Originally known as the “Village of Kamaya”, it was founded as a pueblo by a Franciscan Friar in 1578 and was made part of the Corregimiento of Mariveles which includes the towns of Bagac and Morong, the Island of Corregidor, and the town of Maragondon in Cavite.
When Bataan was declared as another province separate from Pampanga pursuant to Superior Decree on July 1754, Mariveles became a part of the new province. It served as the checking point for ships entering or leaving Manila Bay.
When the Philippines fell to the Americans at the turn of the 19th century, Mariveles was placed under American rule. They established the country’s first quarantine station in the old Spanish Leprosarium Hospital to check all incoming and outgoing shipments from any communicable and deadly diseases from spreading. Today, this quarantine station is converted to a National Mental Ward.