Visayan Maritime Academy History

     Visayan Maritime Academy was reopened, in response to the petition of youth and parents in the community, through the help of Asian Mari- Development Corporation(AMTDC), headed by Atty. Juan Nuega Orola Jr. The (AMTDC) group leased Academy with the approval of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in June 1987.

     The school had an initial enrollees of 547 students broken down into: 159 for Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and 315 for Associate in Marine Engineering. Among the enrollees, 27 received their diploma in the degree of BSMT, BSMAR-E and AME with special permit from DECS on March 1988.

      The continual road to fame and honor of our school was proved when Mdmn. Ramil Infante, BSMT, was adjudged as the Most Outstanding Marine cadet during the Maritime Education Week Celebration in Cebu City in October 1989.

      VMA, during the 90’s, was sparkling Diamond of the South where distinguished people visit. For the record, former Ambassador Roberto Salas Benedicto, revisited the campus on June 25, 1995. Sen Leticia Ramos Shahani, on July 17, 1995, visited and toured VMA sites. Remarkably, Vice-President Joseph Ejercito Estrada was the Commencement Speaker of  Batch 1996 on March 24, 1996.

     The first STCW/SOLAS training was held on September 13,1991 at VMA training center, Aning , Pahanocoy, Bacolod City with trainers from Mariners Polytechnic College.

     The Basic Merchant Marine Course (BMMC) a stewarding course, classes were mainly held at the training center with 212 enrollees, 27 of whom were female.

     In S.Y. 1991-1992, the VMA Training Center was awarded and honored by DECS Regional Office in Iloilo City, for having the most improved plant and facilities.Another victory for the school when  Mdmn. Arnaldo Lopez and Mdmn. Eleazar Fritzel Suarez, Jr., were adjudged 2nd Runner up in the National Selection of Most Outstanding Cadet at PMMA, Manila in 1992. The following year, the VMA Masskara dancers got third place during the 1993  Masskara Celebration.

     August 1995 marked a big milestone for the school, when forty prominent ship owners and manning agencies from Japan and Manila visited the school. On October 23, 1995, MARINA Administrator. Mr. Pacencio M. Balbon  Jr., who was the Keynote Speaker of a symposium, came together with some officials from MARINA, PAMTC, MTC, POEA, and CHED. This was echoed a year after by R/ADM, Pio D. Garrido Jr., AFP (Ret), then MARINA Administrator.

In 1997, more than a decade since VMA resumed operations, the institution is still unceasingly waging its banner, being among the ten maritime institutions in the country, the recognition was made  by PAME and MARINA vis-á-vis  DECS after the survey of the academy on June 1988.

    The school became the center of the improvement of facilities and infrastructures when the Orola family took over, with Mrs. Elizabeth Orola Salabas, as the President.

    The administration spent over P1.375 M to acquire upgraded facilities such as computers, operational and monitoring equipment and simulators with movable horizon.

     VMA has also been the destination of Japanese missions. Groups of Japanese ship owners visit VMA from time to time, headed by the President of Towa Shoun, Co Ltd., and President of Santoku Senpaku Co. Ltd., and also the Vice Chairman of VMA for international relations Mr. Masashi Taga. O February  4, 1997, nine Japanese ship owners from Hamada City headed by City Mayor Tetsero Anzu, visited the school.

     The Wheelhouse, the school publication was recognized when the cover design REMINISCED was adjudged third place and the Associate Editor, Mdmn. Albert C. Eday got second place in photojournalism during the Regional College Press Conference (COPRE) and Awards in October 1995 and December 1996, respectively.

     Discipline has become a trademark of VMA. In fact, the 837th NROTCU was the regional champion and, thus, was chosen to represent Region VI in the National Tactical Inspection for S.Y 1996-1997. Among the nine Naval ROTC Units in Negros Island that were visited and inspected by NRC-5A, we stood at the forefront and rated “Excellent”. It was the result of excellent leadership and rigid supervision of Capt. Ranulfo S. Gimarangan, PMC and his staff. During this time, two Midn. Officers grabbed recognition in NS33 Training in Mambaling,Cebu City. This was participated in by other Visayan Islands schools. M/Capt. Victor M. Castillo, OICL, 1997 Corps Commander, and M/Cdr. Reggie C. Abelada, OICL, got 6th and 12th Place, respectively.

