For the Patrona issue of TOTN, we spoke to Ramon Perelló who is this year's Joan Mas.
The tension on August 2nd —at 7pm exactly—is profound and can be felt around the town of Pollensa, whether it’s through the TV screens or standing in wait at the Sant Jordi steps. No more so is it felt than in Plaza Almoina. The cockerel fountain stands defiant as nightie-clad chicas form a human chain marking the aisle in which Joan Mas and Dragut begin their fight. After an hour of Cristiano gathering, and many more hours of keen spectators claiming their spot, Joan Mas jumps out of the window and silence fills the air. Dragut eyeballs his opponent and Joan Mas calls to his town. The ‘Crit’ is emotional, powerful and no matter where you are from—born and bred Pollencin, visitor or settler from other lands—this is pure goosebump material.
But this tension has not got to Ramon Perelló, this year’s Joan Mas, at least not yet. He told TOTN that he doesn’t really feel nervous, “maybe I will closer to the day but not now, I’m just happy”. There is no fear of stumbling on words either, el Crit, is something that the children learn and act out from when they are young. Indeed, this is a day Ramon’s been dreaming about since he was a child, which goes some way in describing how proud his family are and the honour that they all feel.
Patrona 2017 is something of a family affair. Ramon’s father Biel Perello is in the Ajuntament Vella and his close friends are playing Dragut and Lloctinent. Lloctinent’s dad is Abanderat. Plus, all four members of the Ajuntament Vella are cousins, they all have the same name too.
For Ramon, this year was his second attempt at being Joan Mas. He has a group of friends who take turns to try. Of course, these things have to be planned and considered; no one would campaign against a close friend or relative as votes would be split and neither would win. So, as Ramon came second last year and because his dad was going to be in the Ajuntament Vella (only one team of four put themselves forward), he was encouraged to try again.
When we met Ramon, there was more than a week until the big day. He had already rehearsed battle against Biel Ferragut who will play Dragut and they will probably do it another 4-5 times. And as for the call to arms, Ramon is leaving that to raw emotion on the day. He’s been watching, saying, acting it since he was young and for now he needs to save his voice.