Postal Heritage Tour

Do you still remember the last time you received a snail mail? How about the last time you saw a postage stamp? Have you heard of the Metropolitan Theater in Manila?


On this new generation, I doubt if the juveniles of this period were familiar of these things. Because of the entry of digital and automation, mails and stamps were somehow been set aside and has been replaced by these so called electronic mail, instant messaging and social networking sites to name a few.


Also with the inevitable rise of malls, malls and malls in Metro Manila, we tend to forget to rediscover the history and visit the important landmarks in the cities of Metro Manila.

Few months ago, after a weekend getaway in Batangas with my friends we went straight to Manila and joined the Postal Heritage Free Guided Tour.

The assembly time is at 1:00 AM at Liwasang Bonifacio fountain area.


The tour started with some introductions then followed by a getting-to-know-each-other sort of things. Our guide was Lawrence Chan of Filipino Stamp Collectors Club.

Manila Post Office. The Manila Post Office is the central post office of the city of Manila, Philippines. It is the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation, and houses the country’s main mail sorting-distribution operations. – wikipedia.com


Did you know that this building will soon become a luxury hotel? A Singaporean hotel operation, Fullerton Hotel, is said to be in talks with the Philippine government for the possible conversion of this 86-year-old neoclassical post office building into a 5-star hotel. 


It is said that the reason behind this was the government wants to boost the tourism in the area. The possible development will help the neighboring landmarks like Intramuros, Manila Metropolitan Theater and Liwasang Bonifacio.

Whatever the reason it may be, I hope Fullerton Hotel maintain the looks and structure of the building and its historical ambiance.

We entered inside the post office building.

There’s an on-going postage stamps auction. I think it was my first time in my life to see such auction.


After awhile, we were toured around the exhibit and discussed about the various postage stamps on display. Oh my goodness, its history! I have to admit, me and some of my companions didn’t join the discussion about the postage stamps exhibit and had decided to go out and look for a place to chill.

After an hour or so, the tour inside the post office has ended. We now again joined the guided tour continuing at Metropolitan Theater.

Manila Metropolitan Theater. Before the rise of malls in Metro Manila, there’s the Metropolitan Theater located on Padre Burgos Avenue, near the Manila Central Post Office.


“The Manila Metropolitan Theater or MET is an art deco building designed by the Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano, and inaugurated on December 10, 1931, with a capacity of 1670 (846 orchestra, 116 in loge, and 708 in balcony).During the liberation of Manila by the United States and Filipino forces in 1945, the theatre was severely damaged, losing some of its roofing and walls battered. After reconstruction by the Americans it gradually fell into disuse in the 1960s. In the following decade it was meticulously restored in 1978 but again fell into decay.” – wikipedia.com

I always see this building before passing through the bridge going to Quiapo but never been gotten inside of it. It is said that this building is haunted because of being abandoned for many years now. I didn’t know why they stopped using this building but from what I’ve read it is because of its condition which has been deteriorated due to several factors. In 1996, the theater fell into decay and closed down due to a long-running dispute between the Government Service Insurance System and the City of Manila over its ownership and management.

As you walked inside you’ll see the walls are vanishing its color and the ceiling are falling apart.


The hallways are now dimmed with lights only coming from the outside. The rooms are dark with some things left out on it. There are old paraphernalia which shows some events and celebrations held here.


The theater played host to vaudevilles, zarzuelas, performances and other theater entertainment by world re known artists.


It is also said that the popular variety television show hosted by Ms. Vilma Santos was also held here during the 80s and 90s.

We roamed the entire theater until we reached the top of it. A veranda wherein you can have a glimpse of the sunset in Manila.


Every sculptures and design of this building connotes a story and interpretation.

Being built years from now, the history of the Manila Metropolitan Theater made its way to be referred as the grand dame of Manila’s Theater.

There are talks that Metropolitan Theater will be restored soon.


The tour ended after sunset. Some of the joiners still made their way to the Arroceros Forest Park as the last stop of the guided tour while me and my companions stopped from here and went to Binondo for dinner.

My deepest gratitude to Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club in their cooperation with Philpost, Museo ng Maynila, Intramuros Administration, National Press Club, Winners Foundation and Department of Education for providing us a free Postal Heritage Guided Tour.

