Friday, June 30, 2017

Functional Literacy

Greater Lagro Gazette, July-Sept 2017
Special Report by Abercio V Rotor, Ph.D.

First Part: A Camilo Osias Story
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Education has greatly changed the way our children learn today.  With the new curriculum K-12 now implemented nationwide,   social media at fingertip,  on-line learning likened to university without walls, the Internet and proliferation of educational tools, it is important to look back and review the so-called “old school,” in the context of practical and functional nature of education, as well as its historical and cultural perspectives. This article presents three stages of education from early 19th century to our postmodern times.  – Editor Feliciano U Galimba
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Dr Abe V Rotor
This article is dedicated to CAMILO OSIAS, author of THE PHILIPPINE READERS
(1924), adopted as textbook in the elementary up to post-war era. It was used in San Vicente Central Elementary School (Ilocos Sur) where the author had his early schooling in the fifties.

Here is a story about Pedro and Jose I read in the elementary.

One day Pedro approached his boss and complained why his partner Jose is receiving a higher pay when both of them have the same nature of work.

“Ah, Pedro,” sighed the boss with a sheepish smile. “You will come to know the reason.”

Just then the doorbell rang. “Pedro, please find out who is at the gate.”

After some time, Pedro returned, “Someone is looking for you, sir.”

“Ask who he is.” Pedro went to the gate again, and reported back.

“He is a certain Mr. Carlos, sir.”

“Ask him what he wants.” Pedro went to the gate for the third time, and then returned.

“I did not get it well, sir. But he said he sells home appliances…promotion, something like that. He would like to meet the manager.”

“Tell him we do not need appliances.”

The next day the doorbell rang again. This time, both Pedro and Jose were in the office of their boss. Jose promptly rose from his seat to attend to the visitor at the gate. After a while he returned and reported back.

“Our visitor is an insurance agent, sir. He was offering insurance for our building, and knowing that it is already covered, I told him we do not need his offer for the moment. He gave me his business card.” Jose handed the card and excused himself for another call.

“Now you understand,” said the boss to Pedro with a sheepish smile.
----------

Camilo O Osias (1889 - 976) was born in Balaoan, La Union. He was noted as one of the senate presidents of the Philippines, a nationalist leader who worked for Philippine independence and sovereignty, and is remembered as an educator, politician and writer who produced works such as The Filipino Way of Life, the Philippine Readers, and Jose Rizal, His Life and Times – a biographical work on Rizal. (Internet)

.Dr. Osias’ suggestions to Philippine schools:

1.    Preserve the solidarity of Filipino;
2.    Maintain the unity of the Philippines;
3.    Work out a proper equilibrium in economic order;
4.    Develop social justice;
5.    Observe the merit system in government service;
6.    Promote peace and national defense;
7.    Uphold the inalienable rights of life, property, liberty, and happiness;
8.    Keep in their prestige majesty the fundamental freedom, especially freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of peace and assembly, and freedom of worship;
9.    Conserve the principle of equality;
10. Hold high the ideals of religion;
11. Keep over aloft the torch of education, and
12. Make democracy a living and functional reality.

Dr. Osias believed that education should secure for every person the fullest measure of freedom, efficiency, and happiness. Efficiency, he demands that one must be able to cooperate with the other members of the society to promote common good. He also advocated that the educational system must contribute towards the achievement of the goals of education by inculcating their minds and hearts of the youth the value of preserving the patrimony of the country promoting the general welfare of the people. ~

Second Part 
Literacy Beyond the 3Rs
Literacy is a measure of capability rather than just meeting the fundamentals of writing, reading and arithmetic or the so-called 3Rs. For many years this triad dominated the concept and application of literacy.
Hands-on and on-site study enhances practical learning. UST Graduate Students 
under the author (background)  on a field trip in Amadeo, Cavite.

I grew up with this rule of thumb with my dad as my first teacher. It was a convenient gauge among citizens at large. It was the aim of compulsory basic education, that is six years of elementary, and later four years high school?

But the level of literacy is based on the low end of a longer and wider test for literacy. Ours in more ways is still basically the three “Rs” virtually unchanged. Thus, when a person, irrespective of age, is able to read the newspapers, write legibly the names of candidates of his choice in an election, and can make simple computations, he is considered literate.

