I’m grateful for this opportunity to dialogue with high school students from various schools in Pampanga about the issue of teenage pregnancy.
They shared about the awkwardness of asking their parents about dating and relationships and their hesitation to ask their parents for guidance when their parents seem to be preoccupied with their own problems. They discussed about teens’ stress and depression that pushes them to be physically intimate just to feel loved and cared for.
They also talked about solutions to teenage pregnancy like fostering parent-child connectedness and acquiring life skills to resist peer pressure.
Towards the end, I shared with them about my experience of having an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 17. One of them asked if I have any regrets as a teenage mother. I emphatically replied that “Yes, I have many regrets.” My teenage pregnancy drastically changed the course my life and caused so many heartaches not just to me but also to my family and loved ones. I urged them to learn from my story.
*This activity is the first ever #Babaenihan community level talk. Babaenihan is a partnership between UNFPA Philippines and the Office of the Vice President that aims to raise awareness of the potential of Filipino girls as well as the challenges they face.