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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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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Last min #MetGala glam @Jason.genao

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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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

But abeula was not having it. Lesson learned.

5. Nicknames in the family are a must.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netlfix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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.

CREDIT: Netflix

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!

Neutrogena Ambassador, Jenna Ortega, Spills Her Crucial Hoop Señora Hack And Why She’s Elated To Be A Madrina

Fierce

Neutrogena Ambassador, Jenna Ortega, Spills Her Crucial Hoop Señora Hack And Why She’s Elated To Be A Madrina

Jenna Ortega is the freshest face to join the Neutrogena familia as a brand ambassador!

The 17-year-old You actress revealed the big news to her followers on Instagram on Tuesday morning. 

“I love that I get to represent my generation who are actively using their voices to make a difference and hope to inspire others as we embrace what makes us unique and special. I’m elated! #NTGSpokesperson,” wrote the rising star who is joining the icons like Kerry Washington and Jennifer Garner in representing the brand. 

During a video interview with FIERCE, Ortega shares what has her ecstatic about this new role, how Neutrogena remains a constant in her beauty bag, and her favorite señora hack that is the perfect pick-me-up. 

When reflecting on her new partnership with the skincare brand as their new ambassador, Ortega can hardly believe the news. “It’s great! It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time, so I couldn’t be more thrilled,” she tells FIERCE.

But Ortega’s role as a Neutrogena brand ambassador comes with new details in her job description. This year, she and the brand are teaming up to introduce the My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes where they’ll virtually surprise a lucky teen with a glam team for their big day. 

“I turned 15 when I was on set, so I didn’t have the opportunity to get into all the prep or set a date,” recalls Ortega of her time filming Disney’s Stuck In The Middle. “Later in the show, my character turned 15 and she had her own quinceañera, so I kind of had to live vicariously through her,” she recalls. 

However, if she had the opportunity to celebrate her quinceañera, Ortega has a clear vision of what her look would be. 

“I would definitely have the big tulle skirt. I might do maybe like a red dress. And I like when my hair is down personally so I would probably have two dutch braids and hair curled,” she continues. “For makeup, just something that would tie in with the red dress I guess. So maybe like some red eyeshadow. My favorite color is red if you couldn’t tell,” she adds laughing.  

Recognizing that the limitations linked to the COVID-19 pandemic might restrict other teens from celebrating their quinceañera this 2020, the Mexican-Puerto Rican-American actress will act as a madrina to a few lucky teens turning 15 this year. 

“For all the kids who are experiencing 2020, who are turning 15 this year and also can’t have a quinceañera, I want to be able to be there for them and kind of help them out through this time and still make their day somewhat special and Neutrogena wants to do the same,” Ortega shares.

With the My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes, teens have the opportunity to win an entire glam squad, a virtual meet and greet with Ortega, a virtual concert, skincare advice from a dermatologist and more. Basically, all the madrinas a quinceañera could ever hope for. 

Ortega adds that she and Neutrogena want to ensure they do everything “to make their day extra special.”

As everyone is adjusting to a new lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ortega tells FIERCE that she has taken time during quarantine to focus on a more consistent skincare regimen, practice more self-care through yoga and “drink a lot more water.” 

“I’ve had more time with myself so I’ve kind of developed a lot more of an actual routine whereas before it was kind of like I try to get this done but I don’t really have time,” Ortega adds. “But now I go in with my [Neutrogena] Oil-free Acne Wash or I use the Makeup Remover wipes then I use the Pink Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes, then I go in with the Hydro-boost Moisturizer for my skin and I’m comfortable with that.” 

The actress, who also had a role in Jane The Virgin, reveals that Neutrogena is an Ortega household staple passed down from her older sisters and to now be the face of the brand is “a crazy feeling.”

Neutrogena

“It’s something that I grew up watching my older sisters use and it’s something that I adapted into my own skincare routine. It’s something that I was introduced to and they’re the first products that I started using and the products that I still use to this day. So they’ve kind of been the number one skincare brand for me all my life.”

