Mary Grace Baloyo was one of the six woman pilots in the Philippine Air Force. She was almost settling down in her career when fate took a painful turn.
Mary Grace met Ditto Nestor Dinopol, when they were training to become Philippine Air Force pilots in 1997. They were planning to get married as well.
However, one day, rained poured non-stop, while Mary Grace and her co-pilot Capt. Ben Nasayao maneuvered an OV-10 reconnaissance bomber aircraft. The two conducted a proficiency flight from their home base to Clark. Trouble began when they approached the runway.
The engine began to fail, and two distress calls had been made to the nearest PAF tower at Clark International Airport. The plane got out of control.
The plane was about to crash to several residential subdivisions.
Nasayao ejected from the plane and instructed his co-pilot, but Mary Grace didn’t listen.
Mary Grace chose to stay and steered the plane away from house, sparing lives of 200 familes.
Sadly, the aircraft crashed in a 240 sq meter vacant lot at Fil-Homes in Barangay Mabiga.
Mary Grace Baloyo died, while her burnt body was strapped to her seat belt.
Mary was awarded “Amazing Grace” for her courage and leadership. She received three military merit medals, eight Gold Cross Medals, two distinguished Aviation Cross medals.
Mary was given for the final time all the military honors at the Bacolod Memorial Park. Her body was buried in 2001, but the legacy remains in the hearts of people she saved.