It's Me, Gracee

Think of the human mind as a hard drive where all your life experiences are stored like pictures. We’re all familiar with the phrase, “I just can’t shake that picture out of my mind”, and this is also true in the metaphorical sense. We just can’t let go of certain experiences, and this affects how we go about the world. Often, this holds us back from achieving our true potential self because we are bogged down by the emotions and memories that our minds have held on to for so long. 

We tend to look outside ourselves for the answers to life’s pressing problems, but to practitioners of meditation the answer always lies within ourselves.  Makati Meditation and Ortigas Meditation are two groups in the Philippines that encourage the practice of subtraction meditation as a method towards lasting happiness. 

Humans take pictures of all experiences through the five senses – eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and body- and store those pictures in the mind. Pictures of our family, our childhood, fighting with friends, even memories of our first love, we have taken pictures of them and stored them in our mind. Stress, worries and all the moments of hardships are pictures in our mind. These pictures trouble us and we cannot escape from this for the rest of our lives. Throwing away these pictures in the mind is the Subtraction Meditation method. 

The Subtraction Meditation is a meditation method that is composed of seven levels which is about throwing away the false mind or pictures in the human mind. The meditation helper guides students in each level. As one goes through the levels, practitioners eventually enlighten by themselves. 

The first step is letting go. For stand-up comedian Tim Tayag, this has been key, “Now I can let go of my past, my mistakes, my false minds, and even meditation itself. As a result, I have a better disposition, and I am much happier.”

The change towards lasting happiness starts with self-reflection. Through the practice of meditation, the time and energy spent on useless thoughts are lessened, allowing one’s self to focus on the most important things in life. Before we start new things we should take time to look back to the past and assess ourselves. This also applies to our workplace, school and community. We examine our success and failures; we learn from our past mistakes and prepare to do better in the future. For Emil Capino, a Chief Technology Officer, this came in the form of a more efficient work performance that has also spread to other areas in his life. “I can break-free from all the stress, worries and anxieties coming from my job,” says Capino. “Now I can do and accomplish more with a peace of mind and real happiness that no amount of money can provide.”

Meditation is the process of reflecting on one’s inner self to deeply understand ourselves. When we know ourselves completely, we can live the life that we want. Through meditation, we can find wise and practical solutions to all the root cause of our problems and complex situations that we face in our daily lives. “I have realized many benefits including mental clarity and greater patience,” says Reggie Ofrin, a Mechanical Engineer by profession. “Now I can smile even on the road during blood-curdling traffic jams.”

As much as we empty our mind, the more our inner strength takes root. When we empty our minds, the human mind transforms. Through meditation, one can have a broad and caring mind, being considerate of others, smiling more often, being calm and becoming more focused coming from inner peace. Having a clear mind, one can make wiser decisions in every moment. “I can find my inner peace without self-defeating talk or having to worry about judgement or criticism from other people,” says practitioner GerilynBaltan, who is a marketing manager by profession. The benefits of meditation bleed onto every aspect of your life. The normal tendency is to fix problems at hand which may not necessarily address to root cause of those problems, meditation is a holistic approach that everyone can do if they just take the time. 

At Makati Meditation practitioners come to the center usually after work. Some of them come around lunch time or before work so they can make use of their time meditating in the center instead of being stuck in traffic.

They cannot emphasize enough that anyone can do meditation. Practitioners range from businessmen, employees, students, housewives etc.  People from all walks of life with diverse religious beliefs and nationalities come to meditate. While the language that surrounds meditation can be a heady concept, the objectives are very grounded. Increasing self-confidence, overcoming traumatic experiences, eliminating stress are just some of the main ones. So for people who hesitate with the jargon and find that inner peace is a little too abstract, there’s still a takeaway for them here. 

At Makati Meditation and Ortigas Meditation, they often start with a lecture before meditation, which includes achieving the proper posture and participants are guided through the session accordingly. For beginners, this is a helpful process to orient oneself to the practice. Even longtime practitioners find guided meditations helpful when they’re finding it particularly difficult to quiet the mind. 

At Makati Meditation they encourage participants to meditate twice a week. At first, a one on one session with an instructor is advised, but after two weeks, practitioners can choose to join the group class. Studies show that group meditations are an even more powerful force for peace. 

Entrepreneur Catherine Dy credits meditation as a practice that helped her live a happier life, “I am free from stress, fear and anxiety. I am living a life full of joy, peace and gratitude.” 

Book your free introductory seminar at Makati Meditation Center or at Ortigas Meditation center now. 
The most awaited premiere of "Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz" happened last June 19 at Robinsons Galleria Cinema 1. It was attended by the main cast namely Julian Trono, Sarah Lahbati and Shy Carlos together with Direk Katski Flores. 

