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This page is about the character in the comic book series. For information on the TV Series, see Alexandra Trese (TV Series).

Alexandra Trese is the sixth child of Anton Trese and Miranda Trese.

She is the current Babaylan-Mandirigma of Manila and proprietress of The Diabolical. Aided by the Kambal, she guards the passages between realms, investigates supernatural crimes around the city and maintains the balance between Terra Mundo and the Underworld.

Creation and conception[]

Alexandra Trese first appeared in the ashcan version of At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street, the first issue of the main Trese series.

In June 2005, Budjette Tan wrote the first issue of the series at Kajo Baldisimo's request, basing it on an old draft he worked on in the early 2000s. The main character was initially supposed to be Anton Trese, an old character Budjette made echoing a character from his earlier collaborative works, Michael Andara, as well as carrying influences from other popular characters like Batman, John Constantine, Carl Kolchak and Fox Mulder. However, the two decided to make the protagonist as a woman instead, diverging from expected masculine stereotypes.[1]

In earlier drafts, the character was named Toni Trese since Budjette wanted a name that sounded like a guy's name.[2] Some time later, he ultimately chose Alexandra as the final name for the character. In earlier notes, the Sinag was initially considered to be drawn as a sword, but the final version ended up being a dagger based on a kris.[3]

Kajo's character design for Alexandra Trese was informed by his work in advertising, creating a character with a recognizable and iconic appearance.[4] The most visually striking of these choices, the four buttons on the Cloak of Takipsilim, was deliberately chosen to have a memorable silhouette.[5] The Cloak itself is based on a coat Jose Rizal wears in a famous photo.[6] He has also mentioned other visual inspirations, such as Major Makoto Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell and Filipina actress Maja Salvador.[7] He has also said that he drew Alexandra with a "feisty personality" based on his wife Divine.[8]

One of the few features that carried over from Anton Trese's original design onto Alexandra's was the "devil hairline", a pronounced widow's peak, which was based on Kajo's own hairline.[8] This eventually carried over to her siblings as well, using it as the family's signature hairline in the series.

Character history[]

Early childhood and training[]

Alexandra was born with an older twin sister who died soon after birth. Her grandfather Alexander Trese asked the fastest tikbalang to bring her corpse to the Metalero who, with assistance from the Babaylan of Makiling, forged her into a kris named the Sinag.[9]

During her baptism, she was presented with the Cloak of Takipsilim as well as a few gifts from various creatures of the Underworld, namely: the duwende's diamond, the diwata's song, the kapre's cirgars, the aswang queen's black heart, and a bracelet made from the mane of the tikbalang's fastest warrior.[9]

Even as early as infancy, Alexandra had already encountered multiple supernatural beings, courtesy of Anton.[10] The babaylan have also taught her spells from a young age and spent a summer with her when she was seven years old.[11] As a mandirigma, she has been taught by an unknown guro, with her being the only one to beat them in the Final Branch.[12] Additionally, her grandfather brought her to train under Coach Gabriel, sparring with a young Manuel.[13] She had also been trained by Bantay in tracking creatures[14] such as duwende travelling underground.[15]

When she turned eight, she spent a night with her mother, who read a storybook to her. It is implied that forces of the Underworld took Miranda, setting Alexandra on her path to become the Babaylan-Mandirigma.[16]

Fort Bonifacio Massacre[]

When she was fifteen years old, Alexandra insisted that her father to bring her to an investigation. Anton eventually agreed, bringing her to the crime scene of Janette Lucero and four Scout Rangers. Together, they analyzed the evidence and concluded that it was a ritual feeding done by an unidentified woman and her children.[17]

The next day, she was brought by her father to an asylum to meet Corporal Raul Lanares, a member of the murdered Scout Rangers, who had gone insane. He was uncommunicative, so they summoned his spirit out of his body to talk to him. He told them of how he and his crew summoned a war god through captive rebels after a farmer taught them a spell. The deity possessed them, fueling their rampage amongst themselves and across rebel camps in the mountains, as they brought the last surviving rebel from the ritual. They lost the last remaining rebel, but she showed up two years later raiding military outposts, driving Raul into insanity.[18]

Anton and Alexandra found two wargods, Darago and Darranga, and asked them for any possible war deities that fit the description. From the evidence they presented to them, they deduced that the deity was Talagbusao, and that the killings were done to feed the warchildren. They warned that Talagbusao was planning on a ritual that involved eating his children to make his stay on Terra Mundo permanent.[18]

