B/ A.M. – Bench Beginnings: Meggie Ochoa, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Artist



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.


Active top from BENCH by GOMA

7:04 a.m. – MEGGIE OCHOA 

24, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Artist

Meggie has just two years of jiu-jitsu training under her belt, but she’s proof that anyone with a dream can kick ass no matter what. When Meggie qualified to compete at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships in 2014, she crowdsourced funds to get her a ticket to California for it, then went on to grab the gold medal. She also started prooPH with her sister, a local tour company that emphasizes the economic, social, and environmental growth of lesser known tourist spots in the country. Like we said, she kicks ass.

“I used to train [this early] everyday, but I would get injured kasi sobrang pagod tapos may work pa. Now, I do it twice a week, and I also train in the evening after work. I also started biking in the later half of last year. It’s the most environmental way to get around.”








Black cropped top and striped shirt by HerBench


Pants by BENCH


B/ A.M. - Bench Beginnings: Miko Dee, Outsourcing Employee
B/ A.M. - BENCH Beginnings: Jeff Stelton, Copywriter