Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I don't know what happened.

Suddenly, for November, I just stopped reading. Completely. No books (of all genres, even my favorites), no graphic novels, or even simple comic strips. Nada. I just didn't have the drive to read anymore. My family and friends were confused and worried because I'm the biggest bookworm they know.

Then one time my boyfriend asked me to go with him to ATC for the launching of Trese: Midnight Tribunal and to get his complete set signed. I have honestly never read the series prior to that day, but I did buy him the 5th book to show my support for his interests (yay, support Filipino authors!).

Trese 5: Midnight Tribunal (latest)
Fast-track to that day, I quietly listened to the interesting questions of the interviewer, Yvette Tan (author of Waking the Dead). I was quite amused by the apparent interest of the attendees. I didn't know they already have quite a following! The interest of the attendees aroused my interest as well so then and there I borrowed my man's five books to read them myself.

I left the books on my bedroom floor for about a week before I found myself looking for something to bring to the hospital to read while waiting (for a checkup). I gave up and picked up the first book of Trese. I think I finished it in an hour or less. And finished all five books in three days. It's that good.

For those who have not yet heard of Trese, it is a graphic novel series about the adventures of Alexandra Trese as a detective for paranormal crimes in our very own Philippines. I just love reading books situated in our country. What sets the series apart is that it uses the folklore that we Filipinos all grew up with - the stories about the aswang, tikbalang, nuno sa punso and the like - coupled by our very own streets - Balete Drive, Ayala, etc - so it was very easy to get lost in the story and feel like you're right there and that it's all very real.

The creators of Trese, Budgette Tan (writer) and Kajo Baldisimo (illustrator), were quirky and funny during the book launch, and their talent and humor certainly is evident in the five books. Budgette sure knows how to spin a tale, and Kajo's art just keeps getting better and better.

At first, my boyfriend didn't want me to read the graphic novels because I am such a scaredy-cat and I frequently have very vivid nightmares (murder, my death, ghosts, etc) so he didn't want to add to my overactive subconscious. But I insisted, despite my own misgivings.

I am so glad I didn't let my fear get in the way. I don't know if the other fans of Trese get scared while reading the series, but I really wasn't. I think it's because Alexandra Trese is just so bad-ass and such an interesting character that I actually felt 'safe' while reading it.

Yes, yes, I recommend the book, and not just because I like supporting Filipino authors, and that I'm super in love with it, but because it's truly marvelous to read. Definitely five stars for me - each and every book. It's not a waste of time and money (I actually wish I could buy my own set and not just borrow my boyfriend's). For international, non-Filipino readers, you can still enjoy the book as it's in English!

This was actually the first-ever book launch I've ever attended and I'm so glad I did. I actually had fun, even if I was not able to relate to the interest then. I certainly do now! Looking forward to the next Trese graphic novels. Kudos, Budgette and Kajo! :)

Creators of Trese Kajo Baldisimo (left) and
Budgette Tan (center) with my man Paolo
at the launch of Trese 5: Midnight Tribunal
November 24, National Bookstore, ATC

Ciao! :)


  1. Thank you very much for the wonderful review. Very glad that you liked your first visit into TRESE's dark side of the city (and that you liked it enough to visit four more times)!

    Many thanks!


    1. I should be the one thanking you for writing Trese. It really broke the rut I've been in. Looking forward to more Trese books! :)

  2. FINALLY! another one bites the dust! welkam to the world of TRESE!

  3. wow another Trese fan.
    if you liked Trese, try looking for Naermyth by Karen Francisco. It's a novel fit for your taste, set in the post apocalyptic Philippines. Tikbalang Tiyanak Aswang Duwende and all pinoy mythical characters are also there. One of the few books that Budjette himself promoted in the past. :D

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Wulffrick, I'll make sure to check it out :) Merry Christmas!


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