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Title: The Philippine Islands

Author: Ramon Reyes Lala

Release Date: May 17, 2013 [EBook #42726]

Language: English

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Original Front Cover: The Philippine Islands By Ramon Reyes Lala A native of Manila.



The Philippine Islands [6]


Ramon Reyes Lala
Signature of Ramon Reyes Lala



Original Title Page.
The Philippine Islands
Continental Publishing Company
25 Park Place, New York



Rear-Admiral Dewey,
President McKinley,



Preface      23

Early History of the Islands.

Discovery and Conquest—Adventures of Juan Sebastian Elcano-Legaspi, the first Governor-General—Li-ma-hong, the Chinese Pirate—The Dutch appear upon the Scene—The Japanese, and the Martyred Saints      29–48

The British Occupation.

General Draper’s Expedition—The British demand an Indemnity—Intrigues against the British      49–56

The Spanish Colonial Government.

The Encomiendoros and the Alcaldes—The Present Division and Administration—The Taxes and what became of Them—Dilatory and Abortive Courts—A New Yorker’s Experience      57–70

The Church in the Colony.

Priesthood and the People—Conflicts between Church and State—Clashing among the Friars—The Monks opposed to Reform      71–79

The Various Tribes of the Philippines.

Character of the Natives—A Native Wedding—Dress and Manners—The Half-Breeds, or Mestizos—Savage Tribes in the Interior: the Aetas, or Negritos—The Gaddanes—The Igorrotes—The Igorrote-Chinese—The Tinguianes—The Chinese: Hated but Indispensable      80–106

The Mohammedans of Sulu.

Cross or Crescent?—The Sultan’s State—The Dreaded Juramentados—The Extent of Mohammedan Rule—Sulu Customs      107–118 [12]


The Old City—Binondo and the Suburbs—Educational and Charitable Institutions—The Cathedral and the Governor-General’s Palace—The Beautiful Luneta; the Sea Boulevard      119–137

Other Important Cities and Towns.

Iloilo; Capital of the Province of Panay—Cebú, a Mecca for many Filipinos—General Topography of the Islands      138–150

Natural Beauty of the Archipelago.

A Botanist’s Paradise—A Diadem of Island Gems—The Magnificence of Tropical Scenery—The Promise of the Future      151–158

A Village Feast.

The Morning Ceremonies—How the Afternoon is Spent—The Evening Procession—The Entertainment at Home—The Moro-Moro and the Fire-works      159–173

History of Commerce in the Philippines.

The Spanish Policy—The Treasure-Galleons—Disasters to Spanish Commerce—Other Nations enter into Competition—Fraud and Speculation—The Merchants of Cádiz—Royal Restrictions on Trade      174–187

Commerce During the Present Century.

The Royal Company—The Restrictions are gradually Abolished—Vexatious Duties on Foreign Imports—Duties made Uniform—Spanish Opposition to Foreign Trade—Trade with the Natives—The Decline of American Trade—Recent Measures and Statistics—Bad Results of Spanish Rule      188–198

Agriculture: The Sugar and Rice Crops.

Agriculture, the Chief Industry—The Principal Products of the Colony—The Cultivation of Sugar-cane—Methods of Manufacturing Sugar—The Several Systems of Labor—The Rice Crop—Methods of Rice-Cultivation—Primitive Machines, and Importance of the Rice Crop      199–213 [13]

The Hemp Plant and its Uses.

Description of the Abacá—The Process of Manufacture—Some Facts about Hemp-growing—Difficulties with Native Labor—Tricks of the Natives—Competition with Other Lands—Experience of a Planter—What the Hemp is used for      214–226

Culture and Use of Tobacco.

The Cultivation of Tobacco, a State Monopoly—Oppressive Conditions in Luzon—How Speculators take Advantage of the Natives—The Quality of Manila Tobacco—Methods of Preparing the Tobacco Leaf—Smoking, a Universal Habit      227–236

The Cultivation of Coffee.

The Origin of the Industry—Indifference of Coffee-planters—Speculation in Coffee—Methods of Cultivation—Harsh Methods of the Government      237–242

Betel-Nut, Grain, and Fruit-Growing.

The Areca Palm and the Betel Nut—The Nipa Palm and Nipa Wine—Various Fruits of the Islands—Cereals and Vegetables—Cotton and Indigo Planting—The Cocoa Industry—The Traffic in Birds’ Nests      243–250

Useful Woods and Plants.

The Huge Forests—The Bamboo Plant and its Uses—The Bejuco Rope—The Useful Cocoanut Palm—Oppressive Regulations of the Government—The Early Missionaries Beneficial to the Natives      251–259

Mineral Wealth of the Islands.

Early Search for Gold—The Mining Laws and Methods of the Colony—Where the Precious Metal is Found—The Whole Country a Virgin Mine—Precious Stones and Iron—Peculiar Method of Mining Copper—Other Materials and the Coal Fields,      260–272 [14]

Animal Life in the Colony.

The Useful Buffalo, and Other Domestic Animals—Reptiles, Bats, and Insects—A Field for the Sportsman—The Locust Scourge—The Chief Nuisances: Mosquitoes and Ants      273–283

Struggle of the Filipinos for Liberty.

Early Insurrections Against the Spaniards—The Burgos Revolt—The Present Rebellion—The Katipunan—The Black Hole of Manila—The Forbearance of the Natives—The Rebel Army—The Tagál Republic Proclaimed—Treachery of the Spaniards—Dr José Rizal and his wife Josephine—Execution of Rizal—The Philippine Joan of Arc—Rizal’s Farewell Poem—Aguinaldo Confers with Admiral Dewey—Aguinaldo as Dictator: His Proclamations—Triumphant Progress of the Rebels—The Spaniards Fortify Manila—Sketch of Aguinaldo      284–309

Dewey at Manila.

The White Squadron—Declaration of War, and Journey to the Philippines—Luzon Sighted, and Preparations for Battle—The Fleet Sails by Corregidor—First Shot of the War—The Spanish Fleet is Sighted—Dewey Attacks the Enemy—The Fate of the Reina Cristina—The Commodore Pipes all Hands to Breakfast—The Americans Renew the Battle—The Yankees are Victorious      310–325

The American Occupation.

Merritt and the Expedition—The Battle of Malate—Capture of Manila—Capitulation of the Philippines—Awaiting the Peace Commission—Instructions to Merritt      326–342 [15]



Maps      343 [21]



The absolute present necessity for accurate information by the people of the United States respecting the Philippines has been met in no more satisfactory manner than by this book.

The author, Mr. Ramon Reyes Lala, is a Filipino and was born in Manila. His collegiate education was completed in England and Switzerland. A long sojourn in Europe has instructed him in European thought, tendencies, and methods. He has lived in the United States for many years, and has become, by naturalization, a citizen of this country.

He collected the historical material for this work largely from the Spanish archives in Manila before the last rising of the people of Luzon in rebellion against Spain. His mastery of the English language is that of the thorough scholar. His qualifications for his work are those of the student, trained by many studies. He possesses by nativity the gift, incommunicable to any alien, of giving a true color and duly proportioned form to his delineations of his own people. These endowments have enabled him to produce a work of striking and permanent value.

The most meritorious feature of Mr. Lala’s book is unquestionably its impartiality of statement and judgment. This is particularly apparent in his descriptions of the moral and intellectual character of his countrymen. No defect is extenuated, nor is there any patriotic exaggeration of merits. The capacities and limitations of the Filipinos are plainly and photographically depicted. The difficulties and the facilities of their political control by the United States are weighed in a just balance by the reader himself in considering these portrayals of national character. [22]

This colorless truth of statement appears not alone in Mr. Lala’s special descriptions of the character of his people. It is also manifest, as it is incidentally displayed, in his many expositions of the systems and methods of labor, of social usages, of domestic life, of civil administration, of military capacity, of popular amusements and of religious faith. The result is that he has communicated to the reader an unusually distinct conception of national and ethnic character. This is always a very difficult task. The most graphic portrayal in this respect most commonly enables the reader merely to perceive indistinctly, but not clearly to see.

The book is of a most practical character. Its statements of commercial history and methods, and of past and present business and industrial conditions, are most satisfactory. Such an exposition is at this time most indispensably needed. Everybody knows, in a general way, that the Philippine Islands produce sugar, rice, hemp, tobacco, coffee, and many other agricultural staples, and that they are rich in minerals and valuable woods. But heretofore it has been very difficult to obtain specific information upon these subjects. Mr. Lala has given this information. The practical man, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the miner is here informed concerning resources, methods, prices, labor, wages, profits, and roads. While this information is not technical, it is instructively full and is evidently reliable.

The descriptions of the processes of cultivating and preparing hemp, sugar, coffee, rice, and tobacco, and the suggestions of the ways by which these methods can be easily improved, and the products made more profitable, are, in every way, most satisfactory.

The Philippines began to come under European control with the administration of Legaspi, the first Governor-General, in 1565, long before the English had colonized any portion of North America.

For about three hundred and fifty years the Spanish system has been in contrast with that of every other colonizing nation. It has been worse than the worst of any of these. While there is no elaborate contrast of these systems in Mr. Lala’s book, he nevertheless depicts so thoroughly the manifold and inveterate rapacity, cruelty, corruption, and imbecility of Spanish colonial administration, [23]that he also discloses the vast possibilities of the better contrasted systems.

No war was ever yet waged in the interests of humanity, as the war against Spain unquestionably was, that did not produce consequences entirely unforeseen at its beginning. This truth was never more convincingly confirmed than by the war just ended. The United States demanded the evacuation by Spain of Cuba and Cuban waters. Compliance by Spain would have limited the consequences to the evacuation. She did not comply. She chose the arbitrament of war, and the result was her extirpation from her insular possessions in the West Indies and the Philippines.

This providential and revolutionary event imposed upon the United States duties unforeseen, but none the less imperious. As to the Philippines, those duties are complicated by the irresistible tendencies which seem to make certain the dismemberment of China, and the subjection of that immemorial empire to all the influences of Western civilization. This is an event not inferior in importance to the discovery of America by Columbus, and the interest of the United States in its consequences is of incalculable importance. With this interest its relations to the Philippines is inseparably connected, and those relations present for consideration policies which disenchant the situation of all idealism and make it intensely practical. To this possible result the war waged against the United States by Aguinaldo and his followers has decisively contributed.

But, in any event, whatever the relations of the United States to the Philippines may finally become, the book of Mr. Lala will undoubtedly influence and assist the considerate judgment of those whose duty shall call them to determine the momentous questions which are now enforcing themselves for solution upon the attention of the American people.

Signature of Cushman K. Davis

[Cushman Kellogg Davis, U. S. Senate, Minnesota, 1887 to ——; Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations; Member of the Commission that met at Paris, September 1898, to arrange terms of peace between the United States and Spain.] [25]



About twenty years ago, when a student at St. John’s College, London, I was frequently asked by people I met in society for information regarding the Philippines and the Filipinos. Many also, who showed considerable interest, and who wished, for various reasons, to carry their investigations further, complained that there was in English no good book on the subject. Afterward, when I continued my studies at a French college in Neûchatel, Switzerland, I met with many similar inquiries, and here too in America I found demand for a comprehensive, reliable work upon my country.

But it was not until I had traveled considerably through Europe, studying the history of the various States and peoples, that the idea of writing a history of my own fatherland occurred to me. It was mortifying then to think that the glories of my native land were no better known. Accordingly, I resolved to become the chronicler, and I began at once to collect material for a work on the Philippines, that should, I trusted, be deemed a permanent contribution to historical literature.

Upon my return to Manila from Europe, I immediately began a study of the Colonial archives in the office of the Governor-General. From these I gathered many valuable data about the early history of the colony, and also much information that would be locked to the curious traveler. And on account of my knowledge of Spanish, and because of my friendship with the Governor-General Moriones, I was enabled to do this thoroughly. Thus I gradually laid the foundation for the present work. [26]

When, a few years later,—in 1887,—because of my sympathy with the rising cause of the insurgents, Spanish tyrants banished me from my country and my kindred, I carried away all the manuscripts I had already written, resolved to finish the task I had set before me amid a more congenial environment.

I came to the United States. Of this country I, in due time, became a citizen. However, I kept up my relations with friends in Manila; for I still felt an interest in the fate of my native land. Though I have since revisited the Orient, I preferred to retain my American citizenship, rather than again put myself under the iron yoke of Spain. I have, nevertheless, kept pace with the march of events in the colony, and had, indeed, about completed my history when Dewey’s grand victory denoted a new era for the Filipinos, and, hence, made the addition of several chapters necessary. I have thus added much of supreme interest to Americans; bringing the book to the capture of Manila by the American forces.

My acquaintance with the leading insurgents,—Rizal, Aguinaldo, Agoncillo, the Lunas, and others,—has also enabled me to speak with authority about them and the cause for which they have fought.

In writing this work I have consulted all previous historians, the old Spanish chroniclers, Gaspar de San Agustin, Juan de la Concepcion, Martinez Zuñiga, Bowring, Foreman, and various treatises, anthropological and historical, in French, Spanish, and English.

To all these writers I am indebted for many valuable facts.

It has been my aim to give—rather than a long, detailed account—a concise, but true, comprehensive, and interesting history of the Philippine Islands; one, too, covering every phase of the subject, and giving also every important fact.

And my animating spirit of loyalty for my own countrymen makes me feel that I cannot more clearly and fully manifest my affection for them and my native land than by writing this book.

Many of the pictures are photographs taken by myself. The rest were selected from a great number of others, that were accessible, as being most typical of Philippine life and scenery.

The student of history, and he that would learn something about the customs of the people, and the natural resources of the country, [27]may, I trust, find the perusal of this work not without profit and interest.

I desire to attest here my gratitude for the many courtesies shown me, and for the hearty manner in which I have been received, in this great, free country.

Everywhere it was the same.

And I would say to all loyal, ardent Filipinos, that I believe that they eventually will not regret the day when Commodore Dewey sundered the galling chains of Spanish dominance, and when General Merritt, later, hoisted the Stars and Stripes over the Archipelago.

They will, rather, most surely live to recognize and appreciate the unsullied manifold advantages and benefits incident to American occupation and to a close contact with this honest, vigorous type of manhood.

The Author.



Early History of the Islands.

Early History of the Islands.


Discovery and Conquest.

When Magellan in the spring of 1521 took formal possession of Mindanao, one of the largest of the Philippine group, he was surrounded by crowds of the curious brown-skinned natives of that island; with sensations of awe, they watched their strange white visitors, believing them to be angels of light. It was Easter-week, and the Spanish discoverers, with all the ritualistic splendor of the mass, dedicated the newly-found islands to God and the Church.

The natives, too, manifested great friendliness to the tempest-tossed mariners. Indeed, one of their most prominent chieftains himself piloted the exploring party to Cebú, where thousands of natives, arrayed in all the barbarous paraphernalia of savagery, stood on the beach, and, with their spears and shields, menaced the strangers.

The Mindanao chieftain, who had acted as pilot, thereupon went on shore and volunteered an explanation: these strange voyagers were seeking rest and provisions, having been many weary months away from their own country.

A treaty of amity was then ratified according to their native custom, each party thereto simultaneously drawing and drinking blood from the breast of the other. Magellan then caused [30]a rude chapel to be built on this new and hospitable shore, and here the natives witnessed the first rites of that Church that, within a century, extended its oppressive sway from one end of the Archipelago to the other.

The King and Queen of the natives were soon persuaded to accept the rite of baptism. This they seemed to enjoy greatly. To persuade the good-natured savages to take the oath of allegiance to the King of far-away Spain was but a step farther. One ceremony was probably as intelligible to them as the other; and thus the first two links in the fetters of the Filipinos had been forged.

The Fortifications of Old Manila.

The Fortifications of Old Manila.

With characteristic arrogance the Spaniards henceforth conducted themselves as the rightful masters of both the confiding natives and their opulent country.

It appears, now, that the natives of Cebú were engaged in war with another tribe on the island of Magtan. The adventurous [31]Magellan, beholding an opportunity for conquest, and, perhaps, for profit, accompanied his allies into battle, where he was mortally wounded by an arrow.

Thus perished the brave and brilliant discoverer, in the very bloom of life, when both fame and fortune seemed to have laid their most precious offerings at his feet.

Posterity has erected a monument on the very spot where this hero was slain. Cebú also boasts an obelisk that commemorates the discovery; while on the left bank of the Pasig river, Manila, stands another testimonial to the splendid achievements of the intrepid Magellan.

Duarte de Barbosa was now chosen leader of the expedition, and he, with twenty-six companions, was invited to a banquet by Hamabar, the King of the island. In the midst of the royal festivities the Spaniards were treacherously murdered. Juan Serrano alone—so the old chronicles relate—was spared. He had, in some way, secured the favor of the natives, and now, stripped of his clothing and his armor, he was made to walk up and down the beach, in full view of his companions on board the ships.

For his person the natives shrewdly demanded a ransom of two of the Spanish cannon. A consultation was held among the Spaniards, and it was decided that it was better that one should perish than that the lives of all be jeoparded. And so Serrano was left to his fate.


Adventures of Juan Sebastian Elcano.

Reduced, at last, to about 100 men and two ships, the Spaniards decided to return home. The captain of one of these—of the Victoria—was Juan Sebastian Elcano. This gallant sailor, after losing many brave companions and meeting many thrilling adventures, at last brought his ship safely to a Spanish port—three years after he had embarked, en route to the Moluccas, under his first commander, the unfortunate Magellan.

When Elcano and his seventeen companions landed in Spain, [32]they were mere skeletons, so reduced were they by hunger and disease. Everywhere they were received with acclamations of joy, and upon their arrival in Seville they straightway proceeded to the Cathedral, where, amid grand Te Deums, they gave thanks to God for their return.

It must, indeed, have been a strange sight to see this remnant, these gaunt survivors of the splendid company of adventurers that had left that city but three years before,—flaming with zeal for the spread of the Church, and glowing in the desire of conquest,—these few half-starved wretches, now walking barefooted, with lighted candles, through the streets,—all that was left of that eager throng.

And yet, pitiable as they were, they must have been conscious of an achievement that meant glory for their country and immortality for themselves.

Nor were they unrewarded. All received food and money, and Elcano, the leader, was voted a life-pension of 500 ducats; and, in token of his great accomplishment in having first circumnavigated the globe, the King knighted him, awarding him, as his escutcheon, a globe with the motto: “Primus circundedit me.

The cargo of the Victoria consisted of 26½ tons of cloves and other spices: cinnamon, sandalwood, nutmegs, and so forth. It is said that one of the Tidor islanders, brought back with the expedition, who was presented to the King, was never permitted to return to his home, because he had committed the blunder of making inquiry regarding the value of spices in the Spanish markets.

The Trinidad, the other vessel of this remarkable expedition, after many terrible hardships, fell into the hands of the Portuguese, who sent the survivors to Lisbon. They reached that port five years after their departure with Magellan.

The enthusiasm of the Spanish monarch and his subjects on account of these remarkable discoveries was unbounded. Other expeditions to the islands were soon fitted out. One, under the leadership of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, gave to them [33]the name of the Philippine Islands. This was in honor of Philip, Prince of Austria, the son of King Charles I., heir-apparent to the throne of Castile; to which, in 1555, upon the abdication of his father, he succeeded as Philip II.

This bigot, convinced by his religious advisers of the importance of winning the newly-discovered islands for the Church, caused another expedition to be fitted out from Navidad, in the South Sea.


Legaspi, the First Governor-General.

Accordingly, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, a well-known Basque navigator, of great piety, and with a reputation for probity and ability, set out with four ships and one frigate, all well armed and carrying 800 soldiers and sailors. Six priests also accompanied them. One was Urdaneta, who had formerly sailed as a captain to the Moluccas. The avowed object of the expedition was to subjugate and to Christianize the benighted natives of those islands.

After a propitious voyage, not without incident, General Legaspi resolved to cast anchor at Cebú, a safe port. On the way the ships stopped at the port of Dapitan, on the island of Mindanao. Prince Pagbuaya, the ruler of this island, was so astonished at the sight of these large ships off the coast of his country, that he commanded one of his subjects, who had some reputation for boldness, to observe their movements and to report his observations.

He did. They were manned, he said, by enormous men with long, pointed noses; that these strange beings were dressed in fine robes, and actually ate stones (hard sea-biscuits); most wonderful of all, they drank fire, and blew smoke out of their mouths and through their nostrils—referring, of course, to their drinking and smoking. He also said that they could command the thunder and the lightning—meaning their fire-arms;—that their proud bearing, their bearded faces, and splendid attire, moreover, surely proclaimed them to be gods. [34]

Having heard this report, the Prince, accordingly, thought it not unwise to treat with these wonderful beings. Legaspi not only succeeded in obtaining provisions—in barter for European wares—from this chief, but he also obtained much useful information about his destination, Cebú. He learnt that it was considered a powerful kingdom, whose greatness was much feared by other States, and that its port was not only safe, but also favorably situated.

The General, therefore, determined to annex it to the Crown of Castile at the earliest opportunity. He landed at Cebú April 27th, 1565, and immediately began negotiations with the natives.

These, however, remembering their successful resistance to Magellan’s party but a generation before, opposed every advance of the Spaniards. The latter, notwithstanding, finally took possession of the town, and sacked it; but for months they were so harassed by the chief and his subjects that they were several times on the point of retiring. Legaspi, however, decided to remain, and the natives, growing accustomed to their presence, gradually yielded to the new order of things; and thus the first step in the conquest of the islands was made. The people were declared Spanish subjects. Happy at his success, Legaspi determined to send the news at once to Spain. Urdaneta was therefore commissioned to bear the despatches. In due time he arrived at his destination.

Legaspi, meanwhile, steadily and successfully pursued the conquest of Cebú and surrounding islands. He succeeded most admirably also in winning the confidence of the natives. Their dethroned King Tupas was baptized, and his daughter married one of the Spaniards. Other alliances also were made, which bound the two races together.

The Portuguese, the natural enemies of Spanish exploration and conquest, now appeared on the scene and attempted, in vain, to dispute the possession of the successful invaders. The Spaniards then built a fort, and plots of land were marked out for the building of houses for the colonists. In 1570 Cebú [35]was declared a city, and Legaspi, by special grant from the King, received the title of Governor-General of all the lands that he might be so fortunate as to conquer.

A Glimpse of the Old Canal.

A Glimpse of the Old Canal.

Soon afterward, Captain Juan Saicedo, Legaspi’s grandson, was sent to the island of Luzon to reconnoiter the territory and to bring it into subjection to Spain. Martin de Goiti and a few soldiers accompanied him. They were well received by the various chiefs they visited. Among these were King Lacandola, the Rajah of Tondo, and his nephew, the stern young Rajah Soliman, of Manila. Intimidated by the countenances of the warlike-looking foreigners, and awed by the mysterious symbols of their priests, these superstitious chiefs agreed forever, for no consideration, and without reservation, to yield up their independence, to pay tribute, and to aid in the subjugation of their own countrymen. A treaty of peace having been made, the Spaniards acted as if they were the natural owners of the soil. [36]

Young Soliman, however, soon found occasion to demonstrate that he, at least, had no intention of carrying out his part of this enforced contract. He sowed the seeds of insurrection broadcast among the various surrounding tribes, and not only carried on an offensive warfare against the invaders, but set fire to his capital, Manila, that it might not become the spoil of the invaders. Soliman and his little army were put to flight by Salcedo, who generously pardoned the young chief upon his again swearing fealty to the King of Spain. Then, while Goiti with his forces remained in the vicinity of Manila, Salcedo pursued his adventurous way as far as the Taal district. All the country of the Batangas province was also subdued by him. About this time Salcedo himself, severely wounded by an arrow, returned to Manila.

In the Batangas Province.

In the Batangas Province.

Legaspi being informed of the occurrences in Luzon, soon joined Salcedo at Cavité, where chief Lacondola gave his submission. [37]Legaspi, continuing his journey to Manila, was there received with much pomp and acclamation. He not only took formal possession of all the surrounding territory, but also declared Manila to be the capital of the whole Archipelago. He next publicly proclaimed the sovereignty of the King of Spain over all the islands.

Speaking of this period, the old chronicler, Gaspar de San Agustin, says: “He (Legaspi) ordered them (the natives) to finish the building of the fort in construction at the mouth of the river (Pasig), so that His Majesty’s artillery might be mounted therein for the defense of the port and the town. He also ordered them to build a large house inside the battlement walls for Legaspi’s own residence, and another large house and church for the priests.

“Besides building these two large houses, he told them to erect 150 dwellings of moderate size for the remainder of the Spaniards to live in. All this they promptly promised to do; but they did not obey; for the Spaniards were themselves obliged to complete the work of the fortifications.”

The City Council of Manila was constituted on the 24th June, 1571. On the 20th of August of the following year Miguel Lopez de Legaspi died. His was a most eventful, arduous life. His career was honorable, and he occupied a prominent place in the colonial history of his country. He was buried in the Augustine chapel of San Fausto in Manila, where his royal standard and armorial bearings hung until the occupation of the city by the British in 1763.


Li-ma-hong, the Chinese Pirate.

Guido de Lavezares succeeded Legaspi as Governor of the islands, and had not long taken possession when he had to defend them against the assaults of the celebrated Chinese corsair, Li-ma-hong.

This redoubtable Celestial had early shown a martial spirit, and became a member of a band of pirates that for many years [38]infested the seas. Here he so distinguished himself by his prowess and cruelty that, upon the death of the leader, he was at once elected chief of the buccaneers. At length this Celestial Viking essayed an attack on the Philippines. It is said that he first heard of the remarkable wealth of the islands from the crew of a Chinese merchantman returning from Manila. After committing a few depredations along the coast, this Captain Kidd of the Chinese Main appeared before Manila on the 29th of November, 1594, with a fleet of 62 armed junks, manned by more than 2,000 sailors. Twenty-five hundred soldiers were also on board for effective warfare, and more than 2,000 Chinese artisans and women, with which he intended to found the colony that was to be the capital of his new Empire.

So secret was the landing of the Chinese, and so sudden was their attack, that they were already within the gates of the city before the Spaniards knew that they were at hand.

Martin de Goiti, second in command to the Governor, was the first to receive their attack; and, after a brave defense, he was killed with many of his soldiers. The flames from his burning residence gave the Governor himself his first intimation of the enemy’s presence. Flushed with success, Sioco, the Japanese leader of the buccaneers, then stormed the Fort of Santiago, where many Spanish soldiers had taken refuge. A small body of fresh troops coming to the aid of the besieged, the Chinese, after considerable loss, retreated, fearing that other reinforcements might follow and cut off their return to the ships.

It was now reported that Li-ma-hong himself, who, with the greater part of his force, was at Cavité, would lead the next assault. The inhabitants of Manila, therefore, awaited him in great terror.

Fortunately, however, that intrepid warrior, Juan Salcedo, fresh from his conquests in the north, now came to the city’s aid. Just about sunrise on the 3d of December the Chinese squadron again appeared in the bay near the capital. The Celestials disembarked, and, it is said, their leader, in an eloquent speech, incited his followers to the assault, with glowing promises of plunder. [39]

Meantime, while the Chinese were forming into battle-line, within the walls of the city the drums and the trumpets of the Spaniards kept up an inspiring din, and all that were able to bear arms hastened to the defense. It was an important moment in the history of the colony,—an hour big with fate; for the coming battle would decide for either European or Asiatic domination.

Again Li-ma-hong chose his trusted lieutenant to lead the attack; and fifteen hundred picked troops, armed to the teeth, followed him, swearing to take the fort or leave their corpses as a testimonial to their valor.

In the Province of Pangasinan.

In the Province of Pangasinan.

The city was then set on fire in several places, and in three divisions the Chinese advanced to the attack, Li-ma-hong himself from the outside supporting them with a well-directed cannonade against the walls.

After a spirited assault, Sioco succeeded in entering the fort, and here a bloody hand-to-hand conflict took place. Again and again the Spaniards forced their fierce assailants over the walls; again and again the Chinese poured into the breaches, while the trembling non-combatants within the city awaited the result in agonized suspense. [40]

Salcedo was at the front and everywhere. Time and again, with indomitable courage, he rallied his men; and splendidly did they respond to his magnificent leadership. The old Governor himself was at the front, shouting encouragement; and many prominent citizens also distinguished themselves by feats of remarkable heroism. The Chinese, once more, gathering their shattered numbers together, plunged into the ranks of their enemies, and it was not until after the loss of their daring leader that the few that remained turned their repulse into a disorderly flight, and Manila and the Philippines were saved to Spain and America. Salcedo now eagerly took the offensive and pursued the panic-stricken fugitives back to their ships, killing great numbers on the way.

In vain Li-ma-hong tried to regain his advantage. Troop after troop were sent ashore, only to join the rout and return confused and disorganized back to the fleet. The Spaniards had conquered.

Li-ma-hong, nevertheless, was determined to found his Empire and to set up his capital in another part of the islands—in the province of Pangasinan. Salcedo was accordingly despatched against him, but was unable to dislodge him. Hearing, however, that the Chinese Emperor also was about to send an expedition against him, the wily pirate secretly departed, leaving his Spanish enemies not at all displeased at being thus cheaply rid of his presence.

The friars, ever on the lookout for their own interests, attributed their deliverance to the aid of St. Andrew. He, therefore, was declared the Patron Saint of Manila—high mass in his honor being celebrated at 8 A. M. in the Cathedral every 30th of November.

The old chroniclers relate that some of the native chiefs took advantage of the disturbance to foment a rebellion against their Spanish conquerors; but all other disturbances were speedily quelled.

Civil disturbances, civil conflicts, now followed in the wake of these struggles against foreign aggression and domestic insurrection. [41]In these internal dissensions, all branches of the Government took part. It was the Governor-General against the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court against the Clergy, the Clergy against All.

The Governor was censured for alleged undue exercise of arbitrary authority. The Supreme Court, patterned after the one in Mexico, was also accused of seeking to overstep the limits of its functions. Every law was reduced to the practise of a quibble, every quibble was administered with a dilatoriness that was destructive not only to all legitimate industry, but also to the encouragement and maintenance of order. To make matters even worse, the clergy, with their pretense of immunity from all State-control, interfered in all matters that promised profit. Indeed, there were few things out of which these wily friars were unable to extract a generous tithe.


The Dutch Appear upon the Scene.

The Chinese pirate had been taught a severe lesson, and had departed. The memory of his ravages, however, was still fresh in the minds of his conquerors when other buccaneers, far mere formidable and dangerous, appeared in the waters of the Philippines, threatening the peace and safety of the colonists.

Kindling with a desire for vengeance on their ancient foes the Spaniards, and flaming with greed for the richly-freighted Spanish argosies, the Dutch made repeated sallies from their secure retreat in the Moluccas, spreading terror in their wake. The galleons full of silver from Mexico, the ships laden with the comforts and luxuries of far-away Spain, fell a delightful prey into the hands of these remorseless freebooters, that never gave nor asked quarter. Many were the conflicts with these ruthless invaders, and many a rich prize did they tow away from the Philippine waters, while the angry Spaniards on shore stood transfixed,—in helpless misery.

Millions of dollars intended for the salaries of the Government [42]officials and the troops, were thus stolen, and though the colonists were often victorious, yet the enemy, with characteristic Dutch audacity, refused to be defeated; in fact, he invariably reappeared with a new demonstration of bloody rapacity.

Upon one occasion a Dutch squadron anchored at the entrance of Manila Bay. It remained several months, seizing from time to time the merchantmen on their way to the Manila market. It thus secured an immense booty; its presence, too, becoming extremely prejudicial to trade and to the interests of the colony.

Juan de Silva, the Governor, therefore began to prepare an armament to drive these freebooters from the bay. One night he dreamt that St. Mark had offered to help him. Awaking, he consulted a priest about his dream, who interpreted it to be an omen of victory. On St. Mark’s day, accordingly, the Spaniards sallied forth to meet their hereditary foe; they sailed from Cavité with ten ships, carrying twenty guns. Over 1,000 Europeans and a large number of natives manned this fleet, the latter being religiously told that the Dutch were infidels, and, therefore, deserved extermination.

Once more the possession of the colony was to be decided. This time the conflict was to be between two rival nations from the same continent,—between Protestant and Catholic. The clergy, hence, were keenly alive to its importance: mass was said in all the churches, bells were tolled, and images of the Patron Saints of the colony were daily paraded through the streets.

The Governor himself took command, and incited his followers to martial order by proclaiming St. Mark’s promised intercession. From his ship he unfurled the royal standard,—on which the image of the Virgin was conspicuously embroidered,—to give encouragement to the eyes of the faithful. He then gave the signal for the advance, and they swiftly bore down upon the enemy. The Dutch were quietly awaiting the attack, and the conflict was fierce and sanguinary. It was a calm, beautiful day; but the calmness soon gave place to the [43]thundering turbulence of battle, and the beauty soon became the ugliness of war.

The contest lasted about six hours, and the Dutch, unable longer to cope against odds so overwhelming, were finally vanquished; their three ships were destroyed, and their flags, artillery, and plundered merchandise to the value of $300,000 were seized.

San Augustine Church, in Old Manila.

San Augustine Church, in Old Manila.

This important struggle is known in the history of the islands as the battle of Playa Honda. Had it ended otherwise, it is probable that the Philippines would have been for the Dutch another Java, and a most interesting problem would not have sought solution at the hands of the American people.

Several other engagements with the Dutch occurred at different [44]times; first one, then the other side being victorious. And thus for over a century the contest continued, until by the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, Holland’s independence was fully established, her impoverished and weakened foe being forced to a tardy recognition of what had been an obstinate fact for many years.


The Japanese, and the Martyred Saints.

The struggling colony was menaced by yet another foe. Early commercial relations had been entered into with the Japanese, who had established one or two trading-settlements in different parts of Luzon. It was not long, therefore, before the news of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines reached the Emperor of Japan. Accordingly, in 1593, he sent an ultimatum to the Governor-General, demanding his surrender, and that he acknowledge him as his liege lord.

The Japanese Ambassador, Farranda Kiemon, was received with great honor, and treated with all the deference due to a royal envoy: the colonists were not yet strong enough to manifest a high degree of independence when threatened by so powerful a foe. So the Governor prudently resorted to diplomacy. He replied, that, being but a vassal of the King of Spain, a most powerful and opulent sovereign, he was prevented from giving homage to any other monarch; that his first duty, naturally, was to defend the colony against invasion; that he should, however, be happy to make a Treaty of Commerce with His Majesty, and would, accordingly, send several envoys to his capital to treat concerning the same.

This done, it is related, the Spaniards were received in great state. The treaty was then adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties.

A Suburb of Old Manila.

A Suburb of Old Manila.

Unfortunately, however, these envoys, returning homeward, were drowned, and shortly afterward two religious embassies were sent to Japan to renew the treaty and to convert the benighted inhabitants of that country to God and the true Church. After [46]thirty days, sailing they arrived at their destination. The friar Pedro Bautista, chief of the embassy, was now presented to the Emperor Taycosama, and the treaty was renewed. The most important feature of this agreement was the permission to build a chapel at Meaco, near Osaka. This was opened with ceremonial pomp in 1594.

Now the chief of the Jesuits—the sect were by royal favor allowed to follow their calling among the Portuguese traders in Nagasaki—bitterly opposed what he deemed the exclusive right of his order, conceded by Pope Gregory XIII., and confirmed by Imperial decree.

The Portuguese traders, foreseeing that the arrival of Bautista and his priests was but a prelude to Spanish domination,—when they, naturally, would be the sufferers,—forewarned the Governor of Nagasaki.

The Emperor was alarmed; for he now also became convinced that the Philippine Ambassadors were actuated to missionary zeal by ulterior motives; and, fearing that the priests, by their doctrines, might pollute the fountain of his ancient religion,—thus paving the way for their domination and his own ultimate ruin,—he at once commanded that all attempts to convert the natives must cease. Bautista, in holy zeal, not heeding the Imperial injunction, was expelled, and retired to Luzon, leaving several of his embassy behind. Some of these also, obstinately persisting in violating the Imperial mandate, were arrested and imprisoned.

Upon his arrival in Manila, Bautista fitted out another expedition, and soon again landed in Japan with a company of Franciscans.

The indignant Emperor, convinced of the duplicity of the Spaniards, caused them to be seized and cast into prison. A few natives, who had forsaken the religion of their forefathers for the discord-breeding doctrines of the foreigners, were also apprehended. All—twenty-six in number—were then condemned to death. After their ears and noses had been cut off, they were exhibited in various towns, as a warning to the other foreigners and to the populace. Upon the breast of each hung a board, that announced the sentence of the wearer and the [47]reasons for his punishment. They were then crucified, and, after lingering for several hours in great agony, were speared to death.

The colony was much perturbed when the news of the sad fate of the zealous Franciscans reached Manila. Special masses were said, and processions of monks daily paraded through the streets.

The Abandoned Acqueduct.

The Abandoned Acqueduct.

The Governor was finally prevailed on to send a deputation to Japan for the bodies of the executed priests; for the relics of these martyrs were fraught with too many possibilities of profit to their co-religionists to be left in a foreign country in ignominious sepulture. It is related, also, that these envoys were entertained most royally, and the Emperor gave them a long letter to the Governor, justifying with many reasons the late execution and his vigorous policy. It seems, however, that the [48]relics were lost on the homeward voyage. Notwithstanding, many priests soon ventured to Japan, to court a martyr’s doom and to furnish relics for the adoration of their superstitious countrymen. Hence, it is not surprising that a great many other similar executions afterward took place.

Incensed at these frequent and persistent violations of his well-founded prohibition, the Emperor finally refused to treat with the embassies sent from the colony; and, as he and his successors continued to enforce their stern decrees, the transportation of Spanish priests to Japan was finally prohibited. Had the Japanese been less severe, less astute, it is highly probable that all the evil consequences that they foresaw,—as a result of the Christian propaganda,—would really have taken place. As it was, they saved both their religion and their Empire.



The British Occupation.

The British Occupation.


General Draper’s Expedition.

The affairs of the colony—now directed by custom and precedence into the narrow channel of official routine—flowed placidly along in undisturbed monotony. But in 1762 another enemy appeared before the walls of Manila; an enemy more powerful than any that had heretofore threatened the peace of that tropical capital. War had been declared by Spain against England, and the enterprising inhabitants of that little isle were not slow in following their traditional policy of striking the first blow. Rodney and Monckton were sent to Havana. This they took without great difficulty, and soon a British squadron, composed of thirteen ships, under the command of Admiral Cornish, was despatched to Manila.

It was the evening of the 22nd of September when the English fleet arrived in the bay, and the following morning Admiral Cornish sent an officer to the Governor, demanding the surrender of the citadel. At this peremptory proceeding the haughty Spaniard was highly incensed, and his refusal was couched in terms no less indignant than defiant.

Words having signally failed to bring the Spanish to terms, a demonstration of force was decided upon, and Brigadier-General Draper was sent on shore with a large body of troops. The garrison, however, treated this display with counter demonstrations, [50]and Draper’s threats with lofty disdain. Draper therefore resolved to parley no longer, and the bombardment began the next day.

Tower of Defense, Church, and Priest’s House.

Tower of Defense, Church, and Priest’s House.

The British forces consisted of 1600 European troops, nearly 3000 seamen, and about 800 Sepoys—about 5000 fighting men. The forces in Manila, on the other hand, were only 603 Spaniards and 77 small guns. In the meantime, the ardor of the British had been inflamed by the capture of a Spanish galleon containing $2,500,000 in specie.

The Archbishop, Manuel Antonio Rojo, who acted also as Governor,—the seat of that functionary being vacant at the time,—seeing the hopelessness of the conflict, and desiring to avert unavailing bloodshed, counseled surrender. But the soldiers in the garrison, under their fiery leader Simon de Anda, were utterly intractable, and prepared vigorously for the defense. After a few unsuccessful sorties, the Spanish batteries, on the 24th September, began a rapid but harmless cannonade. Again a company sallied forth from the garrison to attack the invaders, but this also was repulsed, with considerable loss to the Spanish. The English now renewed the [51]bombardment, and terrific havoc was made among the ranks of the enemy. Some two thousand natives, in three columns, advanced toward the three improvised redoubts held by the British, and were driven back with great loss and confusion. Panic-stricken, the natives fled back to their villages, and on the 5th of October the besieging forces entered the walled city. The bombardment, meanwhile, continued. Nor did it cease until the forts were demolished and most of the Spanish artillerymen killed. It is estimated that 20,000 cannon-balls and 5000 shells were thrown into the city.

The military men among the Spanish now counseled surrender. The civilians, contrariwise, were eager to continue the defense. But as most of the fortifications were destroyed, and since “confusion worse confounded” already reigned in the city, many fled to the surrounding villages.

The opposing civilians having barricaded and otherwise obstructed the streets, the British advanced into the heart of the city, clearing the way before them with a raking fire of musketry.

General Draper now sent Colonel Monson to the Archbishop, demanding instant and absolute surrender. The Archbishop appeared and offered himself as a prisoner, also presenting terms of capitulation. These provided for the free exercise of religion, the security of private property, unrestricted commerce between the Spaniards and the natives, and the English support of the Supreme Court in its attempts to preserve order.


The British Demand an Indemnity.

General Draper readily granted these terms, but demanded an indemnity of $4,000,000. To this the Spanish agreed, and these terms were then signed by both parties to the compact.

When the Union Jack was first unfurled from Fort Santiago, it is said that the British burst forth into a chorus of ringing cheers.

But their joy was not unmixed with sensations of sorrow; for, it is reported, over 1500 men, and many gallant officers, were lost in [52]the assault. The city was then given over to the mercy of the victorious troops, and a riotous scene of pillage ensued; many excesses were committed, the Sepoys, in particular, committing many atrocities. General Draper forthwith gave the command that these outrages should cease; and guards were at once placed at the doors of the convents and the nunneries to prevent outrages on the women. A few thieving Chinamen, who had taken advantage of the confusion to add to their own profit, were hanged; and the General, it is said, with his own hand cut down a soldier that he caught stealing after his inhibition had been proclaimed.

A Native Village in the Foot-hills: Old Manila.

A Native Village in the Foot-hills: Old Manila.

The English now demanded the payment of the stipulated indemnity, but the enforced contributions from the wealthy inhabitants, with the silver from the churches—all that the Spaniards professed to be able to collect—amounted to only a little more than half a million dollars,—but one-eighth of the stipulated sum. [53]Threat and force were alike unavailing to produce the other monies promised, although the friars, it is believed, had secreted immense sums, determined at all hazards to preserve their accumulated store from the rapacity of their Protestant enemy.

By the terms of the capitulation the entire Archipelago had been surrendered to the British; but Simon de Anda, who commanded the Spanish forces during the siege, had now established himself in Bulacan as Provisional Governor, in opposition to the authority of the Archbishop who had bitterly denounced the surrender. The clergy, however, were the more influential part of the Colonial Government, and General Draper accordingly treated with them alone, obtaining their consent to a cession of all the islands to the King of England. Draper himself then returned to England, leaving behind a Provisional Military Government.

Admiral Cornish now demanded the payment of the million dollars that the British had finally decided to accept as full indemnity.

The Spaniard, however, continued to plead poverty, and the money was not forthcoming. Several thousands of dollars were eventually unearthed in the convent where the friars had hidden it. The British, though convinced of the deception that these holy brethren had practised to save these dollars,—wrung from the hearts of the poor,—were, however, unable to lay their hands upon the treasure.

Simon de Anda, the self-constituted Governor, now became unusually active in the provinces, and several expeditions were sent out to quell the various insurrections that he had been stirring up. One of these, numbering 600 men, under the leadership of Captain Eslay, in the province of Bulacan, assaulted and took a fortified convent. They were also victorious in some engagements with a body of natives, several thousand strong, under the command of Lieutenant Bustos, a Spanish officer. As several Austin friars had been found among the slain, the British rightly believed that their order had been conspiring against them. Many, therefore, were arrested. Eleven were sent back to Europe. [54]

Naturally suspicious of all the friars, the English now entered the Augustine convent and found that these priests had been no less deceitful than their brethren in the other orders. Six thousand, five hundred dollars in coin were found hidden in the garden, and large quantities of wrought silver elsewhere. The convent itself was then searched and all the valuables found therein taken.

A Bamboo House in Pampanga Province.

A Bamboo House in Pampanga Province.

