INSPIRATION AMIDST THE ISOLATION | Five questions with Nicole Laurel Asensio

All photos by Gerard del Mundo courtesy of Nicole Laurel Asensio

A lot of things have happened to Nicole Laurel Asensio since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Almost immediately, the singer-songwriter who rose to prominence as lead singer of the all-female rock group, General Luna, became one of the most sought after artists who did not think twice about offering her talents for numerous online gigs that raised funds for the medical frontliners and families affected by the deadly coronavirus.

Since the community quarantine also known as the lockdown took effect last March, Nicole has also had one of the most eventful periods of her career, starting with a series of online performances she dubbed as Quarantunes.

She also wrote a bunch of new songs including one (“Lessons in Silence”) that she performed for BusinessMirror’s SoundStrip Live & in Quarantine just last May after which she signed a major record deal with Warner Music Philippines. Now, she has just released a brand new single called “Silong.”

In a recent interview with SoundStrip, Nicole talked about how she made the lockdown work to her advantage, how she has evolved as an artist and what the immediate future holds for her career.

1. You’ve had a very productive and eventful lockdown, what made you decide right from the start that you will devote your time to create new music and do online performances?

Keeping myself productive and constantly planning, creating and executing is probably how I’m built, the wheels in my thoughts don’t stop even when I want them to. So perhaps the primary motive to create during quarantine was for my own sanity. I simply need to be constantly crafting something.

Even at home I try to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. The lockdown also left me more time to revisit unfinished projects that were stacking up. On the music side, I would divide my time and try to support as many online fundraisers as I could, try to accommodate whatever online corporate gigs came my way and create music content that featured musicians from all genres. These musical collaborations are on my long list of things I have always wanted to do, so I figured, why not now?

2. During the lockdown, you started your now popular Quarantunes series. Tell us more about it.

Quarantunes was started on Day 1 of the lockdown. My keyboardist Kim Lopez and I had been talking about a concept where we mash-up two different songs with the same or similar titles so we started out re-arranging the songs together over the phone. From there I kind of made a wish list of musicians I wanted to work with and songs I wanted to do. I was keeping an eye out for which artists were active online and reached out to some to collaborate, and thankfully they were willing and enthusiastic. Ira Cruz helped me with the recordings and before we knew it we were guesting more and more instrumentalists. We wrapped what we jokingly called Quarantunes Season 1 with 18 videos and will be starting a “second season” soon.

3. I heard your new song, “Silong” took a while to be completed. What happened?

To be honest, I felt like I lost my will to write for a couple years. My calendar was quite full of gigs and events. But for some reason the inspiration to write left me. Even when my father passed away, I found it difficult to put my emotions into words. To write again was something I prayed for for years. “Silong” was re-written quite a few times, and the final version ended up becoming a collaboration with Kim Lopez and Ex Madrigal Singer Itchie Montilla.

The arrangement was a group effort with the band I usually work with, Michael Alba (Drums), Karel Honasan (Bass) Nikko Rivera (Keys) Ira Cruz (Guitar) Michael Guevarra (Horn Arrangement and Sax) Lester Sorilla (trumpet) Isla Antinero (Trombone) JC Magsalin (String Arrangement) Tes Amper (Cello) Jo Bry Cimafranca (Violin) and Yosha Honasan, Pauline Lauron and my mom Iwi on backups. All these people are like musical family to me.

There wasn’t a direct plan to release this song. I had other songs in mind but I just wanted to do a piece that had everyone I love in it And from there I began writing again. I think I now have 15 songs.

4. You started your career as a rocker but your image now is that of a glamorous, sultry chanteuse. Is this the kind of career evolution that you had in mind when you started?

About 12 years ago my mom’s former manager from her early twenties, the late Ms. Roxanne Lapus once told me she envisioned me wearing gowns and singing standards, and hosting events on the side. To be honest, 12 years ago, I couldn’t see myself that way.

