ArchivesJuly 2010Scouts remember Jojo Magbanua

Scouts remember Jojo Magbanua

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In an area known as barangay Laging Handa in Quezon City stands life-size statues of 24 Boy Scouts. Many young people today may not have any idea of who these scouts are or why statues were built in their honor.

The answer may be found in Dumaguete City, where a life-size statue of a Boy Scout guards the entrance to the Boy Scout Headquarters at the capitol area.

The statue is that of Scout Jose Fermin “Jojo” Magbanua, one of the 24 Filipino boy scouts and scouters who perished on July 28, 1963, a Sunday, when a United Arab Airlines plane plunged into the sea off the coast of Bombay, India, killing all the 24 members of the Philippine contingent to the 11th World Jamboree in Marathon, Greece.

He was 14 years old.

Magbanua represented Troop 37 of the Silliman University High School and the Negros Oriental-Siquijor Boy Scounts Council in the jamboree. He was the only Visayan delegate.

Along with Magbanua were Air Scout Observer Ramon Albano, 16; Patrol Leader, Senior Scout Pathfinder Patricil Bayoran Jr.,19; First Class Scout Roberto Castor, 14; Senior Path Finder Henry Chuatoco, 18; Life Scout Jose Antonio Delgado, 14; First Class Scout Felix Fuentebella Jr., 14; First Class Scout Pedro Gandia Jr., 15; Assistant Patrol Leader, First Class Scout Victor de Guia Jr., 15; First Class Scout Antonio Limbaga, 15; Rover Scout Roberto Lozano, 19; Junior Assistant Scoutmasters, Senior Scout Pathfinder Paolo Madrinan, 20; Star Scout Romeo Rafael Rallos, 17; Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, Senior Scout Pathfinder Filamer Reyes, 21; Star Scout Wilfredo Santiago, 14; Patrol Leader, First Class Scout Benicio Tobias 17; Assistant Patrol Leader, Eagle Scout Antonio Torrillo, 17; Star Scout Ascario Tuason Jr., 16; First Class Scout Rogelio Ybardolaza, 17 and Air Scout Observer Gabriel Borromeo, 14 years old.

To honor the ill-fated boy scouts and scouters, the Ala-Ala mausoleum was erected for them at the North Cemetery. Streets in Quezon City were also named after them, and a monument was built in the rotunda of Timog Avenue and Tomas Morato. A street was also named 11th Jamboree.

In Negros Oriental, the Boy and Girl Scouts hold floral offerings to commemorate every anniversary. The commemoration rites used to be held at the Dumaguete Memorial Park fronting Jojo Magbanua’s tomb but was moved to the Boy Scouts Headquarters after the unveiling of Magbanua’s statue in 2001.

This year’s commemoration of Scout Memorial Day will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28 at the BSP Headquarters. City Administrator William Ablong will represent City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria in giving a speech before the scouts, scouters and representatives of the Magbanua family.

The council’s headquarters on Kagawasan avenue in Dumaguete also hosts the Scout Jojo Magbanua memoriabilia, which ontains souvenirs about the fallen scout.

In the collection are photographs, news clippings, a baseball glove and even a ceramic wall decoration with the Scout’s Oath, which fell from Jojo’s room and cracked on the week he died.

All the items were donated by the Magbanua family.

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