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Mystery Manila: Excitement in every room

Yas Salanga (Philstar.com) - September 2, 2015 - 10:10pm

Anyone with a thirst for mystery and puzzle-solving will get a hearty treat from Mystery Manila. Located conveniently in Makati, Libis, and even Boracay, Mystery Manila is sure to sate mystery-loving people’s hunger for fun.

Philstar.com headed to Mystery Manila's Libis branch situated near Eastwood. The reception room may be small, but it boasts of souvenirs from past visitors detailing their joy, excitement, frustrations and even anger in the form of Post It notes.  On another wall is a blackboard detailing the top team’s best times from each of the four mystery rooms.

Post It notes detailing experiences from past visitors range from serious to downright hilarious

There were four mysteries to choose from: Buried Bodies, Reversed Realities, The Ticking Time Bomb, and Rebecca’s Revenge. The team chose Rebecca’s Revenge since everybody was up for a good scare.

Now Rebecca’s Revenge centers on a girl and her disappearance from her room. Recent haunting suggests that Rebecca may be already dead and is haunting her room. A team of spirit questors were called in to communicate with Rebecca but to no avail. Rebecca’s spirit is getting evil as each minute pass and it’s up to a group of people (Philstar.com team, of course) to solve the mystery.

The team was led inside a small room with the walls covered in newspapers and masking tape. There was a table in the middle of the room with neatly placed things like notes, a radio and a souvenir box. Empty boxes were piled up on one side and there was only one source of light. With the chilling suspense music and equally chilling air conditioning, the team started to scurry in search for clues.

“REBECCA’S ROOM” REVIEW. To avoid spoilers, this review will focus on factors mainly: entertainment, value, technical and ambience.

Some effort was made to make Rebecca’s room as sinister as possible with taped-up walls and graffiti, though some key elements for a good scare should’ve been added like ripped beddings, broken furniture and other knick knacks. What the room lacks in design, it makes up for atmosphere with the insistent  playback of a woman supposedly chanting and the air-conditioning set up to max (for the chills, of course). Lights also go permanently out in a few seconds, which is a good thing since there’s nothing much to see aside from the clues already waiting at a table in the middle.

Solving mysteries involves clues, but with “Rebecca’s Revenge,” one may need to rely on intuition as well. Nonetheless, the room rewards perseverance with more puzzles to solve and a few jump scares to psychologically incapacitate visitors for a while. The feeling of “Is it over?” will linger, and that’s probably one of the best points of “Rebecca’s Room.”

The main suspense-killer, however, is the ability for visitors to ask for clues. Of course, not everyone can solve but the way visitors will get help may hamper the experience and bring the entertainment value to a fizzle.

While it is a challenge to solve the mystery in an hour or less, setting a time limit inside the room, with big digital numbers flashing, may have visitors concentrating on the time instead of the game. More than once, people were shouting “23 minutes to go! 15 minutes to go!” For some people, focusing on the mystery is more of a priority and the ever-present time limit is just putting everyone on a choke hold.

The clock is prominently displayed inside the room.

Overall, solving “Rebecca’s Revenge” is rewarding. That awesome feeling of tackling a mystery head on with friends can strengthen bonds — or break them. The discussion that follows a few hours after inside a bar or restaurant will surely become an endless supply of anecdotes.

Mystery Manila is an escape from the mundane. Setting aside its issues, it’s a spark needed to ignite curiosity and rekindle friendship.


The Philstar.com team proudly pose with their "Mystery Solved" sign.

ACIRC BREAKOUT BURIED BODIES LIBIS MYSTERY MYSTERY MANILA MYSTERY MANILA LIBIS MYSTERY MANILA PHOTOS MYSTERY MANILA REVIEW MYSTERY SOLVED MYSTERY SOLVING PHILSTAR POST IT PUZZLE SOLVING QUOT REBECCA REBECCA'S ROOM ROOM
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