They found Puti, Max and Dober's bodies after they were killed by the warchildren. Sergeant Guerrero informed them they had lost contact with Hidalgo's house patrol; so her father brought her to Amang Paso. He requested for access to the duwende tunnels as well as his help, but the duwende remained uncertain. Eventually, after being given bribes of chocolate, Amang Paso went with them in their car as they drove through the duwende tunnels to emerge in Hidalgo's house, ramming their car into Talagbusao.[19]

Anton ordered her to get to the warchildren while he distracted Talagbusao, who was slowly regaining consciousness after being knocked unconscious. Anton was gravely injured in the process, and Alexandra decided to stay behind while Amang Paso escaped with the warchildren and her father through the duwende tunnels. The police arrived but were quickly overwhelmed by Talagbusao. She summoned three Santelmo to help them, but Talagbusao merely wrestled with them, as he was impervious to fire.[19]

Eventually, she realized that she only had to stop the battle to cast out Talagbusao. Though she told the police to cease fire, Talagbusao provoked them in order to initiate combat. However, the duwende tunnels opened, trapping Talagbusao without any enemies. With no battle to fight, he was immediately banished.[19]

Aftermath[]

After the battle, Anton informed Alexandra that the warchildren, nicknamed the Kambal, will be raised by them. With their bloodlust tempered by special theater masks permanently bonded to them, they went on to be valuable allies to the Trese family, serving as Alexandra's personal bodyguards.[19]

At some point after Talagbusao was banished, she and the Kambal were sent by Anton into the land of the duwende as a learning experience.[15]

Great Balete Tree Trials[]

Main article: The Baptism of Alexandra Trese

The night before her eighteenth birthday, she stumbled upon a book of the visions of the Seven Seers in Alexander's library. Anton and Alexander explained who the Seven Seers were, the existence and fate of her twin sister, the gifts given to her on her baptism, the aswang threatening to prevent her from successfully finishing the Great Balete Tree Trials, as well as the prophesied ending of her trials.[9]

The next day, her family, as well as some of their allies, protected her while she undertook the Great Balete Tree Trials. Before she went, she received the Sinag, the Cloak of Takipsilim, as well as the other gifts she received on the day of her baptism. While she took the Trials, four clans of aswang began their assault on the Great Balete Tree. At the height of battle, Anton sacrificed himself by using his lifeforce to cast a spell of protection on the Great Balete Tree.[9]

Alexandra finished the Trials within twenty-one days[11], but ended up being lost in the vast Great Balete Tree for three years. During this time, she met Anton's spirit in the tree and spent a day with him.[9] She also learned of sigils and their potential uses during the Trials.[20]

When she emerged from the tree, she was greeted by Alexander, Enrique Trese, and the Kambal. They explained everything that happened during the conflict as well as her brothers Carlos, Matthias, and Jimmy going into the underworld to continue the pursuit. She chose to bring the Kambal with her after deciding to accept her responsibilities as the Babaylan-Mandirigma.[9]

As she was leaving, a war had broken out with the black duwende and the enkanto, the latter of which sent all their wounded to the Council of Babaylan's mountain. Alexandra spent the next hundred days healing people, during which she lost a great friend.[11]

Though her stint as the Babaylan-Mandirigma of Manila has been largely informed by her responsibilities to keep the balance of the world, she has done morally questionable deeds that have not been revealed yet in the series. Datu Makkata Runggan describes these acts as being done "out of hate, out of anger and out of greed."[21]

Talagbusao's Return[]

Main article: An Act of War

Alexandra received word of Basilio thwarting a suicide bombing on Guadalupe Bridge as well as several ongoing riots inside New Bilibid Prison instigated by Sancho Santamaria, infamous ex-mayor and convict. A video message from Sancho was uncovered and broadcasted by ABC-ZNN News where he compelled fellow citizens to join his cause in an uprising.

After several suicide bombers threatened Metro Manila, with two successful detonations in Robertson Mall and Armanaz Tower two days later, Alexandra sought the help of Jobert in D&D's BattleGround. After giving him footage of the bombers, he was able to identify that all of them were reported as inmates in New Bilibid Prison. The bomber from Guadalupe Bridge, Ian Solomon, was noted to have the pitch black eyes of the possessed.

A livestream suddenly broadcasted showing Kenbhoy Calzada threatening to blow up Araneta Coliseum, and Alexandra and the Kambal immediately rushed there using a Dragon's Gate to stop the bomb. After interrogating Kenbhoy with Captain Guerrero, they discovered that they were supposedly killed during the riots according to official records. With Darago and Darranga's help, she confirmed that the prisoners were actually possessed by Talagbusao.

Spunky Hontiveros informed her that the explosives were stolen from a supplies truck the week before. As she called Hank, who was checking on her father's list of people who knew Talagbusao's ritual, a suicide bomber blew up the Diabolical. Alexandra healed Hank with her spell and began to plan her approach to defeating Talagbusao.

