This article was published last April 2013 in Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Youngblood section.
“A love that is not true will lust, a love that is true will last.” That’s a quote I heard in a Christian gathering I attended last Valentine’s Day. It was the first time that I attended a Church-related event where young people are taught how to deal with the offers of the flesh.
I asked myself then: Why only now? Why did they not teach us about it more than five years ago? Why were they so silent on sex?
I believe that our 1990s generation is made up of “transitioners.” We witnessed how the modern era ate up traditional beliefs and cultures, leaving only memories. We were the victims of the close-your-eyes-there’s-a-kissing-scene automatic syndrome, which left some of us innocent of the bitter taste of life, the cloth in a glittery, sumptuous wrap.
More than five years ago, a period I have no way of gauging except by my own experience, teenage pregnancy was a big scandal. In typical cases, a girl gets pregnant, and the boy must marry the girl so as to cover it up. Other pregnancy cases are denied: The girl’s family sends her to the province for the preservation of whatever name it has. Still other cases end up in devastating situations: suicide, abortion, postpartum depression. But everyone was in denial that it was even happening.
It’s apparently worse these days: Younger and younger people are involved in premarital sex, resulting in their being parents at a very innocent age. It’s a case of being in a situation where the body may be ready but the mind is too young to adapt to parenthood.
People may say that it is our choice, that we are in our right mind and right age to know what sex is. The reality is, no. Because more than five years ago, when everything was just heating up, it was curiosity that was boiling inside a teenager’s mind. And it was the period when the topic of sex was something that no one dared ask about because it was frowned upon by most “traditional” people.
Sadly, no one dared talk about it, not even during “faMEALy” days. So we resorted to a different form of learning—experience.
And because there was no guidance on what and what not to do, curiosity led to broken trust, torn relationships, and changes in family trees.
And now, seemingly in response to a growing society of beanstalk-like family trees, education on the critical subject is being promoted. Everyone is suddenly conscious and brave in saying the word “sex.”
Did we need the Reproductive Health Law to be passed just for young people to be educated? I guess it’s too late. We are just applying some remedy, but the disease has gone too far, just because more than five years ago, a period I have no way of gauging except by my own experience, no one dared ask about it, no one dared discuss it.
For almost three years now I have experienced how it is to be forced to think and act like a mother. They say that all women have that motherly instinct—and I do not deny it—yet I still have the “singlehood” instinct that seeks fun and adventure.
I guess that gives me a double role in society. But it rips me apart: Do I catch up with the opportunities offered to do the things that I want, or compromise to do what’s best for me and my angel?
It is the worst feeling. It is as if one is robbed of one’s dreams, of opportunities, of fun, of freedom, of many things that one should be enjoying. But with motherhood as my other role, I just can’t do those things now, not ever.
If sex education was as open more than five years ago as it is now, maybe a lot of “me” will be able to think of what should have been the right decision.
I am a single mother. I am not proud of it but it doesn’t make me shy about it because I can never think of myself being able to speak this way without having that experience.
I speak in behalf of those who were victimized by innocence more than five years ago. Lucky are those who are hearing lectures and learning now, because finally, “traditional” people have opened their minds to the fact that sex education is something that today’s youth must acquire.
Experience may be a good teacher, but it is deceptive.