12 Common Phobias that Filipinos have


Thanks to these personality quizzes of the internet, I discovered that I have a mneomophobia – a phobia which I got from my past traumatic experiences. What’s so surprising is that this phobia is not as uncommon as phobias like arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) and coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) because unfortunately, we all have traumatic memories. Even you might have this phobia.


Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually described as a persistent fear to certain objects or situation. People with phobias will go to great lengths to avoid these objects or situation of their fear. Phobias sometimes run in families providing evidence of genetic connection, and may develop as a response to pressure or following traumatic events.

There’s no doubt that the Filipino people have gone through many challenges in life as what you learned from textbooks. We are colonized by many races, always in the middle of the war, became slaves and living in fear. You might be thinking these things happened in the history has nothing to do with your fear. No. A famous blogger and urban explorer once told…

“The fear and superstition always hides a bigger true story.”

-R. Joe,


  1. Heirophobia – Fear of Priests

Thanks to our dear adults, some kids are now more afraid of priests than the wound they told us where those priests will come out. Remember those moments when you accidentally fall down and hurt your knees, then your parents will scare you that a priest will come out of that booboo? Luckily for most 90’s kids who have recovered that this idea is stupid and funny nowadays.

  1. Siderodrophobia – Fear of Trains

If you think priest is not hardcore enough to come out of your fresh untreated wound, wait until your aunt say “hala ka may lalabas diyang tren!” (There’s a train coming out of it)…seriously, a train?? There are other reasons for fear of trains across the globe but if you happen to stumble upon someone scared of trains coming out of his/her wound, that person absolutely spent his/her childhood only in the Philippines.

  1. Mastigophobia – Fear of Punishments

This is the exact reason why Bantay-Bata 163, a Philippine non-profit children welfare organization is made.  I don’t know how foreign people discipline their children but most Filipino kids were taught one thing: Behave or get punished. When we break the rules…or break essentially anything in the house, we simply get punished. Your mother will now open her ‘choose-your-weapon’ options and select the right whipping equipment from hangers to slippers, and cooking spatulas to your dad’s favorite leather belt.  You name it; she’ll hit you with it.


  1. Xenophobia – Fear of Other Culture or Foreigners

Fasten your seat-belts because I’ll be bringing you back to your most hated Philippine History subject. Textbooks say Filipinos is a combination of three main races: Mongoloids that become Astronesian People, Malayo-Polynesians from Malay Archipelago, Negritos. Then enter the Pre-colonial period come the Hispanic settlement, to the late modern of World War II where migration from neighboring asian nations and warring forces is in large scale. Americans continued to protect and hold Philippines from international threat such as the Japanese Invasion and later become an Independent Country. With these colonial settlements, our history is a roller coaster ride of freedom and slavery. No wonder why some elders never watch Japanese TV shows.


  1. Metathesiophobia – Fear of Change

When you allow someone enter your life, you expect change. And for some who thinks their life is on the right track, letting anyone to enter and disrupts it will be the last thing their list. Metathesiophobia or Fear of Change is the most probable effect of Xenophobia – Filipinos who were taught that colonizing forces must be respected and followed or else…mastigophobia. It made a drastic change to our culture which is not entirely ours in the first place (again based from our history) and caused anxiety to some Filipinos. They would most likely use the term patriotism.


  1. Virgivitiphobia – Fear of Rape or being Raped

While Philippines is under Japanese invasion, women feared something else than death –Rape. Japanese soldiers were accused to slaughter Filipino men and rape their wives and kids. Women would jump to their deaths than to be a sex slave for the rest of their lives and it isn’t funny. For some Filipina survivors who were raped but not killed suffer from extreme trauma that they would freak out when you simply touch them and some doesn’t response at all. They’re must be around 80 years of age right now. Reminds me of what my American friend told me before, “Everything in Japan is sexual.” I never believed him. I never do.

  1. Mnemophobia – Fear of Memories

As the example I gave you earlier, mnemophobia is anxiety phobia you get from your childhood or early memories. When we remember something embarrassing, painful, or unpleasant experience, we (because I have this) would react or flinch. Mnemophobia is the fear of memories by remembering the past events. People having this phobia tend to forget things like Alzheimer’s and like most phobias, will anything to avoid the object of fear.

  1. Phasmophobia – Fear of Ghosts

I really think people in general are afraid of something unexplainable such as ghost. I mean when you’re alone in a hallway and you start seeing things that are too hard to explain, your senses will either tell you to response quickly or stare. Ghosts and other scary stuff outside are just things our elders used to scare us when we were little. But the truth is they scare us so that we don’t leave the house at night because back then, when you were caught in the dead of the night, death is just one of the options. Ghost stories grew as the theatre slowly evolves with technology.


  1. Claustrophobia – Fear of close places

Hanger whips, knees on salt, belt and butts are common disciplinary actions of your parents. But if they’re too strict, they would lock you in an empty dark room; Worst, in a small empty hard box. The space isn’t air-tight but enough for you suffocate with fear and your own tears, letting your imagination kills you inside. Honestly speaking, I’ve been locked in a dark room twice as my punishment. It’s almost funny that when were kids, we’re so scared that we forgot that the room has its light switch, and suddenly stopping to cry will make our parents worry and open the door.

  1. Ekrixiphobia – Fear of Explosions

War-shock – a veteran would suddenly go crazy, hurting people around him with just a sound of pop. Ekrixiphobia is a bit different. Explosions are too devastating. It can even wipe a small town with a single shell. Some parts of the Philippines have under-gone severe battle damages from World War II that you can even dig some live and undetonated explosives like bomb shells and ground mines. An explosive can cause severe shock to a victim and may grow into a phobia.

  1. Gerascophobia – Fear of Growing Old

When some kids whishes to grow old, some fears it to happen. Growing old means finding a job, more responsibilities, getting weak, and dying. Some kids are too unprepared and dependent that they wanted to stay that way. Yes, the personality of it is annoying but treatable and can change. Its phobia version in the other hand is something that we people should understand.


  1. Gerantophobia – Fear of the elders

When you’re too afraid with your grandparents in a severe way, you might probably have this. Again, it could be an influence of someone older than you or of your environment. Your grandparents’ wrinkled face and white hair are also contributing to make a scary monstrous imagination. Horror movies like ‘The taking of Deborah Logan’ and ‘drag me to hell.’

It is proven that all people have a phobia. Some even have 3. So before we judge people from their actions and attitudes, think first; maybe the guy is suffering from something. You’ll never know if you share the same phobia as his.


In addition, most Filipinos are not afraid of spiders. Nope, we don’t eat them like our Thailand neighbor but we capture  and play with them. like a cock fight.



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