 Julian Trono and Shy Carlos
Sarah Lahbati and Shy Carlos

Sarah and Shy

Shy, Sarah and Julian at the After Party of Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz

Richard Gutierrez also suprised Sarah Lahbati during the red carpet premiere

"Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz" shows Sarah as Ruth, a reclusive police officer who moves into the hometown of a seemingly innocent young girl that is Leah, played by Shy Carlos. Ruth is still reeling from the death of her younger brother when she witnesses Leah jump out of a balcony. Gabriel, Leah's childhood friend, begs Ruth for help, prompting the latter to join the investigation.

Naturally, there are suspicions as to why Leah committed such act. Blame is put on two people. One is Rosario, a loyal maid to the Dela Cruz household who loves Leah as her own. She has a strong belief in superstitions. The other is Sister Eloiza, a school guidance counselor who once belonged to a cult but became a confidant to Leah.

As Leah's odd behavior escalates, so does the friction between her parents Oscar and Marite. Oscar is a kind and loving father, but a domineering husband, while Marite has been an object of rumors in their small town.

Holding a secret that should be a big help to the investigation is Father Lucas, the local parish priest, but something is keeping him mum about it. The investigation takes a darker turn when Leah's possession is revealed and sinister connections between the people closest to her come bubbling to the surface. Worse, the devil's influence becomes widespread.

While this is Sarah and Shy's first movie collaboration, this is not their first time to star in a horror movie. Shy was seen in Chain Mail in 2015, while Sarah was seen in a 2010 supernatural film from another movie outfit.

Prince of the Dance Floor Julian Trono playing as Gabriel, Jim Paredes as Father Lucas, and respected theater actors in supporting roles make this movie even more exciting.

Meet the cast:
After her "Tasya Fantasya" series on TV5, Shy Carlos takes on another title role, but this time in a much darker story, "Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz". This is her second lead role in a horror movie following "Chain Mail" in 2015.

Leah has a reputation of being simple and innocent, but this is brought into question when she begins to act in strange ways that cause harm to those around her. She grows fearful and helpless as things completely get out of hand. Her hope lies in Ruth (Sarah Lahbati), a police officer investigating on her case, but the devil is out to get her as well.

Sarah Lahbati plays Ruth, a police officer facing an entity darker than she's ever encountered in "Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz". This is her big screen comeback after seven years. Her last film was also a horror film called "White House".

Shortly after moving into a new town and still grieving over the death of her brother, Ruth witnesses a young woman named Leah (Shy Carlos) jumped out of a balcony. Joining the investigation, she must piece together the lies and secrets of the people close to Leah before the demon takes hold of her.

Sarah expressed her excitement over this project with an instagram post of her photo with Erik Matti and Katski Flores, whom she called "veteran director" and "genius director", respectively. She captioned it with, "seriously cannot wait for you to watch Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz."

Prince of the Dance Floor Julian Trono won't be able to dance his way out of terror in the movie "Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz", coming out in cinemas this June.

Julian plays Gabriel, a young man who likes bringing good vibes to people. He is childhood friends with Leah (Shy Carlos) and has deep affections for her. When Leah begins to act strange, to the extent of jumping from a balcony, he begs a police officer (Sarah Lahbati) to investigate. But what he'll find out about Leah might break his heart.

"Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz" opens in cinemas on June 28, 2017. From Kamikaze Pictures, distributed by VIVA Films and Reality Entertainment. Produced by Erik Matti. Directed by Katski Flores.

“There have been previous anime films set around the devastation in Hiroshima, but none with the ultimately uplifting and positive message of In This Corner of the World, so we can’t wait to bring this beautiful film to Annecy,” Animatsu Entertainment Chief Operating Officer Jerome Mazandarani said. “We believe the rest of the world will share our enthusiasm for this story.”

In This Corner of the World tells the story of the adolescent Suzu, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage, however, underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country.

“In This Corner of the World is not a typical war movie: the town is so beautifully recreated and the characters are so wonderfully achieved that the focus is on the art that is imbued in daily life itself,” GENCO President Taro Maki said. “While it is of course heart-breaking to behold the before and after scenes, the willpower that normal people muster in the name of love and caring is what really stands out.”

“War is the opposite of daily life, yet daily life must go on even through war. And perfectly normal people can achieve this miraculous feat in the most extreme circumstances one can imagine,” the film’s director SunaoKatabuchi notes. “That’s what this film explores. I believe those very specific details in this film help viewers perceive the infinite emotions experienced by these absolutely normal people.”

