Professor Lapuz, a voice extinguished

Jose David Lapuz, Knight Grand Cross of Rizal, was the last of that inexorable breed of orators. He had the voice for it; he was a baritone and had he chosen the opera instead of the academe he could have excelled in villainous roles like the Conti di Luna in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.”

Bandung, unity in diversity

Seventy-eight years ago, in February 1945, at Yalta, Crimea, leaders of the Grand Alliance – Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt – were re-configuring the world. They had defeated Adolf Hitler, were in the process of shredding Germany while installing an international court to put war criminals on trial. Churchill was talking Stalin into entering the Pacific Theater of WWII against Japan, so the latter imposed certain conditions. He demanded a “sphere of influence” in Manchuria (then occupied by Japan) as well as in Eastern and Central Europe. Stalin asked for postwar economic assistance as well and membership for 16 Soviet republics to the United Nations (UN) which was then on the drawing board. In the end, Stalin settled for three seats in the UN General Assembly – Ukraine, Belorussia and the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) as a whole. Pundits say that after the Yalta arrangements two contending political and economic systems fought for world dominance and that ignited the Cold War which ended in 1991 when the USSR imploded.