The students had been busy for weeks preparing. Our graduates came back to the school to pitch in as volunteers. A storm came in and water had to be bailed out by hand and motor. But when the Queen of Spain came, time stood still as she walked through the different workshops, shaking the hands of almost all of the students and asking them about their lives – how old they were, where they were from, and what they were doing – as the rain fell gently on the garden of the Revellin de Recoletos.
The answers varied from “Baseco” to “Batanes” to “Maguindanao”, and the hammering of chisels gave way to smiles and explanations of how stone is cut or sculpted. As the cameras took their pictures and the media scrambled for the best of angles, Her Majesty went from one student to the next, and from one workshop to another, always finding sincere delight in the crafts and talents that surrounded her, and demonstrating an insatiable curiosity in what she saw.
“How clever!” she remarked of the painters creating different finishes on their panels – something she admitted that she had not seen before.
Nobody seemed to have minded the rain, but all eyes were on the students, the graduates, and a Queen who had touched their lives in all her simplicity and grace.
We thank Her Majesty the Queen of Spain for having passed by the Escuela Taller and give the youth support and encouragement.