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Inside GRID Issue 14

A Perfect Brew

This issue serves as a reminder that the places we visit are also places that other people call home. “Safe dito,” says the residents of Davao. More so than ever before, Davaoeños remain fiercely protective and proud of their hometown. We take a look at the place behind the man we call our new president. Taal Lake, on the other hand, has been a source of life to its residents for decades, centuries even, and yet the people who live beside it are still learning what it means to be the steward of one’s land. Finally, up in the Cordilleras, we find out that the secret behind the perfect cup of coffee begins with knowing the name of your coffee farmer.

On the cover Nelson Molino
Photographed by Rennell Salumbre

The TVPL is a gem that is struggling to retain its luster after decades of wear. More so than ever, it fully warrants its status as a protected area.
– In Murky Waters

It is near impossible to go to Davao City without escaping Duterte’s presence, almost as difficult as it is to tell the story of its history without a mention of his name.
– The Mayor’s City


Field Journals

GRID EATS. Photographer Aldwin Aspilleras gives us a scrumptious spin on two baking staples..

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG. What kind of gear does rockstar Armi Millare keep close by?

FITNESS. Miguel del Prado gives us the low-down on myotherapy.

GUEST ON GRID. Paula Zayco Aberasturi talks about life on a farm beyond the pretty pictures.

DRIVE BY. Conch Tiglao takes the new Nissan Juke on a night out in the city.


THE MAYOR’S CITY. With all eyes on Davao City, Nina Unlay takes a look for herself.

SEARCHING FOR AUNTIE ASTRINE. Kristine Fonacier meets the good people behind a great cup of coffee.

IN MURKY WATERS. Behind the picturesque view of Taal Lake is a fierce fight to keep the area’s environmental integrity.


FASHION. The traditional meets the contemporary through Filip+Inna.

GEAR GUIDE. Here are our pick of mountain bikes ready to conquer any terrain.

PARTING SHOT. La Union through the eyes of GRID Travel Series winner Gerald Gloton.

A Look Inside

Life of The Lake: Reviving Taal

Life of The Lake: Reviving Taal

Taal might be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, but a fight to preserve the environmental integrity of the lake rages on.

The Mayor’s City

We take a look at the place behind the man we call our new president, our country's unofficial new capitol.

Culture Club

Culture Club

The warp and the weft, the traditional and the contemporary. Len Cabili celebrates our culture and embraces ancient traditions on the brink of being lost through her contemporary designs at Filip + Inna.

From Our Desk


There is no place for politics in a travel magazine. It’s common, self-protective wisdom. But GRID is not quite a travel magazine, and certainly not a common one, in any case. GRID is about the Philippines, and we have committed ourselves to looking at the stories that run underneath the surface, the stories that are connected to the larger contexts—of nation, of progress, of humanity. It is virtually impossible not to talk about politics, insofar as politics is about governance and policy—an integral part of the Big Picture. Politics gets a bad rap, but all it is is an indicator of the way we’re all trying to make our way through the world.

Our main features are very political, in that sense. The first story we put in was, of course, the Davao story, because we were curious about the country’s unofficial new capitol. What does change look like? If everyone keeps looking to Davao as a model for what the rest of the country could achieve in six years, then why not go to Davao and see what it really is like? Our piece looks at Davao through the eyes of some of its most eminent locals, all of whom sing praises of their city and of the changes they’ve seen in their lifetime; and it is also seen through the eyes of a returning Manileño with family roots in Davao, so it is both a homecoming and a visit. Through her eyes, we approach the city with a critical eye, balanced with curiosity and compassion. In this issue, we also follow coffee back to its roots—to the farmers who grow it—and to the coffee shops here and abroad. We love coffee in all its many forms, but here we also talk about its ripple effect into the larger issues of local agriculture and food security. (This CY latter issue is getting urgent, we believe, and it’s a story that GRID will likely return to over and over again.)

Our third feature revisits a familiar destination, though now we look at Taal not just as a tourist spot, but as the home for farmers and fishermen, and as a lake that’s been at the receiving end of rehabilitation efforts. The story is also a reminder that the places we visit are also places that other people call home, and so we are enjoined to treat everywhere we go with the same respect and care that we would entering another person’s home.

In a sense, all of these stories are deeply political: Each one is about the world we live in, about the people we work with, and about how we’re all trying to get by together—which, at its essence, is what politics is all about.

See Taal in a different light in our latest documentary, ‪#‎GlobeOfGood‬: Pusod-Taal. Get to know the work being done to preserve and protect the freshwater lake ecosystem, and the people behind it. ‪#‎WonderfulPH

The Pusod TLCC conservation advocates food security with the least impact to the lake ecosystem, provides sustainable livelihood opportunities to the immediate communities, and is a hub of scientific information in Taal Volcano Protected Landscape.



JL Javier

JL Javier is a freelance photographer. He primarily takes portraits, but also likes to shoot fashion and travel. His inspirations include the photography of Bruce Weber, the paintings of Rembrandt, and his dogs Jeffrey and Ben. In this issue of GRID, JL goes to Soloviento, Lake Caliraya to photograph SUP queen Michi Calica-Sotto.


Rennell Salumbre

A former photo intern for GRID, Rennell has come into his own as an editorial photographer shooting for publications like Scout and Esquire PH. In this issue, he pulls double duty; driving around Metro Manila with Conch in the Nissan Juke for Drive By and photographing the good folks at Kalsada Coffee.


Clarissa Concio Tiglao

Although she now spends most of her time in the corporate industry, Conch still makes it a point to nourish her soul through long bike rides with her hubby, music, and writing for GRID. She lives in Taguig with two cats, two guitars and a pilot.