Estrella Alfon

| April 9, 2015


Estrella Alfon was born in San Nicolas, Cebu City on March 27, 1917. She went to medical school but when she was misdiagnosed for having tuberculosis, she withdrew from her studies. She obtained an Associate of Arts degree instead.

Alfon became the first and only female member of the Veronicans (a group of writers in the 1930s led by Francisco Arceuana and H.R. Ocampo). The Veronicans was the first group of Filipino writers who wrote almost exclusively in English. Alfon was named the most prolific Filipina writer prior to World War II.

Her first story, “Grey Confetti,” was published in 1935. She was appointed professor of the Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines, Manila, despite having only an Associate of Arts degree. In 1940, she won the Honorable Mention in the Commonwealth Literary Award for her short story “Dear Esmeralda.” She took home all the awards in the Arena Theater Play Writing Contest for four of her outstanding plays namely, “Losers Keepers”, “Strangers”, “Rice”, and “Beggar.” In 1961, she won the top prize in the Palanca Contest for her story “With Patches of Many Hues.” One of her stories however, “Fairy Tale for the City,” was condemned by the Catholic League of the Philippines for being “obscene.” When she was brought to court for the trial, some of her fellow writers stood by her.

During the awards night of the Manila Film Festival on December 28, 1983, she suffered a heart attack which led to her death the same night.

List of Works


  • Magnificence and Other Stories. (1960, Regal Publishing Company, Manila)

Short stories

  • “Servant Girl.” (1937)
  • “O Prefect Day.” (June 1937, Philippine Magazine XXXIV)


Category: Online Archive, Pre-War Writers