Thanks to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I am now a published writer!

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:

Screenshot from the Philippine Daily Inquirer's website - notice my name there! 🙂

Yahoo! Philippines:

Screenshot from Yahoo! Philippines - notice my name there! 🙂

Yahoo! Singapore:

About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

11 thoughts on “Thanks to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I am now a published writer!

  1. Congratulations, Mark! I’ve long dreamed of getting published in the Inquirer. Never happened, as our thesis report did not get them. I’m glad I’m getting published at our own dotcom, but I guess there’s something about being read on newsprint–or in your case,

    And that’s a great story idea you had. It would’ve even been greater had you used quotes more liberally, to do a Storyline and have the parents tell their son’s story. Unless brevity was your limit.

    1. But your work was published in Vera Files, right? I remember reading that. You always tell me before that the goal of every writer is to get published, and I kept that in mind. I hope I’ll be able to do this again. 🙂

      I actually think my lead is somehow bland. I should have used the part about the young girl saying “Kuya Bontsie, patay” instead. That’s more dramatic.

      PS: I think putol ang inyong first paragraph. 🙂

  2. “or in your case, glossy paper.” haha. bitin nga!
    Well, getting published through Vera Files was indeed an honor, although what we hoped that many other publications would carry our report didn’t come true. Manila Times even published just part 1!

    I’m leaning towards more feature storytelling lately, so if it’s about people, the focus of the narrative should weigh more on activity and conversation.

  3. Wondering too, Mark: Did you simply pass the article to PDI? How did you know that it got published? How much of your piece did they edit? And of course, is there any remuneration?

  4. Haha. That really happens. Sa dami ng ating gusto isulat, napuputol ang ating thoughts. Haha. Maybe Vera Files wasn’t able to talk to other papers, or Manila Times probably demanded that they run the story exclusively. That StoryLine technique is really effective (I watch it often), but I am unsure how that can be done in print.

    PDI replaced my original title (which sucks, I admit) and edited my photo captions. They barely touched the piece itself. I called PDI last week of July to inquire about how to submit a piece (yes, matagal ko nang nasulat ito). I sent the story by email, and the SIM editor confirmed receipt of the story after two weeks, and it took another week before the publication date was confirmed.

    I’ll answer your last question in private. 😀

  5. Well, the “StoryLine technique” comes from this New Journalism movement, where good stories are written like good fiction, heavy on movement and conversation. So mas given sya sa quotes. Of course for docus like Storyline that translates to less narration, more SOTs and great video.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.