The Bone Chilling Exploration Inside the Manila Metropolitan Theater: Have you MET yet?

Posted: June 22, 2014 in Heritage Conservation Society Youth, Trips

(Note: I didn’t want to peg this as some scary blog entry. However, it seems like the one of the most interested and popular things about MET is its story of being haunted. Also, to justify, some inexplicable things happened, while I was shooting pictures inside; and as I am writing about MET now.)  ~~, 

UPDATE:  Here was the recent photos from this year’s MET Clean-Up Drive

More photos at my HCS-Y* : The Manila Metropolitan Theater


I joined the FREE Guided Royal Postal Heritage Tour yesterday, headed by Sir Rence Chan. A part of the tour’s itinerary was to visit and see what is inside the Manila Metropolitan Theater, more popularly known as MET. The experience was a mixture of amazement, regret and disappointment. I wish I was able to watch a performance in there when I was young.

MET, during its golden years, had a great reputation as one of the best theaters in the country, and could be lined up with the other equally awesome theaters in the world, I believe. Now I see it as Manila’s lost gem – forgotten, neglected, abandoned, dilapidated, after losing all its luster and purpose in the fast paced modern life of the Metro. 

And disappointingly, quoting an article from wiki, “It regained its original use and prestige as a cultural center and finally closed down in 1996 due to ownership disputes between the city administration and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). On June 23, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Manila mayor Alfredo Lim re-opened the theater after extensive renovations. The Theater used again once for the Wolfgang Band Concert in 2011. But in 2012, the theater is closed again due to decays inside the building.” – Art Deco in the Philippines. Manila: ArtPositAsia, by Lourdes Montinola

Had there been no administrative disputes (and the misuse and incorrect allocations of government funds), the MET could have been one of the remaining performing arts venues that our race can be proud of. The renovation and restoration of MET, though, is a tall order, considering the lack fund of the Manila government and the individuals behind the MET administration.

Besides the desire to capture the MET ‘occupants’ from another realm (lol), I took a lot of pictures of what is inside MET, in the hopes that I can also show you what Manila is losing, if they cannot find ways to restore, renovate and reopen this magnificent structure. It’s more than just the architectural design, and the masterpiece artworks inside. It’s all about the prestige that MET has brought to the country during its days. No ghost photos, unfortunately.

As I was saying, I didn’t intend to make this to scare, but then again, I just couldn’t avoid it. In fact, here is one interesting article excerpt I found online, while researching for some FACTS about MET: 

(credits to  clarencetuvera of

“Many of the old costumes from previous performances were found in the stock rooms. Apparently, Rolando simply left behind all 17 years-worth of costumes, hand props, stage furniture, a whole library of TP translated works, and the final stage set of Twelfth Night at the MET warehouse to rot. Two other adjacent rooms contain all the costumes, hand props, furniture, musical instruments, old posters and programs of all productions that had been staged at the MET since it first opened to the public.

Two years ago, a TV network featured the old MET for its Halloween special. I got misty eyed as I saw the shell of what was once considered the Diva of architecture in the old Manila district. Apparently, rehabilitation work is again ongoing, and several construction workers who mostly stayed and slept on site, were interviewed. They told chilling stories of how a “performance” would play out at ungodly hours of the night, mostly around two. They recounted how they would be awakened by the dialogues delivered, and arias sung by ghostly performers in the complete darkness of the now abandoned art deco Opera House.

Note: I tried to attach a photo of Dame Ella Luansing as she appeared in one production where she wore a veiled costume similar to the one worn by Divina that night, but I don’t know how. The only difference between Divina’s and Ella’s costume is that Ella’s costume in the photo is purple.”

Source:The Dame

I encourage you to read the entire entry here at : The Dame. Ella’s image found from the

Aaand… to add more goosebumps than what you are having right now:



To everyone, I encourage you to participate in the monthly tour inside MET. You may follow Sir Lawrence Chan to get news and updates about the tours. Also, I would be very disappointed of you just satiate yourself by looking only at the photos. Visit the place, and have your say about having the MET  restored. Aside from the interesting news and details that you’ll know about MET, from different sources, it’s still a unique experience to walk along those hallways, go up the staircases, look at the windows, be at the place itself, and imagine the MET as if you were in the animated movie Anastasia’s Once Upon a December scene. That, minus the musicale, and Anastasia herself. 🙂



  1. Frances Louise Giner says:

    Hi! Paano po kayo nabigyan ng permit to enter Met? :)) Please reply, I am really interested with this place :)) thanks

  2. Jec says:

    Hi @Frances Louise Giner. It was part of the tour itinerary. You may contact Sir Rence Chan, the tour guide for the FREE Guided Royal Postal Heritage Tour for more detail about the tour.

    Unfortunately, they are no longer allowing entry inside the MET. That tour that I attended was the last ever that they let the tourists inside.

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