The film already garnered awards including Animation of the Year at the 40th Japan Academy Prize, Best Music Score for Kotoringo and OfujiNoburo Award at the Mainichi Film Concours. Its latest achievement is getting the Jury Award at the 41st Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France.

While the Japanese and foreign audiences loved In This Corner of the World, it currently stands at a perfect score at the American review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with 6 reviews. The film is set to open in UK Theaters June 28 and in US Theaters on August 11.

“In This Corner of the World” opens in Philippine cinemas June 28 from Rafaella Films International.

Starring Bill Moseley, the man who played Chop Top in Tobe Hooper’s 1986 sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and the hillbilly killer Otis in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, The Possession Experiment isn’t short on actors who has experience in horror films.

Moseley will play Father Mark Campbell, the priest who will be the film’s icing on the cake. He and director Scott B. Hansen had already worked together in the American slasher film Texas Chainsaw 3D where Mosely plays Drayton Sawyer and Hansen was still in the Camera and Electrical Department back in 2013.

In the film, Brandon (Chris Minor) has always been drawn to the supernatural, so when asked to pick a topic to base his final world theology class project on, he decides to explore the dark world of exorcisms.

Teamed up with three classmates, the group is lead to investigate a multiple homicide that they eventually discover was an exorcism gone horribly wrong. Brandon becomes obsessed with the event, and in a strange turn of events, decides the only way to research this topic is to undergo an exorcism himself. He starts a fundraising online campaign that goes viral overnight…

Since its release on Digital HD and On Demand December 2016, it was in the top 10 
of horror for six (6) weeks. 

“It’s a triumph for horror films everywhere made on a marginally smaller budget, truly awe inspiring. It’s scary and unpredictable. It’s clever, frightening and enthralling. And, more than anything else, it’s the best, most perfect representation of demonic possession that I’ve seen in all my years of reviewing,” says Horror Society.

“The Possession Experiment”opens in Philippine cinemas June 21 from Rafaella Films International. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.
She may have been blessed with a rich celebrity heritage and a famous last name being born to a family of big stars, but make no mistake, this young lady has definitely what it takes to shine on her own and make her mark in the showbiz industry.

Make way for another star from the storied Barretto clan, Claudia Barretto — one of the newest addition to Universal Records' formidable and talented roster of recording artists.

Ready to prove that she is more than just another pretty-faced showbiz royalty, the 17-year-old Claudia, another world-class talent managed by the fabled home of recording stars. Cornerstone Entertainment Inc., is a definite star-in-the-making and has been one of the most talked-about showbiz personalities in social media as of late.

But unlike her mother Marjorie and her aunties Gretchen and Claudine, veteran actresses who have appeared in countless TV dramas and movies, and her sister Julia, who is already one of the most popular and sought-after young actresses in the country, Claudia has chosen a rather entirely different path— the world of music, her greatest passion.

In the same way her family conquered Philippine showbiz, Claudia is proof that the Barrettos can also become a household name in the local music industry.

Watch Cladia Barretto's Interview here:

Even with just a snippet of her debut single 'Stay', which she shared online recently, Claudia, herself a big Taylor Swift fan, has jolted the local music industry and the social media sphere in a big way.

'Stay' reached as high as #4 in Spotify Philippines' Viral 50 Chart on the first week of its release, while its music video was able to garner an astonishing 100,000 views in 
just five days.

Watch Claudia Barretto sing "Stay" LIVE:

Claudia's smash debut single has also been a hot topic on social media, with many netizens and music fans admitting to being amazed by her soothing and refreshing voice, while some going as far as comparing her vocals and performance to that of an international artist.

Claudia s debut single Stay' is now available for streaming and download on iTunes, Spotify. Amazon, Deezer. Apple Music and Spinnr.

Download Claudia Barretto  debut single 'Stay and fall in love with yet another beautiful and talented Barretto.

Stay music video hit 100.000 views in 5 days: 200,000 views in less than 2 weeks.
Stay was #4 in Spotify Philippines' Viral 50 Chart on the 1st week of release

For more details:
SM Supermalls partners with Chevrolet this June bringing fun and new experiences for the whole family, allowing customers to discover the rich automotive heritage of Chevrolet in select SM malls nationwide. The partnership was announced during a media launch held at the Atrium of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay.

The Perkins Twins 

Marilyn Monroe, Prince and Tom Cruise impersonators were present for a flashback 
to tell the backstory of Chevrolet's past model cars.

