Teen mom Emjhei Guerrero earns college diploma thanks to her baby girl

Teen mother Emjhie Guerrero reaches out to fellow young mothers to never give up on their dreams. Read her inspiring story here

“Teen moms, wag isipin na hadlang si baby para makuha niyo yung dream niyo instead gawin niyo silang inspirasyon. Patunayan natin sa mga tao o sa mga parents natin na kaya pa din natin makapagtapos kahit na may na may baby na (Teen moms, don’t think that your baby is an obstacle in realizing your dream, instead be inspired by them. Let us prove to people or our parents that we can finish school even with a baby,” advised Emjhei Guerrero, a teenage mom who recently graduated from Sienna College of Taytay.

Guerrero shared her inspiring story on her social media account. The post has since become viral, gaining massive support, as well as criticism.

My #goal ❤️❤️

Posted by Emjhei Guerrero on Monday, March 21, 2016

Here is her complete message:

Akala ko hindi na ko makakapag aral o makakapagtapos nung araw na binigay ka sakin ni Lord. 3rd year college ako nun, isang taon na lang gragraduate na pero bigla kang binigay sakin ni Lord, hindi ko alam gagawin ko ng mga panahong yun, ang nasa isip ko lang paano na, paano ko mag aaral, pano ko magagawa yung gusto ng parents ko para sakin.

Pero hindi, sinabi ko sa sarili ko na di pwede yun, 3rd year 2nd sem na nagenroll pa din ako kahit may anghel na ko, di ko alam kung anong mangyayari samin magina nun, na baka pag pumasok ako e matagtag ako pero go pa din pray lang.

Umabot na sa part na may morning sickness na ko, na masama pakiramdam ko pero pasok pa din, lumalaki na tiyan ko nun 7 months na, nanjan na yung mga studyante na ponagtitinginan na ko, pinagchichismisan, pero di ko sila pinansin, wala naman silang alam sa mga pinagdaanan ko hanggang sa May 24 nanganak ako, syempre
June pasukan nanaman 4thyr na, kahit kakapanganak ko lang kahit na may chance na pwede akong mabinat di ko pinansin go pa din para matupad ko yung pangarap ng parents ko.

At eto na yun, yung araw na pinalahihintay ko.
Hindi totoo na magiging hadlang o di ka na makakapag aral kung maaga ka man nagkaanak. Para sakin, lalo ko kailangan makapagtapos dahil may anak na ko. Dagdag inspirasyon kumbaga. umabot na sa point na gusto ko na maggive up sa hirap ng mga gawain sa school pero lagi kong sinasabi at tinatatak sa isip ko na PARA SA ANAK KO, at eto nakuha ko na nga.

Teen moms, wag isipin na hadlang si baby para makuha niyo yung dream niyo instead gawin niyo silang inspirasyon. Patunayan natin sa mga tao o sa mga parents natin na kaya pa din natin makapagtapos kahit na may na may baby na.

This one’s for you my baby girl! I love you so much.
Thank you Lord!

‪#‎degreeholder ‪#‎BSTM

very lucky because we have a supportive family!
Everyone, meet my mom and dad ❤️
Thank you for everything, for not giving up on me.
I salute both of you ❤️????

Posted by Emjhei Guerrero on Monday, March 21, 2016

Akala ko hindi na ko makakapag aral
o makakapagtapos nung araw na binigay ka sakin ni Lord. 3rd year college ako nun,...

Posted by Emjhei Guerrero on Saturday, March 19, 2016

While most have people applauded Guerrero for her words of encouragement for teen moms, some have accused her of encouraging early motherhood. Others have belittled her accomplishment, saying her graduation was made possible simply because her family is wealthy.

Despite the negative comments, Guerrero continues to hold her head high, knowing full well that her triumph did not come easy. After all, going to class while struggling with morning sickness, and sleepless nights studying after putting the baby to sleep, among others, is not an easy feat.

“Teen moms na nakapagtapos din saludo din po ako sa inyo at dun sa iba na naiinggit at gusto mag aral pero may mga prob financial man o walang magbabantay kay baby, SALUDO pa din dahil hindi niyo pinalaglag si baby, yes nagkamali tayo pero di ibig sabihin nun e di na tayo babangon. Makakapag aral din kayo at makakapagtapos in GOD'S TIME! go lang ng go."

(To the other teen moms who are also graduates now, I salute you. And to the others who want to study but have financial problems, or have no one to take care of the baby, I still salute you for not aborting your baby. Yes, we made a mistake but that doesn’t mean that we won’t pick ourselves up. You will get to study, too, and graduate in God’s time. Just keep on going.)

"TRUST IN LORD and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF,” Guerrero also wrote in a separate post.

Teenage pregnancies in the Philippines

According to the WHO, about 16 million girls between the ages of 15-19, and around 1 million girls under 15 years old give birth each year.

In the Philippines, said May-i Fabros, Youth Commissioner of the Philippine Commission on Women, 600 live births a day are registered under teenage mothers.

READ: 600 Live births a day: Teenage pregnancy rising in the Philippines

“One out of three adolescents has sex, and the numbers are rising,” Fabros said.

One out of ten adolescent girls gets pregnant. Of these pregnancies, many are terminated through unsafe abortion practices. As of 2014, the Philippine Statistical Authority revealed that one baby is delivered by teenage mothers every hour. A separate study by the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) revealed that around 14% of Filipino girls between the ages of 15 to 19 are either pregnant with their first child, or are already mothers.

Many of these pregnancies end in abortion. According to the Philippines Safe Abortion Advocacy Network (PINSAN), some 600,000 induced abortions are recorded in the Philippines each year. Of these, about a third involves adolescents.

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