, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and their wives Lani Mercado and Precy Vitug,respectively.

"Hindi lang natuloy yun," Lorna added. "Sonung nabanggit nga sa akin ni Pinky Tobiano na may pilgrimage, e, sabi ko naituloy nga ang planong iyon. We might as well join and then think, assess ourlives, and pause and do a spiritual healing."

Did it help?

"Oh, yes. Hindi lang spiritual, patiphysical ko. Kasi nag-MRI [magnetic resonance imaging, a more high-tech version of X-ray] ako bago ako umalis dahil mayroon nga akongheadaches. Makikita mo doon sa first MRI ko, parang yung veins ko sa ulo, e,mayroon siyang beads at humps. Nagkakabukol ako sa ulo, e, akala ko nga,nagkakaroon na ako ng sungay, e. Nitong second MRI ko noong 27th [afterthe trip], paglabas ko, sabi ng doctor, e, ‘Well, it's your trip to the HolyLand. Smooth na smooth, straight na straight lahat ng veins mo.'"

After her experiences inthat trip, what's the best advice Lorna could give to all people going throughsimilar situations?

"Wala ka naman hahawakan na iba pakundi ang pinakamalakas na mag-heal—through your sorrow—is only God. I feelna the encounter with God here sa Holy Land ay isang malaking-malaking bagay."

FUNNY INCIDENTS. Lorna's trip was not without moments of fun. She shared some anecdotes; like one time, Renz, who was tired from all the walking, joked, "Ma, puwede naman tayong mag-healing sa Maynila. Bakit dito pa tayo nag-healing."

Joey also told everyonea rumor about Lorna being approached by an Arab. The Arab was goingto give Lorna 100 camels in exchange for her love.

"Pero," Joey added, "ang sabat daw nganak niyang si Renz ay papayag siya 'pag 1,000 camels."

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"Hindi naman siya pumayag," Lorna corrected. "Sabi niya, 1000 camels, kumbaga bargaining sila, likeyung Arab, sinabihan niya, ‘No, no. make it 1,500 camels-2,000 camels and agasoline station!' May ganoon pa, e! Hindi naman yun ang first.

"Siguro, they'renot used na malalambing ang mga bata, di ba? Lalo na boys with their moms.Minsan si Ralph at Renz pinagkakamalan na boyfriend ko. Yung first nun, saEgypt, e, sinabihan ako ng ‘My Queen'.

"Sumunod naman sa Aman, naghahanap ako ngheart locket. Sabi ko, ‘I need a heart locket.' Sabi noong merchant, ‘I cangive you my heart.'

Yung pangatlo na yung Arab. Sabi niya [referring to Renz], ‘Ishe your boyfriend?' Sabi ko hindi, he's my son. So lumapit siya kay Renz at sabina ‘I give you 100 camels for your mom.'"

"Hindi naman inumbag ni Renz?" Butchasked.

"1,000 camels daw," Lorna laughed.


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