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Program Filipinization

For over five decades since Scouting reached the Philippine, Filipinos had been adopting the program of the Boy Scouts of America. This is normal since it was the Americans who introduced Scouting to the Filipinos.

In 1961, out the innate desire to adapt a program to the culture and tradition of the Filipinos, the National Executive Board approved and adopted the Revitalized Scouting Program which was officially launced on June 19, 1961. It was a move to Filipinize the program. It included changes in the badges, insignia, and program materials.

The Boy Scouting ranks - from "Eagle Scout" to "Jose Rizal Scout," and the Star and Life ranks was compressed into the "Maginoo Scout."

The Cub Scouting program also wen through changes. The ranks was renamed as well, instead of Wolf, Bear, Lion, and Webelos they went through Young Usa, Lauan, Molave, Narra, and the Leaping Usa Badges. The Young Usa and Leaping Usa are the advancement badges, while Lauan, Molave, and Narra were only complimentary badges.

Exploring for the Senior Scout program through the adoption of Air Scouting and Sea Scouting programs.

11th World Jamboree - 1963

Tragedy struck in 1963 when on July 28 of that year, a Sunday, a United Arab Airline plane plunged into the sea off the coast of Bombay in India, killing the 24 members of the Philippine contingent to the 11th World Jamboree in Marathon Greece. The contingent, consisting of 20 boys and four leaders, left Manila the day before a KLM flight to Hong Kong where they boarded the ill-starred plane that was supposed to bring them all the way to Greece via Bongkok and Bombay. The crash took place on the Bangkok to Bombay leg of the journey.

The tragedy grieved the whole country and the entire Scouting world. At the plains of Marathon in Greece, the Jamboree opened as scheduled on Thursday, August 1 but with all the flags flown at half mast (quarter staff) in the traditional gesture of mourning. In Manila, President Diosdado Macapagal led government officials in their expressions of grief and mobilized the government machinery to help the authorities in India ascertain the cause of the crash and bring the bodies home. Among the message of condolence received cam from Pope Paul VI.

The Philippine was represented at the Jamboree by BSP officials who left ahead of the main delegation and three boys who volunteered to go to Greece after being left behind because they could not raise their plane fare on time.

The ill-fated Boy Scouts and Scouters are honored today as heroes in a mausoleum erected for them at the Manila North Cemetery and in streets named after them in Quezon City. There are also streets named Boy Scouts Avenue, Marathon Street, and 11th Jamboree Street to remember that incident. There are parks, chapels and monuments erected in honor of some of the boys in the provinces where they came from.

The 11th World Jamboree Tragedy - a page from the Philippine Scouting Magazine dedicated to the scouts, their families, and friends.

For more information about the Eleventh World Jamboree and other World Jamborees visit the Pine Tree Web.

The Ruby Tower

The Boy Scouts again mobilized to action when the six-storey Ruby Tower building collapsed triggered by an intensity 7 earthquake that shook Manila on August 3, 1968.

Benito Guzon summed it up well in his article, "The Scouts were in all phases of the rescue operation. They carried victims to medical centers, transported recovered valuables to safe places, acted as liaison officers - the do-it-all service men - responded to tany need prompty and with dedication. They were the men of the hour."

The Boy Scouts drew the admiration of all those who saw them work, including President Ferdinand E. Marcos who, when the operation was over, took time to honor them and all those who participated in the difficult task of wading through the rubble to look for survivors. Among the few singled out for the Presidential Humanitarian Award was Scout Salvador Ang Jr., Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 326. National Scout Executive Godofredo P. Neric received the recognition award for the BSP as a whole.

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