VETERAN journalist Nestor Mata died on Thursday. He was 92.
Mata’s son, Jan, said in a post on Facebook that his father passed away at 2:07 p.m.
Mata, who was born on January 16, 1926, graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), where he also taught journalism.
Mata’s career began at the age of 21. As a reporter for the Philippines Herald, Mata was a war correspondent during the Korean War and was tasked to cover the late president Ramon Magsaysay following his election in 1953.
Mata was the lone survivor aboard the presidential plane, the Mt. Pinatubo, which crashed over a mountain in Cebu on March 17, 1957, killing Magsaysay and 26 others. He would later recall the incident in his memoir, One Came Back, which he co-wrote with Vicente Villafranca. Mata suffered second and three degree burns all over his body.
He spent 23 years with the Philippines Herald, as a reporter covering the president, foreign news desk editor, foreign correspondent, and associate editor. His newspaper was later shut down in 1972, when then president Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law.
Mata wrote for The Daily Express as a foreign affairs columnist from 1972 to 1986. He would later write for The Manila Standard from 1986 to 1999 before becoming a columnist for the Malaya Business Insight from 1999 to 2018.
Mata’s remains lie in state at St. Peter’s Funeral Homes in Commonwealth, Quezon City. The wake will start on Friday. ARIC JOHN SY CUA