The following speech was delivered by Jens Ryan T. Yap, High 4, IB student, during the Kab Investiture last September 18 and 19, 2013.
Ms. Aimee Apolinario, GS Principal, Ms. Joanne Clarissa Pusta, Assistant Principal for Formation, Fr. Art Borja, S.J., Chaplain of Xavier School, Mr. Rey Aude, Coordinator of GS Student Activities fellow scouts, parents, faculty and staff, Good Afternoon.
Today is extremely special because starting today the Boy Scouts of the Philippines welcomes a new batch of KAB scouts!
I am Jens Yap, a fourth year high school student and part of the International Baccalaureate Program of Xavier High School. I am also proud to say that I am a Scout. I’ve been a scout for 10 years already! Yes 10 years – that’s a decade and I was a Kab scout like you in the first 2 years. I would like to tell you that my KAB scout experiences were the most fun and the most life changing events that have ever happened to me. There were so many things that happened during those two years as a Kab Scout. I saw the spirit of scouting in many ways especially through the parents of my classmates and batch mates that competed to win the challenges for their sons during the mother/father and son camp (to the parents I wish you good luck kasi ichachallenge talaga kayo ng mga anak niyo para manalo kayo 🙂 I know because I did the same thing to my father/mother haha). Aside from these activities you will experience Kab Olympics and Kab Sulong activities where your skills and teamwork will be tested. Various team-building activities will teach you character and unity as Kab Scouts. Entering into the scouting world is entering a brotherhood and from this day onward we are all brothers of the same cause, that is, to further give meaning to scouting.
Kab scouting was one of the main reasons why I continue to become part of the scouting movement, but the other reason was because of my brother. Every morning when we had our assembly back when I was in grade school, we had our assembly at the quadrangle. The Sports Center was not yet there. Imagine the heat of the sun every morning assembly. Nevertheless, I always looked forward to one thing during assembly. It was the raising of the Philippine flag by the older Boy Scouts. One of those scouts was my brother. Personally, I found it amazing and inspiring as a kid, to the point that I wanted to be like him. When I joined Kab scouting I was so happy and so proud. In fact, I was even showing off my uniform to my brother (nagmamayabang pa eh haha). When I was in grade 4, I immediately looked for the Boy Scout club during club enlistment. Sure enough, I found Mr. Pangan and Mr. Duatin (2 out of the 5 Pillars which held scouting for more than a decade here in Xavier School; the principal, the nurse, the P.E. teacher, the art teacher, and the fire fighter.) sitting there smiling while I handed in my application and that went on for the next 7 years of my life here in Xavier.
Over the years I’ve learned so much like; various knots and lashes that are twisted in directions you could not even begin to imagine. I found it really amazing and I learned that only in scouting. I also learned survival skills, like cooking, orienteering, navigation, and first aid. The various training exercises inspired me to keep my rank higher as a scout. These challenged me to keep yearning for more. As you raise your rank, you also learn a lot. Let me tell you though, being a scout gets tough as you move up in ranks because earning those ranks are not an easy task. But the accomplishments you make in earning those badges, I assure you, is something that you can be proud of.
Maybe you have heard of some of these great people, but little did you know that they are scouts. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, Bill Gates, the founder and developer of Microsoft, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart and many more are scouts and members of the Scouting movement. Knowing and thinking about this, I realized that scouting is so much more than tying knots, navigation, cooking and survival skills. Scouting can help its members realize their true potential. It teaches members to discover, develop and master their talents for the progress and development of society. After realizing this, I’ve always had a great desire to commit and contribute to scouting because of how it influenced me in my life. I changed not only my outlook towards scouting but also in my life as a student, a friend, a brother, a son, and a citizen of this country.
It may be hard to believe that one could change so much, but depending on the situation at any given time, sometimes you just act accordingly as if done in reflex. As a student I suddenly became more independent and more outgoing, so much that it got to a point in which I disliked having nothing to do and became more active inside and outside of the classroom. This helped me throughout my experiences gain new friends and try new things! In short it helped me open up more and live my grade school life to the fullest. Another benefit of scouting was a change as a brother and as a son. I became a lot more independent in the sense that, I started doing things that I wouldn’t picture myself doing. For example I find myself cleaning and repairing the aircon nowadays, changing broken bulbs and cooking which is pretty fulfilling especially knowing I can cook something other than eggs haha. I learned to be a better son and brother by learning the 12 characteristics of the scout law and keeping them close to me at all times — being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. I learned to be a better citizen by respecting the people around me and also by helping those in need, even if I don’t know them that well.
Now, as you begin your adventures as KAB Scouts, I hope that you will enjoy the games, activities, and events KAB scouting has to offer. I hope you will remember what it really means to be a scout. I wish that you will hone your abilities for the benefit of society so that you will grow in competence, character, community and compassion. Never forget that scouting is fun but with discipline! I encourage each and everyone of you to learn as much and to enjoy as much. I also hope to see all those who are here today to continue to partake in the scouting movement all the way to high school!
So once again, I would like to welcome all of you into the scouting community as KAB scouts! I hope that as you enjoy and learn in your scouting activities, you will be able to realize who you are and what you are really capable of doing for others, for God and for your Country.
Thank you and Luceat Lux!