Sunday, January 13, 2008


The scouting movement reached the Philippine shores in 1910. It was a time when the first scouters (scout officials) provided the Filipino kids with opportunities to learn outdoor camping and survival techniques through its patrol and group method.

In 1923, the movement received formal organization in the Philippines with the founding of the Philippine Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Since then scouting has grown exponentially in the islands. I was told that after the United States, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines has the largest membership.

I once dreamed of becoming a boy scout. My interest in it started when I was in fourth grade. I wanted to wear its uniform and learn about tying knots and basic jungle survival methods among other things. As a sign of approval and support for my intention, my father gave me a beautiful imported hunting knife from his collection which I lovingly polished every day. I was psyched. I really looked forward to participating in various scouting activities such as day hikes and weekend camping trips.

Unfortunately, my mother wouldn't allow me to join despite my numerous pleas. The news account of the tragic crash of an EgyptAir jetliner in the Bay of Bombay, India, on July 28, 1963 was vividly etched in her mind. She was petrified that I might somehow meet a similar tragic death while in one of those scouting trips.

Regrettably, in our household back then, what my mother decided upon when it came to her "babies" (as she would refer to her brood regardless of age), my father would never dare oppose.
So I spent the remaining years of grade school deprived of scouting adventures with schoolmates.

My father sensed my great disappointment and compensated by taking me along in his hunting trips. Althought it was always fun tagging along with him and his friends, I found no excitement in shooting wild pigs and other helpless animals. Boxes of bullets I'd waste on shooting mangoes off their twigs. My father didn't mind; he knew how much I wanted to be a scout and doing kid stuff with my school friends.

Anyway, as some folks may remember, the ill-fated EgyptAir (formerly United Arab Airlines) with 52 passengers and eight crewmembers bound for Athens, Greece, plunged into the sea. There were no survivors in the plane crash.

Among the passengers were 24 Filipino boy scouts and scout officials en route to the 11th World Jamboree in Marathon, Greece. Their untimely deaths was mourned by the Filipino people and the entire boy scout movement worldwide.

The boy scouts who perished were:

From Manila:
Ramon V. Albano
Henry Chuatoco
Jose Antonio Delgado
Pedro Gandia
Wilfredo Santiago
Ascario Tuason, Jr.
Felix Fuentebella, Jr. (also represented Goa, Camarines Sur)

From Pasay City:
Paulo Madriñan

From Quezon City:
Roberto Castro
Romeo R. Rallos
Rogelio Ybardolaza.

From Cavite:
Filamor Reyes
Antonio Torillo

From Baguio City:
Victor de Guia, Jr.

From Dagupan City:
Roberto Lozano

From Tarlac:
Benecio Tobias

From Negros Occidental:
Jose Fermin Magbanua

From Zamboanga City:
Antonio Limbaga

On April 24, 1964, the City Council of Quezon City renamed some streets in the Kamuning and Roxas Districts after the 24 boy scouts and scouters.

* * *

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posted by Señor Enrique at 9:16 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Scouting is fun and helps a lot in shaping the character of the youth. I also dreamed of becoming a girl scout then, but as in your case, my mom won't allow me because I was quite frail as a child and suffered from severe anemia.

But scouting, though fun, can expose the scouts to some risks.

And remembering this plane crash that killed several Filipino boy scouts made me recall too, about an incident here in Dagupan. It happened not too long ago.

One private school here organized a camping activity. As they were setting up their tents, one of the girl scouts went to the "talahiban" to relieve herself. When she returned to the campsite, she started to complain of some choking sensation. Then her vision dimmed, her face turned blue and in seconds - died right there. Apparently, she was not aware that was bitten by a snake. The mother almost lost her mind over the tragedy. The girl was candidate for valedictorian. :(

January 13, 2008 11:31 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

I was a Boy Scout in 1963 and am familiar with the street names in the Timog and Kamuning area that was named after the Pilipino Boy Scouts contingent who perished in that tragic plane crash in the Bay of Bombay on their way to represent the Philippines in the 11th World Jamboree in Athens, Greece.

South 19th street in Roxas District was renamed Scout Chuatoco Ave. as a tribute to Pilipino Boy Scout Henry Chuatoco.

I spent most of my teen years living with my family in Roxas District.

January 13, 2008 12:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Jeeez! That was tragic, Rhoda.

Nonetheless, for a boy, those risks can sometimes be nonexistent. My mother could be over protective to a fault. I really resented her disapproval of my joining the scout. I thought she deprived me of a significant growing up experience. But what can we do, huh?

January 13, 2008 7:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

When a cousin got married, they bought a house in Scout Rallos, and that's how that street remained memorable, Pete.

