Entrance and facade of the Manila Metropolitan Theater
The Manila Metropolitan Theater, located in central Manila near the Main Post Office is one of Manila’s finest examples of Art Deco period buildings. Designed by Filipino architect Juan M. de Guzman Arellano, the faint pinkish rose-colored theatre, built with a seating capacity of 1,670 (from Wikipedia), formally opened on December 10, 1931.
The landmark building is noted for its refined sculptures on the façade which were designed by Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti, who lived in Manila from 1930 until his death in 1958. Monti worked closely with De Guzmán Arellano and created highly stylized relief carving of Philippine plants executed by artist Isabelo Tampingco. The elegant sculptures decorated the lobby walls and interior surfaces of the building.
During the end of World War 2 in 1945, heavy bombardment by US forces seriously damaged the theatre and destroyed the colonaded northern wing, the original roofing, walls and relief sculptures. Even after post-war reconstruction funded by the US, the theatre never recovered its original grandeur and gradually fell into disuse in the 1960’s. The building was restored in the 1970s but again fell into neglect.
A bus terminal and parking building has recently been constructed at the back of the theatre by the city government to generate funds. The city of Manila, with the help of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts is planning a rehabilitation of the theatre after the public opposed plans of city officials to demolish the theatre and build a mall complex on the site.
Ownership disputes between the city administration and the Government Service Insurance System continue to the detriment of the theater’s proper use and upkeep.
Mabuhay ang Manila Metropolitan Theater!
Ruins of military embattlements in Corregidor Island
Corregidor is an island in the entrance of Manila Bay and due to its position it has served as a strategic naval defense for the capital city of Manila. During World War 2, Corregidor was the site of several battles and its fall to the Japanese forces was instrumental in the subsequent capture of the Philippines and the retreat of the US forces in the early phase of World War 2 (Wikipedia).
During the Spanish colonial era, Corregidor served not only as a fortress of defense and a penal institution, but also as a signal outpost to warn Manila of the approach of hostile ships. It was also used as a station for customs inspection. Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir, meaning “to correct.”
Today, Corregidor is known as a historic and tourist site and is managed under the jurisdiction of Cavite City. Geologically, Corregidor Island is a volcanic remnant of the Corregidor Caldera, which was active about a million years ago. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has listed the island as a potentially active volcano.
Tourists can visit the ruins of army headquarters, cannon placements, military tunnels and other defenses used during World War 2. The island is accessible via a ferryboat ride from Manila as a day-trip excursion.
Mabuhay ang Corregidor!
If there is an award for hospitals in the Philippines, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) would surely deserve one for its long-running service to indigent Filipinos. Built in 1907 during the American colonial period, the PGH is a state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines-Manila and the University of the Philippines System’s Health Sciences Centre.
Also considered as the largest government hospital in the Philippines, the PGH has a 1,500-bed capacity with 1,000 beds for indigent patients and the rest for private (paying) patients. Located in Ermita, Manila, the PGH has seen the worst of epidemics during its early years and was the only hospital that remained open throughout World War II, administering to the wounded and the sick from both US, Philippine and Japanese camps.
As a public hospital with a goal to serve the lower classes, the PGH offers some of the lowest rates for patients. Some of the country’s best doctors and medical experts have trained at the PGH and the University of the Philippines medical school itself is known to produce some of the country’s finest medical researchers and doctors.
Mabuhay ang PGH!