Meet the 6 Young Filipinas Competing to Become the Next Disney Princess!

I find myself incredibly lucky to have grown up in the Disney era, where I watched movies like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and TV shows like Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven. Girls my age were hit by the Disney Princess bug, and I’ve visited my fair share of bedrooms (as a friend) decorated with all sorts of Princess accoutrements. No surprise, because my formative years were the Disney Renaissance Era, which produced Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan.

What I love about Disney is how adapts to the modern times. When it released the Princesses of the Modern Era, they were not the usual damsel-in-distress type. They were fiercely independent and brave. Hello, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida! Technically, Elsa from Frozen is a queen, but she fits this bill, especially when she haughtily proclaimed, “You can’t marry a guy you just met.”

Now, Disney is continuing its strong and independent phase with Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream, a digital reality show produced by Globe Studios in collaboration with Disney and Maker Studios. Inspired by Disney Princesses, the show follows six young girls who pursue their dreams with the help of Disney Legend Lea Salonga; host, vlogger, and ate Janina Vela; and experts in the field where the girls want to excel in.

The winner will have the opportunity to walk down the red carpet of the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in Tokyo, Japan!

What I love about Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream is the variety of the girls. Like the Princesses of the Modern Era, they are not afraid to pursue unconventional careers and step out of the box society set for them. One of the girls dreams of becoming the president of the Philippines!

Meet the six young girls who will be competing to become the next Princess in Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream:

Jaden Narvios, 9: Future President of the Philippines

Jaden sure does know how to dream big. She wants to be the future president of the Philippines! Don’t think that this a child’s flight of fancy. She knows how to walk the talk by being immersed in current affairs, politics, and history, and by reading the biographies of former leaders.

Jaden will be mentored by Efren Penaflorida, the CNN Hero of the Year in 2009 who built the Kariton Klasrum Project, which aims to make education more accessible to all.


Tara Hyacinth Leonado, 16: Future Broadway Actress and Singer

Hya is the eldest and ate of the group, and is the sole breadwinner of the family. She’s making her way through the theater industry with auditions and roles to help her grandmother and younger brother. Because of this responsibility, Hya is ultra-focused on her goals.

Hya will be mentored by theater actress Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, who started her career onstage at 15, and is called the First Lady of Philippine Musical Theater because of her contributions as actress and director The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The King and I, and many more.


Alexi Tan, 12: Future Animator

Alexi is the quirky, no-frills girl in the bunch. She is an artist at heart, and specializes in anime, but is open to learning all kinds of animation.

Alexei will be mentored by Tito Romero, one of the country’s pioneers in the field. He teaches animation in a Manila university, and is known for his work with Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia, the Philippines’ first all-digital full-length animated feature film.


Stephanie Jordan, 11: Future Host

Stephanie wants to be a host, and she’s well on her way. She has already starred in a singing competition, so she knows the limelight like the back of her hand.

Stephanie will be mentored by famous YouTuber Charisma Star, who posts makeup and beauty tutorials online. She also speaks out on issues young teens and adults face, like bullying.


Liana San Diego, 15: Future Veterinarian

Liana dreams of becoming a veterinarian like her late father. Apart from helping animals, she also wants to set up a foundation that will fund her clinic, so people with pets don’t need to worry about costs when getting their furry loved ones treated.

Liana will be mentored by Dr. Nielsen Donato, one of the country’s most famous veterinarians. He is a chief surgeon, a co-host of an environment-themed TV show, and a wildlife conservationist. He is the owner of the Laguna Wildlife Park and Rescue Center, which aims to rehabilitate rescued animals.


Sirach Catipay, 10: Future Chef

This young girl is a pro in the kitchen. She can cook a wide variety of dishes, but still maintains the aura of a typical 10 year old: inquisitive, charming, and chatty. Sirach wants to open her own restaurant so that people who can’t travel can still taste different cuisines.

Sirach will be mentored by Chef Jessie Sincioco, the first Filipina pastry chef who also manages JCS Gastronomie Inc., Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie, and Chef Jessie Rockwell Club.


The Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream web series will be aired on Globe’s YouTube channel and on starting February 25. The series will culminate in a live concert extravaganza with their coach Lea Salonga and a star-studded lineup of Filipino singers, featuring Disney songs, on March 22 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The web series will also air on Disney Channel and on the Disney Channel mobile app in May.

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