GRID Expedition 1 Day 1: Manila Traffic to El Union Coffee


Notes by producer Francisco Guerrero on the GRID Expedition, Day 1. The first day was all about waking up early...

Photography by
Story by
Miguel Nacianceno
Photography by
Videography by
Francisco Guerrero
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Notes by producer Francisco Guerrero

Day 1 was all about waking up early.

Our route on day 1: Manila to La Union

Afternoon cuppa at El Union, the travelers cross-roads cafe of La Union. Sunset in Surf Town.

We needed to get a feel of the cars because it was the first time we were driving them. They were really nice on the highway, really smooth. And of course, the whole TPLEX thing is really opening up the North as far as travel goes.

We all agreed that the first stop would be liempo. There’s a small roadside eatery named Robia and Arby’s found just in front of the Coca Cola plant in San Fernando, it’s famous for liempo and lechon. The perfect way to end a drive in La Union from Manila, after six hours on the road is that wonderful, juicy liempo.

Day 1 was really about prepping for the expedition because it was just the GRID team that was driving; Nayna, myself, Miguel, and Carmen. So we took the opportunity on Day 1 to prep our gear; we spread everything out for testing. We did a drone flight test, we took test pictures of La Union beach. So it was really the GRID team gearing up mentally for meeting the Cordillera Conservation Trust running team the next day.

It’s a nice drive and you can see why La Union is becoming what it is because of places like El Union, Flotsam and Jetsam, and Urbiz Garden. You can really see that the spirit and character of La Union is coming together to become a very important tourist destination especially for Manileños.

I was in the pick-up, the Ford Ranger, and then the two teams were in Ford Everests. I drove the Ranger all the way through and the Everests were driven by that team.

Get a more intimate, behind the scenes look at the first GRID Expedition on our Instagram @gridmagazineph.

And Instagram hashtags #GRIDwashere #GRIDExpedition1

The GRID Expedition I: SEA TO SUMMIT is a 9 day series of our team blazing a trail through northern Luzon, lead by Jp Alipio and his team of adventurers, mountain runners and conservation advocates.

Check out the rest of our Expedition 1 series featuring a short film by Carmen del Prado, photography by Miguel Nacianceno and Carmen del Prado, insightful words and notes by Nayna Katigbak and produced by Francisco Guerrero. Follow our adventure!