How Filipino Teenagers Would Most Likely Deal with Unwanted Pregnancy
The most common consequence of teenagers’ sexual unawareness of what is right and what is wrong is unwanted pregnancy. Upon watching the film Juno, despite my knowledge of this phenomenon, I have been motivated to relate what I had watched to the reality in the Philippine society of how Filipino teenagers would most likely deal with the said situation. Before pointing out similarities and differences, I want to start first from the reasons why Filipino teenagers engage in premarital sex that results to pregnancy.
Oftentimes, it is mainly influenced by conflicts revolving inside the family. As reflected on the film wherein Juno’s father and mother are divorced and she’s with her stepmother, I’m not saying that that was what had driven Juno to do what she had done, but I just want to relate that in the Filipino reality, it is often that certain deficiencies from the family like broken and unstable families etc. have a great influence for this teenage behavior. Now, how would a Filipino teenager deal with unwanted pregnancy?
Teenagers won’t assume that their sexual affairs won’t bear a horrible consequence of pregnancy so they do not dare of taking pregnancy tests especially for the girls. Unlike Juno who had taken several pregnancy tests, Filipino teenage ladies would not even attempt to ensure if she doesn’t really have been prone to pregnancy. However, these incorrect assumptions will not last long. When symptoms like vomiting, nausea, altered menstrual activity and others will appear, a troubled and confused mind of these individuals will reign and the feeling of depression will also follow.
They will also resort to what the film had depicted such as suicidal attempt and even abortion. Yet, as like Juno never intended to commit suicide, Filipino teens mostly abort their unborn babies as what is decided by the teenage couple. But in cases wherein abortion is not being tolerated, the only remaining choice would be the revealing of the truth to the parents and the whole family as well. How the parents in the film reacted upon the revelation of Juno is different from what typical Filipino parents would react. In the sense that Juno’s folks discussed the problem in a calm manner, Filipino arents would talk about it otherwise. Embarrassment and the degradation of the family’s honor will be a great factor that will put their sons/daughters in verbal or even physical danger. The worst is when the parents will even want it more for their children to leave inorder to prevent the exposure of the said problem to the public. But these possibilities can be avoided when early marriage is being arranged. A Filipino teenager involved in this situation would feel the sense of depression that will result to suicidal attempt and abortion as I stated earlier.
Far from Juno’s attitude towards the situation wherein she intended to face it in a positive manner and she wants the baby to be born and adopted so a good future will be ahead of that baby, a Filipino teenager would simply try all his/her best to hide it and better not discuss it openly. Guys would also deny the responsibility and abandon the girl when the problem is already there, not like Paulie who even proposed marriage to Juno for he was responsible enough. It is also not that possible for Filipino teens to continue their studies once they are already pregnant.
They would rather choose to stay home to avoid nasty looks and criticisms from the community. That is contrary to Juno’s action that still pursued her studies even if she was visibly pregnant and she just ignored what others would say. Generally, there is a big difference on how foreigners and Filipino teenagers would deal with teenage pregnancy. There are still similarities however, but what really matters most is how this pattern can be avoided. Still, the choice is within the individual if he /she choose to be in the right path or the other one. Ronnie John Pascua 2011-65897