If you would also like to join this tour, you may contact Filipinas Stamp Collector’s Club or the following persons listed below. The free tour is schedule every third Sunday of the month.

Here are the schedules of the free walking tour for the coming months:

June 17, 2012- (fully booked)
July 15, 2012 – (tentative waiting for entry permit in Philpost and MET) but the public can book for a slot.

Mrs. Josie Tiongson – Cura 

0917-9800708 / 735-5001
Monday to Saturday 1pm to 5pm only
Ms. Nena De Guzman 
527-0096
Postal Museum and Library
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm only for parking instruction.
Mr. Lawrence Chan

0919-3901671

Email:L_rence_2003@yahoo.com


14 Responses

  1. Art Tibaldo says:

    Congratulations for the nice tour you had to such a historic site. Indeed, the Manila post Office is a relic of the past. May I likewise share what we want to do for our Baguio Post Office.
    Why are we appealing to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Philippine Postal Corporation and President Benigno S. Aquino III to consider and declare the old Baguio City Post Office building as a heritage site and convert it into a postal museum?

    -Baguio City celebrated its Centennial year in 2009 with the theme “Fostering a Culture of Caring” that recognizes the cultural, social and historical value of the city’s remaining landmarks such as the Mirador Hill Dominican Hotel, the Vallejo Hotel, the Baguio Cathedral, Camp John Hay and the Baguio Post Office,

    -The 103rd charter anniversary of Baguio City chose the theme “Fostering a Sense of History, Community and Continuity” to inculcate among its residents the importance of belongingness to a city that champions good governance,

    -The Philippine Postal Corporation abbreviated as PhlPost, is a government owned and controlled corporation responsible for providing postal services in the Philippines as mandated in R.A. No. 7354,

    -Postal Offices worldwide are heavily affected by the impact of digital telephony, online social communication networks and faster carriers like FedEx, DHL, UPS, LBC, JRS and Aboitiz that fewer people today rely on the postal service provided for by the government.

    -The Philippine Postal Corporation inaugurated on May 29 2013 the first privately operated Postal Station which means that all post offices being managed by PHLPost is subject to privatization and commercialization.

    -An environmental awareness program and walk through the urban landscape was informally launched by the city in 2006, precisely to address the need for Baguio’s children to learn about local heritage and history such as how Session Road got its name and why Baguio was known as a Hill Station.

    -The walk did not include the Baguio Post Office in the recent Heritage Walks because the students and participants couldn’t see as a point of interest due to the commercial stalls, eateries and beer house that are covering the place

    -Local residents are complaining about the present unsightly condition of the old Baguio Post Office building that is operating s a karaoke pub-house, eatery, mobile phone loading units and others not reflective of a government facility.

    -Some proponents are suggesting that the old Post Office be converted into a Postal and Media Museum that can showcase and exhibit, postage stamps, legacy letters, telegraphic apparatus and other communication paraphernalia that can further boost the image of Baguio as the communication center of Northern Philippines.

    -Some individuals and groups from Baguio have signified their support to the proposed postal museum by contributing their time, talent, and resources including items to be exhibited once the postal office is declared as a Historical Site and Postal Museum.

    -Once established and promoted as a Postal and Media Museum, proceeds generated from entrance tickets can eventually sustain the Postal and Media Museum and it can even create jobs.

    With the all the above mentioned, we respectfully request and recommend to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, PHLPost and HE President Benigno S. Aquino III that the old building of the Baguio Post Office be considered and declared as a Historical Site and for said authorities to cause the dismantling and removal of all stalls and improvements that are presently connected and attached to the structure. It is further suggested that a committee be organized to identify volunteers who will be tasked to plan and formulate a working structure and provide management support to the proposed Postal and Media Museum.

  2. Art Tibaldo says:

    Congratulations for the nice tour you had to such a historic site. Indeed, the Manila post Office is a relic of the past. May I likewise share what we want to do for our Baguio Post Office.
    Why are we appealing to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Philippine Postal Corporation and President Benigno S. Aquino III to consider and declare the old Baguio City Post Office building as a heritage site and convert it into a postal museum?

    -Baguio City celebrated its Centennial year in 2009 with the theme “Fostering a Culture of Caring” that recognizes the cultural, social and historical value of the city’s remaining landmarks such as the Mirador Hill Dominican Hotel, the Vallejo Hotel, the Baguio Cathedral, Camp John Hay and the Baguio Post Office,

    -The 103rd charter anniversary of Baguio City chose the theme “Fostering a Sense of History, Community and Continuity” to inculcate among its residents the importance of belongingness to a city that champions good governance,

    -The Philippine Postal Corporation abbreviated as PhlPost, is a government owned and controlled corporation responsible for providing postal services in the Philippines as mandated in R.A. No. 7354,

    -Postal Offices worldwide are heavily affected by the impact of digital telephony, online social communication networks and faster carriers like FedEx, DHL, UPS, LBC, JRS and Aboitiz that fewer people today rely on the postal service provided for by the government.

    -The Philippine Postal Corporation inaugurated on May 29 2013 the first privately operated Postal Station which means that all post offices being managed by PHLPost is subject to privatization and commercialization.

    -An environmental awareness program and walk through the urban landscape was informally launched by the city in 2006, precisely to address the need for Baguio’s children to learn about local heritage and history such as how Session Road got its name and why Baguio was known as a Hill Station.

    -The walk did not include the Baguio Post Office in the recent Heritage Walks because the students and participants couldn’t see as a point of interest due to the commercial stalls, eateries and beer house that are covering the place

    -Local residents are complaining about the present unsightly condition of the old Baguio Post Office building that is operating s a karaoke pub-house, eatery, mobile phone loading units and others not reflective of a government facility.

    -Some proponents are suggesting that the old Post Office be converted into a Postal and Media Museum that can showcase and exhibit, postage stamps, legacy letters, telegraphic apparatus and other communication paraphernalia that can further boost the image of Baguio as the communication center of Northern Philippines.

    -Some individuals and groups from Baguio have signified their support to the proposed postal museum by contributing their time, talent, and resources including items to be exhibited once the postal office is declared as a Historical Site and Postal Museum.

    -Once established and promoted as a Postal and Media Museum, proceeds generated from entrance tickets can eventually sustain the Postal and Media Museum and it can even create jobs.

    With the all the above mentioned, we respectfully request and recommend to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, PHLPost and HE President Benigno S. Aquino III that the old building of the Baguio Post Office be considered and declared as a Historical Site and for said authorities to cause the dismantling and removal of all stalls and improvements that are presently connected and attached to the structure. It is further suggested that a committee be organized to identify volunteers who will be tasked to plan and formulate a working structure and provide management support to the proposed Postal and Media Museum.

  3. ooh the MET!!
    ang ganda ng shoot mo sa loob…
    sayang di tayo napang abot ng time na to.. nalipat kasi ako ng sked tour..
    ang ganda sa taas no..

  4. ooh the MET!!
    ang ganda ng shoot mo sa loob…
    sayang di tayo napang abot ng time na to.. nalipat kasi ako ng sked tour..
    ang ganda sa taas no..

  5. marxtermind says:

    Eh umalis ka kaagad eh! Hahaha! 😀

  6. marxtermind says:

    Eh umalis ka kaagad eh! Hahaha! 😀

  7. blissfulguro says:

    bakit wala ako sa photos mo ha? hihihi ;p

  8. blissfulguro says:

    bakit wala ako sa photos mo ha? hihihi ;p

  9. Gusto ko rin sana i-try tong tour na to. Lucky you! 😀

  10. Gusto ko rin sana i-try tong tour na to. Lucky you! 😀

  11. marxtermind says:

    Wala masyado pero may instance na yung mga camera namin eh acting up sabay2 kami. Di kami makakuha ng maayos sa loob. And I've read a blog that happens to experience same thing with us during the tour.

  12. marxtermind says:

    Wala masyado pero may instance na yung mga camera namin eh acting up sabay2 kami. Di kami makakuha ng maayos sa loob. And I've read a blog that happens to experience same thing with us during the tour.

  13. Mitch says:

    If I'm not mistaken, the Metropolitan Theater once featured in, cant remember the channel. Did you feel something unusual while at the theater? hehe nanakot pa ko.. ur pics kinda creepy.

  14. Mitch says:

    If I'm not mistaken, the Metropolitan Theater once featured in, cant remember the channel. Did you feel something unusual while at the theater? hehe nanakot pa ko.. ur pics kinda creepy.

Leave a Reply