True love waits
You know its February when hearts, chocolates and flowers proliferate anywhere you look. The love month is one of the most beloved and anticipated months because of its emphasis on the importance of love in our lives.
This love month, we chatted with three teens, Fresha,15, Gerald, 16, and Charls,16, from Pangasinan, on their youth-notion of love.
These youths have recently attended World Vision’s Pinoy Abstinence and Risk Avoidance (PARK) that orients teens on love and the consequences and responsibilities that come with it, and on what true love really mean.
What do you remember most about PARK?
Charls: I remember the topic on the rising cases of HIV and AIDS which included youth.
Gerald: Same here.
Fresha: I remember about the discussion on one’s relationship with God, friends and family.
Do you have prior HIV and AIDS orientation?
Charls: Yes, in school. A World Vision staff oriented us on it.
Gerald: But the discussion then was brief unlike in PARK where it was detailed.
Are you three attending the same school?
Fresha: No. Only me and Charls are schoolmate.
Gerald: I’m from another school.
Adults say that HIV and AIDS and early teenage pregnancy are oftentimes the result of youth aggressiveness. What can you say about that?
Gerald: Yes and no. Yes that youth can be aggressive because there are those who never put importance on their education and would rather be outside school, hanging around with friends. No proper education and the wrong “barkada” usually have negative consequences. No, because there are students who are not aggressive. They study hard, but life’s difficulties caught up with them, so they ended up marrying early.
Charls: I think advancement in technology plays a crucial role. We can do and see many things on the internet making youth wanting to try new things.
Fresha: Contributory to youth aggressiveness is lack of guidance from parents as well.
Have you seen or known a person with HIV or AIDS?
Do you know or have friends who married at a young age? How are they now?
Gerald: Yes. I know somebody. Last I heard, they’re not doing well.
Charls: I know somebody. Her life could have been better, I guess.
Fresha: I know a friend. She’s doing well. Because his and her family are both well off.
Have you ever been in love? or have crushes?
(The three giggle and tease each other)
Fresha: I am in a relationship at the moment.
Gerald: I’m inspired.
Charls: Before, yes.
Gerald: (Teasing Charls) MU?
Gerald: MU is like you have feelings for each other….
Charls: But not yet ready to be in a relationship.
Ahh…both have feelings but not willing to commit. Charls, you were not ready to be in relationship that time?
Charls: Not yet.
Are you able to tell your parents or siblings about your relationship or “kilig” feelings for somebody?
Fresha: Yes. My parents know and his parents know, too. At first I was afraid to tell, thinking that my parents would get angry and scold me.
Gerald: Dedma! (laugh) We never discuss this seriously in the family. Though there are relax moment when we joke about this stuff. They know I’m just inspired.
Charls: Yes, somehow. But they knew I am not very serious yet. More like having a crush.
When you are into a relationship or have feelings for somebody, do you consider it serious, like you think she/he will be the woman or man you’ll marry?
Gerald: We’re too young to think about that yet. Our feelings is more inspiration. I want to focus on my education.
Fresha: Not yet. Education first. I want to achieve something in life.
Charls: Not yet. Inspiration lang muna.
What would you like to become someday?
Gerald: I want to take up Mass Communication.
Charls: Accountancy. I love numbers.
Fresha: Civil Engineer. A family member inspired me to be one someday.
Anyone of you has plans of going abroad to work?
Fresha: I do.
This Valentine’s season, do you have any words for other youth who get into romantic relationship?
Fresha: Don’t rush things. Know your limitations. Always think of the sacrifices of our parents to send us to school.
Gerald: Real love can wait. But education, it cannot. At our age, we should be enjoying our lives, we should be studying.
Charls: Know your limitations and be responsible in using technology.
Do you also have words for parents or adults in general so their children grow more loving of them?
Gerald: Spend more time and give attention to your children. The bonding moment in the family is very important for us youth.
Charls: I agree. Also, maybe if we commit mistakes, it’s ok to explain or tell us about it. But don’t nag us about it. It usually irritates us. Instead of learning, it creates a feeling of annoyance because we are repeatedly told of our mistakes.
Fresha: If possible, don’t physically hit us when we commit mistakes. Similar to what Charls said, we remember more the pain than the lesson.