B/ A.M. – Bench Beginnings: Keisha Kibanoff, HR Associate

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Clothes by HerBench
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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5:13 a.m. – KEISHA KIBANOFF 

22, Human Resources Associate – Crowne Plaza Hotel

It’s a challenge to smile all day, especially when your commute starts at dawn and involves three modes of transport. How Keisha does all of that so effortlessly is a mystery. She calls herself a “professional friend”; besides listening to any concerns from the hotel staff, she also organizes their weekend events like hiking or tree-planting. The long hours working at a hotel are not easy but Keisha manages to make it look like a vacation.

“I think in this job you can’t do well if you’re really not outgoing or even makapal yung mukha,” Keisha says with a smile and over her first cup of joe. “I think that’s why I like it.”

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B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: Steven Silva, Actor
B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: Pam Celeridad, Visual Artist