A couple of years ago I made a wrong turn from Quezon Avenue and found myself lost in Roxas District. Thank God I carried a Metro Manila map book with me. So instead of getting frantic, I took that as an opportunity to explore the area. You know, the infamous Pegasus has become quite a landamark in Roxas District ... hehehe.

You were fortunate to have been a scout :)

January 13, 2008 7:13 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

I agree that scouting can be very advantageous for honing character especially when it comes to knowing or learning how to handle the basic things in life like cooking without the benefit of an LPG, etc. I was a Girl Scout just because my auntie was a provincial Scout leader. But nevertheless, I learned a lot of values like love for country, etc.

The only observation I have, as a thing of hindsight, is that teachers sometimes mistake camping as a sort of picnic or mere excursion. Like Rhodora's narrative about the girl who did not know any better about snakes in the locale should have been foreseen by the scout teachers...or better yet, they would have immediately done a first aid. I know of several "jungle boys" around our vicinity who can spot natural habitats of snakes just by the look of the terrain or even certain trees! That's worth a scouting lesson.

January 13, 2008 8:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad, sad. I was too young at the time this happened.

I just learned about it from this write up. Thanks.

January 13, 2008 11:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about the boy scouts that lost their lives. Nevertheless, everything in life is unpredictable. Well, being a scout is nice but I never had the opportunity because the scouts in my school weren't really active as they only go around doing activities around the school compound. I was in the Joyful Vanguard troops though whereby I help the chapel with charity work and we sing hymns whenever we meet. It was fun because as we proceed the nuns will reward us with a badge for each level that we've surpassed; it's like a rank of seniority in the vanguard troops. I really miss those moments!


By the way, when I was at the Rizal Monument I was unable to get as close up as the boys managed to. Because the front area was sealed. Is it only permitted to those whom have permission to access the inner monument area?

January 14, 2008 12:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It really devastated the entire country, Anonymous. And to think that they were merely young boys with so much ahead of them. Sad, indeed.

January 14, 2008 6:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You said it all, Bernadette. Those were the reasons I wanted to become a scout. It would have been a tremendous opportunity for city kids to develop awareness for our environment.

I really believe that scouting is good for our young folks. However, just in anything else, much preparation and accident prevention measures must be a concern whenever conducting camping trips. Like you said, those day hikes and overnight camping trips are not supposed to be picnics, but skills and character building endeavors.

I'm truly in awe of those people or "jungle boys" who are so in tune with their environment. I once had an American Indian co-worker whose grandfather taught him how to walk on dry leaves without making a sound. Awesome, isn't it?

January 14, 2008 6:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The photo was taken during Rizal Day wherein they had wreath offering ceremony in the morning, Kyels, hence the area was opened for those participating in the commemoration program, including the members of the media.

That was a nice experience you had with the Joyful Vanguard, though within the school compound only.

Fun after school activities ought to be promoted more so kids don't end up just sitting in front of their PCs and playing games for hours on end, don't you think?

January 14, 2008 7:05 AM  

Blogger joe said...

Thanks for featuring this post Eric. I was a Boy Scout too in those days. Fondly remember my co-scout and classmate the late Scout Victor de Guia Jr.. Still have a hi-school class photo with him. He was one of the chosen few then to represent the Philippines. A coincidence perhaps... his mother was just featured at i-baguio dot com. She's 90 now and still up and about in Baguio City. Best regards.

January 14, 2008 7:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What really attracted me to Scouting was the knot tying thing. I never became a Girl Scout but I learned it anyway from my eldest brother who was Scout Master during his entire career as elementary school teacher. Our age gap is about 15 years, so I was still in elementary when he started his teaching career. I also got to be exposed to Jamborees,- because I would tag along when the family used to visit him at their camping sites. So, parang nag-Scouting na rin ako - except that I did not get to wear the green Girl Scout uniform that I so wished for.. During that time kasi, pag naka-uniform ka ng Scout, parang hastig, saka japorms... haha!

Unfortunately, my own kids also did not become scouts. Nowadays kasi - Scouting is mostly promoted in public schools only. Very few private schools have Scouting. :(

January 14, 2008 7:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nevertheless, I think one can still join the GSP or BSP, as senior member. I was being recruited last year, but I did not push for it. No time.

January 14, 2008 8:04 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'd be too embarrassed to join at my age now, Rhoda. Those cub and boy scouts would probably end up teaching me all about scouting instead of the other way around ... hehehe.

I think a major factor in my wanting to join the boy scouts was a desire for independence -- to join activities outside of the usual family's.

It was also during that time when my brother Napoleon had joined the U.S. Navy so perhaps, I, too, wanted some kind of adventure and scouting was it for me :)

You're fortunate to have at least experienced certain aspects of scouting through your older brother.

