GREETINGS!

TODAY, MARKS THE 47TH YEAR OF THE 11TH WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE TRAGEDY, A TRAGEDY THAT STRUCK THE FAMILIES OF THESE SCOUTS AND SCOUTERS, THE SCOUTING MOVEMENT AND THE WORLD.THE SAID JAMBOREE WAS HELD AT ATHENS, GREECE WHEREIN 24 SCOUTS AND SCOUTERS FROM THE PHILIPPINES WERE SUPPOSED TO BE PARTICIPANTS BUT WERE NOT ABLE TO EVEN REACH THE VENUE BECAUSE OF A TRAGEDY. JULY 28, 1963, EXACTLY TWO YEARS, TWO MONTHS AND TWO DAYS BEFORE I WAS BORN. I WAS NOT EVEN BORN YET WHEN THIS HAPPENED IN THE ARABIAN SEA OF BOMBAY, INDIA. IN NUMEROLOGY THESE NUMBERS ARE SIGNIFICANT, FOR THEY HAVE THEIR MEANING OR INTERPRETATIONS WITH REGARDS TO WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH US, BUT, I DON T BELIEVE IN THIS PROCESS, I BELIEVE IN DESTINY. WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARCHITECT OUR OWN FATE; IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE. TO CHOOSE IS A RIGHT THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US. GOD HAS HIS OWN PERFECT REASON FOR EVERYTHING. PERSONALLY, I KNOW NOBODY FROM AMONG THE PHILIPPINE DELEGATION PARTICIPATING IN THE 11TH WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE. THE ONLY CONNECTION I HAVE RIGHT NOW ASIDE FROM BEING A SCOUT, IS MY BEING THE COMMISSIONER OF DISTRICT 5A,WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I AM STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU TODAY, IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 47TH YEAR OF THE 11TH WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE IN MARATHON, GREECE. LAST MONDAY, I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO START AND END THIS MESSAGE. SO I BROWSE THE INTERNET TO KEEP MYSELF EQUIPPED WITH THE INFORMATIONS AND DETAILS OF THIS TRAGIC INCIDENT. WHILE BROWSING, I CAME ACROSS WITH THE SITE FEATURING THE PROCLAMATION NO. 293 DECLARING JULY 28 OF EVERY YEAR AS BOY SCOUTS OF THE PHILIPPINES MEMORIAL DAY BY NO OTHER THAN THE LATE PRESIDENT CORAZON C. AQUINO, BENEATH THE INFORMATION, I SAW SOMEBODY IN THE PAGE WHO WROTE I AM THE MOTHER OF ROBERTO CASTOR, ONE OF THE SCOUTS WHO PERISHED IN THAT TRGEDY. I HAVE SOME SOUVENIRS ABOUT THE SCOUTS, CALL ME WITH THIS NUMBER .. I WASTED NO TIME AND CALLED HER UP, MRS. VIRGINIA CASTOR THE MOTHER OF SCOUT ROBERTO CASTOR, SHE INVITED ME TO THEIR HOUSE AT #29 PALALI ST. BGY. SIENNA, QUEZON CITY AND HANDED ME THESE ITEMS, THE RUBY AND SAPPHIRE ANNIVERSARY ISSUES. WE CHATTED A LITTLE BUT NOT MUCH ABOUT SCOUTING, SHE MADE A COMMENT ABOUT THE FIRST SONA OF OUR PRESIDENT. SHE LIKED IT.I WAS EXPECTING TO HEAR FROM HER MEMORIES OF ROBERTO S LIFE AS A BOY SCOUT, A CHILD, A YOUNG MAN OR AS AN INDIVIDUAL. SHE ONLY TOLD ME THAT HER SON IS THE ONLY PARTICIPANT FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL.

