SOUTHEAST Asia is finally getting its first-ever Disney Princess, with the global media giant set to roll out a new movie called Raya and the Last Dragon.
The movie is inspired by a mix of Southeast Asian cultures. In the movie's first trailer, released yesterday, sharp-eyed Pinoy fans undoubtedly noted that her weapons closely resemble arnis sticks.
In the two-minute trailer, we can immediately see that Raya isn't your typical prim and proper princess. She's training to be a warrior and the guardian of a dragon gem.
As the trailer rolls, we spot her carrying two sticks on her back, just like arnis athletes.
Since 2009, arnis has been designated as the Philippine national sport. In 2017, it was also made a mandatory subject to be taught in schools' physical education classes. In last year's Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine National Arnis Team bagged a total of 14 medals across the different events.
The trailer showcased the movie's commitment to honoring the cultures from where it takes its inspiration, starting with the many brown-skinned characters who inhabit the land of Kumandra.
We can also briefly glimpse a tribe carrying what looks like a kalis, a double-edged curvy fighting weapon that was used in the southern Philippines.
Raya also wears a hat that resembles a salakot, a traditional lightweight headgear among rural Filipinos. Conical woven hats like these are actually common throughout the region.
Raya and the Last Dragon is set to be released on March 2021.