Magsaysay plane crash commemorated in book launch at UST Library

The UST Miguel de Benavides Library, in collaboration with the family of the late Thomasian journalist Mr. Nestor Mata, launched the new edition of the book, “One Came Back: The Magsaysay Tragedy,” co-authored by Nestor Mata and Vicente Villafranca. 

The launch on March 18, 2024 at the UST Library Conference Hall commemorated the 67th anniversary of the historical plane crash that claimed the life of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 25 others. The book details the harrowing account of the lone survivor Nestor Mata.

Photos, documents, and other memorabilia related to Mata’s life and achievements were also available for viewing outside the launch venue, including his acclaimed books “Cory of a Thousand Days” and “One Came Back: The Magsaysay Tragedy”.

The exhibit also paid homage to President Magsaysay, featuring his speeches and photographs documenting the plane crash and its aftermath. 

In attendance were members of the Mata and Magsaysay family, including former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Thomasian alumna Mrs. Mila Magsaysay Valenzuela, and actor Francis Mata, among others.

Initially published in 1957, The book ‘One Came Back’ provides a firsthand account of the final moments of President Magsaysay and Mata’s harrowing experiences as the sole survivor. As an esteemed alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Mata’s contributions as an educator in Political Science and Journalism at UST add another layer to the significance of this event. 

The new edition is published by Art Angel Commercial Quests, Inc., owned and run by the family of the late Jose L. Pavia, a journalist who worked alongside Mata at the Philippines Herald, where he served as the Executive News Editor until martial law led to the paper’s closure. 

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