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Manila Chronicle article - SCOUTS HAD PREMONITION OF TRAGEDY PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:20
Here is an article from the Manila Chronicle about the lives of these scouts... SCOUTS HAD PREMONITION OF TRAGEDY Manila Chronicle – July 30, 1963 By Sylvia Mayuga of the Chronicle Staff “I will die a scout, “ Roberto Lozano, 19, and one of the 24 ill-fated Philippine scouting delegates, often jested to his family and close friends. The pleasantry has assumed a grim prophetic undertone. Antonio Torillo had a more ominous warning. He dreamed of a plane crash two days before he left. His uncle, to whom he confided this dismissed the thought and talked about the places he was going to visit in Europe and America during his two-month trip. His parents, Col. And Mrs. Alfonso Torillo, were unaware of their son’s tragedy until they heard about it flashed over the Chronicle Broadcasting Network Sunday afternoon in Rosario, Cavite. Col. Torillo, a hardened veteran constabulary officer, is still suffering from shock. He recalled that his son had worked hard to be able to join the contingent. Antonio was a model scout of Cavite and his parents are still praying that he survived. Crippled by polio at four months old, Roberto Lozano overcame many obstacles to lead a normal life and scouting activity. Julia del Prado, a cousin, recalls that even as a little boy, Roberto knew the signals thoroughly, intent as he was on becoming a scout. The trip was both a chance for a meeting with kindred spirits and a chance to pass by Lourdes where many similarly affected had been cured. Hence, his tenacity to raise whatever money he still lacked a day before the trip, to the extent of approaching Malacañang for sponsorship. “With the tenacity typical of him, he raised whatever money he lacked for the trip by approaching Malacañang and friends,” said his mother, Mrs. Patrocinio del Prado vda. De Lozano. He is the youngest of her three children. Ebullient and enterprising, Roberto was a consistent honor student at Dagupan City Colleges. As a student leader, he recently won a prize in an extemporaneous speaking contest. He was on his second year in a pre-medicine course. His death is the second tragedy in the family. It followed his father’s who died in an accident shooting last January. However, excited by the trip, he has specially requested his mother not to wear black at the airport since he thought it not a cheerful send-off. “He had gone to confession before the trip and was hoping to go to Communion on the Catacombs of Rome,” Julia sobbed. Florenta Ojeda, Agusan council master, who mourned by nephew by affinity, Florante Pascual. The latter, a PE and PMT teacher at the Rajah Soliman High School, said he had not contacted Ojeda’s family in Agusan because he was at a loss at what to tell them. He wept recalling the comradely relationship he had with Ojeda, a close friend of nine years. Ojeda had slept in his house the night before he left. He still couldn’t believed is luck at being able to go abroad. Romeo Rallos, 17, was the only son of four children. Gavino Santos, the boy’s uncle, who is staying with the family, says that after his studies at the Quezon City High School, they had intended to send him to Mapua Tech for an engineering course. His father, who is working in San Francisco, California, had great hopes of sending for his son to continue his studies there. Jose Fermin Magbanua, a 14-year-old boy from Dumaguete City was on his first exciting trip away from home. Twice before he had been frustrated in his plans to go abroad when his visits to elder sisters who are Smith-Mundt scholars in the United States have been called off. The trip to Greece was for him a big adventure. According to Mrs. Padolina, a wife of a BSP official, his family had planned on his studying to ne an engineer to follow in the footsteps of his father. Roberto Castor’s family held hopes for his safety and did not give up the thought of seeing him once more. The second of eight children, his parents had scrimped and saved in order to finance his trip. They had paid up P2,600 as down payment for his expenses and were only able to pay the rest of the P6,000 required only a few days before his departure. His mother sacrificed for him because “we want to contribute what little we can towards raising Filipinos international prestige…” The parting at the airport was a little too much for Roberto. He was in tears as he bade goodbye to his parents Mr. and Mrs. Tomas Castor. Nobody thought that the goodbye kiss he gave to his mother would be the last act of affection. Before his departure he shared a piece of cake with his mother. His trip was sponsored jointly by Quezon City Mayor Norberto Amoranto, Councilor Proceso Sebastian and the Quezon City Parent Teachers Association. Librado “Buddy” Fernandez died because he wanted what little he could do for the delegation. As supervisor of the United Arab Airlines, he didn’t have to leave with the group. He went as an observer and being a scouter himself, donned a uniform because he wanted the boys to feel that he was one of them. Father Jose Martinez, S.J., chaplain of the group, was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on Sept. 11, 1921 although his parents are now residing in Cebu City. He finished his elementary at the Little Flower Academy and went to high school and the university (then just a college) of San Carlos, where he was an honor student and worked up to the rank of eagle scout. He studied at the San Jose Seminary in 1939 to 1942. He became a Jesuit on May 30, 1942 and entered the Sacred Heart novitiate in Manila and Novaliches. He taught at the Ateneo de Naga from 1950 and 1952 and then went to Woodstock College in Maryland. He was ordained priest June 16, 1956 at Fordham University by Francis Cardinal Spellman.
 

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