B/ A.M. – Bench Beginnings: Chito Asuncion, Taxi Driver

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T-shirt and face towel from BENCH
Photography by JL Javier
Styling by Ecks Abitona
Produced by Margarita Buenaventura

Words by Margarita Buenaventura

Mornings are sacred. It’s where our rituals begin, whether that’s breakfast with loved ones or our first mouse clicks through what’s happening in the world. It sets the tone for the rest of the day: waking up on the right side of the bed is usually good, while spilling coffee on your favorite shirt or doing the walk of shame from last night’s drunken mistake, isn’t.

For some, sunrise marks a beginning, while for others, it marks a long day’s end. Through this series of morning portraits taken by JL Javier, we stole moments off of 10 people’s mornings to see just how varied we all are at greeting the day.

From the daybreak workout of a martial artist to the midday end of an outsourcing employee’s shift, we realize that our mornings may be different but they all matter, in small but special ways. And that in a year that just started, we’ve got many beginnings to look forward to.

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7:23 a.m. – CHITO ASUNCION

47, Taxi driver

Chito has been a taxi driver longer than most teen stars have been alive. Through his windshield and his rearview mirror, the man seen it all, from drunk passengers to nauseated toddlers. While passengers come and go, the enthusiasm he has for his job has never waned. Day in and day out, he cheerily wakes up at dawn, ready to ferry busy commuters around the metro regardless of distance. In Chito’s cab, the phrase “Manila to any point of Luzon” isn’t just a tagline. It’s a promise.

Maaga pa rin ako nagigising,” Chito says of his weekly days off, devoting most of his free time to driving his cab. “Hinuhugasan ko yung kotse, chi-check ko yung oil, yung makina. ‘Pag hapon, maglalaba ako. (Laughs) Simple lang.”

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B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: JL Javier, The Photographer
B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: Tor Torre & Cholo Laurel, Couple
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