“Maxing out at 109 pages, this self-help manual for young women is a quick and easy read. And—I must apologize to the author for scoffing—it actually packs a lot of punch in its skinny volume. Filipino books defying traditionalist views on dating have enjoyed an uptick in popularity this year. But among the young, celebrity authors who’ve written about similar subjects, Pammy is set apart by her years of distilled insight, her credibility as an authority on the matter, and her story.”
MANILA – A first-time Filipina author bares her soul in a book that aims to raise awareness about sex, virginity, pregnancy and motherhood among teen girls.
Women’s rights advocate Pammy Godoy wrote “Sex, Virginity and Relationships: What I Wish I Knew In College,” which includes lessons from her own past, to serve as a starting point of reflection and conversation when it comes to sexuality-related concerns.
The book will be released at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo on December 31.
Its introductory text at the back reads: “Eighteen roses, 18 candles, Cotillon de honor. I have always dreamed of being a debutante, walking into an elegant ballroom wearing a beautiful gown and surrounded by my loved ones and friends. It was supposed to be my ‘coming out party.’ Instead, I was in hiding. I was six months pregnant at 18.”
Godoy is a graduate of University of the Philippines Los Baños and has a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She has taught Gender Studies and Women’s Studies at De La Salle University Manila and St. Scholastica’s College, respectively.
Since 2008, Godoy has been working with a United Nations agency addressing the issue of violence against women and children.
Lessons from a former teenage mom
A mother writes her cautionary tale in a book for young women
Some girls grow up to become beauty queens. Some girls become singers and actresses. Some girls become great leaders, serving the public. Some girls become authors and build their world around books and words. Some girls become heroes and save lives. But some girls serve as inspiration to others, not because of their talents or perfect careers but because they made mistakes. They are the ones who live to tell their tales, to inspire others, to become better girls, better mothers, better ladies and women of the society.
Pammy Godoy is one of those girls. The first-time author and passionate women’s rights advocate makes mistakes like any other person. She learned from them and she wants to prevent that mistake from happening to others through her book Sex, Virginity, and Relationships: What I Wish I Knew In College. For her, the book is “paying it forward” to other teen girls who may benefit from the lessons she learned as a teenage mother.
“The book is about my life, although it did not start out that way. It actually evolved from being a technical, chockfull of research findings type with just bits and pieces of my personal story to being a memoir of my journey as a teenage mom. I realised that there is a great value in sharing my story so that teen girls may learn from my mistakes and be empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and relationships. I had to summon up my courage to tell my story that I only shared before with loved ones and close friends,” says Pammy.
With the increasing cases of teenage pregnancies, Pammy was compelled to write the book. It even contains the “Unleash Your Power” toolkit as part of her commitment to empower teens and young women with knowledge and life skills to reach their potential and be a positive difference to others. The toolkit will drive the readers to reflect on sexuality, teenage pregnancy, motherhood, and the need for young people to form a strong sense of self in the face of society’s often unequal since between men and women.
“It was emotionally tough for me to write this book. I had to re-live and re-experience the difficult events in my life. I cried for all the challenges that my teen self had to go through and overcome. Writing this book helped me to be kinder to myself…to not beat myself up for the mistakes that I’ve done,” she shares.
This is the kind of book every teen needs to read, and every parent, teacher, and mentor should discuss with teens. The book contains lots of lessons not just for teenage but also for teachers and parents. Here, women and teenage will learn to claim their rights and be informed about sexuality and reproductive health. Parents and teachers will learn their roles as educators and guardians of their children.
MANILA, Philippines – “18 roses. 18 candles. Cotillion de honor. I have always dreamed of being a debutante. Walking into an elegant ballroom wearing a beautiful gown and surrounded by my loved ones and friends. It was supposed to be my ‘coming out party.’ Instead, I was in hiding. I was six months pregnant at 18.”
By Pammy Godoy, Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
In 2006, I took part in a Group Study Exchange (GSE) to Argentina. It was a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity funded by Rotary International which allowed me to travel outside of the Philippines for the first time, learn about Argentinian culture, and interact with Argentinian youth about their issues in relation to relationships, sexuality, and teen pregnancies.
A year later, I joined the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, which gave me a platform to realize my dream of reaching urban poor communities and conducting medical missions and interactive awareness sessions for maternal and child health.
From 2010-2013, with funding support from District 2680, we enabled 100 couples to space or limit the number of their children, trained 24 health workers on family planning counseling, and supported 27 college students to become peer educators and teach other youth how to resist peer pressure and avoid risky behavior.
In 2014, as a way of paying it forward, I decided to write a book about my own story, struggles and lessons learned as a teenage mom at 18. The World Health Organization reports that about 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth every year. In the United States, the 2013 teen birth rate was 27 births per 1,000 teen girls, and there were 274,641 births to teen girls. The U.S. rates of teen childbearing remain far higher than in other comparable countries. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen childbearing is costing the U.S. taxpayers at least $9.4 billion annually. In the Philippines, 24 babies are delivered by teenage mothers every hour.
I’m hoping that by sharing my hard-learned lessons with teen girls, they may be empowered to make informed decisions about their relationships, sexuality, and future. I believe that doing so is a way of living out Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self and fulfilling my goal of empowering women and girls.
Connect with Pammy Godoy on Facebook
Learn more about how Rotary improves access to medical services for mothers and their children