I pass by The Manila Metropolitan Theater or The Met almost everyday.  This grandiose theatre was designed by one of the the founding fathers of Philippine Architecture, Juan Arellano. The Met was inaugurated in 1931 and was almost ruined during World War II. Former First Lady Imelda Marcos rebuilt it in 1978. In 2010, it was re-opened with the help of the project “Save The Met”.  Filipino rock band, Wolfgang held their concert here last year but now again deteriorated and decayed.

view of the stage from the back of orchestra section

The Met was declared as National Treasure. It is the second cultural and architecture landmark in the city of Manila to received such merit. The other one is the mural painted by National Artist Botong Francisco at Manila City Hall’s Bulwagang Katipunan.

view of orchestra and balcony section from the stage

I heard a few ghostly stories inside this forsaken Art Deco Building and I wondered if this was true. The opportunity came last January 2012, my girlfriend and I joined the Postal Heritage Tour of Filipinas Stamp Collector’s Club led by Mr. Lawrence Chan.

theater lobby

Our group entered the premises at the door with LBC signage at the lobby. Almost every part of the theater are all in very bad condition like broken doors and windows, damaged roof and flooring, dressing rooms are thrashed with decaying materials.  The orchestra seats are newly replaced though but these are not enough to hide the theater’s true condition.

Conchita Sunico Hall Doors

The interesting pieces inside are the replica of The Dance and History of Music painting by Fernando Amorsolo at the lobby, the stained glasses made by Kraut Art Glass of Germany and other architectural ornaments made of Plastic of Paris by House of Precast.

damaged roof and flooring

We went upstairs the orchestra section and ballroom hall via dark and narrow stairs. Rence told us that the ballroom hall is the most haunted place in the theater, that several camera malfunction happened on this area during the tour.

The Ballroom Hall

I didn’t feel anything eerie inside the ballroom hall but I saw something that gave me goose bump. I was at the balcony section, my camera and tripod were set up trying to get a long exposure shot but the shutter won’t trigger.  I tried few times but it won’t. I suspected that the lens can’t focus due to darkness. I lost my patience and stopped shooting then I saw a white object passed by the aisle orchestra section below and disappeared in a matter of seconds. My girlfriend saw it too. We looked at each other in disbelief. You check can her entry at

Can you see some spooky images in the picture?

The photo above is the only photo that I captured after trying many times during my stay in balcony area. It is out of focus and have different spooky images. Can you identify them?

Side Note: Just this month, I joined a tour in Baguio with other travel bloggers. We went to Diplomat Hotel and experienced another something uncanny. My camera suddenly shoot by itself. What more shocking is that my camera is in single frame mode but the sound of the shutter  is in continuous high mode. I checked the preview but it were all black images. I turned it off and on and to check again the preview the recorded black images were no longer there then the camera starts shooting again by itself.  The only time my camera stopped clicking when I removed its battery. And yeah, girlfriend felt heavy and sick after we left the Diplomat Hotel premises.


45 responses

  1. Scary experience this is and I was invited By Lawrence when I was in Manila kaso wala na akong time at pauwi na kasi that time. I will experience this 🙂

    October 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

    • Doc Wends,

      Sana maka attend ka sa mga susunod na tour ni Lawrence pagbalik mo sa Manila. Gusto ko nga ulitin uli kung free ang sched 🙂

      November 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      • sge, when I am back. Sabay na tayo hahaha

        November 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

      • Doc Wends,

        Sure! The more the scarier! haha!

        November 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

      • hahahahahaha i can picture it out na

        November 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

  2. Had goosebumps. Ayoko maexperience yan, super scary.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    • Pang,

      You should try the tour, libre lang naman. Sama mo si Nikko at kung free ako that day eh sama din ako 🙂

      November 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

  3. naykupu!
    bkit gnon ung last na pic, parang may dark something na dumadaan? wahhh.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    • Chinocilei,

      titigan mo mabuti yung last photo, marami ka makikita dyan. haha! 😛

      November 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

  4. Just stumbled here out of curiosity from PEX. Wow freaky stuff! But glad you shared it. I’ve been fascinated by some of Manila’s old and standing architectures and how to rekindle the grandness of Manila’s golden age.

    Maybe one of the reasons that the Met is not being restored is because there are too many “residents” inside that are resisting it…

    – Ray

    November 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    • Hi Ray

      I recommend na attend ka sa tour ni Mr. Lawrence Chan, free lang namin but sign up ka sa event nya sa Facebook.
      The main reason I think eh yung budget na pang restore at yung maintenance.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      • JC Bagio

        hi ano pong FB account or fanpage po ni Mr. Lawrence Chan? gusto ko din po kasi ma experience yung free tour sa MET. thanks po. 🙂

        January 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm

  5. Ang creepy nga ! buti nalang di ako pumunta! thanks s ideas mo. 😛

    February 21, 2013 at 1:23 am

    • Hi Annclaire

      Attend ka pa rin para makita mo yung ganda ng loob kaso napabayaan na talaga

      February 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

  6. miztahl

    Hi, I came across your blog while checking out MET on Google. I remember going there back in ’86. ‘Di pa ganyan ang state ng building. It was still being used by Vilma Santos for her tv show. I feel so bad that it has been neglected. I’d love to join Mr. Chanm’s tour next time to visit it again and reminisce the past. Sayang, sana ma restore ulit, maybe into a high-end club just like Studio 54 in NYC.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:14 am

    • Hi Miztahl

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Ang ganda nga siguro dati nitong Met, sana naabutan ko kung gaano ito kaganda dati.