But how literate is literate today?

It is viewing literacy in my own time comparing it with literacy in the present generation; literacy on the farm and literacy in the city. How varied is literacy - qualitatively and quantitatively?

Or we may also put it this way, “How different is literacy in theory and literacy in practice?”

Here is a scenario in the movie, The God’s Must be Crazy. Imagine a lady teacher assigned for the first time in a remote village in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Africa. How could she escape a thorny bush which virtually engulfed her? Can she climb a tree to escape a wild beast? Can she find enough water from dewdrops clinging on grass and leaves? Naturally she cannot. She had never experienced any of these in the city where she grew up.

The Bushman, on the other hand, accustomed to desert life, wonders how illiterate the lady is. In like manner, the Bushman is illiterate to the ways of the civilized world. In fact to him a bird and plane are one and same, it’s only the sound they make that makes a difference. He had never seen a bottle. To him he wondered how water can become so hard. Would he know the concept of ownership? What value is money to him? But would the lady know which path to take and evade ambush by a lion? Does a rhino charge at a fire at night and stump on it until it is extinguished? Or is this only a myth? Ask Andrew, the clumsy researcher conducting a doctoral research in the desert.

In today’s standard this conventional parameter is no longer adequate to enable one to perform efficiently and comfortably the many tasks required of modern living, considering the advances of science and technology, the expansion of the realms of human endeavor, and interdisciplinary concerns.

On the other hand, can a city bred live comfortably on the countryside? Suppose there is force majeure that deprives one the amenities of living? Take the case of the movie Castaway, a story of a survivor who lived all by himself in an island for four years, until he was rescued. Earlier fiction novels tell us of man's resiliency to adapt to sudden change in environment, orphaned from society by circumstance, such as Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. Success in survival in these stories depended on functional or applied literacy, coupled by extreme determination that tests the mind, psyche and spirit.
Third Part
Literacy in the Cyber Age


Laptop computer, and its versions, is a must in college, office and in the home.

Today, to have a credit card or an ATM card is no easy task; much more if you have both. One must acquire mastery in their uses, and basic knowledge in accounting. But these are only tools used in countless transactions that include electronic marketing, now a booming industry. It is “armchair marketing” whereby all you need is watch the merchandise on TV and dial the number for your order.

• If there is e-marketing, there is also e-learning, that is on-line or distance education using the computer and other media. Here is a chance of increasing the level of literacy for those who failed to complete basic education, and those who aspire to learn more or even earn a degree. But first, one should have basic communication skills before he is admitted into the program.

* In transportation likewise  the conventional ticket has evolved into electronic card.  Transport or hotel reservation? Just e-mail or text.  You need a quick and comfortable ride? Uber or Grab will pick you up, just call, instead of flagging a taxi on the road.  Lost or new to a place? Consult GPS or Ways. How about a view of the place you are going? Google Earth will show you an aerial photo map, and as you wish, the exact location of your destination. 

*Have you heard of teleconference?  Rochelle Valencia candidate for MS Biology successfully defended her thesis through remote examination.  Since she could not leave her work in Darwin, Northern Australia, DLSU DasmariƱas arranged a question-answer-video system called teleconferencing. Her thesis? “Comparative Ethnobotany of the Philippines and Australia.” Many universities abroad adopt this system, and in fact thousands of students earn their degrees from Open Universities. STOU in Bangkok for one has 250,000 enrolees who earn their degrees without going to school.

• In medicine, the routine medical examination has become a complex process which requires blood test of a dozen items, x-ray, ECG, CY Scan, MRI, etc. Medicines are no longer as simple as they were a generation ago, even if we have a law to label  them generically, that is, to print the active principle in universal language. Prescriptions alone are difficult to follow, much more in understanding the mode of action and effects of the medicine.

• Appliances for the home and office are no longer as simple as switching on and  off. How do we set the controls for temperature, timing, carbon dioxide level, fire alarm, light intensity? How about operating a camera monitor, microwave oven, automatic dish-washing machine? And we have not yet mentioned attending to their regular maintenance.

