TACLOBAN CITY- The Sto. Niño Church is an iconic landmark and accessible structure in Tacloban and for the religious ones, a sacred place for worship.
However, these days the Church vicinity has become a more favored nook for those trying to catch Pokémons and establish lures in the Pokémon Go craze.
Fr. Ronel Taboso, parish priest of Sto. Niño Church, admitted that the Pokémon Go “wannabe trainers” lining up the side fence of the Church are not precluded from hanging out in the vicinity since they are already outside the church.
He nevertheless felt it incumbent upon the leaders of the society to caution those who get so hooked into this new online game.
“They should use their time and energy productively like study or read books and not waste their precious time and should go to Church for right reason,” Taboso advised.
A Pokemon Go is a reality game app that uses real locations and allows players the chance to search for Pokemons in the real world.
The online game has taken the world by storm to include the Philippines. The online game was launched in the country last August 6.
Players roam around to find Pokemons, Poke eggs and Pokemon stops where they can find beneficial stuff and Pokemon gyms.
Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, who also observed lately the noticeable number of people standing by daily at the roadside outside the Sto. Niño Church, cautioned the public on the danger this may pose to them and the time wasted in locating Pokémons and lures like the one staged last August 10.
The significant number of players staying over to play Pokemon has become an eye catcher.
One female Pokemon player informed that there are two Pokemon stops at the vicinity of the church.
She said that Pokemon has established Pokemon stops in churches in other places not just in Tacloban City.
This, she said, is the reason why many young and not-so-old alike hang around church vicinities to put up their lures and catch Pokemons.
Greeneth May Torres, a junior lector in Sto. Niño Church and member of the parish youth ministry, could not help but post in her Facebook account on August 11 her observation that many people were lining up outside Sto. Niño Church playing Pokemon.
“This should be stopped. Someone has to. You rather go to church and pray,” she said in her post.
While other youthful individuals are in a frenzy over Pokemons, the youth ministry of Sto. Niño Parish are actively participating in the multifarious programs of the parish.
Last month, the youth conquered the attention of people at the Robinsons Place with its 20-minute flash mob where members of the Parish Pastoral Council gave short talk on the family and distributed family cards.
Youth, lectors and members of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) dance through medley of groove songs of the 90’s and the recent years.
This was part of the Month of the Family conceptualized by the parish leaders led by Taboso and Fr. Wilson Chu.
This month, the youth in the parish joins in observing SNP’s Month of the Sick under the charge of Fr. Fritz Francis Del Pilar.
The youth parish will also join in the parish ministry pilgrimage in all the Holy Doors (Porta Sancta) in the Archdiocese of Palo tentatively set this month.
In the Archdiocese, the youth are currently participating in the church events in the visit of the International Youth Catechesis Pilgrim Cross of Mercy. (EILEEN NAZARENO BALLESTEROS)