About this time the Spaniards professed to have discovered a conspiracy among the Chinese in the province of Pampanga, the object being, they said, to murder Anda and his Spanish followers. The Chinese had raised extensive fortifications, saying that these preparations were all made as a defense against an expected attack from the British.

The Spaniards, however, suspecting sympathy with their enemies, attacked the Celestials and a general massacre of the Chinese followed. Many thousands, too, were killed that had taken no part in the war.

Admiral Cornish, disgusted and infuriated with their obvious [55]deception and palpable dilly-dallying, again demanded the payment of the indemnity. But he was forced to content himself with a bill on the Madrid Treasury.

Anda now appointed Bustos Alcalde of Bulacan: he hoped great things of his seditious and unscrupulous lieutenant; he knew that he would resort to every means to harass the enemy: he therefore, accordingly, ordered him to recruit and train troops.

For Anda still cherished the hope of confining the British, perhaps, even, of driving them from the colony. So, with practiced subtlety and with masked deviltry, he set about accomplishing his grim purpose.


Intrigues Against the British.

The British were now kept busy suppressing the numerous intrigues against their power that sprang up among the Spanish residents everywhere. Many sorties also were made to dislodge the persistent and irrepressible Anda and his lieutenant Bustos, now encamped at Malinta, a village a few miles from Manila. Most of those assaults, however, proved indecisive and ineffectual. The priests proved troublesome, and were the cause of much bloodshed, teaching the natives that the British were infidels.

The Augustine friars were especially hostile, many laying aside the cowl for the helmet. At Masilo, indeed, the British were defeated by an Austin friar, who, with a small band of natives, attacked them from ambush.

The Austin friars, however, had some cause for grievance. For, according to a recent historian, they had lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, fifteen of their convents were destroyed, several valuable estates despoiled, ten of the members killed in the battle, and nineteen were taken prisoners and sent as exiles to India and Europe.

On the 23d of July, 1763, an English vessel brought news of an armistice between the conflicting Powers. And in the latter part of August the British Commander received notice [56]of the articles of peace, by which Manila was to be evacuated (Peace of Paris, 10th of Feb., 1763).

It was several months, however, before peace was finally established in the island, fierce quarrels having arisen among the rival factions of the Spaniards as to who should be Governor and receive the city officially from the British. The Archbishop having died, Anda, who was in actual command of the troops, was fully recognized by the British as Governor. Don Francisco de La Torre arriving at this time from Spain with a commission as Governor-General, Anda resigned the Government to him on the 17th of March, 1764. Several serious quarrels now took place, due to jealousy among the English officers; but Anda, on behalf of the new Governor, formally received the city from the British, who embarked for India, after having met all claims that could be justly established against them.



The Spanish Colonial Government.

The Spanish Colonial Government.


The Encomiendoros and the Alcaldes.

In the early days of the colony there were, besides the Governor-General, the sub-governors, known as Encomiendoros, who rented their provinces at so much per annum, called Encomiendas, from the General Government. These Encomiendoros were usually men of wealth, that entered into politics as a speculation. More properly, I should say, as a peculation; for it became their policy to fleece the natives and to extort as much money as possible during the term of their incumbency. Few, indeed, left the scene of their civil brigandage without full coffers; and as enormous fortunes were to be made during a few years sojourn in the islands, no wonder that this office was eagerly sought after in Spain.

This imitation of the methods of the Roman tax-payers, however, became so demoralizing to the morale of the Spaniards themselves, and so ruinous to the colony and to the natives, that a more equitable policy was introduced. The Encomiendoros were succeeded by Judicial Governors, called Alcaldes, to whom was paid a small salary, from $300 upward a year, according to the prominence of the province.

This office, however, proved almost equally remunerative to the holders; for, by means of a Government license to trade, [58]they were able to create, to their own advantage, monopolies in every line of industry, thus freezing out all competitors. Though each was responsible to the Central Government for the taxes of his provinces, yet this did not prevent the shrewd and unprincipled from finding profit here also. For, by a system of false weights and measures, the native, who, in lieu of silver, brought his produce in payment for taxes, was shamefully defrauded, the Alcalde sending the indebted amount to the Government storehouse and selling the rest to his own profit. In addition, many of these Alcaldes, by arbitrary decrees and despotic methods, conducted a system of public robbery that in a few years enriched them at the expense of the long-suffering natives; for them there was no redress, inasmuch as each Alcalde was also the head of the Legal Tribunal in his own province. These abuses, however, became so flagrant that the Alcaldes were finally forbidden to trade; but as this measure was not as effectual as had been expected, sweeping reforms were instituted.

To recount what these were; to mention in detail what malignant opposition was manifested by a large body of natives and resident Spaniards toward the purposed overthrow of the old system, would be only to reiterate well-known characteristics and abnormalities of the Spanish nature; placed, too, in but a slightly different setting.

I will merely add that these Alcaldes, these perpetrators and beneficiaries of wholesale misrule and dishonor, yielded finally to the reform-wave, and, accordingly, fell away before their own judicial perversion. And the new system, it must be confessed, is a great improvement upon the old.

But the evil wrought upon the Filipino mind and character was deep-planted. For, by the despotic and summary disposing of his labor and chattels, in the name of the King,—abetted frequently, too, by seemingly supernatural means,—respect for the Spaniard and the white man in general had fled, fear and distrust supplanting it.

A Street Scene in Albay.

A Street Scene in Albay.

In the new order of things,—instituted by a decree from the Queen-Regent Maria Cristina, the 26th of February, 1886,—18 Civil Governorships were created, and the Alcaldes’ functions were [60]confined to their Judgeships. And thus the former frightful distortion of justice was overcome and banished.

So, too, under this law of 1886 each Civil Governor has a Secretary, who serves as a check upon his chief, if he be illegally inclined.

Accordingly, two new official safeguards were thus erected in the fabric of Colonial Administration in these 18 different provinces.


The Present Division and Administration.

The colony was then divided into 19 civil provinces, including Sulu, and into 3 grand military divisions.

As before, at the head was the Governor-General,—the supervising and executive officer of the province,—directly responsible to Spain. His salary is $40,000 a year. He is assisted by an Executive Cabinet and by an Administrative Council. The Provincial Governor, the successor to the Alcalde, must be a Spaniard, and at least 30 years old. He is the direct representative of the Governor-General and it is his duty to execute his decrees and to maintain order. He also has the power of appointment and removal, presides over provincial elections, controls the civil and local guard, interprets the laws,—usually to suit his own profit or convenience,—supervises the balloting for military conscription, can assess fines to the amount of $50, or imprison for 30 days, is Superintendent of Public Instruction, issues licenses and collects taxes. It is his duty also to furnish statistics and to control the Postal and Telegraph service. He is the Superintendent of health, prisons, charities, agriculture, forestry, and of manufactures. It will thus be seen that his duties are as diverse as they are important. He is now allowed no percentage, nor other emolument than his salary. At the same time, a shrewd Governor is yet able to reap a golden harvest. This, however, can be done only in conjunction with other Government officers.

Owing to the extreme shortness of his term of office—three years only—there is no incentive for the improvement of his province, as his successors would reap the results as well as the credit of his industry. Besides, he has no reason to hope that a good work begun will be a good work continued; for [61]the next Governor may be averse to exertion, or may be at variance with his policy.

Children of a Gobernadorcillo.

Children of a Gobernadorcillo.

Most of the Governors live in good style; as a rule they spend about two hours a day in Government employ. Is it to be wondered at, then, that this office is so eagerly sought after in Spain?

There are about 750 towns in the colony; each governed by a Gobernadorcillo, “Little Governor,” called Capitan; usually a native or half-caste. This office is elected every two years, and is to the Provincial Governor what the latter is to the Governor-General. He is the tax-collector of his district, and is, furthermore, responsible for the amount apportioned to his district. If he fails to collect this, he must make the deficit good out of his own pocket. Under him are a number of deputies, called Cabezas, each likewise responsible for another division of the population called a Barangay,—a collection of forty or fifty families. If the individuals of this group are unable to pay, the property is distrained and sold by the deputy, who would otherwise have to make good the amount himself. If the proceeds of the sale fail to equal the indebtedness of the delinquent, he is cast into prison.

I have often seen respectable men deported to the penal settlements; and for no other offense than inability to pay the oppressive tax laid upon their shoulders, regardless of the season,—whether productive or not. Their families, meanwhile, left without a head, were thrown into the most woeful destitution. [62]

The Gobernadorcillo gets the munificent salary of $200 a year, though his expenses, for clerk-hire, for presents to his chief, and for entertainments in his honor, are often many times greater. A shrewd Gobernadorcillo, however, manages to make something out of the place, which, in some districts, is eagerly sought after by rich planters. The official dress of this worthy is a short black jacket, the tail worn over the trousers. He also carries a stick as a sign of authority. To him is entrusted the apprehension of criminals, and he has command of the local guards, or cuadrilleros, the police of the towns.


The Taxes and What Became of Them.

It can easily be guessed that the taxes are not inconsiderable, when I simply mention a few things that are assessed: There is a tax on the ownership and sale of live-stock and vehicles, on realty, and on all private industries and manufactures. Opium, liquors, stamps, tobacco, and lotteries yield an immense revenue. Then there is a Community-fund, which is usually several hundred thousand dollars a year in each province, and is supposed to be spent in the interest of the community. The Chinese Capitation tax also brings in a large amount. But the most common and onerous tax of all is that arising from the Government sale of Cédulas, or documents of identity, which is a poll-tax from $25 down. The individual paying less than $3.50 is subject to 15 days’ hard labor each year and to a fine of 50 cents for each day that he shall fail to work. Those whose cédulas have cost more than $3.50 must also pay a municipal tax of $1.50. The cédula is also used as a passport, and must be brought into court to render legal instruments effective.

Along the Escolta; Principal Business Street in New Manila.

Along the Escolta; Principal Business Street in New Manila.

From this brief and imperfect survey of the system of provincial taxation, it can easily be gathered that the revenues are considerable; and yet, of the hundreds of thousands of dollars extorted from the natives in each province, under the plausible [64]pretexts of an avaricious policy, it is safe to say that not a dollar is expended for any local improvements. No building of bridges, no constructing of highways, no public schools, nor halls of justice must mar the stagnant serenity of provincial life. Nothing is ever repaired; a system of “let alone” blights every aspiration, and is fatal to the extension of commerce and industry. Consequently, in the wet season, for vehicles, the public roads are impassable, and, in many parts of the country, for months transportation is practically at a stand-still. As if effectually to close every door to progress, private individuals, too, are forbidden by law to repair the highways.

Did any government ever foster a more imbecile and iniquitous policy for its own damnation?

Although the speculations in the colony are not so enormous as formerly, yet there is no doubt that they still amount to several millions annually; mostly, however, at the seat of Government in Manila. It is indeed notorious that General Weyler, during his brief incumbency of the office, succeeded in placing several millions of dollars to his credit—I should have said to his dishonor!


Dilatory and Abortive Courts.

Perhaps no feature of Colonial life is fraught with more evil and is so disgusting, as the process of the courts. The Supreme Court of the early years of the colony was modeled after the one in Majorca, and on several occasions when the Governorship has been left vacant, it has assumed the functions of the executive—pro-tem.

There are two Supreme Law Courts in the colony: one in Manila; the other in Cebú. The President of the one in Manila has a salary of $7,000 a year; that of Cebú, $6,000. There are also 41 Superior Courts, of various degrees of importance, the salary of the judges ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 per annum. The department of Justice alone costs the colony about $350,000 a year. [65]

The dilatoriness of the courts has become proverbial. It is, in fact, years before a case can be brought to a close. Meantime, the litigant has been fleeced out of an amount perhaps a hundred times the value of the article under litigation. The islands are full of native pettifoggers from the law schools of Manila, who have learned too well the meaning of the Spanish mañana. A suit can never be considered as disposed of; for another judge, scenting the faint possibility of a fee, may again have it retried. Thus I have seen the lives of acquitted persons again brought into jeopardy by the meddlesome officiousness and the grasping greed of a new judge. He that goes to court in the Philippines must not do so without reckoning the cost.

A Business Street in Old Manila.

A Business Street in Old Manila.

Commenting on this, a recent English traveler says: “Availing one self of the dilatoriness of the Spanish law, it is possible for a man to occupy a house, pay no rent, and refuse to quit on legal grounds during a couple of years or more. A person who [66]has not a cent to lose can persecute another by means of a trumped up accusation, until he is ruined by an “informacion de pobreza”—a declaration of poverty—which enables the persecutor to keep the case going as long as he chooses, without needing money for fees.


A New Yorker’s Experience.

The following experience of an American friend of mine, whom I knew very well in Manila, will bring out in a graphic way the course of justice in the Philippines. Nor is his experience uncommon. It is, in fact, the usual one of the stranger or the native who goes to the fountain of Justice for the redress of a grievance.

I quote part of his letter written to a common friend:

In 1871 I joined Mr. William Morton Clark of Philadelphia, who had a large timber business on the island of Luzon, and started cutting some timber contracted for by the Chinese government.

I soon discovered that I was interfering with the business of a certain priest, who was also in the same line of business.

Shortly before this, this priest and an inspector of roads had loaded the Spanish bark Santa Lucia for Hong-Kong, and had made things so disagreeable for others who had tried to ship merchandise that foreigners were becoming afraid to risk their capital.

Mr. Clark finding how things were going on soon abandoned the enterprise, and I then determined to fight the thing out on my own account.

At this time I had 25,000 cubic feet of hard timber, cut and squared, for a foreign market, eighty-two buffaloes for hauling, and a plant of machinery and appliances valued at $7,000.

I had a license for carrying on my business, duly granted by the superior government, and in 1874 chartered a vessel at Manila to carry my timber to Hong-Kong, and then went to the port of Love, where my timber was, taking with me $940 in gold to prepare for the vessel’s arrival and to continue cutting. [67]

Upon arriving at Love I found that during my absence at Manila a portion of my timber had been forcibly taken possession of and had been shipped on board the Spanish bark Teresa by Joaquin Barcello, the captain of the Teresa, who was then on his way to Hong-Kong. I also learned that my buffaloes, stock and rice had been removed, and that Juan Gaal, my foreman, whom I had left in charge of my property, was all subject to the orders of this Barcello, and that my choppers had been bribed into the service of Padre Fidel Moreno, the priest of the town.

When I complained of this I was confronted with a document signed by the Adelantado of Love, to the effect that no notice should be taken of my complaints, to give no testimony in my behalf (thereby shutting me out of my legal rights), and that my foreman, Juan Gaal, should look after the interests of Captain Barcello until the captain’s return from China.

I then applied to the Governor, protesting against the robbery of my timber and the appropriation of my property by Captain Barcello and Juan Gaal, but was merely told that the commandante had so ordered and that there would be no interference.

Seeing there was no justice to be had at home, I sought to regain my rights at Manila and so left the next morning for Manila on the bark Industria, taking with me all my private papers, contracts, &c.

That night we encountered a terrible typhoon in which the vessel was wrecked, and all that I was able to save was the clothes I then wore.

Upon my arrival at Manila I put in a complaint against Captain Barcello, and also against Padre Moreno and the commandante of the district, as accomplices in the above fraud and robbery.

The case dragged along, as is customary in Spanish countries, and about a year later my funds were all exhausted. At this time a Spanish friend at Manila, acquainted with my misfortunes, took me to his home and lent me some money, shortly afterwards sailing for Europe. [68]

With this money I returned to Love, expecting to find at least a portion of my timber left which I intended to ship. Upon arriving at Love I found that Captain Barcello had been there before me and had seized and shipped everything but a few worm-eaten logs. Barcello had even hauled the timber I had cut in the mountains, and aided by his accomplices had cleaned me out entirely during my absence.

In the Lumber District.

In the Lumber District.

I saw it was no use to complain further, and so I set to work to cut some more timber, and after much trouble and expense got two cargoes ready and left for Manila, intending to go from there to Hong-Kong to sell what I had last cut.

Learning that Barcello was in Manila and was about to leave [69]for Hong-Kong, I applied to the Alcalde, Señor Torranco, who had my suit in charge, to stop Barcello from leaving the country, as my case against him had not yet been decided.

This didn’t benefit me much, as the Alcalde wouldn’t grant my request, and although a case of robbery and fraud was pending against him, Barcello was allowed to leave without hindrance.

I then applied for my passport, but to my surprise this was refused me, on the ground that my suit should first be decided.

I then returned to Love, having authorized Charles Germain to charter for me, and in due time I had despatched three cargoes to Hong-Kong, but finding that my presence in Hong-Kong would be absolutely necessary for the success of my business I applied a second time for my passport, and was again refused.

Thinking that if I offered security I would be allowed to leave the town, I named a friend who was willing to go on my bond, but the Alcalde shut me off from this chance by sending his clerk to my friend’s house, and succeeded in so frightening him that my friend withdrew his name as my bondsman.

I know that this act was done deliberately, as at this time, and during the whole of my suit, the Alcalde was on the most intimate terms with Captain Barcello.

My next step was to protest against Señor Torranco trying or hearing my case, as I showed conclusively that he was hand and glove with Barcello. This had the desired effect, and the case was transferred to another Alcalde. Torranco had, however, served his friend well: he had stopped my passport at a vital point in my business on a frivolous pretext.

I was a foreigner, and that was enough, and not being able to obtain permission to leave the country, all my efforts being frustrated by those in power, although I was the aggrieved and injured party, I was held a captive in Manila, my business, meantime, going to ruin abroad.

This state of affairs continued for months, with no signs of any beneficial change in my circumstances, and so I finally brought the matter officially before the American Consul, who wrote to the Captain-General, stating my case in full, and advised me to [70]abandon my suit, which I did, the Consul officially notifying the Captain-General of the fact.

From that day to this I have been sustained by my friends. My means were exhausted, and I was compelled to leave the hotel a beggar on the streets, with my resources all gone and heavy debts pressing upon me.

Mr. Collins was never able to get justice, though he tried frequently. His experience is no uncommon one. The establishment of a pure judiciary and the purification of the courts should be one of the first reforms undertaken by the Americans.



The Church in the Colony.

The Church in the Colony.


Priesthood and the People.

The hierarchy of the colony consists of an Archbishop, resident in Manila, and four bishops. The Archbishop lives in a Palace, and has a salary of $12,000 a year, while the annual expenses of the Cathedral in Manila are not less than $60,000. It was not till several years after the founding of Manila, in 1578, that the first bishop was consecrated and a Cathedral was built. Not long afterward, the Manila See was raised to an Archbishopric.

The present hierarchy costs the Government about $800,000 a year. The salaries of the priests range from $500 to $2500 per annum; but, in addition, they derive a large income from the sale of masses, indulgences, marriage, burial and baptismal-fees, and from the various commissions incident to their calling. They receive all, and give nothing.

The several orders have immense revenues from investments in the islands and in Hong-Kong. They possess magnificent estates; but, notwithstanding their enormous wealth, they are hard task-masters, grinding the poor to the paying of the last penny. Their injustice and tyranny have of late aroused bitter complaint, and are a chief cause of the late insurrection.

Throne Room of the Archbishop’s Palace.

Throne Room of the Archbishop’s Palace.

And yet the picture has its lights as well as its shadows. The friars have, also, in many places, the confidence of the natives, [73]and, on the whole, surely influence them for the repression of their vicious and brutal instincts. A half-barbarous people can be led only by superstition, and a semi-sacerdotal government is most effective among an ignorant people.

The friar is usually from a lowly family, and is, therefore, able at once to enter into sympathy with the humble life of the people. He is doctor, architect, engineer, and adviser; in all things truly the father of the community, the representative of the white race and of social order. Such is the ideal village-curate, and many such—good men and true—are to be found. There, are, however, many black sheep among them. And the gross immorality of those that should be examples in virtue, has been a great impediment to the work of the Church among the thinking natives. There are, also, some Chinese and native friars; but, owing to the various insurrections, in which some of these were involved, they are no longer trusted; in fact, a native can no longer become a priest.

So great is the paternal influence of the priests, that I have often seen delinquent parishioners flogged for non-attendance at mass.

The Chinese often adopt Christianity for social or business reasons, or that they may marry the daughter of a native.

All over the islands are shrines to which the people make long pilgrimages; such pilgrimages, however, partaking more of the character of feasts than of fasts. The self-denial and the self-imposed hardships of the European devotee have never found fruitful soil in the native character. He is never so glad as when a holy-day furnishes him with a pretext for an elaborate feast, and, in truth, the feast-days alone relieve the gloom of his monotonous life. Two of the most famous shrines are the Holy Child of Cebú and the Virgin of Antipolo,—thousands visiting them yearly.


Conflicts Between Church and State.

A book might be written, and an interesting one, too, about [75]the various contests between Church and State during this period of the colony’s history.

The Famous Shrine of Antipolo.

The Famous Shrine of Antipolo.

The Archbishops—with an exaggerated idea of their own importance—soon became exceedingly troublesome to the Civil Power, by reason of their excessive claims. This was never more manifest than in their pretended immunity from all State-control. Upon one occasion the Governor demanded of the Archbishop to produce several persons charged with capital and other crimes, who had found asylum in a convent. The Archbishop promptly refused, claiming the prerogative of Sanctuary. The accused not only openly defied the Governor, but armed themselves, intending to resist, should he endeavor to apprehend them. The Governor, learning this, arrested the Archbishop, and confined him and the priests that had been his abettors in prison, charging them with conspiracy against the Government.

The news spread over the province with incredible swiftness, and hundreds of priests, collecting hordes of natives on the way, marched with riotous demonstrations and violent clamor to the Palace. Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians forgot their fierce rivalry and joined together in the shout, “Long live the church!” “Long live King Philip V!”

The mob burst open the doors of the Palace, and, the terror-stricken guards having fled, they forced their way to the Governor, who calmly awaited them, standing with a loaded musket in his hand. He then ordered the rabble to retreat, but with wild shrieks, incited by the priests that accompanied them, they rushed on him. The Governor pulled the trigger, but his flint failing to strike fire he defended himself with his bayonet. He was finally surrounded; and insulted, beaten, and stabbed, he was dragged to jail.

The son of the Governor, running to his father’s aid, was severely wounded by the rebels. Attempting, nevertheless, to cut his way through, he was killed, and his body horribly mutilated.

The mob then broke open the door of the fortress where the Archbishop was confined, and liberated him. This worthy was [76]then escorted with much acclamation to the Palace, and assumed charge of the Government, which he held for four years.

This is only one of many exciting conflicts between these two factions, sometimes one, sometimes the other, being victorious. On four different occasions the Governorship of the colony was vested in the Archbishop.

Every Governor-General that has attempted to introduce a liberal policy has been recalled; for the friars’ combined influence is all-powerful. Not even the Archbishop has been able to prevail over the corporation of the friars; and if he would retain his see, he must not oppose their traditional prerogatives, nor work for that reform that would mean the decline of the orders. Indeed, only a few years ago, one Archbishop, who had made several ineffectual attempts to correct the abuses in the orders, was one morning found dead in his bed. His successors have taken good care to profit by his example.


Clashings among the Friars.

Interesting is the story of the bitter rivalries between the different orders, who, though of one religion, were extremely jealous of one another, showing little of that charity and forbearance that Christianity, above all, is supposed to inculcate.

A Parish Priest.

A Parish Priest.

On account of several clashes with the civil power, a priest had early been sent to Spain by the Church party to gain redress of grievances. Chief of these was their inability to guide the entire affairs of the colony into a narrow ecclesiastical groove. The result was, the introduction of new laws so favorable to the clergy, that, within three or four years, the colony swarmed with mendicant friars, whose habits, say the old chroniclers, placed the Spaniards and their vaunted religion in a most ridiculous light before the natives.

As most of these monks belonged to a different order from the bishop, who was an Augustinian, and as they often boldly defied his authority, he became greatly alarmed at their expanding [77]power. But, after a fierce struggle, he succeeded in so curtailing their privileges that he still retained his pre-eminence in the colony.

Urdaneta and his Austin friars were the pioneers in the islands, and following them came a horde of Dominicans and Franciscans, and the Recoletos, or bare-foot monks. As the saving of souls was the chief policy of Philip II., the co-operation of the friars was eagerly welcomed by the early Colonial Government, and it must be admitted that without their influence the lot of the natives would have been a far harder one. For the substitution of the rites of paganism for those of Christianity, even in so crude a form as taught by the friars, was, in the main, beneficial. Religion—though not of a very exalted kind—was put on an ethical basis, and the self-denial, obedience, and sacrifice that formed the foundation of the new doctrine, somewhat reconciled the conquered races to the loss of their primal freedom.


The Monks Opposed to Reform.

These orders, presenting the united front of a corporation, were extremely powerful, and practically unassailable. When arrayed against an individual, it always resulted in his defeat,—that is, his expulsion or imprisonment. They practically had their way in all things and under all circumstances. Nothing could withstand [78]them; for, to attack one friar was to attack his whole order. Thus, much injustice was occasioned. I have known a highly respectable man, possessed of great wealth, cheated out of house and home—yes, his very liberty—through the intrigues of a friar that desired to enrich his order. Such societies are a cancer in the body politic,—a constant enemy to good government, a menace to justice, and a foe to liberty.

In the future history of the islands, this will be found one of the hardest problems to solve. The easiest and most effective plan, it seems to me, is to cut the Gordian knot—that is, to expel the whole body of friars from the islands. By so doing, much shedding of blood will be saved. For I do not believe that these good brethren will soon cease to foment insurrection against the hated Protestant conqueror. They have ever been breeders of mischief under the congenial rule of Catholic Spain: what won’t they do under the régime of enlightened America, whose first thought is the liberty that means death to extortion and oppression—the cardinal principles of their order. By this, I do not mean a propaganda against the Catholic Church; for I am a Catholic myself, and firmly believe that this religion is far better suited to the character of our people than any form of Protestantism. But the appointment of secular Spanish or American priests to the parishes would do away with the evils of the other system, without doing violence either to the Church or to the conscience of the natives.

The monks have opposed every attempt at reform. Their policy has ever been the policy of ignorance, knowing that their livelihood depended upon its perpetuation. It has been their aim chiefly to limit public instruction to the mere rudiments of knowledge—giving to every subject a religious bias. Even the colleges and the University of Manila are not free from their narrow supervision; while they have ever maintained a rigid censorship over the press.

The natives, however, are gradually breaking through the network of superstition that centuries of priestcraft have woven round them. That they are open to conviction,—to the light of reason and the hope of truth,—deeds bear witness. [79]

None but the most enlightened natives, of course, recognize, as yet, their spiritual wants or desire a higher moral state, but many of them, privately, attest their waning belief in the Church monopoly of all things temporal in their lives.

Still, owing to the reasons previously stated, those that thus impugn and combat ecclesiastical preponderance, do so rarely except by secret word or in a limited conclave.

But the enlightening and invigorating effects incidental to American occupation will inevitably loose their tongues and rally recruits to their new standard of thought.

Of this I hope and expect great results.



The Various Tribes of the Philippines.

The Various Tribes of the Philippines.


Character of the Natives.

To judge of the character of one’s own people is extremely difficult. One is likely to be either too severe or too complimentary. However, I believe, that—after a residence of many years in England and on the Continent, and a subsequent stay of eleven years in America, with frequent visits to the Philippines—I am able to judge in the abstract, and, in fact, comparatively to look upon my own countrymen with the eye of a thorough cosmopolitan.

The natives of the islands are a branch of the Malay race, and may be divided into three large groups,—the Tagalogs, the Visayos, and the Sulus,—each group subject to modifications and exceptions. The Tagalogs inhabit Luzon, the northern islands of the Archipelago, and it is with these that we have mainly to deal, as they are by far the most numerous and the most intelligent part of the population, forming, as they do, also the majority of the inhabitants in Manila and in the largest ports.

The first thing that in the native character impresses the traveler is his impassive demeanor and imperturbable bearing. He is a born stoic, a fatalist by nature. This accounts for his coolness in moments of danger, and his intrepid daring against overwhelming odds. This feature of the Malay character has often been displayed in the conflicts of the race with the [81]Europeans in the East Indies. Under competent leadership the native, though strongly averse to discipline, can be made a splendid soldier. As sailors, too, I do not believe they can be equalled. For, lithe, active, and fond of the water, the Malays have ever shown their inclination for the sea. Their pirates, coursing in their prahus, have, till a few years ago, for centuries infested the bays and inlets of the eastern Archipelagos, looting the towns and villages on shore and taking as booty such foreign merchantmen as they were able to overcome. On account of the ravages of these fierce eastern Vikings, Europeans have come to regard the whole Malay race as cruel and bloodthirsty. But these were pirates in their own waters, and preyed upon their own countrymen, by whom they were feared no less than were the Spanish and English freebooters of old by their countrymen. Why, then, should their outrages and rapacity be taken as indicative of the Malay character any more than are the atrocities of the Caucasian corsair of their race?

Negritos of Pampanga.

Negritos of Pampanga.

The natives are all excellent swimmers, and are absolutely [82]fearless in the water. I have seen groups of boys diving thirty or forty feet for pennies, dropped into the sea by foreign officers on ships anchored in the bay. Many swim miles with the greatest ease; and it is no uncommon sight in the outlying districts to see groups of naked men plunging with drawn dagger among a shoal of sharks, with whom they fight with a fierceness that always results in the victory of the native.

Along the beach at Manila, on a summer evening, at the close of the day’s labor, hundreds of hands from the various tobacco factories—men, women, and children, of all ages and sizes, married and unmarried—may be seen disporting themselves, with peals of laughter and squeals of delight, in the cool surf.

The Igorrotes.

The Igorrotes.

As a result of the stoicism of the native character, he never bewails a misfortune, and has no fear of death. When anything happens he merely says, It is fate, and calmly goes about his business as if nothing had happened.

Europeans often seem to notice in them what they deem a lack of sympathy for the misfortunes of others; but it is not this so much as resignation to the inevitable. This, it must be confessed, saves them many a bitter pang. The educated native, however, impregnated with the bitter philosophy of the [83]civilized world, is by no means so imperturbable. While more keenly alive to the sufferings of others, he is also more sensitive to his own sorrows. After all, whether he is any happier for his wisdom, is a question.

Incomprehensible inconsistencies obtain in nearly every native. Students of character may, therefore, study the Filipinos for years, and yet, at last, have no definite impression of their mental or moral status. Of course those living in the cities are less baffling to the physiognomist and the ethnologist; for endemic peculiarities have been rubbed off or so modified, that the racial traits are not obvious.

But observe the natives in the wilds, in their primitive abodes, where civilizing forces have not penetrated! You will then be amazed at the extraordinary mingling and clashing of antithetical characteristics in one and the same person; uncertain as to when the good or the bad may be manifested. Like the wind, the mood comes and goes,—and no one can tell why.

I myself, with all the inherited feelings, tastes, and tendencies of my countrymen,—modified and transmuted, happily,—have stood aghast or amused at some hitherto unknown characteristic suddenly manifesting itself in an intimate acquaintance; and after I had been for years, too, wholly ignorant of his being so possessed or obsessed. And after that, the same mental or moral squint would be displayed at irregular intervals.

It is said by some that the native is shiftless and improvident.

It is true that he is not noted for foresight and energy, as are the peoples of the temperate zones; but his indolence is the result of generations of tropical ancestors. Even the most energetic Europeans yield, in a few years, to the enervating effects of the climate, and are unable to shake off the lassitude bred by the heat. Besides, deprived by the Spaniards from all active participation in affairs of the Government, and robbed of the fruits of industry, all incentive to advancement and progress was taken away. He, therefore, yields with composure to the crushing conditions of his environment, preferring the lazy joys of indolence rather than labor for the benefit of his [84]oppressors. Naturally. Recent events, however, show that, given the stimulant of hope, even the “indolent natives” of the Philippines can achieve and nobly dare.

Some Spaniards also have asserted that the Filipinos are naturally disloyal and treacherous, and that their word is not to be depended on.

Now, the whole world knows that they have every reason to be disloyal to the Spaniard, who has for centuries so cruelly oppressed them. The devotion to the cause of freedom, however, which has recently made Rizal and hundreds of others martyrs to Spanish cruelty, shows that they also have the stuff that heroes are made of, and that they can be loyal to an animating principle.

In many places the natives are unwilling to work without pay in advance, and this has been a great drawback to investors. For, after receiving their money, they frequently refuse to perform a stroke of work, knowing that their employer has no remedy except in the dilatory process of the courts, which would only increase his expense and exaggerate his troubles. This has no terrors for the native. While, of course, this is to be deprecated, it may be remedied by gaining the confidence of the natives; for it is undoubtedly the result of generations of Spanish robbery, where these people were forced to labor for their employers,—frequently the priests,—having no reward save the lash or promises of a golden crown in heaven. They, therefore, naturally look upon investors with some suspicion. However, in the more civilized districts, where modern and humane business methods prevail, hundreds of thousands are employed, to the profit both of themselves and their employers.

Though calm, the native is not secretive, but often loquacious. He is naturally curious and inquisitive, but always polite, and respectful withal—especially to his superiors. He is passionate, and, in common with all half-civilized races, is cruel to his foes. The quality of mercy, like the sentiment—as distinguished from the passion—of love, is perhaps more the product of the philosophy of civilization than a natural attribute of the human heart. The [85]romantic history of Mediæval Europe, as compared with the placid present, is proof of this.

All travelers unite in attributing to the natives extreme family affection. They are very fond of their children, who, as a rule, are respectful and well-behaved. The noisy little hoodlums of European and American cities are utterly unknown. The old are tenderly cared for, and are venerated; while in almost every well-to-do household are one or two poor relatives who, while mere hangers-on, are, nevertheless, always made welcome to the table of their host. Indeed, the hospitality of the Filipinos is proverbial. A guest is always welcome, and welcome to the best. The better class, too, gladly embrace every opportunity to feast their neighbors or the stranger within their gates.

Interior of a Native Hut.

Interior of a Native Hut.

As a rule, the people are superstitious and very credulous; but how could they be otherwise? For three hundred years they have been denied even the liberty of investigation; when no light, save the dim glimmer of priestcraft pierced the utter darkness of their [86]lot. Those that have been educated, however, have proved apt converts—only too apt say the priests and the Spaniards—to the conclusions of Science and of modern research.

A High-born Filipina: Upper Garment of Costly Piña.

A High-born Filipina: Upper Garment of Costly Piña.

The native is rarely humorous and seldom witty. He is not easily moved to anger, and when angry does not often show it. When he does, like the Malay of Java, he is prone to lose all control of himself, and, with destructive energy, slays all in his path. This is infrequent, however, but is a contingency that may occur at any time.

If a native has been unjustly punished, he will never forget it, and will treasure the memory of his wrong until a good opportunity for revenge presents itself.

Like all courageous people, he despises cowardice and pusillanimity. He has, therefore, but little regard for the meek and humble Chinaman, who will pocket an insult rather than [87]avenge himself. He greatly esteems the European, who is possessed of the qualities that he admires, and will follow him into the very jaws of death. He is easily awed by a demonstration of superior force, and is ruled best by mild but firm coercion,—based upon justice. He is not often ambitious, save socially, and to make some display, being fond of ceremony and of the pomp and glitter of a procession. He is sober, patient, and always clean. This can be said of few peoples. He easily adjusts himself to new conditions, and will soon make the best of his surroundings. As servants they are honest, obedient, and will do as they are told.

It must be said that they enjoy litigation more than is good for them or for the best interests of the colony. There must be some psychological reason for this. It doubtless gives some play to the subtlety of the Oriental mind. It is said that he lacks the sense of initiative; and to some extent this may be true. The recent conduct of Aguinaldo—a full-blooded native—proves, notwithstanding, that he is not wholly deficient in aggressiveness nor in organizing power.

Though not as artistic as the Japanese, the Filipinos have shown many evidences of art talent. This is seen in the embroidery of the women, as well as in the work of the native painters and sculptors. Some of these have been honored with high prizes at the Art Exhibition in Madrid. I remember particularly the brothers Luna: one educated in Spain, and there distinguished by his remarkable talent with the brush; the other known for his wonderful virtuosity.

Moreover, in nothing are the Filipinos so proficient as in music. Every village has its orchestra, and in the evening the whole district turns out to enjoy its playing.

All the people are, in fact, born musicians; even little boys and girls of five or six years of age play the harp, the guitar, or the piano as if by instinct; while their elders show a proficiency that, when their opportunities are considered, is truly astonishing. The clergy, appreciating that music is the foe of vice and a promoter of virtue, have wisely encouraged the natives [88]in this art. It is now taught in all the higher schools in the colony.

At the many feasts, religious and secular, which are the delight of the natives, music is always the most enjoyable feature, the bands playing for hours together, both performers and listeners being so engrossed as to be wholly unconscious of the lapse of time.


A Native Wedding.

The native usually marries early,—the brides often but eleven or twelve years of age. A marriage-feast is entered into with pomp and ceremony. It is a not unimportant occasion for the priest also, who usually sets the day, and expects a large fee,—dependent upon the wealth of the contracting parties. The evening before the ceremony, both bride and groom go to confession, to receive absolution. About five o’clock the following morning they leave the house of the bride, joined by a long procession of relatives.

After mass has been said, the bride and groom stand before the priest, who places over their shoulders a thick mantle, which is to typify the bodily union. He then recites his formula and asks the usual questions. To these both respond in the same low voice characteristic of such replies the world over. As the wedded pair are leaving the church, a bowl of coin is passed to them. The new husband stops, takes a handful and gives it to his wife, who receives it and returns it to the bowl. This is a token that he gives to her his worldly goods. All then solemnly return to the paternal residence, where, meanwhile, a banquet has been prepared.

This feast is called Catapusan which means a gathering of friends. All the notables of the village, as well as all the relatives on both sides, are invited to it. The table is loaded with the good things of the season. Light liquors, chocolate, and sweetmeats are then offered to the guests, with betel-nuts and cigars and cigarettes. [89]

The Fashionable Church and the Village of Majayjay, Near Manila.

The Fashionable Church and the Village of Majayjay, Near Manila.


The dancing now begins. A youth and a maiden stand facing each other, both singing a sentimental song. Then follows a musical dialogue, while both dance round each other, keeping step to the music furnished by the native orchestra. A young woman then steps into the middle of the floor,—her long hair flowing down her back, her eyes sparkling. The music begins in a low plaintive key, that gradually becomes more and more forlorn, while her languid movements express various degrees of sorrow. Gradually the strain flows into a livelier measure, and she becomes more and more animated, until at last she sinks down in a whirl of delirious passion. Then, again, a girl dances with a glass of water on her head; or some other form of entertainment is given.

Author in Silken Suit: Kind Worn by High-class Natives.

Author in Silken Suit: Kind Worn by High-class Natives.

After the dancing, the men and women retire to their respective quarters.

The marriage is always arranged by the parents of the two young persons, who go through an established etiquette of advance and refusal before the dowry terms are arranged. If the parents of the young man are poor and he can offer no dowry, he often [91]enters the household of his intended on probation,—as Jacob did to win Rachael.

The wedding-feast is always given by the father of the groom, who also furnishes the dowry for the bride. The young married couple then live with the parents of one of the parties. The wife always remains mistress of her own property, and the husband can in no event inherit it. The children often add the surname of the mother to that of the father, thus making the woman of greater prominence.

Before the middle of the century there were no distinct family surnames, and there were, consequently, no complications of families possible. To introduce greater simplicity into the laws of inheritance, the names of distinguished Spanish families were introduced into the colony,—each family receiving a distinct appellation.


Dress and Manners.

The men are usually of medium height, lithe, and of a rich brown color, with large cheek-bones, bright eyes and immobile countenances. The better kind dress in loose shirts, or blouses, worn outside the trousers and of native manufacture, made of abacá, or Manila hemp; or of the airy, delicate, and almost transparent piña,—a texture of pine-apple leaf, as choice as the finest lace.

This is of white, or light yellow, and often interwoven with red, green or blue silk, or embroidered with flowers. The white or light-colored trousers are fastened round the waist with a belt. The feet are sometimes bare, or protected by sandals or patent-leather shoes. On the head is usually worn a salacot—a large round hat, strongly plaited with gray-and-black intersecting patterns of nito or liana fibre, the brim ornamented with a band of embroidered cloth or silver.

The dress of the poorer class is very similar—the material being coarser, the colors red and orange predominating.

Full-blooded Native Girl in Reception Attire.

Full-blooded Native Girl in Reception Attire.

The woman wears a flowing skirt of gay colors—bright red, [92]green or white—with a silken saya or sarong of many colors. Over this is a narrower waist-cloth usually of silk and of a darker color. Over the breast and shoulders is generally thrown a starched neckcloth of beautiful embroidered piña—folded triangularly, the points fitting in the hollow of the V-shaped chemisette. On the head is worn a white mantle, from [93]which the rippling cataract of raven hair falls in massy folds almost to the ground. The toes of the naked feet are enveloped in chinelas,—a heelless slipper, which is shuffled with languorous grace.

Many of the women are pretty, and all are good-natured and smiling. Their complexion, of light brown, is usually clear and smooth; their eyes are large and lustrous, full of the sleeping passion of the Orient. The figures of the women are usually erect and stately, and many are models of grace and beauty.

The women of every class are far more industrious than the men, and also more cheerful and devout. Adultery is almost unheard of. The men, however, are exceedingly jealous. The natives believe that during sleep the soul is absent from the body, and they say that if one be suddenly wakened they fear the soul may not be able to return. Therefore, they are extremely careful not to waken anyone rudely or suddenly, but always call with softly-rising and falling tones, to bring the sleeper gradually to consciousness.

The preceding observations concerning the Tagalogs, the natives of the north, are also, in the main, true of the Visayos, their southern brethren. The latter, however, are not so cheerful or so hospitable, and are more ostentatious and aggressive. Their women, too, are more vain and avaricious. These slight differences are perhaps due to the fact that they have far less intercourse with the civilized world than the Tagalogs.


The Half-breeds, or Mestizos.

No less interesting, and even more influential than the natives, are the half-breeds, or mestizos. They form a large percentage of the population. These are usually of native mothers and of Spanish or Chinese fathers. The Spanish fathers are, however, a distinct class from the Chinese fathers, and rank much higher socially, exchanging visits with the pure Spanish. They are, most always, a handsome race, and more intelligent than the pure natives, and far more energetic and ambitious. Among them are many leading merchants and men of influence. [94]

The mestiza girls are, as a rule, often of wonderful beauty. They are lithe and graceful and of a soft olive complexion, with red lips, pearly teeth, and ravishing black eyes, whose long lashes droop coquettishly in response to the admiring glance of a stranger. Their dancing is justly famed, and those educated in the convents are musical and often accomplished in other ways. The peculiar characteristics and the increase of energy due to this infusion of European blood, however, disappear if no further admixture takes place in the second generation. It is more lasting, on the other hand, where the Malay has been crossed with the Chinese. This is probably due to the great similarity of the two races.

These Malays, with an infusion of Chinese, are called mestizo-Chinos. They also are more intelligent than the pure Malay, and far more shrewd. Many of the leading merchants of Manila are of this mixture. They do not, however, enjoy the confidence of the people, and are a tricky and disturbing element in the population. They have the mongrel stamp and a cunning, shifty look. They are full of intrigue too, and it was, indeed, because they formed so large a part of the rebels that the high-class natives hesitated so long about joining the insurgents; not wishing to combine even with the despised mestizo-Chinos against the hated Spanish; for the government of the latter was preferable to that of the former.


Savage Tribes in the Interior: Aetas, or Negritos.

Over all the islands are scattered a mountain tribe called Aetas, or Negritos. These are supposed to be the aborigines. They are very dark, some being as black as negroes. They are doubtless of African descent and are said to resemble the natives of New Guinea. Their hair is black, curly, and matted. They go almost naked, and have but little self-respect. They are also puny, stupid, and ugly, and of a low order of intellect, incapable of improvement, and deficient in judgment and in aggressiveness. They are, on the other hand, remarkably fleet [95]of foot. They subsist mainly by hunting. Their usual weapons are a lance of bamboo, a palm-wood bow, and a quiver of poisoned arrows.

Negritos Enjoying a Primitive Sun-shade.

Negritos Enjoying a Primitive Sun-shade.

About fifty families commonly live together, and their villages of rude, thatched huts, raised on bamboo poles high from the ground, present a curious appearance. They were the original lords of the islands, and when the first Malays settled here, they, with unfailing regularity, exacted tribute from the newcomers. The latter, however, soon became too powerful, and the Negritos are now either employed by the Tagalogs as servants, or they have fled to their retreats in the mountains. But they are fast disappearing, and, hence, before many generations, will have perished before the destructive blast of progress.

