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Murder on Balete Drive

(Trese #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,540 ratings  ·  88 reviews
When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don't you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions.

When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.

Trese: Murder
Paperback, First Edition, 98 pages
Published March 2008 by Visual Print Enterprises (first published 2008)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,540 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Apokripos
Balete Drive was a street in Manila where there used to be a ghostly white lady showing herself to drunk drivers in the wee hours of the morning. Right after the drivers saw her, they lost the control of their cars, hit the big balete tree and died. No matter how loud and long those poor drivers shouted for help, the people in the neighborhood would only find the dead drivers and the totally wrecked cars when the sun was up and they were about to do their daily runs or on their way to buy their ...more
Nicolo Yu
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This slim volume truly surprised me. It's a Filipino comic that wouldn’t be out of place in a Vertigo Comics solicitation. Normally, I’d stay clear of locally produced comics, unless it’s Pol Medina’s Pugad Baboy or Lyndon Gregorio’s Beerkada. It’s probably my bad experience with Filipino superhero comics. I already read more than enough overproduced American material from DC and Marvel.

But I admit Trese rocks! It’s an anthology of stories created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo featuring Al
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the highly recommended Filipino books that was mentioned during the Filipino Fridays meme for ReaderCon was the Trese series. At first I hesitated in buying the books because they didn’t seem like my kind of thing, but several people attested to its greatness so I just went ahead and bought them.

Now let me first say that I am not well-versed in Philippine Mythology – sure, I’ve heard of aswang, tikbalang, kapre and the like, but I never really tried to find out what they were exactly. Per
Ariel Acupan
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
First, I wanna thank Mina for recommending TRESE to me. *Big Hug*

What can I say? It's breath of fresh air for me. I guess it's because most of the urban fantasy that I've been reading was about vampire, werewolves , fairies and wizards, TRESE talks about “our” story. It was like Buffy meets Harry Dresden with a dash of Filipino folklore. Alexandra kicks ass and I also mean it literally. A white lady, tikbalang, santelmo and even Darna was on the first book of TRESE. Hands down to Budjette Tan an
C.J. Edmunds
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kept seeing this at National Bookstore then and admittedly when another author spoke extensively about this did I try picking it up and loved it!

Combining urban fantasy and Philippine folklore, this graphic novel is a series of stories about Alexandra Trese, our Philippine equivalent, to Kolchak and Fox Mulder. But the cool thing about her is that she's got two magical twins as her right hand men and doesn't bat an eyelash at the different magical creatures and circumstances that she gets hersel
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Full post at One More Page

Trese is a comic book series about Alexandra Trese, a bar owner who also works as a paranormal detective helping the Manila police in solving the weirder crimes that happen in the metro. Each book has a series of shorter stories inside, where we see Trese find the criminal through her contacts in the paranormal world. As it's set in the Philippines, Trese's paranormal contacts are all from the Philippine mythology -- aswang, duwende, tikblang, etc.

I remember reading the
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
WOW. This was a lesson of sorts for me about Filipino folklore specifically the dark creatures that go bump in the dark. I never knew we had that many scary creatures.

I liked the dry humor scattered all throughout the story. I couldn't help but chuckle whenever the main character's sidekicks said 'Bossing' because it's reminiscent of those old action movies I used to watch when I was a kid. The mystery of what the main character is hooked me as well. The way she knows who to call on when crime
And I finally decided to start reading comic books and what better way to start than on Filipino comic books. :)

I have reservations before in buying comic books because I am not really into reading that type of material aside from it being so expensive sometimes and you only got to read so little out of it. And I don't know what got into me when I walked into a bookstore one day I passed the comic book section and I saw the Trese series that I have been seeing everytime I pass that section. I al
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book #143 for 2011

I've heard of Trese years back. I heard nothing but great things about this graphic novel. I wanted to start this series but since I still have tons of books in my To Be Read pile, I wrote Trese in my To Be Purchased list instead.

Last Friday, I found myself in National Bookstore and purchased Trese Vol. 1-4. I read and read. I was in awe. I know I have an addictive personality and the moment I flipped through the first few pages of Trese, I started a habit. I wanted more. I wa
Joanna Marie
When I first browsed this komiks in its Hardbound edition, I was amazed at how the story started along with the black and white graphics (FYI: I skimmed and finished only the first 2 stories that time). I'm not sure why after buying all six individual books and having to read the first one again, the flame suddenly went out. I still had fun overall but somehow I am missing something. My fave story is the Rules of the Race.

I rate Murder on Balete Drive 3.5/5.
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing

The reference code, according to the French thinker Roland Barthes, is that mode of writing characterized by a confident appeal to a universal (or consensual) truth, or a body of shared cultural (or scientific) knowledge. This appeal can be made on a text loaded with cultural references that are constantly being alluded to, elided, or inverted. The rich commonsensical and supernatural beliefs and belief systems can be the text's sources and materials—the references. The entities which the symbol
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this! I love Alexandra Trese and the Kambal as well!!! more rtc maybe.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good start, I guess. But, Case #4 really took an unexpected turn with that twisted take on Mars Ravelo's character, Darna and Ding. I like it.
Sami C
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: illustrated, series
I ran across Trese while reading Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology, which showcased one of Budjette Tan's short story, "The Last Full Show". Trese as a character was an interesting, spunky female superhero-type detective dealing with the paranormal. I wanted to read more of her.

