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The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes by Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

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Among the many wrongs done the Filipinos by Spaniards, to be charged
against their undeniably large debt to Spain, one of the greatest,
if not the most frequently mentioned, was taking from them their
good name.

Spanish writers have never been noted for modesty or historical
accuracy. Back in 1589 the printer of the English translation of Padre
Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza's "History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of
China" felt it necessary to prefix this warning: * * * the Spaniards
(following their ambitious affections) do usually in all their writings
extoll their own actions, even to the setting forth of many untruthes
and incredible things, as in their descriptions of the conquistes of
the east and west Indies, etc., doth more at large appeare.

Of early Spanish historians Doctor Antonio de Morga seems the single
exception, and perhaps even some of his credit comes by contrast,
but in later years the rule apparently has proved invariable. As
the conditions in the successive periods of Spanish influence were
recognized to be indicative of little progress, if not actually
retrogressive, the practice grew up of correspondingly lowering the
current estimates of the capacity of the Filipinos of the conquest, so
that always an apparent advance appeared. This in the closing period,
in order to fabricate a sufficient showing for over three centuries
of pretended progress, led to the practical denial of human attributes
to the Filipinos found here by Legaspi.

Against this denial to his countrymen of virtues as well as
rights, Doctor Rizal opposed two briefs whose English titles
are "The Philippines A Century Hence" and "The Indolence of the
Filipino." Almost every page therein shows the influence of the young
student's early reading of the hereinafter-printed studies by the
German scientist Jagor, friend and counsellor in his maturer years,
and the liberal Spaniard Comyn. Even his acquaintance with Morga,
which eventually led to Rizal's republication of the 1609 history
long lost to Spaniards, probably was owing to Jagor, although the
life-long resolution for that action can be traced to hearing of Sir
John Bowring's visit to his uncle's home and the proposed Hakluyt
Society English translation then mentioned.

The present value and interest of these now rare books has suggested
their republication, to make available to Filipino students a course
of study which their national hero found profitable as well as to
correct the myriad misconceptions of things Philippine in the minds
of those who have taken the accepted Spanish accounts as gospel truths.

Dr. L. V. Schweibs, of Berlin, made the hundreds of corrections,
many reversing the meanings of former readings, which almost
justify calling the revised Jagor translation a new one. Numerous
hitherto-untranslated passages likewise appear. There have been
left out the illustrations, from crude drawings obsolete since
photographic pictures have familiarized the scenes and objects,
and also the consequently superfluous references to these. No other
omission has been allowed, for if one author leaned far to one side in
certain debatable questions the other has been equally partisan for the
opposite side, except a cerement on religion in general and discussion
of the world-wide social evil were eliminated as having no particular
Philippine bearing to excuse their appearance in a popular work.

The early American quotations of course are for comparison with the
numerous American comments of today, and the two magazine extracts
give English accounts a century apart. Virchow's matured views have
been substituted for the pioneer opinions he furnished Professor Jagor
thirty years earlier, and if Rizal's patron in the scientific world
fails at times in his facts his method for research is a safe guide.

Finally, three points should constantly be borne in mind: (1) allowance
must be made for the lessening Spanish influence, surely more foreign
to this seafaring people than the present modified Anglo-Saxon
education, and so more artificial, i.e., less assimilable, as well
as for the removal of the unfavorable environment, before attempting
to from an opinion of the present-day Filipino from his prototype
pictured in those pages; (2) foreign observers are apt to emphasize
what is strange to them in describing other lands than their own and to
leave unnoted points of resemblance which may be much more numerous;
(3) Rizal's judgment that his countrymen were more like backward
Europeans than Orientals was based on scientific studies of Europe's
rural districts and Philippine provincial conditions as well as of
oriental country life, so that it is entitled to more weight than
the commoner opinion to the contrary which though more popular has
been less carefully formed.

University of the Philippines,

Manila, March 11th, 1916.


Jagor's Travels in the Philippines 1

(The out-of-print 1875 English translation corrected from the original
German text)

State of the Philippines in 1810. By Tomas de Comyn 357

(William Walton's 1821 translation modernized)

Manila and Sulu in 1842. By Com. Chas. Wilkes, U.S.N. 459

(Narrative of U. S. Exploring Expedition 1838-42, Vol. 5)

Manila in 1819. By Lieut. John White, U.S.N. 530

(From the "History of a Voyage to the China Sea")

The Peopling of the Philippines. By Doctor Rudolf Virchow 536

(O. T. Mason's translation; Smithsonian Institution 1899 Report)

People and Prospects of the Philippines. By An English Merchant,
1778, and A Consul, 1878 550

(From Blackwood's and the Cornhill Magazine)

Filipino Merchants of the Early 1890s. By F. Karuth, F.R.G.S. 552

The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes


Jagor's Travels in the Philippines


[Difference from European time.] When the clock strikes twelve in
Madrid, [1] it is 8 hours, 18 minutes, and 41 seconds past eight
in the evening at Manila; that is to say, the latter city lies 124 deg.
40' 15'' to the east of the former (7 hours, 54 minutes, 35 seconds
from Paris). Some time ago, however, while the new year was being
celebrated in Madrid, it was only New Year's eve at Manila.

