Inside GRID Issue 12
IT’S OUR SECOND ANNIVERSARY! And like everybody else on their birthdays, we look back as we continue forward. This issue, we let others in on what went on behind some of our most memorable stories from the past year—bad spills included. We also tagged alongside individuals genuinely trying to do good by the Earth; with Mike Oida and his holistic resort in Pagudpud; and with Cordillera Conservation Trust co-founder JP Alipio and his crew of mountain athletes on the first epic GRID sea-to-summit expedition.
ON THE COVER Mike Oida by Sonny Thakur
Imagine waking up in the morning, going out to see perfect waves in front of you, and surfing all day.
WHEN THE WAVES ARE GOOD
So what was this road trip all about? What is the point of throwing together mixed company into three cars for eight days, traveling from sea to summit and back again?
KEEP IT WILD
SHOOT FIRST with Artu Nepomuceno
GRID EATS. Miguel Vecin whips up a delectably simple “pintxo” for us at Bar Pintxos.
WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG. with Gerard Cancio. The skater and entrepreneur takes us through his essentials.
FITNESS. Former archery champ Earl Yap shows us an alternate way to getting fit.
GUEST ON GRID. Nicole CuUnjieng aims to change the political conversation with her think tank PAMPUBLIKO.
KEEP IT WILD. Mountain athlete JP Alipio takes us through the epic, sea- to-summit GRID Expedition.
LOOK BACK. We take a look behind some of GRID’s memorable moments in its second year.
WHEN THE WAVES ARE GOOD. Fruhlein Econar spends some time in Pagudpud with Mike Oida, a surfer on a mission.
FASHION. Retro-inspired outfits perfect for lounging around in a classic vacation home.
GEAR GUIDE. Going on a water adventure? Here are some items to take with you.
PARTING SHOT. Hanging out with Mike and his kids at the carnival.
FROM OUR DESK
There are stories, and then there are stories behind the stories. For the most part, we like keeping our behind-the-scenes firmly behind the scenes. You’re not the story, I remind our crew; though, thankfully, it’s not something I have to keep constantly reminding our team—for people who write and photograph for a living, we are all afraid of being written about and photographed.
I’ll beg our indulgence to let us be a bit self-referential for this one issue, as we get to be very much part of the story this time around. We hope it’s worth this slight indiscretion, because we promise that it’s for good reason.
The first occasion is a look back over the past year, given the excuse that March marks our anniversary month, and that the past year has really been a time of growth (and its attendant pains) for us all. We managed to put out some of our biggest stories to date, and found new ways to bring these to our audience—including online, through our website; and through video. We really stretched our wings this year, and this has meant that we’ve soared, we’ve taken some bad spills, but most importantly, we’ve come back with some amazing stories for you to read, and some other amazing stories for us to remember. We think that it’s time that we bring these stories out of our treasure boxes of memory and share them with you, because why should we have all the fun?
One of the best things a reader has ever said about GRID is that we look like we’re sincere about delivering more than the expected. And that, I think, is why we’re so proud of the work we do: Every issue is a labor of love, produced by people who sincerely want to share a story, and who believe in the power of storytelling to inspire. I think it’s worthwhile to take a peek behind the curtains once in a while, for whatever it’s worth. And what about inspiration? I’m generally a pragmatist, so I don’t believe in inspiration for the sake of inspiration alone.
We believe in the power of inspiration to stir people to action, and toward the meaningful change that we otherwise just talk about. That’s the other occasion for our behind-the-scenes look, by the way. About a year ago, a GRID team was up in the Cordilleras with JP Alipio and his team of friends, mountain runners and fellow advocates for the Cordillera Conservation Trust. The whole idea for the CCT and for the mountain runs that they organize was to inspire more people to participate in conservation efforts—not merely by talking to them about it and “raising awareness,” but by giving people opportunities to experience the outdoors and meet the people who live in the spaces we seek to protect.
The idea is so powerful that we recruited JP (or rather, he recruited us) to collaborate on a similar project, this time taking the team to cover more land, taking them from sea to summit, and in the process demonstrating how much beauty there is in our spaces, and how deeply we need to commit to defending these spaces.
To do this, the GRID crew had to be right beside the CCT team wherever they went. We climbed mountains when they climbed, soaked in the same rivers, followed the same trails. (Sometimes the GRID crew fell behind, admittedly.) We met people, breathed in the clean air, let our eyes fall on the majesty of the mountains and of the sea. We were all changed people after that—even the ones who stayed behind back home, helping the team document the experience.
In short, we lived the story ourselves, and we continue to do so. We’re living examples of how this kind of active advocacy works in turning hearts and minds to the cause, and it’s a story we’re proud to be part of.
Editor at Large
The GRID Expedition I: Sea to Summit
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 9-day sea-to-summit road trip.
Led by Jp Alipio, co-founder and executive director of the Cordillera Conservation Trust, the Expedition team is comprised of his team of mountain runners, conservation advocates, as well as photographers and videographers (and one very good chef) from the GRID crew.
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.
Frantz is taking time off his 13-year job in publishing to do creative work as a freelance art director and illustrator. He enjoys functional day drinking and appreciates good collaborations. Among his recent side projects: @drawingkaph on Instagram.
Shaira is a professional fashion and advertising photographer who is represented by the international creative talent agency, At East | Jed Root. Her extensive folio is a balance of work and personal shoots, and shows a wide and varied range of styles, although always gravitating towards nostalgia and feels from the past. She lives in Manila with nine cats and a whole floor of thrifted clothes and costumes for her self-styled shoots.
Nicole is a Ph.D. Candidate in Southeast Asian and International History at Yale University. Her research has garnered her awards, but if you really want to get her going, ask her about Pan-Asianism and turn-of-the-century visions of alternate world order.
At some point, Artu Nepomuceno thought that culinary arts was his path until he realized that he wanted to make movies. He sought advice from his grandfather (a successful filmmaker), who told him, “if you can create a story with one image, imagine what you can do with many.” With a degree in photography under his belt, Artu wants to be a storyteller in stills first before becoming a filmmaker.