Rajah Sulayman Theater in Fort Santigao is located on the ruins of the 18th century stone building used as quarters of Spanish and then American soldiers. A cellblock located at one end of the building was used by the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal on his last night in prison. It was here that he married Josephine Bracken on the morning of December 30, 1896, hours before his execution.

Fort Santiago Infantry Quarters whose ruins was eventually became the Rajah Sulayman Theatre. Photo courtesy of Juvy Pastores via John Tewell.

After World War II, the ruins of the former infantry quarters was renovated by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin to serve as an open-air theater bearing the name of Manila’s last precolonial ruler, Rajah Sulayman. Rajah Sulayman Theatre became the home of the Philippine Educational theater Association (PETA) until they moved to a new theater in Quezon City in 2005. In 2017, PETA once again staged a play in Rajah Sulayman Theatre in a coming-home performance for their 50th anniversary.

“Ang Buhay ni Galileo” performed by PETA in the Rajah Sulayman Theatre in 2017. Photo courtesy of PETA.

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