Things That Matter

These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

Netflix recently announced a few weeks ago that its coming-of-age comedy ‘On My Block’ would be renewed for a second season. As fans anticipate what’s to come for the show’s star-crossed lovers of Ruby Martinez and Olivia, and the rest of the gang, we’re looking back on the poignant moments that celebrated Latino culture in the show’s first season. Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the ‘Goonies’-esque show!

1. The struggle (and joys) of living under a multigenerational roof.

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Ruby Martinez is thrilled to get his own room after sharing it for years with his twin siblings—until his abuela’s room has a plumbing mishap and leaves him with a new roommate.

While living with your abuela might not seem like the coolest idea at first, Ruby shows you can eventually be thankful for having a go-to sage to advise you during life’s ups and downs. She might even get along better with your friends than you do. Appreciate the time you have with your abuela, Ruby.

2. The light-up nativity set.

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For many Latinos who grew up Catholic, you just weren’t ready for Jose Feliciano to wish you a ‘Feliz Navidad’ until the light-up camel and baby Jesus were proudly displayed by your parents on the front lawn. In order to have a conversation with his mom, Ruby needs to put away the baby, St. Joseph, lamb and camel while she’s cleaning the house.

3. Getting your quince dress fitted is a family affair.

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To be ready for their big day, many teenage girls took their ruffled dresses to seamstresses around the neighborhood to cinch the waist and hem the edge. Ruby’s abuela likes to be efficient and has Ruby do the modeling for her.

4. Taking care of abuela’s religious objects is very important.

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Ruby’s grandma was all of our Abuelas when she had to find the baby Jesus statue that was blessed by the bishop. Jamal tries to be technical by telling her it’s toddler Jesus, not baby Jesus, since the statue can stand.

And there is no convincing her otherwise.

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But abeula was not having it. Lesson learned.

5. Nicknames in the family are a must.

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Nacho, Chuy, Coyo, Monse…a nickname in a large Latino family is a rite of passage and Ruby has been holding his nickname down for years—until Olivia comes to stay with his family and he immediately wants to be referred to as ‘Ruben.’ Abuela doesn’t let him live it down though and chuckles while asking, “Since when?”

Nothing gets past abuela! ? ? 

6. Gathering around the table to make tamales is the family tradition.

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Growing up Latino, one of the most treasured memories for familias was gathering around the kitchen to make tamales. Monse and Cesar share a sweet moment (and look) while helping Ruby’s abuela mix the masa for some bomb tamales.

7. Lighting saint candles during a blackout because you have so many.

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Se fue la luuuzzz. It’s always a good idea to have candles around your house in case the electricity goes out, and you can be sure your abuela has *plenty* of saint candles at her disposal if that’s what she’s into. Ruby’s family is on top of it and game night is still possible thanks to these holy candles.

8. Quince. Waltz. Practice.

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What was harder than narrowing down your quince court? Actually getting the moves down. Between your primo stepping on your toes and getting your chambelan de honor to make it to practice on time, it’s all about coordination on and off the dance floor. Ruby enlists some help from Jessica when it comes to getting Olivia’s waltz to the ? level.

9. Going overboard for a quince party is so easy to do.

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Relatable ????????

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Since Ruby is crushing hard on Olivia, he tries to cheer her up for her quinceañera by ordering a giant banner of the state of Texas with drawings of cowboy boots and Frito pies on the side.

Typically one goes hard on a quince to win someone’s love.

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Olivia teases him that not *everyone* wears cowboy boots in the Lone Star state, but she gives him a hug after seeing all the effort he put into making her big night come true, despite not having her parents (who were deported) attend the party.

10. The shining quince moment everyone wishes they had.

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After months of waltzing in the garage or patio and hearing the same song over and over again, it all came down to showing off your steps in front of your friends and family. The look on Olivia’s face says it all—a quince dance is all about who is sharing in the moment with you.

It bring joy to everyone’s face because it’s adorable.

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Ruby is head over heels while dancing with her as her chambelan as Monse and Cesar are all smiles to see their friends so happy (side note: check out that waltz positioning.) Ruby was a great coach after all.

11. Abuela will always get too invested in her little telenovelas.

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One of the LOL-worthy moments of the series was when Abuela lit a candle in front of Monse, asking God to help Sylvia who had been poisoned by her husband. When Monse reacts in shock, Ruby rolls his eyes to tell her Sylvia is just a character from Abuela’s telenovela.