[Magellan's mistake in reckoning.] As Magellan, who discovered the
Philippines in his memorable first circumnavigation of the globe,
was following the sun in its apparent daily path around the world,
every successive degree he compassed on his eastern course added
four minutes to the length of his day; and, when he reached the
Philippines, the difference amounted to sixteen hours. This, however,
apparently escaped his notice, for Elcano, the captain of the only
remaining vessel, was quite unaware, on his return to the longitude
of his departure, why according to his ship's log-book, he was a day
behind the time of the port which he had reached again by continuously
sailing westward. [2] [3]

[Change to the Asian day.] The error remained also unheeded in the
Philippines. It was still, over there the last day of the old year,
while the rest of the world was commencing the new one; and this state
of things continued till the close of 1844, when it was resolved,
with the approval of the archbishop, to pass over New Year's eve for
once altogether. [4] Since that time the Philippines are considered
to lie no longer in the distant west, but in the far east, and are
about eight hours in advance of their mother country. The proper field
for their commerce, however, is what is to Europeans the far west;
they were colonized thence, and for centuries, till 1811, they had
almost no other communication with Europe but the indirect one by
the annual voyage of the galleon between Manila and Acapulco. Now,
however, when the eastern shores of the Pacific are at last beginning
to teem with life, and, with unexampled speed, are pressing forward to
grasp their stupendous future, the Philippines will no longer be able
to remain in their past seclusion. No tropical Asiatic colony is so
favorably situated for communication with the west coast of America,
and it is only in a few matters that the Dutch Indies can compete with
them for the favors of the Australian market. But, [Future in American
and Australian trade.] on the other hand, they will have to abandon
their traffic with China, whose principal emporium Manila originally
was, as well as that with those westward-looking countries of Asia,
Europe's far east, which lie nearest to the Atlantic ports. [5] [6]

[Commercially in the New World.] When the circumstances mentioned
come to be realized, the Philippines, or, at any rate, the principal
market for their commerce, will finally fall within the limits of
the western hemisphere, to which indeed they were relegated by the
illustrious Spanish geographers at Badajoz.

[The Pope's world-partitive.] The Bull issued by Alexander VI, [7]
on May 4, 1493, which divided the earth into two hemispheres, decreed
that all heathen lands discovered in the eastern half should belong
to the Portuguese; in the western half to the Spaniards. According to
this arrangement, the latter could only claim the Philippines under
the pretext that they were situated in the western hemisphere. The
demarcation line was to run from the north to the south, a hundred
leagues to the south-west of all the so-called Azores and Cape
de Verde Islands. In accordance with the treaty of Tordesillas,
negotiated between Spain and Portugal on June 7, 1494, and approved
by Julius II, in 1506, this line was drawn three hundred and seventy
leagues west of the Cape de Verde Islands.

[Faulty Spanish and Portuguese geography.] At that time Spanish and
Portuguese geographers reckoned seventeen and one-half leagues to a
degree on the equator. In the latitude of the Cape de Verde Islands,
three hundred and seventy leagues made 21 deg. 55'. If to this we add
the longitudinal difference between the westernmost point of the
group and Cadiz, a difference of 18 deg. 48', we get 40 deg. 43' west, and
139 deg. 17' east from Cadiz (in round numbers 47 deg. west and 133 deg. east),
as the limits of the Spanish hemisphere. At that time, however,
the existing means for such calculations were entirely insufficient.

[Extravagant Spanish claims thru ignorance.] The latitude was measured
with imperfect astrolabes, or wooden quadrants, and calculated from
very deficient tables; the variation of the compass, moreover, was
almost unknown, as well as the use of the log. [8] Both method and
instruments were wanting for useful longitudinal calculations. It was
under these circumstances that the Spaniards attempted, at Badajoz,
to prove to the protesting Portuguese that the eastern boundary line
intersected the mouths of the Ganges, and proceeded to lay claim to
the possession of the Spice Islands.

[Spain's error in calculation.] The eastern boundary should, in
reality, have been drawn 46 1/2 deg. further to the east, that is to
say, as much further as it is from Berlin to the coast of Labrador,
or to the lesser Altai; for, in the latitude of Calcutta 46 1/2 deg.
are equivalent to two thousand five hundred and seventy-five nautical
miles. Albo's log-book gives the difference in longitude between the
most eastern islands of the Archipelago and Cape Fermoso (Magellan's
Straits), as 106 deg. 30', while in reality it amounts to 159 deg. 85'.

[Moluccan rights sold to Portugal.] The disputes between the Spaniards
and the Portuguese, occasioned by the uncertainty of the eastern
boundary--Portugal had already founded a settlement in the Spice
Islands--were set at rest by an agreement made in 1529, in which
Charles V. abandoned his pretended rights to the Moluccas in favor
of Portugal, for the sum of 350,000 ducats. The Philippines, at that
time, were of no value.

* * * * *

[Foreign mail facilities.] The distance from Manila to Hongkong is
six hundred fifty nautical miles, and the course is almost exactly
south-east. The mail steamer running between the two ports makes the
trip in from three to four days. This allows of a fortnightly postal
communication between the colony and the rest of the world. [9]

[Slight share in world commerce.] This small steamer is the only thing
to remind an observer at Hongkong, a port thronged with the ships of
all nations, that an island so specially favored in conditions and
fertility lies in such close proximity.

