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How do You Draw Love in the Middle of War?


Despite being an animated film, this story written by Sunao Katabuchi-Chie Uratani, which is based on the manga titled—‘In This Corner of the World’ by Fumiyo Kōno definitely provides its audience the kind of drama set in the 1930s-1940s wartime in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan, roughly 10 years before and after the horrific atomic bombing.

In this Corner of the World

In the film, a young woman named Suzu, innocent and is fond of drawing; she lived in a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima City. At 18 years of age she married Shūsaku, an earnest and quiet man; who worked as a judicial officer at the military court in Kure.

Suzu opted to live with Shūsaku in Kure City. Her husband lived with his family located on a hillside in the suburbs of Kure, with a view of the Japanese Naval Fleet in the harbor, including the largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi. Suzu enjoys touching nature and viewing warships moving on the sea with her niece, Harumi.

One day, a navy sailor named Tetsu comes to see Suzu. He was her childhood friend, now assigned to the Japanese cruiser Aoba stationed in Kure. During the night, Shūsaku allowed Tetsu and Suzu to be alone with each other; thinking that it might be the last time for the two to see each other for war is on. Little did he know that Suzu and Tetsu loved each other and professed their feelings toward each other. They copulated that night as well.

In the springtime, Shūsaku is drafted by the Navy and temporarily quartered with troops in Otake City, 40 miles away from Kure.

As mentioned in the film’s logline—‘torn apart by war’—the relationship between Shūsaku and Suzu were also falling apart. It even got worst when the U.S. army began its air raids on the Japanese mainland, in Kure. In July, urban areas of Kure are firebombed and mostly burnt down. Suzu is nearly killed by a U.S. low-level strafing run, but saved by Shūsaku. But the inevitable tragedy happened—Suzu lost her brother Yōichi, her niece Harumi, and her right arm—the one she used to draw the things she sees and imagine. She suffered in depression, and planned to return to the relative safety of her hometown (Eba) in Hiroshima City in time for the local summer festival on August 6. But on the morning of that day, a huge and marvelous cloud was rolling up over the mountain from the direction of Hiroshima City. The atomic bombing horribly destroyed countless humans and buildings in Hiroshima City.

It distraught Suzu. Probably, anyone who find himself or herself in a similar situation as Suzu—one will definitely be in a nervous breakdown.

Watching the film will also open the viewers’ eyes on the perils of war. One can ask: ‘How do You Draw Love in the Middle of War?’

After the war, Shūsaku found a new job and began a new life with Suzu, again. The latter regained her motivation to get through life and still draw love for herself and others.

Directed by Sunao Katabuchi, featuring character designs by Hidenori Matsubara and music by Kotringo—it vividly captured the episodes and background of the story are based on facts and real incidents—the lost townscape of pre-war Hiroshima, the damaged Hiroshima due to the atomic bombing; accurately supported by old photos, documents, and the memories of living people.

Suzu’s battled the horrors of war and her depression, which the moviegoers can surely empathized with.

Now showing in theaters, catch it soon.

In 2016, The film won in the following awards—Hiroshima Peace Film Award (3rd Hiroshima International Film Festival) and Best Film (38th Yokohama Film Festival).

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Turning 40 is Another Adventure for Piolo Pascual


Star Magic’s #UltimateHeartthrob#PioloPascual, who just celebrated his birthday last January 12 is indeed very much active at this point of his career unlike some of his contemporaries or other actors who reached the same phase of their lives are starting to feel the lackluster status.

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Pascual took time to gamely posed before the clicking cameras of bloggers who attended the bloggers’ conference.

In his 40th birthday, life is not just picking up, but it has given him the opportunity to explore more in order to cross out the things from his bucket list—the ones he want to pursue in his lifetime. One of which is to travel the region to showcase the Filipino talents to the world.

According to Pascual, he wants to tap the international market not necessarily Hollywood, but other markets such as lifestyle.

Because of his successful career in the entertainment industry for the last 20 years, he wants to pay back by doing more for his fans and for the Filipino people by continuously doing the things he thinks would make them happy.

“I can never be more thankful. I’m just really happy that they didn’t just change my life, they’ve changed my whole track, my entire journey in life and I’m just really humbled by it.

““It’s not for me to say. Being in this business for a long time it’s a blessing already. To be on top, I mean that’s a sense of entitlement. I’ll never hold on to something that is fleeting. As long as I know I’m enjoying my life and I’m able to do things that I enjoy doing, that’s okay by me,” he said.

Part of his birthday celebration, he just recently launched his ‘Piolo Greatest Themes’ album. Also, mid-year, he embarked on his first lifestyle food show titled ‘The Crawl’ together with actor Lui Villaruz. The first season had them eating their way around Osaka, Japan. Its success led to an immediate follow up season, which Piolo undertook with his son Inigo in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Another adventure for him was his being paired with Yen Santos in an upcoming film titled—‘Once in a Lifetime’, which was partly shot in New Zealand.

To see a different side of the Piolo and his enviable bachelor’s pad—read the January 2017 cover star of Star Studio magazine.

Michelle Ayalde returns to promote her ‘HiPNOTIC’ album


The former Kapamilya star and ‘Wansapanataym’ theme song singer Michelle Ayalde recently had its successful launch for her first and international ‘HiPNOTIC’ album in 12 Monkeys on Thursday, August 11.

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Ayalde is in photograph during her album launch. Photograph courtesy by Sany Chua.

Her extended play album is composed of seven tracks. It is produced by Malaysian label Worldwide Platinum Records and was released by Warner Music Malaysia. Michelle accounts the creation of her diversely themed album to producers Pierre Paolo Banaga and Elton Collins.

Ayalde, a former Star Magic artist takes pride in this latest album of hers just like with her previous self-titled debut album that came about in 2005, exactly 11 years ago. Her rattling (garalgal) kind of singing voice style complements well with ‘HiPNOTIC’. And the music video is also set to be released on local music channels like MYX very soon.

“Ngayon it’s kind of different from my previous album. At the same time I’m really proud of it because I got to work with different race [while making it],” says Michelle.

During the launch, which was hosted by Tippy dos Santos, her friends and co-Star Magic artists—Janus  del Prado, Allyzon Lualhati and Celine Lirio paid a visit to show their support. Singer Marcelito Pomoy also joined her album launch.

Michelle Ayalde’s international album HiPNOTIC is currently available on Spotify and iTunes.