This issue is an exploration of various paths and terrains. The cover story features mountaineer Carina Dayondon, the first Filipina to climb the highest mountain in every continent. Denise Gonsalves spends time by the Pasig River with a group called the River Warriors, who are working towards rehabilitating this waterway to its original pristine state. Not even halfway through her first week at GRID, Klea Gonzales hits the road running on a camping trip, ferried across rivers and through the forest by souped-up Toyota Hilux. On a trip to Guimaras, Agu Paiso does not savor its mangoes, but instead revels in the high and lows of the island’s bike trails.
On the cover: Carina Dayondon, a self-portrait.
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No one was ready for a fight and yet, here we were.
One Monday, far too early in the week—the day, even—a heated discussion sparked before the buzz of that morning’s coffee had even kicked in. Cover options were handed in, featuring photographs taken across several stories. Among them were panoramic leafy landscapes, far-off horizons, and glassy waters; each one a just contender for a travel magazine, naturally. Right out from under everyone however, a brand new option was presented. One that howled loud with colors of blue, red, and yellow, while the photo’s subject blurred out like bad eyesight. It was nothing like the initial cover choices and, on top of that, its file size was big enough to be a phone’s wallpaper at best. It was taken in 2006.
Half the room thought it was a joke, but a few of us could see how this would work out. And so began what would become a weeks-long debate over the magazine’s main image. As Grid has a number of photographers on the team, choosing a small dated photograph (one that is 13 years old to be exact) would have been senseless—especially since there was a selection of other images that fit the bill. The reason, however, that this particular photo had much weight on it, was because it was of mountaineer Carina Dayondon, the first Filipina to climb the highest mountain in every continent.
A unanimous decision arrived eventually, after much consideration, and after the obvious stared us all in the face: it’s not everyday that we get a woman like Carina Dayondon in our pages. The image that was settled on is a self-portrait through the lens of a disposable camera, taken at a time where the term “selfie” was not known, nor was it even coined yet. Amidst the colors that leapt out, trapped at the very center of the frame were Dayondon’s lips, dusted with frost and parted in motion. Whether caught in a half-smile, or on the brink of breathless, the candidness in her face is as pure as it is raw.
This shot of her was taken on the climb up Mount Denali, the first peak she would come to set foot on, ultimately setting her on the course for pursuing the Seven Summits. Hers is a story marked by various successes, albeit accompanied by a fair share of struggles. She conquered the highest points of the world, yes, yet she continues to set her sights on seeking out even more territories.
Following Dayondon’s lead, the issue you hold right now is an exploration of various paths and terrains. Denise Gonsalves spends time by the Pasig River with a group called the River Warriors, who are working towards rehabilitating this waterway to its original pristine state. Not even halfway through her first week at Grid, Klea Gonzales hits the road running on a camping trip, ferried across rivers and through the forest by souped-up Toyota Hilux. On a trip to Guimaras, Agu Paiso does not savor its mangoes but instead revels in the high and lows of the island’s bike trails.
Our hope is that these stories will get you on the road in search of adventure, or off somewhere unknown to find your own mountains to conquer. If it feels pointless as you journey on, just remember: A decade from now, a room full of misfits may just spend their Monday mornings fighting for you.