Manila Who is a story-driven walk that was formed by a group of friends. It takes place in Escolta – one of the oldest streets in Manila, and an underrated place for an adventure. Basically, Manila Who lets you experience history while exploring the area and solving mysteries. They create fictional stories or cases with real historical facts for you to solve. Their goal is to revive Escolta and introduce it to the new generation. Who would have thought Escolta is such an interesting place to roam around in?
The adventure with an amazing view from the rooftop of the First United Building—seeing all of the historical buildings made us realize the beauty of the place. Manila Who gave a brief background of the history of Escolta, telling us all about it and showing us a video of it.
They also provided us with “Manila Who” bags, which include a detective notebook with a map in it, water, and a face towel. We were then led to a cool-detective looking room, which had a vinyl record playing as we solved mysteries. The theme of our story-driven walk was entitled “The Tale of Rose”, a fictional story made by the Manila Who team.
What’s fun about playing and solving cases with Manila Who is that they don’t just happen in one place, but all around Escolta. After looking for clues around the room, we had to figure out for where our next stop should be. Could it be the museum, the lobby, the fountain, or the church?
Of course, we also had two guides while looking for clues and walking around the streets. I really felt like a detective determined to solve a murder case, especially since the Manila Who team was in character according to their roles in the story.
At one point, my friends and I had to wear 80s costumes to really feel the vibe of the place and game, which we then got to put to good use by roleplaying at an old theater building. Being able to visit all sorts of places in one day felt so new to me; I felt very outgoing and excited. We were able to appreciate the church and its interior, the fountain and its history, the old buildings, and so much more.
Ever miss riding a kalesa? Doesn’t riding one just make you reminisce about your childhood days? Even just seeing one makes me feel all giddy. This is why one of my favorite parts of the game was being able to ride one around Escolta, seeing all the historical buildings and arriving at an amazing river.
All throughout the game, there were food stops for snacks to fuel you up for the next mystery. Their food stops include an ice cream parlor, a coffee shop, and a dim sum place. I have to say: the dimsum place was my favorite food stop!
The Manila Who Team
So, what are you waiting for? Do something new and appreciate the history of a simple yet interesting place. Take your time off to enjoy exploring and learning more about Manila!
Unit 516, First United Building Corporation, #413 Escolta St. Binondo