Pride month might have already passed, but its celebratory spirit goes beyond the month of June. Case in point: veteran actress Gina Pareño’s coming out earlier this week.
Gina Pareño’s interview
In an interview with Ogie Diaz on Youtube, the veteran actress was asked if she was ready to come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Her answer was a simple “Oo, bakit? May problema ba?”
“At saka nagmamahal ako ng tapat,” she added before talking about her history with Nenita “Doktora Bong” Vidal, a Filipina actress who was popular in the 1950s.
Pareño also recounted how they met: “Napapanood pala niya ako, gusto na niya yung arte ko. Naging close ako sa kanya.”
Vidal served as a mentor of sorts to Pareño, as well as a strong pillar of support during a dark time in Pareño’s life when she was struggling with drug addiction. “Tinuruan niya ko kung paano kumilos, lahat,” Pareño said. “Mahal na mahal ako nun.”
Even after Vidal passed, Pareño used to bring the urn containing the late actress’ remains everywhere, because Vidal was her “lucky charm.” “Hindi naman sa ayaw kong i-let go. Kaya lang ang dami kong utang na loob dun.”
Pareño later clarified that she’s not familiar with the correct terms in the LGBTQ+ community, so she doesn’t exactly identify as part of the community. “Kapag ang puso ko ang tumibok, hindi importante sa akin kung member ka ng LGBTQ o kung anuman ang term na hindi naman ako pamilyar,” she said.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Filipino ver.)
did we… just get seven husbands of evelyn hugoed by gina pareño and nenita vidal?
Vidal starting out in the 1950’s and Pareño in the 1960’s. Pareño used to bring Vidal’s urn to set because Vidal was her lucky charm???
— alec #RenewFirstKill (@alecisanxious) July 19, 2022
After the interview was released, netizens couldn’t help but compare Pareño’s story with romance fiction The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
The popular 2017 romance novel written by Taylor Jenkins Reid tells the story of the popular yet reclusive movie icon Evelyn Hugo, who has lived a glamorous yet scandalous public life. Behind her seven marriages is a heartbreaking love story with fellow actress Celia St. James. The book was confirmed to be adapted to screen early this year.
Like Pareño, Evelyn only revealed her relationship with her fellow actress to the public in her later years. Evelyn also built a family while still holding a torch for Celia. These parallelisms had fans of the book going crazy after Pareño’s interview was published.