      February 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

  7. i was with my friend erlier arount 10pm when he told me that met is hunted… i noticed while were walking along the side of thebuilding… that people got no reflection in the buildings glass walls except for those vihicles moving along the street… and yes the building is creepy at night… hope to see whats inside….

    February 23, 2013 at 12:21 am

  8. theres a face of a man on side view on the last image… then theres a while fat lady on the wall and theres a woman in long black hair near the man…. and there are other more faces that i can see…..

    February 23, 2013 at 12:26 am

    • Hi Dave

      kung ano ano nga rin nakikita ko dyan sa last photo 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 8:51 am

  9. creepy nga yung last pic.

    January 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  10. Amihan Ruiz

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve always passed by the Met and even thought once “may pipigil ba sa akin if I scrub a bit of it clean everyday I pass by?”. For a theater kid hearing from theater elders what a joy to be performing inside the Met was, my heart breaks seeing the condition of it now. Hope these images inspire many others to preserve such a cultural gem.

    January 5, 2014 at 12:51 am

    • Hello Amihan

      Magandang idea yang idea na yan or sana may mag adopt na group or company para irestore ito ng konti 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 8:54 am

  11. penpenpenpen

    Your Diplomat Hotel experience is way scarier than the actual film of the same name. And the comments below regarding the last pic sends me goosebumps! 😣

    January 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    • Hello Penpenpenpen

      medyo goosebumps nga yung mga experience namin dyan sa Met at Diplomat 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 8:55 am

  12. Amerl

    Gusto ko po talagang pumasok sa mga lugar na ganito. Bahala na kung matatakutin ako pero keri rin dahil sa sense of adventure 🙂 thank you po for sharing this.

    January 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

    • Hello Amerl

      wala yang takot na yan, mas lamang ang pagkamangha at panghihinayang kesa takot pag nakapasok ka sa Met

      February 3, 2014 at 8:56 am

  13. Frances

    the figure on the photo is the profile of the former wardrobe master of MET, Mr. Henry Caballero. He passed away several years ago. His office was located on the LEFT WING of the stage (from your point would be RIGHT SIDE of the stage). Henry was there everyday and probably checking you guys out… Jerry & Frances Laforteza MET Dance Theatre.

    January 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

    • Hi Frances

      Whoooa! Medyo tumaas balahibo ko sa comment mo ha. May he rest in peace asan man si Mr. Caballero 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 8:57 am

    • Nomer Son

      Visit MANILA MET Videos @ YouTube.

      April 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  14. Love the eerie feel. Nagtour din ako last last year with Lawrence. Gusto ko matry yung sa Diplomat naman.
    I’m still hoping they do r.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    • Hi Astrid

      gusto ko pa umulit ng tour kay lawrence kaso ang dami ng sumasama kayo medyo alangan na ako 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

  15. bernice santos

    saw a face in the last photo or my imagination is just that wild? anyway i love eerie stuffs, this is quite interesting

    January 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    • Hello Bernice

      I love eerie stuff too 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

  16. what’s Mr. Chan’s fb page? i’m very interested to join him on his next tour. i love abandoned places.

    btw, been to Diplomat too. that place has a heavy atmosphere. a friend of mine told me that the energy’s heavier on the fountain area. tried Corregidor too. you know the feeling that you’re walking by yourself but you fee that you’re not alone? the feeling that someone’s watching over you?

    January 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

  17. Pingback: The Metropolitan Theater – Art Deco Style | Manila Nostalgia

  18. Hi i’m a theater enthusiast. How did you get the tour po?

    January 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    • Hello Ktrsh

      You can contact Lawrence at his FB

      The tour is every 3rd Sunday of the month. Enjoy the tour 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 9:02 am

      • thaaaaaaaankkk you po 🙂

        February 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      • raquel

        ty p0e pwd p0e ba ac0e maka sama dyan!!! added info rin p0e yans a studies c0e im a engineering student!!!! salamat p0e!!!

        September 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

  19. Riterurotti

    I just hope na mai-restore nila ang Met to it’s former glory kahit gaano pa siya kaspooky. Nakakapanlumo kasi na ang isang bagay na itinuring na national treasure ay mapabayaan. My father has been there in his college years and hearing him saying stories about the Met makes me feel sorry na ganito na ‘to ngayon :/

    May 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

  20. Christian Pineda

    Sir Erick Dantoc, ayos lang po ba gamiting yung photos nyo para sa architectural thesis? Hindi po kasi ako maka-secure ng permit makapasok ng MET, and hindi daw po makapasok yung tour po nila sir Rence recently…

    September 12, 2014 at 3:28 am

  21. raquel

    kelan P0e kayoe ulit babalik dyan!!!!! last visit nyoe ba 2012 pa!!!!
    2014 na p0e sana meron p0e ulit? pwd p0e bang sumama? Im a Engineering Student gusto kolang malaman ung mga old structure nya sa loob..
    at saka ung mga sketch ng architecture!!! madalas lang kame napapa daan dyan pero pinag babawalan p0e kame pumasok sa loob eh..

    September 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm

  22. everybody who joined the tour from 2012 to 2014 were the lucky ones. Metropolitan Theater is now closed to all walking tours, their excuse? “renovation” as if there is any work happening. but I really wish this will be restored again.

    December 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

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