Their principal food is fish, roots, fruits, and rice. They are notorious cattle-thieves, swooping down upon the valley and carrying their prey to their fastnesses in the mountains. Their agricultural skill consists in scratching the soil with a stick and throwing in the seed. They rarely ever spend more than one season in one locality, thus constantly moving from place to place. [96]

Their religion seems to consist in a deification of the supernatural and of the mysterious. When the railroad was first constructed from Manila to Dagupan, these Negritos constantly appeared along the track, which they regarded with feelings of awe.

When the trial journey of the first locomotive took place, and that huge iron salamander appeared thundering down the track, it is related that they all fell upon their knees in abject terror, worshiping the strange monster as some new and powerful deity.

Unlike most savages, they care tenderly for their aged, and are full of reverence for their dead.

As a rule, too, they are independent of Spanish domination, and neither pay taxes nor submit to enumeration for the census.

A few years ago the Government started a mission in Pampanga; a great many Negritos were herded together, and were given a year’s provisions and tools to work with. Teachers were also provided, and all went well as long as the provisions lasted. They refused to work, however, and were averse to all restraint, and the second year they returned to their native haunts.

They have a curious marriage custom. After a young man has shown his passion for a girl, and his advances have been well received by the parents of his intended, he catches her in his arms. She breaks loose, however, and runs. He follows hard behind. Again he catches her. She resists, and once more frees herself, running away from the eager arms of her ardent lover. After this play of struggle and chase have been kept up a little while, she finally yields, and he leads her triumphantly back to her home.

Volcano of Albay, a Near View.

Volcano of Albay, a Near View.

The father of the bride now drags the youth up a rude ladder to the floor of the elevated hut; the mother likewise leads up her daughter. They are then made to kneel down, when the old man throws a cocoanut-shell full of water over the pair. He then bumps their heads together, and they are adjudged man and wife. They spend their honeymoon in the mountains, where, in undisturbed and shelterless connubial bliss, [98]they remain five days and nights. Then they return to the commonplace life of the village.


The Gaddanes.

In the northwestern part of Luzon is a fierce, unsubdued tribe known as the Gaddanes. They are very dark and strong, and present a fine appearance, armed with long, sharp spears and with bows and arrows. They wear their hair down to their shoulders, and, like the American Indians, take the scalps of their enemies slain in battle; these the young men present to the fathers of their intended as a proof of their valor.

This takes place when the fire-tree bursts into bloom; its fiery blossoms have, to their minds, a certain religious significance. It is then they collect all trophies of war, and perform the rude rites of their nature-worship. They subsist on fish, game, and fruit.


The Igorrotes.

A fine race are the Igorrotes, spread over the northern half of Luzon. They are copper-colored, and also wear their hair long. A few are bearded. Their shoulders are broad, and their limbs brawny and powerful. Because of their high cheek-bones, flat noses, and thick lips, they would not, however, by a European or an American, be considered good-looking.

They cultivate sugar-cane, rice, and sweet-potatoes, but have never been able to give up their savage customs for civilization. Their houses are not unlike the huts of the Esquimaux. Polygamy sometimes exists, but adultery is almost unknown. Murder is said to be frequent, and family feuds often take off great numbers.

Their depredations in the interior are often of great annoyance to the domesticated natives; for they carry off their cattle [99]and their crops. Many expeditions have, from time to time, been made by the Spaniards against them; but all have signally failed. The Igorrotes obstinately refuse to be civilized. Spanish dominion holds for these liberty-loving people few advantages; Catholicism offers them little peace; while they maintain that the traditional heaven of the European would not at all suit them.

A Body-guard of Igorrotes.

A Body-guard of Igorrotes.

Upon one occasion a Catholic priest was horrified when an Igorrote asked him why it was that no black man ever became a white man’s Saint? When told that it was possible, he refused to believe it, saying that he, for his part, was content with the religion of his ancestors, and did not intend to bend his knees in adoration of the gods of the pale-faces. [100]


The Igorrote-Chinese.

The Igorrote-Chinese are the descendants of the Chinese that the pirate Li-ma-hong left behind him when he suddenly quitted his colony in the province of Pangasinan in 1574. These, to escape the advancing Spaniards, hid in the hills, where they intermarried with the Igorrotes, their descendants, whom they much resemble, with, however, some important differences. For, with the cunning and the shrewdness of their Chinese ancestors, they combine the Igorrote fierceness and independence. Many of these have been domesticated.


The Tinguianes.

In the district of El Abra, in Luzon, are the Tinguianes, who are semi-civilized and under the control of the Spaniards. They prefer, however, their own laws to those of the Spanish code, and usually abide by them. If a man is accused of a crime and he denies it, the head-man of his village, who is also the judge, causes a handful of straw to be burnt in his presence. The accused then holds up an earthen pot and says: “May my belly be changed to a pot like this if I am guilty of the crime of which I am accused.” If he remains unchanged in body, the judge declares him innocent.

The head-man himself, upon assuming his office, takes the following curious oath: “May a destructive whirlwind kill me, may the lightning strike me, and may an alligator devour me when I am asleep if I fail to do my duty.”

They are pagans, and they believe that their gods will answer prayer. For worship, they resort to their caves in the mountains. When a child is to be named, it is carried to the woods, where the priest raises a knife over its head, at the same time pronouncing a name. He then, with the knife, strikes a tree. If sap flows forth, the name is deemed good; if not, he goes through the same ceremony until the desired result is produced; the god, then, is supposed to have given his consent. [101]

They are very intelligent, and are a well-formed race, and many are handsome, with aquiline noses. On the crown of the head they wear a tuft of hair, like the Japanese. Like the domesticated natives, they are very fond of music and of dress. They tattoo their bodies and also black their teeth, and are supposed to have descended from the shipwrecked Japanese cast upon the island.

A Native Restaurant, in Binondo.

A Native Restaurant, in Binondo.


The Chinese: Hated but Indispensable.

Long before the Spanish occupation, Chinese trading-junks stopped at the Philippine Islands; and, after the founding of Manila, being well received by the Spaniards, who depended upon them for many necessities, they established trading-posts in various parts of the colony.

In 1580 the Government built the Alcayceria—a large building [102]that was used as a kind of Chinese market. Here were situated all the Chinese shops, which it was thought better to confine to one locality: they might be regulated the more easily.

The Alcayceria proved too small, however, and the shops were soon in every part of the Binondo. Other centres were soon provided for them, where the Government protected and even encouraged the enterprise of the Chinamen.

The native and the Spanish merchants becoming alarmed at the increase of the Celestials, began an agitation, whose object was to limit their number to 6,000; but the movement received little encouragement from the Government, which drew a large revenue from the Chinamen.

In 1755 this agitation was renewed, and it was resolved to expel all non-Christian Chinese. The day before the law went into effect 515 asked for and obtained baptism, while over 1100 desired to stay, that they might study the mysteries of the Christian religion. More than 2,000 were banished from the colony. In 1603 two Chinese mandarins, accompanied by a large retinue, came to Manila to make inquiries concerning a mountain of gold that some of their countrymen had said was located near Cavite. They were received with much ceremony, and the Governor-General allowed them to pursue their quest. It proved fruitless, of course.

Persuaded that they had been deceived, they sailed away, leaving the colony in a fever of speculation as to the real object of their visit. Various rumors sprang up in Manila; all to the effect that the Chinese Emperor contemplated the conquest of the colony, and that the Chinese population were fomenting an insurrection to aid his designs. They were also accused of secreting arms, and many outbreaks from time to time arose against them, until finally the poor Chinese, beset on every hand, and hourly menaced by secret assassination and open violence, were forced to assume the offensive. Accordingly, they raised fortifications, and on the eve of St. Francis’ day they opened hostilities by attacking one of the suburbs of the city. With the beating of gongs and the flying of colors [103]they next besieged Binondo itself, burning houses and committing many other outrages on the way.

The Spaniards gallantly advanced to repel them, and Dasmariñas, the ex-Governor-General, led the attack with the flower of his countrymen; but the odds against them were too great, and scarcely a man was left to tell the tale of their defeat.

Chinese Merchants on Their Way to the Joss House.

Chinese Merchants on Their Way to the Joss House.

The Chinese, flushed with success, now besieged the city itself, but, running short of provisions,—which the natives were, [104]of course, unwilling to furnish them,—they were finally compelled to give up the siege.

As they retreated, the Spaniards, constantly reinforced by bands of natives, pursued them, killing thousands on the way. They were then finally driven into the interior, where the same fate awaited them—of whom not less than 24,000 were killed and taken prisoners.

In 1639 some Chinese traders, in the town of Calamba, Laguna province, exasperated beyond endurance by the insults and outrages heaped upon them by the Spanish Governor, killed this official and one or two of his subordinates, and flew to open rebellion. The Chinese all over the colony joined the rebels, and it is estimated that not less than 30,000 Chinese were under arms. This lasted nearly a year, and resulted in the surrender of the Chinese; most of whom, however, were spared.

In 1660 there was another rising and a massacre. The Chinese, nevertheless, were still allowed to remain. They were so important a part of the commercial life of the province they could not long be spared. For more than a century the Chinese now pursued their avocations in absolute security.

When, however, in 1763 they joined the British invaders, little mercy was shown them by the Spaniards, who killed several thousands.

In 1820 the natives began the massacre of the Chinese and other foreigners, whom they accused of poisoning the drinking water, thus producing an epidemic of cholera.

Only since 1843 have the Chinese shops been opened on the same terms as those of other foreigners. But there is no doubt that the Chinese have been a great boon to the colony. They have had, in the main, a civilizing influence on the natives, and have taught them many important things: as the working of iron and the manufacture of sugar from the juice of the sugar-cane. They have also ever been the leaders in commerce and the chief middlemen of the colony; and, for this reason mainly they have been deemed an unwelcome necessity; for, without them, trade would almost be brought [105]to a standstill, and, in consequence, labor would suffer and living be rendered dearer to every class.

By their superior shrewdness and unscrupulous cunning they have, on the other hand, excited the hatred of the natives, who despise them for their cowardice. Thus, from time to time, the feeling against them is very bitter.

A Chinese Chocolate Maker.

A Chinese Chocolate Maker.

Another objection against the Celestial is that he underbids all competitors, working for what others deem less than living wages. Furthermore, he spends little, and all that he saves he carries to his own country. Their expulsion, however, would be as unwise as it is impracticable, and the only remedy that meets the case is a proper State-control. The employment of coolie labor, notwithstanding, is at present impossible, on account of the hatred that the lower-class natives feel toward them. [106]

In Manila there are at present no less than 40,000 Chinese, while the whole colony contains about 100,000. They have their own courts, their guilds, and secret societies, which are necessary for their self-protection, and they choose representative deputations to represent them in the Government.



The Mohammedans of Sulu.

The Mohammedans of Sulu.


Cross or Crescent?

In the lower part of the Philippine group, in the islands of Sulu and Mindanao, the Catholic Spanish conqueror early came into conflict with a religion not less intense and fanatical than his own. The story of this fierce struggle between Malay Mussulman and Spanish Catholic reads not unlike the more celebrated conflict between Christian and Mohammedan in the days of good King Ferdinand and pious Isabella. Here, too, was waged that dire battle of the creeds that deluged half of Europe with holy blood. Here, too, was mutual advance and retreat, but no reconciliation—no conversion.

The island of Sulu, on account of its position between Mindanao and Borneo, became, in this wise, populated by the followers of the Prophet: About three centuries ago Paguian Tindig, a Borneo chief, quarreled with his brother and was forced to flee for his life. He landed on Sulu Island, where he soon achieved great fame as a warrior. His cousin, Adasaolan, who had accompanied him, had taken up his abode in Basilan. Here he lorded it over the natives, but acknowledged the suzerainty of the Spaniards.

Adasaolan married a Mahometan princess—a daughter of the King of Mindanao, where, it appears, Islamism had been carried by Arab missionaries. [108]

Soon afterward, Adasaolan, longing for the possession of the fat acres of Sulu, attacked his cousin Tindig, and vanquished that intrepid soldier, who died fighting bravely. However, Rajah Bongso, and not Adasaolan, succeeded Tindig. Nevertheless, Adasaolan had, with the aid of friends from Borneo and Mindanao, introduced Mahometanism into Sulu, which has since become the Mecca of the Philippines.

Chieftains of Sulu.

Chieftains of Sulu.

In 1596 the Spaniards sent an expedition to Mindanao, but were repulsed. Their ravages and constant desire for conquest embittered the Mohammedans,—who, retaliating, began to fit out expeditions against their Christian enemies; like birds of prey they hovered round the bays with their prahus, penetrating every inlet. These pirates soon became the terror of the Spanish coasts, and were as brave as they were merciless. For three centuries they preyed upon Spanish merchantmen, pillaged the northern towns and villages, massacring the old and helpless, leading thousands of Christian women into concubinage, and tens of thousands of able-bodied men into slavery. Myriads were thus murdered, and incalculable damage done, all because of the [109]continued attempt of the Spaniards to win their southern neighbors to their own faith.

In 1750 the Sultan Mahamed Alimudin, having been deposed by his brother, Prince Bantilan, visited Manila. He was lavishly entertained by the Priest-Governor, who was unceasing in his efforts to persuade him to embrace Christianity. The Sultan at last yielded and was baptized. He was christened Ferdinand I. of Sulu. The rank of a Spanish Lieutenant-General was also accorded him.

All this was done with great pomp and ceremony. Te Deums were sung in all the churches; glittering processions marched daily through the streets; comedies were acted on the streets, for the benefit of the populace, who shared in the general rejoicing: bull-fights and other equally delightful and harmless recreations were also the order of the day—all given at the expense of the Church, which regarded the conversion of the Head of the hated Mussulmans as an event of no ordinary importance.


The Sultan’s State.

The Sultan lived in great state. He had a retinue of sixty persons, and was accompanied by many of the princes of the blood. All lived on the generous bounty of Spain.

Measures were now apparently begun to restore the deposed monarch to his throne. But the Spaniards pretended to discover that the Sultan harbored designs against them, and that he possessed a secret preference for the Mussulman faith. For this crime he, with all his relatives and retainers, 160 in number, was cast into prison, where he was confined several years.

A decree of extermination was then declared against the Mohammedans. A fleet of ships, carrying 2000 men, at once proceeded to Sulu, which the natives defended most ably. The Spanish campaign proved a dismal failure, and awful were the reprisals of the infuriated Mussulmans.

In 1755 most of the Sultan’s suite was sent back to Sulu, though the Sultan himself was still kept in close confinement. [110]

The wily Mohammedan again professed Christianity; but, though the Sultan was henceforth treated with greater leniency, he was not released: he remained captive in Manila until the occupation of the British, in 1763, who restored him to his throne in Sulu.

As might be expected, Mahamed lost no opportunity to avenge the insults that his hereditary enemies had for so many years been heaping upon him; accordingly, he led several incursions against them.

Sulu Warriors in Fighting Attitude.

Sulu Warriors in Fighting Attitude.

I have not space here to recount the various expeditions of the Spaniards against their southern neighbors. I shall, instead, mention only the more prominent ones of recent years.

In 1851, Sulu Town, the capital of Sulu, was attacked and razed by the Spaniards. Their advantage, however, proved but temporary. The Mohammedans now changed their capital to Maybun on the south coast, which is far less accessible.

In 1860, Governor-General Norzagaray led another expedition against the Mohammedans. This also met with some success; [111]but none of it was decisive. On account of the persistent renewals of the hated Sulu piracy in 1876, another expedition, under Vice-Admiral Malcampo, pierced the interior of Sulu, where he was ambushed and attacked by a body of juramentados,—formidable fanatics, armed with javelins and the deadly kris. He returned to Manila having sustained great loss.


The Dreaded Juramentados.

These juramentados are Mohammedans, who, having taken an inviolable oath to shed the blood of the hated Christian, and, having absolutely no fear of death, are as dangerous as they are fanatical.

A Bamboo Thicket in Sulu.

A Bamboo Thicket in Sulu.

By the laws of Sulu, the bankrupt debtor is the slave of his creditor; and not only he, but likewise his wife and children, whom he can free only by the sacrifice of his life—by enrolling himself in the ranks of the juramentados, who combine the performance of a religious duty with the patriotic pleasure of killing their Christian enemy. The panditas, or priests, encourage him in this resolve until he is brought to a very frenzy of enthusiasm. In their meetings the priests sing to these sworn assassins impassioned chants, that hold out the most entrancing visions of the joys of Paradise, perpetual happiness, and the honeyed kisses and rapturous embraces of beautiful houris. Similar to the Druids of old, they, too, stand like avenging deities in the religious gloom of the forests, and incite these fanatics to the destruction of their enemies: they promise eternal reward; holding up to their excited imaginations delightful pictures of sensual enjoyment.

Thus lashed into a fury of madness, the juramentado becomes more beast than human, and is forever lusting for murder. He oils his supple limbs and rushes ferociously into the conflict. Nothing can stay him. He knows that he is going to certain death—that is but the door to Paradise! In his excitement he feels no pain; and, though severely wounded, he will continue his furious onset until killed. Hence, he cares not how many oppose [112]him; the more the better; he will probably succeed in doing greater execution.

A distinguished French scientist, Dr. Montano, gives a vivid description of the entry of eleven juramentados into the village of Tianzgi. Divided into three or four bands they secretly entered the town, by concealing themselves, with their krises, in loads of fodder that they pretended to have for sale. After stabbing the guards they rushed up the street,—striking at all whom they met.

The soldiers in the garrison, hearing the cry “Los juramentados!” seized their guns and advanced to meet them.

The mad Mahometans rushed blindly on them, cutting and slashing right and left. Again and again, though shot and shattered by the hail of bullets, they rose and flung themselves upon their enemies. One of them, though transfixed by a bayonet, remained erect,—struggling [113]fiercely to reach the soldier that had impaled him. Nor would he cease his furious efforts till another soldier had blown his brains out with a pistol. Before all of the juramentados could be killed, they had hacked fifteen soldiers to pieces, besides wounding many others.

“And what wounds!” says Dr. Montano; “the head of one corpse is cut off as clean as if it had been done with a razor; another soldier is cut almost in two. The first of the wounded to come under my hand was a soldier of the Third Regiment, who was mounting guard at the gate through which some of the assassins entered. His left arm was fractured in three places; his shoulder and breast were literally cut up like mince-meat; amputation appeared to be the only chance for him; but in that lacerated flesh there was no longer a spot from which could be cut a shred.”


The Extent of Mohammedan Rule.

The Mussulmans are, indeed, over the whole of the island of Mindanao. It is under the Sultanate of Sulu, there being two Sultanates in the island. Not more than a fourth of Mindanao is under Spanish rule, although by an old treaty, never enforced, Spain claimed suzerainty over all the territory subject to the Sultan of Sulu. This treaty was formally recognized at the close of the war of 1876.

In the interior of Mindanao are many fierce and savage tribes, owning allegiance to no government, controlled only by their own fierce passions.

A bagani, or man of might, is one that has won recognition by having cut off sixty heads. This entitles him to wear a scarlet turban. No one not a bagani can be a chief. Thus, murder and assassination are legalized and honored.

The Mandayas, to escape from the baganis, are wont to build their huts in the branches of lofty trees, thirty or forty feet from the ground. Here they climb when attacked, defending themselves by hurling stones upon their assailants. The baganis usually [114]attempt to take them by surprise, shooting burning arrows at the ærial habitation, that they may set it on fire. Sometimes, it is said, the bagani will climb up to the hut with their shields locked together above them. Then, cutting down the posts that support this abode in the tree-tops, they soon bring the besieged to terms. The captives are then divided among the besiegers—the heads of the dead and of the wounded, and of all the grown males, are cut off, and the women and children are carried away captives.

The Devil’s Bridge, in Wild Laguna.

The Devil’s Bridge, in Wild Laguna.

Such is the interior of Mindanao; and from this description it can readily be seen how ineffective has been the Spanish occupation of that island. [115]

In 1877 a protocol was signed by England and Germany recognizing Spain’s rights to the Tawi-Tawi group and the chain of islands from Sulu to Borneo.

In 1885 the heir to the Sultanate, having failed to appear in Manila, where he had been cited to receive his investiture at the hands of the Governor-General, as had for some years been the custom, another chief, Datto Harun, was selected by the Spanish Government to take his place. He took the oath of allegiance to the King of Spain, and was supported in his office. Two years later several chiefs found another pretext for rebellion, but they were finally compelled to yield their submission. Over this trifling victory the Spaniards made a great display.

Hardly had the Mohammedan chiefs submitted, when war broke out afresh and Colonel Arolas was sent to the scene of the disturbance. He defeated the natives in several engagements, and, at last, a permanent peace was established. The Sulu protectorate comprises Sulu Mindanao, and about 140 other islands; many of these are uninhabited. Next to Luzon, Mindanao is the largest island in the Archipelago. Sulu is about 35 miles long and 12 miles broad. The population of Mindanao is unknown. Luzon contains about 125,000 Mohammedans, many of whom are slaves.


Sulu Customs.

The fierce and conservative nature of the people, the peculiar and long-rooted feudal laws, the presence of an ancient dynasty, and of an ineradicable, fanatical belief,—these are a few phases of the complex problem to be met now. So far, the Spaniards have succeeded in maintaining their protectorate only by a protracted military occupation, which, as I have said, has by no means been always effective.

The Sulu Islanders dress with great taste. The women are fond of bright colors and love to adorn themselves with jewelry. They have the baggy nether dual-garment, so dear to all other women of their faith. Their tight-fitting bodice is usually [116]covered with arabesque designs. In embroidering them they show great skill. For a head-covering they wear the jabul, a long strip of stuff, sewn like a deep narrow sack, open at the sides. This, if allowed to fall, would reach down to the feet; the end, however, is always held under the arm. The women are usually very graceful, and many are also pretty.

A Jungle in Luzon

A Jungle in Luzon

The men wear tight breeches, usually a scarlet, or of some other bright, color. On the sides are rows of shining buttons, that give a very dazzling effect. A buttoned waistcoat, a jacket with close-fitting sleeves, and a turban complete a costume that is as picturesque as it is unique. The men are handsome and very robust, lithe and active. Their complexion is a dusky bronze, and they have piercing black eyes. Their forehead is low, and their black hair falls in glossy waves upon the neck. Though brave and daring to an extraordinary degree, they are [117]conservative and cautious—no less quick in mind than agile in body, and always sober and self-contained. They are extremely suspicious, and as merciless when angry as they are obstinate and vindictive. They are far more artistic than their Christian neighbors in the north. Their coats of mail, krises, lances, swords, and other weapons are of their own making. They are most skilful navigators, too, which accounts for their success as pirates. All males over sixteen years of age bear arms. The office of chief is hereditary. When a chief dies, the pandita, or priest, chants a requiem, while the attendants beat a hollow piece of wood that serves as a gong. The neighbors rush in, and shout and stamp their feet while the body is sprinkled with salt. A successor is then proclaimed. The panditas have great power over their flocks, inciting them to frequent fasts and to furious flagellations. Many and varied are the ceremonials of their belief.

The Spanish Government derives no taxes from the Sulu Protectorate, but gives the Sultan a pension of $2,400 a year. The Sultan is called the Stainless One, and is the chief of both Church and State. He is an irresponsible despot, and the head of the feudal system. The Sultanate is hereditary under the Salic law. The Sultan has his Advisory Council and his Ministers. He lives in considerable state in the centre of the new capital, Maybun, in a large well-constructed palace of wood.

The roomy vestibule is always lined with an abundant display of indigenous plants and shrubs, dazzling to the eye and intoxicating to the senses. It is, indeed, as if the entire tropic realm had been ravished of its richest, rarest, and most gorgeous specimens of plant-life to glorify this spacious entrance-way. From there on to the throne-room is of but little interest.

Of course, letters, despatches, or verbal requests of foreigners have all to be transmitted through the official interpreter, servants meanwhile flitting about, in the gayest and most ludicrous costumes, offering betel-nut to each and everyone,—to the bevy of Sultanas and to foreign guests, all seated on silken and highly embroidered cushions scattered on the floor. [118]

In the town of Maybun there is nothing to be seen of any note, but the country round about is magnificent.

Slavery exists by birth and conquest. Rice, Indian corn, sugar-cane, indigo, and coffee are the common products of the Sultanate. The chief export is pearls, for which the natives dive often a hundred feet. They frequently attack sharks, which they fight with the deadly kris, never failing to come off victors.






The Old City.

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is situated on the island of Luzon, at the mouth, and on the left bank, of the river Pasig. It is in N. lat. 14° 36′, by E. long., 20° 57′. The city was founded in 1571. The present fortifications and the walls and battlements of the old city were built by Chinese labor in 1590, in the time of Governor-General Gomez Perez Dasmariñas. The walls are 2¼ miles long and are mounted with old and useless cannon. These, however, were quite formidable in the early days of the colony, and did great service against the successive invaders that threatened its peace and safety.

The old city is almost surrounded by water. On the north is the Pasig; on the west the sea; while moats flank the other two sides. These moats are connected with the river by sluices; but they are sadly in need of repair, and are filled with stagnant water and putrid matter,—a continual menace to the health of the city.

Until 1852 the drawbridge, connecting the old city with the new, was raised at night and the city closed, presenting the curious fact of a feudal Spanish city in the heart of the tropics. In the citadel are the Government offices; also the Post, Telegraph, and Custom offices, various convents and colleges, an [120]Artillery depot, the Cathedral, and eleven other churches. This part of the city presents a dilapidated and mediæval appearance. The dull, narrow streets have a sombre, monastic aspect; and one, therefore, is not surprised to find that the gloomy superstitions of the 15th century hold Cimmerian sway here, undisturbed by the dawn of Science. It seems the fit capital of a despotism, a suitable home for tyranny and priestcraft.

Manila Bay is thirty miles from north to south, and about twenty-five miles wide. On each side the entrance are steep volcanic mountains. Ten miles from Manila, near the entrance of the bay, lies Cavité, which contains about 5,000 people. Here also is the arsenal, a patent slip, and a garrison of 500 men. In the channel lies the island of Corregidor, 640 feet high, and just beyond, the island of Caballo, 420 feet high, both fortified. On each island stands a lighthouse. Other fortified points are San José and Tibonis.

Manila, however, is, like Batavia and Calcutta, a great trade-centre. But I must leave the old city to find any signs of life and progress.


Binondo and the Suburbs.

Binondo, on the northern shore of the Pasig, and opposite the old city, is the business quarter. Here are the large tobacco factories, which employ about 10,000 men, women, and children. One factory alone, indeed, employs 2,000. The Manila wrappers and Manila cheroots and cigars are famed the world over. The employees in these factories earn on an average about 15 cents a day. With this they are able to live very well; for food is cheap, and rent is even cheaper. Most of the boys and men in these factories wear only a thin pair of trousers, being naked from the waist up. The girls also have but a slight covering. In the midst of every group of girls sits an old woman, who acts as a kind of combined overseer and chaperon.

The Fashionable New Cathedral in Old Manila, and the Ruins of the Old Cathedral, Destroyed by Earthquake, 1863.

The Fashionable New Cathedral in Old Manila, and the Ruins of the Old Cathedral, Destroyed by Earthquake, 1863.

The main street of Binondo is the Escolta, and here are situated the commercial warehouses, the bazaars, and the European [122]shops. In the Rosario are the Chinese shops. These are very small, and a dozen or more are usually grouped together. In each, on the little counter, sits a Chinaman, casting accounts with the ancient abacus. Another stands behind the counter and acts as salesman; a third is in front drumming up customers, very much after the manner of Moses Cohn, Baxter street, New York. These Chinese traders are exceedingly shrewd, and it is almost useless for the buyer to attempt to secure a reduction in price; they have a uniform scale, agreed upon by themselves. Many of these Chinese merchants are fabulously rich; and all are prosperous and progressive, the natives and the Europeans not being able to compete against them.

In the Escolta are many fine shops owned by Spaniards, mestizos, Germans, English, and Americans. The Escolta, in the daytime, presents an animated appearance: about ten thousand carriages pass here daily, and a great volume of business is transacted. The commerce is yearly increasing, too. The principal articles of export are honey, tobacco, cigars, sugar, coffee, and indigo.

The laboring class live in Tondo, another suburb. Their dwellings are covered with roofs of nipa thatch. The drainage around these huts is very bad, and under them are pools of stagnant water, the cause of great mortality among the natives. The endemic diseases of the islands are swamp-fever, diarrhœa, beri-beri, and typhoid.

The traffic on the river along the Binondo shore is considerable. The river is not navigable by the large ocean-liners; only by boats of light draught.

The streets of Manila, for the most part, are badly paved and still more badly lighted, though some of the public gardens have been recently much improved in this respect.

Beyond Binondo lies the aristocratic suburb, San Miguel, where live the wealthy European merchants and many of the Government officials. Here are many elegant and imposing residences.

Commercial House of Russell & Sturgis; First American Merchants; Later, Lala’s Hotel.

Commercial House of Russell & Sturgis; First American Merchants; Later, Lala’s Hotel.

It is a unique sight to pass these white bungalows at night, and [124]hear the merry chatter or the sweet music of the happy people on the wide, cool verandas; men and women, boys and girls, all smoking cigarillos. For everybody smokes—from the Spanish grandee down to his native postilion.

A more contented people than the Filipinos surely do not exist. Naturally averse to exertion, and possessing few wants, they accept the dispensations of Providence with a philosophic acquiescence not far removed from indifference. One day differs little from another. Upon rising, early in the morning, they take a cup of chocolate or coffee. At eight o’clock they partake of a light breakfast, consisting of two or three dishes and a dessert. The head of the family then goes to his work, the women, meanwhile, attending to their household duties. From twelve to one is tiffin—a heavy lunch, consisting of soup, fish, meat, dessert, and coffee, including rice and curry. From one to four all enjoy the luxury of a siesta, after which, from four to five, they have chocolate and cakes served, exchange visits, go out riding, or take some other kind of recreation. Dinner is at eight. This is usually an elaborate meal, consisting of meats, fruits, and various native delicacies. After dinner, different diversions, such as music and dancing, make the evening an agreeable one. About eleven o’clock, the entire family goes to bed.

“Bed” consists of a fine mat, and one narrow and one long pillow. There are no sheets. Both men and women sleep in their stockings and pajamas. Mosquito curtains are, of course, a necessity.

“Home, Sweet Home,” As the Filipino Knows It.

“Home, Sweet Home,” As the Filipino Knows It.

All this, of course, applies to the better class of natives, whose residences are often fine and commodious. Very few houses are more than one story above the ground floor. If so, the extra story is uninhabited or serves as a sleeping-place for the servants, or as a coach-house. The roofs are usually of tin or iron, which makes them extremely hot in summer. For this reason many houses are also covered with a thin layer of nipa-palm, which is cooler. The ground-story is usually of stone or brick; the upper of wood, with sliding windows of opaque sea-shells. The bath-house [125]is really the greatest personal necessity in Manila. For a daily bath is almost indispensable to health and comfort.


Educational and Charitable Institutions.

Most of the educational institutions of the colony are in Manila, where the Department of Education has its headquarters. Many of the native graduates of the various colleges go into the professions; many of the poorer kind into teaching. The village schoolmaster receives, on an average, about 180 dollars a year, and out of even this miserable stipend he has to pay his own expenses to and from the city once every month, to receive his salary. Thus, it can readily be surmised that the cause of public education is not in as prosperous a condition as it might be. The [126]children of the wealthy are sometimes sent abroad—to Spain, France, or England—to be educated. I myself went to St. John’s College, London, and, afterward, to Pension Roulet, Neûchatel, Switzerland.

Balcony of Manila Jockey Club, Overlooking Pandacan.

Balcony of Manila Jockey Club, Overlooking Pandacan.

The Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas, in Manila, is maintained by the Dominicans. It has schools of theology and church law, jurisprudence, notarial law, medicine, and pharmacy. In the undergraduate department are 40 free scholarships for Spanish boys.

The college of San José gives instruction in medicine and pharmacy. The Dominican college of San Juan de Letran is justly celebrated for its excellent equipment, and for its fine museums of history and of the arts. It is attended exclusively by the sons of the natives.

The Cambobong Orphan Asylum, under the care of the Augustinians, [127]furnishes elementary instruction, and is a preparatory school for the University. It also teaches book-keeping, and provides a good business education.

The Mandaloya Asylum, of the same order and of the same grade, is for girls, and teaches the proper performance of household duties and the various feminine accomplishments.

Poor and demented children find shelter in the St. Joseph’s Home; while the Hospital of San Juan de Dios, founded in 1595, is open to all. This institution has two chaplains, one head nurse, six physicians, eight resident medical students, one pharmaceutist, and a corps of trained nurses.

The Hospital of San Lazaro is for lepers. It was founded in 1578 by the Franciscans, under rather peculiar and not uninteresting circumstances. The Emperor of Japan, full of resentment at the attempts of the Spaniards to convert his subjects to Christianity, sent the infant colony a ship-load of lepers with his compliments, saying, sarcastically, that he had no doubt but that the good brethren to whose care he felt called upon to send these useless subjects of his kingdom, would, in their exceeding love for souls, receive them most gratefully.

The Spaniards, however, needless to say, were by no means delighted, and were at first inclined to send the lepers back. Pity and Christian feeling, however, at last prevailed, and this hospital was built to receive them.

One of the most important organizations is the Chamber of Commerce. There are also several good banks and a savings bank. Under the Department of Charity and Health are several subordinate boards, all conducive to public improvement.

The Royal Polytechnic Society has for its object the promotion of the arts and the sciences. The Musical Society, the Spanish Casino, the Manila Club, the German Casino, the Gun, Jockey, Lawn-tennis and Bicycle clubs are highly successful social organizations. At Santa Mesa, on the outskirts of the city, is a race-course, which in the spring is very popular.

The mint is only for the striking of subsidiary coins. It has been in operation but a few years. [128]

There are six daily papers: El Diario de Manila, and La Oceania Española, both issued in the morning. The evening papers are: El Comercio, La Voz de España, El Español, and El Noticero.

The Nactajan Mess: Manila Jockey Club.

The Nactajan Mess: Manila Jockey Club.

Tramways of a very primitive kind run in the principal streets. There are also electric lights in the public parks, along the Luneta, and in the finest business houses. A telephone system extends throughout the city, and there is a railway—the only one in the province—to Dagupan. It is a single track, and is 123 miles long. It was opened to traffic November 23, 1892. An Englishman has secured the contract, and English engines are used, whose speed is 45 miles an hour. This road has paid more than ten per cent. to the shareholders. There is also a steam road to Dagupan. Another branch railroad is under construction [129]by the Government. Manila being on low peat-ground,—considerably lower in fact than the lake of Laguna, whose overflow forms the Pasig river,—in the wet season it seems an Oriental Venice; for the numerous creeks and canals that intersect the city and its suburbs are then flooded with water and thronged with native boats. Drinking-water is carried to the city through pipes from Santolan, on the river Pasig. Fountains are also distributed at convenient places throughout the city, to which the poorer people have access.

A new harbor is now under construction. For the payment of it special dues have from time to time been imposed upon the trade of the port: 2 per cent. on imports, 1 per cent. on exports, a tonnage tax, and a duty on fishing-boats.

There are several theatres in Manila, but they are very inferior. The opera is very popular, and is well supported. Foreign celebrities sometimes visit Manila, when the audiences are most enthusiastic and whole scenes are encored. In the theatre every one smokes, from the fashionable ladies and gentlemen in full dress, to the half-naked gallery-gods in the loft. Between the acts pretty mestiza flower-girls pass to and fro offering their fragrant wares to the onlookers. A theatre-night in Manila is one of unrestrained gayety—and the fun-loving Filipinos rarely miss an opportunity to attend a show. In the Palacio Square is a statue of Charles IV., and in front of the Variedades is one of Queen Isabella.


The Cathedral and the Governor-General’s Palace.

The churches are well worthy of a visit, being picturesque and interesting. The Cathedral was founded in 1570, and has several times been destroyed by earthquakes. The new Cathedral, on the site of the old, which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1880, cost a half-million dollars. It is an immense structure of brick and stone and is the most imposing building in the colony. It is in old Manila, and is celebrated for the splendor of its interior decorations and its gorgeous altars. Here start and end most of the great religious processions for which Manila is so [130]noted. The cost of maintaining the Cathedral, including the salaries of the officiating priests, is not far from $60,000 per annum.

The Church of San Francisco—also in old Manila—is the oldest church in Manila. It is under the patronage of the Franciscans and is very wealthy. The magnificence of its interior is unrivalled.

Church of San Francisco, and the Old City Walls.

Church of San Francisco, and the Old City Walls.

The Governor-General’s Palace is in Malacanan, a suburb of new Manila. It is a low massive structure and occupies an immense area. It is in the midst of a large garden—a veritable Paradise. It is on the bank of the river Pasig, in a healthful locality, and commands a fine view of the city and the river. The garden is famed for its luxuriance. Here grow, in rich profusion, cocoanuts, bananas, lemons, mangoes, and a wealth of flowers: the white champaca, the yellow ilang-ilang with its exquisite perfume, gigantic orchids, and a thousand other blooms. Among the trees and shrubbery of this gorgeous Eden, wind broad garden paths paved with sea-shells. [131]

Facing the river is a large balcony from which the Governor views the yearly boat-race that takes place on the birthday of the King. This boat-race is one of the great events of the year and is usually rowed by native champions.

The interior of the Palace is of unusual splendor, and there is evidence on every hand of great pomp and ceremony. A host of liveried servants and numerous guards in showy uniforms are everywhere apparent. There is an excellent library and a spacious ball-room, where receptions are held, to which, several times a year, the élite of the city and distinguished visitors are invited.

The Governor rides in a carriage drawn by four horses, with several outriders, who, by means of a shrill whistle, announce his approach. All streets are instantly cleared and traffic suddenly ceases, every one standing still to make respectful obeisance. On, on, they come, the dashing four, with the postilions in scarlet jackets. The Governor, dressed in civilian’s dress, sits within—the picture of dignity. He bows right and left, in that perfunctory way characteristic of public dignitaries the world over, and the carriage passes on, while the citizens resume their wonted demeanor and avocations.

The Jesuits support and manage a fine observatory. And there is a large botanical garden, now neglected; but it could easily be made the finest in the world. The English Club, in the suburbs, is noted for its hospitality and for the delightful personality of its members. Most of the hotels are bad, with poor accommodations. The Hotel de Oriente, however, is a noteworthy exception.

The police of the city are natives, and are under military discipline. The department of police is known as the Municipal Guard. From 10 o’clock at night until 5 o’clock in the morning night-watchmen patrol the city.

A Rear View of the Governor-General’s Palace.

A Rear View of the Governor-General’s Palace.

One is struck by the number of carriages in the thoroughfares, drawn by pretty ponies of mixed Chinese and Andalusian breed. There are also many hacks to hire. The drivers, too, are as civil in address as they are moderate in their charges. There are three days in the year when the ponies are given absolute rest. These are Holy Wednesday, Thursday, and Good Friday,[133]—when no traffic is permitted, only the Archbishop and the doctors being allowed to ride in carriages. On these days the church-bells are muffled, and the people, dressed in sombre black, walk solemnly in the various religious processions. A vast concourse assembles in the several squares to await the toll that shall announce the end of the fast and of this enforced abstinence from labor and worldly care. As soon as the first stroke is given, there is a mighty rush in every direction, a thousand ponies are trotted through the streets, ten thousand natives renew their daily traffic with clamorous zeal, which shows how feeble was the bond that kept them under restraint.

A Water-girl.

A Water-girl.

On the streets of the city are many wayside native restaurants. Here the employees of the huge tobacco factories come at noon for their “quick lunch” or for a refreshing drink. Most of these establishments are very primitive, and little more than rice, fruit, or meat is for sale. The charges are the merest pittance. For two cents a sumptuous meal can be had. It may, therefore, be understood that few people in Manila go hungry.

The water-girls or the peddlers of milk or cocoa are also worthy of mention; inasmuch as they, with their rude jars, have a most Oriental look. One, too, is likely, almost any time, to [134]encounter a religious procession, such as The Feast of the Twelve Apostles, or The Feast of Corpus Christi, when the companies of friars, in their long robes of black, blue, white, or brown, alternate with long lines of solemn natives dressed in their sombre clothes. There are, in fact, forty holidays in the year, and, as each of these is distinguished by some feast or religious ceremonial, it can readily be seen how large an influence the Church has upon the people. The Archbishop is a greater man than the Governor-General, and as he passes through the streets in his carriage drawn by four white horses, every head is bared. There are 4,000 priests in Manila alone.

An execution in Manila is an interesting, though a gruesome, sight. The populace always flock to see one, and the condemned, with the stoicism natural to their race, as a rule seem perfectly indifferent to their fate. The garrote is the instrument usually employed. There is the pomp and ceremony incident to all Spanish functions of State: a procession of soldiers, a solemn death-cart, draped in mourning, on which sits the culprit apparently enjoying his last ride, two or three priests chanting a dolorous refrain, and the executioner,—all slowly approach the place of execution. Here is a raised platform, on which is a rude seat; against the back of it is an upright post. To this the condemned is firmly bound, and the deadly brass collar—the garrote—that is attached thereto, closes with a click around his neck. The executioner now takes his place behind, the priests elevate the crucifix and continue their chant, while the victim, half-bewildered, smiles a last farewell or mumbles a hasty prayer. The commanding officer gives the signal; the executioner gives a twist to the screw, that just touches the base of the prisoner’s brain; there is a convulsive shiver and a groan, and all is over. And the spectators, laughing and chattering, turn homeward.

But no street scene is more interesting than a native funeral. The hearse is a rude wagon, drawn by white horses. A most melancholy-looking person is the driver, who, clad in black and a high beaver hat, sits aloft in mournful dignity. In front is a brass band, playing a lively march, while a long line of carriages [135]follow slowly behind. On account of the heat, the burial is nearly always on the same day as the death. The bodies of the well-to-do are usually deposited in a vault in the church as long as the relatives of the deceased pay the priests well for the privilege. When this tribute ceases, the remains are dumped without ceremony into a huge pit at the back of the church, where perhaps are the bones of a thousand others. The pit, it is safe to say, is the ultimate destiny of all.

The Garrote: Manila Method of Capital Punishment.

The Garrote: Manila Method of Capital Punishment.

Bull-fights have never made the headway in the Philippines that they have in Cuba. In the suburb of Paco is a bull-ring; but it is not attended by the better classes, and it offers but a sorry spectacle. [136]


The Beautiful Luneta: the Sea-boulevard.

The Beautiful Luneta.

The Beautiful Luneta.

There are many drives and promenades in the city of Manila. The principal one, and the most celebrated, is the Luneta, which is by the old sea-wall. Here in the cool summer evening is stationed the Governor’s fine military band, and all Manila comes out to see and to be seen. Thousands of people, natives and foreigners, pair in careless promenade. Here comes a group of English Jack Tars, from some British Man-of-War in the harbor. The sailors are flirting vigorously with a number of bewitching mestiza-girls, just behind. These olive-cheeked damsels, whose long raven hair, red lips, and pearly teeth are cunningly displayed in daring coquetry, are all laughing merrily, smoking betimes a dainty cigarette. Here comes a whole native-family, trooping along with almost stolid demeanor, yet listening keenly to the stirring music. And then follow Chinamen, in their national dress, Englishmen in white drill, and Spaniards in European costume,—all walking with the leisurely manner of the tropics, as if to the climate born. And so thousands pass by, [137]bowing and smiling, with never one careworn face in the vast throng.

Here, too, were enacted some of the most horrible tragedies in the recent rebellion. Hundreds of native prisoners were here executed. And such an execution was made occasion of great rejoicing. The fashionable Spanish element, men and women, was not wanting to witness it; and while the band discoursed a lively air, the poor fellows were made to stand on the sea-wall, facing the sea; at a given signal the firing-squad discharged a volley, and they fell dead or mortally wounded, while the onlookers cheered for tyranny and Spain.

Though Manila lies very low, it is by no means unhealthy. It is a pleasant city to live in, but not nearly so pleasant as it might be made to be. The climate is thus described by an old Spanish proverb: “Six months of dust; six months of mud; six months of everything.” The spring months are December, January, and February; the climate then is most agreeable. In March, April, and May the heat is very oppressive. In June, July, August, and September occur heavy rains. October and November are either wet or dry. The population of Manila is not far from 300,000, of which 70 per cent. are pure natives, 15 per cent. Chinese, 14 per cent. mestizo Chinos, and one per cent. Europeans and Creoles.



