“Gabay” by Filipina singer KZ Tandingan was released at midnight on Friday, March 5.
The song, which calls for unity and trust, will be featured in the upcoming animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
The lyrics include: “May lakas na galing sa tubig, at sa puso mo’y mahika / Bibigyang dangal ang pamana, ‘pag liwanag ang ‘yong dala / Magkaisa nang tumibay, at ‘di mahihiwalay / Tatatag, ‘wag lamang matakot na subukan.”
“I think what young Filipinas can learn from Raya is to never underestimate yourself. Never think that you are too young to start the change that your community needs,” Tandingan told the Philippine News Agency.”
Tandingan — dubbed “Asia’s Soul Supreme” — was handpicked to “lend her voice” for the first-ever Filipino-language track from Disney.
To welcome the release of “Gabay,” she hosted a listening party via Instagram Live with her fans.
Previously, Tandingan said she was “very grateful” to sing the first-ever Disney track in Filipino for an international animated film.
“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,” she said in a statement sent to Philstar.com.
“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 as the first one inspired by Southeast Asia,” she added.
Set in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where long ago humans and dragons lived together in harmony, “Raya and the Last Dragon” — directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada — tells the story of Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), who embarks on an adventure to track down the legendary last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), to restore the fractured land and unite its divided people.
Other cast members include Daniel Dae Kim as Raya’s father Benja; Gemma Chan who plays Raya’s nemesis Namaari; and Sandra Oh as Virana, Namaari’s mother.
“‘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,” said Allie Benedicto, studio marketing head of Disney Philippines.
“‘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,” she added.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” was released in theaters and on Disney+ with Premiere Access for an additional $29.99 fee on March 5.