Undoubtedly, people behind the VMA waste no time preparing rooms conducive for learning, laboratories and shops, additional comfort rooms, and other offices. In fact, the Administration Building costing P2,476, 657.88 was constructed and it houses the offices the President,  the Chairman, the Deans, the Registrar, the accounting, the EDP, and Library. The school also acquired two schools buses intended for students’ trips and other school activities. The Taga Hall, which serves as venue for seminars/ workshops and trainings was likewise constructed and there followed by the construction of the Grandstand, Japanese Tower, and the new Bookstore, costing an estimated amount of P1M .


Mdmn. Michael Flores won the third place in the Nationa Essay Writing Contest sponsored by PAMI and KALADAG.

     The year 1997 was a banner year of our school, when Mrs. Elizabeth Orola Salabas, VMA President, was elected as Vice President of PAMTCI Visayas and Mindanao and Vice President of  PAMI Visayas.

      As  VMA enters its tenth year, it already reached great heights in the maritime sector. For the record, the PRC Awarded VMA the Plaque of Recognition for producing a good number of alumni who topped the Licensure Exams as engine and Deck Officers.

            In the same year, new school organizations and clubs were organized, namely: Toastmasters Club, Red Cross Youth Organization, and Peer Counselor’s Organization, while Pangayaw sa Negros Club and Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal (KAPARIZ) were pioneer groups of students organizations in Negros Occidental.

            Visayan Maritime Academy, as it opens for school year 1997-1998, offered new courses such as BSHRM, BS Tourism, and BS Com Sci. in response to the demand of the new millennium and the global competitiveness, VMA also offered BS Mechanical and Electrical with Marine Technology.

            The American Bureau of Shipping, a Texas based accrediting body, issued the ISO 9002 certification to the Visayan Maritime Academy Training Center on August 15, 1999. The accreditation spoke of VMA’s adherence to its Quality Standards System designed to meet that of the international.

            On October 2, 1999, VMA has substantially complied with the guidelines of the CHED based on the international standards required by the International Maritime Organization. The academy obtained a rating of 98.2% for BSMT and a rating of 98.45% for BSME.

            It was November 25,1999, when three Wheelhouse staff, namely; Mary Grace Estilo, Albert Veloria, and Joseph Avenido, together with their adviser, Mrs. Merla Magallona Raz, joined the 1999 Regional College Press Conference and Awards at Sarabia Manor, Iloilo City. VMA again illuminated during the occasion when the Wheelhouse won 3rd Place in the Best cover Design, with the issue, “Full Speed Ahead”.

    It was also in 1999 when the school acquired its latest technological teaching aids: the Poseidon Simulator, the Global Distress Signaling System and the Bridge Simulator.

    In this year, the Academy President, Madam Elizabeth Orola Salabas, was selected, for the 4th time, as Vice President for Visayas and Mindanao of PAMTCI AND PAMI.

    In April 2000, the Inter-Island Foundation Training Center (ISFTC), which is a joint program of MARINA Regional Office and the government of Norway, turned over some equipment to VMATC for the purpose of upgrading the training courses. These include the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) the International Maritime Satellite Communication, the Radar Simulator, the automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA), ship Restricted Radio-Telephone Operator and Meteorology. It was also this year, Specifically June 5, 2000, when the Norwegian Maritime Directorate accredited the Academy. On November 4, 2000, we passed the accreditation, with a score of 99.6% for the Associate in Marine Transportation and 96.95% for Associate in Marine Engineering.