• A chauffeur or driver, one hired by a family or an executive is required to know basic mechanics as a requirement in proper car maintenance. For his part too, he must learn the cardinal rules of human relations - courteous, respectful, diplomatic in many ways, yet on the other hand, secures the family or his boss from danger, a security guard, and an intelligence agent of sort.

• I have a friend who, like me, belongs to the so-called “old school. This is his confession. “I will e-mail you,” his insurance agent said, “as soon as I get to office.” My friend didn’t understand a thing about e-mail, he is computer illiterate. “May I get your e-mail address?” continued his agent. Still my friend said nothing. “Well, if you don’t remember it now, just text me. Okay?” “How stupid I felt,” my friend confessed to the point of embarrassment. “I guess you need to enroll in a crash program.” I said. He did.

• Opening a Blog on the Internet, is not that easy. But my daughter who was then taking up graduate studies in Information Technology, assured me. “You can do it, Papa.”
Bloggys 2015 Best Nature and Environment Blog
I almost gave up. Rather Anna nearly gave up hope teaching a sixty-sixer. Today my Blog is without any added item or two a day. Lately, I realized I haven’t tapped the newer features of the computer. For example, it says, “You can make money in your Blog.” I didn’t know I can compose music and play it on the Blog.” How about if I sing?"

My Blog says, “Certainly.” The next time I knew it, I already had a host of followers. Today I have more than 3,500 posted topics in my School on Blog - in just five years. I requested Anna, “Please unclog my blog.”

Unexpectedly Living with Nature was listed finalist among the best blogs in the country. I received the Best Blog on Nature and Environment 2016.

“Papa, you are already famous worldwide!” ~

A Naturalist World Dr Abe V Rotor

Thursday, June 29, 2017

First Part: Functional Literacy, "A Camilo Osias Story"


Dr Abe V Rotor

RARE 1924 CAMILO OSIAS THE PHILIPPINE READERS

Here is a story about Pedro and Jose I read in the elementary.

One day Pedro approached his boss and complained why his partner Jose is receiving a higher pay when both of them have the same nature of work.

“Ah, Pedro,” sighed the boss with a sheepish smile. “You will come to know the reason.”

Just then the doorbell rang. “Pedro, please find out who is at the gate.”

After some time, Pedro returned, “Someone is looking for you, sir.”

“Ask who he is.” Pedro went to the gate again, and reported back.
Image result
“He is a certain Mr. Carlos, sir.”

“Ask him what he wants.” Pedro went to the gate for the third again, and then returned.

“I did not get it well, sir. But he said he sells home appliances…promotion, something like that. He would like to meet the manager.”

“Tell him we do not need appliances.”

The next day the doorbell rang again. This time, both Pedro and Jose were in the office of their boss. Jose promptly rose from his seat to attend to the visitor at the gate. After a while he returned and reported back.

“Our visitor is an insurance agent, sir. He was offering insurance for our building, and knowing that it is already covered, I told him we do need his offer for the moment. He gave me his business card.” Jose handed the card and excused himself for another call.

“Now you understand,” said the boss to Pedro with a sheepish smile.
_______

About Camilo Osias

Camilo Osias (March 23, 1889 – May 20, 1976) was born in Balaoan, La Union. He was noted as one of the senate presidents of the Philippines, a nationalist leader who worked for Philippine independence and sovereignty, and is remembered as an educator, politician and writer who produced works such as The Filipino Way of Life, the Philippine Readers, and Jose Rizal, His Life and Times – a biographical work on Rizal. He also wrote a wide variety of articles with themes ranging from the nation to personal life and day to day living in the Philippines.

He edited the series Philippine Readers (known as Osias Readers) for primary intermediate schools. He translated in English Rizal’s famous novels Noli Me Tangere (1956) and El Filibusterismo (1957). He also wrote numerous books and essays on Rizal, education, religion, and the Filipino Way of Life.

Dr. Osias believed that education should secure for every person the fullest measure of freedom, efficiency, and happiness. Efficiency, he demands that one must be able to cooperate with the other members of the society to promote common good.

He also advocated that the educational system must contribute towards the achievement of the goals of education by inculcating their minds and hearts of the youth the value of preserving the patrimony of the country promoting the general welfare of he people.

