Joma Sison joins his high school classmates

in celebrating their golden anniversary


November and December, 2006


Posted Feb. 6, 2007


■   Awit ng Pagbati sa kanang kaarawan, music/lyrics by Danny Fabellai









1st year, 2nd year

1952-53,  1953-54



3rd year, 4th year

1954-55,  1955-56



Today is the 68th birth anniversary of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison


The Arkibong Bayan Web Team wishes Joma more years of serving the people wholeheartedly and entirely. Happy birthday, Joma!



Go to: 


New song by Jose Ma. Sison and Danny Fabella:

The Way to a Just Peace


Birthday Song: Music and Lyrics by Danny Fabella, sung by Ava Danlog


Right click to download:


MP3 of Paglipas ng PanahonPaglipas ng Panahon:  Lyrics and Music by Danny Fabella, Sung by Ava Danlog (Birthday gift ni Ava Danlog kay Joma)

Lyrics of Paglipas ng Panahon



To download photo: Right Click on image and "Save Target as.."

To view actual size: Double click on image

If  some thumbnails are missing,    press F5 to refresh



1st year, 2nd year

1952-53,  1953-54






From Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Utrecht, The Netherlands

December 3, 2006


My dear classmates,


Warmest greetings of solidarity to all of you on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Class 1956!  I congratulate you for having survived half a century since graduation from high school and more importantly for your accomplishments in your chosen professions, in your family life, in your service to country and people and in living up to your faith, conviction or ideals. We remember and honor those who have departed.


May I extend my greetings of solidarity to your families and to the surviving relatives of Junie Kalaw, who is the class honoree this year for his outstanding work as an environmentalist and for his related excellent qualities. I have many vivid memories of Junie. He was our beadle par excellence. He would usually shout me down whenever I made noise while the teacher was away.  But he never squealed on any of his mischievous classmates, including me.


While I was underground against the Marcos regime in 1969, I crossed his path in a God-forsaken airport and he immediately saw through my disguise.  We had a good laugh and chatted mainly about his flying skills.  I trusted him so much that when I was under military detention from 1977-1986 I sent to him a request to fly me out after escaping from prison.   But my message never reached him. I met him twice when he came to the Netherlands in the 1990s and we talked much about his work in Haribon.


In the last 50 years, I have been so preoccupied with my chosen line of work that I have not been able to pay attention to all the previous class reunions.  It is high time for me to reconnect with you and to reaffirm my fraternal relations with you. I am proud to have studied at the Ateneo de Manila high school and to have belonged to First Year Section G under Fr. Victoriano, S.J. in 1952-53 and to the Second Year Section C under Fr. Lingad, S.J. in 1953-54.  These were the honor sections at the time. 


I am deeply pleased that you continue to regard me as your classmate, despite the fact that I transferred to San Juan de Letran on my third year.   I was a recipient of the second honors certificate up to the end of the second year. But I had to leave the Ateneo on honorable dismissal (with option to return upon reaching college) for incurring too many absences (more than 30 school days) without any valid reason and for engaging in a mutually agreed fist fight with a student from another section.


To study at the Ateneo was a matter of family pride.  My father and uncles were products of Jesuit education.  My father was fond of praising Jose Rizal and Claro Mayo Recto as excellent alumni of the Ateneo.  He made fun of relatives who could very well afford to pay for the high tuition fees but could not pass the entrance examination at the Ateneo.  My three elder brothers, Ramon, Antonio and Francisco preceded me at the Ateneo and my youngest brother Roque followed me. 


My archbishop uncle encouraged me to become a priest and enter the minor seminary in Vigan because he was impressed that I had been a conscientious sacristan.  But he was happy to let me go and recommend me to the Jesuits after I told him that I wished to get married someday.  He liked to monitor my studies and personal conduct and, like my parents, was disappointed when I had to leave the Ateneo.


At any rate, I learned much from the Ateneo.  The Jesuits are known for their ratio studiorum.  I received a well-rounded kind of education, which included such subjects as English, Latin, history, mathematics and religion. And I developed the methods and skills of learning through outlining and understanding  the subject matter, memorization, speech drills, argumentation, parsing sentences, paraphrasing literary passages, composing original pieces and solving problems in mathematics and geometry.  I enjoyed translating from Latin to English and watching the dramatic way Mr. Pagsanghan taught English. I was elated when I became a reporter of the Hi-Lites under Fr. Galdon, S.J. as the moderator.


To balance my intellectual development, I had plenty of physical exercise by playing basketball after class hours on most days of the week at the covered courts.  Somehow religion impressed me with the requirement of good works to reinforce one’s faith.  My awareness of the poor and exploited was sharpened and my social conscience was stirred when I participated every year in the Christmas package drive and when I joined a number of times in the campaign to sell the newspaper of the Federation of Free Workers.  After all, my namesake and patron saint was St. Joseph, carpenter and acclaimed worker.  My mother always reminded me to pray to him before examinations.