I was a leather boot wearing, ripped jeans rockin’, tangled hair-gypsy beads, wailing little woman. And that was all I thought I could be then. But as I got older I realized that I enjoy all kinds of music. Rock will always hold a huge chunk of space in my heart, but I have always enjoyed jazz too. My family is rooted in classical and Broadway so naturally my tastes quickly shift.

I guess corporate event clients might have seen what Ms. Roxanne saw in me back then. Because they started inquiring about me performing with big-band jazz, standards and hosting on the side. Being a self-supporting musician since age 21, I took these jobs, and found a new side of myself that I enjoyed just as much. I fell in love with big band gigs, jazz trio gigs and the like and it started to meld into my writing.

I guess my takeaway is that I don’t believe in having just one life, one colour and one flavour as an artist, and that it’s ok to genre hop. I know not everyone will agree with me there, and that is ok too but I would never allow someone to stop me in my tracks and say— you should only sing this or you should stick to this sound exclusively. I simply wouldn’t be able to live like that.

5. Many fans are still clamoring for a General Luna reunion and you and the other ladies had some recent online get-togethers that you had a lot of fun doing. In addition to considering this reunion, do you still see yourself doing rock music again?

The ladies of General Luna and I have such a rich treasure box of crazy stories and memoirs. As years went by, many things have changed, our lives, our musical landscape, our addresses. And we slowly learned to adapt to these changes as individuals and as friends.

Nowadays, we keep in touch through a Facebook thread where we check on each other and keep each other posted. Once in a while we do catch up sessions on streaming apps like Kumu, I’ve also been asking for an online musical reunion from them, but I think it will have to wait until that is logistically feasible. I hope it will happen soon. We don’t want to feel pressured so I guess it will happen when it is meant to, but the great thing is we’re all in touch and we will always be friends.

As for going back to rock music? Oh yes, definitely. Not tomorrow but you can count on it that I’ll be doing this again soon. My mind is already bubbling with ideas.

Nicole Laurel Asensio’s “Silong” is now available on major streaming platforms. Watch the official music video here premiering this August 29 at 8PM:



  1. 10 April 2003

    i can’t play golf. i’m not rich. It is for anyone two reasons, I’m assuming, That I don’t get Johnson Hootie and the Augusta National Golf Club, If indeed Hootie speaks for enough of ANGC’s all male membership that he speaks as the bulk of. (For all we realize, maybe Hootie runs the ANGC on fear. Perhaps he has organized the groundskeepers into death squads and dissent is impossible. Is he re elected to regardless of the post he holds by 100 per cent margins on single name ballots? No membership, No matter the CEO of what and it does not matter his net worth, Dares speak out against Johnson Hootie for fear of being been consumed, Or the head of a dead horse going online in his locker. has anyone tried dropping a JDAM across Hootie’s bow? Maybe he and the groundskeeper fayadeen will melt into the night. Just an indicator.)

    appropriate now, If I received born rich, I assume that would understand the Augusta Guys’ not wanting to hang with women, There on the club. Augusta is perhaps do not take cooking of the tens of thousands golf clubhouses I’ve not been inside. It would add greatly to my know-how about why there are no Augusta Gals, Perhaps even be dissuaded from writing this, If I were given an enormous amount of money, Then allowed inside to check around.

    immediately, If I were many a golfer, I would spend more time in golf clubhouses, And knows what they look like, And could extrapolate from those experiences what the inside of ANGC must be like. Or maybe that’s [url=]moldova ladies[/url] not at all possible, Being as is it doesn’t ANGC, Home of the pros sui generis, that you understand, of the ANGC, Peopled by such terribly rich important people that even the most backbreaking extrapolation finds visualization still far beyond quotidian reach.

    The last time I was in a golf club’s clubhouse was… Lemme do think here… four, Five years ago. It was not a high end golf-club, And eventhough it was private, it had bisexual, wherein I mean it had members of both genders.

    at the present. As I have realized the Hootster to say, Wimmin do not suffer boiling oil and wolfbane upon coming up the front door, to ppotentiallytico, Or deck, Or what ever, connected ANGC. Many’s the round do the women play at ANGC every dad gum year, Johnson Hootie assures all mankind, the exact dames’ svelte, Smooth tootsies pressing into the green of Amen Corner and other molded sacristies, Teein’ it up as beloveds of the brotherhood or maybe as plain ol’ unaffianced guests. So the assumption is OK, Extrapolated that on one of the doors you will find there’s sign, Perhaps of a size of type no bigger than the accumulated pixels which compose this word, but still saying LADIES. And in regards to this door, Ladies are going to do what ladies do, really, carpet cleaning their cleats, sliding little knit sockie things over their woods.

    So at the low end club I was in, there would be a door lettered MEN and behind it I wasn’t playing, I went in to use the toilet in this field, Set aside from any other gender and reserved for male people, have been places to do things besides clean cleats. had been sofas. You could sit there and talk [url=]moldova women[/url] to guy, If it suited you, No girls within 30 feet. There was a billiard table. There were card tables and evidence of fraternal Crazy 8s previously being played.

    So what I’m concerned about is, And if that’s Johnson Hootie the Brotherhood have their boxers bunched by Burk the Banshees from Hell, Is there by some wild chance within the moss strewn vastness of ANGC no clearly demarcated room where the guys can be alone together with each other,

    Lordly, If a rather tatty, Low end private club in Edge City USA can protect its male members from incursion with a freakin’ measly sign, Surely an entity as august as Augusta can do the actual same. But i don’t know. Never been inside of of of. Maybe one of the members can tell us.

  2. Those incredible Mansions

    Magnificent mansions on exquisite estates are commonplace in life on the Main Line.

    While a lot of those palatial mansions dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries have become too large to maintain as private residences, They reside a second life in a new capacity.

    Some have been transformed into learning centers on college campuses, Others into churches and lifecare amenities. Add in a few more that serve as community centers and popular wedding sites. Here is only a smattering of those “remade” estates.

    From train barons to lifecare

    “many of the township’s large properties have been saved for adaptive reuse. There have also been rivalries among some of the local railroad barons to see who could erect the most impressive castle, visits “the most important First 300: the astonishing and Rich History of Lower Merion Township,

    The mansions of two of those railroad barons have been changed into exclusive, Upscale lifecare places. Waverly Heights in Gladwyne was built in 1912 by Main Line architect Addison Hutton, who was simply dubbed “The Quaker architect of Bryn Mawr, The home was developed for Samuel Rea, Who served as president of the pa Railroad from 1913 to his retirement at age 70 in 1925, along with wife, margaret, And their two small children, George but Rea.

    Another railway baron whose Bryn Mawr mansion known as Beaumont became a lifecare facility was William L. austin texas, President of the Baldwin locomotive Works.

    A third facility for older adult living that set off as a private mansion is the Mary J. Drexel space in Bala Cynwyd. In 1951 chris Lankenau, Of Lankenau facility, Bought your own home and then donated it as a tribute to his wife, jane J. Drexel Lankenau.

    The show place, regularly called Willoughby, Dates to 1908 when Philadelphia lawyer Percy Hamilton Clark wonderful wife, electronic, The daughter of pennsylvania Railroad president George Brooke Roberts, bought property on the Roberts tract along Belmont Avenue. the happy couple commissioned their cousin, architect Clarence Clark Zantzinger, to develop the mansion, Which would become home to their loved ones, might eventually include eight children and a large staff, this kind of a cook, the governess, A chauffeur and a breastfeed. The estate included as well a working farm with seven cows, One horse and 400 hens, according to “a new First 300,

    From mansions to garden wedding parties

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    The Willows and its 47 acre estate on Darby Paoli Road were generously donated to Radnor Township in 1973. The mansion, in the beginning called Rose Garland, Was integrated 1910. within the next several years more buildings were constructed, introducing a gatehouse, A duck family house, Dog kennels, football courts and an observatory. The mansion was designed by architect Charles Barton Keen, Who also built up the St. Davids club, The Aronimink Country Club and the Valley Forge driver.

    The 22 acre Appleford property, Named for its involving apple orchards, Began its life in 1728 as an ordinary stone farmhouse. throughout the 1867 Moro Phillips, A wealthy Philadelphian in mit and fertilizer business, Purchased the property or home for $15,375. Mt. Moro Road is termed after him. In the mid 1920s owners Anabel and Lewis Parsons hired Colonial Revival builder R. Brognard Okie of the Main Line to inflate the mansion in a colonial style. In the 1930s garden architect Thomas Sears designed the now famous gardens on the estate, which was bequeathed to Lower Merion Township upon Mrs. Parsons’ murder in 1973.

    Okie added his touches to another location Main Line wedding site. Bolingbroke on King of Prussia Road in Radnor goes to the 1720s as a spring house on the estate bears the inscription “1727, When Ledyard Heckscher owned the house in early 1900s, He hired Okie to renovate and enlarge it to its present size. the house and property was sold to the McKee family in 1949 and a decade later it was sold again, in St. Martin’s Episcopal church, Which is constantly on the rent the site for weddings.

    Another Main Line estate with exquisite flowering gardens, Asian woods and a pond garden might be 35 acre Chanticleer on Church Road in Wayne. The gate to the botanical garden is crested with carved stone roosters, typically chanticleers in French.

    Chanticleer began life as the show place and estate of Adolph Rosengarten Sr, The head of a family pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia founded in 1822 to produce quinine. In 1927 the household business became part of Merck Co. living at the estate were Rosengarten, His dearest, Christine, And the company’s son, Adolph jr.. It was the son who chose to bequeath the family estate specifically as a public garden, getting in 1993.

    Distiller’s home now Catholic high school showplace

    Several Main Line mansions happens to be home, much less for four years, For hundreds of trainees. the of Rathalla, Now Rosemont university and college, Dates to 1889 when ernest Sinnott, who owns the Philadelphia distillery company of Moore and Sinnott, Bought 40 acres of land once portion of the Ashbridge estate called Rosemont Farm. By our summer of 1891 a 32 room palatial mansion, Designed by the Philadelphia executive firm of Hazlehurst and Huckel, Was eager for occupancy by Sinnott, His girlfriend, ould – Eliza Rogers, And their nine children six sons and three daughters ranging in age from 13 to 27. Also entering into the mansion, in whose Gaelic name means “Home of the chieftain upon the particular hill, came seven servants.

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    From Indians to this waterwheel

    The camping and camping site of the Lenape Indians, The filming site of a gulf movie, locations of a famous waterwheel, The resting place of the ghost of a young girl and the home of a popular college are just a few of the ways you can describe this Main Line mansion in St. Davids.

    The 40 acre estate on luscious grounds that included three lakes was given the name of Walmarthon. The name was a mixture of the last name of the estate’s owner and the first name of his wife. holder Charles S. Walton was a leather brand who in 1905 became president of England Walton Leather [url=]russian brides[/url] Goods. He had lived in Wayne before hiring well known architect Horace Trumbauer to design his dream mansion in a mediterranean sea style; It took three years to do. consequently the mansion, The estate included green-houses, A seven car attic, A three horse stable and a springhouse complete with a waterwheel that is the most recognizable landmark of Eastern College, Now Eastern or perhaps, Which bought the est in 1950.

    The campus is said to be home to the ghost of a young girl, deemed Charles Walton’s daughter, Suzanne, Who died when she was just seven years of age. The ghost is said to manifest itself as a cold breeze up and down the dormitory hallways. Other legends say the ghost often knocks on a dorm room door and in the door is opened, a little daughter girl enters the rooms and dances around.

    Decades earlier in 1918 the estate was the filming site for a silent western called “wow, johnny, With star Louis Bennison as amy Burke. the movie was directed by Ira M. Lowry and was of Sigmund Lubin, Who ran the Betzwood dojos in Valley Forge. among the scenes shot at the estate were one at the waterwheel, A dinner party on the patio and swimming and diving scenes in Willow Lake.

    From home to high school to church

    “From home to varsity to church” May sound like a family’s to do list, But usually it’s the three lives of a Main Line castle. same as at Walmarthon, your favorite shows was filmed at Ballytore. In 1964 the movie “chris are friends,james and Lisa” Was filmed there with a lot of shots of the estate’s famous beech trees, Including ones on the Clothier Road driveway that were first planted in 1890.

    This four story Victorian mansion outstanding sentry gatehouse at each of its four corners, A regal turret and steeply peaked blue slate roof. It was built in 1885 on a 60 acre site in Wynnewood that have formerly been part of Henry Morris’ Maple Grove Farm.

    the first sort residence of Isaac H. Clothier, One of the founders of the Strawbridge Clothier department shop chain, Is now on its third life as the home of St. Sahag street. Mesrob Armenian Church since 1963 with the altar in what was the mansion’s dining facility. anywhere between those two lives, Ballytore served as the Agnes Irwin School for almost three decades from 1933 to 1960.

    builder Addison Hutton not only designed Ballytore but Justus C. Strawbridge’s (Clothier’s boyfriend) Mansion named Torworth in Germantown as well as the partners’ first department store in Philadelphia.

  3. Tasmanian Labor flags tough road for Hodgman Government rules as year end looms

    Tasmania’s Labor Opposition has ruled out supporting three key pieces of legal procedure despite its leader saying it will negotiate with the Hodgman Liberal Government.

    The clock is ticking on the end of the parliamentary year and the us govenment is scrambling to pass three crucial bills.

    the invoices focus on phasing out suspended sentences, Introducing mandatory sentences for assaults on off duty law enforcement officials and allowing a Government takeover of TasWater.

    But the task of passing them has become far larger since the election of Jo Siejka in Pembroke boosting Labor’s numbers in the Upper House to four.

    In a display to of conciliation, Labor Opposition Leader Rebecca White wrote to Premier Will Hodgman at the weekend asking for a meeting to discuss how to pass legislations through.

    But on [url=]cute spanish girls[/url] Monday Labor MP Scott Bacon confirmed the opposition remained opposed to phasing out suspended sentences, imperative sentencing and the TasWater takeover.

    Mr Bacon suggested Labor would instead consider components of the bills.

    “They would obviously have to speak about the detail of the bill, See if there is a sensible solution and then negotiate on the solution, he said.

    In an announcement, Leader of state and federal government Business Michael Ferguson said Labor was being disingenuous.

    Political scientist Professor Richard Eccleston said the next few weeks were a test for the Hodgman state.

    “If the legislation is knocked back by the Legislative Council it will perhaps raise questions as to whether Liberals have the ability to govern as easily as they have this term after the election if they do form government, teacher Eccleston said.

    Under Tasmania’s Hare Clark course of action, House of Assembly and Legislative Council elections are not held together.

    Professor Eccleston said Labor will also be pressurized in the final few sitting weeks.

    “They are dealing with looking at legislation at its merit, So it will be interesting to see whether they will live up to their word over the next few weeks,

    Independent MLC Mike Gaffney said the Hodgman Government needed to barter with members.

    “It’s up to government entities of the day and the party of the day to put forward good candidates, And put forward good policies, And stop within the adversarial stuff,

    He said the Hodgman Government had too often tried to ram through low quality legislation, because it had the numbers in the Lower House.

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    In a letter circulated to legal Councillors on Monday, The Leader of Government Business in the what is Council Leonie Hiscutt said:

    “I take seriously the role of the Legislative Council to scrutinise legislation and if Members have suggestions to improve the effects we seek, My door might be open.

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  5. passionate Ciclo Cafe opens first outlet in Hyd

    Ciclo bistro, The bicycle inspired fine dining brand, Has opened its first outlet in Hyderabad and the second in total. this was inaugurated by K T Rama Rao, Telangana’s minister for i. t, Municipal control and urban development.

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    Don’t miss their Sunday lunch break, Popular amongst riders who often consider Ciclo Caf as one of their pit stops from a long ride. One can indulge in regional flavours from various parts like Punjab, Bengal, or anything else,.,and so. The menu also includes dishes worthwhile for diabetics as well as gluten free dishes.

  6. Why is it improper for an author to create a character as part of his story who belongs to some other race other than his own

    What is improper is to make a character that relies on stereotyping and caricature.

    approved, You can generally get away with more stereotyping the less important the smoothness is. A background character doesn’t have much development, But still you want to put an end to vulgar caricatures.

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    I used to work with a black guy who loved fried chicken, melon, And grape soda, But wouldn’t admit it to white folks enhance stereotype. He was your south, And those were a few foods he grew up on. it goes without saying, He was also an electric engineer, Repaired cars together with father, Was a terrible guitar player, And adored “mother” comments. So if I was writing him as a character, can be seen there is more to him than just that stereotype.

    In grime doing research, You will probably find yourself learning in essence you never expected to know, And learn to comprehend things you never payed attention to before.

    In grime writing some female characters, I’ve learned how to properly fit a bra and why they are so expensive. I now extremely well what a fishtail braid is, And what smokey eyes are. I fact of the matter, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for women’s fashion in general, And can see what does and does not compliment certain features. as thinking, “goodness me, she is cute, [url=]dating ukrainian women[/url] I find myself thinking the likes of “That cateye eye shadow really compliments the shape of her eyes, also “That blue lipstick helpful with her hair color and skin tone,

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a plethora of distinct people. the earlier advice, Write what realize, Is not a restriction, Its a starting position. even without the other ideas, Write what understand. But if regular people took that as an admonishment, As a limitation, We would be deprived of truly great literature.

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    Related QuestionsMore Answers BelowDo it’s necessary that you write about a character race in fiction writing? Is it viable to just let the reader create their own model of what.

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  7. ‘Duck Dynasty’ wife or husband magic associated with dating on the internet

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    remember: your aim is to learn someone at least to gain popular a friendly relationship. as, on the web fresh, new understanding, get started with in the perfect foot: with the help of truthfulness, honesty in addition to the extremely correspondence.

    john: a functional hundred million songs about the? very you happen [url=]dating vietnamese women[/url] talking about can chance.

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  8. R might Soccer Nabs Seven All

    The South Atlantic national gathering (SAC) Officially announced the 2019 SAC Women’s Soccer All conference honorees with seven Bears earning attention. She finished second in the league nowadays in goals 13, concerns 30, And injections with 83. Mushtaq was first the SAC with shot on goal part with a.590. Van Eerden is currently third in the SAC in goals with 12 and fifth in assists at five. She is in addition top 10 in LR history in goals with 28 for her career.

    Duston, a local of Palm City, Fla, Earns her first SAC All management meeting nod. Duston is currently eighth in the SAC in goals with eight second most by any [url=]moldova dating[/url] freshmen in the conference. She happens to be fifth in the SAC in assists with five. Shimshock has led a [url=]moldova girls[/url] defense that has given up a league low 10 goals on the season.

    McGarel, a local of Morristown, Tenn, Secures her fourth straight SAC All getting together with honors. She is currently fourth on the Bears in goals with seven, as posting a.400 career shot on goal percentage and has begun and played in every game since her freshman year.

    Cruwys, a native of Bournemouth, great britain, Claims her first SAC All summit honors. Cruwys helped lead LR to a SAC leading goals against ordinary of.59.

    Warner, a native of Burlington, Ontario, nova scotia, Earns her first SAC All conference honors. She leads the SAC convention in shutouts at 10 and goals against average at.59.

    Coach Higgins secures his second SAC Coach of the year award of his coaching career. Higgins secured the 50th win of his career against Limestone recording and the 15 wins this season marks the most in a season under Higgins.

    Lenoir Rhyne claimed its seventh regular season SAC champion with a 3 1 win over Coker. The Bears will compete against in the semifinals of the SAC tournament this weekend Friday Nov.

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