• Philip Nino Tan-Gatue

What's in a Name? Phil's Field Notes

Long long ago, in a galaxy far away, I longed to create my own website and to call it Phil's Fiefdom. I know, I know, alliteration is a favorite gimmick of mine. The sound of similar letters beginning consecutive words just adds a rhyme and a reason to the daily mundane stream of words we encounter.

Stan Lee loved alliteration. It served as a memory aid for him when he wrote. Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and so many more.

Alliteration also serves to strengthen brand names in the mind's eye. Coca-cola, Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Paypal serve as great examples.

Hence, Phil's Fiefdom.

However, in recent years, I have been told, correctly, that the word fiefdom might be associated with people with serfdom and medieval lords. A cursory dictionary search shows that the word fief means:

an estate of land, especially one held on condition of feudal service; a fee.


a person's sphere of operation or control.

I realized that in my younger days, the emphasis was it was MY website. MY Blog. My control.

Also, look how dictionary.com defines fiefdom:

a territory or sphere of operation controlled by a particular person or group.
"a mafia boss who has turned the town into his private fiefdom"

Uh, no.

In today's world, we must now be more inclusive and open to ideas. Being shut in our own worlds and ivory towers just makes one archaic and unconnected.

I had to come up with a new name that highlighted making a connection with other people.

(I already have the domain name philosophil, but I preferred to reserve that name for my social media accounts and my youtube channel. Also, the word "pilosopo" or philosopher in Filipino has a negative connotation. It doesn't mean a thinker, but one who tries to rationalize everything... sometimes quite poorly.)

So how to go about renaming this blog?

The solution I came up with was to tap precisely into the internet, to promote interaction with people and solicit their ideas. What better way to celebrate interaction and promote my blog at the same time, heh heh heh.

I posted this question on the private facebook group "Best of the Best Manila":

"Best name for a Blog. No particular niche more of an Avenue for my thoughts and opinions on various topics. I thought of Phil’s Fiefdom because of alliteration but I also thought the word fief implies feudalism."

And here are the answers:

  1. Phil's Feelings

  2. On Point (because I'm an acupuncturist)

  3. #NoPHILter

  4. A Phil A Day

  5. Nothing more than Phillings

  6. Mindstream

  7. PhilPost

  8. Phillings

  9. Right in the Phils

  10. Phlipped

  11. Unphiltered

  12. Phil's Philosophy

  13. Made in the Phils

  14. Philtered

  15. Phil na Phil

  16. Tangles and Tangents

  17. Phil's Field Notes

  18. Phil's Osophy

  19. Phil in the Blank

  20. The Phil Feels

  21. Pins and Needles

  22. Gatue-Tan Na with Phil

  23. Phil Ko Lang

  24. Phil-T Thoughts

  25. Philosofeels

  26. Philanthrofeels

  27. Philgood

  28. Phil Has a Point

So, I decided to ignore those that were puns on Filipino phrases. I did not want to alienate non-Filipino speakers. I seriously considered #NoPHILter but somehow it didn't flow as well. PhilPost is a pun on the Philippine Postal Service. Unfortunately again, non-Filipinos might not get the reference.

The winner was Phil's Field Notes.

Wikipedia defines "fieldnotes" as:

Fieldnotes refer to qualitative notes recorded by scientists or researchers in the course of field research, during or after their observation of a specific organism or phenomenon they are studying. The notes are intended to be read as evidence that gives meaning and aids in the understanding of the phenomenon. Fieldnotes allow the researcher to access the subject and record what they observe in an unobtrusive manner.

This fist perfectly. I AM a physician, a scientist and a researcher. I can therefore take the concept of field notes and apply them to taking notes on everyday life and sharing them here for all to see and scrutinize.

I also like the fact that there are three syllables. Rolls of the tongue very well.

The last question was: one word or two? Wikipedia lists fieldnotes as one compound word, but all other online resources seem to split the two.

I'm going for separate words.

And there we go.

Phil's Field Notes.

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