She asked the Kambal to stay away from their father as much as possible to avoid Talagbusao from eating their hearts. Instead, she asked them to stand by Jobert as he kept watch for any signs of suicide bombers on hacked security cameras throughout the city. She gave the Kambal vials of dragon's blood, giving them access to Dragon's Gates in order to apprehend any bombers.

She asked her allies for help, to which Maliksi, Iglap, Hannah, and Ammie responded. Amang Paso refused to let her use the duwende tunnels but lent his lamang lupa instead. Bagyon Lektro chose not to help her at all, still angry after Alexandra killed his son Bagyon Kulimlim.

Alexandra set up a Dragon's Gate under Jobert's computer in secret as a back up plan.

Guerrero gave Alexandra clearance to meet General Ramon Lanares, a decorated military officer and leader of the efforts against the riots. She informed him of the bombers coming from the prison and he asked his men to double check if all the bodies being taken out of the prison were actually dead. Ramon ranted about his previous efforts against Sancho as well as his frustrations with corruption in the country.

Sancho and his men broke out of prison, confronting Ramon at their outpost. Sancho revealed that the military were fed his blood through the food they ate, enabling them to be possessed by Talagbusao as well. Alexandra intervened and successfully disarmed the military and immobilized Sancho with the help of her allies. Bagyon Lektro, choosing to join Sancho's side, intervened, removing her allies from the battle.

Masked men that looked like the Kambal appeared, but were quickly taken down by Sancho. They revealed themselves to be lamang lupa and restrained the ex-mayor. Lektro went for Alexandra but the real Kambal shot him in the eyes and dispelled him from the realm.

Ramon revealed himself to be the true host of Talagbusao and started fighting off the Kambal, throwing the Sinag away and engaging with Alexandra. While this happened, Alexandra drew a giant Dragon's Gate sigil under the both of them. Talagbusao fully manifested in Ramon's body and held Alexandra hostage, forcing the Kambal to surrender. Still, Alexandra called for them to open fire, injuring her in the process.

Talagbusao reveled in bloodlust and consumed her blood, activating the Dragon's Gate under them. The Kambal swooped in to save her, leaving Talagbusao to be trapped inside Eternos, the video game on Jobert's computer.

After getting healed by Darranga, Alexandra returned to the rubble of the Diabolical with the Kambal. After Hank's full recovery, they rebuilt the Diabolical together.

The Judge[]

Main article: Trese: Midnight Tribunal

While going after a gang of ebwa, calag and wirwir that stormed Spunky Hontiveros' morgue and stole cadavers, Alexandra and the Kambal were helped by a masked vigilante riding a motorcycle. After beating the criminals, the stranger left immediately and Alexandra let them go. Sometime later, Hank informed her that the masked vigilante went by the name Maverick Rider, continuing to perform heroic acts and started gaining a well received reputation over the course of a few weeks. Using a spell on a digital image of the stranger, Alexandra discovered that they were Maliksi in disguise.[22]

Alexandra went to meet Maliksi during their friendly football match with the higante in Señor Armanaz and Datu Gantes' presence. She confronted him and outed his vigilante activities to his father. After reminding the Señor of the consequences of the Bukidnon Massacre and Datu Gantes' agreement with her, Alexandra convinced Señor Armanaz to prohibit Maliksi's vigilante stint for the sake of the tikbalang.[22]

A few days later, Captain Guerrero reported Maliksi being in critical condition after being crushed to the pavement. She relayed this information to Señor Armanaz, letting them fetch Maliksi's unconscious body and meeting them at Armanaz Tower. After failed attempts from the tikbalang healers, Alexandra successfully performs a powerful healing spell that revives Maliksi at the expense of her own exhaustion. Amazing Señor Armanaz and the tikbalang healers of her knowledge of a obscure and powerful healing spell, Alexandra asks them to stop Maliksi from interfering with human affairs and to tell her as soon as he wakes up.[20]

The next day, Alexandra went to investigate the scene of the crime with the Kambal and Captain Guerrero. After receiving help from Amang Paso and Boyet, they seem to confirm Crispin's initial speculation of the involvement of higante in the attack. They immediately met with Datu Gantes, who kindly insisted on having no involvement on the attacks whatsoever. Their confrontation is interrupted by Iglap's sudden arrival, informing Alexandra that Maliksi had gained consciousness.[20]

She immediately goes to Maliksi, who informed her that the assailant was superpowered and wielded a battle staff similar to that of the Northern enkanto. Despite Maliksi's description of his assailant, Alexandra was unable to track him down. In the following weeks, the stranger subsequently appeared in multiple news reports and came to be known by the Underworld as The Judge. Though initially gaining notoriety for taking down criminals, his excessive violence gradually gave him an infamous reputation.[20]

