This phrase was made popular after the song "Boricua en la Luna" by the Puerto Rican singer Roy Brown in 1987 (and later in 1997 by the band Fiel A La Vega).
But what does it really mean to be Boricua?
For those of you who don't know, the island of Puerto Rico used to be called Borinquen (Boriken) and from this resulted in the name Boricua to refer to the island's inhabitants. However, I believe that being Boricua today is more than simply being someone who lives in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico
After talking with a few Puerto Ricans I bring you the three themes that constantly arose in answer to the question: What does it mean to be Boricua?
1. The Boricua loves his Island and his culture.
Everyone knows that here in Puerto Rico as well as many other places "la cosa esta mala" (things are pretty bad). However, despite all of this, the Boricua love his island of 100 x 35 square miles. In Puerto Rico, you can find three of the few bioluminescent bays in the world and out of all of them Mosquito Bay in Vieques is the brightest in the world. The Spanish forts and streets of Old San Juan are historic treasures, the mountains, landscapes, and bodies of water in the mountain range captivate people, and so on... It's also good to add that Puerto Rico's beaches are ranked among the best in Latin America and the world.
Flamenco Beach, ranked #6 best beach in the world
The reality is that the Puerto Rican culture is one of a kind. In Puerto Rico there is a spirit of hospitality, being with family and friends, celebrate everything, and as they say here: "a mal tiempo, buena cara" (In bad times, be happy). In Puerto Rico hurricanes and droughts result in excuses to go out, visit, and even stay until late having fun with friends and family. There's nothing like spontaneously inviting people you know, everyone gets there with food, and being there sharing and having fun until late.
2. The Boricua doesn't have to be born in Puerto Rico
Like the phrase says, "Boricua Even If I Was Born On The Moon". As we mentioned earlier, what makes a Boricua isn't much about where he lives but more of what he does or who he is. For example, Tony Croatto is an icon of Puerto Rican folk music who interpreted classic songs such as “Yo Habito Una Tierra Luz”, “Cucubano”, and “A Correr Sabana”. However, not many know that he was born in Italy and was raised in Argentina and Uruguay. Here is one of his famous songs:
Additionally, the famous actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents and has lived most of his life in the United States although he often visits the island. Today, Lin-Manuel Miranda has become one of Puerto Rico's most prominent voices in the United States. Actually, he has advocated on television and in Congress over Puerto Rico's economy. Here he is on John Oliver's show:
3. The Boricua is proud of his land and his people
Being Boricua is something to be proud of and when you ask a Boricua that isn't in Puerto Rico about his Island get ready to be hearing him talk about it for a while. One person I interviewed stated, "Being Boricua is to be proud of your heritage and of your people and always want to show that proudness in whatever part of the world you are."
No doubt whatsoever, the Boricua loves being Boricua!
Translation: Being Boricua is awesome!
If you are Boricua I hope you were able to identify with many of these themes. Remember that no matter where you are, in the Island or out of it, if you identify with these things and you love both Puerto Rico and its people then you are definitely a Boricua.
¡God bless! ¡Wepa!