The Grand Dame is back


Now that the Manila Metropolitan is all set to open, my eyes cannot help but turn misty.    

I had worked at the Manila Met as part of the Production and Publicity Department, as a PR Assistant for five years and left it with a heavy heart prior to its closure in 1996.    

A year before its doors were closed due to ownership issues, I began to work at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, my entry point, the National Cinema Program, headed then by the late film master  Eddie Romero, as a project development officer.

 The iconic lobby of the Metropolitan Theater, which opens its doors on April 27 to house a quincentennial evening show that commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan.

At the Manila MET, I was able to learn PR writing, of course, repagination of the souvenir programs for  The Flower Drum Song,  The Mikado, and  Romeo and Juliet, to mention a few. I was also tasked to write short bios of the artists who were part of these productions, including the messages of the artistic director. Also, I was introduced to the many editorial assistants and editors of the lifestyle section of newspapers that carry the publicity for the Manila MET.

In its dance hall, I had professional dance classes both in basic and modern jazz. In the Dalubdulaan, had my first and last acting experience in  Frank Rivera’s musical  Oyayi, believe it or not as Eleonor Roosevelt-Batungbacal, the spinster elementary school teacher who sang the heart-breaking anthem “Pusong Tigang.”    

My Eleonor acing moment, all chronicled and documented in Rivera’s book, and how mighty proud he was of the fact that in the six performances that I clocked, no one ever suspected that my femininity was a fraud.  

In a statement recently share with the press, National Commission for Culture and the Arts chairman  Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso  said that the “doors of the newly restored Met will be open to all Filipinos from all classes of our society for this is the people’s theater.”  

“The inauguration of the new Met is the culmination of a long arduous journey. This has been made possible by the determined effort of a long line of individuals who share a common dream to bring back to life one of our nation’s cultural treasures. We will strive to do our best to be worthy of this collective effort as well as the high expectations of our people,” the commission’s chairman added.

The Metropolitan Theater will house the quincentennial evening show on April 27 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, which will serve as the maiden show of MET after 25 years since its closure in 1996.  Full story on  manilastandard.net  

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