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Duwende are earth elementals that reside underground.


Among earth elementals, duwende are more socially ingrained. They tend to live in loyalty to their tribes and clans, as opposed to nuno. Most duwendes appear as humanoid creatures, notable for having heads larger than their bodies and large, dark eyes.[1] Significant and important duwende are often addressed as Amang by Alexandra Trese throughout the series.[2]

As earth elementals, duwende have an affinity for the soil. They usually reside in soil, sometimes in potted plants, that they treat and defend closely. Laman lupa serve as their helpers and assistants, defending their owner even after death. They can manipulate laman lupa to their extremes using magicks, though this manipulation drains their stamina.[3] Some duwende even have access to a special underground system, commonly referred to as the duwende tunnels, to keep them safe. This system is a complex network of tunnels underground that can provide the duwende easy access to most locations.[4] These tunnels are dug by the duwende's laman lupa, with them adding more tunnels incase the others get flooded. Duwende also utilize giant worms to expediate travel. These worms seem to obey the duwende's orders directly.[3]

They are also implied to have some level of control over the earth itself, able to come through cracks in the ground to serve as openings for the duwende tunnels into the surface.[4]

The location of the land of the duwende has not been specified, but Anton Trese was shown to have direct access to it. Their domain is depicted as having some form of foliage and vegetation as well as a running river.[5]

Like some supernatural species, duwende take potential humans as familiars referred to as alaga, growing very attached to them and often forming strong emotional bonds. They have the power to grant them fortune and success, and often favor those who they see innate potential in. Duwende can choose to stop blessing their alaga with fortune if they fall out of favor. Duwende can also impose specific dreams on their alaga while they sleep.[4] Sometimes the duwende can talk through the alaga, able to synchronize their speech together or cut from one to the other in one single thought.[2]

A duwende can be bribed through food, especially sweets. A variety of offerings have been shown to sway a duwende's inclination, most notably Chocnut, appeasing them for information or favors. Still, the duwende can still opt to not take the bribe if they have strong reasons not to.[4]

In death, duwende turn into coal or dirt, though they turn into red dust when killed by a loved one. They are also capable of dying from eating food imbued with tears of great sadness, affecting them nearly instantly.[4]


When Alexandra Trese was born, the duwende collectively gifted her a diamond as acknowledgement of her fullfilment of the prophecy of the sixth child of the sixth child.[6]

Alexander Trese earned the favor of Amang Paso and his clan after helping them in their conflicts with the black duwende of Tatang Lagim.[1]

As a lesson, Anton sent Alexandra and the Kambal to their land sometime after Talagbusao was banished. In there, they traversed a river on a big paper boat.[5]

On her baptism, the duwende collectively gifted her a diamond that "shined even in the darkest of caves." She brought this, along with other gifts, into the Great Balete Tree Trials. Some duwende and their laman lupa were shown to help the Trese family to defend her and the Great Balete Tree from the four rebel clans of aswang.[6]

After she came out of the tree, a war broke out between the black duwende tribe and the engkanto. Alexandra spent a hundred days in the mountains healing the wounded from the conflict.[7]

At some point, the duwende, laman lupa and the Daga Tribe collectively worked together to invent a new messaging service they called "ImburNet."[5]

Notable Duwende[]


  • The idea of humans being a duwende's alaga is a reversal of the common Philippine belief that famous and powerful people have had a pet duwende to influence their rise to success. Budjette intentionally flipped this belief around when he wrote A Little Known Murder in Studio 4.[8]
  • The duwende are known to brew beer.[9]