All-female band General Luna shows what glam rock is all about


Meet the members of General Luna: (L-R) Caren Mangaran (Guitars), Nicole Asensio (Vocals), Alexis Montemayor (Bass), Audry Dionisio (Guitars), and Bea Lao (Drums). All of them are brand ambassadors of Tomato, an eight-year retailer that pushes "reasonably-priced fashion."

They are made to turn heads.

At the store opening of Tomato Market! Market! branch last June 10, five ladies elicited stares from the shoppers and passersby.

Their faces are not yet familiar to the general public. But in the local music scene, rock band aficionados see them as emerging goddesses.

General Luna is what they are called, and nope, it has nothing to do with the founder of the country's first military academy.

Nicole Asensio, the group's leader said in a previous interview, "It was a name formed after we decided to do a name-the-band contest of sorts."

But how it suited them!

Just like the Filipino hero, Nicole and her groupmates—Bea Lao (Drums), Audry Dionisio (Guitars), Caren Mangaran (Guitars), and Alexis Montamayor (Bass)—are driven, feisty, and astig in a world (and genre) dominated by males.

Aside from their great talent and good looks, they're also certified fashionistas.

At the event, they all wore Tomato, and gave it some character with a few accents.

Nicole's "classic rock n' roll style" was shelved that day.

The lady who's also into theater and gymnastics said, "I hardly ever, ever wear dresses. It's a special occasion and I decided to put on this Tomato dress."

She spiced up her outfit with a belt, a leather bag, and her favorite black and silver keyboard strike watch—which are all from the clothing company that chose her as one of its brand ambassadors.

Audry, who prefers "relaxed outfits," turned her dress into a shirt, which she matched with shorts, bangles, and espadrilles—a pair of shoes usually made of canvass or cotton fabric with a rope or rubber sole.

She told (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "Less effort, the better."

Bea said she likes her clothes to be both casual and chic, so she donned "White Tomato shorts, silver clingy top, and faded gray denims."


For Alexis's part, "My style is more boyish, sexy..."

The red streaks on her short hair made her a stand-out. "It's courtesy of Henry Calayan," the bassist stated.

Caren was clad in a one-piece top and high-waist shorts which, according to her, was a "mix of rock and contemporary."

INTRIGUE PROOF? Their outfits, however, were not intrigue-proof.

Jopay Mañago of Startalk directed a question to Bea, who's reportedly the new belle of Dennis Trillo.

Surprised, she quipped, "Pa'no nangyari 'yon? Si Dennis Trillo? Nasa bar daw kami? Parang malabo 'ata. Mali 'ata mga sources natin. Baka napagkamalan lang."

(A few days after this interview, we spotted the pretty lady at the premiere night of Paglipad ng Anghel. In one corner, she patiently waited for the film's main man Sid Lucero.)

What if the award-winning actor courts one of them?

The girls joked, "Ang pinakamatutuwa sa 'min ay si Lex [Alexis]."

Do they get affected by showbiz issues?

Audry answered, "Hindi naman. Kasi hindi naman totoo. Atsaka wala namang...Naks, showbiz! Nasasaktan lang po kami? Hindi, wala. No bearing."

NO TO SHOWBIZ? For now, their focus is on their music.

Nicole related, "Our self-titled albuam was already released. Currently, we're working on the second one. So we're starting to write and record for it, which will be out, hopefully, by the end of the year."

Showbiz is the farthest thing from their minds.

"Music lang talaga, e," Audry said. "Mas mauuna yung love for music, e. Mahilig kasi kami magsulat, so, let's say one day bigyan kami ng pagkakataon magsulat ng sarili naming music or yung sarili naming gusto, why not? Pero sa ngayon kasi, gusto namin gawin yung gusto namin gawin, e. Mahirap mahaluan ng showbiz."


As if on cue, the girls chorused, "Mmm, we're focused on recording."






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