Tonight on MTV Tr3s’ reality series, Quiero Mi Boda, we meet Chicagoan couple Christina and Orlando, whose bond first bloomed in middle school. Both remained friends while Orlando served a four-year Marine tour in Iraq. Christina, who is of Filipino descent and comes from a strict Roman Catholic household, sparked a bit of controversy after changing her religion to marry Orlando, who is Puerto-Rican. In addition, Christina’s stressed compounded as she struggled to find a balance between the wedding traditions expected of her family, and those she wanted for herself. All the while, teaching her fiancé about Latino culture!
Christina spoke to Latina.com recently about her episode, which airs tonight at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
Tell us about your episode of Quiero Mi Boda.
It was an interesting experience. I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go and I learned a lot about production and being on TV. It ended up being a good experience!
Your parents are devout Roman Catholics and your husband’s parents are more liberal. During your wedding planning, did that worry you at all over how both your families would get along?
Our families got along very well. Since me and Orlando have been dating for a long time and grew up together since middle school, they’ve known each other. But the wedding obviously brought us all closer together, that was a big difference just because my parents are devout Roman Catholics. I’ve always been to a Catholic church and it wasn’t until I started dating Orlando that I even stepped out of the Catholic church and went to other places but coming to New Life was a fantastic choice for me and I converted – as much as you can call that a conversion because Christianity and Catholicism are so much alike. My parents, who are very full of Filipino tradition and begin Catholic is part of that tradition, were a little against it at first. Actually, filming the episode was probably the most concrete conversation we’ve ever had about it [Christina’s conversion] and it ended up up going better than I thought.
How did you converting and also moving in with your husband affect your relationship? In what way?
When I made the decision to move out and start living with him, my biggest mistake was not communicating with my parents about what I was going to do so they were more upset about me leaving without having a discussion with them first. Of course, being such devout Catholics and Filipinos really don’t live in with boyfriends before marriage, they were against that as well. But they know I’m an adult and they trust me so they always support my decisions. Even though they frowned upon it, they accepted it.
You taught Orlando about his own culture. How so?
Filipinos are very much linked to the Spanish culture just because of past history of the Philippines so my parents are very much in tune with the Spanish culture. Part of that is the Catholic religion – another part is the dance. We like to salsa, we like to merengue, we like to cha-cha. Orlando doesn’t dance at all so I teach him as much as I can from that point and my parents grew up with Spanish-speaking parents. I can speak pretty decent Spanish – compared to Orlando anyway.
What was it like teaching your husband to dance?
It was fun! We ended up taking a zumba class together and he’s not the best. It’s funny because he is Latino and he should know how to dance, but because he’s a Latino, he has a very musical background to him. His father was in a band. He played Latin jazz through high school and college and in the Marine corps, so musically he’s inclined, but he doesn’t really have that rhythm to dance.