Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Richard Tuason-Sanchez Bautista (bottom photo), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) architect in charge of the conservation, oversees its progress which began last March; now in its second phase which involves fixing the theater’s electrical and plumbing systems.

Rehabilitation of this Filipinized Art Deco structure seems like a daunting task, indeed. Richard claims parts of the ceiling have caved in, there are cracks on the floor, the stage is unsafe and the whole building needs a paint job. Also, some sculptures by Italian artist Francesco Monti, displayed all over the theater, are in need of repair.

Furthermore, it requires at least P210 million to completely rehabilitate the Met and this does not include the interior furnishings such as the seats and curtains. Besides the project completion fund, Richard also emphasizes the importance of having a healthy reserve fund to defray the costs of the ensuing maintenance costs.

Allison Lopez of the The Philippine Daily Inquirer has written about Richard and his efforts, 'Grand Dame’ of theater to reclaim lost glory.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:02 AM


Blogger Gita Asuncion said...

really infuriating how the theater's condition has even come to this!

July 03, 2007 8:20 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

I wonder if the renovation completes now that Lim is Mayor again. Will read up on ur earlier posts... been super bz at work. :)

July 03, 2007 10:00 AM  

Blogger richard tuason-sanchez bautista said...

Gita, don't be decieved by the debris you see in the picture of the lobby. There are mounds of it inside the theatre due to the ongoing works.

Yes, the Met deteriorated badly. Fortunately with its new roof, the deterioration will cease for now.

July 03, 2007 10:38 AM  

Blogger Gita Asuncion said...

richard, it is not really the debris and the construction materials seen on the photos.
the mere fact that a national landmark such as the MET would experience such deterioration in out time is infuriating enough.
just goes to show how the leaders of our land today value our history or shall is say devalue...
i even remember the time when the MET was used as a bingo hall and a venue for Vilma Santos' VIP TV show...
at least marcos, in his time, was able to restore this into its splendor...

July 03, 2007 10:59 AM  

Blogger palma tayona said...

hello richard my dear old co-barfly... funny i bump into you in this forum.

finally, somebody's doing something to the met. kudos! though it's tough job you are to face. your efforts are well-supported by those who love our fair city.

July 03, 2007 11:10 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

let's hope that the people involved in renovating this building be restored to its former glory, and maybe into something more grand. i'll wait patiently until the time comes i can watch a performance there.


July 03, 2007 11:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Restoration of this kind of magnitude is quite daunting! Hope all key people involved will not have glitches in between, now thru completion. Any completion date btw? 210 milliones, that's a lot of dough..cheers and goodluck to all involved.

July 03, 2007 11:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Blame it on political feuding, Gita -- GSIS vs. Manila City Hall :(

July 03, 2007 12:43 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I thought you might have gone on vacation, Senorito Ako. You've been gone for quite sometime. But glad to know you've been raking in much overtime dinero :)

Hey, the dSLRs are going down in price now :)

Yes, perhaps Mayor Lim will be more receptive to restoring our landmark treasures!

July 03, 2007 12:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Glad to hear, Richard, the workers plan to clear out the mounds of debris soon :)

And many many thanks for allowing me to take these pictures to share with everyone. Truly appreciate your kindness.

July 03, 2007 12:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I had the very same thought, Gita -- how could anyone just allow something that was once meticulously restored to deteriorate into such pitiful state.

But glad to see the concerted efforts to revive this "Grand Dame!"

July 03, 2007 12:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Nice to see old friends running into one another at my site ... hehehe!

I agree with you, Daniel, Richard and his entire team have to be commended for their passionate efforts to tackle such a monumental feat. Nonetheless, I'm confident they can do the job :)

July 03, 2007 12:52 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

With a passionate restoration architect such as Richard at the helm, the only thing that I can see hindering these guys from accomplishing their task is, God forbid, renovation funding runs out.

