I am a terrible fan of Filipino folklore. Considering that I was born and raised in manila, grew up with my grandmother and a few superstitious baby sitters, and heard a thousand different stories about our very rich and intriguing folklore. Yet, I am still unable to create my own fiction about these mythic creatures I grew up hearing and reading about.
The Filipino mythos have gone by leaps and bounds from its day one conception during the pre-Spanish era through the 21st century, it has constantly evolved according to the context of time, culture and belief of the people who heard, read and eavesdropped upon them.
Just like Trese.
Trese is an anthology of horror/supernatural stories created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo. It tells the story of Alexandra Trese, a young bar owner and supernatural detective, who gets to deal with the things that go bump in the night… or worst.
The story, though drawing some minor influences from the X-files and the Twilight zone series for style and flow, stylizes majority of its influences drawn from the folktales and legends of the Philippines. And when we say folktales and legends, it’s the creepy side of it, not the usual prince charming and happily ever after type.
What’s interesting about Trese is it’s the local mythos that drives the story, it defines the character’s origin and how she will deal with it. With each flip of the page you’ll be introduced to ladies in white hit and ran by a car, Tikbalangs masquerading as illegal drift racers and so on. The possibilities of the Trese universe is unlimited, with the Philippine folklore as its omnibus of inspiration we could be seeing aswangs developing iPod apps for Apple sooner or later.
Read some short stories about Alexandra Trese here
find trese wiki info here.