The Boy Scouts of the Philippines Negros Oriental- Siquijor Council commemorated Scout Jojo Magbanua Day, and World Memorial Day on July 28 to honor the memory of 1st Class Scout Jose Fermin “Jojo” G. Magbanua who lost his life 60 years ago, along with 23 others, when their plane crashed into the Arabian Sea en route to the Scout World Jamboree in Greece.
The local BSP Executive Board members led the flower offering ceremony at the Boy Scouts office at the Capitol area. Councilor Bernice Anne Aseñas-Elmaco spoke on behalf of the Mayor, while Board Member Bruno “Thirdy” Bouffard spoke on behalf of the Governor. Jonathan Badoy, Magbanua’s buddy in Scouting at the Silliman University High School, also shared some words of remembrance of the virtues of Scout Jojo. Rover Scout Penn Larena, president of the Negros Island History, Heritage & Arts Society, provided his perspectives on the BSP’s history and its significance in Negrosanon culture.
The BSP World Memorial Day was also attended by City Councilor Rey Lyndon Lawas, representatives from the Freemasons Mt. Kaladias Lodge No. 91 and the Order of Demolay-Leon Kilat Chapter, the Girl Scouts of the Philippines Negros Oriental-Siquijor Council led by Scout Executive Razz Nocete, the Knights of Rizal, the Eagles Club, Bais City Eagles Scouts, and Alex Amor Jr., former Executive Board member.
Larena said the Scout Jojo Magbanua Day serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the young Scout Jojo and his fellow scouts, while also celebrating the lasting impact of their dedication to the ideals of Scouting.
On July 28, 1963, the Philippine delegation to the 11th World Scout Jamboree, composed of 14-year-olds like Dumagueteño Scout Jojo Magbanua, perished when their plane crashed into the Arabian Sea near India.
In honor of the 24 lives lost, the Quezon City government put up the Boy Scout Memorial in a roundabout in a barangay they named Laging Handa (Always Ready, which is the official Scout motto), and named 24 connected streets in the area in honor of the 24 Jamboree delegates. Scout Magbanua Street runs perpendicular from Quezon Avenue all the way to Don Roces Avenue. (PR)