I, too, look forward to the day or evening when this grand theater once again raises its curtains to present another fabulous show, Carla :)

July 03, 2007 12:55 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

To say the least, TruBlue. I was standing there in awe of the immense job they have to do. I left that place with more respect for our architects and skilled workers who are now sweating everyday to manifest their vision to bring back life in this theater.

July 03, 2007 12:58 PM  

Blogger Kyels said...

Let's hope they'd be able to restore the glory of this theater once again.


July 03, 2007 1:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Know what, Kyels? As long as they have the funds, I am confident they can finish this project ... and amaze us all :)

July 03, 2007 1:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was passing by the MET the other week and I was about to tell you that it's being renovated, but you beat me to it, hehehe....
but i think it will be worth it every peso that they will spend in restoring the MET...

July 03, 2007 5:51 PM  

Blogger richard tuason-sanchez bautista said...

Señor, please mention in the headline that; rehabilitation or conservation. Renovation conotes something else.

July 03, 2007 5:58 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, I'll change to "conservation."

Perhaps, you can share with us your insight on their differences for edification.

Thanks, Richard!

July 03, 2007 6:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Lino,

Once I get an invite from Richard for a progress photo shoot in a month or two, I will invite you to come along and shoot with me.

July 03, 2007 6:50 PM  

Blogger Photowalker said...

The last time I went inside was in third year high school. and that was 10+ years ago. It's really sad to see this place deteriorate through the years.

I wish those involved with the restoration and conservation luck. It's better that they handle it than wait for our leaders to start moving.

July 03, 2007 7:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think the conservation project is in good hands, Photowalker.

I fervently pray that they receive the needed funding to complete their tasks, including substantial funding for long-term maintenance.

July 03, 2007 7:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ey, that's great, i'll wait for your invite on your next progress photo shoot... i'll email you my contact number... thanks eric... :)

July 03, 2007 7:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good shots. And Im glad that you were able to join us in this mini-tour in such a short notice. With the way things are going, I harbor no illusions of the Met being brought back to her 'glory days' (well, there was no CCP at that time and the Met was THE theater),Im really just content to just have this place spruced up, conserved and sustained in today's present context. ;o)

July 03, 2007 7:56 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Lino. I'm sure we can schedule it before you go to work in the afternoon.

July 03, 2007 7:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a couple or more stage plays here, the last one was in 1981, featuring the late Rita Gomez in "Larawan" - a Filipino adaptation of Nick Joaquin's A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.

Iba ang dating kapag nanonood ka sa MET. Mararamdaman mo talaga ang 'ambience' ng totoo at lehitimong teatro.

I didn't know the MET deteriorated this far. All the while I thought it only needed some sprucing up. Sayang. No matter how hard they conserve/restore it, it can never go back to its true original state. But then again - having something close to the original is not bad at all. Here's hoping for the best! :)

July 03, 2007 9:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The task is nothing less than monumental and the price tag is similarly gargantuan. Mr. Tuazon-Sanchez should tap
the private sector for additional funding for the success of the effort clearly lies on the
sufficiency of funds. A fund-raising activity may even be ideal in this case.

July 03, 2007 10:04 PM  


What happened to that Eric. I guess the artist, especially the actors and actresses should help built this edifice. What' you project nowadays were we could combine our efforts? Just Saturday/Sunday schedule.

July 03, 2007 11:09 PM  



I like youre style. When will your group's next photo shoot? I think I like to come.

July 03, 2007 11:15 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

I always pass by this area, though I never realized how important this theater is for philippine art, until I read the comments here. Bata pa siguro ko during this theater's heydays? =D

Buti naman theyre doing something about it...How about the river a few walk across the theater sir?

July 03, 2007 11:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made me so happy with this post. At long last, I am able to take a look inside the theater. I made a post about this long ago, and I am happy to note that many changes have happened since then, i.e. parts of the roof finally are okay.

