All-New Ford EcoSport Mystery Case Media Drive

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“Help us solve the great Ford mystery!”

That was the subject of the email invite I got from Ford Philippines exactly the day before the event. I rarely join team competitions, but when I was guaranteed that it was not an exhausting one, I immediately said yes! Besides, I also wanted to try driving the new Ford EcoSport as we race our way through the heart of the city.

Race Briefing at Ford HQ
Race Briefing at Ford HQ

We gathered at the Ford headquarters in Fort Bonifacio for the race briefing and signing of waivers. I know how to drive but I really hate city driving. Luckily, I was paired with fellow blogger Raffy Pedrajita, who is an experienced driver.

Ford EcoSport Mystery Case Media Drive
Ford EcoSport Mystery Case Media Drive

Breaking Out

From the Ford HQ, participants headed to Breakout Philippines. Located at Paragon Plaza along EDSA, Breakout Philippines offers a mind-challenging game not meant for faint-hearted and claustrophobic individuals. It’s a real-life room escape game wherein the challengers are locked inside a room with a goal of escaping. They must do this by using their problem solving abilities and with the help of video games, printed materials, and other possible clues available in the four corners of the room.

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Yeah, It was my FAULT LOL
Yeah, It was my FAULT LOL

We were able to unlock the first door in less than 10 minutes but failed to open the vault where the key to the next door is located. After 45 minutes of trying to escape from the “Adarna’s Lair” room, we were finally allowed to leave the room. Mystery unsolved, but we had a lot of fun! I’m not gonna give a spoiler about this exciting escape room game, you really have to try this with your friends (or enemies LOL).

Competing Teams at Paragon Plaza Building
Competing Teams at Paragon Plaza Building

Out of over 600 teams (including us) who tried the Breakout Challenge, only 17 teams have successfully solved the mystery (that excludes us). Overall, it was a great challenge and a fantastic way to know your teammates, especially if you are with bunch of unfamiliar people.

On the Road

After our first activity, we traversed EDSA, using the Ford SYNC voice control and connectivity system to get the instructions for the next destination. After getting the instructions via the SYNC voice command, we headed to 9 Spoons at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros for lunch.

Team #2 Melo and Raffy
Team #2 Melo and Raffy

Being in the passenger seat, I was able to observe and experience how convenient it is to drive the new Ford EcoSport. What I like about EcoSport is its SUV features, packed in a more compact size, which is really good for city dwellers and adventure seekers alike.

Ford EcoSport Mystery Case
Ford EcoSport Mystery Case

The Ford Ecosport is a compact car but it surprisingly has a lot of storage spaces. It is perfect for a freelancer like me who usually brings at least 8 gadgets each time I leave my private space. It also has a sunroof, which made the car even more appealing for road trippers.

At the Walled City

I’ve been reading good reviews about 9 Spoons restaurant and I’m glad I finally tried their food. Located at the penthouse floor of Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros (hotel info), the restaurant provides a panoramic view of the Manila skyline and the Intramuros Golf Course. I was really expecting to taste their famous Callos but it was not available during our visit. However, I’m glad I was able to try their Crispy Bagnet — it was the best Bagnet ever!

The Best Bagnet in Town
The Best Bagnet in Town

Lunch Buffet at 9 Spoons
Lunch Buffet at 9 Spoons

Immediately after lunch, the organizers handed us our next clue card at the restaurant. Our next challenge? To find out how many cans could fit in the various smart storage spaces of the EcoSport designed for beverages. We were the last team to correctly guess the number of cans to fit in the cars smart storage spaces, but we were second team to arrive at the next pit stop.

My Lunch Plate
My Lunch Plate

Cheesecake Anyone?
Cheesecake Anyone?

For our next clue, we were instructed to find a specially designed Ford EcoSport graffiti wall along Anda Street in Intramuros. Intramuros is quite small but the hard part is its narrow one-way streets, which makes it quite tricky to navigate.

Raffy in one of the challenges in Intramuros
Raffy in one of the challenges in Intramuros

Our first team task was assigned to Raffy since it involves driving up on the curb. It practically demonstrated the 200mm ground clearance capability of the new Ford EcoSport. I tried to do the second task, which involves identifying the available colors of Ford Ecosport, but I’m not really familiar with the different hues. Good thing Raffy saved our team, though we had a 10 minute penalty.

Escolta, the Bay, and the End

After serving the 10 minute penalty, we were the last team to leave Intramuros. Our next instruction was to go to Calvo Museum in Escolta. The Museum is located inside the historic Calvo Building along Escolta. One of the few outstanding examples of beaux-arts architecture, this building was built in 1938 and designed by Fernando H. Ocampo. Inside the Museum, our task was to find and take photos of the old posters with Ford Cars on it, to identify various Ford Cars, and find the coins with Ford stickers from vendors of old coins.

Old Poster of Ford in Spanish
Old Poster of Ford in Spanish

After finishing this task, we proceeded to FORD Manila Bay Showroom for our next assignment. Upon arriving at the Manila Bay Showroom, we were tasked to put together a giant puzzle in the trunk of the Car. It’s amazing to find out that this small SUV actually has a 705-liter cargo space.

Finishing the puzzle at Ford Manila Bay
Finishing the puzzle at Ford Manila Bay

After finishing the puzzle, we were given a box full of fun accessories and costumes which we will be using for our final task. After braving traffic on Makati and McKinley Road, we finally reached Enderun College.
It’s here where we took a selfie shot with the EcoSport. We used the fun accessories in the box while showcasing the EcoSport’s retractable sunroof and uploaded it on our Facebook accounts along with the #EcoSporyMysteryCase hashtag.

Team #2 Wacky Shot
Team #2 Wacky Shot photo by Raffy Pedrajita using MI3

Combining all the clue cards we collected, we had to answer and provide the “Mystery Word”. After arranging the clue cards in various ways, we finally got the answer. It’s Henry Ford! How can we miss that? LOL

We Won!! LOL
We Won!! LOL

We were the third and the last team to finish the task at Enderun. Although we did not win the top price, I truly enjoyed the event. To cap the event, The Ford Team awarded the prices to the winners while enjoying our buffet dinner. We ended up third but we won a special price by having the wackiest pose inside the FORD Ecosport showcasing the sunroof feature.

Best Group Selfie Award haha
Best Group Selfie Award haha

It’s really fun to explore the metro. But with the constantly increasing cost of gasoline, it’s really important to pick an easy-to-park and fuel-efficient urban SUV just like the new Ford Ecosport. For more details about the Ford Ecosport, visit www.ford.com.ph.

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