Some time later, Captain Guerrero informed Alexandra that he figured out that The Judge will attack Paradise World Casino . Bringing the Kambal with her, Alexandra went undercover in the casino waiting for The Judge's arrival. He eventually crashed through the ceiling by midnight and was immediately faced by the Kambal. Alexandra prioritized the civilian evacuation as The Judge fought the Kambal, gaining the upper hand and cleaving both of them in half. While the Kambal regenerate, Alexandra stepped in to fight The Judge and overwhelmed him with her spells. Desperate, The Judge began attacking the columns of the building and collapses it, escaping by flying into the night. Luckily, they were saved by Amang Paso and Boyet from the collapsing rubble.[23]

The next day, Guerrero explained to Alexandra that he figured out The Judge's next appearance by observing that all the places he's appeared in so far also happened to be the places he helped find for three lawyers. The lawyers, Herbert Gomez, Richard Bautista and Eddie Manzano, were gathering information against Governor Sunny Romualdez, who also happened to be involved with the casino and was present the night of the attack.[23]

Guerrero and Alexandra went to the Department of Justice to ask the lawyers about their motivations for going after Governor Sunny. They revealed that they were acting in vengeance for the death of one of their clients, Enteng Fernandez, who died in a fire conveniently after a land dispute with a company associated with the governor. Wanting answers, she grilled the lawyers and passively accused them of being involved with The Judge to some degree. The lawyers, offended at her persistence, make Alexandra and Guerrero leave their office. Unbeknownst to them, Amang Paso was spying from a bookshelf as the three talked openly about their plans to kill Governor Sunny as The Judge.[23]

Once outside, Doma stopped Alexandra to tell her that the Madame wanted to talk to her. Meeting her at Palacio Towers, Alexandra stood her ground as the Madame tried to convince her to not entertain the lawyers' quest against Governor Sunny as well as provide her with information regarding The Judge. Alexandra did not agree and left as soon as she came, leaving the Madame dissatisfied.[23]

Alexandra met with her brother Professor Rick Trese to discuss The Judge and what he possibly may be. Analyzing the runes on The Judge's battle staff, they both conclude that is must by the Scales of Datu Runggan and that Datu Makkata Runggan. Knowing this and the lawyer's plans, Alexandra and the Kambal track the Scales with the assistance of a magical spell, directing them to a subdivision in Calamba.[23]

Arriving just in time, Alexandra and the Kambal stop the lawyers, having used the Scales to turn into three separate Judges, from killing Governor Sunny. Together, they overwhelm The Judges and bring them to their knees. However, Señor Armanaz arrives with an army of tikbalang, condemning The Judges of nearly murdering Maliksi and sentencing him to death by stampede. Alexandra gets caught in the midst of the deadly attack, but Maliksi steps aside and pulls her out from the chaos of the stampede, saving her life.[24]

Sometime later, a disguised Datu Makkata Runggan goes to Alexandra at The Diabolical, but she sees through his ruse. He explains that the lawyers got the Scales from their client and the Scales' previous vessel, Enteng Fernandez, as he left it to them after his death from a house fire. Suspecting that Governor Sunny's legal conflicts with Enteng over land ownership as a motive for killing him, the lawyers used the powers of the Scales to get vengeance for their client.[24]

Despite Alexandra's moral ambiguity, Datu Runggan gives her the Scales in a desperate attempt to empower her to defeat the Madame, whose influence and power in the nation as well as the Underworld was slowly growing. However, Alexandra gives them to Rick for him to study before letting the Metalero have it to smelt into something else.[24]

Slaughter at Brgy. Pacifica[]

Main article: Trese: High Tide at Midnight

Alexandra Trese and the Kambal went to Casa Victoria after Alexandra had been tasked by Señor Armanaz to find his nephew Saglit. After knocking out the guards posted by the property's gate, Elizabeth Victoria showed them to Saglit's private room and explained how he got there, but when they came to get him, his human partners revealed themselves to be bat-like aswang. A fight ensued between the two parties and the aswang used Shift Pills, giving them the speed of a tikbalang, but were quickly thwarted when Alexandra called Maliksi for help.[25]

Alexandra interrogated Elizabeth about her possible involvement with the drugs the aswang used. She explained what she heard about the new drug, but Alexandra further questioned her about Mr. Sorbetero's whereabouts and threatened to shut down Casa Victoria if she does not cooperate. Elizabeth pointed out Alexandra's words in that both The Diabolical and Casa Victoria were in full compliance with The Agreements, but Alexandra ignored her points and doubled down on her threats as she left.[25]

