FROM the aswangs to the tikbalangs, Trese brings to light to a new audience the rich and diverse folklore of the Philippine islands.
Not only does the series highlight creatures that we heard from horror stories like the white lady or the tianak, but also gods and goddesses of the different tribes of the Filipinos. The six episodes of Trese feature two deities from Mindanao -- Ibu and Talagbusao. Ibu is the queen or goddess of the underworld from Manobo beliefs while Talagbusao is a god of war from Bukidnon beliefs.
Adapted from the supernatural crime-procedural graphic novel created by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo, Trese introduces to the younger generation these creatures and myths.
"We need to constantly revise, reboot, revamp, and retell these stories. We need to find new ways to tell these stories or even investigate them deeper," Tan said.
He said for the longest time, "a lot of our stories have just stayed on the surface."
"It was like 'May manananggal kang gusto patayin, patayin mo ang manananggal,' and it just ends it with that," Tan said.
He said rarely are there stories based on Philippine myths that look into the origins of the manananggal, how she became one, or what made her become one.
Trese allows them to look into these mythologies and come up with stories to fit the world of the graphic novel. These crime-procedural stories allow the younger generation to gain interest in the mythologies of the Philippines.
"This is a way to catch their attention and clue them in that we have this other world of mythology they have not seen. For the kids who have grown up in the Philippine and Filipino families, it may bridge the experience of a generation to a younger generation and get them interested in finding out where the culture is," Trese executive producer Tanya Yuson said.
Set in Metro Manila, Trese follows the story of detective Alexandra Trese as she looks into cases involving Filipino mythical creatures and beings. Some are there to help her while others are there for sinister deeds.
Tan said compared to before when they could only access Philippine myths through books at the library, kids nowadays have more than one way to learn about Filipino folklore and legends with the internet.
"It's great that these days, there are so many ways for a new generation to learn about them. It is us discovering and figuring out our identity as a Pinoy the more we learn about these old tales," he said.
Filipino-America director Jay Oliva, who is Trese's director and executive producer, said working on this series allowed him to rediscover his culture.
"A series like this will hopefully reignite and inspire the upcoming generations to look into that (Philippino mythology)," Oliva said.