“Let’s not ruin my good working relationships with executives of other networks because of this rumor,” said actress Lorna Tolentino as she denied transferring to GMA 7 from TV5 allegedly because of the latter’s struggle with poor ratings.
“It’s not true. The bosses in all of the three networks (including ABS-CBN) are my friends. This is not about viewership or the ratings game. There’s a deeper reason behind it,” Tolentino told the Philippine Daily Inquirer shortly after she signed a two-year contract with the Kapuso network last week.
Present were Tolentino’s talent manager Lolit Solis, GMA president and COO Gilberto R. Duavit Jr., network chair and CEO Felipe L. Gozon and Entertainment TV vice president Lilybeth G. Rasonable.
“I’m saddened by this rumor,” the actress said. “The truth is that GMA 7 offered work to me at a time when TV5 was still planning its programming.”
“TV5 agreed to let me go. We laid down all the cards on the table. We were very truthful,” pointed out Tolentino, who will still be seen on TV5 programs “Artista Academy” and “Third Eye” until this month.
Lorna was supposed to be a cast member of the drama series “Haram,” which GMA 7 decided to shelve because it contained “sensitive” topics. The show discusses love and courtship between a Christian soldier (Dingdong Dantes) and a young Muslim woman (Kylie Padilla). Tolentino will play Padilla’s mother.
Tolentino said she was saddened by the network’s decision to discontinue the show but understood why it had do so.
“It would have been a good material, a modern and interesting way to learn about Filipino culture and religion. I had imagined it to be educational. It could tell the youth about what’s really happening to our countrymen in the south,” she said.
Tolentino added her bosses had promised her another project that was equally interesting.
Meanwhile, Tolentino said her son, Raphael, is currently in the process of preserving the films of his father, the late action star Rudy Fernandez, and converting them to HD format.
She said: “Rap (her son’s nickname) now has in his possession copies of 15 titles. He said some reels in the 35mm format got damaged. He is working with a film lab to salvage them. He realized that this was not an easy task.”
Tolentino also related how excited she was to be a grandmother to Lyla Victoria, Rap’s daughter with girlfriend Leana.
She said: “It’s a different feeling. It’s like I’ve become a young mom all over again. Tori (her grandchild’s nickname) looks so much like her dad and lolo (grandfather).”
Tolentino added that it was during these times when she’d miss Rudy the most. “I know that he’s just around, guiding us. To cope with loneliness, I talk to him sometimes. I say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello.’ I ask him to guide me in all my decisions. This helps lessen the grief.”
She said she had no interest in finding a new love. “My children will not approve of this. I feel as if I’m already too old to date again. I just focus on taking care of myself, making sure I’m healthy, especially since I still have my children and Tori to take care of,” she pointed out.
Tolentino recently flew to Germany for a four-day stem cell treatment. “So far so good. My back pains are now more bearable. I’m trying to fix my hormonal imbalance as a result of menopause,” the 50-year-old actress reported.
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