A Study on the Viability of Corporate Sponsorship for the Restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater

The Metropolitan Theater proposal was first drafted in 1924 but it was only on December 10, 1931 when the Manila Metropolitan Theater was established. The art-deco design of the building, a very famous design in North America and Europe, was made by Juan M. Arellano with his brother Arcadio Arellano and American architectural planner Daniel Burnham. The sculptures in the facade of the theater were from an Italian Sculptor named Riccardo Monti.

Filipino artist Isabelo Tampingco decorated the walls and interior surfaces of the lobby and the National Artist for Painting Fernando Amorsolo gave more life to the lobby through two of its painting namely “The Dance” and “History of Music”. Its stained glasses where contracted with the famous Kraut Art Glass and the proscenium was by the House of Pre-cast Company. Apart from the theater, the building also had a ballroom with chandelier from Europe, restaurants, offices, and shops, dressing rooms, verandas and interior gardens. The Met seated 1,670 people: 846 in the orchestra, 116 in the lodge and 708 in the balcony.

It was during the World War II when Manila, the “Pearl of the Orient”, got devastated because of the Battle of Manila. The gun battles and bombings killed many civilians and destructed many famous infrastructures and that include the Met. Its foundation stood still only destructing its roofs. It was left uncared until it became an ice cream parlor, boxing arena, garage, motel, gay club and eventually a squatter’s area of 50 to 70 families. In 1978, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, being inclined in the arts at that time, loaned to Government Services Insurance System (GSIS) and ordered for the restoration of the theater.

They were able to return the Manila Metropolitan Theater’s old glory and brought it back to its zenith. Ms. Conchita Sunico was then assigned to be the theater’s director. Later on, many talents were discovered like Pops Fernandez, Leo Valdez, Isay Alvarez and Beverly Salviejo. Many other artists who then became very popular movie and television superstars like Dolphy, the Reycard Duet, Pugo and Tugo and Elizabeth Ramsay performed in the infamous theater. It was also a host for Vilma Santos’ very popular variety show in the 1980’s. The Met also housed Manila Symphony, a gallery of Philippine costumes and two rare grand pianos.

The Metropolitan was really able to bring back to its old glory. World class performers also joined the number of presentations done in the Met. It was then called “Pearl of the Orient” because it became a very popular site for many shows of cultures from around the world. In 1986, the Marcoses were driven away through people power. Because of that, Met’s administration was changed. Gemma Cruz-Araneta, who was then the Tourism Secretary, assigned Nenita Manzano to lead Metropolitan Theater’s operations. But in 1996, disputes between Met’s ownership arose between GSIS and the City Government of Manila.

This caused for the operation of the theater to shut down. The Supreme Court ordered that no organization should benefit from the theater until the investigation was finished. Director Manzano gave Gemma Cruz-Araneta a complete set of plans which she turned over to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The stop in the operation left the building abandoned. Several typhoons that hit the Philippines affected the theater. The roof was damaged that caused water leaks. The Bagyong Rosing hit Manila and destructed the Met’s roofing causing its interior to be deteriorated. The Met then fell into decay.

As of now, the roofs were retouched and these alone already cost them 20 million. According to Engineer Walfrido Novero Jr. , there are several phases that Met had undergone. Phases 1 to 3 are already done. They have already used 50 million of the budget for these phases which covered the renovation of the roofs and roofing systems, and a part of the Theater stage. Currently, they are working on Phase 4 which covers the rest of the Theater stage and the electrical parts of Met. Estimated 90% of Phase 4 is already done, however, they cannot continue to Phase 5 of the restoration because of the budget constraints.

Phase 5 must cover the restoration of the audience area, the orchestra and the designing of Met. On the other hand, more or less 36% of Metropolitan Theater is already renovated according to Engineer Novero. However, according to Architect Valenzuela of the City Government of Manila, it is not only the budget that impedes the renovation; another constraint is the theater’s historical and art value. The sensitivity of the building itself makes it hard for them to reconstruct it, since they are into the preservation of the theater’s art value.

