A Pasig City graphic designer has rekindled his fascination with the Pokémon universe by infusing his Filipino roots into his own take on the Pokédex.
The Pokemon fan behind this incredible Fakemon set is 23-year-old Christopher Jeorge Alejo.
“I drew these Pokémon characters to promote Filipino culture and also raise awareness for endangered animals,” Alejo told Rappler.
Alejo gave more color to his creatures based on Filipino mythological creatures, endangered animals and plants by incorporating local foods and textiles.
Alejo said the Pokémon universe resonated with him because it taught him valuable lessons in friendship and self-confidence.
“Most importantly, it taught me to try to be the best like no one has ever been,” he joked.
“I started getting interested in Pokémon when I was around 7 or 8 years old. My uncle gave me a Game Boy and the game I played was Pokémon Fire Red,” Alejo recalls.
When asked who Ash Ketchum’s Filipino counterpart would be, Alejo replied that it would be Juan Huliin, a hard-working Filipino coach prone to failure but determined to succeed.
He also said he would name the region of the Philippines Kaisa, a Tagalog word meaning unity.
Alejo shared with Rappler the inspiration behind his designs and how aspiring coaches would train if the Kaisa region existed in real life.
Gudile, Crosadok and Armodoros
Descended from the critically endangered Philippine Crocodile, Gudile is a carefree Pokémon that enjoys wandering through forests and fields. Alejo said this character also wears the signature straw hat worn by Filipino farmers called salakol.
As he evolves into Crosadok, the leaf on his chest becomes heavy and detachable, making it his own protective hat. Like Armodoros, this hat is used as a shield that protects against all kinds of attacks.
He can learn Resilient Cover or Steel moves where he increases his Defense (DEF) and Special Defense (SP. DEF) for two turns and blasts all enemies with metallic energy that increases as he takes damage. damage while charging.
Antpoi, Solab and Kidlant
A hybrid between Apolaki, the mythical god of the Sun, and the fire ants called hantikAntpoi gains lightning speed once he goes through evolution.
It’s a cautious and intelligent Pokémon, but it’s prone to outbursts by nature. The bigger he gets, the faster he gets. By becoming a Kidlant, he becomes faster and oblivious to enemies, leaving them defenseless.
Alejo told Rappler that this Pokémon can learn Blitzing Sprint, an electric move that allows Kidlant to always attack first, then run around the world just to come back on the next turn. He can also learn skills like Burn or Paralysis.
Calucalf, Tamahorn and Karabreak
Inspired by the carabao and critically endangered species tamaraw, Calucalf is a calm and lazy Pokémon. When he evolves, his body is imbued with Filipino tribal tattoos.
This Pokémon loves to wallow in natural bodies of water. Its horns become stronger and its demeanor changes to become more aggressive.
As Karabreak, he becomes territorial as he assumes leadership among a sea of Calucalfs and Tamahorns. He also takes care of them by protecting them from harm.
It can learn Dread Horn, a Dark-type attack that deals more damage if the enemy Pokémon is a Fairy-type.
Pilandy and Chevorest
From an endangered mammal pilandokalso known as the mouse deer, Pilandy roams the forest and grassy areas around calm and quiet towns.
Once it transforms into Chevorest, it protects forests, fields, and farms, helping farmers with soil fertility and crop growth.
Legend says they evolved from an ancient species that once roamed the area.
Mayni and Mayala
Based on Maya Filipino bird and textile, Mayni and her evolved species Mayala can be seen all over the region.
This Pokémon flies freely and perches on trees and poles. Mayala’s favorite hobby is zooming through the clouds. He also has the hidden ability called Free Wings, allowing him to increase his speed and resist attacks that prevent him from escaping.
Steewilis and Steelapia
Steewilis is based on the endangered species tawilis species of sardines from Taal, Batangas and bolo blades.
It’s a rowdy Pokemon, always ramming its steel-hard body into things like coral reefs and other aquatic Pokemon in order to get sharper.