READ: Fans And Cast Members Are So Excited That ‘One Day At A Time’ Was Finally Picked Up For A Third Season

What was your favorite moment of the series? Let us know in the comments!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

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Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

Photo via vanessabryant/Instagram

The grieving process continues for Vanessa Bryant on her daughter, Gianna’s, birthday. If you have lost a loved one, you know that milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays can be especially hard. Days that would’ve been joyful in the past become bittersweet at best, and unbearable at worst.

On Friday, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who passed away last January in a tragic helicopter accident.

Vanessa Bryant posted a throwback photo of her and Gigi from years ago. A young Gigi sits in her mother’s lap. Vanessa’s arms are wrapped around her young daughter.

Vanessa Bryant’s birthday tribute to Gigi was short and sweet: “Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! [heart emoji] [kiss emoji] I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!”

Then, Vanessa Bryant tagged the birthday post #Quincenera, #Principessa and #Mambacita. As you may know, Gianna Bryant was dubbed “mambacita” because she loved basketball just as much as her father, the Black Mamba himself.

Just last month, Vanessa Bryant also celebrated what would have been her 20th anniversary with her late husband, Kobe Bryant.

On April 18th, Vanessa Bryant posted a beautiful photo of her and Kobe on their wedding day. “Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you. 20 years,” she wrote.

By publicly acknowledging Gigi Bryant’s 15th birthday even though she’s no longer here, Vanessa Bryant is doing exactly what grief counselors suggest. “Don’t ever feel you have to apologize for grieving. It’s what you need to do, even if it makes others uncomfortable, and you’re apology is unnecessary,” says renowned grief counselor Dr. Ken Druck.

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A Group of Volunteer ‘Fairy Godmothers’ Threw a Lavish Quinceañera For This Homeless Teen Girl

Things That Matter

A Group of Volunteer ‘Fairy Godmothers’ Threw a Lavish Quinceañera For This Homeless Teen Girl

Photo via Getty Images

For most Latinas, having a quinceañera is a right-of-passage. Your quinceañera is the official milestone that proves you’re finally a woman. It’s a party that you look forward to your entire childhood. It’s that one time in your life that you, and only you, get to feel like a princess.

Unfortunately, not every girl has the luxury of having a quinceañera. Some girls’ families don’t have the finances to throw a huge party.

In Miami, a group of “fairy godmothers” organized a quinceañera for a homeless teen girl whose family recently emigrated from Mexico.

The girl, Adriana Palma, had moved with her family from Mexico to Miami in early 2020. But because of the pandemic, her father lost his job. Adriana, her parents, and her three younger brothers spent the next four months living in their SUV.

Relocating to another country is hard enough, but Adriana faced another challenge by being homeless, struggling to learn English, and chasing down random Wi-Fi signals in order to complete her homework assignments. It was a struggle, to say the least.

And to make matters worse, Adriana’s fifteenth birthday was coming up. Adrian’s parents told her that, since they were homeless, they wouldn’t be able to throw her a quinceañera. “We will be together as a family,” her mother, Itzel Palma, told her. “That will be my gift to you.”

Luckily, the Palma family had a group of guardian angels watching out for them. Being homeless wouldn’t prevent Adriana from having a quinceañera.

A charity called Miami Rescue Mission had already hooked up the Palmas with a small apartment for the family to get back on their feet. “Cover Girls”, a subgroup of the Miami Rescue Mission, dedicate their time to help women and children who are in tough circumstances.

When Lian Navarro, leader of the Cover Girls, found out about Adriana’s situation, she knew she had to help. Cuban-Amercian herself, Navarro knew how important quinceañeras are to young Latinas. She called up her group of volunteers and they got to work making Adriana’s dream come true.

The 60 “fairy godmothers” decided to throw Adriana the quinceañera of her dreams in a local Miami church. They settled on a theme: Paris.

The volunteers decorated the bare church in gold Eiffel towers, supplied pink macarons and French pastries, they topped off each table with a floral centerpiece. They gifted Adriana with every item on her wish list. Not to mention, Adriana was able to be dressed up in a frilly pink quinceañera dress. Her hair and makeup were professionally done. A professional photographer captured her special day.

“We want them to have these memories,” said Cover Girl volunteer, Tadia Silva, about children and teens who grow up homeless. “They have to believe they are worth all that because they are.”

After her beautiful quinceañera, Adriana appeared to know her true worth. At the end of the party, she gave her “fairy godmothers” personalized notes of thanks. “I felt like a princess,” she said.

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