Entertainment

Let’s Take A Moment To Honor The Life And Legacy Of Walter Mercado Who Guides Us Through Life

Raise your hand if your mami y abuela would listen in to Walter Mercado’s every word to start their year and dictate your life accordingly. If you’ve ever been a victim of Mercado’s astrological predictions, then you’ve also been benefited from the pleasure of growing up with the Puerto Rican icon in your living room.

No doubt there have been days that your mom also gave you money because Mercado said you would have good fortune that day. Walter Mercado has shaped all our lives in one way or another. Here’s how his life was shaped:

Walter Mercado Salinas was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @BubbleTEar1 / Twitter

His mom, Aída Salinas was actually from Catalonia, Spain, but his father, José María Mercado was from San Germán, Puerto Rico. Mercado found fame in Puerto Rico and has never relocated.

Mercado is a Pisces.

CREDIT: @SoccerCooligans / Twitter

According to every astrological expert in training I know, Pisces is the most psychic sign. Mercado was born on March 9, 1932.

He’s 86 years old.

CREDIT: @cyberguurl / Twitter

That’s right. You’re looking at the fresh face of an 86-year-old. Now, whether or not he had help keeping that facil structure is the ultimate mystery.

Walter first worked as an actor in Puerto Rican telenovelas.

CREDIT: @JuhemNR / Twitter

He was in Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance). He’s since established a dramatic arts school called Walter Actors Studio 64.

Did Mercado have a spiritual awakening?

CREDIT: @ThisIsHans / Twitter

Hmmm… we don’t know but we do know how he got his reputation for spiritual powers. The story goes that Mercado just happened to be at a Telemundo set when a scheduled artist didn’t show up.

Mercado was asked to fill the 15-minute slot making predictions wearing fancy robes.

CREDIT: @Carrasquillo / Twitter

And from that, an icon was born. Mercado was invited to become a regular in making predictions. Talk about a lucky break.

Eventually, that led to his own show on WKAQ-TV.

CREDIT: @periodicovzlano / Twitter

He spent time formally studying astrology, taro, and occult sciences. Listen, I don’t care how he got started, Mercado ain’t no fake.

His show was on the air for decades in the U.S. and Latin America.

CREDIT: @MiamiHerald / Twitter

He was awarded Mr. Televisión by the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York and the Señor Televisión title at the 1972 Festival de Codazos in the Dominican Republic for his work. It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen the aging astrologer dress up in full regalia on the daily.

Today, Mercado draws a card for each zodiac sign and posts his predictions on Facebook.

CREDIT: @REMEZCLA / Twitter

For real, the guy is very active on Facebook these days, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. We all need Walter Mercado in our lives and we are grateful that he is at least on Facebook.

He also had one of the best selling app on iOS and Android.

CREDIT: @GhhostCudii / Twitter

In less than two months after releasing the apps, they were ranked #2 in Mexico and #144th in the United States. It’s no longer available, probably because the 86-year-old is just enjoying his life at this point.

He majored in psychology and pharmacy in college.

CREDIT: @gaybonez / Twitter

He also majored in pedagogy, so he’s learned how to teach others, learned his way around the human mind, and how to use medicinal plants to cure people’s ailments.

Mercado grew up studying classical ballet.

CREDIT: @periodicovzlano / Twitter

Where does he get his beauty and grace from? The elegance of ballet, claro. Apparently, he was the dancing partner of comedian Velda González.

In 2010, he changed his name to Shanti Ananda.

CREDIT: Swami Shanti Ananda / YouTube

That’s Sanskrit for “peace happiness.” The story goes that a “being of light” came to him and revealed to him his “authentic mystic name.”

He had taken a vow of celibacy for years.

CREDIT: @Gl_Betty / Twitter

“I made a vow of celibacy until a woman came to awaken the energy of love in me and that is Mariette,” Mercado told Crónica back in 2004. We don’t know his relationship status right now.

A couple of years ago, he was part of this raro Doritos ad.

CREDIT: UFO vortex / YouTube

It starts out with Mercado eyeing a gold spacesuit, eating a Dorito, and then magically appearing in space. Where’s he headed? Uranus. Three chips in, his face is plastered in the stars looking down on a couple making out in their car. This is Mercado’s future and it makes perfect sense to me.

