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Inside GRID Issue 11

Ride On, Man

When it comes to dealing with all the changes happening around us, from the weather to our communities, we have a long road ahead. In this issue, GRID takes a closer look at the role that human beings have played, both in the craziness and in the good. We have stories of the people hard at work behind the scenes, from the uncannily accurate weather man in Naga City, the residents of neighborhood Kapitolyo, and volunteer groups all around the country.

On the cover Bruce Curran and Ben Chan
Photographed by Fransico Guerrero

Since then, they’ve also learned that the protection of the mangroves is intertwined with their lives in another way.
– The Good That We Do

Early this year, NASA reported that 2014 was the Earth’s warmest since 1880. there has been speculation that 2015 will, or already has, overtaken it.
– The Weather Man


SHOOT FIRST with Lawrence Del Mundo

GRID EATS. Cocktails in the afternoon with mixologist Kalel Demetrio.

30 MINS WITH Stella Kalaw and GRID’s own Francisco Guerrero.

GUEST ON GRID. Musings by Lyka Gonzalez and Eileen Tupaz.

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG with CNN Philippines news anchor Mitzi Borromeo.

FITNESS. Fight the holiday weight with the Tabata method.

DRIVE BY. It’s our first two-wheeled Drive By!


THE WEATHER MAN. Mr. Typhoon meets Nina Unlay for a conversation about the weather.

CAPITOL IDEAS. Fruhlein Econar looks past the gastronomic offerings of Barangay Kapitolyo.

THE GOOD THAT WE DO. See how communities are working together all over the country.


FASHION. Tessa Lin Burton goes on a getaway to Puerto Princesa.

GEAR GUIDE. Bags, bags, and more bags. The classics of your favorite travel accessory.

PARTING SHOT. Meet Musang, the mountain cat that’s more kickass than you.

A Look Inside

30 Minutes With Stella Kalaw

GRID's Francisco Guerrero sits down with esteemed photographer (and cousin) Stella Kalaw to talk about how and why they do the things they do.

Bruce and Ben Go For A Ride

Writer, lifelong nomad, and honorary Filipino citizen Bruce Curran takes photographer Ben Chan on a ride through Subic.



It used to be that talking about the weather was the worst kind of small talk. For all that’s said about the unpredictability of weather, at least we could count on the big picture remaining fairly constant: We knew when the wet and dry seasons would be, we knew which places to avoid, we knew which months were cold and which were hot.

We’ve just seen the hottest year on record, and scientists tell us that 2016 is going to be hotter still. We were spared from major disaster for the most part in 2015—though that may only be a matter of perspective; after Typhoon Yolanda, we no longer toss around the phrase “major disaster” around quite so easily. Our luck, we know, may not hold too long into the future—weather no longer has mere moods; weather has become nearly psychopathic in its rages.

We’ve discovered something at the other side of all this. We’ve discovered that, however big a role human beings may have played in bringing this climate craziness about, it’s also people who are helping change things back, and it’s people who are protecting their fellow human beings from disaster. There was the Paris Climate Change Conference of November 2015, for one thing, where the different nations of the world (finally!) got together to agree, first of all, that things could still be helped; and second, to agree on an urgent plan of action.

But while governments are working on the big picture, much closer to home, it’s individuals who are hard at work trying to fix things on the ground. We found Mike Padua (“The Weather Man,” page 60) working out of his home base in Naga City some years ago—right before Yolanda, in fact—and we’ve been grateful for his invaluable information ever since. We’re glad to finally be able to feature his story in GRID, first as a tribute to the far-reaching effects that one’s strange geekery may have, and second as a way to call attention to his work as a one-man weather station. His story matters because, in the face of global-scale weather challenges, when governments and other agencies aren’t able to cover all the bases, it’s people like Mike who have taken up the challenge.

It’s a story that is echoed in our other piece, which I’ve actually been working on since 2013 (“Where There’s Good,” page 80). It’s a story I keep coming back to, especially when the going gets tough. It’s the story without one hero; it’s a story about the heroism found in communities and in groups of dedicated people who have decided to work together for a common good. Preparations for climate change is a recurring theme there, too, though it’s not the only one; environmental degradation and poverty are intertwined among other issues, though the message there is still the same. We’re all in this together, and we’re only going to be able to get through this if we look out for one another.

Editor at Large

Bruce and Ben Go For A Ride

Writer, lifelong nomad, and honorary Filipino citizen Bruce Curran takes photographer Ben Chan on a ride through Subic. Read about their historical two-wheeled tour north of Metro Manila on Ticket to Ride, published in GRID Magazine Issue 11.

Shot by Mike Dee and Francisco Guerrero
Edited by Francisco Guerrero

30 Minutes With Stella Kalaw

GRID’s Francisco Guerrero sits down with esteemed photographer (and cousin) Stella Kalaw to talk about how and why they do the things they do.



Gee Plamenco

Gee Plamenco is a fashion and portrait photographer in Manila and Singapore. He studied fashion photography at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, took further studies in Singapore School of Photography, and is now part of the Mastered By Knight Night apprenticeship program. He is fun, outgoing, and feeds on great creative energy.


Lawrence del Mundo

Lawrence del Mundo likes to think of himself as an amateur photographer who happens to take pictures or a living. When he is not taking photographs of his lively wife and his three energetic sons, he works as a freelance photographer specializing in documentary, editorial, travel, and portrait photography.


Lyka Gonzalez

Lyka Gonzalez is a photographer and filmmaker. Her short film Agos: the Manila Dream held its world premiere at the 2015 Festival de Cannes last May and has since screened in various festivals worldwide. In her travels, Lyka immerses herself and captures the greatest poetry we call Life.


Ben Chan

Ben Chan is the guy behind Blacksheep Manila Photography. He sutures familiar visual signs into stimulating images, featuring everyday encounters and objects, arranging them into original layered pieces. He creates improvisational sites for creative or ready-made visual projects to usher in other ways of seeing.