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Inside GRID Vol. 6

The Good Life

The stories in this issue show us the many and different roads to happiness, with very different characters all looking for a deeper meaning to what they do and finding inspiration along the way. The people of Escuela Taller not only work to preserve historic buildings, but they also ensure that they’re building lives while they’re at it. The volunteers of Waves For Water use travel as a tool to bring water to remote communities. An Ilongga looks to her hometown, and draws upon personal memory to build bridges towards the Iloilo of the present. We also have three local designers working against the tide of fast and easy fashion for a more meaningful cause.

The message is so singular and so clear-cut that it almost rings mantra-like: Provide access to clean drinking water. Do what you love and help along the way
– Making Waves

While we fix buildings, we conduct education campaigns, seminars, workshops in communities around the country. This is the language of conservation all over the world today; in any heritage conservation project, the community should be involved.
– The Monuments Men

What I can vividly remember, with great delight, were the carefree conversations and short pleasant walks with my best friends to the Museo on one of those field trips. I share my experience to my daughter while we moved around the renovated gallery.
–This Must Be The Place


Photography by Geric Cruz. There’s always more behind an image than what it reveals.

A roundup of where we’ve been, and where you should go next.

We tried three science-backed therapies to up your R&R game.

What makes Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior worthy of our seas?

What does a mixologist bring with him outside the bar?

Quintin Pastrana, the man establishing creative spaces for communities nationwide, one library at a time.

Jo Anne V. Coruña’s illustrated thoughts on her beloved Bacolod.

An ode to comfort food and flavors that bring us back home.

A newbie rider on her first ride out of Metro Manila. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Photography by Artu Nepomuceno. Doing good and having fun in Palawan with Waves for Water Philippines.

Photography by Geric Cruz. Escuela Taller de Filipinas is empowering the country’s impoverished youth to preserve our remaining built heritage.

Poet Karla Quimsing’s reflections on the old and new of her hometown.

These three local brands remind us that the best clothes don’t always have to be the newest.

A gear guide to help ease the craze of your daily commute.

From The Editors


Just for fun, I looked up the #goodlife hashtag on Instagram, and found that it had over 13.5M posts (and an additional 3.6M for #thegoodlife), with scores more added by the hour. Ignoring the posts from people showing off their bodies, the images were uniformly about travel and about luxury. Exotic destinations, fancy hotels, fantastic views. Watches, yachts, cars, champagne. All the trappings one would expect from a life of riches.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? A life of riches is not necessarily a life of good.

Not that luxury, or comfort, or being free from want isn’t good. Material things may not be happiness in and of themselves, but they sure can bring something that’s pretty damn close to it (or, as a friend would say: It’s much nicer to cry from inside your private jet). But this simulacrum of happiness will never take the place of the real thing, of that real destination.

And while this issue is dedicated to the many and different roads towards happiness, there seems to be a similarity to all the stories here. Most obviously, they’re all about people who are looking for a deeper meaning to what they do. The people in Escuela Taller brings together communities and marginalized sectors to preserve our built heritage. The outdoorsmen working for Waves for Water use travel as a tool to bring water to remote communities. The designers featured on our cover imbue their work with a bigger cause beyond fashion.

The stories here, perhaps less obviously, are about the inspiration that being outside, amongst the world brings to travelers. An Ilongga looks to her hometown, and draws upon personal memory to build bridges towards the Iloilo of the present. The people of Escuela Taller not only work to preserve historic buildings, but they also ensure that they’re building lives while they’re at it. The volunteers of W4W understood that, as travelers, they were privileged enough to see parts of the country that few other outsiders were able to—and so they use that privilege to bring some good into the places they visit.

The road to happiness is necessarily a personal one, in that no one can ever tell you exactly where it is, or to take it on your behalf—which, come to think of it, is like travel. For all the maps and guidebooks you may be armed with, every journey will be different. And for the journey to matter, you must undertake it yourself.



Jo Anne V. Coruña

Jo Anne is a visual artist and writer. She runs A Study of Objects, where she paints things and writes the stories they tell about who we are, where we are, and why we’re here.


Carlos Quimpo

An after-hours illustrator, Carlos integrates his love for the outdoors, nostalgia, and textures into his illustrations. When he isn’t yielding a stylus, he’s either hiking summits or in the kitchen.


Artu Nepomuceno

At some point in his life, Artu was pretty sure that culinary arts was his path until he realized that he wanted to make movies. He sought advice from his grandfather, who told him, “If you can create a story with one image, imagine what you can do with many.”


Gica Tam

Gica is an illustrator and designer based in Manila. Architecture, food, and people inspire her illustrations. She is a former artist-in- residence at the School of Visual Arts, and has produced worked for various global brands.


Geric Cruz

Geric is a freelance photographer based in Manila, who was recently chosen to be part of the Southeast Asian Photography Masterclass Scholarship at the Obscura Photography Festival in Malaysia.


Karla Quimsing

Karla is a poet, teacher, and mother. She is from Iloilo City but has been based in Cebu for more than a decade. Her body of literary works include two poetry books, Pansit Poetry (2016), Isla (2018), and Tingog Nanay (2017) an anthology of motherhood stories.


Clarissa Tiglao

GRID’s former managing editor has been quite busy. Being part of the all-female band of motoheads, The Litas of MNL, has Conch riding more often. In this issue’s Drive By, she takes us along on her first-ever ride outside Manila.