MANILA - Edward Neibert III has always been fascinated with pencils and crayons thanks to the influence of his brothers, who are also artists in their own right.
Pictures of him doodling random objects on their house have been well preserved in the family album. Although he grew up in a "macho family," the young lad is likes drawing Disney characters.
Disney Princesses, to be exact.
It was, he told ABS-CBN News, his late dad who introduced him to the surreal universe of magic carpets and moving tea cups. As an artist, he was able to see beyond aesthetics and delve deeper into gender representations.
"I've always been fascinated with the Disney Princesses because of how they portray women as delicate but also strong," he said.
In time for Buwan ng Wika, Neibert re-imagined some of the most popular Disney princesses as Pinays by making them wear outfits of different ethnolinguistic groups, from the T'boli of Southern Mindanao to the Ifugao of Northern Luzon.
"I chose to make them Pinoy because I feel like our people are greatly underrepresented, especially in the Disney movies, as we Pinoys now have a much bigger role worldwide," he said.
His artworks have been been circulating on Facebook, garnering thousands of shares from netizens.
For 23-year-old Neibert, Pinays possess some of the most striking qualities of Disney Princesses -- love for their family, positive attitude, and a certain reservedness a la "Dalagang Filipina."
"I think the qualities of these Disney Princesses as a whole is what makes it truly Pinoy," he said. "I simply clothed them, but what makes them truly Filipino is how relevant the lessons they teach us today, towards becoming better individuals."
"There is Aurora and Snow White's quality of purity and innocence, which embodies the meaning of a 'dalagang Filipina.' Cinderella and Tiana's hardworking but positive attitude mirrors our own culture of being reliable and positive, while Pocahontas and Mulan show the importance of family and their people, much like the thousands of OFWs and those who are serving the country with their lives."
Neibert gave ABS-CBN News permission to compile his works. Here are some of them:
Belle of "Beauty and the Beast"
Princess Jasmine of "Aladdin
Snow White of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Tiana of "The Princess and the Frog"
Ariel of "The Little Mermaid"
Princess Aurora of "Sleeping Beauty"
To see more of Neibert's art, check out his Facebook page (@artofedwardneibert).