Editor's Pick

Our Year Without Travel

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This is our 2020 reading list, featuring the people and places we can’t wait to see again, after a year indoors.

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Team GRID
Read Time

Earlier in the year, when the global pandemic had just begun, we released a list of our favorite stories from our six years of travel writing, with the hope that they would carry you into the future.

Well, the future is here; we made it. Although we aren't out of the woods yet, the travel industry is starting to pick itself back up after a year of closed borders; local tourist destinations have started opening up slowly and cautiously. The way we travel itself has changed—and we can only hope that it will be for the better.

In fact, in 2020, our modest little magazine only published one story about a trip out of town. It has been our challenge to change the way we think about travel stories, and we are trying to find new ways to bring to you, our readers, all the places and people that we missed. It has been a year of reaching out to communities both new and old: the cyclists and the rowers, the Moro youth, the environmental rangers and indigenous communities, as well as the many, many residents in tourist towns that are waiting to see us all again. All this in the hopes that, despite the distance, these stories would bring you closer to the Philippines.

So, here are some of our favorite stories from a year without travel:

Will Ride For Food

Taytay, Rizal

The year 2020 saw bikes, bikes, and more bikes. Our resident bike enthusiast Miguel Nacianceno ropes his friends into a weekend ride through Rizal, to reunite with the best tapsilog-and-coffee combo he’s ever had. Read the full story.


30 Mins. with Martin San Diego

Bangsamoro

Mindanao’s beauty is too often overshadowed by conflict and violence; rarely do we hear stories of its vibrant culture, or of its young people who dream—and work—for a better world. In this Q&A, photojournalist Martin San Diego tells us what he’s learned from the Moro youth. Read the full story.


Across Still Waters

Quezon City, Manila

Rowing has been in the Philippines since the 1880s, but it has somehow remained on the periphery of Filipino sports. Klea Gonzales speaks to the Filipino rowers pushing forward, even when their only witness is their home base, the La Mesa Dam. Read the full story.

Back to TRAVELING

Malay, Aklan | El Nido, Palawan | Anilao, Batangas

In this series, we take a closer look at the tourist destinations that have started reopening, after a string of months without visitors. What has changed for the travel industry? And what still needs to? The residents of Boracay, El Nido, and Anilao tell us.

After two lockdowns in three years, Boracay Island is still here. Klea Gonzales talks to the Boracaynons that have seen their home through it all. Read the full story.

Meanwhile in El Nido, Denise Gonsalves checks in with the business owners who are slowly getting back on track. What does the future of travel look like for the world’s best island? Read the full story.

Finally, we take our first—and last—road trip of the year, as Nina Unlay rediscovers what it means to travel and how it may or may not help the locals of Anilao. Read the full story.

Not in the mood to read? Earlier this year, we also launched the GRID Magazine Podcast, where we talk to some of the people we’ve met—and hope to meet—on the road.

Escape to Paradise

When Metro Manila went on lockdown, photographer Terence Angsioco took refuge in Coron, the ancestral domain of the Tagbanwa. Together with Terence and experts Dave de Vera and Giovanni Reyes, we talk about the neglected histories of our local indigenous peoples. We loved this episode so much, we also wrote a piece about it.

The Mighty Tamaraw

The Philippine tamaraw is the only one of its kind; to lose it would spell the end of an entire species. So why have they been so difficult to save? We sit down with advocates and storytellers Neil del Mundo, Gregg Yan, Nella Lomotan, and Celine Murillo to talk about protecting our small but mighty beasts.

How We Talk About Climate Change

From rising temperatures to stronger typhoons, the climate crisis has never been more visible. Conservationists and experts Farmer Jon Sarmiento, Gab Mejia, and Dr. Kristoffer Berse paint us a picture of what’s happening on the ground, and tell us why we need to get this particular story straight.