Dr. Osias’ suggestions to Philippine schools:

  • Preserve the solidarity of Filipino; 
  • Maintain the unity of the Philippines; 
  • Work out a proper equilibrium in economic order; 
  • Develop social justice; 
  • Observe the merit system in government service; 
  • Promote peace and national defense; 
  • Uphold the inalienable rights of life, property, liberty, and happiness; 
  • Keep in their prestige majesty the fundamental freedom, especially freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of peace and assembly, and freedom of worship; 
  • Conserve the principle of equality; 
  • Hold high the ideals of religion; 
  • Keep over aloft the torch of education, and 
  • Make democracy a living and functional reality. 
Internet, Wikipedia


Second Part: Functional Literacy - Beyond the 3Rs


Hands-on and on-site study enhances practical learning.
UST Graduate Students on a field trip in Amadeo, Cavite
Dr Abe V Rotor
Literacy is a measure of capability rather than just meeting the fundamentals of writing, reading and arithmetic or the so-called 3Rs. For many years this triad dominated the concept and application of literacy.

I grew up with this rule of thumb with my dad as my first teacher. It was a convenient gauge among citizens at large. It was the aim of compulsory basic education, that is six years of elementary, and later four years high school?

But the level of literacy is based on the low end of a longer and wider test for literacy. Ours in more ways is still basically the three “Rs” virtually unchanged. Thus, when a person, irrespective of age, is able to read the newspapers, write legibly the names of candidates of his choice in an election, and can make simple computations, he is considered literate.

But how literate is literate today?

It is viewing literacy in my own time comparing it with literacy in the present generation; literacy on the farm and literacy in the city. How varied is literacy - qualitatively and quantitatively?

Or we may also put it this way, “How different is literacy in theory and literacy in practice?”

Here is a scenario in the movie, The God’s Must be Crazy. Imagine a lady teacher assigned for the first time in a remote village in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Africa. How could she escape a thorny bush which virtually engulfed her? Can she climb a tree to escape a wild beast? Can she find enough water from dewdrops clinging on grass and leaves? Naturally she cannot. She had never experienced any of these in the city where she grew up.

The Bushman, on the other hand, accustomed to desert life, wonders how illiterate the lady is. In like manner, the Bushman is illiterate to the ways of the civilized world. In fact to him a bird and plane are one and same, it’s only the sound they make that makes a difference. He had never seen a bottle. To him he wondered how water can become so hard. Would he know the concept of ownership? What value is money to him? But would the lady know which path to take and evade ambush by a lion? Does a rhino charge at a fire at night and stump on it until it is extinguish? Or is this only a myth? Ask Andrew, the clumsy researcher conducting a doctoral research in the desert.

In today’s standard this conventional parameter is no longer adequate to enable one to perform efficiently and comfortably the many tasks required of modern living, considering the advances of science and technology, the expansion of the realms of human endeavor, and interdisciplinary concerns.

On the other hand, can a citybred live comfortably on the countryside? Suppose there is force majeure that deprives one the amenities of living? Take the case of the movie Castaway, a story of a survivor who lived all by himself in an island for four years, until he was rescued. Earlier fiction novels tell us of man's resiliency to adapt to sudden change in environment, orphaned from society by circumstance, such as Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. Success in survival in these stories depended on functional or applied literacy, coupled by extreme determination that tests the mind, psyche and spirit.

Continued...

Third Part:: Functional Literacy in the Cyber Age



Laptop computer, and its versions, a must in college, office and in the home.

Dr Abe V Rotor


Today, to have a credit card or an ATM card is no easy task; much more if you have both. One must acquire mastery in their uses, and basic knowledge in accounting. But these are only tools used in countless transactions that include electronic marketing, now a booming industry. It is “armchair marketing” whereby all you need is watch the merchandise on TV and dial the number for your order.

• If there is e-marketing, there is also e-learning, that is on-line or distance education using the computer and other media. Here is a chance of increasing the level of literacy for those who failed to complete basic education, and those who aspire to learn more or even earn a degree. But first, one should have basic communication skills before he is admitted into the program.

