Jessica Zafra: “Portents”

Zafra in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century

Zafra in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century

This morning, self is reading a Jessica Zafra short story in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century, edited by Isagani R. Cruz:

All morning I wondered whether I should ask Wilma for her abortionist’s address.  She would give me the address, I knew, even accompany me to the place.  Probably some decrepit wooden house in the fetid alleys of Tondo, where the gangs hunted each other down with homemade revolvers.  Wilma hid nothing, she wore her brazen honesty like a soiled and rusty halo.  She had had four abortions, she told me casually while I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom; the washerwoman down her street performed the operations, she owed Wilma money.  I imagined Wilma’s insides, as torn and bloody as a battlefield.  She said she’d regretted her last abortion:  it was a girl, she’d always wanted a baby girl.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. July 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Wow – great writing and great selection –

  2. July 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Yeah, I’ll probably quote more excerpts, later today 🙂

  3. Magi'choy Omay said,

    April 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Gi pabasa ni sir sa amo… Loading akong utok uy dle kaau nko masabot…. Haha :p

    • April 27, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Students of the Philippines, I commiserate.

    • Angelie said,

      February 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      OMG …can you tell us who is the Father of the baby.? pls…

      • February 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        Really? I don’t know, you have to ask the author, Jessica Zafra.

  4. Cha marquez said,

    November 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Pwede po bang humingi ng whole story ng “portents by Jessica Zafra”. Kindly send to this email nalang po. Para po sa report namin sa lit.

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