As we often fill an idle moment or two playing Monopoly, Nat was happy to find the Philippine Edition in a toyshop yesterday.
The main difference from old skool Monopoly is the inclusion of a ‘Speed Die’, which I presume is an addition to the latest editions of Monopoly. Apart from that, the contents of the box are very familiar. For our first game we decided to dispense with the Speed Die, as we guessed we would have our work cut out simply playing on an unfamiliar board.
Unsurprisingly, Monopoly Philippine Edition is based on Metro Manila. Different colours generally correspond with different parts of the metropolis: for example, the expensive greens and dark blues are all streets in Makati (the most expensive property being Ayala Avenue), while the cheaper browns and light blues are in Manila City. I was however, disappointed with the naming of the railway stations, which are rather unimaginatively titled ‘Lightrail Transit 1’, ‘Lightrail Transit 2’ and so in. This is lazy and inaccurate (as far as I am aware, there is only LRT 1 and 2) – why not MRT, or for that matter, name the stations after actual stations?
The tokens are the old style tokens familiar from my youth (so good to play with you again, battleship), but we thought that an opportunity had been missed – it would have been great to play with a jeepney, pumpboat and tricycle. How about a carabao instead of a dog – or a tarsier?
The currency is the now generic
M found in many recent editions of Monopoly, which is reasonable, because the values in pesos are even more detached from reality than the pounds of the UK edition. (60 pesos for Clara M Recto Avenue? That’s the cost of a soft drink.) However, in a moment of cynicism, we explored possible new rules that could be introduced, for example, when landing on ‘Go to Jail’, paying a ‘fee’ to the police, thus allowing one to continue unimpeded; or going counter-clockwise around the board, against the flow of traffic. And the (officially disapproved) practice of putting fines in the middle of the board to be collected by the next person to land on ‘Free Parking’ could be regularised as the ‘Pork Barrel‘. And instead of the ‘speed die’, why not a ‘slow die’ or ‘Filipino time’ die?
So, an interesting addition to our collection of Monopoly games, but a missed opportunity to truly immerse the old board game in the Filipino context.