by Nats Sisma Villaluna
Rambla de Mar
But I just saw the sun two minutes ago, didn’t I? In its place, downcast clouds hover above. A few drops have already made their landing. Crossing the Cathedral Square while increasing my pace, I hear my name being called. Five kababayans are standing on the Cathedral steps beckoning to me to come near them. They need a hand.
Somebody shouts as soon as I take their camera and aim my shot. “Voltes V pose tanan ha!” On cue, I find myself in front of five lady warriors ready for battle. The ominous headlines of Spanish newspapers seem not to have dampened their spirits not like most of the locals. Spain’s economy has fallen back into recession in the first quarter of 2012 and conditions are not expected to improve soon even if the Spanish government has finally, though hesitantly agreed for a bail-out. Moody’s has just downgraded sixteen Spanish banks and cuts after cuts are introduced by the government day after day.
“One…” I start counting. Joy joins her hands in a gun-hoisting position pointing skyward. She just lost two of her three employers as they now officially join the five million unemployed in Spain and could no longer afford to pay her.
Myrna strikes a blowing-the-smoke-off-my-gun pose. She is a bit worried about the closure of the Philippine Consulate in Barcelona which is a big hassle for more than 20,000 Pinoys living in the region.
Liza extends both hands sideward taking her aim. She is wary that the Reagrupación Familiar policy might be much tougher in the coming months. Her petition to sponsor her husband is yet to be approved.
Ruby chooses a gun-drawing pose. She is concerned about her illegal status. Spanish police are now giving illegal aliens a hard time.
Netnet has an imaginary grenade launcher on her shoulder. She is happy that the Catalonian government has defied the new Spanish government policy to exclude illegal immigrants from the healthcare system.
“…Two…Three…Patata!” There. Another Facebook-worthy photo that will show their families back home that everything IS okay. They can still send money home, despite the crisis.
With all these talks about the crisis, our Voltes V girls choose to look at the bright side. God’s will, they all chorus. And today is their day-off. Nothing can spoil it. No matter how much tantrums the sky will throw, their plans for today will go on as intended. Heavy drops are falling now. I hand back the camera and scamper for cover, leaving them to admire the shot.