I can\'t wait to see the daunting task of repairing it finally come to fruitition.

Best of luck to the City of Manila and the NCAA! Perhaps a fund drive for heritage sites can be started by the HCS?

July 03, 2007 11:36 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Di ba na-restore na ni Imelda yan nuong 70's? Ano ba yan pinabayaan na lang ng sumunod na administrasyon? Sayang naman yung ginasta diyan na pera rin naman ng taong bayan. Bakit ganuon ang nangyayari diyan? basta na lang nila pababayaan ang tinapos ng iba at wala silang paki-alam dahil di naman nila proyekto! buti na lang may mga tao ngayong nag-mamalasakit na ibalik ang ganda ng ating mga yaman na tulad ng Metropolitan theater at sana naman ay ipagpatuloy na ang pagbigay pansin sa mga magandang nakaraan ng sining ka-maynilaan!

July 03, 2007 11:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Apparently, Ivan, based on comments from our blog friends, there remains great interest in this landmark of ours.

I am looking forward to your planned walking tour of the Met and other interesting landmarks in the city. I bet this will be in the very near future :)

July 04, 2007 5:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It was my very first visit, Rhoda. Consider yourself fortunate for having had the opportunity to see a grand show in the old Met. Despite the heaps of debris, somehow I sensed its old glory. It really must've been one grand theater.

The bickering between GSIS and Manila City Hall might have contributed largely to this structure's eventual deterioration.

July 04, 2007 5:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Major Tom, its success hinges upon the infusion of much needed funds.

From what I understand, the Manila City Hall is supposed to contribute largely for its rehabilitation and ensuing long-term maintenance costs.

July 04, 2007 5:43 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Perhaps, we ought to have a brainstorming mini get-together one Sunday, Roy, and see what we could come up with. It would be nice if we could somehow drum up greater interest from the public to participate in reviving the Met :)

July 04, 2007 5:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I will ask Richard and Ivan Mandy when it might be, Roy.

I've a feeling that they might be interested to know that we plan to keep promoting the Met through our photographs and blogs.

July 04, 2007 5:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi G. Mirage,

The river, I believe, is being rehabilitated through the efforts of the Clean & Green Foundation. That is another monumental task, but at least, there are continued efforts for its rehabilitation.

Nonenetheless, public awareness and participation are much needed to make these conservation projects great successes.

July 04, 2007 5:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Superpasyal, please post your entry's URL here so our readers will be able to cross reference and better appreciate the Met :)

I, too, feel optimistic that we could somehow revive some of this theater's great glory.

July 04, 2007 5:53 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what I understand, Pete, after the Marcos era, GSIS and Manila City Hall began wrestling for the control of the Met. Unfortunately, things didn't get resolved for the better.

Anyway, perhaps, the public could contribute their greater interest and support for maintaining the Met once fully rehabilitated.

Sayang talaga kung pababayaan natin.

July 04, 2007 5:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think a public fund raising for the theater would help foster awareness and community participation to this endeavor.Shall we get the prominent Manilenyo's to start the rescue of the beloved theater?


July 04, 2007 8:03 AM  

Blogger richard tuason-sanchez bautista said...


The abandonement of the MET started in the late 1990's when a court order was issued, instructing that no one can touch the MET and anything inside it until the ownership issue is resolved.

Until 2002 or 3? when it was finally resolved after two appeals from manila that the ownership is now legally GSIS.

Also, the forest park near the MET is now again managed by Winners foundation, the group that made the forest park.

July 04, 2007 1:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That would be a very good idea, IndioBravo. However, the ultimate life and soul of this grand theater will be the general public's continued support -- present and future generations.

July 05, 2007 6:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for the information, Richard. Now, we know :)

July 05, 2007 6:05 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

The govt should put aside some money to remodel the Met since it is legally owned by the GSIS. I don't want to know how come GSIS owned that. :D Hehehe, but if not, Manila should take over that building for performing arts and other functions. I'm sure a lot of Manilans or NGOs would volunteer their time and some financial assistance to restore a beautiful landmark.
Of topic --
May the Jai-alai bldg. Rest In Peace.