In 2012, he was flown to a clinic in Cleveland, Ohio for cardiac surgery.

CREDIT: @Vladodabachian / Twitter

He told El Nuevo Día, “I was dead, I come from the grave, I come from the snows, from the whirlwind that passed through me. They did not understand what happened because I do not smoke or drink alcohol, so it was a miracle.”

He’s always been able to levitate outside his body since childhood.

CREDIT: @periodicovzlano / Twitter

After his heart attack, he told El Nuevo Día, “The heart was almost paralyzed, it happened and I was up, radiant with unified light with God. I listened to people talking, they said that I was so serious, so bad that I would not recover and I kept fighting against that negativity.”

He’s sold most of his sumptuous capes at auctions.

CREDIT: @lareinanegraa / Twitter

He’s said he feels different after the heart attack. He wants to work with Puerto Rican youth and wants to establish the Shanti Ananda foundation. He also wants to donate three of his incredible capes to a museum.

Mercado predicted that Trump would initiate the apocalypse.

CREDIT: @REMEZCLA / Twitter

Fortunately the world is still moving forward but many would argue that his vision has come true considering the state of our government and their treatment of migrants at the border.

Mercado is available for your call, mija.

CREDIT: @peqempresas / Twitter

No need to worry about what 2019 has in store for you. Head to waltermercado.com and request a reading. Better yet, buy your Mami a reading for her birthday or Christmas.

TBH, we’re all a little nervous to hear what Mercado has predicted for this year.

CREDIT: @31415inthesky / Twitter

Because Mercado is always right (except for those 700 times he predicted an earthquake the next day). We grew up looking to Mercado to know how our day was going to be, and we can’t imagine life without his apocalyptic predictions. They’re on point.


READ: This Doritos Commercial With Walter Mercado Is The Most Fabulous Thing You’ll Ever See

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Walter Mercado Was An Iconic Astrologer And A Gender Nonconforming Legend And Now There’s A Documentary About Him Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

Walter Mercado Was An Iconic Astrologer And A Gender Nonconforming Legend And Now There’s A Documentary About Him Coming To Netflix

Waltermercadotv/ Instagram

Walter Mercado was a source of wisdom. His horoscopes eased many Latinxs into New Years, months and days full of new possibilities and opportunities. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter was a celebrated daily part of Latino culture—until last November, when he sadly passed away. But his legacy lives on, and this year, he’s getting his own Netflix documentary. Here’s everything we know so far about “Mucho Mucho Amor.”

Late television personality and astrologer Walter Mercado is the subject of a Netflix documentary.

Extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world for over 30 years with his televised horoscopes. And this summer, a the feature-length documentary based on the life and work of the iconic astrologer, “Mucho Mucho Amor” will stream on Netflix. And it’s scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film was selected to premiere at the 2020 Sundance Festival.

The independent-film festival announced its lineup earlier this month, and Miami is well represented among the 118 films selected. Although Mucho Mucho Amor might seem timely in light of the astrologer’s passing in November, Tabsch and his codirector and coproducer — Cristina Constantini and Alex Fumero — have been working on it for more than two years.

The film explores Walter’s complex story.

“Mucho Mucho Amor”, follows Mercado’s story, from the rural sugarcane fields of Puerto Rico to international astrology superstardom, rising above homophobia and the heteronormative beliefs of the Latino society with a message of love and hope. “If you think about the way he came on television, starting from 50 years ago,” said one of the film’s directors, Kareem Tabsch in an interview with WLRN, “he blended gender expressions — the masculine with the feminine on Latino television, which is very macho-centric.”

The film was directed by two Latinx co-directors.

Kareem Tabsch and Cristina Costantini (Science Fair, Festival Favorite Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival) both set out to create “Mucho Mucho Amor” as a love letter to Walter Mercado.  “He was uniquely his own. In a very macho Latino culture, he presented his nonbinary gender expression, and it was so brave,” Tabsch said to Miami New Times.

“Mucho Mucho Amor” unpicks how Walter Mercado became an icon of gender-fluidity for an entire generation.