Nevertheless, the sensitivity of the Art Deco design is just secondary to their main problem which is the budget. These improvements were made possible through the steps done for Met before. The efforts began in the year 2004, when the years of argument about ownership and management were settled to end all disputes. The Government Service Insurance System (referred to as the Owner), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (referred to as the NCCA) and the City of Manila (referred to as the Usufructuary) signed a Tripartite Agreement.

The GSIS, an institution with the mandate of providing social security for government employees, is the owner of Manila Metropolitan Theater. With the massive deterioration of the facilities of Met, it also needs an immense rehabilitation which the GSIS cannot fully provide since it is not their primary mandate as an institution to operate, maintain and preserve Met. This then requires the participation of NCCA and Met’s usufructuary. The City of Manila was given the right of usufruct over Met since they have the commitment of enhancing and preserving Met’s physical structure and cultural and historical significance.

NCCA, on the other hand, has the mandate of preserving and promoting national cultural heritage. With this, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo directed them to grant Met 50 million pesos worth of theater equipment and facilities for the partial rehabilitation on Met. This then makes the City of Manila the lead implementer of the conservation and rehabilitation of Met, GSIS as the owner and the NCCA as the fund provider. Aside from the institutions who signed in the tripartite agreement, there is another team formed by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim who are tapped to lead the restoration of Met.

This committee is composed of: German Moreno, a famous host, actor and talent manager who is the former president of Kapisananng mga Artistang Pelikulang Pilipino KAPP, as the chairman; Ric de Guzman, Mayor Lim’s chief of staff, as the co-chairman; Isko Moreno, Manila vice-mayor and an actor, as the vice-chairman; Edward Maceda, councilor of the fourth district of Manila; Ambeth Ocampo, National Historical Institute and NCCA chairman; and Dan Fernandez, Laguna Congressman and a Manila resident. This team is tasked to study the efforts done for the restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater.

Based on the planning done by the members of the tripartite agreement, the restoration will need 300 million to attain its old beauty. Also, they need a 10 million annual budget to fully implement its artistic objectives and continue normal theater operation. It still needs to collect millions and trust fund to ensure the viability of its diverse projects. If it will depend on the income from bookings of facilities and venues and rentals from commercial arcade, the Met will still find it hard to meet the operational costs and expenses of the theater. With P90-Million in hand, they were able to restore the Main Theater and some of its offices.

Also, the facade of Met is now painted and brought back to its artistic look. Manila Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno donated the cost of 80 orchestra chairs. Moreover, Television host German Moreno vowed to help gather resources and initiate fund raising efforts for the restoration of Met. He was able to get pledges from Mike Enriquez of GMA7, Tess Celestino and Joel Cruz. During the celebration of the Manila Day, the Metropolitan Theater had its soft launch last June 24. The opening was heralded by a play entitled “Senakulo” directed by Manila Councilor Lou Veloso.

Pilita Corales also refreshed the people of the Filipino culture through singing an original zarzuela entitled “Baler sa Puso Ko”. This soft launch was held with the help of their “Save the Met Project”. Save the Met Project is an effort which aims to commemorate and remind people about the historical importance of the Metropolitan Theater. According to the researchers’ personal interview with Mr. German Moreno, it aims to gather support from volunteers and raise funds for the theater’s restoration. Save the Met Project started during the time of Pres.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Philippine President, however when the administration changed, the project was stopped and was continued recently. When Mayor Alfredo Lim became the Manila Mayor, Mr. German Moreno encouraged him to continue the Save the Met Project. The people behind this are Mr. German Moreno, Mayor Alfredo Lim, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta and the NCCA. Except the 50 million pesos allotted by the NCCA as mandated by PGMA for the restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater, the additional 50 million pesos came from different individuals and organizations.

Mr. German Moreno wrote letters to them asking donations for new chairs for the main theater. Other than Save the Met Project, there are no more efforts done for the restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater. This study will be focusing on the possibility of encouraging corporate sponsors from several companies who are capable of providing financial assistance for the Manila Metropolitan Theater According to an article in Philippine Star in 2007, written by Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco: “… initial show of support is absolutely encouraging but we certainly need more.

