There’s no right or wrong age to come out, as Gina Pareño proves. The veteran actress confirmed that she’s a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in an interview with Ogie Diaz on his YouTube channel released on July 18.
Pareño was quick to answer Diaz when he asked the question, “Kaya mo bang aminin na miyembro ka ng LGBTQ?” Without apprehension and with a laugh, she proudly replied, “Oo, bakit? [May] problema? Saka nagmamahal ako nang tapat.”
The conversation led to Pareño’s coming out after Diaz brought up the time he saw her carrying an urn containing the ashes of the late actress Nenita Vidal, which she often brings on set. Pareño admitted that she still feels indebted to Vidal, whom she affectionately calls Doktora Bong. “Nasa kwarto ko pa rin ’yung urn niya… Ang dami kong utang na loob doon, saka mabait sa akin. Tinuturuan ako, ine-educate niya ako,” she told Diaz.
Pareño also recounted how she and Vidal grew close back when they were still young actresses and why she values her until today. “Tinuruan niya ako kung paano kumilos, lahat. Ibinigay niya sa akin ’yung naiwan niyang bahay. Saka alam kong mahal na mahal ako no’n,” Pareño said.
“Grabe yung pagmamahal mo dahil sinabi mo sakin, ‘Nako, Ogie, mawala na ang lahat ng ito sa akin, maibalik lang sa akin si Doktora Bong,’” said Diaz. “Sinara mo na ’yung puso mo sa pag-ibig?”
“Ay, wala na. Pack up na ako diyan,” Pareño cheekily answered. She added that being an actress taught her to have a better appreciation for others. “Dapat nasa puso mo, mahalin mo ’yung mga taong itinataguyod ka, nagmamahal sa ’yo. Dapat maging thankful tayo sa kanila.”
By the end of the video, Pareño also admitted how much she misses acting and how she’d love to get offered roles again. She thanked all her fans who continue to support her on TikToks where she tries to quench her thirst to be in front of the camera once more. Starting her career in the ’60s at Sampaguita Pictures, the veteran actress’s decade-spanning body of work includes internationally recognized performances in films such as “Kubrador” and “Serbis.”