On Jan 1, 2016, photographer Jason Quibilan started a long-overdue personal goal: He quit smoking.
It wasn’t his first attempt since he started smoking at 19 years old.
The owner of Shutterspace Studios in Quezon City has photographed a few Philippine personalities for Esquire magazine — the most famous of them was Rodrigo Duterte holding a kick-ass rifle.
There’s also Erwan Heussaff with a pig on his head, Atom Henares and Grace Poe.
Quibilan had successfully quit smoking for a year before, but went back to the nasty habit because of a stressful project.
Almost three hours after midnight on Jan 1, he gave it another go.
“At exactly 2:43am on January 1, 2016, I smoked my last cigarette before going to bed. Told myself it would be the last as I promised my kids I’d be quitting at the start of the new year,” Quibilan told Coconuts Manila.
Quibilan has two children (Andrea, 12; Gabriella, 7) and even his parents have been telling him to quit smoking since 2014. “I promised them sometime in the middle of 2015, just to get them off my case!”
To add excitement to this project, he thought of setting aside his cigarette money every time he felt the urge to smoke.
On Jun 12, Independence Day, he posted a photo of hundred peso bills rolled up and tied with a rubber band.
It was his version of freedom.
Each roll had 50 pieces of PHP100 bills. The money totalled PHP50,000. That’s “money I set aside every time I felt the urge to buy a pack of smokes. It represents money that went to savings instead of cigarettes,” he wrote.
Why PHP100? “It’s neater… plus it represents a pack, although on average, I spend PHP80 a pack — wala nang suklian. Also, it makes me save something substantial… PHP20 and PHP50 don’t hurt as much.”
And Quibilan, who has started swimming and exercising regularly, is not quitting this newly formed habit of saving anytime soon. Is it a continuining project, we asked him. “Yup for sure. Nasimulan na eh.”
What does he intend to do with the money he’s saved so far? “I’m still thinking about it…”