We need private individuals and companies who truly care for the Met. We need donations and pledges. We need honest, incorruptible individuals who would see to it that the funds raised would be used solely for the Met’s rehabilitation. We need the City of Manila to stay true to its commitment to take charge of the enhancement and improvement not only of the Met’s physical structure but its cultural significance. We need all government agencies concerned to stop bickering and work harmoniously for the good of the people.

” When Manila Metropolitan Theater was built, the venture was a cooperative effort between the city government who would provide the land and the Manilans most especially the businessman who would provide the capital as well as the expertise. The Metropolitan Theater Foundation Inc. , the leader of the said project needed to raise a million peso to finance it. Capitalists offered help but the company decided to involve the public in the undertaking. After one year, the beginning of the construction was still not materialized as the funds were insufficient to sustain it. So in December of 1929, the Company started its fund- raising campaign.

Corporate sectors plus the labor of different artists shared their expertise for Met. Philippine International Corporation began selling stocks to raise Met’s needed capital which is 1 Million pesos. The success of their fund raising effort led now to the existence of the Grand Dame. If partnerships and sponsorship became a very huge help for the establishment of the Manila Metropolitan Theater, it can definitely be Met’s hope for this new venture of restoring the Met. The reason why the researchers decided to study this topic is because of their awareness of the financial needs of Metropolitan Theater.

However, they seem to notice that the effort of its owners, particularly the members of the tripartite agreement which are NCCA, GSIS and the City Government of Manila, in publicizing the restoration and the needs of Metropolitan Theater is insufficient and must be improved. The researchers can see the possibility of having corporate sponsorships to be able to restore the Met. The researchers are into publicizing the restoration and the needs of Met to private sectors and corporate benefactors as a means of gathering funds to restore Met.

After its soft opening last June 24, the celebration of Manila day, not much is heard about the situation of the theater’s renovation. The researchers believe that through this study, they would be able to help the members of the tripartite agreement with their minimal efforts in order for them to inform the possible corporate sponsors about the restoration of Met and its financial needs; and to be able to persuade them to contribute in restoring Met through educating them with the significance of Metropolitan Theater.

This study can be one of the stepping stones in the effort to restore the Manila Metropolitan Theater. Through the content of this study specifically the Public Relations Campaign, the theater will have an overview on how they can gather possible sponsors and be able to persuade them to support the restoration of Metropolitan Theater. Statement of the Problem This study aims to get the perception of selected companies on the viability of Corporate Sponsorship in restoring the Manila Metropolitan Theater as a Cultural Venue.

Specifically, the researchers answered the following questions: 1. How aware are the selected companies on Manila Metropolitan Theater’s historical / cultural significance? 2. How do the selected companies perceive the role of Manila Metropolitan Theater as a Cultural Venue? 3. How do the selected companies perceive the Manila Metropolitan Theater as their possible Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in terms of 1. The theater’s suitability to their company’s mission & objectives 2. The theater’s impact to the society 3. The theater’s effect on their company’ 4.

What are their opinions and insights on the possibility of sponsorship of their company to the Manila Metropolitan Theater? 5. What viable Public Relations campaign can be proposed to promote corporate sponsorship to raise funds for the restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater? Significance of the Study To the Mass Communication faculty and students. This study will be a great help for the students and faculty because they can gather insights about Research and Public Relations. This can be a reference for many future studies that will be made. To GSIS, NCCA and the City Government of Manila.

Through this study, these three government institutions which are the tripartite agreement members will be able to get the perception of possible private company sponsors who can help them gather resources needed to restore the Met the fastest way they can. With that, these public agencies do not have to squeeze in their limited budget for restoring the theater. To other government departments. Other departments of the government like the Department of Tourism will benefit to the increase in the foreign visitors if Met will be in zenith like it did before. And the success in tourism can soon encourage foreign investors in the country.

Manila Metropolitan Theater may bring a domino effect from the preservation of the cultural heritage to the development of the Philippine economy. To the Private Companies. This study can give them opportunities of having a possible Corporate Social Responsibility through the Manila Metropolitan Theater’s restoration which will both benefit their company and the Manila Met. To the Historians. This study can be a basis for their researches particularly regarding the Manila Metropolitan Theater and the importance of preserving these cultural and historical venues since it became a great part of Philippine history since 1930’s.