This volume contains four "cases", all solved by the mysterious Trese, the female Filipino version of the Winchester brothers. Coincidentally, Trese's bodyguards are twins (aptly named Kambal).
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lynai by: Meliza
I didn't know that I have a taste for graphic novels, until I met Alexandra Trese. More thoughts soon.


My first encounter with Alexandra Trese was when I read Manila Noir and even though I am not a die-hard fan of graphic novels, I got interested enough to read this book. I requested a friend to get me a signed copy during the Komikon and when I finally decided to read after several months, I only finished it in one sitting. What I loved about this book was how it was so distinctly Fi
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked this graphic novel up on my trip to the Philippines after a bit of research on the web. I particularly searched for standout stories by Filipino authors to get a sense of what the mass was currently into. I kept coming across Trese, an anthology of horror/murder stories and I couldn't resist.

This first volume is mysterious and creepy and I love the unique Malate, Manila backdrop. While I thought this was a decent introduction to the series, I thought the background was lacking for a fi
Guilty pleasure: horror, sex and violence!
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I reviewed the first four graphic novels in the series on my blog.
Nick Klagge
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recently, I got interested in learning more about Filipino folklore and mythology, mostly due to a podcast episode of This Filipino American Life where they talked about Dungeons and Dragons. I am a huge D&D fan but I think it would benefit immensely from an expansion away from a very Eurocentric fantasy world. (I am in the midst of a project to develop D&D stat blocks for a bunch of creatures from Filipino folklore!) Anyway, in going through a bunch of internet rabbit-holes, I learned a ...more
Magsi Rover
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: filipino-reads
It was as delightful as well as it was intriguing. I've heard about TRESE a couple of years ago, however I never managed to find enough time to sit down in a corner and read it. Now, as I pave my way into my writing (both as an indie-author and perhaps, one day one of the few comic-writers in our country).

TRESE has earned its place in my heart. Growing up, I've always been a fan of anime/manga and western comics/graphic novels and cartoons, but it never meant that I'd be picky when it comes to
Ayanami Faerudo
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
+ The cases were short and to the point.

-The stories were short. No exposition.

+ Supernatural detective for the win!

+/- No background about Alexandra Trese and how she started to be a supernatural consulting investigator

+ Philippine mythology!

Side note:
This will make a great on-screen series.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A comic series that is almost entirely aligned with my interests. Stark, eerie art and riveting blend of Filipino folklore and noir with a mysterious, hard-boiled heroine. I already have the next two compilations and I'm so ready to go!
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This is my first foray into the world of Manila horrors regulated by the fierce supernatural detective, Alexandra Trese. I liked the procedural approach as it allows more flexibility on the part of the writers and more cases of supernatural disturbances on the part of the reader. The cases are interesting and fast-paced although I hate them for being so short (but you can't have everything, right?).
Carizza Janine
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
this was interesting but needs more polishing story wise. cant wait to read the next 4 books!
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aviecayl Uy
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Kung sa pagbalat lang ng libro, hindi ko masyadong nagustuhan ang "Trese #1: Murder on Balete Drive" ni Budjette Tan at KaJo Baldisimo. Ngunit kahit na ganoon, nakuha naman ng buod sa likod ang atensyon ko. Nagustuhan ko ang konsepto ng libro - isang detective na lumulutas ng mga kaso na may kaugnayan sa mga kapre, aswang, at mga engkanto. Nagustuhan ko ang konsepto, pero hindi naging madali para sa akin na gustuhin ang daloy ng bawat kuwento (maliban na lang sa huling kaso na nagustuhan ko ang ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Filipino mythology, mystery, and fun
Edwin Del Rosario
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this if you're fond of or would want to be acquainted with our rich folkore and mythology. While reading, I can't help but be reminded of Pedro Penduko and his adventures, only this time, Alexandra Trese is more badass and daring.

The recreation of folkloric creatures to accommodate modern twists is worth the compliment. Imagine a nuno living in a manhole instead of his traditional punso or the White Lady from Balete being killed after several decades of haunting the place. For this fact alo
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Normally I wouldn't deign to read a comic book but Trese really got my attention. Well, the cover art's really good, I can tell you that but the whole idea of the book is quite (well, I can't actually say genuine but it's) interesting.

I was quite hesitant even though I would really like to read this book. You can't actually blame me though, I actually thought that this would be just one those stories where the hero (in this case, the heroine) is a person blessed with supernatural powers who inhe
Originally posted here

Trese: Murder on Balete Drive is the first book in the Trese series written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by KaJo Baldisimo. It has four cases that the protagonist, a bold young woman named Alexandra Trese, tackles with her trusty kambal bodyguards. The settings are eerily familiar, based on real roads and places within the Philippines. Case 2, Rules of the Race, stands out clearly in my mind, because the main storyline takes place in C-5, a road I pass every day to and
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Budjette is a founding member of Alamat Comics. He has since written comic-book stories like Batch72, The Flying Phantom, and Payaso. His most recent work is Trese, co-created with artist KaJo Baldisimo. Like any typical superhero, he keeps a secret identity and works as the Deputy Executive Creative Director in the ad agency Harrison Communications.

(Taken here.)

Other books in the series

Trese (6 books)
  • Unreported Murders (Trese, #2)
  • Mass Murders (Trese, #3)
  • Last Seen After Midnight (Trese, #4)
  • Midnight Tribunal (Trese, # 5)
  • High Tide at Midnight (Trese, # 6)
“Fate and family put me in charge of this city. I will run it my way.” 0 likes
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