Dr. Mary Lou Lacson Arcelo openly expressed in moving emotion a milestone of a revered maritime institution established by her late father,  “… if he were here, his would be the first drop of tears that would have fallen in gratefulness and happiness.”

The daughter was referring to MV Capt. John B. Lacson, christened November 8th at the Port of Capinpin in Orion, Bataan. Inauguration and launching was simultaneous December 12th at the Ports Authority (PPA) Terminal 1 of the training ship owned by John B. Lacson Maritime University (JBLMU).

Dr. Arcelo, JBLMU Chairman and President Emeritus and Vice Chair of JBL Maritime Vanguard Services adds, “…he has always been … looking after us because nothing could ever materialize without the prayers of our loved ones especially one who has started this school…”

Some quarters say the vessel is a big risk but given the corporate passion to innovate and lead, the training ship is “… not only for our students but also for the country.”



The MV Capt. John B. Lacson is a German built former bulk carrier that is converted, refitted, outfitted into a training ship with a crew of 33 for 200 trainees at a time.

Over-all l length is 71.92m; B.P. length, 65.50m; MLD breadth, 12.80m; MLD depth, 6.80m.

Draft design/scantling: 4.45m; Deadweight (design/scantling) TBA.

Dr. Arend Brügge, CEO-Vega-Reederei (which originally built the ship) explains the sturdiness of the 41-year old vessel, “It’s German steel … constructed extra strong because she was designed for trade in the Artic; for a conversion, you need the right base and it doesn’t matter whether it’s 41 years old or 30 years old…”

He believes it is the right size for a training vessel and assures, “we will support you with our crew…You know that I come very often here because we like to see our boys, our scholars and we are very happy to assist. “

Carlo Virgilio D.R. Ignacio, VP-Operations for Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services says they actually rebuilt the vessel for almost a year at Barangay Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan.



Capt. Vicente Fedelicio, Vega Manila Crew Management president and JBL Maritime Vanguard Services chairman, confirms it is a pet project of Dr. Arcelo, the first privately- owned training ship in the country.

With challenges come potentials: a laboratory for maritime and allied courses, tourism in Western Visayas and icon of Iloilo City as the center of trade and maritime studies of Region 6, if not the Philippines.



The main market is shipboard training (SBT) for Seatime Apprenticeship (for BSMT and BSMarE); Shipboard familiarization, Port watchkeeping, Navigational trips.

Senior HS and Tech-Voc Maritime/ESLP may do two months SBT; BS Cruise Ship Management or HRM students for shipboard familiarization, galley/culinary and steward trainings. TESDA trainees may use the ship for culinary, stewarding and other courses in the ship shall also be operated as a restaurant/function rooms for an Iloilo Strait cruise.

The JBL Maritime Vanguard Services is a channel for hands-on training, a platform for on-the-job skills development.



Bataan Governor Albert Garcia notes shipbuilding made Bataan with the least poverty incidence  of 1.6% against the national 22% . Building the MV JBL there is”… another testament to that and … showcase(s) the capability of our province.”

Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III declares, “… your school always serves as one of the best training grounds equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.”