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KZ Tandingan Sings ‘Gabay,’ the First-Ever Disney Song in Filipino

The song is in celebration of Disney’s Southeast Asian-inspired princess and warrior in ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Yesterday, social media was abuzz with the news of Disney releasing their first-ever Filipino song in honor of their newest film, Raya and the Last Dragon

The film will follow a Southeast Asian-inspired princess and warrior named Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: She is tracking down the legendary last dragon, Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina), to restore Kumandra’s fractured land and divided people. 

In celebration of the film’s upcoming release, Disney has handpicked KZ Tandingan to sing the song, entitled “Gabay.”

In a statement, Allie Benedicto, Studio Marketing Head of Disney Philippines said: “Raya and the Last Dragon is inspired by various Southeast Asian cultures and, as such, we found it fitting to launch ‘Gabay’ as a way for us to celebrate the film and connect with our Filipino fans. ‘Gabay,’ the first-ever Disney track sung in Filipino, demonstrates our commitment to work with local creative talents to tell our stories in a locally relevant manner.”

“I am very grateful and I feel very proud to be singing in my language, and show off its beauty to the rest of the world. I am proud to be part of history,” said KZ. “I grew up watching Disney movies. Finally, there is a Disney Princess who I can feel a very strong connection to, and that is Raya—the first one to be inspired by Southeast Asia.”

The song, which is about “trust, strength, and unity,” was especially inspiring to KZ. “I love that the song reminds us that sometimes we feel we are weak, especially when we are alone, but if we just learn to trust each other, to come together, and to unite, only then are we able to change the world,” she added.

“Gabay” will be available to stream on Spotify beginning Friday, March 5, 2021. Raya and the Last Dragon is coming to Philippine cinemas soon. 

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Lead photo from Disney