B/ A.M. – Bench Beginnings: JL Javier, The Photographer


All clothes by BENCH
Photography by JL Javier
Assisted by Juella Bautista
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.


Shirt and jeans from BENCH

6:09 a.m. – JL JAVIER 

19, Photographer

As the photographer behind the BENCH Beginnings series, JL has captured sleepyheads in bed and young professionals out and about. Wrapping up this series with this set of substantial selfies, JL can finally go back to his daily routine—rushing from one end of Katipunan to the other to make it to class. Even that will come to an end soon, as he’s set to graduate from Ateneo de Manila University in March. Who knows what he’ll do next? If there’s anything that JL’s learned from the varied mornings he’s witnessed, it’s that each day is the start of countless possibilities.

“I really liked doing Bench Beginnings because I got to meet so many cool people,” JL says as he wrapped up shooting the last subject of the series—himself. “It was a nice way to see how they live.”









Lessons in Body Language – Session 3
B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: Chito Asuncion, Taxi Driver