Other Important Cities and Towns.

Other Important Cities and Towns.


Iloilo, Capital of the Province of Panay.

In the province of Iloilo, in the southern part of the island of Panay, is the town of Iloilo. It is on the sea, and is built on a low, marshy plain. Iloilo is the capital of the province in which it is situated, and it is also one of the principal sea-ports of the colony. The harbor is excellent, being well-protected by the island of Guimaras, which lies just beyond. This island is much higher than the mainland, with which it forms a kind of funnel, so that there is a constant breeze, which makes Iloilo much cooler and healthier than Manila. During the spring-tides the whole town is covered with water.

Iloilo is a manufacturing town. Its principal product is piña, a fine cloth made from the fibre of the pineapple-leaf. Jusi—another fabric made from silk and woven into various colors—is also manufactured here.

The country around the town is very fertile, and is extensively cultivated. The facilities for transportation to and from the interior of the island are very poor. This, of course, is a great bar to the development of the commerce. However, over 1,000,000 piculs of sugar are raised around Iloilo; also a great amount of tobacco; much rice, too, is raised here. The town is doubtless destined to become a great commercial centre. It is about 250 miles from Manila. Typhoons are not uncommon, though [139]earthquakes are infrequent. Most of the traders are Chinese Mestizos. Some of them are very wealthy.

At the Port of Iloilo

At the Port of Iloilo

The port of Iloilo is of recent date, its opening being wholly due to foreigners. The produce shipped from there comes mostly in American sailing vessels to the United States. Iloilo has become the shipping centre for the crops of sugar and sapan-wood of the islands of Negros and Panay, and the opening up of this port has greatly encouraged agriculture in the Visayas district. Manila is too far away. The Iloilo district includes the large islands of Panay, Negros, Cebú, and others, and has a second port of rising importance, Cebú, on the island of that name.

Cavité is a fortified town, on a small peninsula, in the bay of Manila, about ten miles from the capital. To it a steamboat runs [140]twice daily. The Government arsenal and the only shipyard in the colony are located here, and it is, therefore, the chief naval station in the islands. Cavité is also the residence of most of the Spanish naval officers and of many foreigners: their handsome bungalows are on the outskirts of the town. Some fine shops, a theatre, a few cafés, and the old Cathedral are the most noteworthy objects of interest in the town itself. The Cathedral is large and imposing, and its architecture is characteristic of most of the churches of the colony. The houses in Cavité were formerly of wood, but since a fire, in 1754, which destroyed the town, most of them are built of stone or brick. But even this did not save the town; for the earthquake of 1880 again laid it waste.

Interior of a House Destroyed by an Earthquake.

Interior of a House Destroyed by an Earthquake.

Cavité was taken by the British in 1763, and has always been deemed the key to the capital. It was the seat of the rebellion of 1872, when the rebels seized and plundered the arsenal. This [141]insurrection, however, was put down, and the leaders executed or deported. Cavité, on account of its strategic value, was the first place taken by Admiral Dewey after the battle. As elsewhere described, it then became the headquarters for Aguinaldo and the insurgents. Under a humane and an advanced government of the islands, Cavité should become a large city.

Majajay is a picturesque mountain-town, in Luzon; it contains several fine streets and many charming residences. The church and the convent are striking; the scenery in the vicinity is magnificent. The waterfall of Botócan is well worth a visit. It is about 600 feet high, and 60 feet wide. The view is impressive.

Lúgbang, near Majajay, is a thousand feet higher. Around it are extensive rice-fields. In the town are several fine canals, some good streets, and many commodious residences. A stone church and a convent front the little plaza. On the other side is the Tribunal, an imposing government building.

Tayabas is the capital of Tayabas province. In some of the streets are canals. Besides the houses of the wealthy planters, there are the usual church and convent. In the vicinity of Tayabas are extensive timber-yards.

Laguimanoc, a small town on the coast of Luzon, is also a port. The mail steamers stop there. The chief trade is in building-timber; for around the town are magnificent forests. The harbor is an excellent one, and, with increase of trade, the place should have a great future.

Lipa is the capital of the Batangas province, Luzon. It is a centre of the coffee-trade. Besides, the temperature there is cooler than that of most of the Philippine towns. It is noted for its large church and its convent—among the most remarkable in the colony. Most of the houses are three stories high, and many wealthy planters live in the vicinity.

Taal is one of the principal towns of Luzon. It is situated on a hill upon the left bank of the Pansipit river. On the opposite side is the town of Lemeri. A bridge connects the two.

Taal was formerly on the shore of the Lake of Taal, near the volcano, but the old town was destroyed by the earthquake of 1754. [142]The new town is hilly, and is surrounded by sugar-cane plantations and great forests. The streets are lined with modern shops and spacious residences. Many of the inhabitants are of Japanese origin; but the Chinese, strange to say, are not tolerated. As there is considerable trade in sugar, in coffee, and cotton stuffs, trading-steamers ply between Taal and Manila. The population of the town and its suburbs is about 50,000.

Open-air View of an Earthquake’s Violence.

Open-air View of an Earthquake’s Violence.

Batangas, another town in Luzon, is the capital of the province of that name. It is near the sea, and is the residence of the Governor and the other chief officials of the province. There is a beautiful park in the centre of the town, and a fine drive, where the European residents are wont to meet. In and around the town are many pretty bungalows and some large sugar-factories.

Santa Cruz de Malabon is a town in the rice-district of Luzon. It is a charming little place, and some wealthy natives live there. Near the town are several water-power rice-husking mills, that give [143]employment to hundreds of natives. The country all around is low and flat, but not lacking in beauty.

Silan is also in Luzon, and is a good-sized town. It is noted for its religious feasts and fairs. The church and the convent are celebrated, and are among the handsomest in the colony.

Carmona, Perez Dasmariñas, and Viñan, are flourishing towns in the vicinity of Silan. All are well worthy of a visit.

At the foot of the Maquiling mountain is Calamba, a market-town. Nearly all the land thereabouts is owned by the Dominicans, who rent it to the native rice and sugar-planters.

Below the Maquiling mountain, which is a crater, are hot springs. Near them is the town of Los Baños, or the Baths. These springs are beneficial in curing rheumatism and other ills. A hospital, therefore, has been erected there, which is dedicated to our Lady of the Holy Waters.

A Milkwoman of Calamba.

A Milkwoman of Calamba.

Other objects of interest are a vapor bath-house and the remains of several large public buildings. Los Baños was once a popular resort, and was under the administration of the Franciscans. The Government, however, desiring a share of the profits, gradually, by onerous exactions, caused the ruin of the place. If some enterprising American would get hold of it, Los Baños could be made a great resort.

A few miles from Los Baños, on the Malanin river, about 1200 feet above the sea, is the boiling lake of Natungos. This, too, possesses wonderful medicinal properties.

Santa Cruz is the capital of the Laguna province. It is a market-town of considerable size and importance, and contains a fine church and one or two impressive government buildings. The principal street is also called the Escolta. Santa Cruz is the centre of the cocoanut trade, and is a meeting-place for stock-dealers.

Pagsanjan, a small old town near Santa Cruz, contains some elegant residences. It has, however, an air of fallen grandeur. And well it may! for it was once an important place. Around it are extensive forests of cocoanut palms.

Puerta is on Palaúan Island, and has an excellent harbor. [144]Near it is a lighthouse and a naval station. It is a penal settlement, and is surrounded by large sugar-estates, worked by the convicts. The town is pretty, and the suburbs are delightful.

The principal port of Mindanao is Zamboanga, a small but interesting town. Sulu is the principal port of Sulu, and is the centre of the pearl trade.

The capital of Negros is Bacólod. It contains, besides a church and a government house, some handsome residences belonging to the chief traders and to the government officials. The town is on the coast, but, as the water is very shallow, steamers are obliged to anchor a half-mile from the shore. Bacólod is a good field for investors, as it is in the very heart of the sugar and rice-district of Negros, and its trade is constantly growing.

Mataban, Talisay, Silay, Sarávia and Victoria are rising towns in the same province. Cádiz Nuevo, a small town just beyond Victoria, has some fine streets, and many large shops owned by the irrepressible Chinamen. The [145]new stone church and convent of the town are the handsomest on the island. In the country round about live many wealthy native-planters, famed for their hospitality.


Cebú: a Mecca for Many Filipinos.

Cebú is the capital of the island of Cebú, and ranks next to Iloilo among the ports of the Philippines. The town is well-constructed, and is surrounded by fine roads. The people are conservative, and lack thrift and enterprise. The principal exports are hemp and sugar, most of which comes from the large plantations of the neighboring islands of Leyte, Camaguin, and Mindanao. The cathedral of Cebú is one of the most celebrated in the islands. It contains the shrine of the Holy Child of Cebú, which thousands of pilgrims visit yearly.


General Topography of the Islands.

The Philippines, with the Sulu Protectorate, number about 600 habitable islands, that lie all the way from 4° 45′ to 21° N. latitude.

The area of the eleven largest islands is variously computed to be somewhere between 55,000 and 150,000 square miles. It is probably not far from the latter sum. All the islands together are about as large as the combined area of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.

The eleven largest islands are: Luzon, Mindanao, Sámar, Panay, Negros, Palaúan, Mindoro, Leyte, Cebú, Masbate, and Bojol. Luzon and Mindanao are probably as large as all the others combined.

All the islands are mountainous and of volcanic formation.

Here is a list of the principal peaks:

Halcon, (Mindoro) 8,868 feet above sea.
Apo, (Mindanao) 8,804 feet above sea.
Mayon: active volcano, (Luzon) 8,283 feet above sea.
San Cristobal, (Luzon) 7,375 feet above sea.[146]
Isarog, (Luzon) 6,443 feet above sea.
Banájao (Luzon) 6,097 feet above sea.
Labo (Luzon) 5,090 feet above sea.
South Caraballo, (Luzon) 4,720 feet above sea.
Caraballo del Baler (Luzon) 3,933 feet above sea.
Maquiling, (Luzon) 3,720 feet above sea.

In the interior of the islands are magnificent forests of stately trees, splendid with luxuriant foliage and the glorious flora of the tropics. Here are gigantic creepers and gorgeous festoons,—the splendid parasites of this opulent clime. Luscious fruits in rich clusters hang from pendent boughs of myriad trees, inviting the passer-by to pluck.

One that has never seen it, can form no idea of the splendor of such a tropical forest—teeming with all that is brilliant and grand in nature. It would seem as if the Creator had emptied the cornucopia of his gifts over this garden-spot of the world, making it a veritable Eden.

There are many rivers throughout the islands,—some navigable. The Pasig river, in Luzon, empties into Manila Bay. Vessels drawing thirteen feet of water enter the Pasig river. In the same island, the Rio Grande de Cagayan is also navigable and runs through the Cagayan valley northward. It yearly overflows its banks. On them are the richest tobacco-districts in the colony. The Rio Grande de la Pampanga flows southward through the glorious valley of Pampanga, emptying by twenty mouths into Manila Bay. On the banks of this river are extensive rice-fields and sugar-cane plantations, and great forests; among them gleam numerous towns and villages, full of a thriving population. The Rio Agno, which flows southward, past the port of Dagupan and the Bicol river—which flows from Bato lake to the bay of San Miguel—is also in Luzon, and navigable.

In Mindanao, the Rio Agusan cuts the island almost in two. It is navigable only a few miles. In Negros Island, the Danao is navigable. [147]

A Native Hut in the Interior.

A Native Hut in the Interior.


The Bay lake (Luzon)—Laguna de Bay,—is 25 miles long and 12 miles broad. It is higher than Manila, and its overflow is the Pasig river.

In the centre of Bombon lake is an active volcano called Taal, which is no less famed in the history of the colony than is Vesuvius in the history of Naples. It has had many celebrated eruptions, some very destructive. In 1754 several towns were overwhelmed by a flood of burning lava, which was thrown as far as fifteen miles from the crater, causing great damage, even at that distance. It is said that cinders fell in Manila, 34 miles away. There was a smell of sulphur in the air for months; the lake was full of dead fish; and the earth, for miles, was heaped with burning lava and ashes. This eruption lasted nearly six months. The town of Taal was entirely destroyed, and most of the inhabitants perished. On that day darkness hung over the whole sky, and the air was full of cries and lamentations. It seemed as if the end of the world had come.

The Mayon volcano, in Albay, has also had several destructive eruptions. Its crest is always fiery. In 1814, 2,500 natives were killed and wounded. During the last eruption, in 1888, fifteen lives were lost, and many cattle.

Near the volcano of Mayon are the sulphur springs of Albay, noted for their wonderful medicinal properties. Here, no doubt, some enterprising American will soon build a resort, or a sanitarium. And a most splendid location indeed it would be!

Though in the heart of the tropics, the Philippines are by no means unhealthy. The year is divided into the wet and the dry monsoons; the west coast being dry, the eastern coast wet, and vice-versa. The annual rainfall is about 90 inches. Mosquitoes and white ants are the most troublesome pests. Terrific tornados are common, and earthquakes are as plentiful as blackberries in an Alabama cemetery. In 1875 a typhoon destroyed 4000 houses and killed about 300 people. In 1863 an earthquake destroyed the greater part of Manila—3000 people were killed and injured. The earthquake of 1880 was also very destructive. [149]

Hot-water Springs, Albay; and Mayon Volcano.

Hot-water Springs, Albay; and Mayon Volcano.


That of ’63 occurred at night, and I remember it well. I was then a little boy, but the horrors of that night I can never forget. The earth trembled and seemed to rise and fall; huge fissures opened in the ground, and dull rumblings were heard everywhere, while the shrieks of tens of thousands arose on every hand. Many were buried in the ruins of their houses.

For weeks afterward, the people slept in the streets; for the greater part of the city was destroyed.

The earthquake of 1880 occurred while the people were at tiffin, or lunch. Hence the number of casualties was not so great; for most of the people were able to leave their houses before they were shaken down.



Natural Beauty of the Archipelago.

Natural Beauty of the Archipelago.


A Botanist’s Paradise.

The preceding chapters give but a faint idea of the great wealth of plant-life in the Philippine Islands, of the richness and abundance of the fruits, the variety and usefulness of the trees, the multitude of growths that add to the comfort and convenience of human life. Yet, after all is said, every description of the plant-life there gives but an inadequate idea of the real luxuriance and beauty of the group, and its value from a botanical point of view. These rich and multitudinous islands, seated in the midst of a tropical sea, form, in reality, a botanist’s paradise, a region in which an ardent naturalist might browse for years, and still have new treasures to find.

I am no scientist. Indeed, I have often wished I were, when journeying through these lush tropical forests with their interminable variety of forms of plant-life; many of them of the greatest beauty, some odd and bizarre in appearance, numbers of them unknown to science; the whole presenting the appearance of a virgin wilderness, keeping its treasures intact for the one that can appreciate them. The Spaniard looks upon nature with a lazy eye, troubling himself little about anything that cannot be put to some immediate use. And he has jealously guarded the islands against alien footsteps, putting annoying obstacles in the way of all that sought to [152]explore their interior. In consequence, the Philippines may be said to be in a large measure unexplored, waiting for the botanist to discover their treasures, the poet to sing their beauties, the practical man to develop their resources.

Energy and enterprise are sadly needed, and it will require the go-ahead American spirit to bring about the possibilities of those fertile tropical lands.

The Once-beautiful Botanical Gardens.

The Once-beautiful Botanical Gardens.


A Diadem of Island Gems.

And the earth possesses no scenes more beautiful than those to be found in this verdant and blooming Archipelago,—from its northern to its southern verge, this magnificent rosary of glowing islands, that Nature has hung above the heaving bosom of the warm Pacific. Of them all, none is more beautiful than Luzon. [153]the largest and the richest of the whole, with its vast variety of attractive scenery, mountain and plain, lake and stream, everywhere rich with glossy leafage, clustered growths of bamboo and palm, fields of yellow cane, and verdant coffee-groves. Everywhere is wealth of trees, clothing the mountains to their summits, and bordering the long green miles of ocean-shore.

On a smaller scale, but not less beautiful than lordly Luzon, are the many minor islands, such as Panay, Negros, Cebú, Sámar, and others of names that would be strange to foreign ears. Here there are no stretches of barren lands, no drought-stricken shores, as in some of the isles of the West, no flat and chalky fields like those of Barbadoes; and even the loveliest of the Antilles must yield the palm of beauty to these charming isles of the eastern ocean. Here an abundant rainfall, an equable climate, a rich soil, and the warm influences of the equatorial waters combine to yield a luxuriant beauty and variety of scenery that must be observed to be appreciated.


The Magnificence of Tropical Scenery.

Tropical scenery cannot be pictured in words. It must be seen to be comprehended. One need not, too, go beyond the environs of Manila—that Venice of the East, with its labyrinth of canals and estuaries,—through which the tides of the broad bay daily ebb and flow,—and with its wealth of brilliant flowers and tropic verdure—to imagine oneself in a new world. Its surroundings are a dream of beauty.

Take any of the roads that run outward from the city. Say, starting from the Malecon promenade: one passes through stretches of country verdant with groves of graceful bamboos, lofty cocoanut palms, flowing-leaved plantains, and all the wonderful variety and luxuriance of tropical vegetation. Upon it the eye gazes unsated, the leaves and flowers alike being rich and gorgeous in tint and form. Often have I wandered, entranced, up the eddying Pasig, enraptured by the beauty of its scenery and the charm of its coloring, viewing, also from its leafy banks [154]the splendors of sunset skies, grand and glowing to a degree seldom seen in temperate zones.

Malecon Promenade, Along Manila Bay.

Malecon Promenade, Along Manila Bay.

Further inland the mountain scenery never fails to charm, with the varied pictures presented by its forest-growth. A grotesqueness of form is often assumed by the trunks and limbs of tropical trees, and this, with the glossy green foliage, the rich hues and attractive shapes of the blossoms, the novel forms and colors of the fruits, the dash and sparkle of mountain streams, here and there breaking into lovely cascades, all co-ordinated to the eye, compose a spectacle of beauty seldom excelled.

Of all those plants, the tall and graceful bamboo ranks among the most beautiful. Everywhere it is found, growing in groups and clusters, scattered with great profusion and variety over hill and plain, along the streams, and around the native huts and villages. At the slightest breeze its fleecy tops and supple branches wave gracefully in the air, giving to the foliage the charm of perpetual motion. In addition, too, to its almost endless variety of uses, it has a mission beyond that of utility,—the mission of beauty, and it [155]may justly be viewed as one of the choicest decorations of the island scenery.

The bamboo never grows monotonous. It presents forms and colors of wonderful attractiveness and variety, and so fully dealt with has it been by the brush of the painter and the pen of the poet, that it might well be given a fine-art gallery and a library of its own.

In the depths of the forest, and along the streams, beautiful orchids abound; here clustered on stately trees so dense of growth that the sun’s rays scarcely penetrate their foliage; there giving life and color to the ground, and of such odd and amazing forms, that one often seems looking rather upon flowering birds and insects than upon plants. Here and there one finds oneself amid the spreading roots of the balete tree (Ficus Indica), from whose broad buttresses rises the mighty trunk, of such girth and even rotundity, that the natives make cart-wheels from sections of it. Down from the boughs, sixty feet in air, hang the rope-like lianes, descending, like nature’s cordage, to the ground, while to the limbs cling orchids and other foreign growths, until the entire great tree seems a botanical world in itself.

I have passed hours wandering spellbound in the forest, or gazing with eyes of wonder and delight into its silent depths. Yes, little of the poet as I have in my make-up, I, too, have been taken prisoner by a beauty and a grandeur that I found it difficult to tear myself away from.

And these scenes are not merely local. Indeed, wherever one goes into the rural regions of the islands he finds the same amazing prodigality of tropic growth. There are thousands of square miles of dense forest within which the foot of the white man has rarely ever set; thousands perhaps upon which none but the natives have ever gazed; costly woods, whose value can be reckoned only in millions of dollars. Valuable herbs, medicinal plants, and hot springs abound; and the naturalist and the economic botanist alike are sadly needed to open up this luxuriant land to the world. [156]


The Promise of the Future.

Under new control I expect to see, in the twentieth century, a new destiny for this noble group of islands. Whether the people be given their freedom under the protection and influence of the United States, or the islands become a direct appanage of that or of some other enterprising nation of the West, a turn in the tide of Philippine affairs can hardly fail to set in, and the possibilities of the land be developed to an extent undreamed of under the effete rule of Spain.

I expect to see an invasion of this island-realm by three classes of modern enterprise. The scientist is sure to find his way there, and tell the world of the new and the strange in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. With him will come the engineer, opening up roads right and left, laying a network of iron rails, where now only the buffalo-cart drags along, introducing the latest machinery for mining and farming-industries, and starting a hum of activity in every quarter of the long-slumbering land. With these also will enter the practical economist, in search, not of the new, but of the useful, prospecting the forests for plants of economic value, seeking for new mines of coal and iron, tracing the gold placer-beds up to their mother-veins, seeking everywhere for what the Philippines have to add to the useful productions of the world.

These will be the twentieth century pioneers of this promising Archipelago, the results of their labors being exploited by the merchant and the manufacturer. The seas shall teem with ships carrying the products of the islands to foreign shores, and bringing back full cargoes to supply the demands of the islanders, commerce steadily growing in amount as civilization awakens the natives to the perception of new wants.

Examples of a similar rejuvenation could easily be pointed out, and there is no conceivable reason why the Philippines should not be added to the list. These islands have been lavishly dealt with by nature; they have an industrious population; yet they have been allowed to remain for centuries in a semi-savage industrial condition; they still await the touch of the magic hand of modern enterprise to arouse them from their state of decadence, and swing them into the tide of human progress. Under this influence prosperity [157]and activity must come to them, as it has come to other lands, and those long-neglected and abused islands be made to “bud and blossom like the rose.”

A Mestiza Flower-girl.

A Mestiza Flower-girl.

Certainty of conviction and opinion, too, leads me to affirm that, with sanitary arrangements in all the cities, with hygienic living, and American enterprise, philanthropy, and valor in the islands, and free educational facilities eventually,—all will manifestly increase the morale of the islanders and develop a just appreciation of the natural beauties of their bounteous realm; hence, what is now confusedly enjoyed and but vaguely beheld in nature, will, in a comparatively brief period, become simple, clear, sympathetic, and clearly formulated to their apprehension.

And all this, as well as many other allied benefits co-existent with a permanent American occupation, will come with personal education, personal elevation; and without lessening the labor-producing quality of the native, or the outward physical radiation that constitutes his health and vigor. Health, like knowledge, will come to him in ever-widening circles, and Nature, in full festival—as she is during the greater part of the Philippine year—will also appeal to him as she has never appealed before.

All this may be hazardous prophecy; it may appear optimistic, æsthetic, and fanciful, but I have talked with many rude untutored natives, that, frankly, astonished me with the unwitting revelation [158]of latent poetry, love of imagery, and spiritual longings in their nature.

Knowing all this, and also the adaptability of the cultured native, hence the rosy view of the possible development of the Philippine Islands’ native population.

The vivid contrasts, the checkered scenery, and the pulchritudinous beauty of the islands would ravish the soul of the impressionistic painter, and inspire his brush to masterpieces. There forest and plain, sky and sea, unroll in unexpected beauty or marvelous grandeur at every turn; until, after visiting the interior or skirting the shores of many islands, one has a kind of kaleidoscopic memory, yet none the less brilliant, perfectly formed, and orderly—each in harmonious sequence—of long lines of shadowy hills, majestic mountain-ranges, with forest-clad slopes verging toward the sea; pretty rambling creeks and gurgling rivulets, cliff-bound coasts, cultivated plain and rugged hill; here and there shaded dells with mountain torrents roaring, unseen; a glorious sunset, or a splendid sunrise present in the memory-pictures of mountain, sea, and plain.



A Village Feast.

A Village Feast.


The Morning Ceremonies.

Nothing in the life of the people of the Philippine Islands is more interesting to the foreigner than the village feasts; nothing is more indicative of the character of the people, who are exceedingly fond of ornament and display. Every village has its own feasts, to which all the natives in the surrounding district contribute;—in which all alike take part.

These feasts are always of a religious character, and are encouraged by the clergy, who find them not only lucrative, but also conducive to religious feeling.

Come with me and visit the busy morning-scene of a fiesta in a populous village near the capital. As we enter the broad roadway, winding with serpentine folds among the gleaming bungalows, we see everywhere signs of unusual activity; groups of smiling natives, dressed in their Sunday best, hurry by, chattering gaily. Here comes a long line of carromatas (small carts) drawn by wiry ponies, driven by well-to-do native planters: with the lofty consciousness of worldly prosperity they sit erect in imperturbable dignity.

A Village Feast.

A Village Feast.

We join a passing group and follow them past the low, airy houses, all decorated now with gorgeous bunting and gay festoons. Flags and streamers flutter on every house-top; the whole village [161]presents a scene of picturesque animation; for the tropical luxuriance of the trees and the myriad flowers of gorgeous hue, form a brilliant background.

We arrive at the village-green, and here stands a motley assemblage, constantly reinforced by the throngs that come in by every path and roadway. An expression of eager anticipation is on the faces of all as they gaze in the direction of the little church that fronts the crowded court. The church is a low, massive, white building, with large pillars in front, that give it a semi-classic appearance; it forms a curious, but not uninteresting, contrast to the many-gabled bungalows.

The bells in the campanile begin to toll slowly, and from the midst of the crowd instantly comes a burst of glorious music. The village-band stationed there renders effectively an operatic air as the natives slowly enter the church. After all are seated, the priest preaches a short sermon, full of pith and of pertinent suggestion about the Saint whom the day commemorates. The audience is then dismissed with a benediction; and to the lively music of some composer it files leisurely out. The natives see nothing incongruous in the introduction of operatic music into divine worship. They are moved to devotion no less by the stirring strains of one of Sousa’s military marches or a languorous waltz of Strauss, than by the solemn Te Deums of the Catholic ritual. To them all music is divine.

We stop a few minutes to watch the cura,—the parish priest,—as he dispenses blessings to his devout parishioners, who now crowd round him with every appearance of reverential affection.

Our friend the cura is a veritable father to his people. As he listens to the ingenuous confidences of his flock, his face beams with that rare benevolence born of godliness; there is a whisper of domestic sorrow that he needs must hear, a story of happiness or a tale of wrong. For each and all he has a word of kindly affection, and as he sees us waiting near the entrance, he approaches with outstretched hand and invites us to the grand procession in the evening.

A Fashionable Church in Majayjay, Near Manila.

A Fashionable Church in Majayjay, Near Manila.

The people have dispersed, and have returned to their homes. [163]Already the sun is high in the sky, pouring a deluge of heat upon the landscape. From the horizon, mountain after mountain springs airily into the heavens, their blue peaks suggesting a place of perpetual coolness, upon which the eye loves to linger amid the oppressive blaze of the tropic sun.

Surrounding the village are forests of majestic trees, of indescribable grandeur, and of unparalleled magnificence. Among these the white houses of the planters nestle peacefully.

Each house has its own tiny garden, fenced in with reeds, and forms a miniature paradise, where are flowers of splendid hue, creepers with purple blossoms, red-coral blooms, and trees of palm, mango, orange, lanzon, santol, and giant bananas, whose rich fruits, in giant clusters, tempt the eye of the beholder. Here the native is a petty king: for his own little domain, for nine months of the year, yields sufficient for his wants. Nature, indeed, gives him a golden harvest for only the reaping.

We have been invited to spend the day with a well-to-do native planter, who, at the conclusion of the service, has sought us out. He lives on the outskirts of the village, and we are soon with him in his carromata, speeding leisurely over the highway.

We approach his home—a typical native dwelling; the body of the house is raised about six feet from the ground, and is mounted on thick pieces of stone. This allows the air to circulate freely beneath, and prevents the entrance of snakes and insects, and is in every way conducive to health and comfort. We mount the wide stairway, that connects the house with the ground, and enter upon a broad open piazza facing the street, called a cahida. The sides of this are formed of sliding windows, composed of small square panes of mother-of-pearl, opaque to the heat, but admitting the rays of light. Here we are introduced to the various members of the family, who receive us kindly and offer sugared dainties and a cigarette.

Home of a Well-to-do Manila Merchant.

Home of a Well-to-do Manila Merchant.

Beyond is a large room, with walls of window and with sliding doors. Here are some chairs and a table, covered with a handsomely embroidered cloth. Upon the walls, which are covered with cloth instead of plaster, are various bric-a-brac, artistically [165]arranged upon scrolls; while several engravings of religious subjects and one or two family portraits hang between. From the centre of the ceiling hangs a crystal chandelier with globes of colored glass; a small oratory, supporting the brazen image of some Saint, stands in the corner. The broad floor-planks, daily scrubbed and polished with plantain leaves, are as smooth and clean as a mirror.

Opening from this main room are several smaller rooms, used as bedrooms. A narrow passage-way leads to the bath-room and to the kitchen—in a separate building. The design of the whole domicile seems to aim at cleanliness and coolness,—both essentials of comfort in this hot, moist climate.

The roof is patched with nipa palm, and the outside walls of bamboo—painted white and striped with green and blue—are covered with grotesque carvings. This, with the broad eaves and the wide balconies, gives the house a most picturesque appearance.

We note with gratification the many signs of family affection around us. The father, kind and considerate; the mother, sweet and sympathetic; the children, quiet, obedient, and well-behaved—a picture of domestic happiness that is representative rather than exceptional.


How the Afternoon is Spent.

After tiffin, each retires to his own room to enjoy the siesta; and thus we sleep soundly through the heavy afternoon hours.

The siesta over, we venture into the village. Through the streets are hurrying scores of men, nearly every one with a cock under his arm. They are going to the cock-pit. We follow, and soon we come to our destination.

Imagine a large bamboo building with a thatched roof, wherein hundreds of natives have gathered, for, what is to them, the supreme enjoyment of life. Around the door are one or two guards in Spanish uniform; but everything appears so decorous and orderly that it is indeed difficult to realize that we are in a gigantic gambling den. Nearly every native has with him his [166]fighting-cock, which he loves as devotedly as one of his own children, and upon which he has spent much care and interest. The “farmer,” often a Chinaman, who has secured a license from the Government to run the cock-pit, stands in the middle of the ring, around him a group of natives excited and eager.

Cock-fighting: the Supreme Enjoyment.

Cock-fighting: the Supreme Enjoyment.

Two fighting-cocks, each armed with a steel spur three or four inches long, are in the hands of their respective owners. Every eye is riveted upon the prospective contestants. The farmer, or proprietor, announces that the contest is about to begin, and from every hand dollars rain into the ring, each person staking a certain amount upon his favorite.

This done, all is breathless expectation, and at the word “Casada” (meaning matched), and at “Largo” (let go), the fowls are let loose.

The fight waxes hot and furious; the two cocks are as pugnacious as bull-pups. But it is soon over; for, at a well-directed thrust from the steel spur, one of the contestants lies dead. [167]

The crier now announces the name of the winner, and all the winners come down into the middle of the ring and pick up their own stakes, as well as the amount won by the wager.

Strangers often remark how unusual it is that amid so much confusion, and where there is apparently boundless opportunity for cheating, there should be so much honesty and good faith.

However, every man is to be trusted. I have never known but one exception—he was instantly hacked to pieces with knives. There are over a hundred of these gambling pits around Manila. It is the natives’ greatest diversion. Opposition to this sport would almost create a rebellion; and so the Spanish Government wisely makes the best of it, pocketing almost a million dollars a year from the licenses.


The Evening Procession.

It is night. Against the sombre gloom of the heavens twinkle millions of stars: they too are a part of the grand illumination that is to be the climax of the whole fiesta. Again the village-green in front of the church! It is alive with the happy villagers, decked in all their finery—the men and boys in airy, colored shirts and white trousers, the women and girls in splendid skirts and brilliant chemisettes.

All are standing bareheaded. The band is discoursing sweet music, and the people stand entranced. Not a sound is heard till the tune is ended; then, on every hand, arises a decorous murmur of delight. Here comes the cura. He at once proceeds to arrange the procession, which is the event of the feast, and to which the villagers have been looking forward, with joyous anticipation, for many months. Mysterious groups are issuing from the church. These are assigned to their respective positions by the father, who, in this, as in all else, is the master of ceremonies. Let us, however, leave the crowd and move a little way up the street, where, before long, the procession is to pass.

Over the roadway, from airy arches, gaily decorated with bunting, are suspended Chinese lanterns. On the gateways to the [168]houses, on all the fences that line the street, hang little fat-pots, whose pale flicker, multiplied a thousand-fold, produces a most romantic effect, to which the lights on the arches and the many-colored illuminated lamps in the windows add a subdued splendor.

We have not long to wait; for the procession has been speedily arranged, and is already making its way up the street, the band, at the head, playing an operatic air.

Interior of the Cathedral, Where All Processions Begin and End.

Interior of the Cathedral, Where All Processions Begin and End.

Behind come the happy participants, two by two; men and women alternating. All carry torches, whose glow throws over their grave faces a gleam of soft light, that harmonizes well with the nature of the occasion.

And now comes the spangled image of some old Saint borne aloft on a litter; while a murmur of applause bursts from the admiring onlookers. From every house rockets are shot into the [169]heavens, showering on the dusky night constellations of colored stars.

Thus, Saint after Saint, martyr after martyr, is majestically borne along, till near the end of the procession appears the image of the Virgin, herself “decked with jewels bright and with glory crowned.”

Now the murmur rises to a shout of devout acclaim: the Queen of the festive night, Our Lady, passes on.

Thus, through every street, winds the brilliant procession under the lighted arches, returning finally to the village-court, whence it started. Here the priest pronounces a benediction, and with a clash of triumphant music the participants are dismissed.


The Entertainment at Home.

Again we accompany our host back to his hospitable mansion, where a generous meal has been prepared for us. We partake heartily of the good things: roast-pig, chicken, many kinds of native fruits, and rice. At the close, cigarettes are passed round,—both men and women smoking,—and we soon enter into conversation while the newer arrivals are being served.

It is our host’s grand reception night. A hundred guests have partaken of his bounty, and the veranda and the sitting-room are crowded with friends and neighbors,—invited and uninvited; all are equally welcome. Cigars and cigarettes are passed round, and now the fun begins. A girl—a wonderfully sweet and pretty creature—with glowing black eyes and long, loose black hair—advances to the centre of the room, and croons a low, plaintive air, reminiscent of unrequited love. She accompanies her music with a weird dance, impressive through its very simplicity. Gradually her tones grow louder and her movements quicker, signifying all the varying degrees of advance and refusal. Her supple body glides into a thousand graceful curves, each eloquent of beauty. Her pale olive face becomes mantled with a rich crimson tide as she lashes herself into a fury of passion. [170]She feigns anger, and, stamping her pretty feet, now in petulant disdain, now in a paroxysm of wrath, stands the incarnation of beautiful rage. It is a picture full of tragic power, of deep significance.

Square of Cervantes: Fashionable Quarter of Manila.

Square of Cervantes: Fashionable Quarter of Manila.

She is approaching the climax of her passion. Her voice is sharp and shrill as it trembles with scorn or defiance. Forward and backward her body sways with a rhythmic swing that compels the attention of every beholder. Many, in fact, accompany her every motion with the sympathetic movement of unconscious imitation: their faces mirror the feelings of the dancer.

And now a note of triumph rings out, and the singer’s face glows with an expression of ecstasy; while, bounding forward, her splendid hair trailing its waves of ebony, she seems transformed,—the apotheosis of joy. Then slowly decreasing in volume, her voice sinks to a low whisper of serene content, and, blushing modestly at the applause, she retires to give place to others.

Two young men and a girl now come forward, and a scene of [171]desperate rivalry on the part of the men, and of tantalizing coquetry on the part of the maiden, is enacted. This is by means of a series of intricate dance-movements, no less striking than original. A pretty tableau truly! And one not lacking in sentiment and in spontaneous expression. A foreigner would believe that these lithe young natives were in terrible earnest, and that they were rehearsing a passion of the heart! Such, indeed, is often the case, and many a girl has, through the license of this dance, shown her preference. Many a youth, too, has seen his hopes blasted, and his rival exalted, by a dainty pirouette.

This dance is followed by another, in which an exquisite girl and a fat young man take part. It is an Oriental rhapsody; a sort of couchee-couchee,—very suggestive and voluptuous, according to Western ideas. There are wrigglings and writhings, and clasps and embraces; all the sweet contortions of secret love, that the natives take as a matter of course, just as Europeans regard the waltz.

Dance after dance follows, and it is getting late. But another entertainment is in store for us; and so once more we venture forth into the night—en route to the village-green.


The Moro-Moro, and the Fireworks.

Here has been hastily erected a large booth, around which hundreds of natives are standing in an attitude of profound interest. A moro-moro play is going on. This is a sort of Philippine miracle-play, in which kings and queens and soldiers, and various persons with Biblical names, contend together. There is rivalry, ruin, and despair; there is death, murder, and awful retribution. It is a tumultuous tragedy; in which, too, are some subtle and refined elements, and a kind of gross humor, represented by the stage-fool and by the lads that take the female parts. There is, however, no coarseness; not a suggestion of it.

Love and religious persuasion and devotion mark the greatest number of moro-moro performances, and while some of the plays are fairly good,—not judging from too lofty a standpoint,—yet, on [172]the other hand, it is indeed amusing to note how little in this line, how thin a texture, pleases the people, bombast and fury, honeyed accents and unnecessary vicarious suffering, false and flagrant violations of dramatic art—all alike are viewed with breathless interest, and applauded, or stoically witnessed as the occasion demands. The entire play is given in the Tagal language.

A Scene from the Moro-Moro Play.

A Scene from the Moro-Moro Play.

The native spectators, indeed, enter into the action of the play with, as it were, a grim earnest; as if all their mental faculties were judging complex emotions and nice situations.

Nothing, indeed, in the native character is more remarkable than its unvarying decorum. Here the happy crowd has been standing for three hours, agape with delight, drinking in the rude splendors of tinsel potentates.

Here, too, they would be willing to stand for several hours more; but it is nearly midnight, and a sudden illumination [173]on the other side of the square announces that the time for departure is almost at hand. It is seen that the villagers have constructed a miniature castle, now ablaze with fire-works. Various designs are traced by the spreading glow, and scores of rockets shoot into the sky, dropping a shower of brilliant stars. Ever and anon, at some unusual display, a murmur of applause rises from the admiring throng. Entranced, they stay until the last rocket has been drowned in the vast ocean of Night. Then all leave as silently as they came, and the village square is soon deserted; while the lamps and lanterns are allowed to burn till their glow is quenched in the brightness of the morrow’s sun.



History of Commerce in the Philippines.

History of Commerce in the Philippines.


The Spanish Policy.

Commerce has its two forms, the extensive and the intensive; one that considers the world at large, and one that seeks to confine itself to the interests of a nation. The latter, before the nineteenth century, was everywhere the type of colonial commerce. The nations held their colonies in leading strings; cramped and crowded them in their natural growth, and so checked their development that they lost the benefit that they might have gained from a more liberal policy. Of all the nations, Spain pursued this short-sighted policy most rigidly. Not only in commerce, but in everything else, she cramped her colonies. Foreign trade was so sternly prohibited that, in her period of supremacy, she put to death any alien merchant that ventured into one of her ports. Her colonies were her cows; no one could milk them but herself; but she milked them so dry as to starve them of their natural yield.

Spain never learned the lesson that the other nations were taking to heart. In the nineteenth century her policy with her colonies was as illiberal as in the eighteenth. As a result, rebellions everywhere broke out; one by one the colonies became free, and the country whose possessions covered more than a continent at the beginning of the century, held, at the end, but a shred of her once-splendid dominion. Spain’s treatment of the [176]Philippine Islands in their commercial interests, forms a marked example of what I have previously said, and an extended account of this remarkable method of trade cannot fail to be of interest.

The Puente de España: Stone Bridge, Replacing the Old Wooden One.

The Puente de España: Stone Bridge, Replacing the Old Wooden One.

The Philippines, at first, in 1569, were too far away to be dealt with directly, and were made an appanage of the intermediate colony of Mexico, through which they were reached and controlled. The method was curious. The natives were no sooner subdued and put under Spanish governors than they were required to pay roundly in taxes and tribute to the royal treasury. All this belonged to the crown, but some of it had to be devoted to the government of the colony; and the Spanish grandees that exiled themselves to that far land, took good care to pay themselves well for the penance.

For many years the taxes were paid to the treasury wholly in colonial produce, and for many more years, partly so. This material was exchanged for Chinese wares, junks from the Celestial kingdom visiting the islands each spring, and bartering silks and diverse goods of China for the rice, hemp, and other produce of the islands, which had been collecting during the year in the royal stores at Manila.


The Treasure-galleons.

The method of dealing with the goods thus received was, to say the least, peculiar. They were done up each year in bales, always just fifteen hundred in number, and of exactly the same size and shape, for shipment to Mexico. From the first year after the formation of the colony until the year 1811, a fixed process was maintained. Every year a State-galleon left Manila for Mexico, bearing the baled Chinese goods, which represented the Philippine tribute. Every year the ship returned with a portion of the proceeds to the starting-point, this being known as the Mexican subsidy. One galleon and no more. For two centuries, and longer, this rigid system was kept up, the commerce of the islands being limited to this conveyance of tribute across the seas. Navidad was at first the Mexican port of call. [177]Then Acapulco was chosen, and for more than two hundred years the State-galleon, Naos de Acapulco, yearly came and went across the Pacific, carrying tribute for Spain. The ships employed were very different from modern commercial craft. Short of length, wide of beam, and light of draught, with high elevation in bow and stern, above water they presented something of the outline of a crescent moon. They were of about 1,500 tons burden, had four decks, and were provided with guns; for, the waters they crossed were not secure from hostile craft, and Spain not infrequently had the loss of one of her rich galleons to mourn.

Thus it continued, until the rebellion in Mexico put an end to the traffic, the last of the treasure-galleons leaving for Mexico in 1811. The last for Manila set sail in 1815. There were other reasons than the war to put an end to the old traffic. The expense had become too great and the profit too small. Spain’s finances had fallen into a lamentable state, and the Naos de Acapulco was, perforce, withdrawn. Needy politicians, who knew little about seamanship, but much about perquisites, had forced themselves into the galleon, whose commander received an annual salary of $40,000, the chief executive officer $25,000, and the quartermaster nine per cent. of the cargo, the total of which was no small sum.

It was an odd idea to restrict the commerce of a group of the richest islands of the tropic seas, to a single vessel carrying the annual tribute of the island. In fact, it was not quite so restricted. The tribute-cargo did not fill the ship. There was some space left, and the use of this was given to a few favored merchants, the Consulado, as they were called, a trading ring, each member of which must have resided a certain number of years in the Philippines, and have a fortune of at least $8,000. This surplus freight was regulated by the issue of boletas,—documents that long did duty as paper money, passing from hand to hand. The demand for space much exceeded the supply, and the right to ship on the annual galleon often went to favored hands, merchants being set aside by churchmen, officials, and others with grasping palms. [178]

Square of Cervantes, in New Manila

Square of Cervantes, in New Manila


It may be that the idea of adding to the island-trade by supplying more ships, never penetrated the thick official cuticle of Spain. At all events, the single galleon sailed back and forth year after year, until the years lengthened into centuries, and while other nations were sending their deeply-freighted craft to all the ports of the earth. It was odd and lamentable to see this pitiful travesty of commercial enterprise kept up until after the dawn of the busy nineteenth century.

The yearly value of the official cargo sent from Manila was at first limited to $250,000. But such was the demand for the goods in Mexico, that one hundred per cent. was usually realized on the sales. The return-trade was not permitted to exceed the value of the proceeds,—$500,000, in coin or stores. In this way Mexican dollars, the recognized coin of the colony, made their way thither in large quantities. They were largely absorbed by China, where they were highly welcome. A certain sum was necessary to maintain the colony. This—the royal subsidy (Real Situado)—was fixed by decree from time to time, coming out of the proceeds of the annual tribute.

In saying that the annual galleon conveyed all the commerce of the Philippines, I should have confined this statement to Western trade. There was some commerce with the East. Indian and Persian goods reached Manila in considerable quantities. The same was the case, as I have stated, with Chinese wares. But the absurd restrictions of Spain hampered this trade. No Spaniard was permitted to go to China to buy his own goods. He must wait for the Chinese junks, and content himself with what they chose to bring.