            During year 2000, Madam Elizabeth Orola Salabas, was selected as the new Chairperson of the inter-island Seafarers Foundation Inc. (ISF) and awarded the “Gintong Sikap Award”, given by the Federation of the Filipino Consumers, Inc. She was also recognized as the “Woman of the Year” by the New Life in Family Development of Youth Council in Manila. At the same time, the grand matriarch of the Orola family, Mrs. Remedios Orola, was awarded as Outstanding Mother of the Year 2000, given by the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines. Honorable John Orola Jr., Congressman of the Lone District of Bacolod, was also awarded as the Outstanding Neophyte Congressman for 1999, by the Congress Magazine, Makati Graduate School, Berhad Lending Investments, Frango Cultural Properties Exploration Systems. Another award was also given to Engr. Tomas N. Orola, President, OROPHIL Shipping International, as outstanding Seafarer for the year 2000 during the 5th National Seafarers Day.

     The year 2001 marked another momentous part of the Academy’s history since the pioneer batch of Bachelor of Science in Tourism Major in Travel and Convention Management graduated.

    After four years, student’s acquired proper knowledge and training to organize and manage various tours and convention activities.

     In October 2003, VMA was selected as Pilot School by the Philippine-Australia Quality Technical Vocational Education and Training(PAQTVET), a grants that extends Training for Trainers and Assessors, and VMA in order to become its Training School or Assessment Center.

     In 2004, Bachelor in Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management(BSHRM) and Bachelor of Science in tourism(BST) were accredited by SSM Maritime Services, Inc., the program for International Practicum in Singapore.

In 2005, VMA was selected as one of the 15 preferred Maritime Schools by the Philippine Seafarers Promotion Council (PSPC) form survey financed by the Phil-Japan Manning Consultative Council (PJMCC). On the same year, PAQTVET accredited VMA as the training provider.

      VMA introduced its initial batches in the Global Call Center Education Program, Information Technology Education (such as BS in Computer Science, BS in Information Management but later was phased out) and BS Commerce.

      In September 2005, VMA hosted the Regional Search for Outstanding Cadets. Mdmn. Gioven M. Caldaso won first runner up among Deck Cadets and Mdmn. Raffy Doroteo won the first runner up among the engine cadets. Engineer Turbanos won the Most Outstanding Maritime Educator in Regional Level. The school sent 2/M Gilbert Juesna to represent the Visayas in the national search  and won as the Most Outstanding Maritime Educator in the Philippines. The German-supported, SMEDSEP(Small and Medium Enterprise Development for Sustainable Employment Program), for tourism-focused training programs and business services was launched, with VMA as one of the training providers.

      In 2006, Visayan Maritime Academy changed its name to VMA Global College, per SEC approval, because of the non-maritime courses it offers.

VMA and its training Center  Managements  systems have complied with the Rules for Maritime Academies during the DNV (Det Norske Veritas) implementation audit.

      On February 25, 2006, CHED Commission en banc approved VMA’s accreditation for CHED Bridging Program.

       On March 23, 2006, VMA was accredited by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). On April 1, 2006, Dream Search International, inc., (DSII) accredited VMAA as provider / Implementer of Student Cultural Exchange and Travel (SCET) program in United States of America. Mr. Jerry Gariando, Jr., and Ms. Remedios Johanna Orol Salabas joined in the SCET program for summer job in the USA. Four students of VMA, again, passed all the requirements of the SII in summer of 2008 they are Remedios Johanna Salabas, Victoria Garcia, Johnly Agravante, and Jean Semilliano.

Mdmn. Elbert Nufable ranked second nationwide and ranked first in the whole Visayas during the Philippine Japan Manning  Consultative Council, Inc., (PJMCC) national examination to all  the maritime courses in the  country last February 24, 2007. Mdmn. Jordan Paglumotan ranked 8, Mdmn. Marvin Molabin ranked 11, and Mdmn. Ryan Magbanua ranked 39 in the national level.

