Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A bit about Estrella Alfon

Estrella Alfon (1917-1983)

Estrella Alfon was a known story writer, journalist, and playwright who hailed from the San Nicolas/Pasil District of Cebu. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1983 at the age of 66.

Estrella Alfon is the author of "Magnificence and other Short Stories", published in 1960. She also wrote several plays and has another book, "Stories of Estrella Alfon", published posthumously in 1994. Besides the book she is known also for winning four Palanca Awards for her One-act plays, winning 3rd place in 1960, 1st in 1962, 2nd in 1963, and 3rd in 1968. She also won a 2nd place Palanca Award for her short story, "The White Dress" in 1974. She was also given the honor of the National Fellowship in Fiction post at the UP Creative Writing Center.

Her stories were mostly about women and their relationships, mother-daughter, women and their lovers, wives and their husbands, and women and their women friends. She was primarily a story-teller, and her writing style seen in the characters she chooses and the way she portrays them. Her female characters are often portrayed as victims of male domination in society, mostly middle class common women who are subject to the patriarchal society. She often drew inspiration from personal experience when writing stories, therefore, her writings would have strong autobiographical elements, making them more personal and intimate, specially for the female audience.

Estrella Alfon wrote after the war and the Japanese occupation. It is possible that her writings were a response to the Spanish-Christian feudalistic tradition, how the Filipino woman was a colonial subject even more so than men. She was also alive around the time of the first and second waves of feminism but because the concept was not as concrete in the Philippines, it may not have been as big an influence. She unfortunately passed away before she could see the development of feminist literary criticism which celebrated the works of women among the predominantly male literary culture.

Edward dela Vega Lit13 R54

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