• Medicines are no longer as simple as they were a generation ago, even if we have a law to label them generically, that is, to include the active principle in universal language. Prescriptions alone are difficult to follow, much more in understanding the mode of action and effects of the medicine. Paracetamol or Alaxan, is there a difference? I know of Cortal during my time. They are all to relieve headache, but why not take Ponstan or simply Aspirin?

• Appliances for the home and office are no longer as simple as switching on and switching off. How do we set the controls for temperature, timing, carbon dioxide level, fire alarm, light intensity? How about operating a camera monitor, microwave oven, automatic dish-washing machine? And we have not yet mentioned attending to their regular maintenance.

• A chauffeur or driver, one hired by a family or an executive is required to know basic mechanics as a requirement in proper car maintenance. For his part too, he must learns the cardinal rules of human relations - courteous, respectful, diplomatic in many ways, yet on the other hand, secures the family or his boss from danger, a security guard, and an intelligence agent of sort.

• I have a friend who, like me, belongs to the so-called “old school. This is his confession. “I will e-mail you,” his insurance agent said, “as soon as I get to office.” My friend didn’t understand a thing about e-mail, he is computer illiterate. “May I get you e-mail address?” continued his agent. Still my friend said nothing. “Well, if you don’t remember it now, just text me. Okay?” “How stupid I felt,” my friend confessed to the point of embarrassment. “I guess you need to enroll in a crash program.” I said. He did.

• Opening a Blog on the Internet, is not that easy. But my daughter who was then taking up graduate studies in Information Technology, assured me. “You can do it, Papa.”

I almost gave up. Rather Anna nearly gave up hope teaching a sixty-sixer. Today my Blog is without any added item or two a day. Lately, I realized I haven’t tapped the newer features of the computer. For example, it says, “You can make money in your Blog.” I didn’t know I can compose music and play it on the Blog.” How about if I sing?"

My Blog says, “Certainly.” The next time I knew it, I already had a host of followers. Today I have more than 1,500 posted topics in my School on Blog - in just two years. I requested Anna, “Please unclog my blog.”

“Papa, you are already famous worldwide!” ~

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR (Book Manuscript)


Invisible Wall

Dr Abe V Rotor


Fish to butterfly danger in the open
     harmless between a wall; 
Humans behave like friend to friend 
     between an invisible wall.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Big Bang - the Origin of Life

Dr Abe V Rotor
Big Bang (19" x 23") painting by the author 2012


Once upon a distant past, a proto mass 
     of converging gases, too huge 
to hold on in space exploded -
     the Big Bang like a centrifuge.  

Born the universe and galaxies
     in countless numbers expanding,
countless more, orphans in space,
     our known world but a sibling.

Were this true - life so little do we know
     today from its very spawn; 
move over Oparin, move over Darwin, 
     theories past and our own  ~

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wild Pigeon

Dr Abe V Rotor

Marlo, Tikob Lake, Tiaong Quezon

You cannot be free if man is your master,
even if he feeds you and shelters you,
for you belong to a flock and the sky;
be a friend then to a young heart, fill it 
with joy and link your world with his own.

Light in the Woods 1995, Megabooks

Giant Cranefly


Dr Abe V Rotor

Crane Fly (Tipula sp), Family Tipulidae, Order Diptera


This is a rare specimen I caught at home. It is a very curious one, although it a relative of the mosquito. It has the size several times bigger than the ordinary cranefly we often called daddy-long-legs.

The cranefly undergoes four stages - egg, larva called maggot, pupa and adult. The maggot feeds on crops and pasture grass but it inflicts little damage. The adults emerge and swarm in the evening. They have queer body structure and movement. Craneflies are clumsy fliers, mainly because they have only one pair of wings. That is why they are classified Diptera - two wings. The pair of hindwings are reduced into halteres or balancers which look like stubs or knobs.

When at rest, craneflies shake continuously in all directions that they become virtually invisible to their enemies. This unique mechanism has not been fully studied.

If you can detect a cranefly, you must have a third eye.~

How to catch frogs

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Palakang Bukid (Rana vitigera)

It was fun to trap frogs when I was a kid. At harvest time I would dig holes in the ricefield around one and one-half feet deep. The frogs seek shelter in these holes because they need water and a cool place. Insects that fall into the hole attract them and become their prey.

