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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Entertainment

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Walter Mercado was to the Spanish-speaking world, what Miss Cleo was to the English-speaking one. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, the legendary Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer captivated the Latin world with his glamorous style, gender-nonconforming persona, and warmhearted cosmic readings. Now, he is poised to reach a new level of fandom with a lovingly crafted documentary about his life and career

Our stars dimmed when we lost the great Walter Mercado last year, but with a new Netflix documentary, we get one more glimpse into the man’s flamboyant life.

It’s finally here: the first trailer for Netflix’s Mucho Mucho Amor.

Each and every day more than 120 million viewers tuned in to watch the extravagant, flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming artists charm the world with televised horoscopes. He enthralled his viewers with sequined capes, opulent jewelry, and shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared.

If you’re like countless tías out there, you’ve been wondering about him ever since. That’s where Mucho, Mucho Amor comes in.

Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch spent the last two years of Mercado’s life documenting this icons legacy – when he grabbed with the struggles of aging.

The film also drops hints about Mercado’s financial issues and his hiatus from public life. But it also features magnificent footage from his unforgettable entrance at the opening party for HistoryMiami’s 2019 exhibit “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.”

It’s an over-the-top moment that celebrates how many in Miami viewed him as royalty as they eagerly awaited his recommended New Year’s Eve rituals each year (customized for each Zodiac sign). It’s safe to say that Mercado captivated people’s attention, and he’ll do it once again with this documentary.

Mercado is often described as the glue that binds migrant communities from all over Latin America.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

At its peak, Mercado’s show was watched by more than 120 million viewers from around Latin America. But he was also an actor, dancer, and writer throughout his career. In fact, he starred in several Puerto Rican telenovelas, including Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance).

In 1970, he started his regular astrology segment on Puerto Rico’s variety show, El Show de las 12. His star continued to grow, and for decades, his astrology prediction shows aired in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.

“We grew up with him,” Lin-Manuel Miranda says in the trailer for Mucho Mucho Amor. “I can’t think of an English language astrologer that would command the attention of millions of households.” 

Then, Mercado mysteriously vanished from the public eye. “Maybe he didn’t want to grow old in front of the cameras,” Eugenio Derbez speculates. 

He was also an icon for the LGBTQ community, who – especially in the Latino community – needed one so badly.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Although Mercado was unapologetically sexually-ambiguous, many were still preoccupied with the man’s sexuality. He always took the questions and innuendo in stride though, responding with a joke that would get him off the hook with most. But he meant a lot to gay Latinos during an era where they feared coming out much more than today, just merely for existing.

Even though Mercado never publicly addressed his sexuality, he was an inspiration for many LGBTQ kids, including director Kareem Tabsch.

“I’m a queer kid from Miami and the first time I ever saw Walter on television, it was the first time I ever encountered another person who was queer,” Tabsch recalls.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he added: “I had a simpatico. Seeing him on TV I remember thinking, ‘Huh, there’s something in you that’s like something in me. I see a reflection of me in you, even if I’d never be nearly as fabulous.’ But there was this otherness that I recognized. I felt, ‘If my family loves you just as you are then maybe they could love me as I am too.”

Although before his death he disappeared from public life somewhat unceremoniously, his legacy lives on for millions of Latinos.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Mucho, Mucho Amor does a great job at showing the human-side of Mercado. Yes, he was a beloved television personality, for whom many, he was a literal superhero. But he was also a human, and Netflix’s new documentary will show an entirely new side of the superstar to the world.

Mucho, Mucho Amor debuts on Netflix on July 8.

Curl Up With Your Cuarentena Bae And Watch This Super Nostalgic Latino Films

Entertainment

Curl Up With Your Cuarentena Bae And Watch This Super Nostalgic Latino Films

Real Women Have Curves / HBO Films

Movies can play such an important part in our lives as we grow up – they affect us more than we think, and we remember them long into adulthood and beyond. Here are 11 amazing Latino coming-of-age films that may speak to your childhood…

1. “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012)

This 2012 Official Sundance Selection and the Official Selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival tells us about two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.

2. “Por La Libre” (2000)

Ahhh, a film about growing pains. It follows Rodrigo and Rocco as they take a journey from Mexico City to Acapulco to accomplish their grandfather’s last wish. It hits home for anyone dealing with family issues, sexuality, and fighting with someone you’re really close to; like your cousins, brothers or sisters.

3. “The Best Things In The World” (2010)

Oh goodness, the feels in this movie! It tells the story of one family’s experience as the parents divorce, and the father comes out as gay. It’s a beautiful, funny, sad Brazilian film that hits on real issues that Latino families face. Get ready to laugh and cry.

4. “Confissões de Adolescente” (2014)

Give me a movie about growing up with sisters and I’ll give you my soul, tears, emotions… everything. How many of us grew up in a Latina household fighting, nagging, crying, and loving each other?! This 2014 film is based off the diaries of Maria Mariana, who also stars in the film!

5. “The Way He Looks” (2014)

Based on the 2010 short film, “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone, is about a blind teenager, his best friend Giovana, and their changing relationship when Gabriel is introduced. It’s sweet, poignant, and touches on the relationship between two teenagers that constantly blurs the line between friendship and something more.

6. “The Year My Parents Went On Vacation” (2006)

This film is the perfect mix of drama and comedy exploring themes of politics and familial discord, all centered around a young boy’s obsession with the World Cup. It’s part coming of age, part political commentary, part nostalgic tale and will leave your heart aching. For anyone who has had to live the repercussions of their parents’ lives, this is for you.

7. “Lake Tahoe” (2008)

This film isn’t just visually unique and interesting. The story is fascinating and focuses on Juan, who crashes his family car into a pole and attempts to fix it. Of course, you can bet that he meets some interesting characters his way to fix his car that ultimately changes his life.

8. “Alamar” (2009)

This documentary-style film is about a young boy visiting his father on the Banco Chinchorro. It’s got a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so you know it’s pretty damn amazing. It’s about falling in love with nature, which is so gorgeously shot, and the relationship between the father and son will bring you to tears.

9. “I Like It Like That” (1994)

This Bronx-based comedy is about the trials and tribulations a young, poor Puerto Rican couple faces. If you’re Puerto Rican, you’ll find yourself raising hands in praise to the relatable moments in the film, and also just in appreciation of the struggle.

10. “Raising Victor Vargas” (2002)

A tale of a Dominican ladies’ man! This comedy-drama depicts life in the early 2000s in New York City’s Lower East Side. This film has an authentic take on what it’s like to grow up Latino with a big family, one that includes an abuelita who wants to put him in jail for no reason and a new girlfriend. This is another one that’ll make you laugh and probably cry.

11. “Hangin’ With The Homeboys” (1991)

You’ll recognize the faces in this movie (baby John Leguizamo!!! I die.) It’s the quintessential coming-of-age film about two black men and two Puerto Rican men over the course of one night in – you guessed it – the Bronx. It’s a ’90s classic! Friendship, girls, laughter – what more could you really want? It’s a perfect example of life in the city.

12. “Real Women Have Curves” (2002)

The movie is one of the most honest and unflinching looks at the relationship between mother and daughter. It came before “Lady Bird” and shows the struggle between the generations that we are all familiar with. A definite must-watch (or rewatch) while we are all sitting at home together.

READ: Get On It: 13 Books By Latino Authors You Should Have Read By Now