MANILA — Disney is set to unveil the local singer behind its first Filipino-language song, leading up to the release of its Southeast Asia-inspired animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
On it social media channels, Disney Philippines teased that it will introduce the performer on March 2, Tuesday, with a photo of the mystery individual with her back to the camera.
“The first Filipino-language song from Disney, sung by one of the Philippines' most powerful voices. Find out who she is tomorrow,” it said.
The teaser generated excitement among Filipino fans, who shared their guesses in the comments. Among the names that came up were “ASAP Natin ‘To” mainstays Sarah Geronimo, KZ Tandingan, and Jona.
Other reactions pertained to the release platform of “Raya and the Last Dragon,” the streaming service Disney+, which is not yet accessible in the Philippines ahead of the film’s March 5 premiere. A number speculated that the film, since it’s inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, will usher in Disney+ to the region.
Having Filipino singers officially record versions of Disney theme songs is not new. For example, Janella Salvador was tapped for “Moana” (“Reflection”), Moira for “Mulan” (“Reflection”), and Darren Espanto and Morisssette for “Aladdin” (“A Whole New World”).
However, a Filipino singer recording a Filipino-language song — fittingly for a Southeast Asia-themed film — will be a first.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” centers on the title character (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) as she embarks on a mission to “restore peace” by finding the last dragon. Its fantasy setting is called Kumandra, which blends elements from cultures of the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar.