Gina Pareno, who began her acting career in the 1960s, casually came out during a YouTube interview with comedian Ogie Diaz.
When questioned on her sexuality, the 72-year-old replied, “Yes [I am an LGBTQ+ member] – why, is there a problem?”
She went on to talk about her love for the late Filipina actor Nenita Vidal, who was a star in the 50s for films such as Puppy Love (1956).
Affectionately referring to Vidal as “Doctor Bong”, Pareno said: “She loved me so much. She watched my projects, she really liked my acting and I grew close to her.”
The pair were so close that after Vidal died her home was entrusted to Pareno, who also started to carry her urn around as a lucky charm.
“It’s not like I don’t want to let go. It’s just that I owe her a lot,” the actor reflected, saying she was done with love for now.
Pareno also opened up about how Vidal supported her during her drug addiction.
The legendary actress rose to fame with films like Mama (1968), becoming the first actor from the Philippines to win an acting prize at the Asian Film Awards in 2009.
Throughout her career she has kept her romantic life private, although it’s known she has a daughter and grandchildren.
In the first lockdown, Pareno joined TikTok, where she documented her life and quickly became a viral sensation.
She started it as a way to stay connected to her profession, but has said she hopes to appear on bigger screens once more.
She most recently appeared in the GMA series Lolong.