Insignia Volume 3 (Southeast Asian Fantasy Stories), edited by Kelly Matsuura, is now live! The anthology includes a new story featuring Maria and Juan, entitled “Horse Feet”.

In this story, Juan is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, or so he claims. The servant of the captain of the village of Wakas, Tayabas in Quezon has been murdered, and everything else points to Juan being the killer. Much to her own surprise, Maria Sinukuan is inclined to believe his innocence, and so she sets out to solve the case, and find the real murderer.

Insignia also includes stories from Sheenah Freitas, Melvin Yong, Eve Shi, Joyce Chng, Eliza Chan, and Kelly Matsuura.

You can buy a copy of Insignia from these sites: Smashwords, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA.

Hope you enjoy the story!


Hello everyone! Welcome to the site collective for the Sinukuan and Tikbalang mystery stories, written by (yours truly, hehe) Celestine Trinidad! On this site you’ll be able to find all of the stories about Maria Sinukuan, diwata of Arayat, and her suitor and partner (much to her consternation) in solving crimes, Juan the Tikbalang. These stories are included in various anthologies, for now, but hopefully (keeping fingers crossed), I will be able to write enough of them to put out an anthology.

This launch coincides with the release of the latest Sinukuan and Tikbalang mystery in Insignia Volume 3, entitled “Horse Feet”! Do check it out!

So to celebrate the launch of this site, I’m also running a giveaway! 🙂

I’m giving away copies of “Alternative Alamat”, edited by Paolo Chikiamco, an anthology of stories inspired by Philippine mythology. This anthology includes the first Sinukuan and Tikbalang story, “Beneath the Acacia”.

For Philippine residents, I’m giving away a signed print copy of the anthology. (Sorry, I only have money to pay for shipping locally, ehehe.) The copy is signed by some of the contributors to the anthology (Eliza Victoria, Timothy James Dimacali, and myself hehe), the editor (Paolo Chikiamco), and the artist (Mervin Malonzo).

For international residents, I’m giving away 2 e-book copies of the anthology. (Thank you to Flipside Publishing!)

Philippine residents: A Rafflecopter giveaway for a print copy of Alternative Alamat!

International residents: a Rafflecopter giveaway for e-book copies of Alternative Alamat!

See you around, and looking forward to writing more stories!

This is a list of all the stories about Maria Sinukuan and Juan, in order of the date they were published. You can also find here the places where the stories are available, either for purchase or for free reading online.

Enjoy! And I appreciate comments on the stories, so do leave a note either on this page or on the stories themselves.

1. Beneath The Acacia

Juan and Maria’s first meeting. Maria Sinukuan, guardian deity of Arayat, is called upon to solve the murder of a young woman from one of the towns under her care. One of her suitors, Juan, insists on tagging along, much to her annoyance. But nothing is as it seems in this mystery—not even her suitor.

Included in “The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories” (Volume 2) edited by Kenneth Yu, and “Alternative Alamat” edited by Paolo Chikiamco.

Buy a copy of “Alternative Alamat” from these places: Amazon, Flipreads (Ebook edition). The print edition is available locally in most bookstores (Fully Booked, National Bookstore, Powerbooks)

2. The Murder of Halimumog

It is a well-known fact that Maria Sinukuan’s only condition to those who seek her hand in marriage is that they must defeat her in a contest of their own choosing. And she is known as “Sinukuan” because no one has ever been able to beat her. Juan thus challenges her to a very unusual contest: to solve the murder of a god, Halimumog, before he could.

This story was a finalist in the second Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards, and included in “The Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards: Prose Anthology”.

Buy a copy of the Prose Anthology here: Fully Booked Online, or at any Fully Booked branch.

3. Under A Mound of Earth

Jose was an ordinary farmer, with nothing special about him. But one day, much to his great surprise, the great diwata Maria Sinukuan comes to visit him, to help him solve the theft of the ring of the god Lawodnon, which has belonged to his family for years. But some questions still remain: why is Maria Sinukuan even interested in his case at all, when no one else has ever noticed he even existed? And why is there a strange tikbalang lurking near his house, watching him?

Read online for free here: Philippine Genre Stories  Online Part 1, Part 2

4. Finding Those Who Are Lost

Maria Sinukuan and Juan travel to Tacloban, Leyte, after a powerful typhoon ravages the city. Aside from searching for survivors and helping with the city’s efforts to rebuild itself, Maria is also called upon to solve the case of a missing family, who even before the storm had been victims of the curse of a sinister enkanto.

Included in “Outpouring: The Typhoon Yolanda Relief Anthology”, edited by Dean Francis Alfar. “Outpouring” is a charity anthology, proceeds of which will go to the Philippine Red Cross, for victims of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan and other calamities.

Buy a copy of “Outpouring” here: Amazon, Flipreads, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo

5. Horse Feet

Juan is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, or so he claims. Much to her own surprise, Maria Sinukuan is inclined to believe his innocence, and so she sets out to solve the case, and find the real murderer.

Included in the third volume (Southeast Asian Fantasy Stories) of the “Insignia” series, edited by Kelly Matsuura.

Buy a copy of “Insignia” here: Smashwords, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA.