MANILA FILM CEN­TER

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - PROPERTY -

For­mer First Lady Imelda Mar­cos, act­ing as chair of the Cul­tural Cen­ter of the Philip­pines, built the Manila Film Cen­ter so the gov­ern­ment would have a venue for the first Manila In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (MIFF) slated on Jan. 18, 1982.

But Mar­cos com­pressed the con­struc­tion work of the Manila Film Cen­ter to just 10 months, caus­ing the col­lapse of the sixth floor on an un­known group of work­ers in Novem­ber 1981.

Work re­port­edly did not stop for the re­cov­ery of the bod­ies and they were buried along with the ce­ment and de­bris. Imelda has long de­nied this and said that proper burial were given to the vic­tims.

The num­ber of those killed re­mains un­clear due to heavy cen­sor­ship at the time. Bal­tazar En­driga, for­mer CCP chair, once es­ti­mated it in pre­vi­ous re­ports at 30, while a group of psy­chics claimed it could be more than 100.

Dur­ing Co­ra­zon Aquino’s pres­i­dency, the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs moved its pass­port pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions to the Film Cen­ter.

Em­ploy­ees work­ing alone at night were said to have heard cer­tain sounds, such as type­writ­ers be­ing used, while a psy­chic re­port­edly said the Film Cen­ter was act­ing as a mag­net for other rest­less be­ings such as those who drowned in Manila Bay or who were run over on Ma­ca­pa­gal Av­enue.

The Film Cen­ter has be­come the venue of “The Amaz­ing Show,” a se­ries of lip-synched mu­si­cal num­bers per­formed by gay im­per­son­ators.

Per­form­ers here dance and lip­synch styl­ized adap­ta­tions of “Phan­tom of the Opera”, “Moulin Rouge” and Bol­ly­wood.

But ac­cord­ing to the show’s or­ga­niz­ers, de­cay and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion are no­table in ar­eas where theater view­ers are not likely to stray.

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