“Girlhood Around the World” is a special, 10-week series from The Lily. Each week, we will offer a glimpse into the world of a girl in a different country. To receive these in your inbox each week, sign up for our newsletter, Lily Lines.

Daniela is a 16-year-old girl who lives in the Philippines. She lives with her parents and her younger sister in Taytay, Rizal, a city that borders metropolitan Manila, the country’s capital. Daniela has won a youth mapping award, and in her diary entries, she writes about her days at school, her friends and her aspirations.

For a disproportionately large number of teenage girls in the Philippines, motherhood starts during their teenage years. The Philippines has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the region: There are hundreds of thousands of teen mothers in the country and about 500 teenagers giving birth every day. According to government data, about 9 percent of girls between ages 15 and 19 had begun childbearing. Abortion is illegal in the predominantly Catholic country. The legal age of consent is 12.

July 9

It's Monday! And this is how it goes:

I woke up at exactly 4:30 in the morning because of my alarm.

I was hesitant to go to school because there was an announcement of a typhoon, so I waited for the suspension news and an update but then it was already 5:30 a.m. so I decided to go to school.

I was nervous about our unit test, so I asked my friends Valerie and Regine to have a group review so that we can be prepared with the possible questions. They also introduced me to their new classmate, Hannalit. Time went by so fast, and the bell rang. I needed to go to my classroom so we said goodbye to each other. Their classroom was in the fifth floor and mine was in the sixth because we are in the different sections.

I’m not so confident with my stock knowledge that’s why I was worried of what would be my score. Rinnnggggg! That’s the bell.

It’s our break time and my classmate Angeline sits with me to have our lunch. She knows that like her, I’m also interested in arts, so she asked me if I want to go with her in the audition for the arts troupe in our school. At first, I was conflicted because my time will be divided between my time in academics, extracurricular activities and to my family. I go with her for the audition but I’m still undecided so asked her to give some time for me to think.

I asked my parents to seek advice if I can participate in the arts troupe in my school. Then they just said that if I want, they will allow me as long as I practice time management and prioritize my health and studies. I’m so happy to hear that from them to show that they are supporting me in my passion. After our dinner, I do the dishes and get ready for bed. At 11:26 p.m. I thank God for such a wonderful day that He has given to me. I know that He has a purpose of what I have encounter this day. And maybe if I pursue my passion of doing arts through that troupe they can help me to improve my skills and I will learn from them.

Ooopss it’s already late at night and I need to sleep. Bye, diary.

July 17

I feel so excited. It was already 4:30 in the morning when I wake up and rise from my bed.

When I go out from the bedroom, I saw my mother preparing my packed lunch and my breakfast. She said to me that I should check the news if there would be a suspension of classes because it’s rainy and she thought that there was a typhoon. I turn on the television, but our place was not included in the list of suspended classes.

So, me and my sister still decided go to school even though it’s raining hard.

This day was our class turn to take an ID picture. That’s why I’m very excited. Before I go to school, I prepare myself, eat my breakfast, take a bath, brush my teeth, comb and braid my hair.

While I’m looking in the mirror, I talk to myself and practice the style of my smile.

When our teacher comes, she gives us free time. Then she allows us to go downstairs and go to the designated room to take our pictures.

So, me and my friends decided to go to the bathroom first to touch up ourselves.

Then when we go to the room, we need to fall in line to have our turn and they need to count how many students are there because they can accommodate 140 students a day.

While waiting patiently, we found out that there’s a class suspension because of heavy rainfall and they ordered us to go home. I was disappointed but still, we should obey the command of the administration.

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