It traces back during the time of Fr. James A. McKeough SJ, a pioneer Marine Scientist in Northern Mindanao. As he was active in field research, XU had its first marine station in Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City under the management of the Biology Department. In the course of time, the station was no longer conducive venue for research due to a number of difficulties; it has not been fully maximized for research use for both land-based and ocean-based studies. Hence, there was a need for a new research station that is along the coast, in close proximity to the diverse coastal and marine ecosystems. 

In his last few years, several site proposals for a new marine station were explored but each one had a problem. Upon the return of Dr. Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit in 2005, the Marine Biological Research Center of XU was restructured and strengthened. In 2006, the center was officially renamed as the McKeough Marine Center (MMC) by then-University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJ honoring Fr. James A. McKeough SJ as one of the pioneers in marine science research in Mindanao. Then in 2011, finally, the University through the management of MMC bought a resort lot in Brgy. Solana, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental with some existing structures intended for a new station. MMC under the directorship of Fr. Mars P. Tan SJ with the assistance of Mr. Jose Jaime Ignacio, then Assistant to the President for Campus Development (APCD) and some key resource persons in the University made all the preparations and planning for the approval of the final station construction proposal by the University President, Fr. Roberto C. Yap SJ.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 8, 2013, and the new buildings were inaugurated and blessed on May 6, 2014.

Functions and Services


XU Marine Station supports various researches requiring land- and ocean-based set-ups and field/laboratory experiments for courses in, but not limited to the Biology Department. Applied research with significant contribution and applicability to the region is prioritized. Aquaculture studies of various organisms that will help provide alternative livelihoods to the locals for food, market, and conservation to ease pressure on the coastal and marine resources.


XU Marine Station holds small-scale experiments for the research studies of students, both local and foreign, in their undergraduate and graduate theses. It also supports the BS Biology/Marine Biology courses in line with field exposures during the regular semesters. Summer classes may be held whereby students are based in the station, with on-site lectures, hands-on and fieldwork. Aquaculture students can conduct hands-on culture practices at the station.

Extension Work & External Projects

Awareness building among Xavier Ateneo students on the conservation of marine life and resources is annually conducted such as Marine Summer Camp for senior high schools. They are exposed to hands-on activities, boat trips, lectures, educational videos and materials with a distinct flow based on the Ignatian Pedagogical Approach.

External projects of the McKeough Marine Center use the marine station for different purposes such as training, workshops, laboratory work, writing sessions, and overnight stays.

Building the capacity of the local populace is facilitated through participatory training in the station (lecture and fieldwork), geared towards community-based integrated coastal zone management, with the final goal of establishing an operational self-sustaining marine protected area.


General Office

The general office comprise of one (1) separate office room for the resident scientist, one (1) separate room for five (5) researchers, and one (1) administrative staff with one office, administrative reception/waiting area, and pantry.

Dry Laboratory

Dry laboratory is a fully air-conditioned room and has laboratory bench space for twenty-five (25) persons. Bench space has adequate utilities such as electrical receptacles and gas piping systems. Countertops' surface is suitable for experiments and chemical analyses. Dry lab equipment has a refrigerator, fume hood, convection oven, incubator, autoclave, and one eye-wash/emergency shower.

Wet Laboratory

Wet laboratory also has laboratory bench space for twenty-five (25) persons. Bench space has adequate utilities such as chemical and glassware storage, electrical receptacles, seawater and freshwater outlets, aeration connected air pump, sink, and one eye-wash/emergency shower. Countertop surfaces are for experiments and chemical analyses.

Culture Room

Culture room has enough fluorescent lighting with multiple switches for the desired lumens for any laboratory specimens. It is adjustable in terms of intensity and photoperiod duration. Two (2) air conditioning units provide the desired room temperature for specific experiments.

General Storage Room

This is for laboratory equipment and supplies.

Out-door Experimental Area

It has two (2) cylindrical fiberglass tanks for land-based research experiments and two (2) customized made of waterproof canvas for display, and touch tanks for Information Education Campaign (IEC) and interactive exposures for students/visitors.  

Pump House

Pump house for seawater pump and sedimentation tanks which are vital equipment for wet laboratory and experimental ponds.

Activity Center

The station is equipped with event facilities ideal for seminars, training, workshops, and recollections.  The station has areas that operate from 6:00 A.M. until 10:00 P.M. daily from Monday to Sunday. Any college, school, department, unit, organization, or institution can request the use of the event areas. Sleeping accommodations are also available but on a limited basis. 