She later helped Spunky Hontiveros, Rick Trese and Captain Guerrero investigate the corpse of a taga-dagat Carlos brought to the Manila City Morgue earlier as well as some drugs it had taken to transform into a powerful version of themselves. They collectively determined that the taga-dagat was enhanced with the features of a mangahas through a dosage of Shift Pills, which had been circulating in bars and clubs in the city and murdering humans that had no control over their newfound powers. Investigating further, Alexandra went to The Dominion which was where the drugs were last seen. It's owner, Tomas Villaceran, confirmed the circulation of the drug within his establishment. After Alexandra threatened him with bringing bad chi to destroy his business, he revealed Mr. Sorbetero's personal details.[26]

Hank Sparrow later called Alexandra for her help after a severely wounded Carlos teleported into The Diabolical to escape a stakeout of a transaction between Mr. Sorbetero and the taga-dagat, led by Rakuda. With help from tinctures and herbs from Rick, Alexandra performed a healing ritual that brought Carlos back to life. Over dinner, they discussed their next course of action against the taga-dagat, with Alexandra further investigating Mr. Sorbetero, Carlos gathering a squad to help him fight the taga-dagat and Rick examining the drugs and their effects. Captain Guerrero called Alexandra, interrupting her conversation with her brothers, and notified her of crime scene at Genio Tower that resembled a sacrificial ritual.[27]

Alexandra and the Kambal went to the crime scene to investigate and immediately realized that the corpses were residents of Barangay Pacifica sacrificed by taga-dagat to the sigil of the Bagyon Tribe. As they were about to leave, a clowder of cats compelled her to visit Manang Muning, who sent the cats to send help after she saw the residents of Barangay Pacifica being murdered by the taga-dagat. Realizing that the people being killed were also offerings for the Bagyon to prolong the storm and flood, she immediately contacted Carlos to tell him to bring his squad to the barangay and help fend off the taga-dagat. She also contacted Maliksi separately, telling him to take down the taga-dagat's gang leader. Meanwhile, she went to visit Bagyon Yente at her office in Maharlika Electric Company to confront her about the taga-dagat.[27]

Alexandra forced her way into Bagyon Yente's office, telling her that her typhoon has been prolonged for far too long. Before Bagyon Yente could do anything, she used the Bagyon's watch to cast a spell that froze her in place, demanding that she stop the typhoon regardless of whatever souls the taga-dagat are offering her. As she was on her way out, the Madame and Doma arrive to talk with the Bagyon. Alexandra tried to tell them that there was no longer any conversation to be had, but Doma showed her out from the private meeting between the two. Afterwards, Alexandra asked Amang Paso for his help in getting to the barangay and evacuating the survivors. The duwende let them ride on his giant worms, which would help carry the survivors, and went through a newly dug duwende tunnel to expedite their travel to the barangay.[28]

Alexandra and the Kambal arrived with Amang Paso just when Carlos and the others were surrounded in the water by taga-dagat heightened by a dosage of Shift Pills. As the Kambal opened gunfire and evened the tide of the battle, Alexandra helped passnegers board the giant worms to get to Boyet, who served as an entrance to the duwende tunnels. Bantay revealed himself to her when he saved her from a taga-dagat about to attack her from behind, and the two fended off taga-dagat side by side. At one point, the Metalero landed near her and brought her attention to Rakuda, who was starting to drown Carlos under the flood. Thinking fast, Alexandra threw the Sinag at their general direction as Carlos called for the Sinag to come to him. The blade eventually made it's way into Carlos' grip, passing through Rakuda's superpowered body and injuring him.[28]

Forced to drastic measures, Rakuda and the other taga-dagat take another dosage of Shift Pills to meld with their leader's body, transforming him into a gigantic creature. The gigantic Rakuda immediately went to Boyet in an attempt to get to the survivors inside, but was unsuccesful. Amang Paso tried to hold back Rakuda from injuring Boyet by summoning two more of his laman lupa, Koji and Richard. However, they were easily knocked out and Amang Paso fell exhausted on Alexandra's palms after casting magicks had drained him out.[28]

Despite this, Carlos led the others in an all-out attack against Rakuda. He instructed a hesitant Alexandra to use their grandfather's pocketwatch to cast a spell that would freeze the taga-dagat in place. Alexandra eventually agreed and had Bantay and Hank Sparrow help her find an opening against the enemy taga-dagat. Maliksi, in his true tikbalang form, arrived just in time to rescue Bantay and Alexandra from being attacked by a powerful taga-dagat. He then threw her upwards for her to reach Rakuda's shoulder, letting her successfully cast the spell to freeze Rakuda in place. Alexandra then fell back, but was safely caught by Maliksi.[28]

