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A Brief History of Mariveles


The name Mariveles is said to come from “maraming dilis” wchich pertains to the abundant anchovies caught on the sesa surrounding the municipality. “Maraming dilis” was shortened to “mara-dilis” and eventually  Mariveles through the passage of time.

Another legend talked about a forbidden love story between a beautiful  lass named Maria Velez and a priest from nearby Manila. The two eloped that took them to a lush forest at the tip of a peninsula across the Manila Bay corridor. Authorities from Manila caught up and separated the lovers. Maria Velez carried on to be a monk and the priest was banished to a far flung village in Mexico. Immortalizing this legend, the lush forest was named Mariveles, after the lady monk.


Historical accounts referred to Mariveles as the refilling stop for merchant ships before coming into Manila Bay. The Chinese pirate Li Ma Hong was recorded to have briefly stopped in Camaya (former name of Mariveles) for fresh water and supplies before proceeding to attack Manila.

Mariveles also figured in the revolt against Spain with a handful of Katipuneros laying siege on a Spanish camp as the uprising was declared. During the 2nd World War, the municipality served as the temporary camp for the captured Filipino and American soldiers who defended Corregidor and Bataan. Thus, the grueling “Death March” to Capaz, Tarlac started in Mariveles, and another point in Bagac.


Mariveles at present is a far cry from the role it played from the pre-Spanish and pre-war days. It now hosts the country’s first economic zone, first petrochemical industrial estate and plastic city (a petrochemical down stream industrial zone specializing in polyethylene sheets), a grain handling terminal (ATI-SMC) and an integrated footwear manufacturing plants based in the zone and the Asia Pacific Maritime Academy.

The town is now a conurbation of different Filipino and foreign cultures as local migrants flock to the municipality for job and livelihood opportunities. Foreign expatriates associated with export manufacturing firms have also established their residence in Mariveles.


Mariveles is located in a cove at the southern most tip of the Bataan peninsula and is about 173 kilometers from Manila through the North Luzon Expressway, Gapan-Olongapo Road and Roman Highway.

It can also be reached through jet ferry plying the Mariveles to Manila route that has an approximate travel time of 40 minutes.

It has a total land area of 15,390.00 hectares representing 12% of the total land area of Bataan Province. Based on the May, 2020 census, the total population of Mariveles is 149,879, with a growth rate of 3.458. The population is projected to be at 165,971 by 2023 (2021 SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE 2023).

Agricultural resources of the municipality include rice, mangoes, legumes, vegetables and coffee. IT also has aquatic resources like round scad, grouper, mussel and abalone; mineral deposits of granite and basalt and forest products like vines and bamboo.

Mariveles takes pride as the host of the very first economic zone in the country, the Bataan Economic Zone, formerly Bataan Export Processing Zone.


Telecommunication facilities are provided by PLDT, Oceanic Wireless Network Inc. with courier services from PT & T, RCPI, TeleFast, DHL, JRS, Fax and Parcel, LBC, and Ddel Bros-UPS.

The Mariveles Water District supplies the water requirement of the Mariveles town proper while the economic zone has its own water system, the Bataan Economic Zone Water System.

The Peninsula Electri Cooperative (PENELCO) serves the 15 barangays of Mariveles while the National Power Corporation takes care of Barangays Malaya and Maligaya.

In the municipality of Mariveles, there exist five banks operating within its boundaries, as well as a diverse array of educational institutions numbering 56 in total, comprised of 31 public schools and 25 private schools. The medical landscape is composed of 4 Rural Health Units, 8 Medical and Laboratory Clinics, 1 Dental Clinic, 1 Optical Clinic, and 3 other healthcare facilities. Mariveles offers a plethora of recreational opportunities, including 5 inland resorts, 3 beach resorts, 5 tourist attractions, and a singular historical landmark that serves as a testament to its cultural heritage.


Garments and footwear are the major industries in Mariveles located mostly inside the FAB. With the entry of Petrochem Complex, petrochemical industries are also expected to dominate the area.


As of 2021 (2021 SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE 2023), the effective area of palay production is 419.65 hectares. Yielding an estimated 1,962.79 metric tons or 42,669 cavans of rice. The average production is computed to 4.68 metric tons per hectare of rice-land or 102 cavans.


The fishing community in Mariveles (2021 SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE 2023) is comprised of 2,525 individuals, among whom 1,810 engage in full-time fishing endeavors, while the remainder, 715, undertake fishing activities on a part-time basis. This group of fishermen utilizes an assemblage of 1,105 motorized vessels, 102 non-motorized boats, and 43 commercial-scale fishing ships. The municipality boasts two fish ports and landing centers, as well as a single ice plant and cold storage facility, which play a vital role in the drying process of the catch.


Mariveles is home to the fastest-growing freeport in the country – the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan. Companies engaged in manufacturing, processing, and logistics are situated here and with the FAB expansion law, digital technologies can also locate in this freeport.

With the much-awaited Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge in the pipeline, real estate developments are continuously coming in as demands in housing and commercial infrastructure are increasing. The location of Mariveles, after the realization of this bridge, makes it strategic, especially in ports and logistics operations.

In this municipality, must-visit tourist destinations and places of historical importance are within reach. Renewable energy sources, along with power generation companies also make the location very competitive.

Indeed, Mariveles is a promising location for work, play, and leisure, making it a multi-tiered investment destination in Bataan.

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