Entertainment

Cuban Talk Show Host Cristina Saralegui’s Impressive Career Changed The Game For Latinos On Television

If you’re Cuban, or from Miami, you know who Cristina Saralegui is. Your mother would be in the kitchen and make you parrot everything she said on El show de Cristina from the living room. She’s the hetero Ellen Degeneres of Spanish language television, and we haven’t seen her on the TV in almost ten years.

Her show covered controversial topics for its time, including domestic violence, sex abuse and actually covering the AIDS epidemic when no research was being conducted. Let us tell you how she got her start and what she’s up to now.

Cristina Maria Saralegui is an Aquarius.

@DiarioLaPrensa1 / Twitter

Those airy signs can talk with anyone about anything, which is why she could joke around with the likes of Selena, Shakira, Celia Cruz, and so many other superstars. Saralegui was born on January 29, 1948, which means in her early seventies these days.

Saralegui was born in Miramar, Havana, Cuba.

@el_sintweets / Twitter

She’s of Spanish descent from all four grandparents. Cristina has classic oldest sibling vibes, and she’s earned it. She has two younger sisters and two younger brothers.

Her family fled Cuba during the Cuban Revolution in 1960.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She was only 12 years old when her parents, Francisco Rene Saralegui, Jr. and Cristina Santamarina, settled down in Key Biscayne.

She graduated fromthe University of Miami.

@CeliaCruzLegacy1 / Twitter

Go ‘Canes! Cristina grew up very Catholic and attended Catholic school all the way until college. After graduating from the Academy of the Assumption in Class of 1966, she was off to Miami proper.

Within 6 years of starting an internship at Vanidades, she was editor of Cosmo.

@peopleenespanol / Twitter

That’s right. She’s said that the internship helped improve her written Spanish. Makes sense that if you suddenly start learning English grammar at age 12, that you’d miss some Spanish lessons. She spent a decade as editor of the Spanish version of Cosmopolitan.

It was in 1989 that she launched her own television show.

@katbeee / Twitter

El show de Cristina was her first shot at television journalism and Univisión was all on board. The show has received 11 Emmy Awards.

The first time Cristina met Celia Cruz, she had an emotional breakdown.

@elnuevoherald / Twitter

According to Cristina’s account on El Nuevo Herald, she said, “I remember that I went to interview her at the Diplomat hotel. I started the interview, but in those days I was very sad because I had lost a pregnancy and something unusual happened to me. Suddenly I started to cry, Celia asked me what was wrong, I told her and she gave me a hug and she consoled me. So much was its human warmth that my defenses collapsed and I crossed a line that I never crossed again with anyone I have interviewed.”

Her signature thumbs up al fin del show is iconic.

@MiamiHerald / Twitter

In classic Cuban Oprah fashion, she’d end every show with this:

“Pa’lante, pa’lante, pa’tras ni pa’ coger impulso”

Which roughly means dale, let’s go, don’t slow down.

Cristina tried to do an English language show, but it was cancelled after half a season.

@sophiaacarvajal / Twitter

It went by Cristina, and she launched it three years after El show de Cristina. I guess in 1992, English speakers had Oprah and Spanish speakers had Cristina y ya.

Cristina used her fame to publish her own magazine, Cristina: La Revista.

@smithsonian / Twitter

She’s also two books in multiple languages, one of which is called “My Life as a Blonde.” Haven’t read it yet, but I’m curious to hear the hardships la rubia life has that could even compete with the hairy morena life.

Cristina’s magazine and career has been lauded by GLAAD for its LGBTQ inclusivity.

@PH_Film / Twitter

In 1997, GLAAD awarded her the Media Vanguard Award, which was followed up 16 years later with the Media Award for Outstanding Magazine. Cristina and her husband have also founded the Arriba La Vida Foundation to promote AIDS awareness and education in the Latinx community.

She was part of the 1999 Class of the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She got her star on November 4, 1999, and its well-deserved. From running Cosmo to launching her own television show, magazine, furniture and beauty product lines, Cristina has dominated every industry she’s touched.

Her first ever political endorsement was for Barack Obama’s second run.

@OBAMA4ME / Twitter

She spoke at a rally in Miami, FL, and the crowd went nuts for her. Obviously, her presence worked because we got Obama for another term.

Her brother, Iñaki died in 2017.

@El_Universal_Mx1 / Twitter

He spent 5 months in the hospital after a liver transplant and died from complications.

Caption: “Hermano siempre estarás en mi corazon y en el de toda nuestra familia. Te amo. ????”

Since retiring from television, she’s always posting about her beloved animals.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Like every abuelita in Miami, she loves her cockateels. And her bull dogs. And her Koi.

Caption: “Miren quien se escapó de su jaula. Fígaro se admira en el espejo del comedor. ????????”

No really, she even competes in Koi competition shows.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Only in Florida can you find the Central Florida Koi show. Cristina and her husband, Marco Avila, former member of the Miami Sound Machine, are very passionate about Koi.