With Rakuda frozen, Carlos used a Dragon's Gate to teleport above the gigantic taga-dagat and cleave them by the head, immediately killing them. However, Bagyon Yente revealed herself and her intentions of taking 400 taga-dagat killed in the battle as an offering to stop the typhoon instead. After absorbing the dead taga-dagat's souls, Alexandra questioned the Bagyon's right to conduct the ritual, but Bagyon Yente revealed that she had permission from Datu Karagatan and the Madame herself to proceed with the ritual. The Bagyon left them, choosing to bring the pocketwatch Alexandra used for the spell as a replacement for the watch she broke in Bagyon Yente's office earlier.[28]

Sometime later, Alexandra went to meet the Madame at Roxas Boulevard, confronting her of her recent actions. Though the Madame justified herself as having acted under good intentions with the survivors already being safe and accomodated for, Alexandra accused her of setting the taga-dagat up with Mr. Sorbetero in the first place to instigate the chain of events. The Madame vehemently denied the accusation, explaining that she only sought to improve the country in her grand plan regardless of the sacrifices along the way. She invited Alexandra to join her in her cause, but Alexandra insisted that she was more authoritarian than her father and grandfather ever was out of necessity for the city. As Alexandra left, she called the Madame's efforts as nothing more than actions fueled by vanity and self-aggrandizing.[28]

She eventually joined Hank and the others to share a meal at The Diabolical, where she warned them of the looming danger of the Madame. She also stepped aside to talk to Bantay, who opted not to join the table and eat in the kitchen instead. The two had a heartfelt conversation, with Bantay explaining where he had been after he was thought to have died along with Puti, Max and Dober at the hands of a young Kambal. Alexandra insisted that the Kambal had already been healed from their violent tendencies, but Bantay warned her that the violence inherent in the warchildren would kill her as soon as the masks that stifle them somehow break. Their conversation is interrupted as Maliksi brought news of criminal activity related to the Madame, which Alexandra immediately responded to.[28]

Tiger Burning Bright[]

Main article: Tiger Burning Bright

Alexandra and the Kambal followed a tip regarding artifacts being smuggled into the country on fishing boats. During their encounter with the shipment's elite guards, Basilio was wounded by a magical blade that caused him to spontaneously burn faster than he can regenerate. The flame burned until he was reduced to a skeleton, with Crispin being unable to get through the flames himself to help his brother.

As they prepared to bury Basilio, he started to regenerate enough for him to breathe. However, the fire started to burn him again, reducing him back into a skeleton. This cycle went on for a week, with Basilio being tortured over and over again to a point where Crispin considered killing his brother out of mercy. During this time, Alexandra researched for a way to stop Basilio's suffering, eventually finding a root crop that would act as a catalyst. Through this, Alexandra cast a spell that temporarily stifled his regeneration process, encasing his remains in plant matter and ending his pain at the cost of effectively keeping him dead.

In search of a cure to Basilio's curse, Alexandra and Crispin went to Jakarta's night market to find the curse's source.

Appearance[]

Alexandra Trese appearance (Trese Case 3 Translated Edition).jpg

Alexandra Trese is a svelte woman in her late 20s, standing 5'6"[29] with pale skin and dark brown eyes. Her black hair is cut in a bob with a fringe that droops slightly past her eyebrows and has a very pronounced widow's peak. Over a black tank top, she usually wears the Cloak of Takipsilim, a white cuffed double-breasted black coat with white piping on its asymmetrical collar. The cloak has four distinct pairs of white frogs that streak across the cloak's width.

Underneath the Cloak of Takipsilim is usually a black sando. The Cloak of Takipsilim has also been shown to shapeshift into different clothes, adapting to whatever occasion Alexandra brings herself to.

Abilities[]

Alexandra has been trained both in martial combat and magicks, as the dual role of the Babaylan-Mandirigma. Assisting her in both roles is the Sinag, a special kris that is both useful in combat and in conducting various spells. Her experience in dealing with the denizens of the Underworld as well as knowledge passed down from her grandfather has given her a wide network of supernatural associates that help her from time to time.

Combat[]

Alexandra mainly wields the Sinag on her left hand as her primary weapon, though she has been shown to occasionally use a pistol as well.[23] She is also a competent martial artist, using an arnis fighting style that has been described as unorthodox.[30] She also has some background in boxing after training with Manuel's Coach Gabriel. She has been said to have her left as a prominent weak spot, since she relies too much on her right.[13]

Magicks[]

Alexandra is shown to use multiple spells throughout the series, often assisted by the Sinag. The following spells are listed in the order that they are first used in the series.