[Little commerce with Spain.] Although the Philippines belong to Spain,
there is but little commerce between the two countries. Once the
tie which bound them was so close that Manila was wont to celebrate
the arrival of the Spanish mail with Te Deums and bell-ringing, in
honor of the successful achievement of so stupendous a journey. Until
Portugal fell to Spain, the road round Africa to the Philippines was
not open to Spanish vessels. The condition of the overland route
is sufficiently shown by the fact that two Augustinian monks who,
in 1603, were entrusted with an important message for the king,
and who chose the direct line through Goa, Turkey, and Italy, needed
three years for reaching Madrid. [10]

[Former Spanish ships mainly carried foreign goods.] The trade by
Spanish ships, which the merchants were compelled to patronize in
order to avoid paying an additional customs tax, in spite of the
protective duties for Spanish products, was almost exclusively
in foreign goods to the colony and returning the products of the
latter for foreign ports. The traffic with Spain was limited to the
conveyance of officials, priests, and their usual necessaries, such as
provisions, wine and other liquors; and, except a few French novels,
some atrociously dull books, histories of saints, and similar works.

[Manila's fine bay.] The Bay of Manila is large enough to contain the
united fleets of Europe; it has the reputation of being one of the
finest in the world. The aspect of the coast, however, to a stranger
arriving, as did the author, at the close of the dry season, falls
short of the lively descriptions of some travellers. The circular bay,
one hundred twenty nautical miles in circumference, the waters of
which wash the shores of five different provinces, is fringed in the
neighborhood of Manila by a level coast, behind which rises an equally
flat table land. The scanty vegetation in the foreground, consisting
chiefly of bamboos and areca palms, was dried up by the sun; while in
the far distance the dull uniformity of the landscape was broken by
the blue hills of San Mateo. In the rainy season the numerous unwalled
canals overflow their banks and form a series of connected lakes,
which soon, however, change into luxuriant and verdant rice-fields.

[City's appearance mediaeval European.] Manila is situated on both
sides of the river Pasig. The town itself, surrounded with walls and
ramparts, with its low tiled roofs and a few towers, had, in 1859,
the appearance of some ancient European fortress. Four years later
the greater part of it was destroyed by an earthquake.

[The 1863 earthquake.] On June 3, 1863, at thirty-one minutes past
seven in the evening, after a day of tremendous heat while all Manila
was busy in its preparations for the festival of Corpus Christi,
the ground suddenly rocked to and fro with great violence. The
firmest buildings reeled visibly, walls crumbled, and beams snapped
in two. The dreadful shock lasted half a minute; but this little
interval was enough to change the whole town into a mass of ruins,
and to bury alive hundreds of its inhabitants. [11] A letter of
the governor-general, which I have seen, states that the cathedral,
the goverment-house, the barracks, and all the public buildings of
Manila were entirely destroyed, and that the few private houses which
remained standing threatened to fall in. Later accounts speak of
four hundred killed and two thousand injured, and estimate the loss
at eight millions of dollars. Forty-six public and five hundred and
seventy private buildings were thrown down; twenty-eight public and
five hundred twenty-eight private buildings were nearly destroyed,
and all the houses left standing were more or less injured.

[Damage in Cavite.] At the same time, an earthquake of forty seconds'
duration occurred at Cavite, the naval port of the Philippines,
and destroyed many buildings.

[Destruction in walled city.] Three years afterwards, the Duc
d'Alencon (Lucon et Mindanao; Paris, 1870, S. 38) found the traces
of the catastrophe everywhere. Three sides of the principal square
of the city, in which formerly stood the government, or governor's,
palace, the cathedral, and the townhouse, were lying like dust heaps
overgrown with weeds. All the large public edifices were "temporarily"
constructed of wood; but nobody then seemed to plan anything permanent.

[Former heavy shocks.] Manila is very often subject to earthquakes;
the most fatal occurred in 1601; in 1610 (Nov. 30); in 1645 (Nov. 30);
in 1658 (Aug. 20); in 1675; in 1699; in 1796; in 1824; in 1852; and
in 1863. In 1645, six hundred [12], or, according to some accounts,
three thousand [13] persons perished, buried under the ruins of their
houses. Their monastery, the church of the Augustinians, and that of
the Jesuits, were the only public buildings which remained standing.

[Frequent minor disturbances.] Smaller shocks, which suddenly set
the hanging lamps swinging, occur very often and generally remain
unnoticed. The houses are on this account generally of but one story,
and the loose volcanic soil on which they are built may lessen the
violence of the shock. Their heavy tiled roofs, however, appear
very inappropriate under such circumstances. Earthquakes are also
of frequent occurrence in the provinces, but they, as a rule, cause
so little damage, owing to the houses being constructed of timber or
bamboo, that they are never mentioned.

[Scanty data available.] M. Alexis Perrey (Mem. de l'Academie de
Dijon, 1860) has published a list, collected with much diligence from
every accessible source, of the earthquakes which have visited the
Philippines, and particularly Manila. But the accounts, even of the
most important, are very scanty, and the dates of their occurrence very
unreliable. Of the minor shocks, only a few are mentioned, those which
were noticed by scientific observers accidentally present at the time.