January 14, 2008 8:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now that's some coincidence, Joe! A wonderful one, too, because we at least get a chance to remember those scouts such as your co-scout and classmate, who, unfortunately, was among those in the fatal crash. Glad to know that his mom is still up and about :)

Lucky you, Joe, wish I had the opportunity to experience scouting. I bet you appreciated and enjoyed those days :)

January 14, 2008 8:21 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

I was a Girl Scout. I joined the scout movement in 4th grade and eventually became my school's Scout Leader when I reached 7th Grade. Those were fun times. I remember going camping and learning all sorts of nifty things (like knot tying and making bonfires). And the camaraderie was just fantastic. To be able to wear that green uniform was something all the kids and schools looked up to :)

January 14, 2008 9:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that tragic crash when I was a little guy.

My father was a scoutmaster who represented Negros Occidental with his troop in the World Jamboree in Mt Makiling, Laguna in the very early 60's I think. I vaguely remember the date as I was still a young boy at that time :)

January 14, 2008 10:21 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

my tito (older brother of my pa) almost joined that jamboree but wasn't allowed to join by my lola. if he was then there would have also been a street with our surname..

January 14, 2008 10:23 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

While our school did not send representation, we also suffered a loss in the person of:

Fr. Jose Ma. Martinez, SJ, a faculty member of the Ateneo de Naga, who was an assistant scoutmaster in Naga City, was the delegation's chaplain.

Who was quite known by the local Jesuit community and the school itself. He also perished with other officials onboard.

January 14, 2008 11:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Q.C. District you mentioned where many of the streets named after the Scouts that cross Morato Avenue (formerly Sampaloc Street) is called Barangay Laging Handa (RE: "Roxas-Kamuning areas". Kamuning is Brgy Sacred Heart), although some streets go beyond the barangay like Sct. Chuatoco. "Laging Handa" ("Ever Ready"), of course, is the BSP motto.

Another major street there is called 11th Jamboree (favoring Brgy Sacred Heart-Kamuning area) to commemorate the event. A smaller one named Marathon is after the Greek venue they were headed for.

Fr. Martinez St. is named after Fr. Jose A. Martinez, the priest who accompanied them, as with Dr. Bonifacio V. Lazcano, their Scoutmaster.

The Quezon City heritage is rich. Sadly, many who have chosen to migrate or settle there do not know the City's roots, and the City's administrators sorely lack the initiative to drill these info to its residents.

Thanks for the post!

The Scouts' pictures and other info here.

January 14, 2008 12:37 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I joined the GSP at 3rd grade. My lolo didn't want me to join--they were Jehovah's Witnesses, but the school principal pleaded with my lolo.:) The campings and hikings were fun...I enjoyed the camaraderie, and meeting fellow girl scouts from other schools.

Learned about the plane crash only a few years ago when I was in Baguio. One of my suppliers there told me about it while having lunch at Max's. He was telling me about the 1st Max's restaurant in Roxas District.:)

January 14, 2008 3:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an active scout during my elementary years. I've joined most regional scout jamborees and one national jamboree in Mt. Makiling in 1986.

It was fun being a scout. I always wanted the best badges and I love the competition. I remember paying homage too to those scouts who perished during the plane crash.

January 14, 2008 5:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now that experiences of yours with scouting were what I dreamed of, Rey and I'm glad for you :)

Interestingly, every time I see some scouts, I couldn't help but be happy for them because I know their experiences as scouts they will cherish and bring with them to their adulthood.

January 14, 2008 7:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I bet if planned well -- with all logistics carefully studied and prepared for -- thos hiking and camping trips can be lots of fun and stimulating for all participants, right Luna?

You must have been so happy when your lolo finally relented and allowed you to join :)

That news of the tragedy, though old, I'm sure got you rattled even if a bit. It was really tragic.

January 14, 2008 7:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Thank you very much for the information, Karissa. What an eye-opener.

You're right, for some odd reason, most folks in Quezon City whom I know are completely oblivious to the history of the city. They seem as if they don't care whatsoever what happened to the area before they moved in. And the city officials don't seem to care, either -- about promoting the city's culture and heritage. Very strange, indeed.

January 14, 2008 7:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks to you, Amadeo, and Karissa for bringing up these names that weren't mentioned in the news clipping that I got regarding this tragic event.

Truly appreciate it guys!

January 14, 2008 7:27 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, my God, Carla. That was really close.

Had I been a scout at that time, knowing my mother, she most definitely would have not allowed me (her youngest child) to fly off to Greece.

January 14, 2008 7:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Your dad was a scoutmaster, BW? Did you join the scouts, too? Awesome!