EULOGIO RODRIGUEZ JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN QUEZON CITY, ONLY THAT. BUT THAT WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR ME. JUST HAVING THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET THE MOTHER OF ONE OF THE SCOUTS WHO PERISHED 47 YEARS AGO IS ALREADY AN HONOR FOR ME. MY DEAR FELLOW SCOUTS AND SCOUTERS, WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES, UNIQUE FOR EACH ONE OF US. TO DEAL WITH THESE DEPENDS ON OUR VERY OWN JUDGEMENT AND UNDERTAKING. WE ARE THE MASTER OF OUR OWNSELVES. THE BOY SCOUTS CHOSE TO TAKE THEIR PATH DESIGNED BY LORD BADEN POWELL OF GILWELL. THUS, THEY ARE DESTINED TO FULFILL THEIR DUTY TO REPRESENT OUR COUNTRY IN THE WORLD JAMBOREE. BUT BECAUSE OF THE TRAGEDY IN THE ARABIAN SEA OF BOMBAY, INDIA, THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO SING THE JAMBOREE SONG NOR PARTICIPATE IN ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES LINED UP FOR THE OCCASION. OUR VICE-PRESIDENT AND BOY SCOUTS OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL PRESIDENT JEJOMAR C. BINAY WROTE AND I QUOTE THE TRAGIC DEMISE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE CONTINGENT IS A PERMANENT REMINDER TO ALL OF US THAT OUR LIFE ON THIS EARTH IS A TRANSITORY AFFAIR AT BEST. IT IS UP FOR US TO MAKE OUR OWN LIVES WORTHWHILE WITH WHAT LITTLE TIME HAS BEEN ALLOTED TO US. THIS WE CAN DO BY OCCUPYING OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS IN THE IMPORTANT THINGS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. SCOUTING TEACHES US TO KEEP OURSELVES PHYSICALLY STRONG, MENTALLY AWAKE AND MORALLY STRAIGHT. BY FOLLOWING ITS PRINCIPLES, WE ARE GUIDED TOWARDS THE ATTAINMENT OF A LIFE WORTH OUR STAY. IN SO DOING, WE CAN LIVE HAPPY AND DIE HAPPY. ALSO, THE FOUNDER OF SCOUTING LORD BADEN POWELL WROTE A PARTING WORD OF GOODBYE, AND IT SAYS DEAR SCOUTS: REMEMEBER, IT IS THE LAST YOU WILL EVER HEAR FROM ME, SO THINK IT OVER. I HAVE HAD A MOST HAPPY LIFE I WANT EACH ONE OF YOU TO HAVE AS HAPPY A LIFE TOO. I BELIEVE TAHAT GOD PUT US ON THIS JOLLY WORLD TO BE HAPPY AND ENJOY LIFE. HAPPINESS DOES NOT COME FROM BEING RICH, NOR MERELY FROM BEING SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR CAREER, NOR BY SELF-INDULGENCE. ONE STEP TOWARDS HAPPINESS IS TO MAKE YOURSELF HEALTHY AND STRONG WHILE YOU WERE A BOY, SO THAT YOU CAN BE USEFUL AND SO CAN ENJOY LIFE WHEN YOU ARE AMAN. NATURE STUDY WILL SHOW YOU HOW FULL OF BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL THINGS GOD HAS MADE THE WORLD FOR YOU TO ENJOY. BE CONTENTED WITH WHAT YOU HAVE GOT AND MAKE THE BEST OF IT. LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS INSTEAD OF THE GLOOMY ONE. BUT THE REAL WAY TO GET HAPPINESS IS BY GIVING OUT HAPPINESS TO OTHER PEOPLE. TRY TO LEAVE THIS WORLD A LITTLE BETTER THAN WHEN YOU FOUND IT AND WHEN YOUR TURN COMES TO DIE, YOU CAN DIE HAPPY IN FEELING THAT AT ANY RATE

YOU HAVE NOT WASTED YOUR TIME BUT HAVE DONE YOUR BEST. BE PREPARED IN THIS WAY, TO LIVE HAPPY AND TO DIE HAPPY-STICK TO YOUR SCOUT PROMISE ALWAYSEVEN AFTER YOU HAVE CEASED TO BE A BOY-AND GOD WILL HELP YOU DO IT. SIGNED LORD BADEN-POWELL OF GILWELL LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS INSTEAD OF THE GLOOMY ONE. WITH THIS STATEMENT OF THE FOUNDER, IT SUGGESTS THAT INSTEAD OF GRIEVING AT THE LOSS OF THE PHILIPPINE DELEGATION 47 YEARS AGO, LET THIS BE AN INSPIRATION FOR US TO CONTINUE TO LIVE UP WITH THE IDEALS OF SCOUTING, TO DO OUR BEST, TO DO OUR DUTY TO GOD, OUR DUTY TO OUR COUNTRY AND OUR DUTY TOOTHER PEOPLE. IN SO DOING WE WILL BE HAPPY AND ALWAYS READY TO MEET AND JOIN OUR CREATOR, ANYTIME, 24/7. LET ME END UP THIS MESSAGE WITH AN EXERPT FROM THE POEM WRITTEN BY FRANCISCO JAVINES. THESE ARE THE TWO STANZAS OF HIS PIECE. GRIEVE NOT MY FRIENDS, THE BOYS WILL BE HOME THEY ONLY HIKED TO HEAVEN AND NOW THEY LAUGH AT THE FOOLISH TEARS WE SHED . THEY ARE NOT DEAD-BOYS NEVER DIE THEY LIVE IN YOU AND ME: IN EVERY LITTLE BURDEN FROM A NEIGHBOR S SHOULDERS LIFTED IN EVERY SMILE WE CAUSE TO GLOW UPON A FACE WHERE SORROW DRIFTED . BY FRANCISCO JAVINES THANK YOU AND AGAIN A PLEASANT MORNING TO ALL OF US.

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