[The 1610 catastrophe.] Aduarte (I. 141) mentions a tremendous
earthquake which occurred in 1610. I briefly quote his version of
the details of the catastrophe, as I find them mentioned nowhere else.

"Towards the close of November, 1610, on St. Andrew's Day, a more
violent earthquake than had ever before been witnessed, visited
these Islands; its effects extended from Manila to the extreme end
of the province of Nueva Segovia (the whole northern part of Luzon),
a distance of 200 leagues. It caused great destruction over the entire
area; in the province of Ilocos it buried palm trees, so that only the
tops of their branches were left above the earth's surface; through
the power of the earthquake mountains were pushed against each other;
it threw down many buildings, and killed a great number of people. Its
fury was greatest in Nueva Segovia, where it opened the mountains, and
created new lake basins. The earth threw up immense fountains of sand,
and vibrated so terribly that the people, unable to stand upon it,
laid down and fastened themselves to the ground, as if they had been
on a ship in a stormy sea. In the range inhabited by the Mendayas a
mountain fell in, crushing a village and killing its inhabitants. An
immense portion of the cliff sank into the river; and now, where the
stream was formerly bordered by a range of hills of considerable
altitude, its banks are nearly level with the watercourse. The
commotion was so great in the bed of the river that waves arose like
those of the ocean, or as if the water had been lashed by a furious
wind. Those edifices which were of stone suffered the most damage,
our church and the convent fell in, etc., etc."


[Customhouse red tape.] The customs inspection, and the many
formalities which the native minor officials exercised without any
consideration appear all the more wearisome to the new arrival when
contrasted with the easy routine of the English free ports of the
east he has just quitted. The guarantee of a respectable merchant
obtained for me, as a particular favor, permission to disembark after
a detention of sixteen hours; but even then I was not allowed to take
the smallest article of luggage on shore with me.

[Shelter for shipping.] During the south-west monsoon and the stormy
season that accompanies the change of monsoons, the roadstead is
unsafe. Larger vessels are then obliged to seek protection in the
port of Cavite, seven miles further down the coast; but during the
north-east monsoons they can safely anchor half a league from the
coast. All ships under three hundred tons burden pass the breakwater
and enter the Pasig, where, as far as the bridge, they lie in serried
rows, extending from the shore to the middle of the stream, and bear
witness by their numbers, as well as by the bustle and stir going on
amongst them, to the activity of the home trade.

[Silting up of river mouth.] In every rain-monsoon, the Pasig river
sweeps such a quantity of sediment against the breakwater that just
its removal keeps, as it seems, the dredging machine stationed there
entirely occupied.

[Few foreign vessels.] The small number of the vessels in the
roadstead, particularly of those of foreign countries, was the more
remarkable as Manila was the only port in the Archipelago that had any
commerce with foreign countries. It is true that since 1855 three other
ports, to which a fourth may now be added, had gotten this privilege;
but at the time of my arrival, in March, 1859, not one of them had
ever been entered by a foreign vessel, and it was a few weeks after
my visit that the first English ship sailed into Iloilo to take in
a cargo of sugar for Australia. [14]

[Antiquated restrictions on trade.] The reason of this peculiarity
laid partly in the feeble development of agriculture, in spite of the
unexampled fertility of the soil, but chiefly in the antiquated and
artificially limited conditions of trade. The customs duties were
in themselves not very high. They were generally about seven per
cent. upon merchandise conveyed under the Spanish flag, and about
twice as much for that carried in foreign bottoms. When the cargo
was of Spanish production, the duty was three per cent. if carried
in national vessels, eight per cent. if in foreign ships. The latter
were only allowed, as a rule, to enter the port in ballast. [15]

[Discouragements for foreign ships.] As, however, the principal wants
of the colony were imported from England and abroad, these were either
kept back till an opportunity occurred of sending them in Spanish
vessels, which charged nearly a treble freight (from L4 to L5 instead
of from L1 1/2, to L2 per ton), and which only made their appearance
in British ports at rare intervals, or they were sent to Singapore and
Hongkong, where they were transferred to Spanish ships. Tonnage dues
were levied, moreover, upon ships in ballast, and upon others which
merely touched at Manila without unloading or taking in fresh cargo;
and, if a vessel under such circumstances landed even the smallest
parcel, it was no longer rated as a ship in ballast, but charged on the
higher scale. Vessels were therefore forced to enter the port entirely
devoid of cargo, or carrying sufficient to cover the expense of the
increased harbor dues; almost an impossibility for foreign ships,
on account of the differential customs rates, which acted almost as a
complete prohibition. The result was that foreign vessels came there
only in ballast, or when summoned for some particular object.

[Export taxes.] The exports of the colony were almost entirely
limited to its raw produce, which was burdened with an export duty
of three per cent. Exports leaving under the Spanish flag were only
taxed to the amount of one per cent.; but, as scarcely any export
trade existed with Spain, and as Spanish vessels, from their high
rates of freight, were excluded from the carrying trade of the world,
the boon to commerce was a delusive one. [16]

[Laws drove away trade.] These inept excise laws, hampered with a
hundred suspicious forms, frightened away the whole carrying trade
from the port; and its commission merchants were frequently unable
to dispose of the local produce. So trifling was the carrying trade
that the total yearly average of the harbor dues, calculated from
the returns of ten years, barely reached $10,000.

