A few days ago I got an email from the “Contact Us” form on the Alagad.com website from a puzzled Filipino. It seems that the word “alagad” has meaning in Filipino. I thought the resulting email exchange was interesting and I’m publishing it here for all to see.
First Email (From Jerky San Pedro using the Alagad.com Contact Us form)
This is a lame comment, actually. I was just puzzled by your company’s name rather than your product. I am a Filipino and I thought that there is a Filipino in your business since ALAGAD is a Filipino word for “henchmen”, or “accomplice”, or “army men” to some extent. Nothing really just wanna share something. Your company name sounds cool by the way. =)
I have to say, of all the emails I’ve received in recent memory, this is the most amusing. Thank you!
When I started Alagad it was intended to be a graphic design business. I wanted a name that sounded slick and modern, so I selected some words that described what I wanted to do and used that to name the company. The words were: Advertising, Layout, And Graphic Art Design, hence, Alagad.
A few years ago another Filipino emailed me and said that Alagad meant “ally,” which I understood to mean someone who’s on your side. I thought that was quite cool. However, “henchmen” isn’t that bad either!
I’d love to know how it’s pronounced.
Thanks again for the email, it made my night.
His Reply to My Reply
Actually, ALAGAD is a Filipino word which means someone who is serving a purpose or a person. For example if you were called “ALAGAD NG BATAS” (perpetrator of justice) here, it means you are a cop (NG, pronounced as NANG, a word which can be loosely translated to “OF”, and BATAS — said as BUTT-TASS — is a word which means justice). Thus, I said there “armymen”.
“Henchmen”, “accomplice”, “perpetrator” and “ally” are near terms, but “dignified servant” is, I think, the best translation. As “alagad” is a word commonly used for serious topics like “good and evil”, “justice”, “news and current affairs”, “journalism” and also in poetry and poetic proses.
Er — ALAGAD is pronounced as “AH-LOG-GOD”. “AH” as in “AH! I’m falling into a cliff and I don’t have wings to help me fly!”, “LOG” as in “Your legs look like Sequoia logs from this view.”, and “GOD” as in “This guy [Jerky] is nuts, he must be the GOD of nonsense.”
Hope that helped satisfy your curiosity. Go forth and be the best ALAGAD of Graphic Design and all that jazz.
Thanks for er — replying and commenting nicely on my mail.
Jerky San Pedro