The filmmakers, who grew up watching him with their abuelitos, craft a film with levity and a playful spirit. Light-years ahead of his time, Walter has become a nostalgic cult icon of self-expression and positivity for the gender-fluid youth of today.

And indeed, Walter Mercado induces millennial Latinos into deep nostalgia.

For Latino audiences, Mercado also represents a form of warm nostalgia. “You think of Walter today, and so many of us think of our abuelitas,” the Cuban-American filmmaker says in an interview with Miami New Times. “The memory takes us back to childhood. It takes us back to sitting with our grandparents. In making this film, we realized that was a universal experience [for Latinos].”

The director also spoke about the significance of premiering their film at Sundance.

The fact that an international film festival of Sundance’s prominence has recognized a film such as Mucho Mucho Amor is an important win for not only Tabsch and his team but also Latino culture. “It’s a huge recognition not just for Miami film, but for film created by, for, and about Latinos,” Tabsch says. “We’re telling our own stories.”

The film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24 and runs through January 31. It will be available on Netflix this summer.

Your One And Only Source Into Manhattan’s Elite Is Coming Back—And This Time The Show Will Feature Non-White Leads

Entertainment

Your One And Only Source Into Manhattan’s Elite Is Coming Back—And This Time The Show Will Feature Non-White Leads

CW

Hello Upper East siders, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite is coming back. The early 2010s series based around a group of filthy rich, super privileged —and mostly white— teenagers is the latest victim of the reboot contagion. We hear that the brand new reimagining of the show, will feature more people of color, as well as queer content —and hopefully…there will be no disappointing finale like last time.

Manhattan’s scandalous elite is back at it with the drama and intrigue.

Twitter @princess_mo

The group of privileged teens living on the Upper East Side of New York who couldn’t hide any secrets from the ruthless and anonymous blogger ‘Gossip Girl’ is coming back! —If you were a teen at the time, you probably already know what I’m talking about. Gossip Girl marked an entire generation of fashion-obsessed teens —Serena’s bouncy blonde hair and Blaire’s signature headbands were all over Tumblr and Pinterest, they were ‘friendship goals’ before the term was even invented.

During Vulture Festival last week, Joshua Safran, the producer and writer behind the revival series, revealed that the reboot will be a lot more diverse and that all the leads will be nonwhite.

Twitter @HBOMaxNews

““There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show. I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl,” Safran said. “So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that. The thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist.”

Safran was unable to share more about the twist, but it has been confirmed that the reboot is set to take place at Constance Billard School. 

twitter @glamdommagazine

The show creators are taking us back to the halls of Constance Billard (!!!) and we can’t wait to find out who will be Queen B this time around. Who are the queen’s minions? Will we still see them sitting on the stairs of the MET?

For the new series, Safran wants to delve deeper into the current relationship that teens have with social media and how it affects them. 

HBO Max reports that the reboot “will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years. “I’m just also interested in high school juniors having a million Twitter and Instagram followers, you know? What is that like? Which was not at all possible the first time around? I just feel like there’s so much to look at,” Safran explained. He also shared that there is a possibility that the original cast might return due to the fact that the show is set at the same school. And we cannot wait to find out what Blair and Serena have been up to.

Although many details are being kept secret, one major piece of news has finally been confirmed. 

According to TV Line, Kristen Bell will be returning to reprise her role as the series’ iconic narrator. “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,” said Josh Schwartz, one of the creators of the show, during a summer press tour. 

Hopefully, this time around, the grand finale doesn’t turn out to be a disappointing one.

twitter @jesskalynch

And though it’s been seven years since the identity of Gossip Girl was revealed in the 2012 series finale —yes, I’m keeping count— fans are still shaken to their core by the revelation that (spoiler alert!) Dan Humphrey was behind the blog all along. The announcement of the reboot sparks a little beacon of joy in my heart, in hopes that this time, the show will be more inclusive, diverse and that it won’t mess up the ending for us all yet again.

An official premiere date for the new HBO Max version of Gossip Girl is yet to be announced, so stay tuned while we wait for more details to surface. Xoxo, GG.