Library launches new edition of Magsaysay crash survivor’s memoir

In partnership with the family of veteran journalist Nestor Mata, UST Miguel de Benavides Library launched the latest edition of One Came Back: The Magsaysay Tragedy on March 18, 2024.

In the book, Mata gives the readers a portrait of President Ramon Magsaysay and also a glimpse of his harrowing firsthand accounts after the plane crash in Balamban, Cebu, which claimed the lives of the former president and 25 others, as its lone survivor. It was first published in 1957 and was co-penned with Vicente Villafranca.

Mila Magsaysay-Valenzuela and Joy Mata, daughters of the two respective Filipino icons, expressed their gratitude to those involved in organizing the book launch, including the University, which kept the legacy of their fathers alive.

“[Through this book], I hope that people realize that life is so fragile. And as fragile as it is, I hope it inspires people to live life with a lot of consequences and with integrity and love for country,” Mila said.

Mila also shared that they also conduct trekking activities that revisit the site of the plane crash in Cebu to commemorate the president’s death anniversary.

Memorabilia, photographs, and other items that offer a glimpse of the vibrant life of Mata, a Philets alumnus belonging to the class of 1959, were also exhibited in the lobby. He passed away in 2018.

In June 2023, Mata’s family donated 846 books from his Library. After turning over her late father’s books to the University, the new custodian of Mata’s books, Joy gathered her siblings and decided to publish a new edition, tapping Art Angel Commercial Quests, Inc. as the publisher.

“Although my father has already met his deadline, his little candle will continue to burn with so much warmth and light, especially [by] sharing his books with the readers at the UST Library and with everyone [through the] new edition of the book, One That Came Back,” Joy said.

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