The Poseidon Dance theatre of VMA Global College won as the 2007 Most Outstanding young Contemporary Dance Group of the Philippines and Grand Champion of the 6th Mindanao National Competition held in Koronadal City, South Cotabato on July 17, 2007. The male group composed of the Philip John Gabanzos, Jewel Pormento, Carlo Abanilla, Michael John Adora, Jhoevanie Rizaldo, Gilbert Cabalo, Jr., Fejie Saludar, Francis Espinosa, and Cesar Michael Huertas. They were trained by Mr. Danny Vale.

     June 22, 2007 sealed a good partnership between VMAGC and Sum-ag National High School (SNHS), when both parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the adoption of SNHS VMAGC.

    According to the status report of STO, as of February 23, 2008, ninety-eight BS Mechanical Engineering graduates or different schools in the Philippines are undergoing the CHED Bridging Program in the VMA Global College, a ladderized education that encouraged graduates of BSME and BSEE courses to career as Merchant Marine Engineers.

     The Wheelhouse editors with their adviser, Mrs. Merla  Raz, bagged in the Regional College Press Conference and Awards 2007, organized by the Philippine Information Agency (Region VI) held in Iloilo City  last November 29, 2008. Marie Rose Morales (BS ComSci 3-A) got third place in Copy Editing-Filipino.

     BS Tourism students of VMA Global College grabbed awards during the Tourism Olympics Inter School Category in the Western Visayas Tourism Assembly 2007. Marie Rose Morales (BST 1-A) got first place in Essay Writing Contest; Mary Grace Delfin (BST 2) got first place in Tour Guiding, and; Ma. Lourdes Guillen (BST 3) got second place in Tourism Quiz Bee.

     VMA has re-certified its ISO 9001-2000 with the American Bureau of Shipping Quality Evaluation, Inc. (ABSQE) Management System Certification. The school was accredited by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) for both maritime academies and training centers, dated December 3-6, 2007.

     A CHED Founded Research Project was launched on February 20, 2007, the research was entitled “Establishing Baseline Data for Mangrove Development in Barangay Punta Taytay: basis for a Livelihood Program”. Dr. Raul Alvarez Jr.(VMA Dean of Academics) is the project leader of the said half-million project with associate researchers from LCC-B and UNO-R.


      An 882 sq. meter-area building was constructed during the summer of 2007 and was inaugurated last February 27, 2008. It houses thee offices of the Chairman, President, Vice President, Deans, Administrative Officers, EDP, and STO. It has a mock Travel Agency and a complete HRM facility, according to the CHED standard.

      VMA’s Tourism Club, Mock Travel Agency (MTA), won first place in the Province-Wide Contest entitled, “Smart Buddy Big Shot Academy”. MTA, represented by Ma. Riza Sigueza and Oliver Cabalhin, was declared the highest seller of the load, with free sim card, among student organization in Bacolod City. During the awarding ceremony held last February 1, 2008, at South wing Parking Lot of SM City Bacolod, MTA got P25,000, plus VIP seats for the Bamboo concert (which was held later that night), and two slots for the 20th Philippine ad Congress at Subic Bay, Zambales.

Gladys Esmane and Aimee Sacare, both BSHRM4-A (Cock Mixing Tandem) and Kenneth Alfred Hulleza, BSHRM, (Mocktail Mixing Individual) brought home the bacon, when they were proclaimed the Grand Champion in the Gaisano City’s Blazing Skills Battle of the Bottles held last March 9, 2008.

On September 15-19, 2011 marked another history for VMA Global College as the BS Tourism 4th year students set foot in Hong Kong. They were recognized as the first batch of VMA students to have an international trip.

On September 18, 2011, Jonathan E. Villarma a BSHRM student bagged the silver medal during the Flairtending at the World Trade Center, Pasay.

On October 22-29, 2011, VMA Global College athletes grabbed awards in the 16th Philippine University Games (UNIGAMES) held at Roxas City Capiz.

On October 22, Mrs. Rosela Baylon, faculty member of VMA Global College was awarded the Platinum award in Oral Research Presentation during the 2nd International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research at Eastview Hotel Bacolod City.