As far as I can remember, I was able to attend only two dance parties of the class.  I could dance the slow drag.  But whenever I did, some classmates would shift the music to boogie-woogie which I did not know how to dance.  Subsequently, I stopped going to the dance parties. Some classmates would play many other practical jokes on me.  Sometimes these made me laugh and at other times these irritated me.  But we had class solidarity.   Nobody squealed on anyone whenever the teacher suppressed our little rebellions. 


I am tempted to mention my mates in mischief.  But I won’t.  I can only name the very funny guys like Monet Ong and Ruben Bonoan.  At the same time, I remember the very serious guys like Mandy Labayen, Roly Quintos and Dory Katigbak.  I wish that I could mention more names and have more categories by which to classify them.  But there is time and space constraint now. In high school, it seemed like we had all the time to chat, interact and know each other.  I believe that we were all regular guys.  No one was too weird or too wild.


But I admit that I was more naughty than most of you. Thus, I was punished more times than anyone.  I had jogging sessions of writing prayers (Our Father or Hail Mary) hundreds of times or multiplying five digits to the 20th power.  I also experienced once the excruciating duck walk introduced by Fr. Quinn who was the prefect of discipline.  Everytime I fell, I was required to do one additional round of the duck walk.  I was subjected to the rigors of this punishment because he overheard me talking in Tagalog, which was banned, except in the Tagalog class of Mr. Deveza.


On my first year, I absented myself from class only when I was sick.  But on my second year, I learned to play truant, going to the movies and whiling away my time at the USIS library.  For one reason or another, I started to dislike the routine of attending classes.  But how did I manage to get relatively good grades?  I knew the guys who were good at note-taking, like Roly Quintos and Tody Ilano. I borrowed their notes after I played hookey.  Of course, I could have done better by doing the assignments promptly, going to class and listening to the teachers.


We have come a long way from our high school days.  We have lived our lives well and used our knowledge and skills for the good of others and for causes far greater than our puny self-interest. We are probably either retired or about to retire from our professional, bureaucratic or entrepreneurial work.  As Gil Yuzon puts it, we are about to enter the “departure area”.  But I think that there is still plenty of time for us to accomplish more on the basis of our accumulated experience, maturity and developed skills.  In my case, I will continue to work for the realization of national independence, democracy, social justice, all-round development and peace in the interest of our  people and country. ###


Nota Bene: Please send your messages to and visit the website:


Download JMS' message to his Ateneo classmates in Word format



Download Inquirer article on Ateneo High School Class 1956


Pages from the reunion yearbook.. A classmate, Junie Kalaw, one of the best known environmentalists, is a cousin of Coni Ledesma, a member of the NDFP negotiating panel (photo, below, left)

Mass at the Ateneo chapel

Joma's representative to the Ateneo reunion with popular cartoonist and classmate Corky Trinidad (above) and other classmates (below).



3rd year, 4th year

1954-55,  1955-56






From Jose Maria Sison

18 November 2006

Utrecht, The Netherlands


My dear classmates,


Warmest greetings of solidarity with you!  I am elated to join you in celebrating the 50th anniversary of our graduating class, vintage 1956, in the high school department of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the school of San Vicente  Liem de la  Paz, Fr. Jose Burgos, Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Emilio Jacinto, President Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Isabelo de los Reyes, Supreme Bishop Gregorio Aglipay, President Manuel Quezon,  President Sergio Osmena, Pedro Abad Santos, Jose Laurel  and other outstanding historical figures.


I hope that the overwhelming majority of us have survived the last half of a century.  Everyone deserves a medallion for sheer survival and of course the inevitable accomplishments in the eyes of our families, friends, the people and our alma mater.  I wish that all of us who are still on our feet will stay in good health and live for another 50 years.


 I took for granted all previous class reunions and failed to attend them for various reasons. Most prominent of these is that I have been too preoccupied with my chosen line of work.  This has required me to be in the countryside for one period of time, under military detention for another and going on exile for still another. 


But I feel now that the process of aging has caught up with me and has moved me to renew my relations with you before it is too late. It may be a morbid joke but it is true that after the golden jubilee the mortality rate goes higher.  It is high time to strengthen bonding with all those whom we love but whom we take for granted because we are also sure of their love.


Even as I have not attended all previous reunions and even now I can only join you in spirit, I have always kept my faith and trust that our class has the high sense of duty, the education, the talents and competence to contribute to the affirmation, defense and promotion of the rights and interests of our people and country.  I am always proud whenever I come to know that a classmate is succeeding in whatever profession or field of social activity.


We are now at an age when we can benefit from a rich accumulation of experience, learned lessons and wisdom and we can strive for greater achievements.  In my case, I would like to exert greater efforts for advancing the cause of national freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round development and peace.  I emulate the patriots and revolutionaries that our beloved alma mater has produced.