[Manila's favorable location.] The position of Manila, a central
point betwixt Japan, China, Annam, the English and Dutch ports of
the Archipelago and Australia, is in itself extremely favorable
to the development of a world-wide trade. [17] At the time of the
north-eastern monsoons, during our winter, when vessels for the sake of
shelter pass through the Straits of Gilolo on their way from the Indian
Archipelago to China, they are obliged to pass close to Manila. They
would find it a most convenient station, for the Philippines, as we
have already mentioned, are particularly favorably placed for the
west coast of America.

[The 1869 reform.] A proof that the Spanish Ultramar minister fully
recognizes and appreciates these circumstances appears in his decree,
of April 5, 1869, which is of the highest importance for the future
of the colony. It probably would have been issued earlier had not the
Spanish and colonial shipowners, pampered by the protective system,
obstinately struggled against an innovation which impaired their
former privileges and forced them to greater activity.

[Bettered conditions.] The most noteworthy points of the decree are
the moderation of the differential duties, and their entire extinction
at the expiration of two years; the abrogation of all export duties;
and the consolidation of the more annoying port dues into one single

[Pre-Spanish foreign commerce.] When the Spaniards landed in the
Philippines they found the inhabitants clad in silks and cotton stuffs,
which were imported by Chinese ships to exchange for gold-dust,
sapan wood, [18] holothurian, edible birds' nests, and skins. The
Islands were also in communication with Japan, Cambodia, Siam, [19]
the Moluccas, and the Malay Archipelago. De Barros mentions that
vessels from Luzon visited Malacca in 1511. [20]

[Early extension under Spain.] The greater order which reigned in
the Philippines after the advent of the Spaniards, and still more the
commerce they opened with America and indirectly with Europe, had the
effect of greatly increasing the Island trade, and of extending it
beyond the Indies to the Persian Gulf. Manila was the great mart for
the products of Eastern Asia, with which it loaded the galleons that,
as early as 1565, sailed to and from New Spain (at first to Navidad,
after 1602 to Acapulco), and brought back silver as their principal
return freight. [21]

[Jealousy of Seville monopolists.] The merchants in New Spain and Peru
found this commerce so advantageous, that the result was very damaging
to the exports from the mother country, whose manufactured goods were
unable to compete with the Indian cottons and the Chinese silks. The
spoilt monopolists of Seville demanded therefore the abandonment of a
colony which required considerable yearly contributions from the home
exchequer, which stood in the way of the mother country's exploiting
her American colonies, and which let the silver of His Majesty's
dominions pass into the hands of the heathen. Since the foundation of
the colony they had continually thrown impediments in its path. [22]
Their demands, however, were vain in face of the ambition of the
throne and the influence of the clergy; rather, responding to the
views of that time the merchants of Peru and New Spain were forced,
in the interests of the mother country, to obtain merchandise from
China, either directly, or through Manila. The inhabitants of the
Philippines were alone permitted to send Chinese goods to America,
but only to the yearly value of $250,000. The return trade was limited
to $500,000. [23]

[Prohibition of China trading.] The first amount was afterwards
increased to $300,000, with a proportionate augmentation of the
return freight; but the Spanish were forbidden to visit China, so
that they were obliged to await the arrival of the junks. Finally,
in 1720, Chinese goods were strictly prohibited throughout the
whole of the Spanish possessions in both hemispheres. A decree of
1734 (amplified in 1769) once more permitted trade with China, and
increased the maximum value of the annual freightage to Acapulco to
$500,000 (silver) and that of the return trade to twice the amount.

[Higher limit on suspension of galleon voyages.] After the galleons to
Acapulco, which had been maintained at the expense of the government
treasury, had stopped their voyages, commerce with America was
handled by merchants who were permitted in 1820, to export goods
up to $750,000 annually from the Philippines and to visit San Blas,
Guayaquil and Callao, besides Acapulco.

[ British occupation inspired new wants.] This concession, however,
was not sufficient to compensate Philippine commerce for the injuries
it suffered through the separation of Mexico from Spain. The possession
of Manila by the English, in 1762, made its inhabitants acquainted with
many industrial products which the imports from China and India were
unable to offer them. To satisfy these new cravings Spanish men-of-war
were sent, towards the close of 1764, to the colony with products of
Spanish industries, such as wine, provisions, hats, cloth, hardware,
and fancy articles.

[Manila oppositions to trade innovations.] The Manila merchants,
accustomed to a lucrative trade with Acapulco, strenuously resisted
this innovation, although it was a considerable source of profit to
them, for the Crown purchased the Indian and Chinese merchandise for
its return freights from Manila at double their original value. In
1784, however, the last of these ships arrived.

[Subterfuges of European traders.] After the English invasion,
European vessels were strictly forbidden to visit Manila; but as
that city did not want to do without Indian merchandise, and could
not import it in its own ships, it was brought there in English and
French bottoms, which assumed a Turkish name, and were provided with
an Indian sham-captain.

