Manila’s Metropolitan Theater reopens for Battle of Mactan quincentenary

Manila's Metropolitan Theater
The restored Manila Metropolitan Theater, one of the Philippines’ oldest Art Deco buildings, will host the evening show of the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan in April. Photo from NQC.

The iconic Metropolitan Theater (MET) in Manila is set to reopen this year with celebratory events leading to the quincentennial or 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan on April 27, 2021.

The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) of the Republic of the Philippines announced in a Facebook post on January 3, 2021, that the 1930s art deco structure will be the venue for this year’s 5th-century celebration of the Cebuano leader-hero Lapulapu’s triumph over Spanish forces and the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano.

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The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) together with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) are spearheading the renovation efforts for the MET in time to mark the 500th anniversary of the famous Battle at Mactan which took place on April 27, 1521.

NQC also said that the commemorative rites for the Philippines’ quincentenary will be held at the Liberty Shrine, Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City on the morning of April 27th. The evening show at the MET co-hosted by the shrine will be the theater’s maiden show after more than 20 years of closure.

The MET was designed by architect Juan Arellano in the Art Deco style and was opened in 1931. The art deco building is a National Historical Landmark and National Culture Treasure site.

NCCA earlier reported that “Heritage conservation experts have said that the MET is culturally significant, being ‘the only existing art deco building in its scale and integrity in Asia.’”

The 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP) is a series of activities led by the NQC that celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan and the Philippines’ part in the first circumnavigation of the world and other related events.

You can find out more about the events lined up for the 2021 QCP on https://nqc.gov.ph/en

Listen to the Quincentennial theme song ‘Bagani’ which honors Filipino heroism and bravery here.

Last year, a new portrait of Lapulapu was released to celebrate the eve of the quincentennial anniversary of the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines while Miag-ao in Iloilo province hosted the largest diorama of the Battle of Mactan to mark the 500th anniversary of the Victory of Rajah Lapulapu against Magellan in 2021.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Philippines for its Metropolitan Theater reopening to mark the Battle of Mactan quincentenary this 2021!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.