For another record, VMA’s pride Capt. Niño O. Salabas took top 2 spot in the PRC Master Mariner Examination.

On May 16, 2012, the 837th Naval ROTC of VMA Global College was declared as over-all champion for the Regional Annual General Inspection 2012 held at the Headquarters of Naval Reserve Center, Western Visayas , Arevalo, Iloilo City.

On June 14-16, 2012 VMA Global College hosted the PCGA National Events spearheaded by Capt. Elizabeth O. Salabas PCGA Squadron Direc tor, 602nd PCGA Squadron.

On July 27-28, 2012, two VMAer’s won bartending competition during the Sabor Bisaya at the Convention hall, Bacolod Pavillion Hotel. Out of 16 participants in bartending category, Jonathan Villarma Jr., BSHRM 4-A brought home the gold medal and John  B. Sergio, BSHRM 3-A reaped the bronze in the same category.

Joedel Martelino, BS Tourism 3-a student, bagged victory after the Provincial Tourism Quiz 2012 held at Colegio de San Agustin Bacolod last September 18, 2012.

On September 22, 2012, Alexis Saylo from BSHRM 3-A was declared as silver medalist for Filipino Carver Category during the National Food Showdown at World Trade Center, Manila.

Midn. Iancid Magbanua of BSMT 3-A bagged the first place award in the Quiz Bee (deck department) during the Maritime Skills Olympics 2012 of the WIMAPHIL (Women in Mariti,e Philippines), Philippine Port Authorities, MARINA, and the Philippine Coast Guard dated September 25, 2012.

Mdmn. Arvin Ortega of BSMT 3-A also reaped the first place for Talumpati during the Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports, Cultural and Education Association(NOPSSCEA). Ortega automatically represented the province for the WVPRISAA for Talumpati Competition.

On September 26, 2012, VMA Global College was awarded as HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL in Category B- BS Marine Transportation School Assessment Program(EMSAP)  by the Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council Inc. (PJMCC) at JSU-AMOSUP Mariner’s Home Annex.

About tag: 

News & Articles

Leonardia’s and Orola’s tandem brought Direct  International  Flights  to Bacolod-Silay airport boosting Local  Tourism
   While most of the Bacoleños was asleep at night during the Christmas eve, two of his prominent sons were up and around at the Bacolod-Silay airport welcoming

         Nowadays, there is a festive mood at the VMA Global College starting yesterday as it celebrates its 43rd Foundation Day, anchored on the theme VMA @ 43: Developing Skills, Brings Us to the Level of Global Standards, for five (5)

Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. signed a Memorandum of Agreement with VMA Global College, Marlow Navigation Philippines, Inc. and 19 scholar-grantees in a simple ceremony held at VMA Global College in

Does your school belongs to the top maritime schools in the Philippines? Being on the top will certainly provide boost on your career and an additional bragging rights.

Kurt Francis E. Perocho, college’s graduating student, advanced as finalist for Western

Jairah N. Chiva, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration third year (BSBA3) student, emerged as champion in the extemporaneous speaking competition and was elected as Board of Director together with Janine Pearl E. Casilao, as Assistant Secretary of the whole region VI.

VMA Global College - High School Department reaped Gold Achiever award for excellent performance in achieving 100 % (Potential) in scout membership campaign for scouting year 2014 during the 25th Annual Council Meeting and Court Honor at Bacolod City Council Headquarters last March 30.


Wheelhouse staffs  who joined the event are the following, succeeded  by their respective awards; Kurt Francis E. Perocho , Promising Writer in Editorial, Joan P. Batayo, Promising in Photojournalism-Individual Category, Joemel Cajolo Most Promising in Editorial and News Writing and Neil john De

The talents and skills of Hospitality Management and Tourism students in Western Visayas were recognized in the Sabor Bisaya Food Expo and Culinary Competition, held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City yesterday.
The VMA Poseidon group continued to dominate the tribal dance competition at the Mudpack Festival of the Mambukal Mountain Resort in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia in Negros Occidental.  Link to Visayan Daily Star