Early in the morning I would make my rounds, harvesting the trapped frogs in each hole. The frog is skinned, its entrails removed, and cooked with tomato, onion, and achuete (Bixa orellana). Frogs make a favorite dish, especially among Ilocanos.

x x x

Traces of Art Movements are Alive in Today's Paintings

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]

These representative paintings are the works of amateurs at the University of Santo Tomas. They provide a keyhole view on the trend of painting with reference to certain schools or movements in the midst of computer art and advertisements. They are footprints of Monet's Impressionism, Van Gogh's Expressionism, Salvador Dali's Surrealism, Picasso's Abstractionism, among others, but the question remains, "Quo vbadis?" (Where is the art of painting heading for?)
                        
Impressionistic autumn in the stillness of Monet;
where have all the creatures gone, pray.


Nature and Nurture are but one,
unity and harmony under the sun;
naturalism of Amorsolo,
Seurat and Cezanne


  
Quartet annonymous, music unknown,
artists incognito in the silence of song. 
impressionism with a touch of surrealism.  

 

Likeness of Van Gogh,
tortured soul seeking 
escape from the self; 
Oh, art, let go, let go.


Matisse, Chagall, Joya,
masters of abstract art
and countless sworn -
artists and zealots as well.

                       
Paul Cezanne's cubism,
light and shadow
and colors in prism.

Speak of friendship or loneliness,
boredom or eagerness,
captured best with the brush
more than the lens. 
                    

Artists insist in their art and craft,
little for a living, fullest in the heart.


Acknowledgement: The author failed to include the identities of the artists who made these paintings. Sincere gratitude is accorded them for sharing their talents in the readers of this article.

Mimicking Nature by Means of Transforms


Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog 

Anna at the Museum of Natural History, UPLB Mt Makiling, Laguna

If I were given wings, 
I would rather be a butterfly,
and flutter from flower to flower;
sipping the nectar of youth, 
the Pierian Spring,
'til it runs dry.  


When does smoking begin, when does it end?
with the young and the old, and in between,
a lifetime, or a life deserted at the bend,
pleasurable, insatiable it could have been.  


Author at the Museum of Natural History

Anatomy of a tree Joyce Kilmer failed to see,
in his Only God can Make a Tree;
faith we embrace and not probe its mystery
keeps the peace of the world and thee. 





Arthropods - highest in diversity:
if appendages are survival trends,
why did human become a biped
and left his four-legged friends?

Reptiles, descendants of giants, 
annelids lost their appendages;
limbs to fins in fish, wings in birds,
by unseen hand through the ages.


Plate-like structure made of chitin in Arthropods, hence, "joined legs"

Saturday, June 24, 2017

50 Kinds of Phobia - A Checklist for Self-Analysis

We are Living in Parallel Worlds:  The World of Phobia
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's a different world you enter into when you are gripped by anxiety, tension and fear, sometimes to the point of panic.  You find yourself surrounded by walls.  You don't only feel as prisoner, you are in a coffin. You must  escape!  You must get out! You are suffering of claustrophobia

The world of phobias is virtually endless. A beautiful place may turn out to be a torture chamber (ecclesiophobia - fear of the church), a beautiful relationship becomes a bondage (gamophobia or fear of marriage).  Persistent phobias may graduate into syndrome.  Imagine yourself in a world where you are in constant fear of anything, everything, without any  known cause (panphobia), and worst, if that constant fear is the fear of death (thanatophobia)  
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imagine yourself being surrounded by different kinds of merchandise like in this sari-sari store, and people milling around plus the typical irritating noise typical in a market . Is this a case of claustrophobia? Or much more? And yet vendors get used to it - and even love their work and make it a lifetime livelihood. So what is phobia?

Everyone of us has phobias, a term that has become very common nowadays. 

The truth is that many of our fears are not actually phobias. Thus a phobia may be regarded as a psychological phenomenonpersonality problem, or simply anxiety, shynessdistraught. It could be the result of discrimination, prejudiceafter-effect of say, a horror movie, and inability to adjust to a new situation.

Actually there are 1001 cause-and-effect cases that are attributed to phobias, and many of them are just invented terms. There is no end to the list which in the first place are not all supported by scientific evidences. 


