Keeping up with the trend of interactive museums in Manila is Upside Down. While it has nothing to do with the Stranger Things Netflix series, I admit I tried to look for Barb during my visit.
Inspired by the Upside Down Museums in Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the US, the Manila version opened to public last year. My family and I visited it for the first time this week. I could not help but compare it to Art In Island, because the concept is practically the same, except that Upside Down Museum focuses on topsy-turvy installments.
1. It’s located near Roxas Boulevard, Wensha Spa, and Star City, so if you’re looking to do other things before or after your Upside Down visit, there are plenty of options.
2. A marshal is assigned to each group that enters the museum. Their task is to guide you with the scenes and poses, and take all your photos for you.
3. The installations let you flex your creativity, acting chops, and not to mention, your muscles. There’s more than one way to stage a scene and many possible angles.
1. If you’ve been to Art In Island like I have, you may find Upside Down underwhelming. A ticket to Art In Island is ₱500, while Upside Down is ₱450 per head. Art in Island is quadruple the size of Upside Down. The neighboring amusement park, Star City, is ₱450 for a ride-all-you can ticket. You do the math.
2. While the entire staff is friendly, some marshals are better than the others when it comes to suggesting poses and taking photographs.
3. There aren’t many food options in the area. There’s a Korean café inside the museum (On the menu: instant ramen, canned and bottled drinks, and a number of freshly-brewed café drinks). For the kids, there’s a small ice cream kiosk in the middle of the installments. Outside the museum, there’s only Pier One and a pricey Chinese restaurant beside Wensha Spa.
4. There’s an entire second floor still under construction. I feel that the ₱450 ticket would be worth the price if there are two floors to explore.
1. Don’t wear a skirt like I did. You will be rolling around the installments, so it’s best to be in comfy garb. Wearing a skirt also ruins the rule of gravity, thus making your photos unrealistic. (If I may explain myself: We visited Upside Down as a last-minute thing, so I wasn’t prepared.)
2. Charge your phone and cameras. Bring extra batteries or a power bank. My camera battery drained by the second hour.
3. Eat elsewhere if you want a full meal. There’s only one café and an ice cream kiosk inside the museum, so if you want more choices, try Blue Bay, Mall of Asia, Harbour Square, and Roxas Blvd.
4. Call beforehand to check if there’s a field trip or company outing scheduled that day. To avoid long lines and photo bombers, go during off-peak hours and weekdays.
5. For inspiration on how to pose, look at the flat-screen TVs where they showcase the best photos from previous visitors.
6. Edit your photos before uploading. Crop and rotate as needed. I was surprised to see a lot of unedited Upside Down photos online.
How to score discounts or free tickets:
1. Birthday celebrants get in for free, provided that they show proof of birthdate.
2. Subscribe to Upside Down’s Facebook page for announcements on bundle deals and promos. Last Halloween, people in costume got in for free.
3. Senior citizens and PWD get 25% off with a proper identification card.
4. Kids below 3 years old get in for free.
Let’s go back to my initial question: Is Upside Down worth the ₱450 ticket?
If Upside Down opens their second floor soon, the answer would be yes.
If Art In Island in Quezon City is too far for you, then Upside Down is the Pasay City alternative.
Have you been to this museum? Share your thoughts below.
Upside Down Museum is located at Boom Na Boom Grounds, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd. Pasay City. It’s across World Trade Center, behind Wensha Spa and Star City. Ticket prices: ₱450 per person; ₱330 for senior citizens and PWD. Birthday celebrants and kids below 3 years old get in for free. Operating hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Closed on Mondays.