Ang Hiwaga ng Duenas

Ang Hiwaga ng Dueñas

Ang Hiwaga ng Dueñas (Filipino for The Mystery of Dueñas) is an adventure story arc of the Philippine comic strip series Pugad Baboy, created by Pol Medina Jr. and originally published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. This particular story arc lasts 52 strips long and ran during the first quarter of 1992. In 1993, the story arc was reprinted in Pugad Baboy 4, the fourth book compilation of the comic strip series.

Synopsis

The Pugad Baboy residents go off on vacation to Dueñas in Iloilo. There, Bab introduces them to their host, Mang Danilo, a faith healer who had once cured Bab off his dependence on drugs. Their adventures soon go from the innocent (having their futures revealed by a fortune teller and getting served herbal tea in a beer house) to the macabre (a guest relations girl turns out to be a manananggal, a kapre asks Mang Dagul for a light and even the Sesame Street's Count von Count makes an appearance).

One night, supernatural beings make a determined siege upon the house occupied by the Pugad Baboy gang. Polgas comes to the rescue in the guise of Growlsbuster (a spoof of the Ghostbusters). Using garlic in various forms (pills, powder and even garlic-flavored pizza), Growlsbuster repels the attack. The demons, witches and vampires retreat, but Polgas isn't content; he continues bombarding with garlic until the whole house began to smell like an Italian's breath.

In the confusion, the gang mislook the fact that one of their number is left outside the house, unprotected by the garlic - Pao is exchanging gossip with a "white lady" (a female ghost). Werewolves then take him captive, mistaking him for a pregnant woman. Perceiving that it is beyond Growlsbuster's skills to mount a rescue attempt, Polgas retires the guise and takes on his Wisedog persona. As Wisedog, he disguises himself further to resemble a werewolf, becoming Weredog.

Weredog infiltrates the werewolves' lair in the mountains, discovering that Devlino, the king of the supernatural beings, intends to sacrifice Pao at the stroke of midnight and that the "fetus" in his "womb" will become the main ingredient for the super-special batchoy the werewolves are preparing. Devlino, however, sees through Weredog's disguise, setting the werewolves on him. Weredog holds his own, but eventually succumbs when he accidentally smells the armpit of one of the werewolves; his excellent sense of smell is overpowered and he is rendered unconscious. Mang Danilo arrives in the nick of time and rescues Polgas. Both return to Dueñas.

Polgas recruits the Pugad Baboy residents in order to rescue Pao. They go to confession and made slingshots using barbecue sticks and silverware as ammo. Polgas refills his "garapata gun" with holy water from the church font (werewolves are immune to fleas since they are canine themselves). Eight minutes before midnight, the rescue squad attack the supernatural beings' lair. Every demon and werewolf hit by stick and silverware disappears into smoky nothingness, while to the demons' surprise, the Pugad Baboy gang seem unaffected by claw or fang. Four minutes to midnight, Devlino runs away with Pao; Polgas gives chase but is temporarily delayed by zombies blocking his way. Using the jawbone of a horse as a boomerang, Polgas destroys the sacrificial knife wielded by Devlino, who unmasked, turns out to be no other than their host, Mang Danilo.

Lady Lucy (Lucifer) appears, revealing that he/she is the source of Devlino/Danilo's power. As punishment for his failure as the king of evil in Iloilo, Lady Lucy turns him into a poisonous mushroom. Lady Lucy then disappears. The Pugad Baboy residents then return to Dueñas, having successfully rescued Pao.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • Aside from Count von Count, who is seen counting the five hairs Pao pulled from his armpit, Darna's arch-nemesis Valentina makes an appearance among the numerous ghouls who invade the hut. When Growlsbuster faces the gorgon, he casually asks her why she didn't win the Best Supporting Actress award in the Metro Manila Film Festival (referring to her character played by Pilar Pilapil in the 1991 movie Darna). After that, he cheers her up, saying it is February, because "it's your month, bebe!" (a pun on Valentine's Day). The above quote also implies that the story arc was published during the month of February, 1992. She disappears from the scene afterwards, presumably being driven away by the garlic.
  • Dagul being served with the medicinal herbal tea "pitu-pito" is actually a play of words. The waiter serves him the drink instead of the cocktail drink "Seventy-seven" ("pito" is Filipino for "seven").
  • Like some story arcs, this one includes an instance wherein the fourth wall is broken. An unseen narrator mentions that Wisedog follows the scent of Pao's perfume and marks the trees along his path. However, at this point, Wisedog's nose is on the ground and he attempts to mark the nearest tree in true canine fashion -- by lifting a hind leg and spraying it with urine. The narrator has to clear his throat twice to grab Wisedog's attention (apparently in order to alert Wisedog to the fact that this is not acceptable behavior for an OCB agent) so the agent can mark the nearest tree as he supposed to -- by chalking an x-mark on the tree.
  • The "sacred cloth" that Mang Danilo uses to rescue Polgas, as Weredog, from the werewolves turns out to be nothing more than an ordinary piece of cloth. However, it is emblazoned with certain text that terribly frightens even Polgas: "DANDING FOR THE COUNTRY!!!". Danding is the nickname of Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., one of the cronies of former president Ferdinand Marcos during the Martial Law era.
  • Fido Dido can be seen among the zombies that block Wisedog from pursuing Devlino.

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