Banco Popular Christmas Special “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico”


This post is also available in: Español

Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” is the title of the 2014 Banco Popular Christmas special. This is a well-produced special where various types of music serve as frames for a tour around Puerto Rico.

Tourism Central Theme in “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico

Tourism is the #1 industry of Puerto Rico, and it cleverly serves as the central theme of the special. The music starts without delay right from the beginning and keeps a starring role in this 21st edition of the traditional Banco Popular de Puerto Rico Christmas special, but the tourism plot is interweaved with the introduction of an anglo tourist.

"Que Lindo es Puerto Rico" Latin music Christmas special cover.
“Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” has a mix of popular Latin music stars, with lesser-known artists.

Very cleverly, producer Maru Hernandez, along with Creative Director Euskady Burgos and Director Angel Traverso used a young, white, blond hair guy to be the tourist, leaving most people to assume he is American, but without explicitly saying it, they leave the door open for him to be from Canada, Europe, or anywhere else. The young blond man is the guest of a group of similarly young Puerto Rican friends (most seem to be in their 20’s) who decide to show their guests the island as well as the music enjoyed in Puerto Rico.

The initial scene of “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” is in Old San Juan, where there is live music, a-la Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian style. From there they travel in an open Jeep to several places in Puerto Rico, stopping to see beautiful scenery and/or meet other friends playing various types of music.

Varied Music and Education

Salsa music star Andy Montañez with New York's Viento de Agua.
Salsa music veteran Andy Montanez (also been appearing in BPPR specials since 1993) was paired with the excellent folk group Viento de Agua in a Ponce location.

Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” has a much more varied sort of music than the first Banco Popular Christmas specials of the ’90s which were more musically focused on Salsa, Pop, and some Folk music. This 2014 edition covers Salsa, Reguetton, Merengue, Rock en Español, Seis, Pop, Calypso, and Folk, using a careful combination of well-known Puerto Rican music stars, with lesser-known talented musicians, which makes an intriguing musical balance.

Ismael Miranda (one of the most consistently used artists in the Banco Popular specials since its first one in 1993) is paired with Pirulo y la Tribu, and Andy Montañez is paired with Viento de Agua.

Educating the audience on the music has been part of the Banco Popular Christmas specials since the very 1st one. In a well-thought non-intrusive way, “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” provides education of the different types of music that are played in the Christmas special, through casual conversations that occur along the way around Puerto Rico, as opposed to the interview-like style of past specials. This makes it a more integrated part of the plot and makes for a better story flow.

Excellent Production of this Christmas Special

Everywhere you look, this is a well-thought and well-produced Christmas special that highlights the music of Puerto Rico, as well as the beautiful scenery Puerto Rico has to offer for internal tourism.

Latin pop star Kany Garcia in the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico special.
Latin pop new star Kany Garcia sang and talked about “seis” folk music.

Musical education is provided along with the story of young local Puerto Rican friends taking their young male tourist friend around the island, meeting family and friends, and in each stop enjoying a different type of music.

This Christmas special is a great contrast to the ill-produced 2013 special “Musica en Tiempos” which had a total lack of cohesiveness, most music themes didn’t even make sense, and was an example of bad production. The change of the entire production team from last year (directed by Kacho Lopez, and produced by Tristana Robles and Producciones Zapatero) was well deserved, with the new production team (which I mentioned earlier in this blog) doing a superb job this year.

I’m glad to see that “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” brought back the excellence people expect from the Banco Popular yearly Christmas special!

Video of “Que Lindo es Puerto Rico” Christmas Special

Here is a video of this great musical special.

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