And she has won.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Caption: “Felicidades mi amor por ganarte otro campeonato con tus Koi.Central Florida Koi Show. ????????????”

From the looks of the caption, the Saralegui family regularly wins the competition.

Saralegui is an avid orchid gardener.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She grows a variety of species in her garden and you know how I know that? She’s constantly posting photos of potted and planted orchids. It’s kind of a Miami thing.

Saralegui has a son, Jon Marcos, with Avila.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

The two have been married since 1982, and Cristina also has a daughter with her first husband, Tony Menendez. Today, Cristina has grandkids to spoil rotten, gladly.

Saralegui is an outspoken feminist.

@cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

It all started when her father would only pay for her brother’s education growing up. She’s said that was the moment she decided she couldn’t rely on any man for income.

In 1998, before Beyoncé pulled ‘feminist’ from a list of dirty words, Cristina told the Los Angeles Times, “I’m not afraid to say that I’m a very intelligent woman. [Latinas] cannot say that they’re intelligent. They can be beautiful, but they cannot be intelligent. And they cannot brag about it and say, ‘Yes, damn, I am smart and I am a woman.'”

After her show ended in 2011, annual rumors of her death crop up. She alive.

@briannnaesther / Twitter

In 2015, she told the Miami Herald, “I don’t on plan dying for a while yet. But I’ll let you know. You all will be invited to the funeral.”

Yup. Cristina Saralegui 2020 is alive and well, and you can catch her on her 24/7 Sirius XM talk show.


READ: Rare Celia Cruz Photos Are Adding Sazón To The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Entertainment

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Dwayne Johnson, agreeably one of the most “masculine” presenting people in the world, recently revealed that people weren’t always so quick to assume he was so. In an interview on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist,” that took place earlier this week the American actor and former professional wrestler revealed that when he was a child, people often assumed he was a girl. 

Speaking about his experience with presumed gender identity, The Rock revealed that people often thought he was girl because of his “soft features.”

“I would say between the ages of 7 and 11, people thought that I was a little girl because I had really soft features and I had really soft Afro hair,” he explained in his interview with Willie Geist.

The actor even went so far as to share a time in his life as a fifth-grader who was riding on a school bus.

“I sit down next to a kid, and within 60 seconds, he goes, ‘Can I ask you something?'” The Rock recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?'”

Drawing on this time in his life, Johnson revealed that likely this also chalks up to his frequent moves as a child.

During his childhood, Johnson’s father Rocky Johnson was a professional wrestler who often moved his family around. According to John, he attended thirteen different schools by the time he was in high school.

“I have had a Forrest Gump-ian childhood growing up,” Johnson explained in his interview. “Wrestling in the ’80s and in the ’70s was way different than it is today. A lot of the times, including my father, the wrestlers would live paycheck to paycheck.”

The former wrestler reflection on earlier days coincides with the recent premiere of the hit NBC sitcom “Young Rock” a new series based on his life.

Fans of Johnson will be glad to know that he also stars in the series.

He is also portrayed by three different actors Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant and Uli Latukefu.

“Growing up, and you know we specifically went with these timelines in my life that were very defining times at 10 years old, 15 and 18 … there’s a lot of things in between those years that took place … but it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated — that was fueled by tough love,” he explained during NBC’s TCA press tour in an interview about the series.

He went onto share that his father “was kicked out of his house at 13 and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me… And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old, also lived in New Zealand.”

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The Croquettes In Cuba Are Literally Exploding In People’s Faces

Culture

The Croquettes In Cuba Are Literally Exploding In People’s Faces

It’s the case of the exploding croquettes.

We’ve all been at least halfway there. So eager to get our hands on a freshly fried croquette whose smell of jamón is just too tasty to pass up. We get a little too eager and then a little burned. But in the case of dozens of Cubans on the little island, circumstances are much more sinister. Cubans have complained about experiencing severe burns from croquettes for months. Photos posted to social media sites show people with severe burns all of their faces, on their eyes, hands, and torsos.

Cubans are pointing their fingers at Prodal, a state company based in Havana saying they’re the ones to blame.

In a recent report by NBC, the exploding croquettes are being described as “tragicomedy” of strange proportions on the Caribbean island that “imports 60 percent to 70 percent of its food, according to official figures, because national production can’t meet the needs of its 11 million inhabitants.”

Prodal is a state company based in Havana that is being blamed for the incidents which have been cited on social media. In response, the company posted instructions on how to fry the croquettes to avoid “violent” incidents on Twitter.

According to NBC, Prodal produced 20,000 tons of food last year, which was largely made up of sausages and croquettes. The products are sold in government stores. 

Cuba’s Ministry of Domestic Trade told NBC that it has yet to investigate the complaints, saying the complaints “must be presented formally,” not through social media.

“We are investigating an incident with croquettes, but not with those of that company,” an official told NBC.

The bizarre incidents highlight how little guarantee Cubans have of the quality of the food that they purchase from government establishments. It also underlines the little efforts the government does to ensure citizens are compensated for buying food that is defective.

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