The Ultimate Hispanic Guide to NATPE is Here!


Did you miss this year’s NATPE? Worry no more; this blogger was there and had some very special access to famous gathering of TV producers. The NATPE, Content First (“Primero contentos”) 2013 conference took place this week in Miami, welcoming more than 1,000 attendees, of which “a huge percentage” was either Hispanic or Latin American.

So, without further ado, here are the Ultimate Hispanic Highlights (UHH) of the 3-day gathering, brought to you exclusively by Mi blog es tu blog:

1. The percentage of Spanish-language attendees to this year’s conference was “huge,” said  NATPE President and CEO Rod Perth, who doesn’t seem to be very much into hard data.

2. Many non-Hispanic attendees seemed puzzled about why everybody was walking around wearing a name tag with the name “Rosario” printed on it, making introductions and business dealings awkward at times.

Yeah, we all gave each other that Lorena Rojas look
Yeah, we all gave each other that Lorena Rojas look

3. A San Juan-based company pitching a cooking show from Puerto Rico stuffed its contact information  -and informative USB- inside a coffee bag. My laptop smells delicious.

4. A Spain-based company named ERREQUERRE announced the opening of a Miami office… and a very wise decision to undergo a name change very soon.

5. Sierralta Entertainment has produced, and sold, a new TV show called Latin Angels, featuring bikini-clad reporters that look like this. (No chance for me to get a job there.)


6. For some reason I have yet to comprehend, Ecuadoreans are crazy about Korean telenovelas dubbed into Spanish.

7. The folks over at Venevision International handled business from an amazing suite on the 30th floor of the Fountainbleau Hotel (from which they threatened to throw this blogger at some point.)

8. Mojitos -what else?- were the beverage of choice during NATPE’s inaugural bash Sunday night.

9. Univision’s Programming Chief Alberto Ciurana swears there’s great menudo at a Mexican fonda on Calle Ocho and promised to take me there one day. We’ll see.

10. Telemundo’s VP of corporate communications Michelle Albán is the evil twin of La Doctora Polo (in addition to being the Hispanic evil twin of Sandra Bullock)


(NOTE: Alban continued to ethnic profile this blogger by ordering nachos during a luncheon/interview at Eden Roc Hotel)

11. Harris Whitbeck, CEO of Zodiak Latino, hosted a Spanish-language panel, leaving many gringos in the room scratching their heads upon learning Whitbeck is white AND Guatemalan. [Yes, we have güeritos there too. Now you know.]

12. Catherine Fulop and Fernando Carrillo are back together! They “star” in a yet-to-be-produced telenovela (La Magia del Amor) which will in fact star two young kids who are neither Fulop nor Carrillo. The reason? They do NOT look like this anymore.


13. Telenovelas continue to dominate the market; though reality series featuring boys and girls who text all the time (i.e. Gossip Girls Acapulco) seem to be taking off.


14. Christy Haubegger, funny as hell as she usually is, was actually serious when she stated at a panel that: “It’s exciting to see that we’re moving from Spanish-language programming to programming to Hispanics.”

15. I sat next to Juan Soler at a Telemundo luncheon and failed miserably in my attempt to pinch his butt.

16. I saw Soler once again Tuesday night and while I was not yet able to accomplish my pinching goal, he graciously agreed to pose for a photograph. (Thanks, Veronica!)

Photo: Verónica Villafañe (
Photo: Verónica Villafañe (

17. A short visit to the Univision headquarters gave this blogger a first-row seat to a live airing of El Gordo y la Flaca. Alas, Raúl de Molina declined to go into the jacuzzi with me pretending he had a broken foot or something.

18. Rodner Figueroa showed up and gave me a peace sign.


19. Overall, media companies and media outlets have gotten pretty good at writing “Colombia” and not “Columbia” when talking about the South American country.

20. “Content First” is English for “Primero contentos.”

BONUS CONTENT: Watch 9:33 minutes of La Magia del Amor below:

Eau de Tamal: The Fine Scent of Rich, Meaty Latino Foods


Have you had it with your regular French cologne? Do you ever wish you smelled like a rich, meaty tamal?

Worry no more! Puerto Rican expert perfumer Zorayda Ortiz has concocted a tamale [sic] fragrance, which, she says…

…Will make you smell exactly like the meaty tamales you grew up eating in abuelita’s kitchen.

Ortiz says that she came up with such a delicious fragrance by blending “notes of red chili pepper and ginger with drops of pineapple, Indian sandalwood and vanilla essential oils.” I don’t know about Puerto Ricans, but the tamales I grew up around [in my abuela’s kitchen, of course] smelled of chile poblano, mole oaxaqueño, beans and salsa morita, which by they way is something I’m not particularly looking forward to smell like.

In any case, perhaps Ms. Ortiz will tweak her recipe a bit to please this tamal-starved, stinky Mexican?

How do you Say ‘Appetizers’ in Cuban Spanish?

Based on my most recent trip to the island  -where I spent a couple of weeks doing absolutely nothing language research-  I realized Cubans are increasingly translating their restaurant menus, street signs and monument guides to cater to an ever-growing tourist industry.

One thing I couldn’t be 100% sure, though, is what the ‘Cuban’ word for appetizer was. While a paladar in Havana offered me a very limited variety of “incomings,” including 20 pieces of olives…


… Melaíto, a snack bar in Pinar del Río promised a more extended list of “entrances,” including “boilet greens” and “French Fried.”


Either way, I’m not happy to report that everything pretty much sucked. Cuba is gorgeous and its people are simply the best. Its food… well, that’s another story.

Photos: Laura Martínez, Cuba 2013

Cubans ‘Avanzan Confiados’ with Chevrolet, not Toyota


Remember Toyota’s ‘Avanza Confiado’ tagline for the U.S. Hispanic market? Well, it seems the automaker hasn’t used it for a while, hopefully apparently because 1) It sounds awful and/or 2) They found a better copywriter.

Either way, that doesn’t seem to bother this Chevrolet owner in Viñales, Cuba, who was proudly driving around in a 1950’s Chevrolet which -by the way- seemed to avanzar lento, pero con mucha confianza.

Photos: Laura Martínez. Valle de Viñales, Cuba 2013