“Tú eres mi sangre. No hay nada que tú hagas que yo no pueda perdonar
You are my blood. There's nothing you can do that I will not forgive”— Alba to Jane
Alba Villanueva is the mother of Xiomara Villanueva and the grandmother of Jane Villanueva. She is 66 years old, and lives with her daughter and her grandaughter. Alba loves telenovelas, her favorite being The Passions of Santos. Alba is a very big believer in God and a devout Catholic. She believes that God has our lives in his hands and will guide us. She usually only speaks Spanish, and only speaks English when needed. However, she can understand English perfectly.
Alba is really the Villanueva rock throughout any tumultuous relationships and events that may occur in her daughter and granddaughter's lives. During any tension between Xo and Jane, Alba will provide clarity and often a bit of grounded, tongue-in-cheek advice or a remark to lighten existence. She is sassy, at some times ironic and sarcastic, very opinionated and also a gifted writer.
After Xiomara got pregnant with Jane at a young age, Alba taught her granddaughter Jane the beauty of the flower, which is to not lose your virginity before getting married because you can never get it back, much like how a flower is never the same once it has been crumpled. This lesson has stayed with Jane all her life.
After somewhat abruptly being introduced in real life to El Presidente himself, Alba feels that Xo should inform Jane that her father is real and, in fact, lives in Miami. Alba is also very comforting and understanding after Xo tells Alba that she is afraid what having kept Rogelio secret will do to Xo's relationship with Jane. Following the fallout over Rogelio between Jane and Xo, Alba is supportive of both, never refraining from divulging her direct opinions on the situation or call both her offspring out when she feels the situation calls for it.
While at times in the first season Alba appears to go easier on Jane than Xo, she learns to understand that, although Xo never left home, she is very much an adult woman. There are flashbacks to Xo and Alba's fights when Jane was growing up, and it seems that the dawn of a new time in their lives with Rogelio, Rafael and later Mateo playing big roles in their lives affecting the old constellations of their family unit.
Everything Jane and Xo experience seems to both encourage and inspire Alba and she finds herself interested in a man at the gym, where she is rehabilitated after Magda's attack. She is the active pursuer at first and even asks Edward out concurrent with Jane finding out that he is actually a priest. While the relationship never develops following this revelation, it seems to have awakened something in Alba that she has not felt in a long time.
Alba continues and cements her role as the Villanueva family rock, after Mateo's kidnapping and subsequent return leaves lasting imprints on new mother, Jane. Impressively unfazed by her accident last year, Alba charges ahead when Jane's temperament has the police knocking on their door and she decides to go for her green card to end years of living in constant worry over being deported. Mateo's baptism is a love letter to the life Alba and her late husband Mateo, after whom her great-grandson is named, sought to create when they chose to move to the U.S. in the 1970s embodied by an actual love letter to Xiomara, written by Alba when she had first arrived in the country in lieu of any Venezuelan traditions. When Alba discusses time for a romantic life with Jane, who is newly dating for the first time, Alba appears to have some regrets about keeping herself from that kind of relationship following her husband's death.
As Jane toys with the notion of having sex and leaves Alba out of the equation, Alba feels hurt and tells Jane that no matter what, Alba would rather be a part of Jane's life and that she will not judge Jane's actions. Alba also reveals to Jane that she had pre-marital sex, with someone before Mateo Villanueva. Alba reaches out to Pablo Alonso Segura, and Jane accidentally reads their chats, discovering that Pablo is the man Alba slept with many years ago. Xiomara accidentally reads the chat as well and finally releases all the anguish and shaming that her Alba has put her through her whole life. Alba realises she has been punishing her daughters, the way Alba was shamed by society for her own actions, and apologises profusely to Xiomara, and the two make amends.
Alba's husband was the love of her life. The two presumably met in Venezuela, from where they both hail, and as Alba wanted to move to the U.S., they did so, starting a new life and a family there. It is unspecified when Mateo passed away, but Alba expresses guilt to Xiomara over how hard Mateo had to work to support the family, which she feels let to his early passing. It is not specified either what Mateo's profession was, but he encouraged Alba in hers, which was work as a nurse for the elderly, a long way into her pregnancy with Xiomara, who became the couple's only child.
- Main article: Alba and Jane
Alba is Jane's grandmother. It was Alba who first instilled in Jane the idea of staying a virgin until her wedding night, saying a virginity lost was like a smashed flower: it can never go back to what it once was. Alba found Jane's prescription and was hurt by the idea that her granddaughter had broken her vow; when Jane told her she was accidentally inseminated, Alba revealed to her that she ordered Xiomara to have an abortion and later regretted it, for Jane is the most important person in her life. She also adds that the baby will be the most important person in Jane's life. Alba is a very religious woman; the narrator says Alba's passions in life are "God and Jane, exactly in this order". For Alba, there's nothing that Jane could do that she couldn't forgive her for.
- Main article: Xiomara and Alba
Xiomara and Alba are two very different people, both in terms of character and generation. However, they share core values in life such as caring for family, standing your ground and standing up for what you believe is right – the latter of which may be the reason for their many conflicts, as they are both two very strong, stubborn and capable people. Recently, Alba and Xo have come to understand each other better, partially helped by the addition to their family – Jane's father Rogelio.
When Rogelio is first introduced to the Villanueva household (specifically Alba, as Jane was not yet told), Alba is somewhat starstruck for a while as she knows him only as El Presidente from the telenovela The Passions of Santos. Add to that, she meets him in quite a precarious situation – in bed with her daughter. After a while, they start to have a rather more normal relationship, with Rogelio even remarking that Alba is mean to him, when she makes snarky remarks about his ego.
Alba has sex for the first time, with Pablo.
Alba and her husband, Mateo Villanueva, decide to move to the U.S. following a falling-out with Mateo's family, where Mateo gives up any inheritance from his wealthy progenitors to make Alba's dreams come true.
When her daughter Xiomara became pregnant with Jane at age 16, Alba was angry and disappointed. Alba told her daughter to have an abortion (a fact which she is ashamed of today) but Xiomara refused and kept the baby.
- Alba taught Jane to watch telenovelas.
- Alba had pre-marital sex and was shamed by the society she lived in at the time.
- Among Alba's favourites are The Passions of Santos, and around the early 2000s – Los Milagros de Mariana.
- Alba had a crush on Edward, who turned out to be a priest.
Notes and references