On Instagram, Mari wrote about how Filipinos are the most loving and welcoming people she’s met since arriving here five years ago. “My dream is for the same kind of love, compassion, and understanding to be shown to the LGBTQIA+ community. We still have a long way to go to reach acceptance and equality, especially here in the Philippines,” she said. “My dream is to live in a world where I feel safe walking down the street holding my girlfriend’s hand. A world where I have the same fundamental human rights that I would be entitled to if I were in a straight, heteronormative relationship.”
You’ll then see photos where Samantha is tagged, including one where they’re wrapped in a Pride flag and holding hands. Samantha also posted the same photo on her Instagram account.
This is the first time Mari has opened up about her relationship with the director. She previously dated singer-actor Sam Milby and reportedly broke up last year. He confirmed the breakup just last March.
Mari also ended her post with this encouraging advice for the LGBTQ+ community and those who are still figuring it out: “[You] are wonderful, worthy and loved. Don’t let any person or any institution let you think otherwise. I stand by you and I will fight with you forever!”