My first ever published story appeared in yesterday’s issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. They retitled it to “Scout’s Honor.” I submitted it to the Philippine Daily Inquirer last July 27, or a day before our nation marked the Scout Memorial Day. This tradition was started 23 years ago by President Corazon Aquino as a tribute for the ill-fated 24-man Philippine delegation that was supposed to take part in the 11th World Scout Jamboree (1963). The entire team, together with 28 other passengers and eight crew members of the United Arab Airlines Flight 869, died when the plane crashed into the Arabian Sea near Santa Cruz, India in the early morning of July 28, 1963.
My piece focuses on First Class Scout Roberto Corpus Castor, a member of that contingent. He was only 14 years old when the crash happened in 1963. I was able to interview his parents, already in their 90s, for this article. In my submission to PDI, I also included pictures I personally took. Although most of the public are aware about the said plane crash (I hope), the individual lives of the scouts who perished in the tragedy has not been written about at length in recent years. Given their age, it is important that we hear and write about their story now – before it is too late.
As they say, history is news if no one has written about it. It is no conincidence that my first published journalistic work is about an almost-forgotten historical event.
Here are the links;
Philippine Daily Inquirer: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/11285/scouts%E2%80%99-honor
Yahoo! Philippines: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/scouts-honor-085008665.html
Yahoo! Singapore: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/scouts-honor-085008665.html