STARTING on October 1 to the 31st, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) will celebrate its 72nd anniversary as a national youth organization.
Commonwealth Act No. 11 of 1936 created the BSP which was earlier known as the Boy Scouts of America, Philippine Council. Scouting in the country began with a troop of Muslim Boy Scouts in Zamboanga organized by US Army Lt. Lorilard Spencer as early as 1914.
However, boy scouting in the archipelago formally started in 1924 with a troop organized by the Rotary Club of Manila, under the BSA Philippine Council. The rest of PH Boy Scouting adventure since then is now part of history.
The BSP Baguio City Council commemorative activities will also feature the local Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP)-Baguio City participation. The month-long celebration here kicks off with a grand parade on October 1.
On October 8, the annual Scouts Officials for a Day (Sofad) program will take place at the Baguio City Hall and other leading government agencies in the city. A select group of boy and girl scouts will be on centerstage.
The annual Baguio Senior Citizens month-long program of special events also starts on October 1, with the Senior Citizens Officials for a Day (Scofad), a similar format with Sofad.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will administer the city elderlies’ social, civic, religious sports and cultural activities spread out through the whole month, in consonance with a Presidential Proclamation honoring the Senior Citizens of our country.
As I mentioned earlier in my past weekend columns in SunStar Baguio, the 32nd Year Anniversary of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna along Km. 7, Asin Road, Sitio Pacac, Barangay Tadiangan, Tuba Benguet will be held on Oct. 7. A Holy Mass at the Shrine will be celebrated by a Recoletos Major Seminary priest scheduled at 10 a.m. A fellowship hour will follow after the Holy Eucharist.
The festivities at the place of worship is also dedicated to the departed officers of the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) who with yours truly as president initiated the Baguio Senior Citizens Octoberbest month-long calendar of events in the city.
The BEA charter members who are now resting in peace in the Glory of the Lord are school Supt. Jose Olarte of the Philippine Government Retirees Association, Baguio Chapter; BEA Secretary and BARP Foundation Board of Trustee officer Tolentino Opiniano, Commanders Gualberto Adalim and Napoleon Gojo of the Philippine Veterans Federation, Baguio District; Commander Bert Villasi of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines, Northern Luzon and the 66th Infantry Battallion of the AFP, Engr. Leopoldo Escano, Head of the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs and Ernesto Esguerra of FBASECA.
The project committee officers of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna are couple Wilfredo and Brenda Leyson from Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, the Tamsi couple Jaime and Gladys from Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet, Architects Arnel and Jojo Alba from Quezon City, Raffy Estocapio from Baguio City and yours truly with my loving wife Consuelo Sol. Again, we are inviting the general public specially our Mama Mary devotees to join us in the forthcoming celebration.
Happily, I have been a Boy Scout and a Scouter all my life. My Scouting days started at Balatoc Mines as a Cub Scout. My late father Teofilo was a Sergeant with the Balatoc Mines Police Department.
In 1946, I joined Baguio City High School Troop 66. Later on, I was with Troop 89 Drum and Bugle Corps unit as the band leader. I ended by my Boy Scouting age activity as the baton leader of Troop 22 Drum and Bugle Corps under Scout Executive Laureano Abando.
In 1950, I picked up my scouting thread as the organizer-Scoutmaster of Baguio Tech. Troop 88, and Troop 77 of the Baguio College Foundation. In 1958, I was a scholar of the Baguio Mountain Council and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Regional Office in the BSP 10th National Training School, where I graduated as honor student.
Immediately, I was commissioned by the BSP National Council as Field Scout Executive of the Baguio-Benguet Council then promoted to the rank of fullpledge Scout Executive. In 1965, I was the lone scholar of the BSP to the 9th Far East Training the Team foreign Course (TTC) held in Thailand. I passed the TTC with flying colors among over 100 Scouters in attendance.
I was also a member of the BSP National Council delegation to the 4th Far East Scouting Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia led by the late BSP National Council President Gabriel Daza which earlier participated in the First East Leadership and Fund Campaign Seminar held in Singapore.
Several months later, I was promoted to the rank of Regional Scout Coordinator for Northern Luzon. After two successful years, I was designated as National Training Coordinator. I left the professional Scouting service in 1979 to join Radio Station DZWT 540 of the Mountain Province Broadcasting Station.
It was in 1995 when yours truly as a City Councilor served as the 18th President of the Baguio City Council BSP. I also became a life time member of the Order of the Arrow Mechegamea Lodge 110 of the Calumet Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1987 while serving as a Troop 507 committee member.
Herewith is the list of BSP Baguio-Benguet and Baguio City Council presidents since 1958. Col. Blas Alejandre; Col. Francisco Paraan, Mr. Oseo Hamada, City Councilor G. Bert Floresca, City Councilor Teopisto Rondez, Educator Ferndando Bautista, Sr.; Mr. Johnnie Dimalanta, Rev. Fr. Jean Marie Tchang, Atty. Moises Cating, City Mayor Luis Lardizabal, City Councilor Antonio Romero, City Councilor Edilberto Tenefrancia, City Mayor Jaime Bugnosen, City Councilor Clemente Capotura, Educator Reynaldo Bautista Sr., Mr. Oscar Tibayan, School Division Supt. Jose Olarte, City Councilor Nars Paddilla, Engr. Romulo Brillantes, Police Officer Virgilio Hidalgo, City Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas, Educator Virgilio Bautista, School Division Supt. Ruperta Vergara, Dr. Cesar Lachica, City Mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. and the Council’s incumbent President Engr. Antonio Bautista.
Happy Scouting to one and all!