On August 28, 2015 our second Teenage Pregnancy Forum was conducted at Balibago National High School in Laguna, Philippines. About 60 students from Grade 7 to 9 of the Special Program of the Arts (SPA) attended the forum. Majority were female. Students
When the teenage mother who was the main speaker was in tears relaying her painful experiences all the high school students naturally felt a sad atmosphere in the room. Most of them were looking down on the floor when she was crying. Other female students looked like they were about to cry with her. The students were not expecting this sad atmosphere in the beginning of the forum. After the teenage mother relayed her experiences the students were given the chance to ask questions to her.
The young students were generally shocked and got scared from some of her answers. This gave them the reality of being a teenage mother. During the open forum our Rotarians emphasized importance of family planning and responsible parenthood and also explained how teenage pregnancy affects prospective lives. At the end of the forum the students were asked what they have learned from the forum. Generally the school students appreciated the teenage mother for coming out open to talk to them. After hearing everything the students did not wish to become a young mother or father and would listen to their parents’ advices. The open forum seemed to have made a positive impact on the young students what it is like to become a young parent.
Some key questions and answers:
Q: How was it like giving birth?
A: It was screaming out loud in pain that people said can be heard from afar. My mother was the one who gave birth to my baby at home. I was in intense labor from 7 am and lasted 7 am the next day. I bled so heavily. I thought I was going to die. I was so weak and pale for over a week after giving birth.
Q: Did you get worried after having an affair with your boyfriend?
A: Yes, I did. I had no idea about it. He was persistent. I asked him what if I get pregnant? He said that he will take care of me & our baby if I ever get pregnant. So I believed him. I thought that he loved me.
Q: How did you feel that you got pregnant?
A: I already felt I got pregnant at the first contact. Weeks after I told him that I was pregnant. I was surprised that he denied our baby and excused using his father. I suffered many months of mental anguish after he disappeared from me when I was pregnant.
Q: Do you want get revenge from his father?
A: Yes. I want him behind bars for what he has done to me and my baby. I even challenged him to have a testing to prove to him that the baby was his.
Q: How do you support your baby?
A: I will look for a job at nearby market to buy diapers and food.
Q: Would you fall in love again?
A: Yes. My priority now is my baby’s needs. I am lucky because my family is here for me despite of the mistake I have done.
Q: If you can turn back time, which would you prefer?
A: I would prefer to have no baby & would like to go to school just like all of you.
RIMM highly respects the teenage mother being courageous to talk about her painful experience in front of a big audience. RIMM gives a financial assistance to support her baby and livelihood every time she gives a talk at such forum.