A familiar landmark among Manila’s commuters has been restored to its former glory

One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks
by Drei Laurel | Jun 28, 2021
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

If you’re someone who’s ever commuted in and around Manila City, there’s a very good chance you’re familiar with the Manila Metropolitan Theater.

The beautiful art deco structure is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks—at par with the likes of the Manila Post Office and National Museum. Unfortunately, many of you probably know it as the decrepit old building you stare at while stuck in traffic or while waiting for a ride in the Lawton area.

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Some people say the theater is haunted, but if you ask us, the only thing frightening about it is the sorry state of disrepair it fell into as time passed. Thankfully, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) got to work rehabilitating the structure over the past couple of years, and now it’s nearly been restored to its former glory.

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Just last week, members of the media were invited inside the newly-renovated Manila Metropolitan Theater for a quick tour of the building ahead of the city’s 450th founding anniversary celebrations. The theater hall itself now looks like it can gigs again—which it did when SB19 and Ben&Ben shot a music video for MAPA at the venue.

Perhaps more important for commuters, the structure’s eye-catching façade, which features some colorful stained glass, has been restored, too. This should be a welcome sight during a trip home after a long day provided the local government can find a way to keep it partially lit up at night. It should also be easier to walk by it now that the building no longer looks like a serial killer is hiding inside it.

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This is just one more reason to get back to sightseeing in the city once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. What other historical landmarks would you like to see rehabilitated in Metro Manila? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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