To the Art and Cultural community. This study can give them several inputs regarding the Manila Metropolitan Theater’s role in Filipino culture and arts. In some ways, they will be able to know how to help in the restoration of Met. .Public Relations Practitioners. PR practitioners are responsible in promoting and publicizing establishments and institutions through their proficiency on the subject. This study can serve as a motivation for those PR practitioners in helping one very significant historical and cultural venue for arts and theater performances. Future Researchers.

This study may serve as springboard for other researchers who may have inclinations to theater and communication. The results of the study can be a basis for other studies or make the research a reference for future research works. Scope and Limitations This study will get the perception of possible corporate sponsors on their views on in restoring the Manila Metropolitan Theater as Cultural venue. The variables of this study are the perception of the selected companies, the restoration of Manila Metropolitan Theater, and the possible corporate sponsorship in raising funds for Met. The research will only be conducted within Metro Manila Area.

The interviewees would be a Public Relations Officer or a Communication Officer or a Managerial Representative of a company under the following corporate sectors: Manufacturing; Retail; Banking and Finance; Insurance and Pre-need; Pharmaceuticals; Hospitality and Transportation; Automotives and Motors; Media and Entertainment; Telecom and Services; Power, Oil mining and Exploration; Food and Restaurants However, In the course of the study, the researchers will focus solely on the perception of the selected companies on the viability of corporate sponsorship in restoring the Manila Metropolitan Theater.

Other aspects such as the Met’s problems on the architectural preservation of the infrastructure and communication problems among the members of the tripartite agreement will not be discussed. And though the researchers will focus on the gathering funds for restoration of Met, budget allocation will not be thoroughly tackled since it was said to be confidential. Chapter 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK This chapter will discuss the review of related literature and studies regarding the Manila Metropolitan Theater and other variables of this study.

Also, this chapter would contain the frameworks of this study and definition of the terms that will be used in the course of this research. Review of Related Literature and Studies A. Conceptual Literature The Birth of Metropolitan Theater (1928-1931) The City of Manila in the mid 1920s realized the need to have a national theater. Despite the fact that the city already have a number of theater houses like the Manila Grand Opera, Ideal, Majestic, Empire, Savoy, Palace, and Lyric among others. With this, the Manila City Mayor Tomas Earnshaw heed to the call, thus he made the first action.

He also opened his office for suggestions on possible names for the theater. A committee was then formed whose members were Rafael Palma, Evelyn Thorstensen, Sacarias Pecas, and P. Pablo Balades. And on September of 1928, a press release from Mayor’s Office announced that the committee came up with the name “Metropolitan Theater. ” From that same press release, the Mayor extended his gratitude to the Manilans for their interest in the project. Primarily, the plan was to use the theater for concerts and operas. It could also be for the projection of moving pictures with sound.

In addition, restaurants, bar, ballroom, shops, and offices will be put in the wings of the buildings. This enterprise was decided to be a cooperative endeavor between the city government who would provide the land and the Manilans most especially the businessman who would provide the capital as well as the expertise. The Metropolitan Theater Company Inc. was assigned to be in charge in the project that was led by Horace B. Pond. The company consists of board of directors from different communities. The American community had H. B. Pond and J.

L. Pierce. The Spaniards were represented by Don Antonio Mellan and Enrique Zobel. French had Leopoldo Kahn. And the Filipino members were Rafael Palma and Sen. Manuel Camus. Now, the greatest obstacle was a million-peso money to finance the project. Foreign capitalists offered help but the company decided to involve the public in the undertaking. After one year, the beginning of the construction was still not materialized as the funds were insufficient to sustain it. So in December of 1929, the Company started its fund- raising campaign.