July 05, 2007 3:03 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The anniversary of the demolition of the Jai-Alai building was earlier this week, I think, Reyd. How I miss that place :(

I hope that everyone will truly appreciate the refurbished Metropolitan Theater once it's completely done.

July 05, 2007 6:19 PM  

Blogger Manila Boy said...

Hi Richard and Señor Enrique,

It's good to know that the met is currently being restored. Perhaps a campaign to raise funds for the completion of the met can be organized? I'm willing to help.

Jeffrey Yap

P.S. By the way Señor Enrique, I will be posting this as a weblink on SSC Heritage threads for reference.

July 05, 2007 8:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Jeffrey,

We need someone to jumpstart the fund raising endeavor for the Met!

I'm sure we can call our friends from the other fields of the arts to participate.

I think Daniel has an idea to raise funds; will meet him tomorrow and know more about it then. Roy Luga is another person for me to reach out to for guidance in this project. I'll see if I can meet him sometime this weekend.

Perhaps, Jeffrey, you can be our go-to-guy on this idea/effort?

What do you think?



July 05, 2007 8:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish matapos to ng maayos at hindi minadali... this is one of the most beautiful landmark of Manila

July 07, 2007 7:04 AM  

Blogger Manila Boy said...

Hi Eric!

No problem! Will coordinate with Heritage Conservation Society regarding the matter. I have your calling card. We met during the launch of "Quaipo: Heart of Manila" by Dr. Zialcita last March so I'll send you a text message.


July 09, 2007 12:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, I think that'll be wonderful, Jeff. I might see Richard this week and will mention it to him also.

Forgive my forgetfulness, but I'm sure my memory will kick back in once we meet again.

Thanks, Jeff!

July 09, 2007 7:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Lakbay Pilipinas,

I think Richard and his team are doing a great job. Knowing Richard, I don't think he'll rush it and commit oversights along the way.

What we need to do at this time is show them our support.

July 09, 2007 7:32 AM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

eric, what a shame =( i hope they will be able to restore the MET to its old splendor. glad you wrote this article to let everyone here know about it.

i'm not really sure, but i think we were able to watch pa several repertory phil. shows there when i was a kid before they transferred to another bldg. in makati.

July 10, 2007 6:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lucky were those, Sheilamarie, who were able to see a show here back then.

But I remain positive that I, too, will someday get a chance to see a show here.

July 10, 2007 7:57 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Check out this Philippine Star article:

Will we let the MET go to waste?
By Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco
Saturday, July 21, 2007


July 21, 2007 3:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

my god.. even though i wasn't able to witness this structure on its prime years, ever since i saw this bldg., i can't help but think, how on earth can it be just left alone to smithereens. =(i was always fascinated by its art deco design, then dismayed because of the awful pink paint on its walls. i love passing this place and thinking will i ever be able to pass this site again renovated, and restored. i sooo love met theater. it's even my entry for art petron 2007.. i just hope i can go inside met theater like you did, i've always wanted to take pictures of the met theater

August 01, 2007 11:10 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Once ready, I'm certain regular tours of the Met will be conducted for the benefit of the public, as well as to help raise funds for the continued maintenance of the renovated building, Krisi.

August 01, 2007 11:48 AM  

Blogger Ianne Miguel said...

Good day sir,
I'm Janice from Letran College. I'm currently doing a study about the Manila Metropolitan Theater. I just want to ask your permission to use your photos for my academic project. I was not able to secure permit to enter the Met because Architect Richard Bautista is not already connected with the project.

Thankyou. I'll be expecting your answer": janiceiannemguel@gmail.com


February 29, 2008 2:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Janice,

You may certainly use my photographs for your school project. Good luck!