Tondo: the Ancient Quarter of Native Fishermen.

Tondo: the Ancient Quarter of Native Fishermen.

The sailing of the annual galleon took place usually in July; and the voyage occupied about five months. The route to be followed was strictly laid down, and even the vagaries of the winds were scarcely an excuse for deviating from it. As has been said, all was carefully arranged as to size and number of bales and weight of cargo. For a century and a half there was practically no competition in this trade, and everything could be officially regulated, even to the selling-price of the goods in the [181]Mexican market. The departure and arrival of the galleon at Manila formed the great events of the year. At these single dates the bars of exclusion were thrown down,—goods left, and wealth returned to, the colony; new faces appeared, and rejoicing was general. Te Deums were chanted in the churches, musicians paraded the streets, filling the air with melody, and bunting by day and illumination by night testified to the public joy.

Life was an easy affair with the merchants of Manila. Business was never a distressing occupation. One or two days in each week were Saint’s days—to be strictly kept. While the galleon was away, there was little to do except to await the Chinese junks and prepare the bales for shipment. There was no rise or fall of market-price, no need of smartness, tact, or enterprise, and only three months in the year when active labor was needed. During the remaining nine months the merchants were cut off from the world, and enjoyed life in their quiet way, with little regard to the doings of mankind.


Disasters to Spanish Commerce.

Now and then, however, a change came over the spirit of their dreams. The seas are notoriously uncertain, and ship-captains appointed by favor are not overmuch to be trusted. Disasters came. Galleons went to sea and never came to port; shattered bones lay on some inhospitable coast or found a grave on the bottom of the ocean. And as time went on, hostile ships visited the Pacific and made prizes of the rich galleons of Spain. Now the remittance from the Philippines failed to reach Mexico. Now the scores of broad dollars sent back, vanished on the seas.

Water-carriers and Fruit-vender.

Water-carriers and Fruit-vender.

The loss of the invincible Armada in 1588 put an end to Spain’s naval supremacy, and the richly-freighted American galleons often became the prey of British buccaneers. The colony of the Philippines had then just been formed, and was not disturbed until the series of Anglo-Spanish wars before 1760, when its treasure-laden galleons were frequently swept away. This was notably the case after 1743, when Admiral Anson’s [182]fleet infested the coast and became the terror of the Spanish islanders. His exploits filled Manila with consternation, and councils were held to devise some method of getting rid of him; but he set all their efforts at naught. The captured galleon Pinar put a million and a half of dollars into his treasure-chest: the Covadouga yielded him immense wealth. Spies upon high promontories watched the seas for the dreaded British ships; the people of Manila were held ready to defend the city from assault; every one was on the alert. [183]

For each lost galleon another was sent, and in some instances several galleons had to be despatched in a single year. Yet there were three or four occasions in which no galleon reached the Philippines for two or three years; while, after the capture of the Covadouga six years passed without a ship reaching the islands. The effect was disastrous: coin grew scarce, misery prevailed, the Chinese traders broke into open rebellion. There were other sources of revenue besides the Mexican subsidy, but the officials felt their incomes seriously straitened in these periods of want.


Other Nations Enter Into Competition.

Spain lost not only through war, but through peace. Her inelastic commerce invited competition, and British, Dutch, and other merchants began to cut down the great profits of the Philippine trade. These nations sent their ships to Canton, established factories, and bought goods for themselves, cutting off the Spanish monopoly of the traffic with the East. In 1731 foreign ships expended over $3,000,000 of Mexican coin in China for goods. These were smuggled into New Spain, not without help from Spaniards on shore. This proved a serious competition. The old hundred-per-cent. profit was no longer to be had. Acapulco was so beset with smugglers, whose merchandise found its way clandestinely to the city of Mexico, that, at times, buyers could not be found for the galleon-goods except at much reduced rates.


Fraud and Speculation.

Fraud now stepped in. Goods of inferior quality were sent and offered at old prices. Government inspectors were appointed at Manila to examine goods; but they filled their own pockets at the expense of the public service, and the frauds went on. Contraband goods were taken on the State-galleon itself, concealed in water-jars. The misfortunes that came to the [185]Manila merchants in consequence, were due largely to their own fault: they had “sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.”

Ancient and Present Method of Washing Clothes.

Ancient and Present Method of Washing Clothes.

There were certain public funds in Manila that offered themselves to speculative uses. These—known as the Obras Pias—were legacies left by pious persons whose interest was to be used to pay for masses for their souls. Two-thirds were to be lent at interest to traders, the remainder being held to cover losses. The Casa Misericordia was another pious fund that was lent at 40 per cent., sinking to 20 per cent. as trade grew less profitable. In the end, speculative ventures made way with much of this accumulated cash; sorely, it may be, to the misery of the poor souls in Purgatory, waiting to be prayed into Paradise.


The Merchants of Cádiz.

A new competition with Philippine commerce came into play at the beginning of the eighteenth century,—that of the merchants of Cádiz, who had grown jealous of the shipments from Manila to Mexico, which they claimed were injurious to the home-trade. Petitions were therefore sent to the King, who, in response, put a new curb on the scanty island-commerce, prohibiting trade with China in woven goods, skins, silk, and clothing, except fine linen. The imports from China were limited to fine linen, porcelain, wax, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Six months’ grace was given, after which all stocks of prohibited goods in Manila were to be burned, and all sent to Mexico to be confiscated. There was nothing strange in this decree. England was at that time practising the same restriction toward her American colonies, though she did not order any goods to be burned.


Royal Restrictions on Trade.

Decree followed decree during the ensuing years, all pointing to the same end. In 1720 it was decreed that in future two galleons might annually be sent to Mexico, but these were to be of only 500 tons, and their cargoes to be valued at $300,000, made [187]up of non-prohibited goods. Ecclesiastics and foreigners were forbidden to have anything to do with trade. In 1726 the prohibition on silks was removed, but only one galleon was permitted to cross. A protest arose from Spain against the Philippine trade in woven goods, which was declared to be ruinous to the Spanish weaving industries, particularly as the galleons took back Mexican coin instead of Spanish goods. As a result, the 1720 decree was restored in 1731, to the dismay of the Philippine merchants and the people of Mexico. For they had to pay higher prices for Spanish goods, while their coffers were drained to meet the Philippine deficit.

A Procession of Natives Carrying Fish.

A Procession of Natives Carrying Fish.

Other Royal decrees were issued from time to time, favoring or injuring trade, and all with the general effect sure to arise from interference with the natural course of commerce. Among these were enactments intended to prevent Mexican capital from being invested in the Philippines. All was done that could be to keep the islands in a state of poverty and decadence.

To mention one further example of Spanish blindness—the priests. Their meddling proved worse than that of the King. Through their influence the non-Christian Chinese were expelled from the islands in 1755, and with them went an industry that caused a deficit of $30,000 a year in the taxes. Trade grew stagnant in consequence of the loss of these active shopkeepers, and the Philippines experienced what Spain had experienced when Philip II. banished the Moorish agriculturists and artisans. In both cases this concession to bigotry threw the country into a deplorable state, and years passed before prosperity returned.



Commerce During the Present Century.

Commerce During the Present Century.


The Royal Company.

A Mestizo Merchant.

A Mestizo Merchant.

The closing of the Chinese shops in Manila and the expulsion of the Chinese merchants was the beginning of a new state of things in the islands. A joint-stock company was formed to buy clothing and staple goods for the Philippines, and sell at 30 per cent. advance. But the Spaniards lacked the keenness at bargaining that their predecessors possessed, and the company soon failed. Another company followed, under the favor of the King of Spain, who took a large block of its shares and gave it abundant privileges and monopolies. It—the Royal Company of the Philippines, fully organized in 1785—was given exclusive rights of trade, aside from the galleon trade with Acapulco. Foreign ships were not allowed to bring goods from Europe to the Philippines, though they could land Chinese and Indian goods.

There were old treaties that prohibited Spain from seeking the Pacific by the eastern route, her trade being via Cape Horn and Mexico. Charles III. quashed these treaties in favor of the Royal Company, whose ships were allowed to sail by way of the Cape of Good Hope. No one seriously objected—Spanish commerce was not worth an objection. With its large capital and its privileges the Royal Company should have flourished. But [189]it never did. Yet it benefited the Philippines, and gave a great impulse to agriculture, on which large sums of money were expended. The culture of sugar, tobacco, cotton, indigo, and pepper was much developed, and these long remained the staples of many provinces.

The company had splendid opportunities, but failed to make the most of them. It broke down the vexatious prohibition to trade with the East and with Spain, which had checked Philippine enterprise, but the dry rot of Spanish incapacity caused its decay. Influence and intrigue brought men into the company that lacked ability, but received large salaries. As a result, it lost the power to compete with experts, while the contraband trade ate into its profits, and the merchants of Manila opposed its monopolies. Finally, in 1830, its privileges were taken away, and the island-colony was opened to the trade of the world. Five years afterward the Company ceased to exist. [190]


The Restrictions Are Gradually Abolished.

Early in the nineteenth century foreigners made their way past the bars of restriction. A Mr. Butler first asked the privilege of residing in Manila, and opening up trade with Europe; but his humble petition was rejected as something monstrous,—an innovation that would put an end to the political security of the colony. Yet the needs of commerce forced Spain out of this illiberal attitude, and an American firm, Russell and Sturgis, was soon after admitted by favor of the Governor-General. Then Mr. Butler came back. Many others have since followed, and there are, to-day, about a dozen British and as many German and Swiss firms in the ports of Manila, Iloilo, and Cebú, together with firms of other nations.

The house of Russell & Sturgis was long prominent in Philippine trade. It opened up the sugar culture in the isle of Negros, invested a large amount of money in agriculture, and was long the mainspring of Philippine enterprise. But it was, in the end, victimized by the natives, to whom its capital had been largely advanced, and in 1875, to the amazement and consternation of the people, the great firm failed. For a time its failure paralyzed trade, but the minor firms it had overshadowed soon expanded, and business grew brisker than before.


Vexatious Duties on Foreign Imports.

But while foreign merchants were thus forcing their way into the Philippines, they had to contend against the peculiar Spanish ideas of commercial enterprise. The customs duties—at that time seven per cent. on goods in Spanish ships—were double that in foreign vessels. And the most vexatious regulations prevailed. Thus there was a system of levying tonnage-dues on foreign vessels in addition to duties, a cargo-ship being charged double the dues of one in ballast. If a ship in ballast should land the smallest parcel, it was at once charged the higher rate. And it is said that the officials sometimes bribed a sailor to carry [192]a small bundle on shore, to give them a pretext to make the higher charge. The story is told, that, one shipmaster, who had brought a cargo of cobble-stones to Manila, was severely fined because his cargo proved to be one stone short of the number on his manifest.

The Escolta: Looking Toward Santa Cruz.

The Escolta: Looking Toward Santa Cruz.

In 1896 the collector of customs at Manila made $82,000 in this way, all of which went into his private purse. By exactions like these the Spanish officials managed to make their positions profitable, but they drove away trade, foreign shippers avoiding Manila.


Duties Made Uniform.

In 1869 a Royal decree was passed, making all decrees uniform, abolishing export duties, and doing away with the obnoxious port-charges. Since then foreign trade has been less hampered by Spanish privilege.

To-day subsidized Spanish steamers have most of the import trade, though the export trade is done mainly by foreign vessels. These carry cargoes to Asiatic ports, discharge them, and proceed in ballast to the islands. No foreigner is permitted to own a vessel trading between Spain and any of her colonies, or between one colony and another, or doing a coast-trade from island to island. But this law is readily evaded, by foreigners giving to Spaniards the nominal ownership of their vessels. In this way a large part of the internal trade of the Philippines has fallen into foreign hands.


Spanish Opposition to Foreign Trade.

A Milkman on His Rounds.

A Milkman on His Rounds.

Despite the fact that foreign trade has forced its way into the Philippines, every step has been gained against Spanish distrust and opposition. Spain is not a mercantile nation, and its commercial ideas are centuries behind the age. Only constant pressure forced the Philippine authorities into more liberal measures, yet the island-trade remained deplorably fettered, as compared [193]with general commerce. Proposed reforms, demands to introduce modern improvements, were alike unwelcome, the Church especially resisting innovation. Useless and obstructive formalities stood in the way of trade; vexatious delays were made; and the development of the colony seems to have been the last thought in the Governor-General’s mind.

By a Royal decree, in 1844, strangers were excluded from the interior of the islands. In 1857 old decrees were used to prevent foreign establishments in the colony. In 1886 foreign trade was declared prejudicial to the “material interests of the country.”


Trade with the Natives.

The conservatism and ignorance of the natives have similarly stood in the way of commercial progress. They could not be made to understand that the change in quotations was not due to the caprice of buyers. Many of them lost by withholding goods when the quotations did not please them. Only in 1884, when the whole world was [194]affected by the crisis in the sugar trade, could they be made to perceive that quotations were quite beyond the control of the merchants.

Accustomed to deal with the Chinese, the natives have no fixed prices for their products. The Chinese understand them, and put prices on their goods that will allow for a large reduction. In the end, the native goes away contented, though the shrewd Chinaman has usually the best of the bargain. Even important mercantile houses seldom state prices, business being conducted on the shifting Asiatic scale. Foreign capitalists distrust trade with the natives, whose word usually cannot be depended upon, and employ middlemen to collect produce. These are persons born in the colony, who understand at once the business methods of the foreigner and the shifty customs of the natives. And they generally bring the opposite parties to terms.

The only real basis of wealth in the Philippines is the raw material of agriculture and the forest. Nothing has been done to foster the industrial arts, and the manufactures are insignificant, the cigar product being the principal one.


The Decline of American Trade.

From the opening of the large export trade until recently, Americans were supreme. But the failure of the great house of Russell & Sturgis made a change. Other traders rose upon their ruins, and of late years England has gained the bulk of the trade. The downfall of the Americans was completed after the outbreak of the Cuban troubles in 1895. The Spanish hatred of the Yankee was reflected in these far-off islands, and, by petty annoyances that soon became intolerable, the last American firms were crowded out.


Recent Measures and Statistics.

In 1891 a protective tariff was laid by Spain on the trade of the Philippines. This diverted to the home-country most of the traffic formerly enjoyed by England and other countries. Iron [195]goods and hardware are now furnished principally by Germany and Switzerland, but the Manchester cotton goods are supplemented by similar fabrics made in Barcelona. The imports from the United States are chiefly kerosene oil and flour.

As an indication of the growth of Philippine trade since the intrusion of foreign shippers put an end to the mediæval obstructions of Spain, some figures may be quoted:

A Village of Santa Ana

A Village of Santa Ana

In 1841 the imports of the islands aggregated in value $3,230,000, the exports, $4,370,000. In 1885 the imports had increased to $19,171,468; the exports to $24,553,686. In 1893 the imports aggregated $25,500,000; the exports $30,000,000. These figures are estimated, however, in Mexican dollars, the currency of the islands, which is at a large discount elsewhere.

In 1895 the principal exports of the Philippines were: Hemp, $14,517,000; sugar, $10,975,000; tobacco, $3,159,000; cocoanuts, [196]$356,000. This fell off greatly in 1896, on account of the increased scale of export duties, hemp declining to $7,500,000, and sugar to $10,975,000.

On August 21, 1897, a decree went into effect that imposed an extraordinary customs duty of 6 per cent. ad valorem on all merchandise imports, without regard to the country whence they came.

A Water-carrier and Customer.

A Water-carrier and Customer.

The trade of the United States with the Philippines has been steadily on the decline within recent years. In 1888 their imports from the islands were valued at $10,268,278; in 1897, at $4,383,760. The export trade has always been insignificant, as [197]compared with European countries. In 1889 it aggregated $165,903; in 1897 it was only $94,567. During the same period the exports of Spain to the islands increased from $890,000 to $7,972,583. These were principally cotton fabrics. The exports from the United States embraced mineral oil, bread stuffs, cotton goods, chemicals, iron and steel goods. Of the imports, the most important were Manila hemp and sugar; other imports include cigars, tobacco, woods, hides, shells, indigo, and coffee.


Bad Result of Spanish Rule.

The foreign trade of the Philippines has always been subject to great fluctuations, owing to insecurity under the Spanish administration, the dissatisfaction of the native population, and to the frequent insurrections. These influences have stood seriously in the way of developing the wealth of the islands. Under a new and progressive administration, there seems nothing to hinder this fertile region from becoming one of the garden spots of the earth.

The possession of the Philippines, on the other hand, has not been a bonanza for Spain. The expenses cut so deeply into the revenues that only a few hundred thousand dollars were left yearly for the Crown. The bulk of the proceeds fell into the hands of the clergy and the hidalgos sent out to rob and misgovern the islands. In addition to the revenue to the King, a few Spanish noblemen receive pensions from the islands. Among them are the Duke of Veragua and the Marquis of Barboles, both descendants of Columbus, and, as such, entitled to the consideration of the United States.

The Spanish receipts were obtained from everything that could be taxed. In truth, the people were crowded wherever possible, and kept in a state of chronic irritation. This made them ready at any time to break into rebellion.

As regards the expenditure of money raised by taxes and duties, while little came to the King, little also was spent on the islands. It was estimated that in 1897 $611,145 were expended [198]on public works. If so, the result was not visible in the Philippines. If a bridge was needed, the neighboring nations had to raise the money to build it. More money was set aside for the transportation of priests than for the building of railroads, while ten times the sum was donated to the support of the Manila Cathedral than was spent for new improvements and for public instruction. Regarding the officials, from the Governor-General down to the lowest underling, they seem to have devoted themselves industriously to robbing the people with one hand and the Government with the other, sowing a crop of hatred of the Spaniard and of Spanish rule, which had its harvest in the fierce insurrection of 1896–98.



Agriculture: The Sugar and Rice Crops.

Agriculture: The Sugar and Rice Crops.


Agriculture—The Chief Industry.

The land is the mainstay of the Philippines, and farming is the native occupation. Manufacture is a diversion to which the natives do not take kindly. The only industrial art that has made any progress is the rolling of tobacco into cigars and cigarettes. Many thousands of people are engaged in this occupation at Manila, but, otherwise, manufacture is almost at a standstill. A little cordage is made; some straw or split-bamboo hats are fashioned and shipped; in some provinces split-cane and Neto hats and straw mats are made. Iloilo yields a rough cloth,—sinamay, made from selected hemp fibre. Piña muslin, made of pure pine-leaf fibre, and husi, of mixed pine-leaf and hemp, are fabricated. Those, with a few other articles, make up the native manufactured products. They do not occupy the attention of the people, the greater part of the population getting their livelihood from the fields.

Weaving the Beautiful Piña Cloth.

Weaving the Beautiful Piña Cloth.

Plantation life is the industrial unit of the islands. The soil is divided up into plantations, large and small, according to the capital and enterprise of the planter. As a rule, the planters are of the Malay race, and the work of the fields is done by other Malays, as many as five or six hundred being employed on large plantations. The laborers live in little bamboo houses, the planters [201]furnishing them both food and clothing. The food consists of rice and fish,—very cheap provender in the Philippines,—and the clothing is of a primitive character, that costs little. Yet, at the end of the season, the laborer has usually exhausted his wages and may be in debt to the planter.

On the other hand, though the planter holds the land, he is generally obliged to borrow the capital to work it. This he obtains from a middleman, who stands between him and the great merchants, the exporters of the island-produce. The middlemen are generally mestizos. They contract for the crop in advance, on behalf of the rich exporters, from whom they obtain the money lent to the planters. This capital is lent at an interest-rate of from ten to twelve per cent. They, in turn, lend it to the planters at a considerable advance,—say, twenty to thirty, and often as much as fifty, per cent. I have heard of even one hundred per cent. being demanded. Thus the planter is ground between the upper and nether millstone,—the exporter and the middlemen. They alone make any money, the producer being normally in debt, as his laborers are likewise to him.


The Principal Products of the Colony.

The products of the islands are various, including maize, rice, cotton, coffee, tobacco, sugar-cane, the cocoanut, the abacá, or manila hemp plant, and a large number of dye-woods, medicinal, and other useful plants, such as ebony, sapan-wood, tamarind, bamboo, numerous palms, fibrous plants, etc. But I am now concerned only with the agricultural products, and shall therefore confine this chapter to a consideration of two of the more important—rice and sugar.

In former years, the few that faced the obstacles to agriculture in an unworked country succeeded in obtaining fair returns in wealth from the cultivation of the main staples. But those palmy days exist no longer: prices have declined to one-third their former level, while the wages of the laborers have risen. The buffalo, the indispensable aid of the farmer, could then be [202]obtained for one-fifth its present cost, on account of the limited demand. Trade in those days was much less than at present, but the native producers and traders occupied a sounder position, and comfort existed, where penury now prevails.

Women Employed in a Piña Shop.

Women Employed in a Piña Shop.

Of late years, hundreds have gone into agriculture with much too little capital. They hold the land, but frequently without the deeds to show for it. Hence, their property is not negotiable, and they are thrown into the hands of the money-lender, who squeezes the life-blood from the unlucky planter. As agriculture [203]yields less than thirty per cent., and this or more has to be paid in interest on capital, the contract is likely to end in the money-lender getting the land. Few of the planters succeed in saving their estate and throwing off their load of debt.


The Cultivation of Sugar-cane.

The species of sugar-cane cultivated in the Philippines (saccharum violaceum) differs from that grown in the west, but it is the same as that found throughout Malaysia and Polynesia generally. The culture and manufacture are conducted in a very slovenly fashion, consequently the sugar produced is coarse of grain and poor in quality. The yield, however, is large, and leaves, after the demands of the islands are supplied, some 250,000 tons annually for export. With proper cultivation this could be very much increased and its quality greatly improved.

The culture of the cane extends through the islands of Negros, Panay, Cebú, Luzon, and, in some measure, throughout the entire Archipelago. The yellow variety is grown in Pampanga (Luzon), the purple in Panay and Negros. The price of cane-land varies considerably, according to its facilities for drainage, transportation, and the like. Thus, in the province of Bulacan, adjoining Manila, whose soil has been exhausted by long cultivation,—the yield being but 20 tons per acre,—land is held at the high figure of $115 per acre. In the more distant province of Pampanga, land can be had for $75, though the yield per acre is 30 tons. Nueva Eciji, still farther away, and presenting difficulties of transportation, yields 35 tons to the acre, yet the land-price is little over $30. The development of an extensive railroad-system would change all this.

Natives Preparing the Ground for Sugar-cane Planting.

Natives Preparing the Ground for Sugar-cane Planting.

The high price of land in Bulacan is due mainly to sentimental considerations. The cane plantations there were laid out centuries ago, and have been held in the same families for many generations. In consequence, the natives cling to them with the strength of hereditary affection, and will part with the family estates only for fancy prices. Nature has made the soil of the Philippines so wonderfully [205]rich and fertile, that artificial fertilizers are never employed, the land being expected, year after year, and century after century, to do its duty and yield its full return. In view of these considerations, it need hardly be said that American capital and enterprise would make a remarkable change in the land.

The finest sugar-cane region is the island of Negros, in the Visaya district. This island is about equal to Porto Rico in size. The culture of the cane began there about 1850, in which year the crop was 625 tons. Not more than half its area is cultivated, from lack of capital, but it now sends to the port of Iloilo over 80,000 tons of sugar for exportation. Uncleared sugar-land there is held at $35 per acre, cleared land at $70, the average yield being estimated at 40 tons per acre on new, and 30 tons on old, estates. But the latter give sugar of much higher grade, and need less labor in handling, so that there is no loss in the value of the crop.


Methods of Manufacturing Sugar.

The process of manufacture differs in the north and the south. In Negros the cane-juice is evaporated to that point of concentration in which the molasses is incorporated with the grain. Then the liquid is placed in wooden troughs of about eight by four feet in size, and stirred with shovels until cooled sufficiently not to form a solid mass. When cold, the lumps are pounded and broken up, and the whole is packed in grass-bags for shipment. In the north the process is carried further, efforts being made to get rid of the molasses. When the boiled mass has set, the pots containing it are put over pots into which the molasses drains. If left thus for six months, twenty per cent. of the original weight will drain off. The molasses is sold to distillers to make alcohol, and there is some demand for it to mix with water for horses.

Old Fashioned Process of Drying Black Sugar.

Old Fashioned Process of Drying Black Sugar.

The Iloilo sugar generally comes to the United States, being shipped in the raw state, to be refined there. In Manila the manufacture of sugar has been more developed, and a quantity of crystal grain is produced there for export to Spain. The old method of grinding the cane, introduced by the Chinese, consists in the use [207]of two rough vertical cutting mills,—cylinders of wood being used in the south; of stone in the north. These are fitted with wooden teeth, between which the grain is crushed. Mills of this primitive kind are still in use in parts of the country, but are being superseded by iron rollers sent from England, and, like the former, revolved by buffaloes. Steam mills are also being introduced. In Negros, where foreign influence is predominant, nearly all the mills are of European make.

It may be said, further, in this connection, that the sugar-estates are generally small, not a dozen in the country yielding more than 1,000 tons of raw sugar a year. One that yields 500 tons is declared large. And the lack of transportation, too, greatly checks enterprise. In Negros there are no canals or railroads to the coast, and the annual crop needs to be painfully hauled in buffalo carts, to be loaded on schooners, for carriage to the port of Iloilo. Buffaloes on this island, five years old, bring $30. In Luzon they can be bought for half that price. The wages paid to laborers average about one and a half dollars weekly. But, in estimating the comparative comfort to be derived from this, we must consider the low price of food and clothing, and the primitive habits of the islanders.

The highest table-lands are most suitable for cane-planting, good drainage being a necessity of the situation. The shoots are planted in February, and the cane is cut in the following December or January. In the West Indies the canes are planted widely, and the ratoons, or root-stocks, last from five to twenty years, sending up new shoots annually. In the Philippines, however, the planting is renewed annually, the canes being set much closer. After cutting, the milling should be done in ten weeks, delay causing much loss in sugar. The whole process of milling and planting should be completed by the middle of March, the remainder of the year being left to the growth and culture of the crop.


The Several Systems of Labor.

In the north the co-operative principle of labor is largely employed, each tenant being provided with the necessary buffaloes [209]and implements, and attending to the cane as if it were his own. He provides the hands for cane-crushing and sugar-making, while the land-owner supplies other necessaries, and has to take the risk of typhoons, droughts, locusts, and the like. The tenants receive, as their share, from a third to a half of the crop, according to the bargain made. Nevertheless, they are generally in debt to the owner and are looked upon as his servants.

Cane-stalk Yard, Tanduay; Drying Crushed Cane for Fuel.

Cane-stalk Yard, Tanduay; Drying Crushed Cane for Fuel.

In the south the plantations are worked on the wage system. Here great vigilance is needed to keep the men properly to their tasks, overseers being employed, who have an interest in the crop. The overseer in some instances provides his own capital, and receives two-thirds of the yield as his share. In 1877 a British company, with large capital, organized, to buy the cane-juice and to extract from it highly-refined sugar. Every preparation was made, but from the first the enterprise was a failure, and the concern wound up in 1880, the stockholders suffering severely for their faith. Yet fortunes have been made in Philippine sugar, and until 1883 the crop could usually be depended on to pay a good profit to the capitalist and leave something for the borrower. The custom introduced in Europe, in 1884, of paying subsidies to the beet-root cultivator, proved ruinous to the islanders, and interest on capital is now the only return to be looked for.


The Rice Crop.

Turning now from the sugar to the rice crop, I may say that it is the staple food of the people, the crop upon which the very existence of the people depends. It is grown in every province, rice-cultivation being the only branch of agriculture that the people thoroughly understand, and into which they enter with the zest of evident enjoyment. Rice, a native plant of the East, has from time immemorial been the leading food-product of all the nations of Eastern Asia. The wild plant, from which all the cultivated varieties have been derived, is still plentiful in the marshy, tropical countries of southern Asia and northern Australia; while the people of India, China, and the islands of the ocean live very largely on [210]this nutritive grain. It is known by as many as 1,300 different local names, and it is said that Bengal alone has displayed 4,000 distinct forms of rice. These differences are in color, shape, and size, and may be all referred to a few well-marked varieties of Oryza sativa, the rice plant. In India and the Philippines rice in the husk is called paddy, and this word comes constantly into play in speaking of the cultivation of the plant.

Formerly, rice was the main crop of the Philippines; a considerable quantity being exported. Twenty years ago Sual was an important port for the shipment of rice to China. It has now declined to an insignificant village. In fact, the extension of sugar culture has so reduced that of rice, that not enough is now produced for use, and large quantities are imported from Siam, Burmah, and China. Pangasinan is still a large rice-growing province, but all its product is consumed within the country. Sugar is a much better-paying crop, its minimum profit being equal to the maximum profit on rice. Rice-planting, in fact, is not profitable, and few carry it on largely; yet, inasmuch as it is necessary for the subsistence of the populace, some degree of attention compels its culture.


Methods of Rice-cultivation.

There are over twenty different kinds of rice-paddy grown in the Philippines. These constitute two groups,—the highland rice, grown in localities where inundation cannot be used, and the lowland, with which inundation is easy. The latter, known as Macan, is of much the finer quality, the most esteemed variety being that of white grain. Paga, or highland rice, is in large proportion of red grain. Its return is but half that of the Macan rice, but only one crop of the latter can be grown annually, while usually three crops of Paga rice are raised. One difficulty in Paga rice-cultivation is the presence of a fly that sucks the flower and prevents seeding. These the planters whisk off morning and evening with a bunch of straw, tied to the end of a stick.

Native Women Hulling Rice.

Native Women Hulling Rice.

The Macan grain is sown in June, in a plot set aside for seeding, and saturated with water until it is a mass of mud. Here in six [211]weeks the plants grow to the height of a foot. They are then pulled up by the roots and transplanted in the flooded fields, in which the final growth is to be attained. Around these fields banks of earth are raised to prevent the water from flowing off. The men raise and separate the plants, and the women set them out again, one plant at a time, wading through the soft mud, in which they often sink to the knees. The process seems a tedious one, but I have often been surprised to see the rapidity with which the natives perform it. It is a process in which they are thoroughly trained, and at which they are remarkably quick. [212]

Four months more are needed for the ripening of the grain, during which the fields are kept clear of weeds, the natives wading back and forth through the mud in their task. After cutting and heaping, the paddy is made into stacks. In six weeks more the grain is separated from the straw by treading or by the use of the flail, or by causing ponies to trot over it. It may be said that there is nothing in nature more beautiful than a valley of green ripening rice in the midst of verdant hills. In the flood of rich color beneath my eyes, I have gazed upon such a scene with inexpressible delight.


Primitive Machines, and Importance of the Rice Crop.

No rice-husking, winnowing or pearling-machines are in use in the Philippines other than some small ones for domestic use. The great number of kinds of rice-paddy hinders their use on a large scale, since the mill adapted to one field would not clean the crop of another. The grain is generally husked in a large hard-wood mortar, where it is beaten with a pestle, several men and women at times working over one mortar. There is also in use a primitive wooden mill worked by buffaloes. In this a series of pins engage with each other, causing a column to lift and fall, thereby serving as a pestle as it falls. Steam and water-power have recently been brought into use in some localities.

It is said that one quinon (about seven acres) of land will yield from 250 to 300 cavans (about 96 pounds each) of rice, but the yield could be greatly increased if a system of irrigation were generally in use. At present, the dependence is largely on the rains. The yield from seed varies from 40 to 100 grains of crop to one seed, 50 grains being a good average. A family of five persons will consume about 250 pounds of rice per month. It is used in almost every native dish, and takes the place of bread. The paddy, or unhulled rice, is to feed horses, cattle, and fowls.

It may be said in conclusion, that the rice and sugar planters have many insect enemies to contend against. One of the worst is the locust, which makes its appearance at times in overwhelming [213]multitudes, and whose ravages I have elsewhere described. In some degree it replaces the food it destroys, the natives cooking and eating their foes, and in some districts, looking upon them as a luxury whose coming is worth praying for.

The average annual production of rice is a million and a half piculs, and almost a million piculs are imported.



The Hemp Plant and Its Uses.

The Hemp Plant and Its Uses.


Description of the Abacá.

First and foremost among the useful plants of the Philippines stands musa textilis, a species of plantain that grows wild in many of the islands and is the source of the well-known Manila hemp, the most valuable of all fibres for cordage. The native name for the plant is abacá. In appearance it is not easy to distinguish it from the plant of the same genus that yields us that useful and agreeable fruit, the banana. The only visible difference really is that the banana tree is taller and its leaves are of a lighter green. The most marked distinction is in the fruit, that of the abacá being small and unfit for eating.

Properly considered, the abacá, like all the plantains, is an herb, not a tree; that is, it bears flowers and fruit once only, then perishes. The root survives, however, and a new plant springs up. The abacá attains an average height of ten feet, though it sometimes grows much higher. Its favorite location is on hilly land, and it refuses to grow in swampy situations. I have often found it growing wild on mountain slopes of volcanic formation, where the little depth of soil scarcely gave it room to root.

The value of this plant lies in its leaves, the petioles, or leaf-stalks, containing a long and strong fibre, for which it is widely cultivated. Little attention is given to the plant during its three [215]years of growth. At the end of that time it sends up a central stem, upon which flowers appear. Now comes the work of the cultivator. Fruit is not permitted to appear, the flower-stem being cut away and the leaf-stalks that surround it torn into strips five or six inches wide, their length being over six feet.

Mayon Volcano, Albay: In the Hemp-producing District.

Mayon Volcano, Albay: In the Hemp-producing District.


The Process of Manufacture.

Bast, the name by which these strips are known, is made up of hemp-fibre and a soft pulpy substance enclosing it. The process of manufacture is a very simple one,—consisting in scraping this soft substance from the fibre. This work is done by the natives in a primitive fashion. Nevertheless, no one, so far, has been able to improve upon it.

The scraping instrument consists of a dull knife, which is attached by a hinge to a block of wood. To this is connected a treadle worked by the foot, by whose aid the operator scrapes the [216]fresh leaf-strips under the knife, with the degree of force that may be thought necessary. The bast is drawn along between the knife and the block, forcing out the pulp, which remains on the side of the knife, while the fibre, as it is set free, is wound by the operator round a stick of wood.

Only one further process is necessary. The fibre in its fresh state is very moist, containing about fifty-six per cent. of water. To dispose of this, it is laid in the sun to dry and left for about five hours, when it is considered ready for use. All that remains to be done, then, is to prepare it for shipment, which is done by packing tightly in bales and binding with hoops of iron or rattan.

The method of cleaning the bast, as described, has long been practised by the islanders. Many attempts have been made to improve upon it, but with no shining success. In fact, the various machines that have been devised for the removal of the pulp usually have done more harm than good. A machine that seeks to clean the whole length of a strip of bast at once, is sure to break the fibre, which is not strong enough to bear the strain. In the machines a cylinder takes the place of the hand and the stick of the operator, and those cylinders, whether of steel or of glass, are always found to discolor the fibre, and thus reduce its marketable value. The only machine I know of that avoids this defect is the invention of Don Abelardo Cuesta, a Spaniard, brought out in 1886. This yielded excellent results, but required so many hands to run it that it did not pay. The result is, nearly all the fibre that is shipped is cleaned by the old native hand-process.


Some Facts about Hemp-growing.

Hemp-growing is the least troublesome of the agricultural operations in the Philippines, and gives the best returns for the expense involved. In starting a plantation the colonist chooses forest land, clearing away the smaller growth, but leaving the large trees to shade the plants and the young shoots. Where the soil is virgin, each shoot occupies, at first, a space of ground thirty-six Spanish square feet in extent. When the original plant is felled, the suckers [217]come up anywhere, growing spontaneously from the parent root, and yielding a much denser plantation.

A Hemp Warehouse, Manila.

A Hemp Warehouse, Manila.

The abacá can be raised from seed; in which case it requires four years to flower. Planters, however, generally transplant the six-months-suckers, which, as I have said, reach maturity in three years. Maturity, for commercial purposes, signifies the flowering stage. In no case is the plant allowed to bear fruit, because fruit-bearing weakens the outer fibre.

Ample capital is necessary for success in hemp-growing, inasmuch as three years or more must pass before any profit can be had. After that, the grower can depend upon an annual yield. But even then, when he is the owner of a flourishing plantation, he has serious difficulties to contend with. The amount of waste is enormous, [218]some thirty per cent. of the fibre being lost through carelessness and negligence. The natives often cut the leaf-stalks before they reach maturity. In other cases, they fail to do so till they have rotted on the plant.

Inefficiency takes still other forms, but, despite this, there is abundant margin for gain, since no agricultural operation is conducted with less risk. The dense protecting forest-growth shields the plants from hurricanes, while the high land on which they grow is safe from inundation. Fire can make no headway among their green leaves and moist stems. Locusts will not touch the hemp plant, and beetles and other insects harm it but little. As the crop comes to maturity at successive periods, it can be leisurely gathered, from time to time, the year round. No ploughing is needed, and therefore there is no live-stock to be purchased, fed, and cared for. There is no expensive machinery, and no highly-priced machinists needed to run it. Weeding must be carefully attended to, but this is the work of the natives, and is done very cheaply. The enemies of the hemp planter are an occasional drought when his plants are in the ground, and the danger of fire to his dried bales before they reach their destination. His greatest annoyance must come from the steady thirty per cent. of what seems like unnecessary waste, due to the causes stated.


Difficulties with Native Labor.

Work on an abacá estate is performed on the co-operative plan. The laborers are paid not in money but in kind, they receiving half the fibre they clean, while the other half goes to the owner of the estate. The workman, however, is not required to take the fibre for his pay, but receives, instead, its current cash value—if not cheated, which he frequently is. The law of the Philippines, however, is cheat for cheat, the native having become quite as tricky as his master. The value of the fibre depends upon its whiteness and its strength, and both are reduced by the indolence and dishonesty of the hands. My experience with the islanders is, I admit, that they are none too fond of work. A laborer on a hemp [219]plantation, who finds himself pressed for money, is likely to take some method like the following to obtain it: he will seek an abacá plant, strip a few of its leaf-stalks, and leave them exposed to the rain and the air. As a result, the bast grows soft and rotten, and is more easily cleaned, but the fibre is weakened and discolored. In cleaning it, he uses a toothed knife,—a form forbidden by the trade, since it adds to the discoloration. As the fibre is sold by weight, the dishonest manipulator is careful to leave some of the pulp to dry upon it and so increase the number of pounds. Carrying his bundle of coarse, partly-cleaned, discolored, and weak fibre, he seeks the dealer at night, that he may be deceived as to the color of the fibre. These tricks are well known to the planter, his manager, and to the acopiadores, or dealers at large, and do not often succeed.

A Hemp Press at a Busy Hour.

A Hemp Press at a Busy Hour.


The plantation-owners make every effort to force the natives to use knives without teeth, in order that the fibre may be fine, perfectly clean, and white. The Filipino, though, if not closely watched, persists in using his serrated knife, because if he uses one with a smooth edge he loses in weight. He is too ignorant to perceive that the fibre properly treated is of higher value. It is quite possible, as is often claimed, that there is a difference in plants, some giving a whiter fibre than others. But it is generally conceded that if the natives would cut the plant only at maturity, cleanse the fibre under a toothless knife the same day, place the strips in a clean place, and sun-dry at once, the waste would be materially lessened, and there would be little third-class matter.

In other words, what the hemp-planter needs are honest, reliable hands and an efficient manager.

On some of the islands inspectors are appointed by the Governor, whose duty it is to travel about from place to place, intimidating hemp-laborers in the name of the law. But so far their efforts seem to have met with but little success, the plantations owned by foreigners being large, remote, and difficult to reach; they are, indeed, nearly always on the sides of mountains. In the extraction of the fibre the natives work in couples: one man strips the bast, another draws it under the knife. A fair week’s work for the two, including selection and felling of plants, and cleansing and drying of bast, is 2 ​1⁄7​ piculs—about 300 pounds. First-quality fibre brings in Manila $8.50 a picul, and third-quality $7.25; but while the former price remains firm, the latter falls as the poor quality increases. Nevertheless, as may be seen, the native gets good wages even for a poor quality of hemp.

The work of the laborers is by no means confined to treating the fibre, they being expected to devote some time every day to weeding the plants, and clearing out brushwood. This is part of their regular work and is not paid for extra. The baling of the fibre is done by means of a press, at which men and boys work, their rate of payment varying from 12½ to 50 cents a day. Transportation from the plantations to the shipping points, such as Manila and Cebú, is also to be considered in estimating the outlay of the planter. [221]


Tricks of the Natives.

A Chinese Hemp Merchant in Gala Attire.

A Chinese Hemp Merchant in Gala Attire.

I have not yet told all the tricks of the natives. They cheat also in the planting, by not making deep enough holes for setting out the shoots. In consequence, planters no longer pay at once for shoots and labor, as formerly, but reserve payment for three years, or until full growth is attained. Then $10 are paid for each hundred of live plants.

In addition to the large planters, many of the Filipinos produce bast in a small way, selling it to Chinese dealers. Or a Chinaman may, for a petty sum, gain the right to work a native plantation for a fixed term of years. With but one thought in mind—that of immediate gain—he strips the plants in their immature stage, producing a white but weak fibre, and returns the plantation to its owner ruined for the time being. The Chinese are, in consequence, held under suspicion, and their bast is severely inspected before purchase.

In fact, the whole process of hemp-production, from the proprietor down to the lowest laborer, seems permeated with fraud; and between efforts to cheat on the one hand, and efforts to escape being cheated on the other, life on a hemp plantation is not a state of beatitude. [222]


Competition with Other Lands.

Manila hemp never fails of a market, particularly in the United States, where it is most largely used. No other fibre known is so valuable for cordage, and the production might be greatly increased without overstocking the market. To the various frauds practised in its production may be added another employed by the manufacturers of cordage: the free adulteration of the pure Philippine fibre by the admixture of New Zealand flax and Russian hemp.

The cultivation of the plant has been attempted outside the Philippines, but with no satisfactory result. Abacá planting, it is true, was tried successfully in the botanical gardens at Saigon, Cochin China, but the experiment was abandoned, for some reason unexplained. Abacá has also been planted in British India, and flourished as well there as at Saigon, but the effort to produce hemp from it failed through ignorance of the proper method of the drawing of the fibre.

The mode of extraction tried was that practised with the ordinary hemp of India, excepting that the stems were first passed through a sugar-cane mill, to get rid of the sap. By this means fifty per cent. of the whole weight was squeezed out; the stems were then immersed in water and left to rot for ten or more days; afterward they were washed by hand and dried in the sun. Less than two pounds of fibre were thus gained from one hundred pounds of stems, and this bad in color and lacking in strength.

This method is very unlike that employed in the Philippines, and the natives of the islands need have no fear of Indian competition under such conditions. The fibre will not bear the pressure of cylinders without damage in color, while the soaking of the stems is sure to weaken it. The experiments in India failed to distinguish between the Indian hemp and Manila hemp plants, which belong to different families, and require radically different treatment.

The islands of Leyte and Marinduque, and certain districts in the large island of Luzon yield the finest quality of hemp. The province [223]of Albay, the leading hemp-district of Luzon, cannot be surpassed in quantity and quality of yield, its annual hemp-crop averaging about 20,000 tons. Before 1825 the demand was little, and the hemp-yield insignificant. Since then, the growing demand has greatly developed the culture, the crop of 1840 being about 8,500 tons, in 1880 about 50,000 tons. It has been steadily on the increase.

A Wealthy Spanish Merchant of Albay.

A Wealthy Spanish Merchant of Albay.

The United States receives the greatest proportion of this product, nearly all the remainder going to Great Britain and her Australian colonies. Manila is the principal port of shipment: the bales are sent thither from the plantations.


Experience of a Planter.

For those that desire statistics, I may repeat the statement made to me in person by an Albay planter. The plantation of this gentleman, in which he had invested a capital of $60,000, embraced 1800 [224]acres, planted at the time of purchase with shoots of two years’ growth, and therefore needing one year more before cutting. There was a store-house on the estate capable of holding 5000 piculs, or 695,000 pounds of hemp (a picul is 139 pounds). The purchase also included a bale-press and shed, a plot prepared for sun-drying, two horses, and a vehicle.

The working expenses of this plantation, including the various items of salaries to overseers, clerks, and storekeepers, wages to natives, living and traveling expenses of overseer, fire insurance, office expenses, freight to Manila, loading, commission, storage, and minor items, were $10,000. In this were included some loss by stealing, and several hundred dollars loss by waste.