Testigo (Witness)[]

The Sinag is used by the caster to submerge the severed eyeball of the subject into a glass of water. The incantation "Testigo" is uttered, showing a vision of a person last seen by the eyeball. The conductor must mentally specify the person's identity.[31]

A variation of this spell is done by Anton Trese, though finished by Alexandra. In it, the water, with all its contents, is poured onto a medium such as a napkin. On it, an image of the person is imprinted.[17]

Santelmo Summoning[]

The caster dials the date of the Great Binondo Fire on her phone, sometimes in front of a candle, summoning the Great Santelmo.[32]

A variation of this spell also summons three Santelmo at once by lighting three matchsticks.[19]

Budjette Tan has said that Santelmo can be summoned alternatively by writing the number of the Great Binondo fire and burning it using a candle lit in front of a mirror. He also said that other people outside the Trese family can summon Santelmo, but are easily provoked if they don't trust them.[33]

Basic Spirit Summoning[]

When summoning a living spirit of an unknown name, the Sinag is stabbed by the caster into the ground, and a command of summoning any specific living spirit is sent out.[34]

To call the spirits of the deceased, a liquid[34] or solid[35] part of the subject's body and melted wax from a lit candle is mixed in a basin of water where the Sinag is submerged. The spirit will use the wax to manifest a temporary corporeal form, which enables them to talk until the lit candle melts down. If the subject's name is known and spoken out loud, the Sinag may not used in the ritual.[35] Parts of the spirit's home can also be mixed with the solution, and Alexandra has also used an incantation to complete the spell in some instances.[35]

In Visprint and other older editions, accompanying incantation to be "Magpakita ka, usap tayo" in incorrect Baybayin. However, this was later updated to a significantly longer incantation in the Ablaze editions. This specific ritual bears similarities with pagtatawas, a Filipino divination ritual.

Another spell used to summon the spirits of the deceased has the caster tap the tip of the Sinag on a glass of wine, optionally including an incantation. This summons the spirit in some form, whether fully manifesting in physical space or in the form of their final memories playing back in some medium, like a mirror.[36]

Buka (Break)[]

The Sinag is pointed by the caster at a digital lock. The incantation "Buka" is uttered, and the lock breaks its hold.[37]

Tigil (Stop)[]

The caster touches the Sinag's tip on a watch the subject is wearing. The watch can either belong to the subject[11] or placed on the subject's wrist beforehand[38]. The incantation "Tigil" is uttered, and the subject remains frozen in place for a considerable amount of time.

Healing Ritual[]

Using the Sinag, the caster taps into the power of a healing sigil placed on the subject's chest.[38] The caster can also gather energies in a series of precise movements[11] that can amplify the healing effect. The most important element of the ritual is the caster's own lifeforce and their desire to see the subject being healed. This powerful spell is normally not taught to humans.[20]

Katotohanan (Truth)[]

The incantation "Katotohanan" is whispered, allowing the caster to see through glamour. This may be conducted through the Sinag or through other means.[13] The spell can allow sight through glamour to the caster or a person of her own choosing[13] as well as apply to digital pictures.[22]

A variation of this spell without an incantation exists, with the caster touching the tip of the Sinag on the subject with glamour and zipping it downwards in a clean, quick motion. This temporarily dispels the subject's glamour, allowing other people to see their true appearance.[39]

Sandatahan (Army)[]

The SInag touches the King of Spades face up on top of a deck of cards, and the incantatinon "Sandatahan" is whispered. The cards are then thrown, manifesting as illusions of the card illustrations that can pretend to fight an opponent. The illusions are not corporeal, and any physical material can pass through them.[23]

Kuyog (Swarm)[]

The Sinag is placed in front of a handgun's barrel, and the incantation "Kuyog" is uttered. When the gun is shot, the bullet splits into a swarm of metal wasps that attack the enemy. Alexandra can use the spell to overwhelm an enemy as well as to find a weak spot in armor.[23]

Saliksik (Research)[]

The Sinag is pressed in between the pages of a specific law book. The incantation "Saliksik" is uttered, and a page from the book folds itself into an owl-like figure called a seeker. The caster can order it to find a specific object, and the seeker will fly towards it.[40]

Spirit world[]

The caster taps the number four on a clock with the Sinag and mutters the following incantation: "Mga kaluluwa, saan kayo papunta? Ako'y makikiraan, kaya't pakibuksan ang pintuan." (Souls, where are you going? I will pass through, so please open the door.) This reveals the spirit world to the caster, making spirits in the immediate surrounding as well as other related things visible. A wayward soul is then summoned, becoming the caster's guide to the spirit world.[41]

When done in Buendia station, a steam train engine operated by a taga-sundo is revealed as well the souls Ibu is ferrying to the Afterworld.[41]

Mummification spell[]

