“The best way to get people interested in saving the outdoors is to show them how to use it…”
– JP Alipio, National Geographic Explorer
and founder of the Cordillera Conservation Trust
The GRID Expedition I: SEA TO SUMMIT documentary, a short film following a team of adventurers as they blaze through Northern Luzon on wheels and on foot, during an epic 8-day sea-to-summit road trip.
At the heart of the GRID Expedition is the desire to tell the story of the great Philippine outdoors. It’s about compelling everybody to get in their cars, to get on their bikes, lace up their shoes, and experience what the Philippines has to offer; embracing the unplanned stops along the way and savoring the journey just as much as the destination.
GRID and a couple of hardy outdoorsmen went up the Cordilleras for the first GRID Expedition. But for a team of mountain runners, photographers, and videographers, the real hero of the 9-day trip was, without a doubt, Chef Nayna—the woman who warmed our bellies and fuelled our days. Camping in the outdoors and huddled around Nayna’s cooking, we came together as a team.
Food proved to be a source of connection during our travels; bringing us closer to each other and everyone we met along the way.
Follow the first of the GRID Expeditions series as we trail JP and his elite group of outdoorsmen from the shores of northern Luzon up to the Cordilleras—running, hiking, biking, surfing, swimming, and driving, on the ultimate adventure that spans water and land.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Notes by producer Francisco Guerrero and team
The real hero of the 9-day GRID Expedition was, without a doubt, Chef Nayna—the woman who warmed our bellies and fuelled our days. Camping in the outdoors and huddled around…
From Vigan it was a quick shot down to La Union, and we were back at El Union coffee shop a little muddier. It was nice to end it where…
We drive the most spectacular road yet – nobody passes here. It's not a commercially viable route to anywhere, it's just a road that passes through the Balbalasang National Park.
When we missed our target and had to sleep in Balbalan, it really changed the rest of the trip. We figured out that because of the road conditions there was…
Lets keep it wild! At the core of the GRID Expedition, we're exploring ways to enjoy the Philippines in its natural state, encouraging everybody to get outdoors.
The whole reason we went up to Sagada was for beer. Andrew is the beer guy; he owns the Cellar Door brewery in Sagada which is inside 3 hectares of…
There was a slow pot of coffee boiling with mist hovering, and a jeepney full of old people from Bontoc chewing nganga (betel nut). They were spitting on the floor…
We were going to trek to the entry point which is a 6km trek to the backside of Mt. Ugo with a 1km vertical climb, then a ridge to the…
We were driving up from La Union to Baguio via the Naguilion road which is much shorter than Kennon road. The team was still kind of feeling each other out…
The GRID Expedition I: SEA TO SUMMIT is a 9-day series of our team blazing a trail through northern Luzon, home to some of the Philippines' most diverse terrains, lead…
MANILA TO LA UNION. Coffee break at El Union, surfing in La Union, and then setting out for the road trip to the Cordilleras.
BAGUIO TO ITOGON, BENGUET. Meet up with with our outdoorsmen in Baguio before setting up camp at the base of Mt. Ugo.
ITOGON, BENGUET. The runners take on a south to north Mt. Ugo traverse following the course of the upcoming Cordillera Mountain Ultra in June.
ITOGON TO BONTOC. This route takes runners across Luzon’s highest road in the Mountain Province, before packing up to drive to Sagada.
BONTOC TO SAGADA. After shopping for supplies at the market we discover the Sagada Cellar Door hidden in the pine forests above town.
SAGADA TO BALBALAN. Morning drive up to Balbalan Junction to take a 16 km downhill mountain bike ride through Balbalasang.
BALBALAN TO VIGAN. We head out from Kalinga and cross the Abra River, making our way to the coast of Ilocos where we spent the night.
VIGAN TO LA UNION. Back in La Union, and doing our exit interviews. All trips come to an end so new adventures can begin.
OUR TEAM OF ADVENTURERS
Up front we have JP Alipio, co-founder and executive director of the Cordillera Conservation Trust. He blazes a trail for the GRID team, alongside his capable and handpicked crew comprising of Ruel Frias, Thumbie Remigio, and Harry Tanoja. You don’t mess with these outdoorsmen. They are extreme athletes, mountain runners, conservation advocates and the toughest of adventurers.
Carmen del Prado