In the heart of the city of stars, where a productive and attractive lifestyle hub lies, also stands the street signages bearing the names of 21 Filipino boy scouts and three scout leaders whose dreams crashed half a century back.
On July 28, 1963, the delegation of the Philippines to the 11th Boy Scout World Jamboree were on their way to Marathon, Greece, when an aircraft of United Arab Airlines (now EgyptAir) dived in the Arabian Sea, nine nautical miles from Bombay, India.
The delegates took a KLM flight for Hong Kong to get a connecting flight going to Athens. The ill-fated plane catered 52 passengers and eight crew members, including the fallen scouts who were supposed to carry the country's banner in the international field.
The boy scouts who died were Ramon V. Albano, Henry Chuatoco, Jose Antonio Delgado, Pedro Gandia, Wilfredo Santiago and Ascario Tuason, Jr. (from Manila Boy Scout Council), Roberto Castor, Romeo R. Rallos and Rogelio Ybardolaza (from Quezon City Scout Council), Victor de Guia, Jr. (Baguio City), Antonio Limbaga (Zamboanga City), Roberto Lozano (Dagupan City), Paulo Madriñan (Pasay City), Jose Fermin Magbanua (Negros Oriental), Filamor Reyes and Antonio Torillo (Cavite), Benecio Tobias (Tarlac), and Felix Fuentebella, Jr. (represented both the Manila and Goa, Camarines Sur Councils).
However, the authorities identified only the bodies of Delgado, Chuatoco, Castor, Tuason, and Fernandez from remains recovered on the shores of Bombay.
The aviation authorities failed to determine the cause of the accident, but sabotage was ruled out.
"For this is the other side of the coin of grief. The glory. The honor. The triumph... In the forefront of these boy's minds were always held as shining goals the noble ideals of the Scout Oath: 'honor... duty... God... Country.' These boys kept their honor; and they kept the faith; and they gave their all for their country... and I am sure they kept themselves in the friendship of God."
On April 14, 1964, almost a year after the tragic accident, the Quezon City Council passed Resolution 6692, which renamed the streets of Barangay South Triangle, Laging Handa, Obrero, Paligsahan, Roxas, and Sacred Heart to acknowledge and preserve the legacy of the 24 scouts.
BSP might have lost noble young men in a misfortune that rocked the whole nation, but they continue to live on through thoroughfares that now emulate productivity and beauty.
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