Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Salvador Lopez on Stamps

Salvador Ponce Lopez (May 27, 1911–October 18, 1993), born in Currimao, Ilocos Norte, is an Ilocano writer, journalist, educator, diplomat, and statesman.

He studied at the University of the Philippines and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1931 and a Master of Arts degree, also in philosophy, in 1933. During his UP days, he became a drama critic for the Philippine Collegian. From 1933 to 1936, he taught literature and journalism at the University of Manila. He also became a daily columnist and magazine editor of the Philippine Herald until World War II.

In 1940, Lopez' essay "Literature and Society" won in the Commonwealth Literary Awards. This essay posited that art must have substance and that poet Jose Garcia Villa's adherence to "art for art's sake" is decadent. The essay provoked debates, the discussion centered on proletarian literature, i.e., engaged or committed literature versus the art for art’s sake literary orientation.
He was appointed by President Diosdado Macapagal as Secretary of Foreign affairs and was ambassador to the United Nations for six years before reassigned to France for seven years.

Lopez was the president of the University of the Philippines from 1969 to 1975. And he established a system of democratic consultation in which decisions such as promotions and appointments were made through greater participation by the faculty and administrative personnel; he also reorganized U.P. into the U.P. System. It was during his presidency that U.P. students were politically radicalized, launching mass protests against the Marcos regime, from the so-called "First Quarter Storm" in 1970 to the "Diliman commune" in 1971. During the Diliman Commune, Lopez called the students, faculty, and employees to defend UP and its autonomy from militarization, since the military wanted to occupy the campus, searching for alleged leftists as well as activists opposing them. Many militants, out of his defense of UP's autonomy and democracy, considered him as a progressive and a militant member of the UP academe.

The stamp was issued on September 25, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.