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Estrella Alfon

Estrella Alfon, who hailed from Cebu, was born on 1917. She is a well-known storywriter, playwright and journalist; and though a Cebuana, she wrote almost exclusively in English. Unlike other writers of her time, she did not come from the intelligensia. She attended college, and studied medicine; however, when she was mistakenly diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to a sanitarium, she resigned from her pre-medical education, and left with an Associate of Arts degree from the University of the Philippines. In spite of having only an A.A. degree, she was eventually appointed as a professor of Creative Writing at the University of thePhilippines, Manila. She was a member of the U.P. Writers Club, she held the National Fellowship in Fiction post at the U.P. Creative Writing Center in 1979.

            She became a member of the U. P. Writers Club and was given the privileged post of National Fellowship in Fiction post at the U. P. Creative Writing Center. Her first story, Grey Confetti, was published in graphic in 1935.

            She was the only female member of the Veronicans, an avant garde group of writers in the 1930s led by Francisco Arcellana and H.R. Ocampo, she was also regarded as their muse. The Veronicans are recognized as the first group of Filipino writers to write almost exclusively in English and were formed prior to the World War II. She is also reportedly the most prolific Filipina writer prior to World War II. She was a regular contributor to Manila-based national magazines; she had several stories cited in Jose Garcia Villa’s annual honor rolls. She also served on the Philippine Board of Tourism in the 1970s.

            Some of her achievements are:

§         1940: A collection of her early short stories, “Dear Esmeralda,” won Honorable Mention in the Commonwealth Literary Award.

  • 1961-1962: Four of her one-act plays won all the prizes in the Arena Theater Play Writing Contest: “Losers Keepers” (first prize), “Strangers” (second prize), “Rice” (third prize), and “Beggar” (fourth prize).

  • 1961-1962: Won top prize in the Palanca Contest for “With Patches of Many Hues.”

  • 1974: Second place Palanca Award for her short story, "The White Dress".

  • 1979: National Fellowship in Fiction post at the U.P. Creative WritingCenter.

Palanca Awards

§         Forever Witches, One-act Play (Third place, 1960)

§         With Patches of Many Hues, One-act Play (First place, 1962)

§         Tubig, One-act Play (Second place, 1963)

§         The Knitting Straw, One-act Play, (Third place, 1968)

§         The White Dress, Short Story (Second place, 1974)

Stories

§         Magnificence and Other Stories (1960)

§         Stories of Estrella Alfon (1994, published posthumously)

§         Servant Girt (short story)

§         English

Alfon died on December, 28 1983, following a heart attack suffered on-stage during Awards night of the Manila Film Festival.

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