Meanwhile, Steelapia is a warrior at heart. Derived from a mix of the Moro Armor and the Territorial and Prolific Mouthbrooder tilapiathis attacks in schools and can decimate an entire group of Pokémon Sharpedo.
Inspired by the near-endangered primate called the Filipino tarsier, Starsier has a tail likened to a psychic crystal pendulum.
Her big eyes contain the secrets of the universe and looking at them can hypnotize others.
This Pokémon stores electrical energy in its cheeks, allowing it to possess telekinetic abilities and unleash a storm of psionic force during battle.
Foal and Trikbalang
Based on the unique Filipino mythical creature tikbalang, Trikbalang thrive in both rural and urban landscapes.
This Pokémon leads a pack of foals through mountains and streets at night in order to scare or play unpleasant tricks on passers-by.
However, they respect the formalities, and will stop willingly if passers-by ask permission to cross their territories.
Sproutoo, Bambelle and Bambakas
The origins of Sproutoo, Bambelle and Bambakas come from the magnificent Filipino myth of Malakas and Maganda.
Unevolved Sproutoo can be found in groups, waiting for its hard shell to be pecked at by bird Pokémon to evolve.
The males evolve into the tough and tenacious Bambakas, while the females evolve into the beautiful and powerful Bambelle.
Twinklish and Butanduin
Twinklish and Butanduin derive their physical characteristics from the slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark known locally as the butting.
The spots on Twinklish’s black skin turn into beautiful patterns similar to constellations seen at night.
When the Twinklish and Butanduin Shoals come out at night, their unique patterns gleam and sparkle under the sea. It is a sight to behold as they reflect the vast and incredible scene of the night sky.
Insektrawl, Pyroparu, Plasmaparu and Aquaparu
Like the popular Eevee, the evolutionary variants of Insektrawl are one of a kind.
Once that tomato hornworm-based Pokemon eat enough leaves, it will evolve into three different variants depending on what type of flowering plant it has eaten. These variants each represent the colors found in the Philippine flag.
Alejo also stated that these variants are based on butterfly species found in the Philippines; red-bodied swallowtail for Pyroparu, orange migrant for Plasmaparu, and white dragon tail for Aquaparu.
Aloximalo is derived from the popular Filipino cold dessert Hello Hello. He lives in the cold mountain ranges of the region.
They usually accompany sorbets vendors to make ice cream. However, this Pokémon can give off a sweet smell that attracts prey and then traps it in ice.
Aloximalo has the ability to Cold Treat, freezing enemies that bite it or drain it with its ice-type damage.
His physical characteristics taken from the mythical moon-eating Philippine serpent bakunawa, Blakunawa is a legendary Pokémon feared by locals.
It is said to be one of the four legendary moon-eating Pokémon that plunged the world into darkness.
He has the Devour Moon move, a Dark-type attack that’s super effective against Fairy-type Pokémon, Alejo added, “Also, his other ability called Dark Harbinger makes Fairy-type Pokémon useless in battles.”
A career in video games
Forbes reported that Pokémon GO in 2016 is one of the most successful mobile games of all time. It broke records as the fastest to earn $100 million and the most downloaded in its first month of release.
Pokémon Unite, the multiplayer online battle arena video game, was just launched by its developers on Wednesday, September 22 and is now available to download.
“I had dreamed of playing Pokémon MOBA for a long time. In fact, I played it on my (Nintendo) Switch but I find my phone more accessible since the Switch belongs to my little brother,” Alejo told Rappler.
There’s no denying that Pokémon continues to be one of the most successful franchises in the world since its inception in the early 1980s in Japan.
Like Alejo, fans around the world are always thrilled with any Pokémon. Pokémon fever continues regardless of generation.
Now in his final year at the University of Mapua, this Multimedia Arts and Sciences student plans to pursue a career in video game development in the future.
“My dream job is to be a video game character designer, so I plan to learn how to be one,” Alejo said.
The artist from Pasig has created other incredible works of art inspired by Filipino culture. If anyone is interested in entrusting them with a work of art, you can reach them at Twitter, instagram, and Glass. – Rappler.com