[The "Philippine Company" monopoly.] In 1785, the Compania de Filipinas
obtained a monopoly of the trade between Spain and the colony, but it
was not allowed to interfere with the direct traffic between Acapulco
and Manila. The desire was to acquire large quantities of colonial
produce, silk, indigo, cinnamon, cotton, pepper, etc., in order to
export it somewhat as was done later on by the system of culture in
Java; but as it was unable to obtain compulsory labor, it entirely
failed in its attempted artificial development of agriculture.

[Losses by bad management.] The Compania suffered great losses through
its erroneous system of operation, and the incapacity of its officials
(it paid, for example, $13.50 for a picul of pepper which cost from
three to four dollars in Sumatra).

[Entrance of foriegn ships and firms.] In 1789 foreign ships were
allowed to import Chinese and Indian produce, but none from Europe. In
1809 an English commercial house obtained permission to establish
itself in Manila. [24] In 1814, after the conclusion of the peace
with France, the same permission, with greater or less restrictions,
was granted to all foreigners.

[Trade free but port charges discriminating.] In 1820 the direct
trade between the Philippines and Spain was thrown open without any
limitations to the exports of colonial produce, on the condition
that the value of the Indian and Chinese goods in each expedition
should not exceed $50,000. Ever since 1834, when the privileges
of the Compania expired, free trade has been permitted in Manila;
foreign ships, however, being charged double dues. Four new ports
have been thrown open to general trade since 1855; and in 1869 the
liberal tariff previously alluded to was issued.

[Port's importance lessened under Spain.] Today, after three centuries
of almost undisturbed Spanish rule, Manila has by no means added to the
importance it possessed shortly after the advent of the Spaniards. The
isolation of Japan and the Indo-Chinese empires, a direct consequence
of the importunities and pretensions of the Catholic missionaries, [25]
the secession of the colonies on the west coast of America, above all
the long continuance of a distrustful commercial and colonial policy--a
policy which exists even at the present day--while important markets,
based on large capital and liberal principles, were being established
in the most favored spots of the British and Dutch Indies; all these
circumstances have contributed to this result and thrown the Chinese
trade into other channels. The cause is as clear as the effect,
yet it might be erroneous to ascribe the policy so long pursued to
short-sightedness. The Spaniards, in their schemes of colonisation,
had partly a religious purpose in view, but the government discovered
a great source of influence in the disposal of the extremely lucrative
colonial appointments. The crown itself, as well as its favorites,
thought of nothing but extracting the most it could from the colony,
and had neither the intention or the power to develop the natural
wealth of the country by agriculture and commerce. Inseparable from
this policy, was the persistent exclusion of foreigners. [26] It seemed
even more necessary in the isolated Philippines than in America to cut
off the natives from all contact with foreigners, if the Spaniards had
any desire to remain in undisturbed possession of the colony. In face,
however, of the developed trade of today and the claims of the world
to the productive powers of such an extraordinarily fruitful soil, the
old restrictions can no longer be maintained, and the lately-introduced
liberal tariff must be hailed as a thoroughly well-timed measure.

* * * * *

[Galleon story sidelight on colonial history.] The oft-mentioned
voyages of the galleons betwixt Manila and Acapulco hold such a
prominent position in the history of the Philippines, and afford
such an interesting glimpse into the old colonial system, that their
principal characteristics deserve some description.

[Chinese part in galleon trade.] In the days of Morga, towards the
close of the sixteenth century, from thirty to forty Chinese junks
were in the habit of annually visiting Manila (generally in March);
towards the end of June a galleon used to sail for Acapulco. The trade
with the latter place, the active operations of which were limited to
the three central months of the year, was so lucrative, easy, and safe,
that the Spaniards scarcely cared to engage in any other undertakings.

[Favoritism in allotment of cargo space.] As the carrying power of
the annual galleon was by no means proportioned to the demand for
cargo room, the governor divided it as he deemed best; the favorites,
however, to whom he assigned shares in the hold, seldom traded
themselves, but parted with their concessions to the merchants.

[Division of space and character of cargo.] According to De Guignes,
[27] the hold of the vessel was divided into 1,500 parts, of which
the majority were allotted to the priests, and the rest to favored
persons. As a matter of fact, the value of the cargo, which was
officially limited to $600,000, was considerably higher. It chiefly
consisted of Indian and Chinese cottons and silk stuffs (amongst
others fifty thousand pairs of silk stockings from China), and gold
ornaments. The value of the return freight amounted to between two
and three millions of dollars.

[Profit in trade.] Everything in this trade was settled beforehand;
the number, shape, size, and value of the bales, and even their selling
price. As this was usually double the original cost, the permission
to ship goods to a certain amount was equivalent, under ordinary
circumstances, to the bestowal of a present of a like value. These
permissions or licenses (boletas) were, at a later period, usually
granted to pensioners and officers' widows, and to officials, in lieu
of an increase of salary; these favorites were forbidden, however,
to make a direct use of them, for to trade with Acapulco was the
sole right of those members of the Consulado (a kind of chamber of
commerce) who could prove a long residence in the country and the
possession of a capital of at least $8,000.

