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Now A Mom, 'Badjao' Girl' Rita Gaviola Shuns Bashers, 'Hindi Lahat Ng May Anak, Doon Na Natatapos Ang Pangarap'
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM /ITSRITAGAVIOLA
  • On August 9, Rita Gaviola took to Instagram to reveal that she is now a mother to a baby girl.

    The 19-year-old former Pinoy Big Brother housemate rose to fame when a photographer shared her photo on social media, where she was dubbed Badjao Girl. She was 13 then.

    Some netizens who were following her journey supported her, while others reacted negatively, saying that her career has ended because she got pregnant early.

    One user said, she was disappointed because she admires Rita for her perseverance in fulfilling her family's dreams. "Ngayon parang ayokong tularan siya ng mga bata na mag-boyfriend ng maaga dahil sa kapusukan yun ang napapala. Iba na kasi ang buhay pag may anak ka na."

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    The user went on and compared Rita to Binibining Pilipinas 2022 1st Runner-Up, Herlene Nicole Budol, "Hahay umaasa pa naman ako na magku-cross yung landas nila ni Edward o kaya ni Marco in the future at magiging successful siya. Mabuti pa si Hipon talagang may pangarap di nagpatinag sa kamunduhan."

    Rita has been vocal about her dream to join Miss Universe, that's why her followers are feeling sorry for her.

    'Walang sayang'

    Rita replied and said, "Hindi lahat ng may anak doon natatapos ang lahat ng mga pangarap. Hindi din ako pwede tularan ng mga kabataan dahil may mga sarili kaming isip at buhay. Pero isa lang masasabi ko, proud ako kasi kahit ganito ako, hindi ko pinalaglag yung baby ko kesa naman katulad ng iba diyan para lang sa career. Madami pa pwedeng gawin."

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    Some of her followers supported her, and said, "Walang sayang! Kaya pa niya gawin ang lahat ng pangarap niya para sa sarili niya lalo na sa baby niya."

    RELATED: 'Hindi Kaya Maging Mommy': Andi And Dimples Recall Judgment They Faced As Young Moms

    But some were shocked by the news because Rita even joined a beauty pageant segment of the noontime variety show It's Showtime in February 2022. "Sayang, akala ko pa naman magiging beauty queen ka, pero life goes on what ever path you choose."

    Recently, Missossology, a leading beauty pageant website that covers and analyzes beauty pageants, revealed that the Miss Universe Organization will start accepting mothers and married women to compete in their pageant starting next year. 

    On their Facebook page, an excerpt of an email reportedly sent to national directors on August 6 read, "Effective the 72nd Miss Universe and national preliminary competition leading up to it, women who are or have been married, as well as women who are pregnant or have children, will be able to compete."

    However, Miss Universe has yet to publicly announce this 'historic change.'

    What a teen mom needs 

    While this news might just give Rita hope that she can fulfill her beauty queen dreams, what Rita needs right now as a new mom at 19 is support and guidance. 

    A study in 2010 by Josephine DeVito, PhD, RN analyzed how adolescent mothers feel about becoming a parent, "Findings revealed many adolescent mothers are unprepared for the demands of parenthood and, so, need extra guidance, instruction, and support from health-care providers and educators."

    One of the recurring themes found in the study is that an adolescent mother struggles between having social and parenting needs, and at the same time, being a new parent who needs to attend to her child. 

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    According to the study, without adequate knowledge, guidance, and social support, adolescent mothers may feel confused and overwhelmed in their new role as a parent. Here's what a teen mom needs, among others:

    • attend childbirth and parenting classes
    • access and direction in finding available resources
    • support from educators and healthcare providers
    • support from peers
    • guidance in recognizing their new role as a parent

    Risks of teen pregnancy

    According to the World Health Organization, early childbearing poses high risks for both the mom and the baby. "Babies born to mothers under 20 years of age face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery, and severe neonatal conditions."

    Moms who give birth in their teens are twice as likely to develop postpartum depression, according to Seleni Institute, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the emotional health of pregnant women and their families.

    While Rita and her baby look healthy and happy in their photo, becoming a mom at an early age comes with many risks. But it doesn't mean moms won't succeed later in life. That's why it is important to heed to doctor's advice and to have a strong support system.

    READ MORE ON SEX EDUCATION:

    For Rita, now that her baby is here and she's healthy, she calls on those who feel bad about her having a baby this early, saying, "Wag niyo lang idamay ang anak ko. Tatanggapin ko lahat ng masasakit, wag lang anak ko."

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    Read tips on how you can educate your child about sex and consent, here.

    What other parents are reading

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