Milford native finds love on reality TV
By Tom Ackerman
Former Milford resident Larry Passariello recently starred on a reality dating show in the Philippines, titled “Before the 90-Day Fiance.” He said another season for the couple on the Sunday TLC series is likely, with his partner, Jenny De.
For the aspiring actor and movie maker, the opportunity arrived at a time when he was facing doubt about breaking into the industry. “I thought the show might be able to give me spotlight,” Passariello said. “If they want to follow my life, what could it hurt?” he joked, saying he hoped that potential employers might look into his YouTube projects after the series.
The show featured six U.S. residents pursuing romance with a person from the Philippines whom they had not met in person before the show. The U.S. residents traveled to the Philippines to meet their mate and families.The goal was to become engaged and overcome cultural obstacles within the 90 days allotted. The show began airing on television on Sept. 3 and lasted six weeks
The hometown representative, Passariello, proposed to his partner, Jenny, after their short courtship at a favorite park of hers while overseas. Passariello said he admired the humble way in which De’s family lived. He said it reminded him of a simpler America. He shared traditions like daily treks to the market with the whole family via bicycle. The De family welcomed Passariello like their own.
Passariello, 38, graduated from Foran High School about 20 years ago. He has been living in Florida for 10 years, and working in carpentry, retail and the restaurant business.
During Passariello’s time at Foran, the English department at the school offered a video class. Jim Fahy, now retired, previously taught the course, and he said he is always gratified to hear of successful students.
“I love to hear when kids make a mark,” Fahy said.
On Passariello’s Facebook page, a number of comments are visible from former classmates, Milford residents, and program viewers. One commenter, Norm, called Larry an inspiration for his own departure to the Philippines to find love. Norm said he was divorced and ready to look for love in the Philippines after watching the show.
Others, like Dawnetta Jiminez, said Larry and Jenny, from Urdaneta city, were “the couple to beat.”
Passariello is now planning to buy an RV for travel with Jenny. The two will travel the country and videotape the journey on Passariello’s YouTube channel. He said views and subscriptions to his channel have increased, with 500 subscribers from the show’s publicity, and 17,000 views on some videos.
“The show opened me up to a whole new venue of movie ideas. Blogs and series are something that people love,” he said.
Passariello said his cousin told him about the 90-Day show. After he met Jenny and felt an immediate connection, the couple applied to be a part of the show. “I was just in shock,” Passariello said. “I’d never experienced something like that [love at first sight] in my life.”
The next season of the show may include further travels in the Philippines.