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Inside GRID Issue 10

Travel transcends place. GRID believes that the pretty destinations have always been secondary to the various reasons we travel, and in this issue, we honor the people who have enabled us to experience the Philippines in different and better ways.

ON THE COVER Fang-Od photographed by Fransico Guerrero

A combination of seedy irreverence and global cool. It isn’t some manufactured, manicured development done up by a giant conglomerate. It’s real. It’s organic. It’s local. It has… soul.

Much as we love Boracay, the rampant (over-) development there has made it something of a boogeyman in tourism circles.


SHOOT FIRST with Fruhlein Econar

GRID EATS. Coffee, coffee, and more coffee- we sit down with Kalsada‘s Carmel Laurino.

30 MINS WITH Greg Bloom, one of the writers behind Lonely Planet Philippines.

GUEST ON GRID. Padmapani L. Perez shows us the Baguio its residents want.

FITNESS. Looking for an alternative to hitting the gym? Start kicking ass with jiu jitsu champ Meggie Ochoa.

DRIVE BY. Wear your seatbelts. We send our worst driver on an eventful drive to Anilao, Batangas.


POBLACION REINVENTION. Take a trip with us beyond Makati’s red light district.

CITY OF THE LOST. Some places aren’t meant to be found, or explained.

CHANGING THE WAY WE TRAVEL. A closer look at the names in travel that we are tipping our hats to.


FASHION. Exploring the shore and fields of Banana Beach in Davao.

GEAR GUIDE. How good have you been this year? A gift guide to prepare you for the holidays.

PARTING SHOT. Our latest winners from the #GRIDWASHERE series.



As often happens when the talk is about travel, we had a lot of opportunity for introspection these past few weeks.

The shy members of the GRID team (with the possible exception of executive editor-slash-TV-personality Paco Guerrero) are used to being behind the cameras and on the invisible end of the pen, but somehow we found ourselves on the other side, talking about ourselves and what we do, first on an episode of What I See, which is the show Paco hosts on CNN Philippines. We were ostensibly just collateral damage on a show about Paco’s work as a photographer, but the estimable producers asked us some pretty deep, soul- searching questions about GRID and why we do the things we do.

It was an experience echoed later when the prodigious filmmaker Lyka Gonzalez came aboard to work with us on a series of videos to accompany our cover feature. Why? she asked. Why did you choose these people for your list? What is the significance of what they do?

Skills, Paco answered. The people on this list give us skills and the means we can use to travel the country in more ways, in different ways, in arguably better ways.

And, of these people, why did we choose Fang-Od as our cover? That the venerable tattooist of Kalinga deserves the spotlight is no question. The recent flurry of attention around Fang-Od, the campaign to make her a National Artist (or, as the pending Senate resolution would have it, a National Living Treasure) isn’t even the reason she is the face of our list. By bringing indiginous culture to mainstream consciousness, she has helped the rest of the world see a fuller picture of the Philippines and our people. She has helped us understand ourselves a bit more fully.

The meaning of our lives is revealed in glimpses, through the reflections thrown back at us by the people we meet and the things we experience. By understanding other people, we see our place within our relationships with them, and we see our place in the world.

Editor at Large

People Who Are Changing The Way We Travel

Travel transcends place. GRID believes that the pretty destinations have always been secondary to the various reasons we travel, and in this issue, we honor the people who have enabled us to experience the Philippines in different and better ways.

This first video introduces our series on People Who Are Changing the Way We Travel. Featuring GRID Magazine’s Kristine Fonacier (Editor-at-Large), Nachi Ugarte (Creative Director), Paco Guerrero (Executive Editor); Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel’s Mia Sebastian; El Union Coffee’s Kiddo Cosio; performance artist Carlos Celdran; record breaking freediver Carlo Navarro; and mermaid Odessa Bugarin.

Films by Lyka Gonzalez

Changing The Way We Travel

The way we travel is fundamentally changing, in ways that we would’ve scarcely imagined just a few years ago. GRID puts together a list of 11 people leading the way. Featuring Grid Magazine’s Kristine Fonacier (Editor-at-Large), Nachi Ugarte (Creative Director), and Francisco Guerrero (Executive Editor).

Putting the "union" in La Union

Mia Sebastian of Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel and Kiddo Cosio of El Union, in La Union share their experience growing a community in a place they love. As part of GRID Magazine’s 11 People Who Are Changing the Way We Travel, the pair reveals the moment that convinced them to stay beachside.

The Life Aquatic

As part of GRID Magazine’s series on the 11 People Who Are Changing the Way We Travel, we talk to Freedive instructor Carlo Navarro and self-professed mermaid Odessa Bugarin about the resurgence of freediving and their time spent undersea at Aiyanar Resort in Anilao.

Making Sense of the City

Performance artist (and famed tour guide) Carlos Celdran has led many to rediscover the wonders of Manila. In GRID Magazine’s list of 11 People Who Are Changing the Way We Travel, he talks to us about confronting and figuring out the beast that is the capitol of the Philippines.



Dan Matutina

Dan Matutina is a designer & illustrator who has worked on projects for companies such as Google, Pinterest, Airbnb, Samsung, Blackberry, Qualcomm, WIRED Magazine, Fast Co., Wallpaper*, Coca-Cola, Havaianas, Heineken, Nike, Uniqlo, The Wall Street Journal among others. In 2013, Dan received the prestigious Young Guns Award by the Art Directors Club in New York. Dan is the co-founder of Plus63 Design Co., a design studio that creates brand identities, strategize communications, design and illustrate for print and digital.


Chiqui Mabanta

Chiqui Mabanta can be considered a local of both Malate (where she lives), and what seems to be its new incarnation, the Poblacion area of Makati City (where she works, as a restaurateur). In this issue, she tours us past the girlie bars of Makati’s red light district to show us the gentrification of Barangay Poblacion.


Padmapani L. Perez

There are three things about Baguio that Padma loves most: the public market, the Yellow Trail, and the urban wildlife, which includes owls, crows, crested mynas, seasonal shrikes, bats, boisterous frogs and crickets, and her life-long friends. Padma is an anthropologist focusing on environmental issues, a writer, and a mother of two.


Yvette Tan

Yvette Tan is a lifestyle writer and a multi-awarded author of horror fiction. Fittingly, in this issue, she tackles the mythical city of Biringan in the province of Samar, where the mystical meets with the modern, and where those who wander in never make it out.