In one year the planter received in Manila $27,000 for his dried bales of hemp-fibre, making a net profit of thirty per cent. on invested capital. It must be remembered, however, that in Albay province the conditions for the investor in abacá-planting are of the best. Equal results cannot be expected elsewhere.


What the Hemp Is Used For.

Manila hemp is principally used in the manufacture of mats, sail cloth, and cordage. Out of the old ropes the well-known stout brown wrapping-paper is made—the Manila paper of commerce. In Paris the imported hemp-fibre is used in the manufacture of carpets, tapestry, net-work, hammocks; and even in the making of bonnets.

The natives obtain small quantities of very fine hemp-fibre from the carefully-selected edges of the petiole, or leaf-stalk, and from this they weave an exquisite, fine, silky material, suitable for gowns. This fibre is worth twice as much as first-class cordage hemp. The difficulties with the weave lie in the fragility, and, consequently, the frequent breakages of the thread; hence the expense of the material. On one of the islands a fabric is made from fine hemp and pine-leaf fibre. This the natives endeavor to sell to foreigners for pure piña, which is as fine and soft as Bengal muslin. The fraud is detected by the lack of flexibility in the material, it [226]having a horse-hair stiffness. Any one that has ever touched a soft, silky, pine-leaf fibre handkerchief, for instance, would easily distinguish the difference.

A Bamboo-bridge in Albay.

A Bamboo-bridge in Albay.

Lastly, in enumerating the valuable qualities of manila hemp, I may state that the poorer classes of the natives of the Philippine Islands wear clothes that they manufacture from the ordinary fibre; and that even the bags in which the fresh coffee-beans are sent from the islands to foreign markets are made from the same material.

I may say, in concluding this subject, that hemp is the most important article of Philippine product, and that its production is capable of being greatly increased. The official documents that I have examined in Manila show that within the last decade the United States has received fully forty per cent. of all the hemp-product of the islands. In the ten years previous to 1898 a single firm in Boston bought 79,000 tons of hemp, paying for it an average price of 3 cents a pound in the Manila market. During this period the total export of hemp was 914,100 tons. The import to the United States during the same time averaged in value $2,400,000 a year. A liberal and progressive administration will soon increase this tenfold.



Culture and Use of Tobacco.

Culture and Use of Tobacco.


The Cultivation of Tobacco, a State Monopoly.

The seed of the tobacco plant was introduced into the Philippines from Mexico by Spanish missionaries. It is an annual, grows to the height of five or six feet, and varies greatly in flavor, not only in different provinces, but in different places in the same province. Luzon has always been more directly under the control of the Spaniards than any other part of the Archipelago. As it contains the capitol—literally the seat of Government—it is from this island that every unjust and cruel edict has proceeded since the time of the conquest. Indeed, Spain has never tried to govern more than half a dozen of the islands; and while all of the Philippines are nominally under her suzerainty, there are at least two hundred of them filled with fierce and intractable tribes—and these she has not even explored. But it is Luzon that, from first to last, has felt most heavily the weight of her iron hand. On that island, in 1781, the cultivation of tobacco was formally declared a State monopoly.

This lasted just a year and a century. The Government, after long debate on the subject, decided that, on the whole, it would be more profitable and less troublesome to demand a high license, and place the enterprise in the hands of private dealers.

A Cigar and Cigarette Factory in Manila.

A Cigar and Cigarette Factory in Manila.

The monopoly was accordingly abolished, December 31st, 1882. The natives fought against this. They had suffered horribly from [229]State regulations. They feared to suffer more from private persecution. The friars, however, the real rulers of the Philippines, decided against the monopoly; and, notwithstanding that it was the largest source of public revenue on the islands, it was abolished.


Oppressive Conditions in Luzon.

From 1781 to 1882, then, in Luzon the following conditions prevailed: First, in the Philippines natives were never allowed to own land,—the property of the State. By paying for the privilege they might receive permission to cultivate the soil. During the continuance of the monopoly, in certain districts in northern Luzon, only tobacco plants were permitted to be placed in the ground. Not one foot of his poor little plot could the native use for his own subsistence. Moreover, he was forced to contract with the Government to raise 4000 plants a year; not one leaf of which could he call his own.

Every family was bound to produce a given quantity annually; while a shortage in returns was punished with beating, fines, confiscation, or imprisonment.

In some of the districts selected the islanders were too wild and insubordinate to follow directions in the planting, the preparing, and in the drying of the leaf. Emigrants were therefore sent from the vicinity of Manila, and were provided with land, homes, food, and clothing.

Their subsequent fate was pitiable. Spies of the Government visited the native houses at all hours, in search of concealed tobacco. Every nook and corner of the little dwelling would be ransacked time and again, and the women of the family subjected to rude and insulting personal inspection.

And these harassing visits were made at disquieting intervals; sometimes two or three days in succession; so that the easy and indolent Filipino was kept in haunting terror of incursions.

At the Government headquarters of the district, the dried leaves were carefully examined by the Inspector. Those that he approved he paid for; the rest were burned. [230]

If an Indian were caught smoking one of his own cigars, within a few steps of his own airing-sheds, he was seized and fined. The offence, arrest, and conviction cost him dear: about $8.00 if he were smoking a cigar; about $2.00, if a cigarette.

A View of the Suspension Bridge, Manila: Over the Pasig River.

A View of the Suspension Bridge, Manila: Over the Pasig River.

In a country where the monotony of life is mitigated by the soothing effects of the leaf, and where men and women smoke as inevitably—and almost as naturally—as they eat, these constant and harassing exactions became maddening. The burning of the rejected bundles was felt to be especially cruel and unnecessary. But the Inspector was inexorable.

All these combined causes, and particularly the insults to women, frequently brought about bloody encounters between the people and the servants of the State.

There are numberless cases where Indians live on the land cultivated by their ancestors, and cling to it; and, in their ignorance, feel it to be their own. The Government, however, with its usual [231]treachery, finally took advantage of this attachment, and, while exacting full returns from the natives, paid them only in part, or in depreciated currency.


How Speculators Take Advantage of the Natives.

Sharpers from Manila made their way into the tobacco districts as soon as this was known, buying large sums in Treasury notes for small quantities of specie; and so needy were the natives, and so rooted their distrust of Spain, that they made the exchange eagerly, glad to get into their hands the smallest quantity of the money they were familiar with—genuine gold.

Every effort was made to confine the growth of tobacco to certain selected districts controlled by the State, but, in spite of this, concealed plantations were continually being cultivated in remote provinces, and a large body of picked men and many revenue cutters were constantly in the employ of the Government. It was their duty to discover and destroy these plantations, punish the growers, confiscate the leaf, and break up the smuggling.

But, despite these precautions and drastic measures, the initiated always knew where to obtain a good cigar for about one-fourth of what was paid for it in a Manila shop. Expedition after expedition was sent to distant islands, to discover and punish the growers and manufacturers of illicit tobacco, and stubborn fights ensued, the friars invariably being on the side of the natives.

These were the abuses and revolts that finally led to the abolition of the monopoly.

Private enterprise in the islands has its own hard ways to accomplish its own unscrupulous ends, and whether Company, individual, or Government is in power, the result is always the same—the native is cheated, suffers, is pushed to the wall.


The Quality of Manila Tobacco.

Since 1882 it is a matter of common complaint that there is not so much care taken in the preparing of the leaf: this requires great skill and unwearied attention to detail, inasmuch, as if overheated, [232]or left too long in the airing-sheds, something precious is lost in quality and in aroma.

Cuban cigars are not sold in the colony, and the old residents believe the flavor of their own tobacco incomparable. The outside world, however, gives the preference to the Cuban brand. Indeed, at one time the Government tried to introduce seed from Cuba, but, owing to mismanagement, the scheme failed. Such an inferior quality of leaf sometimes finds its way into Manila, and is sold for such low prices, that one wonders what profit there can be in cultivating it. This is, of course, worked off on the poorer natives.

The tobacco trade is still a monopoly in Spain, and the Philippines are under contract to provide the home factories with 98,000 cwt. of dried leaf per annum. Enormous fortunes are made in a short time in this product.

When the infamous Weyler was Governor-General of the Philippines, his two brothers were in this business in Binondo. They went back to Madrid in a few years, and lived like princes.

The fact remains, however, that while a very superior article of cigar and cigarette is made in the factories of Manila and its vicinity, if the colony wishes to compete with other countries, the tobacco planters must raise the standard of quality all along the line.


Methods of Preparing the Tobacco Leaf.

There are several large tobacco factories in Binondo, the trading centre of Manila; one in particular employing 15,000 men, women, and children, at an average wage of 15 cents a day. The working hours are from seven to twelve in the morning, and from two to five in the afternoon. Just at sunset, I have often seen the operatives leave this factory in droves, and thousands of them immediately plunge into the waters of Manila Bay, where they swam about in the surf, rolling, tumbling, and shouting like children.

Native Girls Making Manila Cheroots.

Native Girls Making Manila Cheroots.

I have repeatedly gone through the factories, following the leaf from bale to finish; and it is an interesting sight. Color and quality are decided by a lightning expert, and quick and thorough [234]is the whole process, till the finished cigars are packed in cedar boxes, labeled for the market. Cedar-wood seems part of the charm.

Innumerable efforts have been made to use other and less expensive woods in packing, but without avail: either the cedar conserves the aroma better, or, more likely, it adds a special quality of its own, which, through long habit, the confirmed smoker finds indispensable to his enjoyment.

Spanish Luxury in the Old Days.

Spanish Luxury in the Old Days.

The Escalante region is noted for the fine tobacco grown there, though sugar, of course, is the most important crop. The tobacco is rich-flavored, and by many experts is deemed the most desirable leaf in all the Visayas.

But it is generally agreed that the best quality of Island tobacco is that grown in the provinces of northern Luzon, the most valued coming from Cagayan and La Isabela.

Old residents invariably prefer Island tobacco; but the English, as the Americans, and the peninsular Spaniard choose, instead, the famous [235]Vuelto Abajo of Cuba, and think they get it. Millions of “Havana” cigars, made of Philippine leaf, are sold in Manila under the name of this brand. In fact, the two styles—Manila and Cuban—are manufactured in almost equal quantities, differing in size and shape, but not in quality. The expert, at the selecting table, divides his heap into many different colors. Only five, however, are known to the trade. They are: Maduro, Colorado Maduro, Colorado, Colorado Claro, and Claro.

The filling of a cigar is called tripa, or tripe; the wrapper, capa, or overcoat. From the factory I have mentioned, alone, a million and a half of cigars are shipped to Europe every month. The strong, dark brands go to Spain. England takes every kind. The lighter colors are preferred in America.

Tobacco-leaves for cigarettes are cut into thread—generally called “long cut,”—and the whole process of making is done by one machine. I have seen nine of these hard at work, each turning out 12,000 cigarettes a day, making 38,000,000 in a year.


Smoking, a Universal Habit.

Smoking goes on in the Philippines everywhere but in church—in the hotel dining-room as soon as coffee is served, and at the theatre or opera while the audience is gathering, and between the acts. Even your cab-driver will offer you a cigar, if he thinks you have none. Spanish women of wealth and rank—grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and nieces sit on the balconies of their beautiful residences in the capital, puffing away at their cigarillos,—a tiny brand made especially for feminine consumption; while in some homes men and women help themselves from the same box.

It is an incongruous sight, and one hostile to the accepted ideas of a splendid type of primitive man, to see in the depths of remote provinces native men and women, young and old, of striking physical proportions, the men nude but for the flimsy breech-clout, smoking away at cigars, cigarettes, and even pipes; and at every possible and impossible angle of incidence. [236]

For cigars and cigarettes have for many years been sold everywhere throughout the colony,—in even the remotest hamlets.

Besides, considerable stimulus has been given to the smoking habit in the wildest provinces by travelers, who, to ingratiate themselves with the half-savage natives of distant provinces, or to keep them from speculating whether one is a Spaniard or not, and thereby arousing their ire, bountifully dispense cigars and cigarettes wherever they go.

And so the dominant and absorbing habit of the Filipinos is to smoke.

Indeed, the common habit of smoking makes it possible to realize the Arabian Nights’ stories of fabulous fortunes made in the Philippines in a short time from the cultivation, preparation, and manufacture of the fragrant leaf.



The Cultivation of Coffee.

The Cultivation of Coffee.


The Origin of the Industry.

In the early part of the nineteenth century several Spaniards began the cultivation of coffee in a little valley away at the north end of Luzon. The trees they planted were the first coffee plants ever known on the island. A small wild animal, somewhat like a weasel, somewhat like a fox, began eating and scattering the growing berries, until in this way myriads of the little creatures had unwittingly sown coffee seeds over all the island.

Some of these original plants still bear fruit, thousands of pounds being gathered from the wild bushes. Plantation owners in that vicinity, the province of Batangas, have, indeed, assured me that the trees possessed by their grandfathers are still vigorous; while it is also a well-known fact that in many other coffee-producing colonies the plants are quite exhausted by the end of the thirtieth year.

Manila coffee is highly prized in Spain and her dependencies. They have, of course, nothing so rich in flavor as the Mocha bean of Arabia, but a kind, called caracolillo, that resembles it in taste and in shape. It has only one seed to the berry, while, on the other hand, all other varieties have two.

The merchants in Manila are extremely cautious in their dealings with the provincial planters, giving the preference to coffee from Cavité, Batangas, and La Laguna. In Mindanao coffee is sent to the market without being looked over, the result being a distasteful [238]compound of good and bad beans. This is sold to the unfastidious natives at very low prices, but is wholly unfit for European consumption.


Indifference of Coffee-planters.

Cavité planters—whether Spaniard or Indian—show an indifference to a dozen details that their competitors in the other provinces named are extremely particular about. They are careless in the selecting of sites for their plantations, which should be on hilly ground; careless in the choice of the soil, of the seed, in pruning, in attention to the ripe fruit; in detaching the bean from its outer coating; and, above all, in many places, careless to separate the good beans from the bad. All this is due to the inertness of the planter and to the indolence of his laborers.

District Of Taäl: In the Batangas Province.

District Of Taäl: In the Batangas Province.

And while this continues, the Philippines will never be known as one of the great coffee-producing countries of the world; though its possibilities in that direction are simply incalculable.


Speculation in Coffee.

Coffee is a good deal of a speculation in the islands. Collectors drive about paying for crops still ungathered. Moreover, if the large [239]planters do not produce enough to fill their contracts, they depend upon the small plots of the natives,—which will account for much variety in the bean, and for the occasional extremely-poor quality already spoken of. The money advanced is always gauged by the price per picul that coffee brought the year before in the Manila market.

For instance, if it then cost $12 a picul, $8 will be advanced to the planter on the crops in the ground. The collector always tries to protect himself by a pretty good margin. He occasionally loses, however. In one case, some years ago, coffee advanced to $31 a picul, and enormous fortunes were made.

Fluctuations are constantly occurring in the coffee market, owing to the peculiar nature of the transactions, as purchases are invariably made before the crop has come to fruition. But a startling rise like the one mentioned, is unprecedented in the history of the trade, and is hardly likely to occur again.


Methods of Cultivation.

A coffee-site, as I have said, should be chosen on high ground, and on the side of a hill; for the reason that, while the body of the plant requires a great degree of moisture, which is given by the heavy rains of the country, the roots, on the other hand, must be kept dry.

The ground is cleared—generally by fire—and fenced in. Like hemp, the coffee tree needs careful shading, and to insure this the next process is to plant slips of the madre cacao, in straight rows, about one Spanish yard apart. When these reach the height of three feet, the coffee-shoots are placed at intervals in the holes prepared for them, having been soaked for two or three days in water.

As the plantation becomes too thick, trees and plants are removed—care being taken, however, to preserve the symmetrical appearance of the whole, as it is imperative for the health of the tree that no coffee-shoots or branches should touch one another.

In its natural state, the tree grows to the height of twenty-five feet, but constant pruning is necessary, and the tree, when properly [240]cared for, is kept down to seven or eight feet. Returns are expected four years after planting.

The Useful Buffalo: For All Hauling-purposes.

The Useful Buffalo: For All Hauling-purposes.

There are few things more beautiful than a well-ordered coffee estate in full bloom. Straight and stately avenues cross each other in every direction. The plant has long glossy leaves, like the laurel; the blossoms are snowy-white, and in shape resemble the jasmine, and their fragrance is exquisite; while overhead the madre foliage grows dense, protecting the more delicate plant from too much sun, too pelting a storm, too wild a blast. The fruit, when ripe, is of a dark scarlet color, and the ordinary berry contains two seeds, glued together and covered with a membrane. The mocha of Arabia and the caracolillo of Manila are richer in flavor than the other varieties, and, as already stated, have but one bean, thus differing in shape from those of the ordinary berry. [241]

The neighborhood of Lipa is noted for its wealth and for many coffee estates round about. A number of the planters there have sedulously done all in their power to attain perfection in the growing, dressing, sorting, and marketing of the bean. Along their own lines, too, they have overcome obstacles, and have effected certain success. And some of the estates are beautiful and most prosperously ordered. I have driven through them and ridden over them, and have invariably admired them, and, admiring, I have marveled at the landscape-gardening effects produced on what was seemingly so commercial a basis. Ruskin’s own ideas of beauty in every-day life and in lowly occupation can not find a more delightful and satisfying illustration than in the environment in which masses of laborers delve and toil upon some of the Lipa coffee estates.

In the Philippines the coffee berries are gathered by hand from the trees,—men, women, and children assisting in the process. The fruit is then put aside in heaps, and in a few days is washed. In this way much of the pulp is detached and discarded. The remainder is placed in a mortar and pounded until the clean bean emerges, which, in the bulk, forms the coffee of commerce. This is sent, in coarse bags of hemp, to Manila for sale.

The ripe berries, when sun-dried, lose over 50 per cent. of moisture.


Harsh Methods of the Government.

The Government at Madrid, with its usual heavy, tyrannous policy, has imposed extra licenses on the planting of coffee, and laid a heavy import duty on the machinery lately introduced and used to prepare the bean for market.

The formation of the Philippine Archipelago is peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of coffee and hemp. To say it once more: Both need high altitudes, and to be grown on the sides of hills or mountains. On most of the islands a range runs north and south, rising sometimes to the height of nine thousand feet.

The laborers on a coffee estate expect to receive one-half the produce for their work in caring for the crop, which includes [242]ploughing,—something essential to the health of the tree,—cultivating, picking, and drying the fruit, and preparing the bean for transport to Manila.

The hard methods of the Government regarding the coffee bean, the difficulties of the grower in obtaining reliable assistance, and the fluctuations of the trade will probably account for the small quantity produced under Spanish auspices. The island of Negros alone is so accessible that the coffee production there ought to be enormous. In 1897 the exportation amounted to about $250,000. Under almost any other government it would have reached $3,000,000.



Betel Nut, Grain, and Fruit-Growing.

Betel Nut, Grain, and Fruit-Growing.


The Areca Palm and the Betel Nut.

Every wild country, it appears, has its favorite soporific, and in the Philippines the fruit of the areca palm is a necessity to most of the natives, just as opium is to the average East Indian, but it is far less deleterious. The manner of its use is as follows: A slice of the nut is wrapped in a buyo leaf, covered with lime, made from oyster shells, and then chewed. The whole is called betel, and the betel-eater is constantly spitting what seems arterial blood; this, together with the sanguinary appearance of his gums, teeth, and lips, makes him disgusting to contemplate.

The areca palm for its nut, and the buyo palm for its leaf, are carefully and extensively cultivated. The latter must be used fresh, and quantities of the green leaves are sold in the markets daily. The effects of betel-chewing seems to be similar to that of the coca of Peru; in moderation, the stimulus to the stomach is excellent; and in both cases it is possible to labor for hours without food, if only the native—Philippine or Peruvian—has an ample supply of his favorite drug. Temperate use of either is positively beneficial. Abuse, in both cases, produces delirium and death.

A Betel-nut Gatherer of Luzon.

A Betel-nut Gatherer of Luzon.

There are nearly one thousand warehouses and retail shops in Manila for the sale of the areca nut, or for the fresh buyo leaf and [245]lime necessary in its preparation; or for the slices wrapped and ready for immediate use. The buyo leaf is hot to the taste. When bruised and placed on the wound it is an antidote to the bite of the most venomous snakes. It is useful in cholera; and water in which the leaf has been steeped, is used by mothers as an outside application in cases of infant colic.


The Nipa Palm and Nipa Wine.

The nipa palm looks like a gigantic fern. It grows in swamps, and its leaves are deemed invaluable for the thatching of native huts. A tall grass, called cógon, is also used for this purpose. From the fruit-stalks of the nipa a wine is distilled that is a Government monopoly; and the art of manufacturing brandy from sugar-cane seems to be aboriginal. The inhabitants of the most distant islands and provinces have a patient, slow, inglorious way of making their favorite drink. The fermented juice is boiled in four-gallon jugs; the steam then escapes through bamboo pipes, is cooled, and condensed by a primitive arrangement overhead, running water passing through a hollow log,—and the liquor falls into another large stone jug. It is extremely strong and pure, and small quantities of the drink are not unhealthful. The natives of the Philippines, as I have said so often, hate to trouble themselves about anything, and are impatient of slow processes; they will, however, take infinite pains in the distillation of sugar-cane brandy. The rewards, though slow, are definite, enchanting, and, above everything else, personal.


Various Fruits of the Islands.

A Typical Native Fruit-girl.

A Typical Native Fruit-girl.

The fruits of the Philippines include many varieties well-known in American markets,—bananas, shaddocks, oranges, lemons, citrons, and pineapples. Others are the usual ones found in the tropics, and nowhere else; and none is to be compared to the apple, peach, grape, cherry, and strawberry of the temperate zone. [246]

The durian, however, is extremely luscious. It is large as a pineapple, and has a delicious white pulp. It requires a great deal of courage to open it, as the rough outside-skin has a monstrous odor of decaying flesh.

The favorite fruit is the mango. Of this, quantities are partaken daily in the season.

Guava, from which jelly is made, grows wild.

The pawpaw tree also grows wild, and is valuable to the natives. The bruised leaves exude a saponaceous liquid, that is used in the washing of clothes, and has the cleansing effect of soap. The fruit is cooling, but tasteless. It is said to contain pepsin, and is used by invalids with weak digestion.

Bananas are both wild and cultivated; seventy-seven varieties are found on the islands. The fruit is a staple article of food; and a cloth is woven from the fibre that natives make up into garments. A coarse paper is also made of it. [247]


Cereals and Vegetables.

A native cannot own land. He may hold it under certain conditions. What these are in the tobacco districts has been stated. The regulations outside these districts are as follows:—

He must plant useful trees, suitable to the soil; raise wheat, rye, maize, vegetables, cotton, pepper; maintain every species of appropriate cattle; keep fruit growing in his orchards and around his house; have at least twelve hens, one cock, and a sucking pig. Failing in these impossible conditions, the land may be confiscated at the end of two years.

The missionaries have always helped the natives to divide their farms, plan their cultivation, and garner their harvests; they introduced the useful maize and wheat, as well as melons and garden-truck—peas, beans, cucumbers, onions, and other vegetables. Potatoes are very much in demand, but, so far, have not been successfully cultivated; being literally what the Americans call “small potatoes and few in a hill.”


Cotton and Indigo-planting.

Cotton is cheaply produced, and in quantities sufficient to supply the domestic trade. There is no reason why it should not be made a matter of large foreign export.

Indigo plants grow in the wildest luxuriance throughout the Philippines. Owing to the richness of the soil but little labor is required in their cultivation, and annual returns are expected of 50 per cent. on the capital employed. There are people now living magnificently in Paris and Madrid that owe their revenues to indigo plantations in the colony; the Alvarado family, for instance, whose immense estate is on the island of Sámar, and whose income from this source is nearly $55,000 a year.

There was once a prejudice against Manila indigo among European purchasers. This, however, has been removed by improved processes and greater care on the part of growers and manufacturers. The crops are not so certain as those of hemp, tobacco, or coffee. [248]They are likely also to be injured by hurricanes and eaten by caterpillars. Nevertheless, the estate-owners seem to flourish.


The Cocoa Industry.

Cocoa and chocolate are the product of the cacao tree, introduced early in the history of the islands by missionaries from Mexico. The fruit is red in color and shaped like a large cucumber. The beans, or kernels, are arranged in regular rows through the pulp, varying in size and in number. They average twenty to the single fruit, and generally have the size, and always the appearance, of almonds, with hard skins. They are also very bitter. Whether dried in the sun or roasted in ovens, the process must be done as soon as the fruit is gathered, else the flavor of the kernel is injured. The beans are very oily, and in manufacturing cocoa much of the fat is extracted. This makes the drink more suitable for children and invalids.

“La Belle Chocolatière” of Luzon.

“La Belle Chocolatière” of Luzon.

To make chocolate, the beans are dried, the skins removed, and the mass is pounded in a mortar, then placed upon a rolling board and rolled. Quantities of sugar are added to neutralize the bitterness of the kernel, with vanilla to give the whole flavor. This makes a paste that is a great favorite with all classes of Spaniards [249]and natives, both as a confection and when made into a beverage; yet but little more of the fruit is grown on the islands than is necessary for home consumption. The dried bean is safe as an export, but the cacao tree has many enemies; and when the crop has come to ripening, in spite of threatened disease and destroying vermin, it may be ruined by a tempest in a single hour. These vicissitudes discourage the planter, who seldom tries to do more than secure enough of the cacao bean for family use. The trees are usually planted in gardens near the house, and the chocolate-paste is made at home. A small quantity of the bean is sent annually to Spain; and there is a chocolate factory in Manila for the benefit of those that do not care to trouble themselves with either the growth of the fruit or the preparation of the kernel. The oil of the cocoa is used also for lighting the houses and streets.

It is impossible to find better chocolate than that made by the friars of the Philippines. Special pains are taken with the cacao tree, which is planted in the orchards and gardens of the monasteries, and in the manufacture of the paste and in the making of the beverage. Care must be used in the selection of soil and locality; the tree must be shaded by the taller banana; the planter must be able to risk the loss of an occasional harvest, caused by vermin, disease, or tempest; and in good years the planter will get a return of 90 per cent. on his capital. The fact remains, however, that few colonists are willing to take chances in a crop, that, at the last minute, can be easily ruined.


The Traffic in Birds’ Nests.

The Philippine Islands are rich in growths that would seem strange to an American—edible birds’-nests, roots, nuts, grasses, fruits, and the like. The bird’s nest is sold in large quantities to the Chinese, who make a soup of it,—nauseous, indeed, to foreigners. It is built by a little creature resembling the swallow; is pasty-white in appearance, dotted with red spots. The nests are found high up, in almost inaccessible caves, on cliffs above the sea. Nest-gathering is an occupation by itself, very dangerous, and followed [250]by natives of only extreme hardihood and agility. The birds are robbed of their nests as soon as they are completed, and this first gathering is sold to the Chinese at enormous prices. The bird patiently builds another home, and is again despoiled. The second gathering, however, is deemed second-class in the market; and the third gathering is even more inferior. And ’tis only the approach of the rainy season that protects the bird in the laying of its eggs and in the care of its young.



Useful Woods and Plants.

Useful Woods and Plants.


The Huge Forests.

There are great forests of costly woods in the colony, mahogany, sapan-wood, log-wood, iron-wood, ebony, and cedar; beside fifty varieties not known to European markets, but eagerly sought for by merchants from China. The cedar is almost exclusively used in making cigar boxes; and I have seen beautiful knotted and polished war clubs of iron-wood used by the remoter savages in their battles with other tribes; they are as black as ebony, and nearly as hard as steel. These various woods yield logs from eighteen to seventy feet in length. The molave is especially valuable: the sea-worm cannot bore it, the white ant eat it; nor is it affected by water or by climate. It is used for the frames of vessels, and would be unsurpassed for railroad ties, being practically invulnerable.

The palma brava is used in the making of bridges, piles, and piers—wherever, in short, resistance to water is necessary.

Lanete-wood is useful in carving and in the making of musical instruments, or elsewhere where delicacy is required, as well as strength.

From sapan a rich crimson dye is extracted. This is obtained by cutting the smaller branches into little pieces and soaking them [252]in boiling water. This dye is much esteemed, but is not so permanent as that made from cochineal.

Shifting Lumber in a Forest of Tayabas.

Shifting Lumber in a Forest of Tayabas.

There are many hundreds of islands in the Philippines with thousands of miles of virgin forests, with woods suitable for ship-building, houses, cars, fittings, furniture, wharves, bolts, axe-handles, carriages, wheels, and everything else that timber is used for; besides some exquisite pink, red, yellow, and veined varieties, capable of high polish, and suitable for veneering and for dye-woods. The saps of many trees, also, give a hard, durable glaze.

Magnificent orchids abound in all parts of the Philippines. One specimen was recently sold for $500. And there are rubber trees that have hardly been worked, but have, nevertheless, a future of great importance.


The Bamboo Plant and its Uses.

The most beautiful plant in the colony is bamboo. It grows everywhere except in marshy places—on the hills, along the banks of rivers, in open spaces, and in woods. Groups of bamboos are invariably cultivated by the natives in the vicinity of their homes. [253]It has a light, feathery, tufted top, that waves in the slightest breeze and gives a spirited look to the landscape. It frequently grows to the height of fifty or sixty feet, is from five to eight inches in diameter, and strongly jointed, every joint strengthened by an inside web.

There are also many smaller kinds.

The plant is constantly propagated by the natives from young shoots; for bamboo-sticks always bring their price in Manila markets, according to size and season. There are several varieties; and the uses to which they are put are endless, the wood being tough, flexible, and elastic.

From bamboo-sticks huts, houses, and churches are made; and even roofed and thatched. For the latter, however, nipa palm and cógon grass are preferred. Bridges are constructed of them several hundred feet in length, over which a drove of elephants could safely cross; they are used in the making of furniture, walls, flooring, rafts, scaffolding, carts, baskets, vessels to contain liquid, and measures for wheat, organs, and small instruments, and every kind of household utensil used by the natives. They are used, also, for weapons, for cordage, for hats, for mats, for palings, for carrying poles, for blowers to a furnace, and for condensing-pipes in making brandy,—and for a hundred other articles of amusement or convenience.

Bamboo-leaves are eaten by horses and cattle, and its tender shoots by man. In one variety of the cane a stone is occasionally found. This the Indians believe will heal sickness. In another kind is a white substance used to allay inflammation of the eye. This disease is very common in the colony, owing to the intensity of the sun-rays.

The rattan, or calamus family, is very much like the bamboo, and its varieties are only a little less useful. One kind, the bojo, is used for much the same things that the lighter bamboo is.


The Bejuco Rope.

The bejuco, or bush rope, a rattan, is sometimes three hundred feet long; indeed, it is said to have been found on one of the [254]islands three times that length. It is used for rope, cords, or cable; to bind hemp-bags, sugar-bales, and bundles; to lash together whatever breaks down or gives way, in house, harness, carriage, cart, machinery, or package; in the city street, in the country, on the mountain, in the wilderness. The thickest bejuco is used for rafts and cables, and, in conjunction with bamboo, for the making of suspension bridges. And the delicate fibres are woven into cloth, and even made into hats and cigar cases.

Natives Transporting Lumber to the Coast.

Natives Transporting Lumber to the Coast.



The Useful Cocoanut Palm.

Cocoanut plantations are among the surest sources of revenue in the Philippines. The fruit is in demand in every market in the world—as much so as oranges and lemons; and every part of the tree can be sold. It thrives best on sandy soil, near the sea-shore, and cocoanut-groves are expected to produce a profit of $250 an acre annually.

In many provinces this palm is cultivated for the oil only, which is then used either at home or is shipped to Europe. In the European climate it is solid and is made into soap and candles. In the islands the heat reduces it to a liquid, which is used for oiling machinery, for lighting, and for cooking purposes. The nightly terror of the region is a possible impending earthquake, and so in every house or hut a tiny light burns from dark to dawn: a glass is half-filled with water; on top is poured a small quantity of cocoanut oil, and in this floats a wick, protected by a strip of tin. This arrangement has the illuminating qualities of a brilliant firefly, but in cases of illness or fright other lamps can be lighted quickly, and the panic of darkness averted.

The majority of the inhabitants use cocoanut oil from reasons of economy. The factories are small bamboo huts, and the process primitive. The nuts are first dried, then halved and scraped,—an easy process while the pulp is fresh. The mass is then pressed, to express the oil, and the refuse boiled in order to obtain what is left of the fatty substance. This is skimmed off. The whole is then packed into kegs, and is ready for the markets of Manila or Madrid. The meat of the nut is eaten as food by the natives, or made into sweets. The milk, or water, is a refreshing and harmless drink, and makes good vinegar also. The shell is carved into household utensils, and when burnt makes a valuable dye. Every part of the tree is used. The native dwells in a house made of the trunk and thatched with the leaves. From it he obtains light, fire, rope, brushes, mats, furniture, clothing, and, in fact, all the necessaries of life. In Europe and America the coir, or outer [256]covering of the cocoanut shell, is made into ropes and cocoa-matting.

Besides all this, the sap of the tree forms a delightful beverage, called tuba. Incisions are made high up in the flowering stalk, and underneath these cuts, vessels are hung to the tree, in order to catch the liquor as it falls. This is removed at sunrise and sunset, and is served fresh at the different houses. For it there is a daily demand. The dealer, too, has it for sale in the market-place.

The Young Proprietor of a Cocoanut Grove Gathering Tuba.

The Young Proprietor of a Cocoanut Grove Gathering Tuba.

A distilled wine is also made from this, called cocoa-wine. Tuba trees are never used for fruit, as the loss of the sap deprives them of their producing-power. And tuba-gathering is extremely dangerous. The natives are obliged to climb to a great height to make the incisions and gather the liquor, and a false step means certain death. [257]


Oppressive Regulations of the Government.

The Government is very jealous of foreign growers. There is a well-known case of a young Englishman that invested in a cocoanut grove, a few years ago, not far from Manila. He was ruined in a short time by taxes and exactions—on the score that he was not a native. The real reason, however, was the fear that his success would draw round him a British colony.

On the other hand, Spaniards and natives find no difficulty to obtain concessions from the Government, under promise of cultivating the land so taken. The regulations are so vague or so impossible, that they are inevitably broken. The proprietor, too, is never sure of his land: it can be forfeited by disobedience; and lawsuits are constantly going on between the individual and the State.

This condition of affairs is of course annoying to everyone concerned, yet no one ever thinks of changing the laws. To a Spaniard, what was good enough for his grandfather is quite good enough for himself.


The Early Missionaries Beneficial to the Natives.

A Wealthy Mestiza of the Upper Class.

A Wealthy Mestiza of the Upper Class.

The early missionaries from Mexico were of the greatest benefit to the Filipinos, both in the religious and in the practical affairs of life. They introduced the use of wheat and maize, taught the natives how to cultivate these articles of food, and, when ripe, how to make them into bread. But there were many stubborn prejudices to overcome; and for a long time wheat was eaten by the natives only in the holy wafer used in the sacrament of the Church.

Now, wheat-patches are common, and in many districts maize is as much a staple article of food as rice is in others, and roasted ears of corn are sold as a delicacy in the markets. There are three crops of maize grown in a year, but only for family use.

The missionaries also introduced the art of weaving, and all through the islands a primitive bamboo-loom is one of the commoner implements of the smallest hut. Here are woven fabrics [258]of cotton, silk, hemp, bamboo, and piña,—the fibre of the pineapple leaf. The merely well-to-do and poorer classes wear clothes woven of cotton, silk, and piña, or of piña and hemp, or of hemp or bamboo. But the glory of the wealthy, Spaniard or Mestizo, man or woman, are their garments of pure pineapple-leaf fibre, called jusi. This is durable and almost priceless. A small jusi handkerchief is worth $50. So delicate is the thread, that, in weaving, it is protected by gauze from the gentlest breeze. The costliness of the material, therefore, is due to the difficulties of the weaver and to the time and patience necessary to produce even a single inch.

The missionaries, as well, taught the native the arts of living; of being more comfortable in his house, and out of it; of making bricks and tiles, and of building and adorning churches. And [259]thus they stood between an exacting Government and the helpless natives, and were often the only Providence of which the latter were aware.

Herbs and medicinal plants abound in the islands. The bark of the ditá tree greatly resembles that known as Peruvian Bark, and is used by the natives to reduce fever. From it an alkaloid is extracted that is called by Manila chemists, ditaïne. Its effects are like those produced by swallowing quinine, only not so marked.

A perfume called Ylang-Ylang, is made from the flowers of a tree of that name that grows in the Philippines.

Large quantities of wax are found there, and are used in the functions of the Church. Indeed, the poor priests constantly gather candle-ends at the close of each service, and sell them to be remoulded. The small sums of money thus gained are deemed a part of their perquisites.



Mineral Wealth of the Islands.

Mineral Wealth of the Islands.


Early Search for Gold.

Mining for gold was unquestionably practiced in the Philippines long before the time of Magellan, and incredible stories were told by Spanish conquerors of the rich deposits on the islands, and of the weight and beauty of the bracelets, necklets, and anklets of pure metal worn by the natives. But the cruelty and robberies of Mexico and Peru were repeated there, and the Indians yielded their jewels and hoards to the ruthless conqueror.

Galleon after galleon sailed to Spain laden with the precious dust, and enormous rewards were bestowed upon pilot and captain that should convoy the treasure safely home. Winds, waves, and rocks were not the only enemies of the Spanish mariner, either. England has always had a hankering for the Philippines, and her fleets accordingly went out of their way many a time to despoil Spain. In his voyage round the world, Sir Francis Drake seized two prize-ships filled with island-gold, in token of whose riches one of his cruisers swaggered into the port of London with damask sails and silken cordage. And in the eighteenth century Anson’s fleet hovered for years in the neighborhood of the Philippines, a rich prize occasionally his reward. [261]


The Mining Laws and Methods of the Colony.

The mining laws of the colony are extremely liberal in character; almost any one—Spaniard, native, or foreigner—that discovers a mine, and reports it to the Government, is allowed to work it. Certain regulations exist, however, that must be strictly observed. The mine has to be worked uninterruptedly eight months of the year; no less than eight laborers shall be employed at a time; and it must be under the inspection of the Mining Department of the State.

The gold of these islands is produced by washing and digging. The tools that the natives use—a washing-board and a wooden bowl—are of great antiquity, and are invariably seen among the household utensils in the gold regions. Large deposits of gold are found in the beds of streams, and sometimes, after heavy rains, grains of the precious metal may be picked up in the streets of the small villages.

No Indian ever works systematically, or lays up anything for a possible future time of need. The tax-gatherer is at hand, and in a desultory way the native manages to get sufficient of the wherewithal to satisfy his greed. Or a holiday approaches, and there must be a few dollars to gamble away in the cock-pit. All this is done in the intervals of other work,—the planting of his own land, or the gathering of the rice-harvest for his employer. The gold lies about him, upon which he can draw at pleasure for his extra relaxations or needs. It is always there, has always been, will always be there. Why should he trouble himself further?

Mining, scientifically considered, as carried on in Europe and in America, is unknown in the Philippines. Nevertheless, from the first, so far as draining is concerned, operations have been conducted on sound engineering principles. The natives cling to ancient customs, and reject explosives of every sort, using instead the work of myriads of human hands; but they have been rewarded by obtaining thousands of ounces of gold.

A Group of Tagalogs Employed by a Mining Company.

A Group of Tagalogs Employed by a Mining Company.

For instance, in draining the mines, the shafts are filled with [263]men that bail out the water with small buckets made of palm leaf, and holding about two gallons. These are passed from hand to hand, and this seems to serve their purpose quite as well as a more modern method. To an Anglo-Saxon the slowness of the process would, of course, be intolerable. The natives wash the river-sands, or grind the alluvial deposits between stones. In the latter instance the whole mass is thrown into grates, when the metal sinks to the bottom. In the mines the rocks are broken with hammers, and the quartz pulverized between mill-stones; then dissolved. By this means the gold is separated.

The inhabitants of one province cut a basin in the top of a mountain and conducted water to it through canals of palm-leaf. As they dug, the stratifications of gold revealed themselves and the quartz was detached. In another province a hillock has been cut down to sea-level, and large quantities of paying quartz must have been obtained, as the natives never work long without reward.

Mambulao is on the island of Luzon. It means in Bicol language, “the place of gold.” Here is an abandoned mine, worked by the ancient methods. The records say that, in its time, it produced weekly sales of gold, amounting to one thousand ounces.

On the other hand, the Spaniards have conducted their mining operations without enterprise and without ingenuity, and during the last twenty-five years they have spent nearly a million and a half dollars, with results that are totally unsatisfactory.

There are several reasons for this state of affairs: The gold mines are mostly in remote provinces of the colony, and there are no practical roads. The natives that are employed—because they live in the vicinity of the mines—are half-subjected, totally uncivilized, and frequently nomadic. They accordingly resent interference with property that they deem their inalienable rights. And in this they are supported by the friars: they also dislike change.

Since 1894 the agents of the Philippines’ Mineral Syndicate—an English concern—have been vigorously exploring for gold and the other metals, and in time American capital and intelligence [264]will probably do what Spanish ignorance and inertness have failed to accomplish.


Where the Precious Metal is Found.

Till now, much of the gold found has been near the coast, and accessible. The principal districts are Mambulao, in Luzon, the islands of Cion, Mindoro, Mindanao, and Panaon, a small island north of Mindanao. It is a well-known fact that the natives in the interior of Luzon, a district only partly explored, traffic in gold. And it is believed that the mountains in the centre of the island are the sources of the alluvial deposits so freely gathered. In the districts mentioned there is not a stream—however small—that does not bear in its sands some evidence of the presence of gold; and heavy nuggets are occasionally brought in from the interior.

Another Glimpse of the Great Stone-bridge.

Another Glimpse of the Great Stone-bridge.

For the present, however, only the edges of the gold districts can be worked. The absence of roads must long prove an insuperable obstacle even to English and American capital and inventiveness. [265]To the Indians this is no obstacle at all. They march along contentedly, in single file, cutting their way with bowie-knives through dense and almost impenetrable forests, their burden the primitive instruments of their ancestors; their power lying in numbers, and in the invincible strength of the naked hand.

But modern methods require machinery, and machinery requires roads for its transportation and for bridges, and for all the costly engineering staff and outfit. The proper development of the gold districts of the islands will therefore, necessarily, be a thing of the future. English or American enterprise, if devoted to this purpose, must find its reward near the coast, and in the vicinity of harbors and navigable rivers.

So far, gold is known only in placer-deposits, and these not very rich, as compared with the golden sands of California or the gravel pits of Alaska. Personally, I know but little about these gold gravels, having seen only some of their results. They are so widely distributed, and are worked in so desultory a manner, that their actual richness is a matter of guess-work.

But, as is well known, the gold of streams comes from quartz-veins in the mountains, which have been worn away and washed down by the rains during the long ages, then carried down stream, with the mud and the gravel of the rock débris, and gradually sinking to the bottom. There may be rich rock-veins in the interior, at the head of those gold-paved water channels. But I have made no search for these mother-beds; neither have the Spanish.

Many Chinese enter the gold districts, penetrating into the most distant parts, and exchanging their wares for gold, which is sent to China in ways known to themselves alone. Paracale is a prosperous village in the interior of Luzon, and “Paracale” gold is well known in Manila on account of its shape,—the metal being melted in shells, that give it form. Every small shell bears the mark of the Chinese testing-auger; its fineness seldom exceeds sixteen carats. Paracale is near the Mambulao district, already mentioned, and is famous for its abandoned mine and for its gold-washings. [266]

La Laguna Lake: The Neighborhood of a Gold Discovery.

La Laguna Lake: The Neighborhood of a Gold Discovery.



The Whole Country a Virgin Mine.

In fact, the whole country waits in virgin richness to be exploited by a wide-awake people, and now the outcome of the land falls into the hands of the Americans. In my own mind I am convinced that gold is to be had in paying quantities for the mining, if hunted for by some of that enterprising people that have recently dug up such wealth in the frozen river-beds of the Yukon. Spain held California for centuries, and picked up not even an ounce of gold from its broad acres. The Americans, on the other hand, found it teeming with gold; and in the first year of their possession too.

The same may be said of Alaska. Russia found it hardly worth the keeping, and sold it at a low price to the United States. To-day it could not be bought back for a hundred times the price paid for it.