The launch showcased live music performances, car-a-oke sessions, fun-filled activities and promos, and an impressive display of classic and hand-picked Chevrolet cars which appeared in timeless American movies. As part of SM's Dad's Day celebration, dads and their families received freebies and were also given amazing deals.

Chevrolet - which brand's origin traces back to Detroit, USA - is known in over 100 countries worldwide for its fuel-efficient cars and trucks. Recognizing the role that the brand plays in the lives of Filipinos, SM Supermalls takes pride in welcoming Chevrolet to the "Home of Global Brands."

Some of the cars featured at the Atrium
SM Supermalls launched an exciting campaign inviting the whole family to explore, discover and experience the world at SM, "Home of Global Brands.' From May to December this year, different well-known and loved brands will take center stage each month. Partner brands will mount world-class and innovative activities to allow mall-goers feel and experience new and exclusive to SM product launches, activations, promotions, and fun event.

To know more about SM's "Home of Global Brands" campaign and exclusive news about SM Supermalls, visit or follow SM's official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through SM's Viber Public Chat. 

Tweet your thoughts, upload and share your photos about your ultimate family fun experience with the world's best brands at SM, the use the campaigns official hashtag #ExperienceTheWorldAtSM.
Last June 14, 2017 - "Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz" held a special screening for students, film enthusiasts and bloggers at U.P. Cine Adarna. The weather was a bit gloomy and gusts of wind can be felt around the area making the trees and leaves sway which created a cinematic background at Cine Adarna, perfect for a Horror Film screening. 

It was also my first time at Cine Adarna and watching this film at this venue made it even more memorable.

Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz tells a story about a girl Leah (Shy Carlos) who jumped out of a balcony. Coincidentally Police Officer Ruth (Sarah Lahbati) was around the area together with Gabriel (Julian Trono), childhood friend of Leah. Ruth recently moved in the rural area coping from a dark mishap in her past. Witnessing the incident, Ruth investigates what happened to Leah while Gabriel begs to join her because he loves Leah. 

The plot thickens on who is to blame with Leah's dark actions. Is it Rosario? a loyal maid to the Dela Cruz household who loves Leah as her own child. Leah's mother said that Rosario believes in superstitions. The other is Sister Eloiza, a nun and school guidance counselor who once belonged to a cult but became a confidant to Leah.

The question that you also need to answer till the end of the movie is,
"Naniniwala ka ba sa demonyo?"

Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz perfectly chose the right actors in this movie specifically Shy Carlos. This is not the first time Shy was casted in a horror movie, she was also part of Chain Mail which was released last 2015. Shy Carlos is one living proof that an actress can leap from different characters, doing support roles and now top bills her own movie because she is indeed very talented and versatile as well. Her performance is worth noting because this is giant leap from doing teeny boper roles. Her role as Leah displays a range of interpretations that is all at once haunting, frustrating, and pitiful.

Sarah Lahbati is one actress to reckon with. I know that she can really do better and now she is displaying her acting prowess. She can do drama and action which is really fit for her physical look, I can very well picture her as Angelina Jolie of the Philippines because aside from good looks, she can very well deliver. Both Shy and Sarah are the heart of this movie Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz. The support roles given by the other cast including Julian Trono gives the movie more twists that will make you hold on to your seat as the story progresses. 

I love watching Horror Films. Ever since I was a kid, I've watched local and international films and through the years, I've come to the conclusion that Filipinos have strong relationship when it comes to Horror films. We have grown critical to the point of knowing even from the trailer if the movie is worth watching or not.

Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz is helmed by the creators of Seklusyon movie spearheaded by Erik Matti and directed by Katski Flores. This is a different brand of terror. One that is haunting, it will linger in your mind. The film establishes mood and scare factor to elevate dread by orchestrating expert camerawork (I love the scene in the library), dimly lit areas, shadows and blurred visions that warns demons and the sound effects that triggers FEAR to anyone who will watch the movie from 13 years old and above. 

Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz will surely give you chills down your spine and will leave you sleeping with lights on as you contemplate if the devil is within you or surrounds you. 

Truly, there's much to be said after watching the end of the film but I will not spoil anything on this movie review, we all have different interpretations with faith, our inner demons and those false messengers of God who happens to stumble along each of our journey but the fact remains that it's up to you how you will cope up and  withstand above it all. 

After the special screening, there was a Q and A portion so that Bloggers and students can know more about the film and the cast.

Julain Trono
 Sarah Lahbati
Shy Carlos 
Julian and Shy

Watch their interview below:

 “Ang Pagsanib Kay Leah Dela Cruz” opens in cinemas on June 28, 2017. Created by Kamikaze Pictures in partnership with Viva Films and Reality Entertainment.

Watch the full trailer below: