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Manila, Philippines

ROUGE on 7th Anniversary: It was a trying first year

All-girl pop-rock band ROUGE is celebrating their anniversary. The band’s current lineup of Princess Ybañez, Kara Mendez, Jeri Oro and Gyan Murriel is on their seventh year as a band.

“Super proud lang talaga ako para sa amin,” said founding member and bassist Kara Mendez. “I’ve seen many bands who have given up already. And I’ve also seen successful bands but were in-fighting and eventually disbanded,” she continued.

The vocalist-bassist have seen former members go in her course with the band.

ROUGE was formed in 2013. It was Kara, co-founding guitarist-vocalist Jeri Oro, drummer Celina Pastor and guitarist Ayu Kassinique in the beginning.


hen Ayu left and was replaced by vocalist-violinist Princess Ybañez. Pastor eventually went to be replaced by one Jacq Abad Santos. The latter also went and left room for vocalist-drummer Gyan Murriel in 2014.

And it is this lineup of Princess, Jeri, Gyan and Kara that stands strong to this day celebrating their 7th year together.

Still, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for ROUGE.

“There were moments: first, was during the first year of ROUGE. Before Gyan came, we changed drummers 3 times. Many days we wanted to give up (during) that crucial first year. Next was when Jeri decided to get married and start a family 2 years ago. Our very busy schedule would make it impossible for her to do the band and take care of a family.”

“We tried finding a replacement but Jeri is irreplaceable. (Then) the pandemic happened and everyone had a change in perspective.”

It was during the lockdowns that the band realized the group’s worth in their lives. “So much gratitude for the blessings the band has given to us as artists and as human beings. We would have missed beautiful and rich memories of life experiences without each other.”

And their secret to keeping it together and advice for other bands?

“Be good people to each other. Be a good person in general. Don't try to dominate one another. The goal is not to be "right". It should always be "what is best for all." When ego and the desire to be right is out of the picture, the flow is much easier moving forward.”

ROUGE credits their team, supporters, fans and family for keeping ROUGE running for seven years now. “Salamat sa inyo fam for keeping us solid. We are so grateful,” said the band on their official social media.

ROUGE released their latest single “Kalimutan Ka” last February 2021 to commemorate their 7th-year anniversary.


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