The paranormal crime and investigation story seen in the Netflix series Trese sums up how Philippine mythology is deserving of recognition for shaping our culture even in today’s modern times.
In addition to the original comic book series, you might want to try reading these locally authored books to get a sense of what and where the characters in Trese originated from. Here are six books you should add to your reading list if you’re into themes similar to Trese’s:
- May tiktik sa bubong, may sigbin sa silong by Allan Derain
Allan Derain has assembled an anthology of various depictions and interpretations of aswang, portrayed in different literary forms— from famous writers such as Nick Joaquin, Allan Popa, Rogelio Braga, and many more. This book tells the story of how monsters and creatures became popular in the country through hearsay, word of mouth, and even how the media represents them.
2. Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag by Allan Derain
Another book from Derain, “Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag” recounts stories from the past from today’s perspective. This book will not only surprise you, but it will also make you laugh. Derain never fails to deliver when it comes to penning a story from the perspective of an aswang.
3. Si Amapola sa 65 na kabanata by Ricky Lee
This book is already remarkable for being written by the one and only Ricky Lee,, but apart from that, it’s also equally remarkable for featuring a progressive narrative. It tells the story of a “gay aswang“–a manananggal–who feels and thinks profoundly like a human. Who knew aswangs could have emotions like humans?
4. The Legends by Damiana Eugenio
Damiana Eugenio’s The Legends gives a more in-depth look at different kinds of legend stories: heroic/historical legends, epic heroes, religious legends, narrations of encounters with supernatural beings, miscellaneous legends about sunken bells, buried treasure, etc.— and even legends behind name of places.
5. The Aswang Inquiry by Frank Lynch and Gilda Cordero-Fernando
Unlike those mentioned above, The Aswang Inquiry is actually more of a casual read rather than a narrative. It’s also suitable for younger audiences who just want to know what are the different kinds of aswang present in the country.
With the richness of Philippine literature and its wide selection of books that may teach us a thing or two about legends and myths, you can also look at the Aswang Project website if you want fast answers to your aswang-related questions.
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