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Escolta is having a moment. More and more people are fixating on the grand ambiance of the Queen of Streets, its old, beautiful buildings in varying states of decay only adding to its allure.

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But when you’re used to the clinical order of the Makati CBD or the showcase of a city that BGC is turning out to be, going out to Escolta can feel like a total adventure. Which is to say, it can get downright confusing.

Of course, spending an entire afternoon at the First United Building is totally fine; there’s The Den at the far end of Hub: Make Lab on the first floor and a community museum at the second. But you made it this far—go get your Escolta on!

Enter Manila Who. An experience similar to the likes of Mystery Manila, Manila Who has its participants play a scavenger hunt-type game right on the streets of Escolta. It opened in October 2016 with two experiences on offer: an indoor game called “The Tale of the Cursed Painting” (P450) and the outdoor game called “The Tale of Rose” (starts P800).

“The Tale of the Cursed Painting” is a 60-minute indoor game which is a good place to start but “The Tale of Rose” will definitely let you experience everything Escolta has to offer—the sights, smells, sounds, and even the taste. “Nandyan na din naman lahat ng magagandang architecture and saganang background ng Manila,” reasons Nikko Tapan, one of the seven folks behind Manila Who.

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“The Tale of Rose” will require a maximum of five (5) participants to walk around the neighborhood, enter Escolta’s historical structures, and if you sign up for the all-in experience (P1700), discover some hidden food gems as well.

At the start of the activity, at the fifth floor of the First United Building, they will give a quick background on Escolta—how it means “The Escort” in English, how it was once the center of business and commerce, and so it goes. Participants each get a starter pack—a sleuthing kit as they like to call it—that includes a tickler notebook, a good morning towel, a Panda ballpen, and a bottle of water. And then the game starts.

The narrative-driven game covers a lot of Escolta’s famous sites like the Calvo Museum, the Capitol Theater, the ice cream parlor next door, the Sta. Cruz Church and The Jones Bridge. This makes it rather challenging to stay focused on the game, which is perfectly fine.

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Take the entire afternoon if you will, because the idea really is for you to discover and enjoy Escolta’s marvelous neighborhood. By the end of it, it wouldn’t matter if you successfully solve the case or not. Experiencing Escolta will have been enough.

There are four slots available for The Tale of Rose outdoor experience, offered every Saturday and Sunday: two slots at 11am and two slots at 1pm—we suggest you book the afternoon slot so you can experience the famous Manila sunset hitting the Post Office as you solve the case on Jones Bridge. The Tale of the Cursed Painting meanwhile is offered from Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 7pm. You can play The Cursed Painting game for only P120 until January 31, 2017. 

Manila Who. 413 First United Building, Escolta, Manila. +639178688872. Facebook

Photos: Manila Who | Facebook

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