February 29, 2008 5:42 AM  

Blogger Ianne Miguel said...

Thankyou so much sir,

May I ask your full name sir? 'coz I'll be putting it for the credit of the

March 01, 2008 5:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Please credit Senor Enrique with the URL of my blog :)

Thanks, Janice!

March 03, 2008 7:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good day sir! I am also currently trying to conduct a research on the MET for a case study on Philippine heritage conservation efforts. Is it still possible to take a tour of the site? And who can I contact regarding this matter? :) Thank you so much for your help sir. :)

Deniece Yusun

April 05, 2008 3:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Deniece,

According to Richard, please call Allan Gatpolintan of city hall. Please check your emal. Thanks!

April 06, 2008 12:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi sir! This is cristina, an architecture student, may I just ask permission to use your photographs to justify my research? I'm conducting a research about metropolitan theater and hopefully to use it to my upcoming thesis this year.

May 24, 2008 10:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm always open to sharing my photographs with students to help them with their school efforts so, yes ... you may use these pictures I've taken from the Met, Cristina.

And thank you for asking for my permission first :)

May 25, 2008 5:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodevening po senor enrique! This is Cristina again. I just want to ask if you have any idea on where can I get some informations regarding the architectural drawings and informations of metropolitan theater? Are there any agencies / companies handling the records of this theater? And lastly, Sir, about the permit that I need to accomplish first, for me to be allowed to visit the site? Who am I going to contact regarding this matter? Thank You po! Pasensya na po, maraming questions? Thank you po ulit!

June 12, 2008 10:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodevening po senor enrique!
This is cristina again. I just want to ask if you know where i can gather informations regarding the architectural drawings of metropolitan theater? Are there any agencies / companies handling these records? and Lastly, sir, who can i contact with regarding the permit i need to accomplish first for me to be allowed to visit the site? Thank you po. Pasensya na po maraming questions. Thank you po.

June 12, 2008 10:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Cristina,

According to Richard Bautista, you may contact Allan Gatpolintan of the Manila City Hall. You may also call the office of the Heritage Conservation Society for additional information.

Good luck!

June 13, 2008 6:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi senor enrique, king louie here... I just want you to know that the restoration of the metropolitan theater is always in my prayers.Last sunday, after church service..I drop by their with my bestfriend, dont know exactly why but we just went their to pray, and declare God's word while walking around the theater. I know deep inside my heart that God Himself will restore that theater for His glory and honor.I am blessed knowing that there are people who has the heart, passion and desire to help renovate and restore the city.Just want to let you know that I am just here, available if you would like some man power, example.. in fund raising and etc. I am extending my help.. And I want to know you guys more!You guys are great people!
you can visit my blogs:
www.reconciledgeneration.blogspot.com and www.kinglouiededios.blogspot.com


king louie

August 20, 2008 5:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

senor enrique,

would that be ok to post your photos of metropolitan in my blog?I will just put your link their... thanks


August 22, 2008 5:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, it's ok, King. Please drop me a note as well so I could visit and read your post.

Many thanks for the prayers :)

August 22, 2008 10:55 AM  

Anonymous EJ said...

i am edgar john raflores an architecture student may i ask if you have an information about this structure because our design subject deals with restoration so we need some research about this may you help us to this project.pls email me john_cute11@yahoo.com.thank you very much.

July 26, 2009 12:38 PM  

Anonymous tatty star said...

Hi thanks for sharing alot about MET theater.. it really shows how its beauty faded away.. its really sad to see those pictures..

October 12, 2009 12:17 PM  

Anonymous matmat said...

hello sir i am mat an architecture student who wish to make MET as a subject in our study regarding heritage conservation, with this may i ask you sir if you can help us gather info or may you help us visit the site for observation. any help that you can extent will be of great value in our part. may you help us sir. please email me sicatmat@yahoo.com thank you very much

July 01, 2010 12:05 AM  

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