Fate has a strange way of bringing about the most unlikely of events. Several years ago, when I was in my early teens, I was invited to speak at a fundraising event for Camp Boggy Creek, called “Boggy Gras,” which took place amidst the Universal Studios Mardi Gras celebrations. Since I was a speaker, I was fortunate enough to be invited as a V.I.P., with access to the party, front-row view of the parade– and the chance to see Latin singer Luis Fonsi.
My young teenage heart was instantly smitten. I was mesmerized by the sound of his voice.
Shortly after I started listening to his music, a strange twist of fate granted me the opportunity to meet him and his amazing family. They really are the most down-to-earth people, and all of them are filled with a passion for music.
It is this very same twist of fate that has led me to write to him. I was able to talk with him briefly, and I don’t think there is an arrogant or self-centered bone in his body. Years ago, I had saved a newspaper clipping of an article about him. He had visited a young fan of his, one who had cancer, and was too ill to attend a concert. He went to the hospital to see her, and even sang her favorite song to her. The story really moved me, and it painted a portrait of the kind of person he is.
This year, it was reported that Fonsi will collaborate with other Latino greats, such as Gloria Estefan, Placido Domingo, and Enrique Iglesias, on a song for the awareness campaign launched for the National Bone Marrow Registry. The proceeds would benefit City of Hope, a cancer treatment center in near Los Angeles, while also rasing awareness of the need for bone marrow donors. (I am proud to say that my mom and I are on that registry, although I often forget, because we haven’t been called for duty!)
So, although you may not have heard about him if you live in the states, Fonsi has been actively reaching out to some great causes. And, he’s an all-around good person. How do I know this? Because I met his mother, he he. (A shout-out to Tata, Alfonso, and family if you’re reading this! Muchos abrazos).
It’s been kind of a long, but awesome, day. I was invited to go to the mall with my cousin, Kaemi, and her friends, Johan and Fernando Luis “Flea”). I have to take a moment to tell you just how much my friends in Puerto Rico mean to me, even if I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. Sometimes, it seems, I have a better relationship with my long-distance friends than I do with my local friends. (Since we live so far apart, we don’t have unrealistic expectations of being there for each other 24-7.) Instead, we just get together, once in a blue moon, and enjoy each other’s company.
We went to Plaza Las Americas, which is the mall to visit on the island. After having lunch and hanging out, we went to the movies to see “It’s Complicated.” (I enjoyed it– Alec Baldwin is a riot!) Then, the evening was capped off with dessert and coffee at one of my favorite spots at the mall, called “La Patisserie.” (It suits me, doesn’t it?) In a nutshell, I give this day a “10.”
And while I often think about my Caribbean cronies with nostalgia, it makes each of our get togethers…all the more sweet.