Area descriptions (Activity Center):

  • The Function Hallis a large covered facility with open sides and can accommodate around 50 people. The large space is conducive for big meetings, lectures, and various group activities. Users will provide their own audio-visual equipment.
  • Kitchenfacilities are available for an additional fee (please inquire when making your reservation).
  • There are 3 standard roomson the 2nd floor of the 2–story house. There is an additional fee for the use of the rooms and the house.
  • The whole event area is fenced, has landscaped gardens on one side adjacent to the main road, and is open on the opposite side fronting the beach. The sandy loam beach is dotted with individual coconut trees.
  • There are one comfort room and one shower room for males and one comfort room and one shower room for females on the premises.

Policies and Guidelines

Use of Facilities  

When not in use by the university (Xavier University), the Marine Station/Activity Center facilities are available to outside groups, public and private educational institutions and other organizations. In case there is a scheduling conflict, the following priorities are followed: (1) training, workshops, meetings of groups from McKeough Marine Center/XU Marine Station; (2) classes or meetings of groups from Xavier community; (3) classes or meetings of groups from other public or private educational institutions (academic & research related); and (4) meetings or other events of public or private groups/organization (activity center only). There are charges for the use of certain XUMS/Activity Center facilities.   

Non-XU researchers/scientists who wish to conduct research at the Marine Station are welcome on a space-available basis. Laboratory services include shared use of the dry/wet labs and culture room, use of basic microscopes, and use of other station equipment which is designated for general use. Visiting researchers/scientists are responsible for providing their own expendable supplies and must adhere to the Marine Station’s policies and procedures.

There are a few recreational groups that do not actually fall within the above reservation guidelines that have been utilizing the activity center. These reservations will continue to be honored for the current time provided space is available. No reservation can be made a year in advance but could provide proposed reservation dates, which will be considered only after the academic/research reservations have their reservation dates.

Reservation scheduling is maintained and coordinated by the Administrative Assistant. Reservation schedules will be made available to all Station research and staff. The Administrative Assistant will be promptly notified of all reservations and changes. The MMC director is the one who approves or declines the request for reservation of the marine station, the activity, and equipment/material.

Guidelines for Bookings/Reservations of the Activity Center

  • Requests will be evaluated based on both first-in-time priority and substantive merit. Any user will book at least one week prior to the scheduled event and program through the MMC office.  Booking is considered confirmed upon approval by the MMC office and the payment of appropriate charges. It is the responsibility of the users to maintain cleanliness inside the premises.
  • Multiple groups may be scheduled on the same date for the use of the activity center. Management will determine compatibility of activities, and the request that is in conflict with previously booked and confirmed events will not be approved.
  • Should there be a cancellation of a prior booking; the user must inform the Management at least two days ahead. Failure to provide this advance notification will result in the forfeiture of booking fees.

Rates as of June 2012:

Entrance fee   
XU P60.00/person
Non-XU P80.00/person
Children (7-12 yrs. old) P40.00/child
Children (6 yrs old – below) Free


Free usage of Activity Hall for CB, Seminars, Recollections, etc.

Overnight stay  
XU P200/person
Non-XU P250.00/person
Children (7-12 yrs. old) P40.00/child
Children (6 yrs old – below) Free

Rates may change upon the management discretion

Rules and Regulations

  • RESPONSIBLE USER/REQUESTOR: The person who makes the reservation shall be continually present during the private usage of the facility.
  • GUESTS: The requestor is responsible for all actions of their fellow guests. The Center is not liable for any loss, damage, accident or physical injury, whatsoever occurred during the event/use of the facility. Everyone must sign the Waiver of Liability and strictly observe the house rules and regulations.
  • Any damage to the facilities or equipment caused by the user shall be charged to the user. The cost of the damage shall be assessed by the Management and communicated via written memorandum to the responsible person or group.
  • Guests under the age of 18 using the Activity Center for functions, especially during night time, must be chaperoned by at least 2 adults. Children are not allowed in the Activity Center at any time unless accompanied by an adult.
  • EVENING FUNCTIONS: All functions must be over by 11:00 PM. Care must be exercised to avoid any excessive noise levels after 10:00 PM.
  • CLEANING: It is the responsibility of the users to maintain cleanliness inside the premises.  Users shall provide their own garbage bags and put all garbage in the designated containers/bins. 
  • The station/center observes and promotes environmentally-friendly practices. Users should strictly observe the following:
  1. Recycle and reuse of materials, particularly paper
  2. Conserve power and water consumption
  3. Reduce non-biodegradable wastes
  4. Practice solid waste management
  5.  No single-use plastic water bottles, plastic cups, doypack and other banned plastics by Xavier University.
  • Care for the environment should be practiced by all users and guests of the center. No cutting of plants/trees and destruction of natural resources in the area.
  • Center Management in cooperation with the Barangay and Purokauthorities will take responsibility in preserving and protecting the coastal and marine resources fronting the site of the University Marine Station.





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XU Marine Station/Activity Center located in Solana, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental is open for reservations. For inquiries, call 853 9800 local 9199 and look for Mr. Friday Atilano