Priest: Pokemon Go players welcome to 'go pray'


Posted at Aug 15 2016 05:20 PM

Catholics flock to the damaged Sto. Nino Church in Tacloban City for the first Sunday mass in November 2013 after the devastation of typhoon Yolanda. The parishioners became emotional as the priest cited their common experience in their ordeal during and after the typhoon. Photo by Rem Zamora, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A parish priest in Tacloban City has a gentle reminder for Pokemon Go players. 

In a report in CBCP News, Fr. Ronel Taboso of the Sto. Niño Church said that while players of the popular game are not banned from entering the church compound, parishioners should go to church for the right reasons. 


"They should use their time and energy productively and not waste their precious time," the priest said. 

The Sto. Niño Church, an iconic landmark in Tacloban, is a PokeStop where players visit to gain virtual items that would aid their game. 

Since Pokemon Go was launched in the Philippines last August 6, regular parishioners have noticed how a large number of people would stand daily within the perimeter of the Sto. Niño church. 

"No, we do not shoo them, since they are already outside the church," the priest said. 

The Sto. Niño Parish Church isn't the only one affected. 

Many other churches, not just in the Philippines but in other countries as well, have become PokeStops and PokeGyms

So far, no church administrator in the Philippines has risen to complain about this. 

Meanwhile, in a report from the Associated Press, J.C. Smith, consumer marketing director for the Pokemon Company, said the game maker is now working to grant requests of establishments who wish to be excluded from being a PokeStop or a PokeGym. 

Several places in other countries have reportedly asked to be removed from the game, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. 

There is still no report of any establishment in the Philippines requesting to be excluded from the game, as of posting.