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My dad disappeared and I blame it to Scouting


One fine morning, my dad was missing. When my mom, my elder brother and my younger sister woke up, we did not find him anywhere in the house. We even looked at my Dad’s workplace which is just adjacent to our house. He was not there, too! My mom thought he went to town to buy his daily newspaper and some bread for our breakfast.

Noon came, we ate lunch and still no dad! My mom was worried. Dinner came and still no dad. Until it was time to sleep. My Dad never returned home that particular day and night. At this time, I was sure my Mom did not sleep that night, worrying about where my dad had gone.

The emissary

Early in the morning of the following day, somebody rang the doorbell. It was the designated “emissary” of our dad – Fr. Apolinario Icarangal. Fr. Apol was a very close friend of my Dad and was the same person who convinced my dad to take the Woodbadge Training. Fr. Apol disclosed to our Mom that our dad went off for a week-long Woodbadge training in Mt. Makiling, Philippines. Our mom was so upset but at the same time was not able to do anything but smile in front of the priest.

We found out later that it was part of our dad’s grand plan that my Mom should not suspect – not a slightest hint, that he was going away. Dad assumed that our Mom will not allow him to be away for one week. And therefore, every time there was an opportunity to go to the town proper or to go to Manila, our Dad shopped for supplies he needed for this one-week training – socks, underwear, undershorts, shoes, blanket – everything! He built his supplies and equipment over a period of time and hid his stash in his work place. Subsequently, he went to Mt. Makiling quietly to attend the training without our knowledge.

Our dad was the primary reason why my elder brother, Dindo, and myself was involved to Scouting.

Service to Scouting

Our dad belongs to Commissioner Woodbadge No. 56 and earned his two beads. He was an active trainer. Moreover, he is one of the pioneer training team members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines San Pablo City Council along with Cecilio B. Perez, Dante Jaurigue, Olympio Aguilar, Father Apolinario Icarangal.

Importantly, our dad served as the last Council President (1973) of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, San Pablo City Council – under Commonwealth Act 111. He also served as the first Council President (1975) of San Pablo City Council, when the Boy Scouts of the Philippines was re-organized under Presidential Decree 460.

Our dad was recognized with the Gold Usa for Meritorious Service to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. He was awarded his fourth bead, as a Leader Trainer, posthumously. He was held the title of Grand Knight and was buried in Knight of Columbus uniform. To know more about my Dad, you may want to read my earlier article on our dad, My dad could have been 85 years old today!

What is Woodbadge Training?

Woodbadge Training is the adult leader training in Scouting. It is considered the highest unit leadership training course for Scout Leaders.

In 1919, the founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden Powell, started the Woodbadge traning to recognize adult leaders of Scout Troops that they were properly trained. Since then, Wood Badge training is conducted worldwide provides advanced leader training to thousands of Scout Leaders.

To know more about the Woodbadge Training, here is a very good article by The Scout Association.

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  • June 21, 2020 at 6:41 AM
    Steve T

    Syd, you once awarded me a Scout key ring for correctly guessing who that photo is of! ☺️

    Thanks for sharing your great stories about your dad. So lovely. Your mum can’t have been cross for too long.

    Have a great Father’s day!

    • June 21, 2020 at 1:06 PM
      Syd CASTILLO

      You are absolutely correct. My mom did not stay crossed for too long. She was compelled to smile because of the presence of the priest. Ha ha ha! Thank you, Steve, for your feedback!

  • June 21, 2020 at 10:34 AM
    Malinda Senanayake

    Nice read Syd. Happy fathers day to you and your dad 🙂

    • June 21, 2020 at 1:01 PM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Ayubowan! Thank you, Malinda, for your feedback. All feedback is very important for me. Happy father’s day, too, to your Dad!

  • June 22, 2020 at 5:37 AM
    Bonifacio G. Train, Jr.

    Nice blog. A lot of fathers and mothers, also, (some children, too, for that matter) can very well relate to this – either they were the ones who “disappeared” or not.

    • June 22, 2020 at 6:23 AM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Thank you for taking some time to send a feedback. There are many individuals who are “crazy” about Scouting because of the sense of accomplishment it provides. I even know a Scout Leader whose wife cut his Scout Uniform to pieces and threatened him to an annulment.

  • June 22, 2020 at 7:40 AM
    Jojo Monteza

    Good read in consonance with the celebration of Fathers’ Day. Thanks for sharing, brother.

    • June 22, 2020 at 12:58 PM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Hello, Sir Jojo! Thank you for your feedback.

  • June 22, 2020 at 10:24 PM
    Liosa T. Acampado

    I can relate with your father, ’cause me and my husband are both involved with scouting….both of us even took woodbadge together…..
    Even our children were involved in scouting since their younger years….although they are both girls.
    Scouting activities were our family bonding…..
    Happy father’s day to you and your dad.

    • June 23, 2020 at 3:28 AM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Hello, Ma’am Liosa! Volunteer leaders are what make Scouting flourish. Thank you for investing your time and energy for the benefit of Filipino youth. I hope you and your family had a Happy Father’s Day!

  • June 23, 2020 at 1:15 AM
    Dr. Asanka Eriyawa

    Worth Reading Syd. Thank you for sharing. Happy Farher’s Day

    • June 23, 2020 at 3:25 AM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Hello Asanka! Thank you for taking sometime to read the article. I will try my best to write regularly – every Sunday, for now. I hope you and your family had a Happy Father’s Day!

  • July 1, 2020 at 12:53 AM
    Luis Hernando AGUILAR RAMIREZ

    ¡Hermano! What a nice story. Your father was a very smart man! I can imagine that, like the most of us who are husband, he also had the last word in the house when talk to your mother “yes ma’am” 🙂

    Congratulations for your blog!
    Abrazo grande 😀

    • July 1, 2020 at 8:43 AM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Hola Hermano! Thank you for leaving a note. I appreciate people leaving a note in this site. And indeed, it is built-in to the Job Description of a Husband and a Father to have the last word in any domestic argument – “Yes, Ma’am.” Happy wife, happy life!


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