[Evasion of regulations.] Legentil, the astronomer, gives a full
description of the regulations which prevailed in his day and the
manner in which they were disobeyed. The cargo consisted of a thousand
bales, each composed of four packets, [28] the maximum value of each
packet being fixed at $250. It was impossible to increase the amount of
bales, but they pretty generally consisted of more than four packets,
and their value so far exceeded the prescribed limits, that a boleta
was considered to be worth from $200 to $225. The officials took good
care that no goods should be smuggled on board without a boleta. These
were in such demand, that, at a later period, Comyn [29] saw people
pay $500 for the right to ship goods, the value of which scarcely
amounted to $1,000. The merchants usually borrowed the money for these
undertakings from the obras pias, charitable foundations, which, up
to our own time, fulfil in the Islands the purposes of banks. [30]
In the early days of the trade, the galleon used to leave Cavite in
July and sail with a south-westerly wind beyond the tropics, until
it met with a west wind at the thirty-eighth or [Route outward.]
fortieth parallel. [31] Later on the vessels were ordered to leave
Cavite with the first south-westerly winds to sail along the south
coast of Luzon, through San Bernardino straits, and to continue along
the thirteenth parallel of north latitude [32] as far to the east as
possible, until the north-easterly trade wind compelled them to seek a
north-west breeze in higher latitudes. They were then obliged to try
the thirtieth parallel as long as possible, instead of, as formerly,
the thirty-seventh. The captain of the galleon was not permitted
to sail immediately northward, although to have done so would have
procured him a much quicker and safer passage, and would have enabled
him to reach the rainy zone more rapidly. To effect the last, indeed,
was a matter of the greatest importance to him, for his vessel,
overladen [Water-supply crowded out by cargo.] with merchandise,
had but little room crowded out for water; and although he had
a crew of from four hundred to six hundred hands to provide for,
he was instructed to depend upon the rain he caught on the voyage;
for which purpose, the galleon was provided with suitable mats and
bamboo pails. [33]

[Length of voyage.] Voyages in these low latitudes were, owing to the
inconstancy of the winds, extremely troublesome, and often lasted five
months and upwards. The fear of exposing the costly, cumbrous vessel
to the powerful and sometimes stormy winds of the higher latitudes,
appears to have been the cause of these sailing orders.

[California landfall.] As soon as the galleon had passed the great
Sargasso shoal, it took a southerly course, and touched at the
southern point of the Californian peninsula (San Lucas), where news
and provisions awaited it. [34] In their earlier voyages, however,
they must have sailed much further to the north, somewhere in the
neighborhood of Cape Mendocino, and have been driven southward in sight
of the coast; for Vizcaino, in the voyage of discovery he undertook
in 1603, from Mexico to California, found the principal mountains and
capes, although no European had ever set his foot upon them, already
christened by the galleons, to which they had served as landmarks.

[Speedy return voyage.] The return voyage to the Philippines was an
easy one, and only occupied from forty to sixty days. [36] The galleon
left Acapulco in February or March, sailed southwards till it fell in
with the trade wind (generally in from 10 deg. to 11 deg. of north latitude),
which carried it easily to the Ladrone Islands, and thence reached
Manila by way of Samar. [37]

[Galleon's size and armament.] A galleon was usually of from twelve
hundred to fifteen hundred tons burden, and carried fifty or sixty
guns. The latter, however, were pretty generally banished to the
hold during the eastward voyage. When the ship's bows were turned
towards home, and there was no longer any press of space, the guns
were remounted.

[Capture of "Santa Anna".] San Augustin says of the Santa Anna, which
Thomas Candish captured and burnt in 1586 off the Californian coast:
"Our people sailed so carelessly that they used their guns for ballast;
.... the pirate's venture was such a fortunate one that he returned
to London with sails of Chinese damask and silken rigging." The cargo
was sold in Acapulco at a profit of 100 per cent., and was paid for
in silver, cochineal, quicksilver, etc. [Value of return freight]
The total value of the return freight amounted perhaps to between
two and three million dollars, [38] of which a quarter of a million,
at least, fell to the king.

[Gambling rather than commerce] The return of a galleon to Manila,
laden with silver dollars and new arrivals, was a great holiday
for the colony. A considerable portion of the riches they had won
as easily as at the gaming table, was soon spent by the crew; when
matters again returned to their usual lethargic state. It was no
unfrequent event, however, for vessels to be lost. They were too
often laden with a total disregard to seaworthiness, and wretchedly
handled. It was favor, not capacity, that determined the patronage
of these lucrative appointments. [39] Many galleons fell into the
hands of English and Dutch cruisers. [40] ["Philippine Company"
and smugglers cause change.] But these tremendous profits gradually
decreased as the Compania obtained the right to import Indian
cottons, one of the principal articles of trade, into New Spain by
way of Vera Cruz, subject to a customs duty of 6 per cent; and when
English and American adventurers began to smuggle these and other
goods into the country. [41] [Spanish coins in circulation on China
coast.] Finally, it may be mentioned that Spanish dollars found their
way in the galleons to China and the further Indies, where they are
in circulation to this day.


