About a month after the game was first released in the US and after drooling after Pia Wurtzbach hunting down creatures in the streets of New York, Pokémon GO is finally available in the Philippines. We've been anxiously reading news about the augmented-reality (AR) game and dreaming about the day we can relate to the various memes for real and not just in theory. Well, now we can!
Pokémon GO's availability will boost the AR game scene in the country, as well as putting more bodies on the street. Walking bodies, that is. Taking cues from other countries, what can we expect out there now that we have Pokéballs in the palm of our hands?
1) Actually catching them all
Just as we received word that Pokémon GO is available in the Philippine market, news of the first player completing the Pokédex began to make the rounds. Apparently, Nick Johnson of Brooklyn, New York was able to unlock the last region-specific Pokémon from Australia. Yes, he travelled all the way just to tick box 147 on the Pokédex! Expect the travel bug to hit local Pokémon GO fanatics, perhaps engaging in group travel to locations like Hong Kong, Paris, and New Zealand, where the rarest Pokémon are.
2) Small business opportunities
They say if there's demand, there's money. In major US cities, people are monetizing their combined free time and skills in order to help others acquire more Pokémon. There are Pokémon GO drivers, tour guides, and even bodyguards! Don't be surprised when you start seeing local ads for Pokémon GO services.
3) Porn deterrent
4) Falling off a cliff
In Encinitas, California, two dudes fell off a cliff while trying to catch Pokémon. Carelessness knows no race nor gender. Filipino players must be wary of the same dangers, especially near creeks and manholes.
5) Police stations as Poké Stops
In Australia, players were lured into a police station in search of some pocket monsters and in-game items. Our country's police are all currently busy cracking down on drug lords, users, and pushers, so ain't nobody got time to ward off Pokémon GO players! If you do end up in a police station, make sure to avoid "panlalaban."
6) In the birthing suite
Some people will stop at nothing just to help their stats. This man caught a Pidgey while waiting for his wife's C-section delivery to take place. It's all well and good until we have anxious teens knocking at birthing suites hoping to throw those Pokéballs.
7) Inappropriate locations
The Holocaust Museum in Auschwitz, Poland have demanded to be excluded from the Pokémon GO map as a location to pick up critters. There are bound to be one or two inappropriate places where players will be gathering: Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, Manila American Cemetery, even Rizal Shrine? Hopefully the developers at Niantic have flagged such places as no-no zones!
8) A reduction/increase in street crime
One thing's for sure: The Philippines doesn't need any more crime on its streets. In a case of mistaken purpose, a man from San Jose, California was slashed on the face after being suspected of recording the attacker. Pokémon GO players must remember that not everyone appreciates when a camera is all up in their face, so exercise extra caution outside!
On a more hopeful note, maybe large groups of people being out on the street could make for an effective neighborhood watch.