On Their Journey From Being Teenage Parents to a Married Couple
“Hindi namin pinlano si baby. Biglaan. Tsaka kami nagsama nung nalaman namin na buntis na ako.”
Arnulfo Negradas, a 21-year-old contractual worker from Tacloban, and Aiza, a 20-year-old domestic helper from Samar, recount their first year as a couple and share their plan to get married in the near future.
“Nagtatrabaho akong kasambahay noon, siya naman boy sa baba ng building. ‘Yun. Same building kami. Pagkarating ko rito sa Maynila, nagkakilala na kami. Kasi taga-probinsya rin siya, parang pamilyar. Parehas kaming galing sa Visayas. Siya Leyte, ako sa Samar,” recalls Aiza.
“Sa cellphone kami nagkakilala. Kinuha niya number ko. Tapos nagkatext na kami. Isang taong ligawan yun, magkatext kami, nagkakilala, nagkikita kita, lumalabas. Isang beses lang akong umuwi sa Samar. Pagkabalik ko, nabuntis ako at nagsama na kami. Hindi pa namin na-meet pamilya ng isa’t isa.”
The couple has been together for four years. In 2014, a rather unexpected gift from heaven came and they were blessed with a beautiful daughter whom they named Ashley. When they found out that Aiza was pregnant, they decided to live under one roof.
“Syempre hindi pa maalam sa una. Eh, ganun talaga, mag-isa ka lang, malayo ako sa nanay ko. Kailangan mo talagang pagsikapan. Mahirap naman talaga ‘yun, halimbawa, ‘yung anak mo hindi mo alam paano bibihisan. Nangyayari naman ‘yung ganun eh, ‘yung mabibigla ka na lang na ‘hala alam ko pala.’”
With Arnulfo’s minimum wage as a contractual worker, the family is barely getting by. They are currently renting a small house in Binondo, and judging by how things are going, their dream marriage is still far beyond their reach. Despite their situation, Arnulfo is eager to give his wife and daughter the life that they deserve.
When we asked them when they are getting married, Arnulfo said:
“Kailangan pang pag-ipunan.”
On why the family is at Luneta:
“Namamasyal lang. First date namin dito… Eh, day off ngayon. Pasyal pasyal lang.”
Words by Airen Petalbert
Photos by Trixie Bautista