As a teen coming into her own and defining a self-care routine that works best for her, Ortega has uncovered a señora hack that many are sure to adopt if they haven’t already. 

“I have emergency hoops!” she reveals. 

“I always have multiple pairs of hoops in my bag no matter where I’m going, no matter how big or small the bag is, I will have at least three different pairs. I have a small set, (I’m wearing a small set now) and then I’ll have a large set, or a silver set, or I’ll have a gold set. Sometimes I’ll have bamboos. It doesn’t matter,” she adds. “I just need to know that they’re there because sometimes you know, you’re in such a rush to leave the house, you don’t know but hoops change everything.”

To enter Neutrogena’s My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes click neutrogena.com/quinceanera. Entries are being accepted through August 4th.

Quinceañera’s Are Getting A Makeover In The Time Of Coronavirus And One Teen Is Celebrating The Change

Culture

Quinceañera’s Are Getting A Makeover In The Time Of Coronavirus And One Teen Is Celebrating The Change

Jimmy Rodriguez

Coronavirus has put the breaks on pretty much everyone’s plans.

I mean, Coachella was postponed. Even the 2020 Olympics, which were supposed to take place in Tokyo this summer, have been postponed. Major family plans like quinceañeras have largely been put on hold as well – for obvious reasons. A quinceañera is usually a large family affair. They’re usually packed with family and friends, sometimes even the whole neighborhood, a church service, and a photoshoot.

So it makes sense for families to have postponed these very special events, since social distancing is proving to be the only truly effective method at combating the spread of the virus. However, one family got creative and celebrated their daughter’s big day.

This San Antonio teen was able to celebrate her big day with friends and family in a safe and fun way.

Like so many teens, Xóchitl had spent months planning her quince with her mom, Kristie. It’s one of the biggest days in many Latina’s young lives.

“Every little Hispanic girl dreams about her quinceañera and her wedding. Those are your two big days in your life,” Rodriguez, 45, from San Antonio, told NBC News.

“Usually, there is a Mass where the priest blesses you as you get ready for your transition, from being a young girl to becoming a woman, which of course we couldn’t do,” Rodriguez said, emotionally, over the phone.

Xóchitl and her mom had already spent hours shopping for the perfect gown and hours more planning her quinceañera before stay-at-home orders hit her hometown of San Antonio. In fact, her family had already organized both a mass and a fun-filled reception.

Then the Coronavirus hit and the family had to get creative.

Credit: Jimmy Rodriguez

San Antonio, like the rest of the country, had to implement strict stay-at-home orders in order to combat the pandemic. This left the Rodriguez family struggling to figure out how to celebrate their daughter’s big day and continuing with the tradition – despite a global health crisis.

It took some creativity and work, but Rodriguez and her husband, Jimmy, surprised Xóchitl on April 21 with a low-key but unforgettable version of her big day: a drive-by quinceañera. Xochitl was able to share it with her closest family and friends – at a safe distance.

Still, there are aspects of the tradition that families miss.

“It was very different, because our culture is very much about physical affection — you know, the hugging, the kissing, the touching — and it was really hard to see them and not be able to touch them,” Rodriguez said, speaking of the relatives and friends who came to cheer Xóchitl on.

Her quinceañera has gone viral thanks to the family’s creativity and perseverance.

Credit: Jimmy Rodriguez

They managed to keep the idea from Xochitl until the big moment came.

“We had blown up the balloons the night before and had kept them in the garage and then kind of made the mad dash to decorate the yard when it was time for her to go outside,” Kristie said.

Then, the family went outside and greeted her socially-distanced guests in her dress and her tiara. Instead of damas and chambelanes, the family pulled out some of Rodriguez’s old dolls and teddy bears and used them for a makeshift honor court – while friends and family sang “Las Mañanitas” from their cars and from the sidewalk.

She says she was completely thrilled to see all of the people she loved making an effort, despite difficulties, to make her feel special.

“I kind of lost hope of having anyone over or having a normal birthday where I can see my family,” she told NBC Latino. “I feel like my mom and my dad really made it special, trying to get the people that were closest to me.”