Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2004




2004, August 20.  Admiral Tomas A. Cloma, Sr., Birth Centenary

Litho Offset.  Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf. 14.

Singles, Sheets of 50



6p  Portrait of  Admiral Tomas A. Cloma, Sr. & Philippine Maritime Training Ship -  Singles    (100,000)



Designer:   Jesus Alfredo D. de los Santos

Design Coordinator:   Jaime G. Tee



First Day Covers:  Manila


Admiral Tomas A. Cloma, Sr., Father of Maritime Education - Birth Centenary

Born in 1904 in the fishing town of Panglao, Bohol, Admiral Cloma left his hometown to try his luck in the big city of Manila, where he worked his way through school doing odd jobs such as a shoe shine boy, a newsboy, a gasoline attendant, and cub reporter of the Manila Bulletin. Already with a fast growing family, he completed his law studies and successfully passed in 1941.

Locally, Admiral Cloma is known as "The Father of Maritime Education" for founding the PMI Colleges in 1948, the country's pioneer in maritime education in the private sector that continues to consistently produce top caliber maritime deck and engine officers who ply both the intemational and domestic seas. Today, the PMI Colleges is the country's largest institution in maritime education with an average of 15,000 students per semester.

In 1954, Admiral Cloma began to offer Customs Administration in the PMI Colleges, another first in the country's private education sector, which posthumously earned for him in 2000 the first Aduana Award by the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc., for his pioneering spirit in the Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration curriculum. The graduates of Customs Administration today are the beneficiaries of the recent Republic Act Number 9280 also known as the "Customs Brokers Act of 2004".

Vice Admiral Tomas A. Cloma is internationally known as the discoverer of the Kalayaan Group of Islands that he called "Freedomland" and which is better known as the Spratley Islands. His discovery in the early 1950's resulted in his incarceration during the Martial Law years until he gave up his personal claim in favor of the Philippine government. Today, Admiral Cloma's discovery is the basis of the Philippines' claim to the controversial islands that is also being contested by several other Asian countries.

Months before his death in 1996, Admiral Cloma was bestowed the Presidential Legion Honor, Degree of Legionnaire award by former President Fidel V. Ramos for his discovery of the Kalayaan Group of Islands and the establishment of the PMI Colleges.





  • Famous Filipinos

  • Transportation / Ships


Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2004