If you are interested in monitoring my activities, please visit my website:   You can communicate with me anytime by email:   I wish to get the directory and the latest photo memorabilia of our class.  In case anyone goes to Europe, please give me notice in advance and I shall be your tour guide.


Mabuhay ang Class 1956!  Arriba Letran!  Mabuhay tayong lahat!


Download JMS' message to his Letran classmates in Word format



Representative s of Joma in jubilee alumni homecoming,

18 November 2006


Joma's classmates listen to his message of solidarity, read by Jaime Cura, CREBA president.,Manila, 18 November 2006


Classmates of Jose Maria Sison Letran High School Class of 1956 during jubilee celebration.Manla, 18 November 2006


Prof. Jose Maria Sison wears jubilee medallion of Letran HS Class 56 Manila, 18 November 2006



BONUS TRACKS: A day in the life of Joma Sison



Meeting with former Senator Loren Legarda and NDFP Panel Chair Louie Jalandoni Amsterdam, 17 July 2006

With Senator Jamby Madrigal and members of the NDFP Negotiating Panel Utrecht, 26 June 2006

Joop Meijnen, journalist of NRC Handelsblad, interviews Jose Maria Sison regarding anticipated ECJ decision Utrecht, 29 January 2007







Joma with Asia Students Association

Joma lecturing at Belgium youth camp, June 2004

Meeting with former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, 25 February 2005







Interview with Danny Buenafe ABS-CBN Europe Bureau Chief 21 June 2006

With Atty. Edre Olalia, VPres of the Intl Association of Peoples Lawyers, and Danilo Borjal, NDFP consultant Utrecht, 5 December 2005

Talk at the International Peace Research Institute Oslo, 1 June 2005







Recording session with Sylvia Vermeulen of Studio Moskou 26 June 2006

Recording session for Joma Sings his Poems 26 June 2006

Recording session for Joma Sings his Poems 26 June 2006



Rehearsing for the album Joma Sings! February 2004


Joma's latest photo

The Way To A Just Peace
Words: Jose Ma. Sison
Music: Danny Fabella
Singer: Lara Javier

Intro: B, C#m, G#m7, E – D#m- C#m- F#m (2X)

B F# G#m
The yanks came posing as a friend
Then they unleashed aggression
B F# G#m
To rape, plunder and imprison
E G F#
Our long suffering motherland

C#m( G#m
The way to a just peace is to fight
C#m (E) G#m (F#)
For national liberation

( Do 1st stanza Chords)

By ceaseless, ruthless use of arms
The ruling classes dominate
Oppress and exploit the people
Mainly the workers and peasants
The way to a just peace is to fight
For social liberation


The people must rise up to fight
F# B
The imperialists and puppets
Gain the power to free themselves
A F#
And build a just and lasting peace

ADLIB: G#- C#-G#-C#-F#-B-F#-B,C#,G#m7,E-D#m-

( Do 1st Stanza Chords)
The kind of peace that the imperialists
And the local exploiting classes wish
Is the abject surrender of the people
To the daily violence of exploitation

The way to a just peace is to end
The violence of exploitation

A E F#
Build a just and lasting peace


Download MP3 file




Awit ng Pagbati

(Alay kay Joma sa kaarawan niya sa 8 Pebrero 2007)

Music and Lyrics: Danny Fabella
Sung by Ava Danlog

Kami ay nagpupugay sa iyong kaarawan
Sa tulad mong tunay na nagmamahal sa bayan
Maligayang pagbati sa araw na ito
Paninidiga't mithi'y lalong pagtibayin mo

Sa gitna man ng kahirapan
Pagsubok at kagipitan
Sa gitna man ng unos
Ituloy ang pagkilos

Kami'y kasama mo

Kami ay nagpupugay sa iyong kaarawan
Sa iyong walang humpay na paglilingkod sa bayan
Isang mapulang pagbati, kasamang matapat
Ituloy ang paglandas sa malayang bukas

Repeat Refrain

Kami'y kasama mo, baya'y kasama mo, hindi mabibigo


Download audio file



Other Joma links:

         ► Jose Maria Sison website




Sino ni Jose Maria Sison?

Five-Part Series on the Life and Works of Jose Maria Sison
Published in Dangadang (revolutionary publication of Northern Luzon in Ilocano)
and in

First Part: Family Origin, Education, Awakening to Marxism), Marso 2006 issue.

Second Part: Membership and Struggle in the Old Party, Founding of the New Party and Revolutionary Movement), Abril-Mayo issue, 2006




Third Part: Hand of the Enemy, Imprisonement, Struggle,Defeat of Marcos, Freedom), Hunyo 2006 issue.

Fourth Part: Asylum (Global Professor, Case Against Marcos Dictatorship, Threat to Life, Asylum), Hulyo 2006 issue

Fifth Part: Time pf Disorientation, Second Rectification, Peace Talks,Terrorist Labelling, A Revolutionary and Not a Terrorist, Continuous Persecution, Continuous Struggle, Mao's Way, Communist and Internationalist), Agosto 2006 issue.