A special root is used as an ingredient in this spell. The caster places the root on a corpse's forehead and casts the spell, encasing the corpse in plant matter. This spell counteracts any regenerative abilities that may bring the corpse back to life. This spell is especially effective on regenerative beings like half-deities, but is not easily known and requires a lot of research.[42]

Other skills[]

Aside from combat and magicks, she is a competent driver, able to hold her own in a race[43] or maneuver while engaging in gunfire[44]. She is also a capable artist, shown to sketch a suspect's face from recent memory.[31] She can also whistle the adarna maestra's lullabies, though this has not directly been shown yet.[45]

Personality[]

Alexandra is often emotionless and serious about her work, but does occasionally show affection for her her brothers and those close to her. She often reminisces of the happy moments of her childhood with her brother Rick as well as worrying about Carlos' turmoil. She is willing to use her magicks to heal people she has trusted over the years like Hank and Maliksi, even at the cost of her own physical exhaustion. She is also shown to have some sentimentality for her dead parents, choosing to view her last memory with her mother in Sidapa's theater.

Alexandra is also not shown to be romantic with anyone, often shown refusing or ignoring Maliksi's attempts at flirting. However, it is implied that she has lost someone close to her at the black duwende-enkanto war after she finished the Great Balete Tree Trials.

As a Trese, Alexandra doesn't like being compared to her father, especially in their work as Babaylan-Mandirigma, since she is less diplomatic and more authoritarian in her dealings with the Underworld. She is also hinted to have done morally questionable things in the past, with Datu Makkata Runggan describing some of her actions as being done "out of hate, out of anger, and out of greed" in the name of her responsibilities to the city.

Trivia[]

  • Budjette Tan has confirmed that Alexandra had a crush on Bantay during her youth.[46]
  • According to Budjette Tan, he designed all of Trese's spells to be linked with a material component as a limiting factor to her powers.[47]
  • In the earlier Visprint and ashcan editions, some of Alexandra's incantations are written with Baybayin incorrectly spelling out the words by letter instead of syllabicating them. This was retconned later in the series as well as corrected in the newer Ablaze and Avenida editions, with simple Filipino words and phrases written inside angle brackets.
  • Alexandra's phone is based on Kajo Baldisimo's phone. The model is generally dependent on what model he has when he draws the panels.[48]
  • Though Alexandra uses her left hand when wielding the Sinag, she displays evidence of cross-dominance in that her right hand is also her main writing hand.[31]

References[]

  1. Afterword of Trese: Murder On Balete Drive
  2. http://indios-bravos.blogspot.com/2009/06/other-trese.html
  3. https://www.instagram.com/p/CShWW7sqTOo/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVLppG-QNu0
  5. https://differenceengine.sg/interview-budjette-tan/
  6. https://www.instagram.com/p/CQSFddChmip/
  7. https://tresekomix.blogspot.com/2007/09/13-letters-down.html
  8. 8.0 8.1 https://inquirersuper.com.ph/movies-tv/trese-is-here/
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 The Baptism of Alexandra Trese
  10. The Association Dues of Livewell Village
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 The Executioner's Squad
  12. Trese Lite: Arnis
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Fight of the Year
  14. Trese Lite: Bantay
  15. 15.0 15.1 Trese Lite: Bangkang Papel
  16. The Last Full Show
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Private Retaliation
  18. 18.0 18.1 Patient 414 in Mandaluyong
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 The Fort Bonifacio Massacre
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 The Judge's Verdict
  21. The Great Stampede
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Maverick Rider
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 Return of the Madame
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Great Stampede
  25. 25.0 25.1 Casa Lanan
  26. The Plan of the Four Clans
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Executioner's Squad
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Slaughter at Brgy. Pacifica
  29. https://tresekomix.blogspot.com/2010/06/casting-call-trese-short-film.html
  30. Trese Lite: Arnis
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
  32. The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos
  33. https://www.facebook.com/groups/spoilerroom13/permalink/1668037683405239/
  34. 34.0 34.1 Cadena de Amor
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 A Little Known Murder in Studio 4
  36. The Usual Spot
  37. Embrace of the Unwanted
  38. 38.0 38.1 An Act of War
  39. One Last Drink at the Diabolical
  40. The Great Stampede
  41. 41.0 41.1 Thirteen Stations
  42. Tiger Burning Bright
  43. Rules of the Race
  44. Embrace of the Unwanted
  45. Trese Lite: Adarna
  46. Comments of https://www.facebook.com/groups/TreseComics/posts/10150244770137939
  47. The Howie Severino Podcast: Budjette Tan on Trese
  48. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TreseComics/posts/10158491537722939/?comment_id=10158491547482939&reply_comment_id=10158491581872939
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