Alfredo V. Lagmay Sr.
August 14,1919 - December 15, 2005
Miro Jan Benedict G. Navarro Erin Faith C. Castro John Paul M. Taylor Shyrill Mae Mariano
2010-25812 2010-25915 2013-22107 2012-60404
Dea Marie Isabel A. Villarosa Ezequiel Joshua D. Gruezo Steven Matthew Cheng
2012-61382 2013-17857 2010-11134
Marinela Isabelle M. Capistrano Sarah Joy Bonacua Arvin Wilson S. Alba
Abstract - There is no doubt that Filipinos aren’t underdogs in the field of science and technology. Such is proved by the exemplary Filipino scientists like Alfredo V. Lagmay. This paper tackles the life and career of Filipino Scientist Alfredo V. Lagmay and his contributions to the field of science and technology. This is done as a partial requirement for STS X2, summer class 2014 under Professor Juned Sunido.
Tags: Alfredo V. Lagmay Sr. , psychologist, pioneer of Filipino Psychology, National Scientist
I. Personal Life
Alfredo Villagracia Lagmay, Ph.D, was born on August 14, 1919 in Manila, Philippines. He spent his childhood in Intramuros, where poverty forced him to work hard even at an early age to help support his two younger siblings. Though his parents were not able to finish their education, that did not stop them from sharing their desire to learn with the young Alfredo. He was already a wide reader early on, despite the disapproval of his relatives who did not see the value of this, and he was able to learn using the typewriter at his father’s encouragement. His hard work came to fruition when he graduated as the valedictorian of Burgos Elementary School.
Soon, he went on to become a working student in the University of the Philippines. He chose to major in psychology because he felt that he could achieve his goal of healing those in pain, despite not being able to afford medical school. However, he finished with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1947 because there were no teachers to handle psychology after the war. Apart from academics, he was also involved in athletics, specifically running, which he also did in Araullo High School.
Because of Alfredo’s excellence, distinction, and influence in his work as an experimental and clinical psychologist, with emphasis on Sikolohiyang Pilipino, the rank and title of National Scientist was conferred onto him on July 13, 1988 by then President Corazon C. Aquino.
Alfredo married Leticia G. Amante some time in his late 30’s, when his career was already flourishing, and together they had seven children named Violet, Helen, Susan, Alfredo Jr., Sulayman, Gracian, and Mahar, who is currently part of the National Institute of Geological Science (NIGS) faculty. Alfredo died on December 15, 2005, due to cardiac arrest.
II. Academic and Professional Career
For over four decades in the academe, Dr. Alfredo Lagmay had served as an influential teacher in the University of the Philippines.
Before working in UP, he worked in the United States Army in Port Area where he served as an office messenger boy and was delegated tedious tasks such as scrubbing and polishing the floor and cutting the lawn.He pursued employment in UP after passing the first and second grade civil service examinations. He started in the Property Division of the UP Administration and transferred to the Dean of Men’s Office after about a year. Later, he then became a reception clerk in the office of UP President Bienvenido M. Gonzalez.
Since 1939, he worked in UP during the day and attended his classes in the evening.He graduated cum laude in 1947 with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. In the same year, he was assigned as instructor of Philosophy. He then pursued a Masters degree in Philosophy, which he attained in 1951, while teaching in the Department. The year before, he left to pursue advanced studies in psychology in Harvard University. June 1955—he was awarded the Ph.D. degree in experimental psychology.
Afterwards, he returned to UP and resumed his teaching; this time around as assistant professor in psychology. In his days of teaching, he notes the importance of the teacher student relationship in a classroom; this determines the learning that the student will experience. It is not the curriculum that we must only focus on, but rather the teacher himself/herself (philosophy, values, and implementation techniques). The student must be situated in an environment without constraints to be able to fully manifest his/her potential. Group techniques in leadership might prove to be appropriate for the high school; consequently, everything depends on the philosophy and ability of the teacher to create this environment.
Also, he stresses in his academe life the importance of having our own locally authored textbooks. Textbooks play a vital role in the country’s learning. Most of these textbooks that we use today are still American based; hence, students find it difficult since the books are situated in a foreign setting. It tackles that most of the interest of scholars lie solely on producing technical papers and they give very little importance to writing of textbooks.
Alfredo Lagmay, together with his student Virgilio Enriquez, came up with the sikolohiyang Filipino (Filipino psychology). During their time, the basis for psychological studies are that of the western ones, but realizing that was problematic since the Filipinos came from a totally different background, he encouraged the development of new methods in approaching the study about Filipino psychology that would be more appropriate with its diverse cultures. He furthermore argued that for psychology to be relevant to a certain group, it must understand the people within its own culture and its cultural norms.
He had also constructed two projective psychological tests that are suitable for Philippine education and culture: the “Philippine Thematic Apperception Test” and the “Philippine Children’s Apperception Test”. Thematic Apperception Tests tend to reveal one’s motives, concerns and perception of the world through the stories they create about vague pictures of people. With the concept of sikolohiyang Filipino, the TAT’s made by Lagmay perfectly suited the Filipino individual. These two tests are widely used in the field of psychology, anthropology, sociology and education in the country
and are recognized by the scientific community to be a great contribution to the field.
Also, he has made research on Differential Reinforcement of Rates with Pacing, Experimental Desensitization to Anger-Producing Stimuli, The Pacing of Behavior and even the interpretation of the concept of "Bahala Na".
IV. Recognition and Awards Received
• Valedictorian, Burgos Elementary School
• Cum Laude, Bachelor of Science in Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman 1947
• Became a member of the Honor Society of Sigma Xi, 1952
• Award of Recognition, Pambansang Samahan ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino, 1982
• Gawad Sikolohiyang Pilipino, Pambansang Samahan ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino, 1996
• Distinguished Service Award, International Association of Anthropological Diplomacy and Association of Third World Studies, 1984.
• Award of Distinction in Psychology, University of the Philippines College of Arts and Science Alumni Association and College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.
• National Scientist Award, 1988.
• Honor of Recognition, National Association for the History of Psychology, 1985.
With B.F. Skinner
At his desk at the Harvard Psychology Lab
With his children
Looking good with age
Still going strong with his wife
With his children and wife
With then President, Cory Aquino
At his desk still looking great even at an old age
Still strong even at an old age!
W. Pickren and A. Rutherford (2010) - A History of Modern Psychology in Context, John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey
Lagmay, Alfredo V (2000) - Journey of a Humanist. Carandang, Maria Lourdes, Carlota, Ana Daisy, Espanto, Pacifico, Ventura, Elizabeth. Quezon City: CSSP Publications, University of the Philippines Diliman.
Bandong, Candy (2014) - Remembering Yabu. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gvZjqj-kGo