(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 24 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, 26 February 2024

Valentine’s Day hype blamed for spike in teenage pregnancy, early marriage

By Nora Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The marketing and media hype that accompanied  Valentine’s Day led many young people to equate love with sex. 

“They feel pressured to engage in romantic or sexual activities even if they are emotionally and physically not ready,” says Alexander A. Makinano, regional director of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in Caraga.

“Valentine’s Day became more and more commercialized over the years, with gift shops, flower vendors, hotels, and even condom companies capitalizing on the so-called “season of love,” Makinano said.

“While romance itself is not inherently bad, the hyper-commercial nature of the celebration seemed to pressure couples, especially teens and young adults, into overt displays of affection and premature physical intimacy,” Makinano explained.

He underscored that the glamorized portrayal of sexuality causes adolescents to rush into intimate relationships, often without fully understanding the consequences. This results in unintended pregnancies, which can derail young lives.

As per record from CPD Caraga, teenage pregnancy remains a major concern in the region and nationally. Babies born to very young mothers face higher health risks and complications. Early pregnancy mostly disrupts education and their future.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) continues to provide data on teenage pregnancy. The numbers served as basis for the Commission on Population and Development to strengthen its campaign on this social concern. Photo courtesy of PSA.

Makinano pointed out that while it is normal for young people to have romantic interests, they need guidance and support in making wise choices. With so much peer pressure and mixed media messages surrounding observances such as Valentine’s Day, adolescents can easily get carried away in the heat of the moment.

As an alternative to promoting a superficial or overly sensualized concept of love, Makinano called for more meaningful conversations on relationships, sexuality, and responsible family planning, especially during adolescence. Parents, schools, and community organizations have an important role to play.

“Healthy romantic relationships are built on mutual understanding, respect, and communication, not gifts, appearances, or physical intimacy alone,” he emphasized.

Rather than giving in to peer pressure or media hype, young people need empowerment to make informed, thoughtful choices that impact their well-being. The consequences of rushed, unwise decisions can last a lifetime, he said. (NCLM/ PIA-Caraga with a report from CPD-Caraga)