MANILA, Philippines – "Ang Pokémon Go ay parang pag-ibig lang." (Pokémon Go is just like love.)
This is how I began an impromptu lesson on Pokémon Go when an officemate apporached me, curious and clueless about the latest craze to hit the world.
Now, you're probably wondering how I could have connected these two things, but if you stick around a bit longer, I'll open your eyes to the truth about this game and humanity.
What is your destiny?
Before you begin, you need to set goals for yourself. The world is a scary place, don't go out there without a battle plan.
Are you looking for that one rare Pokémon to capture or are you more of a collect-and-select strategist?
Does your journey end with you becoming the ultimate Pokémon Master, dedicating all your time to achieving what has always been your dream, or are you content with casual gaming, only paying attention when it suits your mood?
Searching for the one
The journey begins with a seemingly endless search.
The best things in life don't come easy so you'll have to travel across the land, search far and wide, and step out of your comfort zone to actually come across anything worthwhile.
It can be long and tiring. There will be days when there'll be nothing new. But don't stop because there will always be that moment when you suddenly see what you never knew you had been looking for all along.
Then the chase begins.
Catching 'em all
When you finally see that one special Pokémon that's different from the rest, go for it head on!
There's no room for hesitation. If you wait too long, too afraid of the consequences, the chance will pass you by, leaving you wallowing in regret.
Face every challenge along the way with courage and aim your Pokéball well; you only get so many throws before they run away scared and confused.
Even when your Pokéball hits its mark, the battle isn't over yet. You'll find yourself staring at the ball, silently praying, hoping, and wishing the Pokémon inside doesn't choose to escape and leave you.
Alam mo yung Weedle na dalawang beses nang nag-escape sa Pokéball? #PokémonGo WEEDLE KA LANG ANONG KARAPATAN MONG MAG INARTE?? — Nile Villa (@in_thenile) August 10, 2016
Learn how to pick your battles, too. Know which Pokémon are worth the effort and don't be afraid to run away when the fight gets too tough to handle. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
Faced with a particularly difficult situation to capture Pokémon that you don't want to give up on? Try giving it some Razz Berries. Food is said to be the fastest way to the heart, after all.
The power that's inside
Don't worry if your Pokémon is weak; with love, training, and a bit of Stardust it will grow to be confidently resilient with a CP (Combat Power) of over 1000.
Don't be scared when you see someone else with a stronger Pokémon either; remember, it's not all about the power, it's also about the technique.
In battle, you don't need to have the higher CP to win (although it does help), you just need a heart so true, and your courage will pull you through. A bit of reseach too will go a long way. With everyone learning at the same time, it's a you-teach-me-and-I'll-teach-you Poké-world.
Your Pokémon may be the smallest, but it won't matter in battle as long as you know the right moves.
It's not always easy for us, mere mortals, to attract others and sometimes we need a little – or a lot of – help.
Incense and Lures are ways to put yourself out there, ready to receive what the world has to give.
These two items are designed to draw Pokémon to you to give you your best chance at success because, goodness knows, you need all the help you can get.
[Poké]Stop to rest
As in love, this game that we put ourselves through isn't easy. It can push you to your limit and leave you tired, empty, and hopeless.
That's why it's important to stop and rest to replenish your resources (and recharge your phone) whenever you get the chance.
You never want to finally meet that rare Pokémon just when you run out of Pokéballs or your phone starts to run out of power.
Me: After all this time, I've finally found you! You're the only one missing for me. I'll never let you go! *phone dies* *Mewtwo runs away* — Nile Villa (@in_thenile) August 12, 2016
There's no better team
In Pokémon Go, there are 3 teams to choose from: Valor, Mystic, and Instinct.
They each have their own characteristics and it's important for you to join the team that you know will make you the very best you can be.
Pokémon Gyms are those special locations fought over by the countless members of the 3 teams. Ownership of a gym shows your team's strength, it's a gym you must defend.
Much like some people's love lives, Gym leadership changes quite fast. But never lose hope! If you pick the best team then arm in arm you'll win the fight in the end.
Now you know the basics! But reading about it is very different from actually experiencing it. You'll never truly understand the thrill and joy of meeting and catching your favorite Pokémon until you try it yourself.
So go ahead, take the leap and begin your Pokémon journey. You might find it's just as fun as falling in love. Good luck! – Rappler.com