Ahead of its much-awaited release on Netflix, Trese posters and a huge billboard were seen vandalized with red spray paint. Words such as “layas” and “siyudad namin ‘to” were written across promotional materials of the animated series, prompting netizens to ask if it is the “aswangs” who did it.
In Philippine folkore, “aswang” refers to evil, shape-shifting creatures. They could be witches, werewolves, vampires, and viscera suckers, among others. They are feared because they feed on human blood and meat. In the graphic novel series of Trese, these creatures are protagonist Alexandra Trese’s enemies.
Trese is an upcoming animated adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. (Read: 3 Interesting Facts About ‘Trese’ Creator, Budjette Tan) It tells the story of occult investigator Alexandra Trese going head-to-head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings in fictional Manila.
Caught on Cam
Netflix shared videos and photos of the alleged vandalism on its social media accounts and have garnered thousands of likes, shares, and comments. Some videos showed “aswangs” destroying the promotional materials.
“What kind of monster would do this??? If you see something, say something— we’re going to find out who did this,” the streaming giant wrote on its caption with an emoji of a magnifying glass. (Read: 4 Netflix Shows That Will Inspire You to Live Your Best Life)
While netizens were at first shocked at the alleged vandalism, others congratulated the show for a great marketing campaign.
Intense marketing strategy!” says one. “Well played, Trese peeps,” comments another. Someone also pointed out the vandals are not exactly Trese haters out to sabotage the upcoming premiere— the series title and release date were conveniently, largely left unstained, and therefore easily readable.
“You should catch the manananggal who did this,” says an obvious fan of the graphic novel. (Read: Meet the Stars of New Netflix Korean Movie, ‘Sweet & Sour’)
Was it a marketing ploy? Or are there really “aswangs” out there who don’t want Alexandra Trese roaming the streets of Manila? We find out on June 11 on Netflix.
Meanwhile, a special peek at the first five minutes of episode 1 will be shown on Netflix’s Facebook page. Catch Trese Before Midnight on June 10 at 11:47pm for special guests, and UDD’s Not Alive Concert–a concert with a ghost audience.