Profile of Youth in Eastern Visayas by Selected Characteristics

Characteristics
Male
Female
Total
Sex
51.2
48.8
100.0
Mean Age
19.76
20.09
19.93
Marital Status
     Single
85.9
63.1
74.3
     Married
14.1
36.9
25.7
Educational Attainment
    Elementary
25.2
13.9
19.4
    HS undergraduate
29.2
29.9
29.5
    HS graduate/vocational
22.6
24.1
23.4
    College or higher
23.0
32.1
27.7
Religion
    Roman Catholics
91.1
91.6
91.4
    Non-Roman Catholics
8.9
8.4
8.6
Religious Attendance
   Once/more than once a week
43.0
58.2
50.8
   Once/2-3 times a month
32.7
26.3
29.4
   Once/2-3 times a year
24.3
15.6
19.8
Place of Residence
   Urban
29.4
34.9
32.2
   Rural
70.6
65.1
67.8
Urban Exposure
   Without exposure
45.6
25.5
36.0
   With exposure
54.4
74.5
64.0
Employment Status
   Ever worked
66.4
58.6
62.4
   Never worked
33.6
41.4
37.6
Schooling Status
   In school
42.7
43.4
43.1
   Not in school anymore
57.3
56.6
56.9
Figures above are expressed in percentage points with N=825.
The 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) survey (latest YAFS survey) conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) interviewed 825 adolescents aged 15-27 years old in Eastern Visayas. By using software used in statistical analysis known as SPSS, or Statistical Packages for Social Sciences, I come up with the following profile of young adolescents in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas). The variables presented here are selected. Only those variables that may affect the decision of young adults to leave their parental homes are included.
Females outnumbered the males (51.2 % vs. 48.8%). This is consistent with the national data that there are more females than males in the Philippines in early 2000. Gals have to compete with other ladies in search for gentlemen. This is good news though for males. We don’t have to hurry on getting married – there’s an oversupply of women. I may need to look for the most recent data on sex distribution. The National Statistics Office (NSO) for sure has this data. The latest data available would be coming from the latest national Census on Population conducted in August 2007.
The mean age of the respondents is 19.93 years, with females slightly older (mean age is 20.09 years) than males (mean age is 19.76 years). There is 74.3 percent who were still single while 25.7 percent were married. This only shows that many young people today delay marriage. One possible explanation could be attributed to the financial burden that it may take when one is married and have children. With rising costs of living and almost every commodity raises its price regularly, majority of young people from Eastern Visayas opted to stay single until they find stable jobs. A higher proportion of females are married compared to the males (36.9 % vs. 14.1 %). Does this mean Waray males don’t really bother getting married at an earlier age? Well, as I said, there’s an oversupply of women. In our locality about 38 kilometers away from Tacloban City, I observed that there are really more females than males who are living together (live-in) with their partners and then civil marriage follow. Though the church prohibits pre-marital sex (PMS), it seems that it’s the trend nowadays. As you see, there are brides who are pregnant walking through the aisle of the church going to the altar.
In terms of education attainment, 19.4 percent have at least elementary education while 27.7 percent reached college or higher. Majority of the youth have at least high school education (29.5 %). There is a higher proportion of females than males who have attained in all educational levels except for elementary (29.9 % vs. 29.2 %, high school undergraduate; 24.1 % vs. 22.6 %, high school graduate/vocational; 32.1 % vs. 23.0%, college or higher). These figures may suggest that female youth in Eastern Visayas are more educated and are more inclined or serious in their studies to finish college education than their counterparts.
Given the Philippines as the only Roman Catholic nation in Asia, we would expect that there would be more Catholic youth than adherents of other religions. In fact, 91.4 percent belong to the Roman Catholic Church while the rest belong to other religions. Non-Catholics comprised 8.6 percent which includes Born-Again Christians and members from other religious sects such as Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventists. Religiosity is high among the youth, with 50.8 percent of attending religious services at least once a week. Females are more religious than males (58.2 % vs. 43.0 %). Given these figures, one could observe that being religious doesn’t necessarily mean the youth strictly follow the church’s teachings against PMS and other sexually risk-taking behaviors.
Majority of youth live in rural areas (67.8 %). There are fewer females than males who live in rural areas (65.1 % vs. 70.6 %). However, urban exposure is high with 64.0 percent having experienced living in a city or poblacion. About three-fourths of them are females. About 37.6 percent of youth never worked. More males than females have experienced working (66.4 % vs. 58.6 %). Moreover, 43.1 percent of the youth were in school while the rest were not in school with more females than males who attended school from January to March 2002 (43.4 % vs. 42.7 %). This is consistent with the earlier finding that there are more females than males in Eastern Visayas who have reached high school, college, or higher educational level.

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