Met theater: Revival of the ‘Grand Old Dame’

by Coleen Nevado

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Met’s ballroom retains its elegant and vintage look.
(Photo by Coleen Nevado)

Abandoned in the city of Manila after years of neglect and indifference, the Manila Metropolitan Theater (Met) is now prepared to go through metamorphosis and leave its current state of absolute disrepair. The once Grand Old Dame of Manila is set for restoration as the National Commission of Culture and Arts (NCCA) is determined to end its decaying days and bring back the image of the iconic venue it once was.

NCCA has bought Met for P270 million and envisioned it to be a “mini Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).” Through the collaboration with architecture students from 12 different schools and universities in Manila, NCCA’s effort for the restoration has begun with a clean-up drive entitled “METamorphosis” as a starter for the course to change. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has also released a budget of P9.48 million for the initial stages of Met’s utter renovation.

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One of the destructed rooms inside that is yet to be repaired and renovated.
(Photo by Coleen Nevado)

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Works of art are remained to be seen inside the theater in spite its decaying state.
(Photo by Coleen Nevado)

Although the building externally was still in adequate condition and has maintained its aesthetic visual on the outside, Met’s state inside used to be an entire different story. Before its clean-up, the squalor look of the place was quite unbearable. Balcony seats and electrical wirings are gone and have been stolen, moldings at the stage area have fallen off and section of ceilings had been found unsteady.

The Metropolitan Theater was designed by architect Juan Arellano and was constructed during the Thirties. Although CCP is known to be the country’s main theater, Met used to be the grand venue for showcasing acts and performances such as concerts for kundiman singers and vaudeville plays. Due to the bombings in Manila, destruction was brought upon on some buildings and Met was not spared. This caused the end of its greatness.

The aim to return the theater to its respectable condition is now on its way, along with the revival of the significance it lost and the essence of the venue for culture and art.

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Martin Scorsese’s two-decade project to be released this year

by Coleen Nevado

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Liam Neeson as a Jesuit priest in “Silence”
(Photo from screenrant.com)

2016 is set to close in an enthralling route as Martin Scorsese’s passion project, ‘Silence’, will debut in limited release this December before expanding in wide releases yet to be scheduled.

The race to the 2017 Oscars had just turned tougher as Paramount Pictures believes it has a contender for the said annual American awards and the three-hour film to be released just in time for consideration. After working on the material to be made into production for 20 years, Scorsese has achieved what he’s been trying to come into being and now soon is ready to make its appearance to the public.

In spite of the minor problem with the production which is the difficulty of looking for the location of the set due to its 1670 setting, the film’s producer, Irwin Winkler, said that they were able to discover great locations. It was said to be budgeted, the prices were cheap and they were able to make it for a price.

The religious epic is based on a novel of the same name by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō which revolves around a Jesuit missionary going through a pilgrimage in Japan.

The cast starring in the film includes Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. Parts of the cast who also featured are Yosuke Kubozuka, Tadanobu Asano, Ciaran Hinds, Issey Ogata and Shinya Tsukamoto.

The famous American director, producer and screenwriter is well-known for his iconic films such as The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Taxi Driver, Shutter Island, Gangs of New York and other timeless movies he has contributed to the world of cinema. Scorsese has won best director in 2007 for “The Departed” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson and has also been nominated 12 times for an Oscar.

No trailer is released for ‘Silence’ so far but the plans for its debut this year will still push through.

Street harassment: The hidden assertion of dominance and power

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Photo from www.meetusonthestreet.org

by Coleen Nevado

All of us consists the mundane routines we take into action every day. For some, it usually involves the daily commute to school, work or any particular place. Due to this habitual task, some Filipinos have grown accustomed to walking the busy hustles of the street while getting a trace of the pollution that wreathes the city. They’re used to it, they say. Others have different predicaments when stepping outside, on the other hand. While most people only worry about the noisy and overpopulated places they encounter on the way, others fear the inability to escape unfamiliar men or complete strangers calling out what they think are “compliments” or saying things such as, “Hi, Miss beautiful!”, “Ganda mo, idol”, or “Pssst, sexy!”. This is something no one is used to and never will. This is catcalling which is also considered to be street harassment.

Based on the definition of Stop Street Harassment Organization, street harassment is “unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and is directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”

Julemar Adelantar bears witness to these experiences as she had been catcalled so many times that she even lost count. “To hear them say those words while walking outside is really uncomfortable for me. People think it sounds like we’re being given compliments when strangers tell us we’re pretty or sexy in the most rude and uncivilized way possible but the truth is we just feel harassed and unsafe.”

Addition to that, it has also become a norm in our society where citizens believe women should avoid dressing in a provocative manner to avoid unwanted attention. But does this societal construct get rid of people who choose to be barbarous in streets and make the choice of harassing women on their own?

Provocative clothes or fully covered, conservative or not, sexual harassment is not the victim’s doing but from the hands of his or her harasser. It is a crime as it robs people the feeling of safety from their own streets. It is not a compliment and it is not flattering. Degrading to the dignity and traumatizing to the whole being, sexual harassment is never okay and never will be.