My Story

Married, jobless and a mom at 18: How I ended up working and writing for global emergencies

I got pregnant and was prematurely married at 18. It may not be that shocking today, but in the 80s and in a quiet, conservative Filipino family, it was like a whistle bomb dropping unexpected at a family lunch.

It broke my parents’ hearts big time.

Doing this after finishing valedictorian from a rural high school, my reputation took a nosedive in a small village where my mom was a respected public school teacher. Everyone in the village thought I just ended my world.

I stopped university for two years, tried full-time motherhood and worked in our coconut farm, all the while lamely convincing myself I can’t be doing it forever!

I eventually picked up the broken pieces of my life to finish a degree in Public Relations. My dream was to become a writer but I can’t remember how I ended studying the course. At that time, coming from Mindanao located at the southern part of the Philippines where there were then very few university options and studying in Manila for a college degree was difficult and expensive.

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