Looking Through the Eyes of an Expert on the ASEAN


What is it like to fulfill one’s destiny as a celebrated scholar and  expert on anything about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN? You’ll learn a lot about how respected stalwarts of international political diplomacy relate to one another if you read ‘Blue Gumamela and Other True Stories’ by Dr. Estrella D. Solidum (Estrella D. Solidum,Ph.D.,2009). In her book, she presents vignettes or anecdotes from her academic research life  which surprisingly brings her into intense social existence. Be amazed at how people of different nationalities, varied allegiances and from diverse political orientations conduct their day – to day activities with good humor and proper decorum.

Dr. Solidum who I fondly call Tita Estrell, weaves a colorful narrative about how she experienced her little miracles. She demonstrated how daily prayer from a pastor gave a person she barely knew complete recovery from illness. She tells about the time she gamely danced her way into getting an appointment with a highly placed official, proving that gracefulness and gentle persuasion can get women to circulate among the mighty in the political sphere.

The book is worth any woman’s time because one can see events as they unfold before the eyes of a University of the Philippines scholar. Experience how it is to be favored by well – known personalities here in Asia. Furthermore, look at wonderful plants through the eyes of an expert who moved with ease within the organization, political structure, socio-economic and cultural landscape of the ASEAN members.

It is a privilege meeting and discussing modern theories in Sociology every now and then with Tita Estrell. Her memory is sharp and her humor is something I can very well appreciate. Long live UP – PAUW! Long live Dr. Estrella Solidum and may our Lord bless you abundantly!   


About cathydeleon

I was a student of the late Constancio Bernardo and Jose Joya. I also had the privilege to have Rod Paras Perez, Napoleon "Billy" Abueva, Romeo Mananquil, Rafael Asuncion, Virginiaflor Agbayani and Lito Carating as my mentors. Larry Alcala's work at the Commission on Audit was done with a little help from me and another fine arts graduate. It was as well a privilege to meet many well known Filipino artists like Juvenal Sanso, Nena Saguil, Cesar Legaspi, Ang Kiukok, Onib Olmedo, Boy Rodriguez, Norma Belleza, Jerry Araos, Fred Baldemor, Esmeraldo Dans, Dave Aquino, and many other equally prominent visual artists. After a few years of working in a gallery, I took up graduate studies and finished my M.A. degree. Consequently I took up Philippine Studies (Philippine Society and Culture). The course was a consortium between the UP Asian Center, UP College of Social Sciences & Philosophy (CSSP) and the College of Arts & Letters (CAL). I finished my Ph.D. degree a few years ago.
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