Finally, in February 1930, construction was started and finished in 1931. It was in December of that same year when the Metropolitan Theater had its inauguration. It was a labor of love. The magnificence of the theater was caused by the help of the following: Fernando Amorsolo for the murals; F. Ricardo Monti for the modern bronze sculptures, Casa Villanueva for the marblework; Reynoso and Sons for the painting job; Estrella Del Norte that has been an instrument to get the Steinway piano from Germany and the man behind the architectural design of Met was Juan Arellano.

The Devastation of Metropolitan Theater Metropolitan Theater was stuck in the middle of the inferno of independence. During the World War II, Americans ruthlessly bombed the Theater, where Japanese soldiers follow. Nevertheless Met merely lost its roof, with its walls withstood the violent bondage. After the war, Manilenos witnessed Met mutating to devastating visage such as the Besa Boxing Arena, motels, gaybars, basketball court, garage sale, and finally warehouse and, even the place, was full of squatters. The theater was able to serve for 3 periods in the History of the Philippines.

Regardless of the country’s standing, whether it is at peace or in chaos, Filipinos pursue and instill in their minds the importance of the country’s cultural heritage, therefore Met survive and surpassed even hopeless moments of frustration. With such factors of trials, Met is now a priceless treasure. Looking at the last half-century, Met was a mere theater turned into a National Landmark. Due to the evident significance of a National Theater, the Government acted on the appeal of Mayor Earnshaw leased in 1929 to the MTC. In addition, it was also used as the flower market of Mehan Gardens.

From Manila’s Philippine Magazine that determined readers to support the project in Reviving Met for not doing so would cause only negligence at the end. With this, Philippine International Corporation began selling stocks to raise Met’s needed capital which is 1 Million pesos. This also includes various chambers of commerce in Manila cooperated. The Come Back of the Metropolitan Theater From the bloody path Met surpassed, there came interests in burying and giving time and way for innovation. During the regime of first lady and Metro Manila Governor Imelda Marcos, Met was restored to its pre-way grandeur.

Met’s next inauguration was on December 10, 1931, where the program included the brief life of Met. This was followed by outstanding performances that laid cultural galore and the Filipino rising together with Philippines very own heritage to be proud of. In addition, PD 684 was promulgated on the 15th of April 1975 urged even the youth, specifically, the Kabataang Barangay organization to highlight and emphasize on the needs of the nation to have a positive outcome. Through the generation’s participation and force, plans will be extensively expanded with huge chances to grab Met as fully functional.

From such an activity, barangays would engage in the program and going on, mold matters on National concern. Also, this organization defined a 5-point National youth development program: 1. ) Keep the Out-of-School-Youth Program for socially integrated and economically productive youth. 2. ) This will serve as further guidance and proper orientation necessary for each role to be functional in their respective organizations. 3. ) Create awareness that will involve a sports development program 4. ) Provoke the yearning to catch interest and the proud feeling of having the Philippine Cultural Heritage.

5. ) Lastly, this will serve as a communication tool or an International Relations Program and partake with foreign youth groups. For the following years, the Kabataang Barangay organization was able to be active in their community and even through sponsorship; the sense of nationalism was displayed. (From the Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 10, 1995 was an article “Artists urge Ramos to stop Met Demolition” By Pablo A. Tapiman) President Ramos was convinced of the plan from GSIS to demolish the Metropolitan Theater and replace it with a shopping mall.

However, Ramos was stopped by prominent names in the show business, such as German Moreno. During the term of Ex-Mayor Lito Atienza, there were articles published promising plans to turn MET into the City’s Grand Ole Opry. (Philippine Daily Inquirer: Metro, February 9, 2003 “Atienza wants to turn Met into city’s grand ole Opry”) Probe Documentary “Sining ng Lipunan”- Manila Metropolitan Theater Probe is a television program produced by the Probe Productions Inc. , an independent media production house who created award-winning television shows like “The Probe Team”, “5 and Up” and “Che Che Lazaro Presents”.

The TV show’s episode for the 27th of February of the year 2008 was societal art. This was in line with the celebration of the National Arts Month. One of the topics was the Manila Metropolitan Theater. The documentary tackled the short story of the Met and the many experiences it went through the 76 years of its existence. It has also showed the picture of Met’s situation in 2008. By that time, the 6-man committee formed by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim was still not meeting and any trace of improvement was still not visible despite the plans drawn for its restoration.

The Manila Metropolitan Theater as a Philippine Heritage Structure and Cultural Site According to the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Manila Metropolitan Theater is one of the heritage structures and cultural sites which the Filipinos can be proud of. In their documentation of these structures and sites, Met’s architectural significance is outstanding. Met is an amalgam of Noveau and Art Deco Styles the Filipino idiom with the use tropical plants and fruits as motifs. The Filipino architects who studied in American architectural schools in 1905 were able to incorporate the new style into Philippine Architecture.

The Met was envisioned to be a national theater that would house concerts, operas and dramatic performances. This was designed by Juan Arellano who did an East-West combination of architectural styles through weaving decorative elements into the Art Deco style. This has been evident in the facade of the theater where tiles in geometric patterns recall local banigs. The brother of Juan Arellano, Arcadio Arellano, designed the interior architectural designs of Met, incorporating wrought iron grille work that stylized Filipino flora into geometric Art Deco and carved more flora into decorative wooden friezes.

Besides its existence for so many years, this architectural triumph of a Filipino also brought historical and social value in Met. The fusion of Filipino and International design, adapting the style of the two without losing is national identity is one achievement that the Manila Metropolitan Theater will always remind the Filipinos. B. Research Literature Formation of the Tripartite Agreement: Joining Hands for a Common Objective An editorial from the People’s Journal in the 4th of August 1995 stated that the City Government of Manila and the GSIS laid aside temporary legal obstacles in an effort to preserve a national patrimony.

As early as 1995, these two organizations already made a move to unite for a main objective. It was Mayor Alfredo Lim from the City Government of Manila and Cesar Sarino, the GSIS president and general manager, who have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Agreement that will pave the way for the restoration of the Met. Under the proposed agreement, GSIS will shoulder he cost of the restoration work, not withstanding a pending court case filed by the City Government of Manila to determine the rightful owner of the Met. In 1996, the Supreme Court ordered for its closure not until Manila and GSIS has settled the case.

This then became a reason for the theater to be abandoned. But it was just in 2004 when Mayor Lito Atienza, city government of Manila, Evelyn Pantig, president of National Commission for Culture and Arts, and Winston Garcia, president of Government Service Insurance System, all signed in the Tripartite Agreement that gives them both the rights to decide over Met and the responsibilities regarding the particular task assigned for each institution. The GSIS already gained the ownership of the theater. City government of Manila, on the other hand, has the responsibility of giving the initial budget for its restoration.

And lastly, the city government of Manila has the responsibility of leading the restoration efforts. To administer the whole rehabilitation of the Manila Metropolitan Theater, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim created a 6-man team composed of the following: German Moreno, a famous host, actor and talent manager who the former resident of Kapisanan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino KAPP; Ric de Guzman, Mayor Lim’s chief of staff; Isko Moreno, Manila vice-mayor and an actor; Edward Maceda, councilor of the fourth district of Manila; Ambeth Ocampo, National Historical Institute and NCCA chairwoman; and Dan

Fernandez, Laguna Congressman and a Manila resident. Manila Metropolitan Theater Curtain to Rise for PLM’s Magwayen The PLM’s (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) theater group, the Magwayen Creative Scholars Guild will be staging their grandest and most ambitious production to date, Ehipto in the Grand Dame, the Manila Metropolitan Theater. This will be held on the February 12 and 13, 2011.

For the past 12 years, the guild has been performing at the university’s Justo Albert Auditorium. But for its biggest project, a play that will try to stage few of the Bible’s most majestic miracles, the members looked for a place that is more awe-inspiring. And that is where the MET comes in. Just in time for the Manila City Government’s, NCCA’s and GSIS’s effort to restore Met’s old beauty, PLM’s only theater group will bring their artistic prowess to help save the Met.

As of today, the team is still rehearsing and getting the “feel “of performing in the historically and culturally rich venue. U. S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation In the U. S. they had created Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation which offered financial support to more than 640 cultural preservation projects in over 100 countries. Their goal was towards the preservation of cultural he