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Adonis Puentes and son reconnect on episode of How I Got Here

The reality TV episode, which was shot last year, was a way for Adonis, 49, and Jordan, 22, to reconnect after more than 11 years apart.
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Victoria’s Adonis Puentes, left, and his son, Jordan, reconnect in an episode of How I Got Here, which airs Monday on Super Channel.

It’s hard enough repairing a father-son relationship in private following a period of estrangement. But to do so in front of television cameras adds another layer of stress few others in similar situations have to face.

It certainly wasn’t easy for Victoria’s Adonis Puentes and his son, Jordan, who agreed to go before TV cameras for the season-opening episode of How I Got Here, which airs Monday on Super Channel. But they did so willingly as they believed it would help others attempting to repair broken familial bonds.

“The first three or four days of the journey we were definitely conscious of being on camera, which was an obstacle we had to get over,” Jordan said. “But as went through filming, our guards dropped.”

How I Got Here examines family dynamics through second generation children who accompany their parent or parents on a journey to their country of origin. In this episode, filming took place over two and a half weeks in Victoria (where both live) and Cuba, where Adonis was born and raised.

The episode, which was shot last year, was a way for Jordan, 22, and Adonis, 49, to reconnect after more than 11 years apart. “It was an intense journey, for sure,” Jordan said.

“You have to be brave to put yourself out there, but it felt very inspiring to do so.”

Their relationship was stable until Jordan was around 10 years old. Following his parents’ divorce, Jordan lived with his mother, and had little contact with Adonis until he turned 19 years old. Both sides remained guarded as they came to learn about each others’ lives over the next two years.

When the idea for the hour-long episode of How I Got Here was put to them, Adonis was reluctant. “I was apprehensive in the beginning,” he said. “I almost backed off. But we went through the journey with the idea that we are not alone. There are many other people in the same boat.”

Adonis and Jordan, who are both musicians, travelled to Cuba to help Jordan better understand his roots. His grandfather, legendary guitar teacher Valentin Puentes, makes an emotional appearance, having not seen Jordan since he was a child.

They talked of The Puentes Brothers, the Juno Award-nominated group led by Adonis and his twin brother, Alexis, who now lives in Smithers, B.C., and three generations of Puentes men eventually made music of their own together before the cameras.

The reunion led to a songwriting session that began in Havana, Cuba, and was finished recently in Victoria. The studio collaboration between father and son will arrive March 22 on all streaming platforms. “Music was the link,” Adonis said. “It brought us closer together.”

“We were able to share our love of music as a bonding tool,” Jordan added.

It helped that they were fighting through the awkwardness as adults. Jordan was open and accepting of his father, and knew he had to forgive the anger of his youth in order to move forward. “There were a lot of questions I wanted answered, and things I wanted to know about myself and my dad. To have that opportunity now, it was very important.”

The episode closes on a highly emotional note, as the father-and-son relationship is finally restored. “We are hoping other people will see this and will be inspired to do the same,” Jordan said. “If people who have been disconnected from their families see this, hopefully they will decide to reach out.”

How I Got Here airs Monday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Super Channel. The episode repeats March 24 at 6:30 a.m.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com