My fellow Toastmasters and guests, how do we caption this? Vaporeon Shows Up in Central Park, People Lose Their Minds. In the game PokemonGo, it’s possible to evolve your Pokemon Eevee into Flareon, Jolteon, or Vaporeon by giving your Eevee a certain name before evolution. But what happens when a wild Vaporeon shows up in America’s biggest city? The answer is a torrent of humanity, phones in hand, descending on Central Park. Jostling for position, the sheer amount of people trying to catch their own Vaporeon is staggering, but perhaps even more impressive is the lack of any other incident. All those people, and not one report of a fight or a mugging. Just a sea of humanity, peacefully coexisting to try to catch the coolest of the Eevee evolved forms. It’s been a month since the famous game PokemonGo created the biggest buzz here in our country, next of course to our President’s colorful public life.  The game’s effect on the lives of every Filipino, player or non-player alike, has been equally tremendous. Some love the game because they were Pokemon fans ever since. Some were curious about the game so they like to try it. Some hated the game because they either think it’s turning people into either robots or zombies. I’ve even seen news on the net of couples breaking up because of the game. Geez!

My husband, ergo, is considerably lucky because I not only tolerated him playing the game, I am actually joining him play! Our conversations be like,

“Mahal, do we have any plans for the weekend?” “Let’s go to MOA, they said they have a lot of Voltorbs and Magnemites there.” “Ok. Sure.”

“Mahal, I need 3000 more XP to level up,” “Okay, then that’s our goal today. We go home after you level up.” “Yey!”

I also remember him asking me to change teams so we can join forces in battle and conquer gyms but that’s not yet possible at the moment. So guys, remember when you are playing PokemonGo and you are in a relationship, try to get your partner on board to reap the maximum benefits. Tell them that if you can’t beat ‘em, just join ‘em and have fun, diffuse the negativity! #RelationshipGoals

The second benefit of the game is it makes you active and healthy. We registered in the Global Walking Challenge here in Fluor and we are hitting the 6000 steps a day and more out of playing the game which we normally don’t because usually we are just couch potatoes after work. Now we have a new mission, we are engineers by day, and Pokemon trainers by night. After office, we go home, change outfits and set out the free world to hunt for pokemons, adding some spice to our once dull nights. #HealthyandFitGoals

Third benefit is you make more friends! As we embark in our journey to the free world, we meet strangers with same interest. And you know what happens when strangers meet with same interests? You became friends with them. Last Saturday, we went to Luneta to hunt for rare pokemons. We were camping out near the 2 carabao statues when suddenly people just get up and move towards Manila hotel. We don’t even know what’s going on but we followed the crowd nonetheless. Everyone stopped near the parking area of Manila Hotel just to catch Hitmonchan. And nobody knows anybody but they started conversing with each other. It was very bizarre and hilarious. Some may find it probably weird and creepy. I would agree but at the same time, I found it somehow strangely and positively contagious. People start with small chats (chats) and that’s how you expand your network and become part of the bigger circle. #FriendshipGoals

Now, I’m not advertising the game here. We all have different views and opinions. And this game is also not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps it’s just about being a 90s kid or perhaps you are just curious to try out the latest trend. Perhaps this game may strengthen the bond with your partner if you are both players. Or it may also destroy it if you don’t set your priorities right. It may help you be physically healthy and active. Or it may turn you into a cyber zombie. It may extend your friendship circles. Or it may destroy the ones you already have. It’s really just a matter of perspective. How you view things define how you attract positivity or negativity in you life. So what are we waiting for, there’s a Pikachu in Insular, let’s go guys!