Such may prove to be the case with the Philippines. They wait to be exploited. Spain has held them for centuries, and knows next to nothing about them. I venture to affirm that the United States would not hold them ten years before they would be veritable mines of wealth. I am satisfied, too, that they are far richer in gold, iron, coal, and some other minerals than is suspected. But this can be proved only by a stirring people, that will cut their way through the tropical jungles, explore the hill-country from base to summit, and cover the islands with a network of rails,—the iron nerves of modern enterprise.

The country sadly needs opening up and developing. It is running over with rich possibilities. But it wants brains and hands. I know that it can be made enormously prolific if proper energy be devoted to the task.


Precious Stones and Iron.

An English engineer, in the employ of the Mineral Syndicate, told me that in some gold alluvial-deposits brought to him by the aborigines in the interior of Luzon, he had discovered small [269]stones. Subsequent investigations and tests proved them to be rubies and hyacinths. Granted. But I have never heard of precious stones outside of that district; nor do I believe they exist in any quantity there.

A Country House in Tanguet Village

A Country House in Tanguet Village

There is plenty of iron, of excellent quality, in Luzon and in the other islands. There are some deserted mines near Manila that were once worked by the Government; but they have been idle for more than a century. About the year 1750, by promises of great concessions to the State, a Spaniard named Salyado obtained possession of a large iron mine in the district of Mórong. Finding the Indians too indolent to help him, he hired Chinese. He was then attacked by the Church, on the score of employing infidel labor, and eventually he was obliged to send his workmen back to China at his own expense. He was further refused a market for his ore, because, it was said, it was the result of infidel labor. Hence, he found himself ruined. The Government thus adopted a plan to get the valuable mine into its own hands again, after which its interest ceased.

Near Angat, early in this century, two Englishmen introduced expensive machinery, and proceeded to mine for iron. They were so cheated by the natives, and received so little in return for the large sums expended, that they simultaneously committed suicide, by blowing out their brains.


Peculiar Methods of Mining Copper.

Copper is found in many parts of the Philippines, but in very small quantities. In the mountain-ranges in the centre of Luzon, however, deposits have been worked by the natives from a time long before that of the Spaniards. They soften the rocks by wood fires and then make excavations, separating the ore according to quality. Their furnaces are holes lined with clay, and they use blowers of bamboo to produce the necessary draught.

House of Native Coal Laborer of Cebú.

House of Native Coal Laborer of Cebú.

The Spaniards recently took hold of the mines, introducing the most expensive machinery and the latest methods; but they [271]failed where the natives had succeeded, and their enterprise collapsed. The Indians still work them on a small scale.

The engineers of the syndicate also found a very curious deposit of copper in one of their concessions. This consists of round or pear-shaped nuggets of the metal, with traces of both gold and silver in their composition.


Other Minerals and the Coal-fields.

The Archipelago is said to be of volcanic formation, and unlimited quantities of sulphur exist on many of the islands. Red lead, silver, and gypsum were also found, and marble, capable of a high polish.

There are extensive coal fields in Luzon and Cebú, but it is mostly of a poor quality, known by the trade as lignite. It is used in coaling steamers, but not when long voyages are to be taken. Five thousand tons per month could be procured in Cebú alone, if carriage were provided; yet nearly all the coal used is imported from Australia.

A few years ago an American vessel was wrecked on the coast of Mindoro. The captain and his men crossed to a port on the east coast, over the mountains, living for seventeen days in the woods on nuts. They reported great ledges of out-cropping coal in the hill-country, and that thousands of tons had broken off and fallen to the foot of the cliffs. The Spanish Government immediately confiscated the lands;—and that was the last of the matter.

The coal field in Luzon lies in the southern part. A lead cropping out at Gatho is from ten to twenty feet in thickness. This has proved useful for steamboat service. The coal of Cebú was first discovered in 1827. It is found on the western slopes of the island, and seemingly extends under the straits, appearing again on the eastern slopes of the neighboring island, Negros. At least five beds have been opened, which vary in quality and thickness; but exploration has not been actively conducted.

Once more: The Spanish masters of the island have done little [272]to develop its mineral resources. It is therefore impossible to say how rich it may be in coal. The find reported by the American captain lies fallow, no effort having been made even to prove its truth or to test its value. It was in the mountainous interior, and, hence, would demand railroads and other public improvements for its working, and the Spanish find it more convenient to enjoy life lazily in Manila than to disturb their easy existence by any such activity.

To those minerals mentioned I may add quicksilver, lead, sulphate, and vermilion. As yet, the veins of lead and quicksilver have yielded no results of value, and probably they possess none. But they have been discovered in many localities and may be found in others; possibly, too, of greater richness.

Perhaps the iron of the Philippines offers the best opening for enterprise. As I have said, it occurs in many sections, and is of excellent quality, pure and rich, but it was actually worked a century ago with more energy than it is to-day. It is capable of yielding great results to an enterprising people. The Philippines fell like a rich jewel into the hands of Spain, but have been left by them in their uncut state. They remain like a rough diamond, needing only the work of the lapidary—America—to show to the world their full beauty and value.



Animal Life in the Colony.

Animal Life in the Colony.


The Useful Buffalo, and Other Domestic Animals.

Among the domesticated animals of the Philippines the buffalo stands first; the delight and pride of the low-class native being in his carabao, as he designates this animal. It is easily domesticated, and is regarded with affection by its owner, being a very different animal from the wild buffalo of the Asiatic and African wilds,—one of the most savage of beasts.

At six years of age the tamed buffalo is put to work as a draught animal, and when twelve years old it remains strong enough for five years more of light labor. The buffalo is the plough-horse of the islands. The plough is a very primitive affair—a heavy stick of wood sharpened to a point at one end, with a beam attached by rattan thongs, about two feet above the point to which the buffaloes are hitched, and with a handle for the ploughman at the right end, consisting of a round bar of wood, inserted in an auger hole.

The buffalo is amphibious in habit, and if left to itself will spend a considerable part of the time in mud and water. It is capable of keeping its head under water for two minutes at a time, exploring the bottom of streams or pools for certain favorite plants. To it a daily mud-bath is one of the necessities of life. He will fling himself on his side in the mire, and shuffle round and round until he is covered to the eyes with a mortar-like substance. When he has [274]dried himself in the sun he looks like a huge clay image. This strange habit is not without its useful purpose. Millions of stinging flies swarm among the rank vegetation of his habitat, and till his mud-coat peels off the animal is impregnable to their vicious attacks.

A Buffalo in Harness: Harrowing the Soil.

A Buffalo in Harness: Harrowing the Soil.

At work in the field he has certain feathered companions,—usually five or six white herons,—that follow him and feed on the worms and insects that his heavy tread brings to the surface. A more friendly attendant is a small black bird, that hops on the back of the great creature, and cleanses its ears of the vermin that harbor there.

By the native owner the buffalo is treated with the utmost kindness, a warm affection existing between the family and their patient, [275]docile laborer. Easy to train, and slow in movement, it can be guided by a child three years old, and will move or halt with readiness at the call of any of the family. Yet, strong as it is, it cannot work for more than two hours without rest, and cannot exist at a distance from streams.

Epidemic diseases sometimes break out among these animals and destroy thousands of them. An old acquaintance of mine once lost in this way nearly the whole of his live-stock in one season. Buffaloes are not much needed in the hemp districts, where there is no ploughing done, but are very necessary on the sugar plantations. Their price varies accordingly. Wild ones, when caught young, are easily tamed and trained by kindness, which the low-class native bestows freely. Buffalo-hunting is very dangerous; for the animal in his native jungle fights to kill or be killed; therefore, only the calves are captured alive. Buffalo-meat makes excellent food, and its flesh, cut into strips, and sun-dried, is much relished by the natives.

Horses are not native to the islands. The ponies that are found there in large quantities are descended from the Andalusian horse and the Chinese mare. They are swift and strong when cared for, but are treated with horrible cruelty by the natives. These ponies, having an Arab strain, are sensitive and nervous, easily guided by kindness; whereas, on the other hand, they are infuriated by mismanagement. The native riders often first goad them to madness and then punish them viciously. This seems to arise more from a misunderstanding between the two animals than from definite cruelty on one hand and obstinacy on the other; and the contests witnessed daily in the streets of Manila are not more painful than ridiculous.

The oxen sold in Manila markets do not yield very palatable beef, being fattened on an herb that they are very fond of, but that gives to the flesh a taste the reverse of agreeable.

In fact, neither fish, flesh, nor fowl has the same taste as those of Europe and America, and newcomers to Manila have to acquire a taste for these viands. Of course they are all right with those “to the manner born.” [276]

Sheep are not indigenous to the soil, and do not thrive there, languishing and dying within a few months.

The other domestic animals include goats, dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, and the ordinary fowls. The dogs and cats are of inferior breed, a peculiarity in the cats being twisted tails. Among the viands that foreigners seem to approve, is stewed monkey, but the natives will not touch it except as a medicine, they deeming it of value in cutaneous diseases.

Grand-stand, Santa Mesa; Where the Pony Races Are Run.

Grand-stand, Santa Mesa; Where the Pony Races Are Run.


Reptiles, Bats, and Insects.

Reptiles and insects abound both in the jungles and in the villages. In the latter they are, indeed, more numerous than is agreeable to strangers. Among them are lizards, frogs, snakes, centipedes, tarantulas, spiders of great size, hornets, beetles, ants, and myriad other inmates of the minor world. The snakes while usually harmless are not always so; one species,—the manapo,—found in the [277]rice-fields, haunts the mud and the tall rice-blades; its bite is fatal if not immediately cauterized. Leeches are numerous in swamps and stagnant pools, and one tiny species, found in dense forests only, has the disagreeable habit of leaping from the trees upon passers-by, and at once beginning its blood-imbibing habit.

Boa-constrictors are the giant members of the serpent family. They are rare, and when caught are caged. Large as they are, little dread is felt of them, they being far less dangerous than the manapo, the small tenant of the rice-fields.

Bats are numerous, and some of them are of enormous size, measuring five feet from tip to tip of the wings, and with a body almost as large as a cat. One of these uncanny creatures, gone astray from its native haunts, flew into the dining-room of a Manila hotel once where I was dining. Its appearance was appalling: women shrieked and fainted, men rolled under the tables, and an earthquake could hardly have made more commotion. These huge bats are much hunted by Europeans, and their soft skins are eagerly purchased by those that are returning home.


A Field for the Sportsman.

The Philippines abound in game; deer and wild boars being plentiful; while the game-birds include pheasants, snipe, pigeons, woodcock, ducks, and other water-fowl. There are also hawks, cranes, herons, parrots, parroquets, and many species peculiar to the islands. Among the latter, we are told of a small black bird of the swallow-kind that makes its nest in the tails of wild horses,—a story more easily told than believed. Other fables concerning birds are extant, one describing the “solitary” bird, which dies when captured; one, the calayo, which has a large, transparent bill, and crows like a cock; one, the bocuit, a bird of seven colors and the sweetest of notes. There is a curious pigeon with a crimson spot on the breast, which looks like a blood-stain from a wound.

Of aquatic creatures, tortoises are of considerable commercial importance. They march in from the sea in great numbers, and the natives turn them on their backs to prevent them from escaping, [278]leaving them in this helpless state until they are ready to remove them.

Quantities of small fish are caught in the rice-paddy fields when they are flooded; and the rich Indians are fond of a curious kind of beetle found in stagnant waters, which will bring in the markets, in the season, as high as fifty cents a dozen. They eat many things that would be repulsive to a foreigner.

At the National Sport: Just Before the Contest.

At the National Sport: Just Before the Contest.

Among the lizards there is a little creature, known as the guiko, that frequents houses, and whose noise is very annoying. It is not a fair representative of the “cricket on the hearth.” It has its [279]value, however, being useful in destroying vermin. It clings with remarkable tenacity, even when dying, to the piece of timber on which it is placed, the soles of its feet seeming to be provided with suckers.

There are few scenes in nature more beautiful than a bush or tree when lighted with the brilliant fireflies that illuminate the forests at night. They seem almost to have a system of fire-telegraphy, answering, as they do, each other by a sudden glow of a delicate green hue, which gleams in quick succession from point to point of the bush.


The Locust Scourge.

The great scourge of the Philippines is the locust. It will not touch the hemp plantations, but menaces and devastates almost everything else green or growing. In 1851 the Government imported some martins from China, for the extermination of the pest. They were received by a procession of soldiers, with a band of music, and the cages containing them were carried in state to Santa Mesa, where the birds were turned loose. The severest penalties were then prescribed for any person that should kill a martin. According to latest accounts, however, the locusts still flourish.

The injury done by these pests to cultivated lands is always serious, often disastrous. Miles of ripened crops may be devoured in a single night. When the locust-army makes its descent by day, preparing to attack a planted field, the natives do their best to drive it away by dint of noise and glare, beating tin cans, rattling bamboo-choppers, waving scarlet flags. Others make a dense smoke, by setting fire to damp straw and other fuel. The insects are very sensitive to noise, and the firing of small mortars, which the natives use at feasts, is a very useful locust-dispeller.

In general appearance the locust looks like a large grasshopper; of a light reddish-brown hue in the males, and a darker brown in the females. The eggs are laid in the ground, which is pierced to the depth of an inch by the auger-like ovipositor of the female. She continues this process of egg-laying every few days, if allowed to settle. [280]Two or three weeks are necessary for the hatching. The grubs cannot be driven to flight, as their wings do not sprout for about ten days, and they set themselves diligently to work to eat their fill, making havoc in the growing crops. Though they cannot fly, they can jump, and the plan adopted to dispose of them is to form a barrier of sheet-iron at one side of the field, dig a pit before it, and set a number of men to beat up the small game around the other three sides of the field. In this way the young locusts may be driven in heaps into the pit, and there destroyed. I have seen instances where tons of these destructive pests were thus slain.

Locusts have been known to travel as far as sixty miles out to sea. It is a curious fact, that, they avoid for several years a province where large quantities of their number have been swallowed up and destroyed by an earthquake.

Aside from their destroying growing-crops, these insects are perfectly harmless; little children play with them, and older people eat them, fried locust being esteemed a great delicacy by the poor-class natives. I can vouch for one instance in which the inhabitants of a certain village offered to pay the parish priest if he would say mass for the continuance of this luxury. The scourge is thus a terror to the planter, but a boon to his poor laborers.


The Chief Nuisances: Mosquitoes and Ants.

To repeat: Among the chief nuisances in the Philippines are mosquitoes and ants. The ordinary bed is a hemp mat, without sheets, but never without ample mosquito nets, in the absence of which sleep would be banished. The white ants are indeed formidable; not like the locusts, feeding on green things growing, but destroying dry wood and vegetable fibre, wherever found. They can literally devour a house; and I have been gravely told that even the surface of iron is not safe from their ravages.

A Wayside Restaurant.

A Wayside Restaurant.

Many anecdotes are extant concerning the silent, hidden, and rapid ravages of these aggressive insects, working entirely out of sight, yet finding their way by a sure instinct to anything that will serve them for food. In one aggravating instance, happening in [282]1838, the priests of a certain town had packed away, in a trunk of narra-wood, the various articles used in the service of the mass, including the robes, priests’ garments, and so forth. The following day, March 19th, they were taken out and used, and in the evening restored to the trunk. On the 20th some dirt was seen near this receptacle, and it was opened. To the horror of all the priests, their sacred vestments had vanished; nothing was left of them but a layer of dust and the gold and silver lace, this being tarnished by a filthy deposit. Yet not an ant was to be found in the trunk, nor in any part of the church; and five days elapsed before it was discovered how they had reached their prey. It was then found that they had eaten through a beam six inches thick, making a small hole, through which they obtained access to the trunk.

A Native Servant-Girl.

A Native Servant-Girl.

Blind though they are, their other senses seem to be remarkably developed. They work from underground, never appearing at the surface, and will excavate a piece of furniture until it is a mere shell, and falls at a touch, yet not show the least vestige of a tunnel outside.

One ignorant servant-girl had lent her earnings, in hard silver dollars, to a relative, and on asking to be repaid was gravely informed [283]that the money no longer existed—the white ants had eaten it. This preposterous story was believed by the girl, who was ready to accept any marvel that the white ants were credited with.



Struggle of the Filipinos for Liberty.

Struggle of the Filipinos for Liberty.


Early Insurrections Against the Spaniards.

Many and notable have been the struggles of the Filipinos to escape the yoke of the Spanish tyrant. But in all cases European intelligence and Spanish treachery proved too strong for the simple natives, and thus, after every revolt, the chains of servitude were riveted only more firmly.

As early as 1622 there was a revolt on Bojol island, which was speedily quelled. The same year saw a great insurrection in Leyte, which was put down only after great difficulty. The leaders were all executed: some were garroted, others shot with arrows, and many burnt at the stake.

Buffalo Transporting Lumber in Pampanga.

Buffalo Transporting Lumber in Pampanga.

Despite these extreme punishments, a rising took place in Surigao, in the eastern part of Mindanao, in 1629, which lasted for three years. At last, weary of the tyranny of the church, the natives rose en masse and killed the priests. Expedition after expedition was sent from Manila; and after much loss on the Spanish side, and a vigorous resistance on the part of the rebels themselves, the rebellion was brought to an end. But the peace that followed was destined to be of short duration. In 1649 the Governor-General put into effect the odious press-law, which caused a general protest and a formidable revolt. A native, [285]Sumoroy by name, killed a priest that had grievously wronged him, and led the insurrection. The Spanish soldiers, unable to apprehend him, discovered his mother, and literally tore her to pieces. Sumoroy, goaded into a very frenzy of vengeance, pursued his enemies with merciless hate, and many fell a victim to his cruelty. He was finally betrayed by his own people and beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole and paraded through the province. Other chiefs then surrendered, on the condition of receiving a full pardon; but the Spaniards forgot their fair promises, and promptly hanged them as soon as they had them in hand. This rebellion also extended to other provinces, but was quelled by the proclamation [286]of a general amnesty. All those that took part in it, however, were, finally, executed or imprisoned.

In 1660 there was another rising in Pampanga, where the natives were forced to cut down timber without payment. In Pangasinan province Andres Malong, a native, was declared King. He advanced toward the capital with a large army, gathering reinforcements on the way, till he had with him about 40,000 men. These were met by a small but well-armed Spanish force, and were routed. Most of the chiefs were captured and hanged.

In 1744 a Jesuit parish priest, Morales, by his despotic manner and arrogance, embittered the natives of his flock. One of these, whose brother’s body was left uninterred because his family could not furnish enough money to satisfy the unjust demands of the avaricious priest, led a party of natives against him. Morales was captured and executed, and his own body left in the sun. Dagohoy then raised the standard of revolt, and was joined by many thousands of his countrymen. He and his people thus maintained their independence for thirty-five years, when they finally submitted and were pardoned. On account of the strength and the multitude of the offenders in this insurrection the Spaniards were afraid to visit upon them the customary punishment; they feared to provoke another rebellion.

In 1823 a creole, Andres Novales, conspired to seize the capital and to control the Government. He and his fellow-conspirators, however, were seized and executed.

In 1827 there was a small rebellion in Cebú, which was quelled by the friars. Another insurrection took place in Negros in 1844, when the Governor of the province was killed, because he made the natives work for his own private purpose.


The Burgos Revolt.

In 1872 the friars were again the cause of a great revolt. Dr Joseph Burgos, a prominent native, led a party that urged the exclusion of the friars from parochial incumbencies. This had been promised at the council of Trent. The night of a suburban feast [288]was the time agreed upon by the natives for the attack. The native soldiers of the garrison were also in the plot; and thus the arsenal was taken almost without a struggle, while the Europeans were now made the object of the attack. The latter rallied, however, and drove out the invaders. The arsenal was re-taken and many rebels were killed and taken prisoners. Burgos himself, with three other native priests, was apprehended and executed on the old sea-wall by the Luneta, that spot so richly sanctified by the blood of patriot-heroes.

Enterprising Sugar-refineries, Tanduay.

Enterprising Sugar-refineries, Tanduay.

Many others of the native clergy were banished. And ever since this revolt the native priests have been under suspicion, and native youths are no longer allowed to study for the priesthood. In this instance the insurgents had planned a revolutionary government, which, if successfully carried out, would have reflected great honor upon the leaders.


The Present Rebellion.

In August, 1896, the present rebellion was begun. The causes of this uprising were similar to those that caused the preceding insurrections; the arrogance and the exactions of the friars, the oppressive taxes, the licenses and numerous fees, and other extortions practised by the Government officials were again the source of much discontent among the people. The natives, furthermore, were compelled to submit to usurious loans whenever they wished to raise money to carry on the various kinds of domestic enterprise. If a native was unable to satisfy the claims against him, his property was immediately confiscated by the Government. This power of confiscation was used most effectively against the well-to-do-natives, who thus were fleeced by the officials on the slightest pretext.


The Katipunan.

Smarting under these grievances, the natives formed a secret Revolutionary League, called the Katipunan, which soon numbered [289]not less than 50,000 men. Cavité was the rebel stronghold, and from the day of its inception till the present time the rebellion has steadily grown; the barbarity and inhumanity of the Spaniards, now proverbial, have caused similar retaliations on the part of the rebels. And while this is not surprising, it is, nevertheless, surely to be deplored.

If the civilized and religious Spaniard tortured his prisoners,—by burning, smothering, disemboweling, and otherwise mutilating,—what was to be expected of the half-civilized ignorant native. He, however, displayed far more mercy and greater magnanimity than his European enemy. The Spaniards, indeed, revived all the horrors of the inquisition,—the thumbscrew, the stake, and the rack. Is it a wonder that the Filipinos, rankling with the memory of a recent outrage and an ancient wrong, sometimes inflicted the same punishments on the unfortunate Spaniards that fell into their hands?


The Black Hole of Manila.

La Bella Filipina in Troubadour Costume.

La Bella Filipina in Troubadour Costume.

For the rebels well knew that a policy of extermination had been declared against them. Was it not at a banquet in Manila that the Spanish officers made a compact to kill the savages like wild beasts in their lairs, and to show quarter to none! We yet shudder when we think of the black hole of Manila, in which one hundred prisoners were thrust one night, of whom sixty were found dead the next morning—because the one door that admitted air into the dungeon had been shut. We remember with horror, too, the executions of the rebels in Manila.

The day of an execution was made a day of jubilee, when the élite of the city came out to grace the general rejoicing. It was eagerly looked forward to, and, in honor of the great event, all the prominent houses were decked in flags and bunting—the whole city, in fact, assumed a holiday aspect.

The execution usually took place in the cool of the morning, when the Luneta would be thronged with thousands of people, who came to witness this grand vindication of the honor of Spain. Nor was the fair sex lacking in these demonstrations of loyalty. [290]Here come the victims, stolid and indifferent; behind them march the soldiers, with measured tread.

The condemned are then made to stand upon the old sea-wall, and, facing the sea, await their doom. The suspense becomes intense; a hush falls over the expectant multitude, and a succession of sharp commands falls upon the morning air. An answering click and a scattered volley of shots, and the grim figures standing mutely on the sea-wall fall headlong to the ground, many stark and stiff, others writhing in agony. Hardly have the echoes of the shots died away, when a jubilant cheer bursts from the assembled multitude. Men toss their hats into the air; and ladies, beautiful and fashionably dressed, are waving their handkerchiefs and clapping their hands in an ecstasy of enthusiasm. The band bursts into triumphal music, [291]and there is great rejoicing. But ten thousand natives go back to their homes with murder in their hearts.


The Forbearance of the Natives.

And yet, notwithstanding this severe provocation, the rebels rarely attacked non-combatants, and seldom injured private property—an example of their self-restraint and their remarkable forbearance. This, too, is seen in their refraining from molesting the only railroad in the colony, whose traffic was, of course, an advantage to the Spaniards. This railroad is owned by an English company, and this fact alone saved it from destruction.

It is also said that when the insurgents had made their plans to attack Manila, a list of all the foreigners and non-combatants was carefully prepared by their leaders. This, as may be supposed, was done so that these might be guarded from the pillage and slaughter that was sure to follow a successful assault of the thousands of infuriated natives, thirsting for the blood of their Spanish oppressors. It would also be no exaggeration to say, that the great majority of all the foreigners in the islands—Germans, English, Dutch, and Americans—were secretly in sympathy with the cause of the insurgents. And this is no cause for wonder, when one thinks of the many and various impositions that the Spanish Government and its unscrupulous officials have at every shadow of an opportunity practised upon them. The rebellion began in the province of Cavité, and was made formidable by the thousands of refugees driven away from their rude bamboo huts and tiny rice-fields by the Spaniards, come to pacify the province.


The Rebel Army.

At first, the rebels were successful; but when a large army, between 15,000 and 20,000 fresh Spanish conscripts from the Peninsula, was sent against them, they were forced to retire; and, accordingly, they entrenched themselves in the mountains near the capital. Here they built a considerable fortress, and though the greater [292]part of the troops were without arms of any kind, they were, nevertheless, made subject to the most rigid discipline. Many of them, indeed, were engaged in the attempt to make their own fire-arms, and it can readily be surmised how crude and indifferent such weapons were. Those that could not secure guns, however, armed themselves with some other weapon; and thus in the rebel army were to be seen all sorts and styles of instruments for offensive warfare, from the deadly native bolo to the large steel mowing scythe of European make. Only 1200 of the 7000 men that composed this camp possessed rifles; yet, even thus poorly equipped, for more than eighteen months they kept up a desultory but harassing war against 15,000 well-armed Spanish troops.

Foreigners at Tiffin in Manila.

Foreigners at Tiffin in Manila.

Most interesting is the manifesto of the rebel leaders. Part of this document read as follows: [293]

We make no distinction of race. We appeal to all honorable men—to all who desire national dignity. All suffer alike, Filipinos and Asiatics, Americans and Europeans. We call upon all to help a down-trodden and tormented race—to restore a country destroyed, to raise a land degraded. We welcome all—excepting not even a Spaniard; for with us are some noble Spaniards, lovers of justice, and free from prejudice, who support our demands for individuality and national honor.


The Tagal Republic Proclaimed.

The Tagal Republic was proclaimed in October, 1896, and Andreas Bonifacio was chosen President. When Bonifacio died, a few months later, Aguinaldo was elected President and commander-in-chief.

When General Primo de Rivera arrived from Spain to quell the rising insurrection, he attempted to end the insurrection by making various concessions, having been unable to do so by force. The rebel leaders were accordingly approached, and these, relying upon the fair promises of the Spaniards, made a treaty known as the Pact of Biacnabato, so named after the village where it was signed, December 14th, 1897. In this pact the following reforms are promised:

The banishment, or at least, the disbanding, of the religious orders; Philippine representation in the Cortes; the same administration of justice for the natives as for the Spaniards; unity of laws between the Philippines and Spain; the natives to share the chief offices of the Philippine civil administration; rearrangement of the property of the friars and of the taxes in favor of the natives; recognition of the individual rights of the natives, with liberty of public meeting and of the press, and a general amnesty.

In return for these concessions, Aguinaldo and the other leaders promised that if Rivera fulfilled these promised reforms, they would leave the country for three years; and that they would stir up no insurrection against the Spanish Government during this period. The rebels then laid down their arms and surrendered their forts and ammunition, and, according to other provisions of the treaty, Aguinaldo received 400,000 pesetas, which were deposited in the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Bank at Hong-Kong; not for his own personal use, but as a fund, the interest of which, if [294]the Spaniards carried out their part of the agreement, was to be devoted to the education of native youth in England.

In case the agreement was not carried out by the Spaniards, the money was to be used for arms and to renew the rebellion.


Treachery of the Spaniards.

And how did the Spaniards fulfil their part of the pact? Rivera at no time proclaimed a general amnesty; he denied the existence of the pact, and shot several leaders, who, relying on his promises, had returned to Manila. The rebellion was therefore renewed.

Only lately, Aguinaldo has again been approached by the Spanish leaders, who promised to carry out the reforms stated in the pact if he would combine with them against the Americans. The Captain-General, indeed, went so far as to create a Legislative Council, to which he appointed some of the leading men in the Tagal Republic. Aguinaldo treated his overtures with scorn; for he well knew that these fair promises would, like those made before, be broken at the first opportunity.

The most powerful political organization in the islands is the Katipunan Society, already referred to, which has a membership of 50,000. Each member of this body made a weekly contribution to the revolutionary fund. Among the Katipunans are a great many Freemasons, who are most bitter in their opposition to the friars. And not without reason; for at one time more than 3,000 Masons were imprisoned by the friars, and fettered with irons.


Dr. José Rizal and His Wife, Josephine.

The rebels were greatly encouraged by the presence in their ranks of many women, who not only incited them to battle, but often also took part themselves. Among these was Josephine Rizal, the wife of the unfortunate and lamented Dr. Rizal,—one of the leaders in this revolt.

Rizal was a native of high scientific acquirements, and had [295]considerable fame as a physician. He was also the president of the Manila University, and was deemed a leader in social and educational circles. But above all he was a patriot, and desired beyond all else the freedom of his country. He soon became the most ardent, as well as the most prominent, among the revolutionists, who looked upon him with awe. However, he was suspected, and he was exiled to Perin, on the island of Dapitan. There he performed a most difficult and successful operation on a patient,—an Irishman,—whose daughter fell violently in love with him. Rizal was similarly affected, and the lovers were soon engaged.

Dr. José Rizal, the Martyred Leader of the Present Insurrection.

Dr. José Rizal, the Martyred Leader of the Present Insurrection.

Not long after, Rizal was taken back to Manila for trial. He was condemned to death. On the morning of his execution, December 6th, 1896, his fiancée came to visit him. It was an affecting meeting—that last hour they were together. A sadder trysting-place surely could not be imagined than that damp cell, over which the glimmering light of dawn cast a sepulchral gloom.

And there, in that dreadful hour, on the brink of the grave, the unhappy pair were united. [296]

They remained together, kneeling, till the executioners came to lead the bridegroom away.

Rizal’s speech, at the place of execution, was powerful, dignified, eloquent. He spoke without a tremor, and said that he forgave his enemies, even as he himself hoped for forgiveness. He then predicted that the Spanish power would fall within the next ten years. He also asserted pride in his martyrdom, and said he was only sorry he did not have another life to offer for his country.

An Execution of Insurgent Chiefs on the Luneta.

An Execution of Insurgent Chiefs on the Luneta.


Execution of Rizal. The Philippine Joan of Arc.

At a signal from their commanding officer, the soldiers, that were drawn up back of the hero, fired a volley. Rizal fell forward on his face, pierced by seven Spanish bullets. The hero-martyr of the Philippines was dead.

His widow instantly set out for the rebel camp at Imus, where she was hailed as a modern Joan of Arc. She was made commander of a body of insurgents, armed with rifles, and she showed her ability by winning victory after victory over the Spanish troops. Her camp was at Naic—near Cavité. Since then, Mrs. Rizal has paid a visit to the United States, where she has been endeavoring to work up an agitation in behalf of her country. [297]


Rizal’s Farewell Poem.

A few hours before his death, Dr. Rizal wrote a farewell poem, entitled “Mi Ultimo Pensamiento,” the following translation of which was first given in the New York Herald:


My Last Thought.

Farewell, adored fatherland! Our Eden lost, farewell!

Farewell, O sun’s lov’d region, pearl of the Eastern sea!

Gladly I die for thy dear sake: Yea, thou knowest well

Were my sad life more radiant far than mortal tongue could tell

Yet would I give it gladly, joyously for thee.

On bloodstained fields of battle, fast locked in madd’ning strife,

Thy sons have dying blest thee, untouched by doubt or fear.

No matter wreaths of laurel; no matter where our life

Ebbs out, on scaffold, or in combat, or under torturer’s knife.

We welcome Death, if for our hearths, or for our country dear.

I die while dawn’s rich iris-hues are staining yet the sky,

Heralds of the freer day still hidden from our view

Behind the night’s dark mantle. And should the morning nigh

Need crimson, shed my heart’s blood quickly, freely, let it dye

The new-born light with th’ glory of its ensanguined hue.

My dreams when yet were ling’ring my childhood’s careless years.

My dreams, my hopes, when vigor pulsed in my youthful heart,

Were that one day, gem of the East, thine eyes, undimmed with tears,

Might darkly glow, that I might see unwrinkled, free from fears,

Thy lofty brow wherefrom for aye all blushes should depart.

Hail unto thee, dreams of my life! My dying soul doth cry

All hail to thee! And ye I hail, my aspirations deep

And ardent! Oh, how sweet it is to fall beneath thy sky,

To die that thou mayst live, and, for thy welfare high,

In thine enchanted bosom eternally to sleep!

If on my grave, midst the thick grass, thou shouldst see spring one day

A simple, humble flow’ret, Life victor over Death,

Sweet symbol of my loving soul, ah, kiss the dew away.

Approach to it thy gentle lips, that in my cold tomb I may

Feel on my brow thy tender sigh, the soft warmth of thy breath.

Let o’er my grave the placid moon shed its soft tranquil light;

Let cool dawn’s fleeting splendor shine on my resting place;

Let the deep murmur of the wind caress it in the night;

And if above my lonely cross it stay its restless flight,

’T will breathe a prayer of peace and chant a canticle of grace.

Oh, let the rain rise pure to heav’n beneath the sun’s hot rays

And carry to the throne of God my loving, last request.

Let friendly souls weep for my end, and in the after days,

On evenings clear, when o’er my tomb some gentle being prays,

Pray also thou, O Fatherland, for my eternal rest.


Pray for all those who died alone, betrayed, in wretchedness.

For those who suffered for thy sake torments and misery,

For our poor, loving mothers’ hearts, who weep in bitterness,

For widows, tortured captives, orphans in deep distress,

And pray for thy dear self that thou may’st finally be free.

And when dark night enshrouds in gloom the silent cemetery,

When but the lonely dead are left watching by the sea,

Disturb not their repose, nor dispel the mystery,

Perchance then shalt thou hear cithern or psaltery

Well tuned, ’tis I, O my dear country, ’tis I singing to thee.

And when the memory of my grave has faded from the mind,

When my tomb bears nor cross nor stone to mark where I lie dead,

Plough o’er the spot, turn up the earth, and scatter to the wind

My ashes ere they return to naught; let them go unconfined

To form thy rolling meadows and thy flower-covered glade.

No matter then, if all forget, still, still shall I be near,

Still shall I breathe thy od’rous air, still wander in thy ways.

And dwell in space, a thrilling note loud sounding in thine ear;

I shall be perfume, light and shade, sound, color, refrain clear,

Telling forever of my faith and singing thy dear praise.

Farewell, adored country! I leave my all with thee,

Beloved Filipinas, whose soil my feet have trod,

I leave with thee my life’s love deep. I go where all are free,

I go where are no tortures, where th’ oppressor’s power shall be

Destroyed, where faith kills not, where He who reigns is God.

Farewell, my parents, brothers, friends of my infancy,

Dear fragments of my heart, once to my bosom pressed

Round our lost hearth. Give thanks to God in glad tranquillity

That after day’s long, weary hours I sleep eternally.

Farewell lov’d beings, stranger sweet; to die is but to rest.


Aguinaldo Confers with Admiral Dewey.

It was in December, 1897, that hostilities in the Philippines, between the Spaniards and the rebels, ceased. Just before the recent Hispano-American war began, Aguinaldo was in Singapore, where, it is said, he entered into secret political relations with Admiral Dewey, who was then at Hong-Kong. The Spaniards having broken the conditions of the pact, Aguinaldo, of course, was at perfect liberty to renew his attempts against his old enemy.

As a result of these negotiations with the Admiral, the rebel leader offered to co-operate with the Americans in their occupation of Manila, by assailing the capital with his forces on land; he also [299]guaranteed to maintain order and discipline among the native troops, to conduct the war in a humane manner, and to prevent the natives from committing outrages on defenseless non-combatants. He also declared his ability to establish a responsible government on liberal principles.

Entrance of the River Pasig, Manila.

Entrance of the River Pasig, Manila.


Aguinaldo as Dictator: His Proclamations.

Upon his return to the Philippines, May 24th, Aguinaldo issued three proclamations. The first explained that he had returned as dictator because the Spaniards had not carried out their promised reforms. He had previously surrendered, he said, his arms and disbanded his army, believing that the Spaniards were sincere in their protestations and promises of reform, being led to such belief not by any consistency in the past, but by the several guarantees [301]they had given as pledges of their good faith. The reforms, however, ended where they began, on paper, and the Government seemed helpless in the hands of the friars, who, fearful of the light of truth and knowledge, placed every obstacle in the way of progress. As the great and powerful Republic, the United States, had offered protection, and were desirous that the natives might gain their longed-for liberty and their country’s independence, he had come back to resume his command of the army, and he now purposed to establish a dictatorship, with an Advisory Council, until the islands were completely pacified and won. A republican constitution could then be established and a legislature elected. To this he would hand over the command of the army.

The President of the United States and His War Cabinet.

The President of the United States and His War Cabinet.

In a second proclamation, Aguinaldo forbade all attempts at negotiations for peace, between the rebels and the Spaniards since all previous negotiations had proved but a deceptive lure to lead the insurgents to their destruction. All Spaniards, therefore, coming to parley without a flag of truce and the customary credentials, would be shot as spies. On the other hand, any native that undertook such a mission would be regarded as a traitor, and hanged, with a placard attached to his body, inscribed with the words: “Traitor to his country.”

The third proclamation shows the rebel leader’s humane intentions, and is remarkable when we reflect that it was written by one of “the cruel and bloodthirsty savages” that the Spanish soldiery had sworn to exterminate. I give this entire:

The great North American nation, a lover of true liberty, and therefore desirous of liberating our country from the tyranny and despotism to which it has been subjected by its rulers, has shown us decided disinterested protection, considering us sufficiently able and civilized to govern this unhappy shore.

In order to retain this high opinion of the never too-highly-praised and great nation of North America, we should abominate such acts as pillage and robbery of every description and acts of violence against persons and property.

To avoid international complications during the campaign, I order:—

First, lives and property of all foreigners are to be respected, including Chinese [302]and those Spaniards who neither directly nor indirectly have taken up arms against us.

Secondly, the lives and property of our enemies who lay down their arms are to be equally respected.

Thirdly, in the same way, all hospitals and all ambulances, together with the persons and effects therein, as well as their staffs, are to be respected unless they show themselves hostile.

Fourthly, those who disobey what is set forth in the three former articles, will be tried by summary court-martial and shot, if by such disobedience there has been caused assassination, fires, robbery or violence.


Triumphant Progress of the Rebels.

Dewey’s victory wonderfully increased the morale of the rebel army; while the Spaniards daily lost hope. In two weeks after landing, Aguinaldo had assembled a force of 3000 men with arms, and fought many skirmishes. He had also captured two strong batteries, and taken the whole province of Cavité. He had made sixteen hundred Spanish prisoners, and supplied his men with over 4000 rifles and with several field-guns captured from the enemy.

On May 30th the Spaniards attacked the rebels, intrenched in a strong position at Zapote. The engagement was a very severe one and lasted ten hours, the Spaniards being forced to retire with a loss of 500 killed and wounded.

The rebels, now numbering about 5000, full of enthusiasm, and well-armed, then attacked the Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Cazadores, and several companies of the Sixty-eighth and Seventy-fourth regiments. The natives in the last regiment deserted, after first killing their own officers. The Spaniards were beaten back with severe losses, and the rebels, with important reinforcements, then routed the enemy, taking many prisoners. Not long after, the capital of the province of Batangas was taken by the insurgents, and the Governor attempted to commit suicide. The Governor of the province of Malabra was also taken prisoner, and town after town, province after province, yielded to the victorious rebels, who daily grew stronger and gradually closed in on the capital. Outside, [303]in the bay, was anchored Dewey’s victorious American squadron, calmly awaiting reinforcements from home. With these he would aid Aguinaldo to prosecute the war on land.


The Spaniards Fortify Manila.

Meanwhile, the Spaniards displayed great energy in improving the defences of Manila. The moat was deepened, and all the shrubbery wherein an enemy might lurk and find cover was destroyed. For, as a last resource, the Spaniards intended to shut themselves in their grim old fortress, as if they thought to find security there, although a few ten-inch shells from the fleet would lay the whole city in ruins. Everywhere facing the bay trenches were dug, and modern 9 pounder Krupp field-pieces were mounted, and mountain batteries brought from the interior.

Andres Bonifacio: sometime Rebel President of so-called Tagal Republic.

Andres Bonifacio: sometime Rebel President of so-called Tagal Republic.

But, notwithstanding these elaborate preparations, the Spaniards were lacking in good modern ordnance and in accurate marksmanship.

Another great source of Spanish weakness was their native allies. However, these professed great loyalty to the Spaniards, asserting that they wished to fight to preserve the Catholic religion. These natives had responded to a proclamation of the Captain-General, in which he called them brothers, and appealed to them to help defend their faith from the Yankee pigs who would desecrate “the holy Catholic church.”

A few days after this proclamation, Spanish faith in these professions of loyalty was rudely shaken; for some priests were barbarously murdered by the natives. The following day, several companies of these sworn allies, armed with Mauser rifles, attacked Bacora, a small town between Cavité and Manila, and, after a few [304]hours, captured the place and drove the garrison back to the capital. In this engagement several hundred Spaniards were killed. The natives of a regiment distinguished for its loyalty, massacred their officers and joined the insurgents. It is said that the latter lost more than 2000 men; but thousands were ready to take their places, eager for an opportunity to join against the common oppressor.

It was to quell a threatened mutiny of these troops in Manila, that the friars handed over $1,000,000 of their immense hoard to the Captain-General, that he might satisfy long-standing arrears of pay. At the same time, the insurgents received some field-guns, 5000 magazine rifles, and 200,000 rounds of ammunition from Admiral Dewey; and Aguinaldo and his forces continued their victorious advance step by step, the Spaniards daily growing more discouraged.

In the latter part of June a body of United States troops landed and took possession of Cavité; and in July Aguinaldo proclaimed himself President of the Revolutionary Republic.


Sketch of Aguinaldo.

General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy is a little more than thirty years of age. He was born in Imus, a village near Cavité. His father was a planter, and the son was sent first to the College of St. Jean de Lateran, then to the University of St. Tomas in Manila. The youth’s education cost his father much privation, for the cost of pursuing a course of study at these institutions is not less than 1200 francs a year, and the elder Aguinaldo had great difficulty to make both ends meet.

At St. Jean de Lateran the student is drilled in Spanish and Latin and the classics; and when he is able to translate the masterpieces of Rome with facility, he is ready for the University of St. Tomas. This, like the College, is under the Dominicans. In the University, the principal studies are physics, metaphysics, theology, jurisprudence, law, and medicine.

Aguinaldo was adjudged a very dull student, and gave no promise of distinction. In fact, the Dominicans finally sent him [305]home in sheer despair. Aguinaldo then entered the Normal school of the Jesuits. Here he made some progress; but at this time his father died, when the youth was forced to return home to take care of his patrimony, which was threatened by the lawsuits instituted by the order of the Recollectos—an organization composed of the greatest land-proprietors of the colony. It was in 1893 that Dr. Rizal created the Philippine League, the object of which was to unite politically the various parts of the Archipelago.

Rizal was banished, but shortly afterward the order of the Katipunan was formed, which soon had more than 250,000 members. The object of this society was co-operation for the protection of the colonists.

Emilo Aguinaldo.

Emilo Aguinaldo.

The Government then fearing an alliance of this society with the Freemasons and the various secret orders hostile to Spanish rule, began to take active measures against it. Aguinaldo was suspected [306]of being one of the leaders. A Spanish officer, with a squad of native soldiers, came to arrest him. Aguinaldo, when confronted by the officer, promptly shot him, then eloquently appealed to [307]his companions to leave the service of their foreign oppressors and strike a blow for liberty.

Native Women: Their Upper Garment—Pañuelo—of Piña.

Native Women: Their Upper Garment—Pañuelo—of Piña.

The soldiers received his words with acclaim, and instantly chose him as their leader. He then sought the fastnesses of the forest, where he was soon joined by thousands of his countrymen—all flaming to join the standard of revolt.

Aguinaldo is short of stature, with a well-knit figure. He has the Japanese cast of face, and wears a black pompadour, which heightens that impression. His countenance is imperturbable; it is notable for its serious expression. During the rebellion he was in hourly fear of assassination. For, a reward of $25,000 had been offered by the Spaniards for his head; and this prize had brought into his camp a host of mercenaries, that were only seeking a convenient opportunity to gain the coveted reward.

