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Exploring the Manila Metropolitan Theater

About a month ago, I was finally able to set foot inside the Manila Metropolitan Theater. To many of you, you might know it as the Philippines' most haunted location.

Photo by chooolss

Last month, my co-editor plasticpopsicle and I joined several other Manila history and photography enthusiasts for the Royal Postal Heritage Tour organized by the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club. On the itinerary then was the Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET), the Manila Post Office, and certain parts of Intramuros. I was looking forward to having a tour inside MET the most, and it turned out to be more of an eye-opening experience than a scary one. In fact, I was only reminded of its infamous title when I saw “Philippines’ Most Haunted” written by someone on a post near one of the entrances to the theater.

I have and will never see the MET as it was in its heyday, but I guess I can safely assume that what remains today is a shadow of its former self. Formally opening its doors to the public in 1931, the MET was a premier performance location until the Second World War, after which it gradually fell into disuse. A few restoration attempts have been made since then, to no avail. It’s a pity. But despite the desolation, the MET managed to retain some of its beautiful details that made it a local architectural feat.

It’s honestly a pity to see the MET today and be reminded of the stories I’ve heard about its glory days. There was rubble everywhere – piles of rocks and wood litter the hallways, staircases, and what used to be dressing rooms and other areas. We were advised to bring flashlights beforehand because there are no light fixtures inside. The theater itself in particular was too dark to take photos – the LC-Wide and Diana F+ flash, which I brought to document the tour, weren’t enough, apparently.

For now, I can only hope that authorities would really follow through with their plans of restoring the MET anew. It’s a lot of work, sure, but don’t you think it’s shame if we are to lose yet another gem in Manila?

You may see the rest of my photos of the MET here.

Additional information in this article were sourced from Wikipedia.

Read more about the MET on Spooky Spots: Manila Metropolitan Theater.

written by chooolss

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