If our world is full of phobias how come we still can manage to go on with life? And find it beautiful? Psychologists say we have the ability to rise above uncertainties and fears associated with things and events unfamiliar and strange. Our rationality and high intelligence help us in facing and overcoming them - and even forget them afterwards. This is the wonder of human will and determination.


Is there a term for phobia to cats? Cats are second to the dog as man's best friend. It is ironical that these animals are the cause of phobia, something parents and our values have to correct early with our children.

In the scientific aspect a phobia (from the Greek for fear or morbid fear) is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. Phobias are generally caused by an event recorded and labeled in the brain as deadly or dangerous. Thus whenever a specific situation is approached again (and again) the body reacts as if the event were happening repeatedly afterward. In which case there is need of medical, psychiatric, or spiritual advise.

Go over this list and mark those that are applicable to you, and rate them as mild or serious. In this way you will be able to assess your fears and overcome them, on your own effort, or with professional help. There are really many phobias beyond this list. No one knows really, and if alleged phobia is an accepted term and condition. This is the consequence of living in a postmodern world.

  1. acrophobia – heights
  2. agarophobia – open space
  3. agyrophobia or dromophobia – crossing the street
  4. amaxophobia – riding in a car
  5. ambulophobia – walking
  6. aviophobia – fear of flying
  7. androphobia – men
  8. gamophobia – marriage
  9. ecclesiophobia – church
  10. gerascophobia – growing old
  11. thanatophobia – fear of death.
  12. thermophobia – fear of heat.
  13. tokophobia – fear of childbirth.
  14. hagiophobia – saints and holy things
  15. anthophobia - flowers
  16. aviophobia, aviatophobia – fear of flying.
  17. hydrophobia - water (a positive sign of a mad dog)Below are some examples:
  18. chemophobia – prejudice against artificial substances in favor of "natural" substances.
  19. ephebiphobia – fear or dislike of youth or adolescents.
  20. homophobia – fear or dislike of homosexuals or homosexuality.
  21. xenophobia – fear or dislike of strangers or the unknown.
  22. agoraphobia – fear of places or events where escape is impossible
  23. agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse.
  24. algophobia – fear of pain.
  25. agyrophobia – fear of crossing roads.
  26. anthropophobia – fear of people or being in a company, a form of social phobia.
  27. arachnophobia – fear of spiders.
  28. atychiphobia – fear of failure
  29. claustrophobia – fear of having no escape and being closed in.
  30. dentophobia, odontophobia – fear of dentists and dental procedures
  31. disposophobia, better known as "compulsive hoarding" – the fear of getting rid of or losing things.
  32. dysmorphophobia, or body dysmorphic disorder – a phobic obsession with a real or imaginary body defect.
  33. genophobia, coitophobia – fear of sexual intercourse.
  34. gerascophobia – fear of growing old or aging.
  35. gerontophobia – fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly
  36. glossophobia – fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
  37. gynophobia – fear of women.
  38. hemophobia, haemophobia – fear of blood.
  39. spectrophobia – fear of mirrors and one's own reflections.
  40. nostophobia - fear of returning home
  41. nyctophobia, achluophobia -   fear of darkness.
  42. lygophobia, scotophobia – also fear of darkness.
  43. paraskavedekatriaphobia, paraskevidekatriaphobia, friggatriskaidekaphobia – fear of Friday the 13th.
  44. scolionophobia – fear of school.
  45. phasmophobia – fear of ghosts, spectres or phantasms.
  46. philophobia - fear of love
  47. phobophobia – fear of having a phobia.
  48. pyrophobia – fear of fire.
  49. sociophobia – fear of people or social situations.
  50. Panphobia – fear of everything or constant fear of an unknown cause. ~
After finishing this exercise, proceed to the next post: Anxiety, Phobia and Depression

NOTE: The terms mentioned here are not all recognized scientifically.  Many are not found in the dictionary. Most of these are classified psychological. Other phobias are non-psychological, fictional, jocular, biological, or simply arising from our relationships with the environment, animals and the like. Pause and reflect. Make a list of the phobias you have identified from this list and from other sources. Resolve to overcome them and live a happier and healthier life. You can do it!

References: Time magazine, Wikipedia