Aguinaldo’s headquarters were in the former home of a rich native in Cavité. With him were his staff and his mother and several of his relatives. These he kept with him to secure them from Spanish vengeance.

The house is described as broad, low, and roomy. In front is a paved court; on each side a trusted number of stalwart insurgents constantly kept guard. The uniform of these soldiers was a cheap native homespun; their arms were of the crudest description; but they made up in loyalty what they lacked in training.

The General himself usually wore a spotless suit of white linen, a white shirt, with a well-polished front, a high collar and a black necktie. He wore red velvet slippers, embroidered in gold. In his office was a modern desk,—piled high with documents,—a large mirror, two large, strong, iron boxes,—which served as a safe for the moneys of the insurgent government,—and a grand piano of Spanish make. Against a hat-rack leaned the rebel standard, and on the wall hung a map of the province. This the General used to scan eagerly, tracing the movements and the disposition of his troops.

Aguinaldo was usually surrounded by various members of his staff, none of whom, however, was as impressive as himself. I [308]believe Aguinaldo to be sincere and patriotic. He is courageous, and has surely proved himself an able general.

He has unbounded influence with his countrymen, and while, as stated, $25,000 was offered for his head, no one betrayed him or attempted to make an assault upon his life.

Types of the Tagbanúa Tribe.

Types of the Tagbanúa Tribe.

He is bravery personified, and inasmuch as the Filipinos admire this above all other attributes, Aguinaldo is always at the head. He is a born leader, and has just enough tact to adopt expediencies and make compromises, yet not seem to do so.

And in so doing he, nevertheless, rarely appears to infringe upon his own original plans.

In everything he takes the initiative; in no event does he consult any one. He brooks no opposition; he has had no rivals in reality: there have been one or two would-be-ones, but they could not withstand him. He is perhaps not always scrupulous as to the attainment of his ends, yet his proclamations are wise and [309]moderate, his conduct all one would desire in even a European dictator. Moreover, few have shown themselves so modest and so merciful.

There is a tremendous magnetism about the man, and whenever he addresses his troops, he holds them with a grip that would be spellbound but for the rapt attention and for the devotion that is vociferously manifested.

The natives, too, seem to be unable, as well as unwilling, to get away from his power; and, to all appearances, he is to the islanders the man of the hour.

Of course I do not agree with him in everything he does, but, knowing his sincerity, and believing that he makes his spectacular display merely to impress the natives, and so hold their allegiance, I therefore admire him and hope that the Americans will co-operate with him to give us a stable Philippine Government.

At all events, the man’s strong personality, and his large following, cannot, I believe, well be ignored by the American Government.



Dewey at Manila.

Dewey at Manila.


The White Squadron.

It was the 19th of April. An American fleet lay in the harbor of Hong-Kong, where it had been anchored for nearly a month, impatiently awaiting the command that should send it to battle.

There was feverish expectation of war, and bustle of preparation, and Commodore Dewey nervously walked the deck; for, every moment the longed-for order was expected.

It was the 19th of April, and the White Squadron lay gleaming in the sunlight,—and yet by the night of the 20th the White Squadron was no more; for she had exchanged the snowy garb of peace for the sombre gray of war. The ships’ painters had, in this short time, given the entire fleet a significant coating of drab.

The English steamer Nanshan, with over three thousand tons of Cardiff coal, and the Steamer Zafiro, of the Manila-Hong-Kong line, carrying 7,000 tons of coal and provisions, had just been bought by the Commodore, in anticipation of a declaration of neutrality, which would preclude such purchases, and thus two more vessels were added to the fleet, Lieutenant Hutchins being made commander of the Nanshan, and Ensign Pierson of the Zafiro. The Zafiro was then made a magazine for the spare ammunition of the fleet. [311]

Hong-Kong, for strategic reasons, had been chosen as a place of rendezvous for the Asiatic Squadron.


Declaration of War, and Journey to the Philippines.

On April 25th war was declared between the United States and Spain, and, at the request of the acting-Governor of Hong-Kong, the American fleet steamed away to Mirs Bay, about thirty miles from Hong-Kong. On April 26th the revenue cutter McCulloch, which had been left at Hong-Kong, brought the desired message. It read as follows:

Dewey, Asiatic Squadron: Commence operations at once, particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture or destroy them.


“Thank God! said the Commodore. “At last we’ve got what we want. We’ll blow them off the Pacific Ocean.”

And now the fleet was headed direct for Manila, a distance of 628 miles; and, with hearts beating high with hope, the sailors cheered lustily for Old Glory and the Navy Blue.

In the squadron were the following vessels: Olympia, flagship, Captain C. V. Gridley, commanding; Boston, Captain Frank Wildes; Concord, Commander Asa Walker, and the Petrel, Commander E. P. Wood. The Raleigh, Captain J. B. Coughlan, commanding, and the Baltimore, commanded by Captain N. M. Dyer, also joined the squadron.

All these vessels were cruisers. The single armored ship in the squadron was the Olympia; and the armor—four inches thick—was around the turret guns.

In making the journey to the Philippines a speed of only eight knots was maintained; for the transport ships could not make fast headway against the rolling sea.

During this run, gun-drills and other exercises kept the men [312]busy, and every minute was employed in earnest preparation for what all knew was to come.


Luzon Sighted, and Preparations for Battle.

It was on Saturday morning, April the 30th, that Luzon was sighted, and final preparations for the battle were immediately made. Impedimenta of all kinds were thrown overboard,—chairs, tables, chests and boxes,—and the ships were stripped and made ready for action. It was intensely warm, and the most ordinary evolutions proved exhausting.

The Boston, the Concord, and the Baltimore were now sent ahead to discover whether the Spanish fleet was anywhere around.

After looking in at Bolinao Bay, these three vessels cautiously approached Subig Bay, about 30 miles from Manila. However, only a few small trading-vessels were here discovered, though it had been reported that the enemy intended to give the Americans battle there.

When the scouting ships reported that the enemy was nowhere in sight, the Commodore replied: “All right, we shall meet them in Manila Bay.” A war-council was then held on the Olympia, and the American commander told his officers that he intended to enter Manila Bay that very night.

The squadron then slowly proceeded in the direction of Manila. It was a sultry evening, and the yellow moon paved the waves with a pathway of gold, that seemed like a glorious avenue to victory.

Fearing that they might come upon the enemy at any moment, the men were posted at their guns, and, with the greatest quietness, the fleet steamed stealthily forward. The lights on all the ships were put out, save the one at the stern, and so the squadron slipped into the bay, each moment dreading a challenge from the strongly-fortified batteries that the Americans had been taught to believe were located at every point along the entrance.

The speed was now increased to eight knots; for the Commodore wished to be as far inside as possible before his presence was discovered. [313]

Through the dangerous channels, mined with death-hurling torpedoes, swept the silent squadron, grim and spectre-like. Well did the Americans know the dangers of this undertaking; and few there were that did not momentarily expect some exploding mine to hurl them into eternity.

Then Corregidor Island, with its lofty lighthouse, came within view, and the ships swept into the chief channel, known as the Boca Grande.

A Battery at the Corner of the Old Fortifications, Manila; Facing the Bay.

A Battery at the Corner of the Old Fortifications, Manila; Facing the Bay.

The Commodore, having so far failed to discover the presence of the enemy, naturally concluded that the Spanish fleet was lying at Cavité, where it would have the advantage of the protection of the forts and the shore-batteries.


The Fleet Sails by Corregidor.

And thus, with a full appreciation of the thousand and one dangers, known and unknown, that beset his path, Dewey kept straight by Corregidor. [314]

It was eleven o’clock, and the men of the fleet, which was now almost past the island, were congratulating themselves that they were undiscovered when a solitary rocket soared over the lofty lighthouse; there was an answering light from the shore, and every moment the Americans expected the boom of the Spanish guns, long primed with a deadly welcome for the “Yankee pigs.”

The narrowest part of the inlet had been passed, and still no sign that the entering fleet had been discovered. Impressive, indeed, was that long line of gloomy hulls, steering for battle, and courting destruction. The Olympia, the Baltimore, the Raleigh, the Petrel, the Concord, and the Boston, with the two transports the Nanshan and the Zapiro, convoyed by the McCulloch, on the flag-ship’s port quarter—all kept on in the same straight course, while the men on board were partaking of light refreshment. For all felt that a great day’s work was before them.

But where are the enemy? was the thought uppermost in every mind. For to the Americans themselves it seemed that they were surely making enough noise to be heard by the sentries on the shore. Doubtless they were asleep, dreaming a Spanish dream of mañana.

It was shortly past eleven o’clock, when from the smokestack of the convoy McCulloch flew a shower of sparks. A fireman had thrown open the furnace-doors and shoveled in a few pounds of soft coal.

This was evidently seen by some one on shore, for it was just fourteen minutes past eleven when a bugle sounded an alarm, and from the west came a blinding glare, a shrill whistle overhead, and the heavy boom of a cannon.


First Shot of the War.

It was the first shot of the war, and it was fired with characteristic Spanish inaccuracy.

Again the battery thundered; and then a third time, before there was a reply from the American fleet. The Raleigh, which was the third vessel in the line, was the first to speak for the American side, and then the Boston followed, with stentorian roar, and the battle [315]was on. Again the battery sent its deadly missive over the fleet, and this time the Concord, taking its aim by the flash, responded by throwing a six-inch shell into the Spanish fort. A crash and a cry and all was still. It was learned afterward that considerable damage was done by this wonderfully accurate shot, several of the Spanish gunners being killed.

The Boston and the McCulloch fired another round or two; but the forts had evidently had enough of it: they were no longer heard from.

Meanwhile, the squadron continued its course, though its speed was reduced to about three knots an hour, the Commodore not wishing to arrive at Manila before dawn.

The Spanish Fleet, as It Appeared in the Philippine Waters

The Spanish Fleet, as It Appeared in the Philippine Waters

A gray darkness hung over the harbor as the gray procession glided noiselessly in. Had a Spanish scout been on the lookout, it would scarcely have been possible for him to have distinguished his approaching enemy. A strict lookout was kept for the Spanish ships and for the dreaded torpedo boats, while most of the men lay down by their guns to get a little sleep. But with the terrible fate of the Maine vivid in their memories, the more imaginative ones conjured up a shuddering sense of insecurity in a harbor supposed to be literally planted with destructive mines. [316]


The Spanish Fleet is Sighted.

This invisible foe—and not the longed-for and expected combat with the enemy’s fleet—was feared by the brave Americans, and when the morning sun, in all his tropical splendor, rose right before the Americans, under the guns of Cavité lay the Spanish fleet. The Americans were at last face to face with the enemy.

The commander-in-chief of the Spanish squadron was Rear-Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasaron; the second in command was the Commandante General Enrique Sostoa y Ordennez.

Under Admiral Montojo’s command were the following vessels:

Reina Cristina, flagship, armored cruiser, Captain L. Cadarso commanding, 3,500 tons; battery six 6.2-inch; two 2.7-inch; six 6-pounders; and six 3-pounder rapid-fire guns; speed, 17.5 knots; crew 400 officers and men.

Castilla, Captain A. M. de Oliva, commanding; 3,334 tons; battery, four 5.9-inch; two 4.7-inch; two 3.3-inch; four 2.9-inch, and eight 6-pounder rapid-fire guns; speed, 14 knots; crew, 300.

Isla de Cuba, Captain J. Sidrach, and Isla de Luzon, Captain J. de la Herian; 1,030 tons each; battery, four 4.7 inch; four 6-pounder and two 3-pounder rapid-fire guns; speed, 14 knots; crew, 200 men each.

General Lezo, Commander R. Benevento, and Marques del Duero, Commander S. Morena Guerra; the former was 524, the latter 500 tons; batteries, two 4.7 inch; one 3.5 inch, and two 3-pounder rapid-fire guns; speed, 11 knots; crew, 100.

Altogether the Americans had four cruisers, two gunboats, one cutter, fifty-seven classified big guns, seventy-four rapid-firing guns and machine guns, and 1808 men.

On the other side were seven cruisers, five gunboats, two torpedo boats, fifty-two classified big guns, eighty-three rapid-firing and machine guns, and 1,948 men.

It will thus be seen that the Americans had a few more heavy guns; but the Spanish had several more ships and over a hundred more men. They were also assisted by the powerful land-batteries, and by the knowledge of the exact distance of the American ships. [317]For the latter had no range-marks with which to determine the proper elevation to be given to their sights. In the American squadron, moreover, was not a single armored cruiser; besides, the Spaniards were at their base of supplies, while Commodore Dewey was more than six thousand miles away from all aid.

Such were the numbers and the disposition of the combatants now about to fight.

The Hot Springs of Luzon Province

The Hot Springs of Luzon Province


Dewey Attacks the Enemy.

With Old Glory flying at every masthead, and with the beating of drums, the American squadron, after a brief reconnoitering detour in the harbor, sailed in a straight line past the fleet of the enemy. Each ship was to hold its fire until near enough to inflict the most damage, when as many shots should be fired as possible. Then to steam as quickly as possible out of effective range; to wheel and return—keeping close to the opposite shore—to the original [318]point of starting, when the same manœuvre was to be repeated—and so again and again till the enemy was destroyed or defeated.

On the Spanish fleet, too, all was bustle and preparation; the national flag, that symbol of mediæval tyranny, floated from every masthead, the Admiral’s flag on the Reina Cristina being the cynosure of all eyes.

The Reina Cristina; Flagship of Admiral Montojo.

The Reina Cristina; Flagship of Admiral Montojo.

The Americans had left their supply-ships behind, and their fleet, according to pre-arranged plan, steamed slowly past the enemy. Meanwhile, the batteries of Cavité kept up an incessant roar, and now Montojo’s flagship thundered a deadly welcome; while over the American flagship was hoisted a code-flag, with the watchword “Remember the Maine!” This was the signal for a concerted yell from the sailors in the fleet. And thus with colors flying, and with fire reserved till a closer range should make it more effective, the Commodore and his brave officers bore down toward the Spaniards, who were awaiting their approach with curiosity not unmixed with alarm, at the same time they sent a thunderous fusillade as a greeting to the hated Yankees.

But the Americans, undeterred, grimly kept their course, notwithstanding one or two mines exploded beneath the water,—one near the Raleigh and one beside the Baltimore. Again and again the Spanish guns thundered, until the roar became incessant and shells were bursting all around.

When about six thousand yards the Commodore shouted to [319]Captain Gridley, who was in the conning tower: “Fire, as soon as you get ready, Gridley.”

Hardly had he given the word—which also was passed down the line—when the whole ship shivered, and the eight-inch gun in the front turret burst into a sheet of flame, while a dull muffled roar belched forth, that awoke the apparent torpor of the whole fleet to instant activity.

The Baltimore and the Boston now took up the cue, and sent their tremendous shells crashing into the enemy, who replied vociferously. The din was deafening, and over and around all the American ships was the shriek and scream of terrifying shells. Some of these fell upon the decks, some smashed into the woodwork; but—as if providentially—not an American was hit.

“Open with all the guns,” signaled the Commodore; and all the ships joined together in a roaring chorus, as if Cerberus and all the dogs of hell had opened their mighty throats.

And thus with incessant firing, the battle-line passed the whole length of the stationary Spanish fleet, then slowly swang round and began the return to its starting-point, keeping up the same flash and clatter, the Spaniards responding furiously. It was at this time that a shot passed clean through the Baltimore, though, fortunately, no one was hurt. Lieutenant Brumbuys had the signal halyard shot out of his hands; while on the Boston a shell burst in the state-room of Ensign Dodridge, and another passed through the Boston’s foremast.

During the third round the Raleigh was carried by the strong current against the bows of two of the Spanish cruisers, where all aboard seemed too bewildered to take advantage of their opportunity. Captain Coughlan, however, did not lose his presence of mind, but poured a destructive broadside into the enemy. His vessel was then carried back into the line.


The Fate of the Reina Cristina.

While this fierce combat was waging, the Reina Cristina moved out of the Spanish line and made direct for the American flagship, [320]which hurled a perfect tornado of lead into the approaching cruiser, her immense hulk being soon riddled with large holes, where the eight-inch shells had entered. The port-bridge, where Admiral Montojo was standing, was also struck; but he bravely stuck to his post, while ton after ton of steel fell upon the deck.

No ship, however, could withstand such a fire, and the gallant Reina Cristina turned round and made for the shore. As she swang round, Captain Gridley gave her a parting shot, that caused her to tremble and stagger, while the 250-pound shell crashed through the bowels of the ship and there exploded, hurling its deadly contents all round, while from the shattered deck rose columns of steam, mingled with human fragments. The ship, now completely disabled, continued her retreat. Sixty of her crew had been killed, and had she continued longer within the Americans’ range, all would have met a like fate.

Meanwhile, the little Petrel was engaged in a duel with two Spanish torpedo boats, headed for the American line. One of these she chased to the shore, where the crew sought shelter in the woods, while their abandoned vessel was blown into pieces by the daring American. The other advanced to within 500 yards of the Olympia, braving the storm of shot and shell that threatened to overwhelm her. As it was, a shell ploughed its way into her middle, where it exploded. From stern to beam she shivered, gave a forward plunge, and sank beneath the waves.

The Baltimore, too, was engaged in an encounter with the Castilla, that resulted most disastrously to the latter; for she was soon a blazing wreck.

Five times the American fleet passed in front of the enemy, keeping up the same deadly fire, that showed only too well the results of American training and marksmanship. And though the Spanish guns in the ships and the forts ceased rattling not one instant, they neither disconcerted nor damaged in the least the Americans. It was now a quarter of eight, and so dense was the smoke hanging over the waters, that it was impossible for the [321]Americans to distinguish not alone the enemy’s ships, but their own vessels, and the signals, too.


The Commodore Pipes All Hands to Breakfast.

The Commodore now wisely concluded to stop for awhile the fighting, and allow his men a chance to take some breakfast; for the brave fellows, after their morning’s hard work, were hungry as wolves; so the signal “cease firing” was given, and the ships were headed for the eastern side of the bay, near the transport ships.

It is related that the Spaniards were exceedingly relieved when they saw the Americans in—as they thought—full retreat, and many of them stood on the decks and cheered, thinking they had gained the victory.

When the various commanders came on board to report to Commodore Dewey, it was found that not a ship was disabled, not a gun out of order, not a man killed or injured. It is true, Frank B. Randall, the engineer of the McCulloch, died from heart-disease as the fleet steamed past Corregidor, but this was not in any wise due to the engagement. Many miraculous escapes, indeed, are related; and it is really wonderful that no serious casualties took place. The sailors, as may easily be imagined, were nearly wild with joy; and as all hands were piped to breakfast, the decks were gay with merry jackies improvising a dance of victory; while the strains of Yankee Doodle and the Star-Spangled Banner filled the morning air. Cheery was that breakfast, and sweet, ah, sweet was the three hours’ rest so nobly earned.


The Americans Renew the Battle.

At 10.45 the boatswains’ whistles and the drums announced the renewal of the battle. Instantly every man was at his post, eager to finish the job so well begun. Again the American squadron was headed to ward the enemy’s battle line; but several of the Spanish ships were now almost disabled, the Cristina and the Castilla were both on fire, and the Mindanao beached not far from Cavité. [322]

Admiral Montojo had meanwhile transferred his flags to the Isla de Cuba; and the Baltimore, leaving the American line, made straight for his former flagship, which threw a torrent of shells toward the intrepid American. The Baltimore, however, notwithstanding that a few of these deadly missiles exploded on her deck, wounding eight of her crew, continued her course till within 2500 yards of her antagonist. Then from her decks she fired a broadside at the Spaniard. There was an ominous silence for a minute or two, and both Spaniards and Americans waited anxiously for the smoke to lift. Suddenly, all saw a sight that struck every man in both fleets with terror, for it seemed the probable fate of all. The Cristina shot into the air and then fell back upon the waves with a thunderous crash, while a thousand fragments of men and timbers—promiscuously mingled in awful confusion—were whirling through the air. Down into the waves she sank—that gallant man-of-war—the pride of the Spanish fleet—down into the deep blue sea. Upon the surface, amid tons of floating débris, a hundred sailors struggled for life; many sank to rise no more; some, however, succeeded in reaching one of the adjacent consorts.

The Isla de Cuba: To It the Spanish Flag Was Transferred.

The Isla de Cuba: To It the Spanish Flag Was Transferred.

The Baltimore, aided by the Olympia and the Raleigh, now kept up a deadly fire on the Juan de Austria; which answered this terrible fusillade with intermittent volleys, that spoke well for the courage, but poorly for the aim, of her gunners.

It was at this moment that the Raleigh sent a shell crashing through the other’s centre, exploding her magazine; in an instant she seemed a crater of flame, and sank back like the Cristina, a [323]total wreck. Her flying fragments also inflicted such damage upon the gunboat El Correo, which lay beside her, that she was completely disabled. The Petrel gave her a finishing shot, that closed her brief career. Another Spanish gunboat, the General Lezo, also set out to accomplish great things, but the Concord, with a few good shots, put a quietus upon her warlike ambition, and, like her sister ships, she too was soon a floating wreck.

Meanwhile, the Boston was engaged in a duel with the Velasco. Captain Wildes, of the former, stood on the bridge of his ship vigorously fanning with a palm-leaf fan; for it was a hot morning and it was the captain’s policy to keep cool. The Velasco responded to the Boston’s broadsides but feebly. Then with a plunge she careened to one side and sank heavily, her crew having scarcely enough time to escape to the adjacent shore. The Castilla had already been set on fire and scuttled by her crew, to prevent her magazine from exploding.

The Don Antonia de Ulloa, which was engaged with the Olympia and the Boston, though riddled with shells and on fire in a dozen places, refused to surrender. Her gallant commander Robion stuck to his ship to the very last; then she sank with colors flying, a signal example of Spanish bravery. Another vessel had hauled down her flag, but when a boat’s crew from the McCulloch approached to take possession of her, she treacherously fired on them. Suddenly, from every ship in the American fleet there thundered a swift and awful retribution. There was darkness around her shivering hull, there was a dull explosion and a lurid glare; and when the smoke had rolled away nothing but a few floating fragments were left to indicate the traitor’s fate.

Thus ship after ship of the Spanish fleet met a like fate, until Admiral Montojo, on the deck of the deserted and almost-useless Isla de Cuba, took down his colors, and, with a few surviving officers, escaped to the shore.


The Yankees Are Victorious.

But, notwithstanding the destruction and the surrender of the Spanish fleet, the batteries kept up an incessant fire. The Americans [324]now turned their attention to these, and speedily silenced them. The Petrel was left behind to complete the destruction of the smaller gunboats. This she did most effectually.

The Olympia: Admiral Dewey’s Flagship.

The Olympia: Admiral Dewey’s Flagship.

As the Cavité Arsenal unfurled the white flag, the command “Cease firing” was given, and the various American commanders once more gathered on the flagship, their men cheering themselves hoarse.

A most extraordinary victory, truly! Not one man lost, and only six men slightly wounded, all on the Baltimore; while the Baltimore, Olympia, and Raleigh suffered injuries that could be repaired in a few hours.

The Spanish, on the other hand, were almost annihilated, and lost the following vessels: Sunk: Reina Cristina, Castilla, Don Antonia de Ulloa. Burnt: Don Juan de Austria, Isla de Luzon, Isla de Cuba, General Lezo, Marquis del Duero, El Correo, Velasco, [325]and Isla de Mindanao. Captured: Manila, and several tugs and small launches. Besides this, the enemy lost more than 600 men.

On the day following the engagement, the squadron returned to Cavité, where it took up a permanent position until the arrival of the transports from America. On the third of May the Spanish evacuated Cavité Arsenal, which was then held by a detachment from the fleet. The same day the batteries on Corregidor Island surrendered to the Raleigh and the Baltimore. And thus ended the greatest naval battle in American history.



The American Occupation.

The American Occupation.


Merritt, and the Expedition.

The Spanish fleet had been destroyed; Cavité had been taken; and Admiral Dewey lay in the harbor awaiting the reinforcements that were on the way.

These reinforcements had been sent out in three expeditions: the first expedition, Brigadier-General Anderson commanding, consisted of 115 officers and 2,386 enlisted men; the second, under Brigadier-General Greene, of 158 officers and 3,428 enlisted soldiers; the third, under command of General McArthur, consisted of 197 officers, and 4,650 men. With these expeditions went the Astor Battery and Major-General Wesley Merritt, who had been chosen Commander-in-chief of the United States forces in the Philippines. In all, over 11,000 men were on their way to Manila, and a fourth expedition, consisting of 1,763 men, under Brigadier-General H. G. Otis, was soon to follow.

It was the cruiser Charleston, which conveyed the transports of one of these expeditions, that stopped to have a little fun, by way of profitable diversion, at the island of Guam, one of the Ladrones.

Thirteen shells from the Charleston went thundering against the fortress of Santa Cruz. But even thirteen proved insufficient to provoke a Spanish reply. However, a half-hour after the bombardment began, the captain of the port, Lieutenant Commander José Garcia y Gutierrez, of the Spanish navy, accompanied by one [327]or two other Spanish officers, were rowed to the Charleston, and, having been taken on board, apologized for their seeming discourtesy; they said that lack of ammunition at the fortress made it impossible for them to return the American salute. They were, in fact, unaware that war had been declared between the United States and Spain, and were, therefore, much surprised when Captain Henry Glass informed them that they were prisoners of war. They were sent ashore and ordered to convey to the Governor Don Juan Marina the command that he come upon the Charleston. He replied that, under Spanish law, he was not allowed to go aboard a foreign man-of-war.

Admiral Montojo, Commander of Spanish Fleet at Manila.

Admiral Montojo, Commander of Spanish Fleet at Manila.

Captain Glass then sent Lieutenant Brannersreuther to the Governor, demanding an immediate and unconditional surrender. A half-hour was allowed for the consideration of the demand. The Governor expressed great surprise at these peremptory proceedings; but twenty-five minutes after this demand he, nevertheless, made the unconditional surrender [328]of everything Spanish in and around the Ladrones. The guns, ammunition, and flags of the Spaniards, as well as the garrison and all the Spanish officers, were then taken aboard one of the transports, and the expedition continued its journey Manila-ward.

Cavité: A Rebel Stronghold: Noted for Its Arsenal.

Cavité: A Rebel Stronghold: Noted for Its Arsenal.

It is said that, great was the rejoicing on board the cruiser and the transports as the Stars and Stripes were unfurled from the Fort of Santa Cruz; and, while the Charleston fired a salute of 21 guns, Captain Glass formally declared the Ladrones to be possessions of the United States.

Upon his arrival at Manila, by the transport Newport,—July 26th,—General Merritt immediately reported to Admiral Dewey, and, establishing his headquarters in the Cavité Arsenal, he assumed command of all the American land-forces. He was officially recognized by a salute of 13 guns. The three expeditions, respectively, [329]arrived a few days after one another, and all were now awaiting the word of the Commander-in-chief. He at once proceeded to inform himself of the situation.

Meantime, General Aguinaldo had removed his headquarters to Malolos. He had also consolidated the divers insurrectionary parties in the northeast provinces, by which he had gained an additional force of 5,000 men, and obtained control of the entire northern part of Luzon. The insurgents, too, kept up a desultory fight, and were gradually driving the Spaniards back. The latter possessed still a few outposts, but these were for the most part but feebly defended, and it was indeed a question of but a few days when the enemy would be driven within the walls of the city. The insurgents were already building trenches on the northern part of the city; they also held the water-works; and this, inasmuch as the dry season was approaching, was most important.


The Battle of Malate.

On the night of Sunday, July 31st, occurred the first loss of life of the Americans in the Philippine Islands. They had thrown up earth-works not far from the Spanish trenches, which, soon after dark, kept up a desultory fire.

The Americans began to reply in the American fashion, the men standing up and exposing themselves to the Spanish fire. The most dangerous place, of course, was the open ground just behind the trenches; and here the greatest loss was incurred; for the reinforcements, when crossing this open space, were wholly unprotected.

Alfonzo XIII., the Boy King of Spain.

Alfonzo XIII., the Boy King of Spain.

It has been said that there was no need to reply to the Spanish fire, as the intrenchment was sufficient protection. However, the First Colorado and the First Nebraska regiments, who threw up the trenches, suffered no loss whatever. No attention was paid to the Spanish fire at that time; and it is a pity that this contemptuous indifference on the part of the Americans was not maintained.

Subsequently, about the middle of July, the First Battalion of the Californians pitched their tents at Tambo. This soon came to be [330]known as Camp Dewey. The Californians were soon joined by the other American regiments, and outposts were stationed far in front, near the insurgent line. The insurgents at this time were between the Spaniards and the Americans; but, at General Merritt’s solicitation, Aguinaldo moved his position over to Pasai, while the Americans advanced to the insurgent trenches.

These were soon found untenable, and it was Lieutenant-Colonel McAvoy, who commanded the Colorado battalions, that was the first to assume a position in front of the enemy. He advanced the line to an old Capuchin chapel, that stood in the middle of the field, between the Spanish position and the insurgent trenches.

The Colorado and Nebraska men, who threw up the new breast-works at the point that Colonel McAvoy had chosen, were occasionally fired at by the Spaniards, who had a good view of what the Americans were doing. The breast-work was about seven feet high, [331]with notches and peepholes for the lookouts. Inside the parapet was a parallel elevation of about two feet—for the men to stand on when they wished a shot at the enemy. The old chapel itself was in the line of defense, and was used for cover; though it was nearly wrecked by the many shells that had been thrown against it.

Saturday, July 30th, two batteries were placed in position: they were A and B of the Utah Battalion. The guns of the former were placed on the right, those of the latter on the left, of the chapel.

It was, accordingly, near Pasai, about ten o’clock the same day, that the first American blood was spilt. The First Colorado regiment had just been relieved by the men from Nebraska, and were returning to camp, when a Spanish bullet hit Private W. H. Sterling of Company K. in the upper part of the left arm. The wound, however, was very slight, and Sterling was soon back in the ranks.

Saturday night the Spaniards began a lively fusillade. But this did no damage—the men were safe inside the newly-finished parapet. The rain, in fact, made things far more uncomfortable than the Spanish bullets. It fell in torrents, but the inventive Yankees tore up the floor of the old chapel, and hastily built shelters, which effectually kept off the water.

The Spanish trench was about 800 yards from the American breast-works. It extended northeast, just in front of the old fort at Malate, and was strengthened with rocks and sandbags. The land between the two trenches was low and level. On Sunday night Spaniards advanced beyond their works, began a heavy fire against the Americans, and drove in the pickets of the Tenth Pennsylvania. The bullets began to fall among the Americans, and the guns of Malate roared continuously. The night is described as awful. From the skies fell tons of water, while the wind blew with the force of a cyclone, howling and shrieking through the swaying trees.

Major Cuthbertson was in command of the Pennsylvanians, and when the pickets came in and reported that the enemy was trying to flank the Americans, he ordered K and B companies into the [332]trench, and also commanded Major Bierer, who commanded companies D and E, to the front.

The Spaniards, meanwhile, with their Mausers, kept up a terrific fire, but the Americans and their Springfields soon began a vociferous reply. The Utah artillerymen displayed remarkable coolness, and worked their four guns like veterans. Though there was a perfect hail of bullets, only one man was hit, and he but slightly wounded. The Spanish fire was now concerted, and their bullets whistled, sang, and fell all round the Americans. Most of them, however, were too high, though they sounded dangerously near.

Across the open field, to the rear of the American trenches, now came two companies, under the command of Major Bierer. It was here in this unprotected field, swept by Mauser bullets, that the first American lost his life. Corporal W. E. Brown, of Company D, Tenth Pennsylvania, was the hero. He was shot through the body. Many others around him were wounded, and, a few minutes later, Private William E. Stillwagon was also killed. The men, notwithstanding, kept right on, and continued to shoot; though, on account of the darkness, they could not see the enemy; their fire, therefore, was not effective.

The Queen-regent of Spain.

The Queen-regent of Spain.

At this juncture gallant Captain O’Hara, in command of the Third Artillery, still in camp, who knew that the boys in front must soon be in want of ammunition, ordered his command to the rescue. And they came in the nick of time. For the soldiers in the trenches had but a few rounds of cartridges left. Many of the men, too, were shooting wild; others, also, were somewhat demoralized; for the darkness, the danger, and the uncertainty of the enemy were most disconcerting to raw troops; but the example of Lieutenant Krayenbuhl and his regulars, who kept up a steady fire, had good effect upon the volunteers; they soon recovered themselves, and, with a rousing cheer, the whole command moved onward.

Meanwhile, General Greene sent other reinforcements to the front,—Colonel Smith, with part of his regiment, the First California. As Boxton’s battalion of Californians advanced through the open field, they received the terrible Spanish fire, and many were shot, and were left by the way. It was here that Captain [333]Reinhold Richter, of Company I, was fatally shot; and here, too, First Sergeant Morris Jurth, of Company A, was killed. It was said that these Californians, not knowing of the presence of the Pennsylvanians and of the regulars in front, fired three volleys at them before the mistake was discovered. It is believed, however, that no damage was done by the firing; but it was a mistake that might have cost the Americans dearly. Meanwhile, two men were killed in the trenches: Sergeant McIlrath, of Battery H., Tenth Pennsylvania, who had recklessly exposed himself upon the parapet, and Private Brady of Company I, the same regiment.

It was at this time that Private Finlay of Company C, First California, gave proof of remarkable bravery. Finlay belonged to Major Jones’ Transportation Department, and, on account of his knowledge of Spanish, he had been put in charge of the ammunition-train that was sent forward. In the train were eight carromatas, each in charge of a native driver. Right through the open fields, where the bullets fell thickest, he drove with his carromatas. The canvas-tops of the carts were soon ripped into shreds, and one or two of the natives were wounded; but the intrepid American kept right on toward the trenches, and delivered his cartridges. But before he reached his destination one of the ponies was killed. He merely took it out of the cart, and, with the native driver, he pulled the cart up to the place occupied by the others. On his return-journey he stopped to pick up the dead and wounded that he found lying along the way, taking them to the field-hospital in the rear, then received orders to take ten [334]carromatas and to go after all the wounded. This he did as coolly as if he were loading his wagons with hay. Still, all were tenderly cared for. The eight dead were buried in the yard of the old convent of Maribacan, back of the camp. Every man was [335]sewed up in his blanket; to it was attached a tag with his name for identification. The bodies were then all buried in one trench, and above the grave of each man a headboard with his name.

Rear-Admiral George Dewey.

Rear-Admiral George Dewey.

The chaplain of the Tenth Pennsylvania made careful observation of the place, and of each grave.

About 2 o’clock the Spaniards began to cease firing. The Americans, on the other hand, kept up a lively rattle for a quarter of an hour longer; but the engagement was about over; and General Greene, who had followed the men to the front, returned to the camp. A few desultory skirmishes took place for a day or two longer, in which two men were killed; but the Spanish advance had been checked by the first night’s work, and by Monday morning the battle of Malate was practically over. Altogether, the Americans lost ten killed and forty-six wounded.


Capture of Manila.

Nothing of importance occurred for several days after the battle of Malate. Troops were landed on the Bacoor shore, and the foreign warships took up their respective positions: the British and the Japanese vessels near the American fleet, the French and the German vessels on the other side of the bay. An ominous quiet brooded over all.

On August 7th, the following letter was sent by General Merritt and Admiral Dewey to General Jandenes:

To the General-in-Chief commanding the Spanish Forces at Manila:

Sir: We have the honor to notify Your Excellency that operations of the land and naval forces of the United States against the defenses of Manila may begin at any time after the expiration of forty-eight hours from the receipt by you of this communication, or sooner if made necessary by attack on your part. [336]

This notice is given to afford you an opportunity to remove all non-combatants from the city.

Yours Respectfully,
Wesley Merritt, Major-General U. S. A.,
George Dewey, Rear-Admiral U. S. N.,

To this the Spanish general replied in a polite note; that on account of the fact that he was surrounded by the insurgents he was without “a place of refuge for the increased number of wounded, sick, women, and children” within the walls. He doubtless hoped that his mention of this fact would put off the attack altogether.

And it did delay it for several days. However, General Merritt then issued the following order, which was translated into Spanish:

In view of the extraordinary conditions under which this army is operating, the commanding general desires to acquaint the officers and men with the expectations he entertains as to their conduct.

You are assembled on foreign soil, situated within the western confines of a vast ocean, separating you from your native land. You have come not as despoilers or oppressors, but simply as the instrument of a strong, free government, whose purposes are beneficent, and which declared itself in this war champion of those oppressed by Spanish misrule.

It is therefore the intention of this order to appeal directly to your pride in your position as representatives of a high civilization, in the hope and with the firm conviction that you will so conduct yourself in your relation with the inhabitants of these islands as to convince them of the lofty nature of the mission you have come to execute.

It is not believed any acts of pillage, rapine or violence will be committed by soldiers or others in the employ of the United States, but should there be persons with this command who prove themselves unworthy of this confidence, their acts will be considered not only as crimes against the sufferers, but as direct insults to the United States Flag, and be punished on the spot with the maximum penalties known to military law.


It was decided to begin the attack on Saturday morning, August 13th.

Accordingly, a little before nine o’clock the fleet began to move in close to the city. The Olympia led the way, followed by the Raleigh and the Petrel, while the Callao and the launch Barcelo hugged the shore. The Monterey, with the Baltimore, Charleston, and Boston formed the reserve. The ships were all cleared for action, and moved majestically and silently forward. It was raining heavily.

Suddenly at twenty-five minutes of ten, the Olympia opened with her 8-inch guns. The first four shells were aimed at the Spanish fort at Malate—known as San Antonia de Abad. On account of the rain it was difficult to get the range, and so these first shells all fell short. The Raleigh, Petrel, and Callao also opened upon the fort, and as soon as the range was determined, the shots did great havoc, the fort soon being rendered untenable.

The Callao, under Lieutenant Tappan, and the launch Barcelo, which were nearer inshore, threw their shells among the Spanish riflemen, who replied but feebly.

General Merritt and his staff and the color guard of the First Oregon were on the despatch boat Zafiro.

General Anderson directed the operations on shore.

About twenty minutes after the bombardment began, General Greene, with the left wing, began the land-attack, the advance being made toward Malate, under cover of a heavy fire from the Utah Battery.

The troops, with colors flying, marched rapidly up the beach. The bands were playing and the men rushed forward with a cheer. Six companies of the Colorado regiment leaped over the enemy’s breast-work and took position behind some low hedges but a few hundred feet from the Spanish line. General McArthur led the right wing, and was ably supported by the Astor Battery, under Captain March. It shelled a Spanish block-house with its Hotch-kiss Mountain guns, and then gallantly charged the position with revolvers. It lost three men killed.

Meanwhile, the bombardment had ceased, and the Colorados, [338]the Californians, and the Eighteenth Regulars drove back the Spaniards from Malate, and occupied the position, where the Californians at once raised the Stars and Stripes.

In the suburbs of Malate and Ermita, where the Spaniards had erected street barricades, there was now considerable street-fighting, and the Californians, under Colonel Smith, advanced as far as the Luneta, within 300 yards of the citadel. At this moment General Greene, with several members of his staff, came galloping up the Luneta, a scattering fire playing upon him and his companions from the adjoining houses, until a white flag was raised above the southwest corner of the fort.

Don Basilo Augustin: Spanish Captain-General of the Philippine Islands.

Don Basilo Augustin: Spanish Captain-General of the Philippine Islands.

At this,—and while the Americans were standing at rest,—the Spaniards in the citadel opened fire upon them, fatally wounding two Californians: privates Dunsoupe and Lamerson. This has never been satisfactorily explained, but it was probably due to the confusion of the moment; for 2000 Spaniards, retreating from Santa Ana before a large body of insurgents, that were shooting at them, just then came up, and it was to aid these that the Spaniards behind the walls fired a volley after the flag of surrender had been raised. [339]

General Greene then ordered the retreating Spaniards inside the walls, as a letter from the Captain-General was received inviting the American commander within for a consultation. General Greene himself, with Adjutant-General Bates, entered the city.

When General Merritt, on the Zafiro, saw the white flag, he sent General Whittier, with Flag-Lieutenant Thomas M. Bramley, ashore to meet the Captain-General to discuss the terms of surrender.

General Whittier found the Spanish officials much disturbed. Because of the Spaniards seeking refuge in the city from the insurgents, it was believed the Americans were continuing the attack.

When General Merritt himself entered the city, about three o’clock, the situation was explained, and a conference with General Jandenes resulted in the following terms of capitulation.


Capitulation of the Philippines.

Officers allowed to retain their swords and personal effects, but not their horses during their stay at Manila.

Prisoners of war surrendering their arms are to have necessary supplies provided from the treasury; when that is exhausted the Americans to make provision.

All public property is surrendered. Future disposition of Spanish troops surrendered is to be determined by negotiations between the respective governments.

Arms may be returned at General Merritt’s discretion.

Banks will continue to operate under existing regulations, subject to change by the United States Government.

General Jandenes, it is said, was found in the sacristy of a church, which was filled with women and children. The capitulation, however, was made and signed in the adjacent municipal buildings.

The terms of capitulation were formally signed by the American commissioners: General Greene, Colonel Whittier, Colonel Crowder, and Captain Lamberton; and the Spanish commissioners Colonel San José Maria Laguen, Felix Don Carlos Reye, and General Don Nicolas de la Pena y Cuellas. [340]

The insurgents were barred from the city. At dusk General Augustin, the Captain-General of the Islands, and his family, escaped on a German cruiser to Hong-Kong.

General Wesley Merritt, American Commander of the Military Forces at Manila.

General Wesley Merritt, American Commander of the Military Forces at Manila.

Lieutenant Bramley lowered the Spanish flag on Fort Santiago, [341]and raised the Stars and Stripes. It is said that while this momentous ceremony was performing, many of the Spaniards looking on wept; while the American band played the Star-Spangled Banner, and the surrounding American troops presented arms.

The Americans suffered a loss of eight killed and forty wounded. The exact Spanish loss has never been ascertained, but it was probably not far from 500 killed and wounded. The Americans took 20,000 Mauser rifles, 3,000 Remingtons, a large number of cannon and 11,000 prisoners; 7,000 of them Spanish regulars.

American sentries were at once placed on the battlements and along the Pasig, and perfect order was maintained.

It was found, further, that the stories of starvation were grossly exaggerated; both the inhabitants and the soldiers were looking very well. Most of them, in fact, seemed to be pleased that the surrender had been made so soon, without great loss of life, and before a continued bombardment had reduced the city to ruins.

General Merritt and chief of staff, General Babcock, deserved great credit for their plan of attack, which was carried out successfully under great disadvantages. The conduct of the Americans, officers and men alike, army and navy, was most creditable.

Because the protocol establishing peace between the United States and Spain had been signed a few hours before the capture of Manila, it was believed that the United States was bound by the third article of the protocol, which reads:

The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay, and harbor of Manila pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace, which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.


Awaiting the Peace Commission.

Thus Spain was to remain the nominal possessor of the Archipelago, until the decision of the Peace Commission.

Pending the conclusion of the peace negotiations, and the disposition of the islands, it was settled that the authority of the United [342]States was to be supreme. Both Spaniards, and insurgents were thus to have no share in the Government. The Americans were conquerors; the Spaniards, as the conquered, had lost all right to a voice in public affairs. There was, however, some doubt on the part of the American commands as to the status of the insurgents; who, though they had but little part in the capture of Manila, had done effective work in other parts of Luzon, having driven the common enemy step by step to the gates of the capital. The revolution, too, was spreading, and new complications arose every day.

In reply to their joint-message for instructions, General H. C. Corbin cabled General Merritt as follows:


Major-General Merritt, Manila, Philippine Islands:—The President directs that there must be no joint-occupation with the insurgents.

The United States is in the possession of Manila city, Manila bay and harbor, and must preserve the peace and protect persons and property within the territory occupied by their military and naval forces.

The insurgents and all others must recognize the military occupation and authority of the United States and the cessation of hostilities proclaimed by the President.

Use whatever means in your judgment are necessary to this end. All law-abiding people must be treated alike.

By order of the Secretary of War.

H. C. CORBIN, Adjutant-General.




Map of Pacific Ocean and Oceania.

Map of Pacific Ocean and Oceania.

Map of Philippine Islands.

Map of Philippine Islands.

Table of Contents



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109 renounce embrace
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129 [Not in source] .
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165 plaintain plantain
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232 15,00 15,000
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