Of Condoms and the Filipino Youth

For the past few years, there has been a long-debated issue regarding sex education and its impact to young people. In a conservative Christian nation like the Philippines, majority of the people frown upon the idea of its inclusion to the curriculum. But it is business as usual as Department of Health (DOH) announced its plan to give out condoms in schools as part of its intervention amid the alarming rise of HIV and AIDS cases especially among 15 to 24 year olds. DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubail said condom distribution will start as soon as policy formulations are established with the Department of Education (DepEd). In response, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones asserted the need for a careful evaluation of the program before its implementation.

Scientifically and reality proven, condom is an effective tool in preventing the spread of HIV when used ‘consistently and correctly’. But the real concern is, should schools be involved with its ‘distribution’? One interesting fact to ponder, even DepEd reiterated the need for thorough discussions with DOH to settle whether such policy is proper to cover schools and learning institutions. Indeed, schools are venues for teaching-learning processes and sex education is one area that students must be aware of. But there are certainly more age-appropriate means to provide information such as lectures and symposiums, etc. To put it bluntly, those students who engaged in pre-marital sex have long known where to get condoms and making these readily available in schools is synonymous to saying that what they are doing is acceptable.

This now leads to another discussion of whether to support this policy or not. For while safe sex is one practical strategy to address the problem, are our teachers and school administrators ready to take the responsibility of handing out condoms to their students? More so, are our students prepared to handle the pressure amidst this whole issue? Because as news about condom-giving makes way to TV Patrol or 24 Oras or in any other media platform, curiosity will work in more ways than one and it all starts with the mind. Wonder what a condom is? Wonder what will I do with it? Wonder how sex feels like? Wonder, wonder, wonder. And without proper guidance, promiscuity and pre-marital sex might just be the outcome.

It is then important to deal with the root cause of HIV/AIDS cases among young people. And what causes it? Basically, pre-marital sex, unsafe pre-marital sex. In 2013, a survey done by the University of the Philippines Population Institute revealed that 1 out of 3 Filipino youths aged 15 to 24 had pre-marital sex. More disturbing than this is the statistic that “78% of those who had pre-marital sex for the first time in this age bracket did not use any protection”.

But there is a sure fire way to protect our young people from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. And it is more effective than all latex or polyurethane condoms combined. The power of abstinence and keeping one’s purity are the best things our children can do to guard themselves — physically and emotionally. Schools, churches, and families must work hand-in-hand to uphold true Christian values and pour it out to the hearts of our Filipino youth.

The scripture says, Romans 16:19 “Be excellent of what is good, be innocent of evil”. In this context, it is a call for this young generation to devote their time to worthwhile and productive things — that they become so passionate about it that they don’t think about something corrupting, like pre-marital sex.

And when that happens, perhaps DOH might use P50 to P100 million on feeding programs in schools rather than purchasing condoms. (AJC)

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Bohol Adventure – a sweet travelscapade!

Here in the Philippines, as soon as the first day of April comes, every person imagines to be somewhere, somehow, with something great to do at the entrance of summer season. Who wouldn’t be excited about summer when our country boasts picturesque places, virgin islands, white sand beaches and amazing people?

In the Visayas area, there is one special place every Pinoy knows. A place where magnificent tourist attractions are in store for all to enjoy and experience. This place has captured the hearts of both local and international traveling souls. Where is this? Well, no time to guess – the title of this post tells it all.

So yes, Bohol is that warm place I am talking about. Surely, a perfect get-away for summer and holidays. In this post, I will share to you our family’s escape to a paradise – Panglao and Balicasag Island…

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From Tagbilaran City, we ventured a 30-minute  drive to  Alona beach in Panglao. Motor boats are practically abundant in the shore waiting for tourists for island hopping adventures. The resort boasts a white sand beach and clear waters.
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Tres Marias? Nope, the one in the leftmost is our momma. Posing for a photo-op in Alona beach. We wore rash guards to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. hehe. Really, the sun can get so super hot during summer season.
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Riding a motor boat, we are now approaching Balicasag Island. Ohhhh.. that clear water!
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Can’t help but take a quick shot of this happy family! Enjoy folks!
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One of the best part – lunch time! There are food kiosks in Balicasag. You can bring your own food and just rent a space or table. But then again, you can’t control yourself to order sea foods available on their menu.
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It’s time to find Nemo. hehe. To snorkeling off we go! You need to rent snorkeling devices and have an underwater camera ready.
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At last! We found them! hahaha.
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Whoooooaaaa! Amazing feeling! I have conquered the deep blue oceans of the world.
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Another island worth your time, talent and treasure! This is a must-visit, Virgin Island!
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And of course, a requisite family jump shot here in the Virgin island sand bar!
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Sister act! Such a great backdrop, just perfect!

More photos…featuring some underwater shenanigans..hehe

And more.. hehe..

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But sad to say, all good things come to an end. So we sailed back to Alona beach. But surely this is not goodbye…

And to wrap this blog up, here is a little memento. Bear with my amateur video-editing (hehehe). Panglao and Balicasag Island Adventure, give that a click for the video! All in all, I highly recommend this journey to all wanderers! Book that trip now!