January 14, 2008 7:30 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

One of my suppliers there told me about it while having lunch at Max's. He was telling me about the 1st Max's restaurant in Roxas District.:)

Luna, and if memory serves that Max's in QC was the first EVER before branching out to the rest of the islands and even abroad.

I have some personal knowledge because I had my wedding reception in that site, one of the children of the owners (Sanvictores) being married to somebody from the old hometown.

Imagine with fried chiken as the menu, one cover then was priced at 3.50 pesos!

January 15, 2008 3:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

P3.50 a cover? Astonishing! Where had all the good days gone, eh? Hehehe!

The Max's branch that was memorable to me was the one over in Roxas Boulevard, Amadeo. That was where my father used to take us on some Sundays. I remember the mini buns (pandelemon) they used to serve with their fried chicken.

Also, my eldest brother had his reception there after being wed in Lourdes Church in Quezon City (Retiro and Mayon Streets).

Incidentally, for those craving for Max's fried chicken and far from a branch, check out this recipe I had posted two years ago:


January 15, 2008 7:28 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Look at the degrees of connections, Eric. I am familiar with Lourdes Church because I used to live in an aunt's house along Retiro St. and went to church there. And this area was then called Sta. Mesa Heights.

Remember the big media fuss about NEDA's Romy Neri on his Senate testimony? His house mentioned in the news is the same house of his parents and was close to my aunt's house. I used to visit with them when I was in Manila.

Looking at the old wedding pics, one senses how small the chickens were then, with the pan de lemon combo looking like little orphans in one's plate. HeheHe.

January 15, 2008 8:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my case, my parents allowed me to join the Boy Scouts when I was in high school in Don Bosco, Mandaluyong, but at the start they wouldn't let me join in any out-of-town camping trips.

So I wrote them a letter and put it where I was sure they'd see it. I said that one of the main purposes of being a Scout was to learn about and enjoy the great outdoors, and if that wasn't going to happen, I might as well quit.

The next morning, my mom said, "Saan ba kayo pupunta?" That was the start of a new world opening up for me. Until now I enjoy the outdoors via my hiking expeditions and climbs! And by he way, being a Boy Scout got me exempted from having CAT (Citizen's Army Training)!

I am proud to say that Scout Ramon Albano is an uncle (first cousin of my mother)but sadly I had never met him as I was born 4 years still after the tragic incident.

January 15, 2008 10:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my friends, during our Girl Scout camping trip, was accompanied by her yaya.

Ha Ha Ha! Just wanna lighten up the mood, masyado na kasing serious.

January 20, 2008 2:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oo nga, Kyrienne ... hehehe. Thanks!

By the way, did the yaya do all the chores and hard work for your friend? :) That's really amazing!

January 21, 2008 11:16 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Good for you, Raul! Am so happy for you to have had that opportunity :)

I, too, enjoyed doing day hikes and overnight camping in upstate New York. And boy, did I wish even more that I had joined the scouts when younger.

Thanks for sharing with us your experiences. That was also interesting about Scout Ramon Albano. Thanks!

January 21, 2008 11:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And didn't they claim a mere seven degrees that separate us from one another, Amadeo? Intrighuing, isn't it.

I remember your having once mentioned about your sometimes going to Santa Mesa Heights, but I had absolutely no idea that Secretary Neri's parents house is near your aunt's.

And those fried chicken remain popular as ever, indeed :)

January 21, 2008 11:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was similarly deprived in scouting, Señor E. And my father never compensated with hunting trips because it was him that decided to "baby" me in the first place.

I remember finally being allowed in an in-campus camping. I was sleepless in the tent the entire night, so I slept in the clinic the next day and missed out the survival training. Pathetic, isn't it?

January 21, 2008 1:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

If you happen to be the youngest (and being a boy at that), Dave, then that should explain why your father were sort of over-protective. Fathers tend to do that with their youngest sons, I notice.

My father might have done the same with me had it not been the six older brothers I had to constantly depend myself from. He probably thought scouting would toughen me up some more, especially when fending off those older siblings ... hehehe.

Camping out can take some getting used to all right :)

January 21, 2008 8:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello. Every time I pass by the area - especially the rotonda, I wonder how they would have turned out had they lived. They would have been in their mid-50s by now.

Anyway, somebody told me that Scout de Guia was the brother of the artist Kidlat Tahimik, aka Eric de Guia. Is this true?


July 28, 2008 10:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Andre,

I think they are brothers. Check out this blog in which the author is the son of a close friend of Kidlat Tahimik:

July 28, 2008 11:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might to check out this website dedicated to the scouts:


July 28, 2008 12:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't really believe that.....




August 01, 2008 6:00 PM  

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