THE GLOBAL FILIPINO MAGAZINE Issue 8 ALAGAD: OFWs in UAE find solace in music

ALAGAD: OFWs in UAE find solace in music


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Establishing Alagad is more than just creating music. The members believe that the world lacks positive and moving stories, songs that shape the minds of youngsters and unite divided people.

Formed in 2004 with the goal to produce original music, the sextet, who are all songwriters, had a goal to perform for crowds.

The members of Alagad are:

Tristan Alintanahin – Lead Guitar/Backup Vocals
Ajay Dela Rosa – Pianist/Violinist/Backup Vocals
Jason Feliciano – Bass/Backup Vocals
France Barcelo – Drums/Backup Vocals
Maricar Alcantara – Lead Vocals/Harmonica
Ace Samonte – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitarist

The band chose the name Alagad for the following reasons: they want to contribute to society and they were all members of Tinig at Himig ng Kabataan Choir.

“In the early days, we already have compositions individually so we thought that we already have the advantage to create a band and so we started to write more songs as a group to complete an album,” the band collectively said.

Throughout the years, like many bands, they faced the inevitable–some of them left, others stayed–and went through a hiatus. Despite the ‘people come and go’ situation within 16 years, the band stayed in the music industry so those members who left the band have still a home to return to.

“We realized so much nung dumating ang mga sunod-sunod na trahedya sa mundo and people were dying, we asked ourselves, ‘Bakit natin pinapanood na lang na agawin ng panahon ang mga pangarap natin?’ So after ilang taon ng drama, iyakan, galit at tampuhan, we decided na this time, lalaban na kami hanggang huling araw ng buhay namin,” they added.

“For us, Alagad is a sanctuary where our souls find solace,” they further added.

Although it was their dream to produce original songs, they are also regular performers, performing cover songs to various bars, hotels, and restaurants. However, though they’re living the dream, the ultimate goal is to be full-fledged recording artists.

The UAE-based band has recently released its pilot album and now on its fourth out of 12 singles. The debut album is titled ‘Point of No Return’ because with feelings and music now fully out in the open, there is no turning back.

They shared the writing and recording process includes conceptualizing a song, lyrics and melody arrangement, and commentary. They will then listen to it, give their feedback, and take action. The band revealed that it takes days or months before they launch it.

When asked about their common denominator in terms of ‘inspiration’, they believe in Mathew 23:12 ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

“The world needs more positive and moving stories. The world is already full of hate at kulang tayo sa mga encourager, kulang tayo sa mga kantang maaring magbuklod sa nagkakagulong bansa, sa mga kantang kayang magpahilom ng mga malalalim na sugat, parang puro masasakit at puro galit na ang umiiral hindi lang sa mundo pati na din sa sining, gusto sana naming palagan yun habang nananatiling mababang loob,” they said.

Before embarking on an overseas journey, Alagad has already been receiving multiple accolades in various music competitions. And while here in the UAE, they are proving that Filipinos deserve international recognition.

International Recognitions:

2012 – Al Ain Singing Contest | Champion

2013 – Talentadong Pinoy Middle East | Semi-Finalist

2014 – Star Ka Na UAE | Finalist

2014 – FCC UAE Songwriting and Best Interpretation | Grand Champion

2015 – FCC UAE Battle of Song Compositions | 2nd Placer

2015 – Al Falah Singing Competition | Grand Champion

2016 – DHL Got Talent | Grand Champion

Currently, the band is working on their fifth single and remaking their second single.

When the band was asked about their advice to Filipinos who are currently working abroad and want to chase their dreams, they said that one should be physically, mentally, and emotionally tough.

“Dapat handa kang mahirapan, mapuyat, magsakripisyo. Dapat maunawain ka at maagap sa pagkakataon at dapat ang sentro ng banda higit sa lahat ay ang Panginoon,” the band said.

“Inaalay namin ang Point of No Return sa mga nawalan ng pagasa, tara sama ka sa kuwento ng album namin! Salamat sa lahat ng sumabay mula day one, salamat sa lahat ng hindi nang-iwan sa ere,” they added.

This story has been featured on the eighth issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at

The Global Filipino Magazine is the only Filipino magazine in the UAE that prints on a monthly basis. Its goal is to champion the success of every global Filipino across the globe.

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