[The walled city of Manila.] The city proper of Manila, inhabited by
Spaniards, Creoles, the Filipinos directly connected with them, and
Chinese, lies, surrounded by walls and wide ditches, on the left or
southern bank of the Pasig, looking towards the sea. [42] It is a hot,
dried-up place, full of monasteries, convents, barracks, and government
buildings. Safety, not appearance, was the object of its builders. It
reminds the beholder of a Spanish provincial town, and is, next to Goa,
the oldest city in the Indies. Foreigners reside on the northern bank
of the river; in Binondo, the headquarters of wholesale and retail
commerce, or in the pleasant suburban villages, which blend into
a considerable whole. [Population.] The total population of city
and suburbs has been estimated, perhaps with some exaggeration,
at 200,000. [Bridges.] A handsome old stone bridge of ten arches
serves as the communication between the two banks of the Pasig,
which, more recently, has also been spanned by an iron suspension
bridge. [43] Very little intercourse exists between the inhabitants
of Manila and Binondo. [Friction between classes.] Life in the city
proper cannot be very pleasant; pride, envy, place-hunting, and caste
hatred, are the order of the day; the Spaniards consider themselves
superior to the creoles, who, in their turn, reproach the former with
the taunt that they have only come to the colony to save themselves
from starvation. A similar hatred and envy exists between the whites
and the mestizos. This state of things is to be found in all Spanish
colonies, and is chiefly caused by the colonial policy of Madrid,
which always does its best to sow discord between the different races
and classes of its foreign possessions, under the idea that their
union would imperil the sway of the mother country. [44]

[Few large landowners.] In Manila, moreover, this state of things was
rendered worse by the fact that the planter class, whose large landed
possessions always give it a strong interest in the country of its
inhabitance, was entirely wanting. At the present day, however, the
increasing demand for the produce of the colony seems to be bringing
about a pleasant change in this respect. [Spaniards transient.] The
manner in which the Spanish population of the Islands was affected
by the gambling ventures of the galleons, at one time the only
source of commercial wealth, is thus described by Murillo Velarde
(page 272):--"The Spaniards who settle here look upon these Islands
as a tavern rather than a permanent home. If they marry, it is by the
merest chance; where can a family be found that has been settled here
for several generations? The father amasses wealth, the son spends it,
the grandson is a beggar. The largest capitals are not more stable than
the waves of the ocean, across the crests of which they were gathered."

[Discomforts and the high cost of living.] There is nothing like
the same amount of sociability amongst the foreigners in Binondo as
prevails in English and Dutch colonies; and scarcely any intercourse at
all with the Spaniards, who envy the strangers and almost seem to look
upon the gains the latter make in the country as so many robberies
committed upon themselves, its owners. Besides all this, living is
very expensive, much more so than in Singapore and Batavia. To many,
the mere cost of existence seems greatly out of proportion to their
official salaries. The (European style) houses, which are generally
spacious, are gloomy and ugly, and not well ventilated for such a
climate. Instead of light jalousies, they are fitted with heavy sash
windows, which admit the light through thin oyster shells, forming
small panes scarcely two square inches in area, and held together by
laths an inch thick. The ground floors of the houses are, on account
of the great damp, sensibly enough, generally uninhabited; and are
used as cellars, stables, and servant's offices.

[Native houses comfortable and unchanged.] The unassuming, but for
their purposes very practical houses, of boards, bamboos, and (nipa)
palm leaves, are supported on account of the damp on isolated beams
or props; and the space beneath, which is generally fenced in with
a railing, is used as a stable or a warehouse; such was the case
as early as the days of Magellan. These dwellings [45] are very
lightly put together. La Perouse estimates the weight of some of them,
furniture and all, at something less than two hundred pounds. Nearly
all these houses, as well as the huts of the natives, are furnished
with an azotea, that is, an uncovered space, on the same level as the
dwelling, which takes the place of yard and balcony. The Spaniards
appear to have copied this useful contrivance from the Moors, but the
natives were acquainted with them before the arrival of the Europeans,
for Morga mentions similar batalanes.

[Neglected river and canals offensive.] In the suburbs nearly every
hut stands in its own garden. The river is often quite covered with
green scum; and dead cats and dogs surrounded with weeds, which look
like cabbage-lettuce, frequently adorn its waters. In the dry season,
the numerous canals of the suburbs are so many stagnant drains,
and at each ebb of the tide the ditches around the town exhibit a
similar spectacle.

[Dreary and unprogressive life.] Manila offers very few opportunities
for amusement. There was no Spanish theatre open during my stay there,
but Tagalog plays (translations) were sometimes represented. The town
possessed no club, and contained no readable books. Never once did
the least excitement enliven its feeble newspapers, for the items
of intelligence, forwarded fortnightly from Hongkong, were sifted by
priestly censors, who left little but the chronicles of the Spanish
and French courts to feed the barren columns of the local sheets. [46]
The pompously celebrated religious festivals were the only events
that sometimes chequered the wearisome monotony.

[Cock-fighting.] The chief amusement of the Filipinos is cock-fighting,
which is carried on with a passionate eagerness that must strike every
stranger. Nearly every man keeps a fighting cock. Many are never seen
out of doors without their favorite in their arms; they pay as much
as $50 and upwards for these pets, and heap the tenderest caresses
on them. The passion for cock-fighting can well be termed a national
vice; but the practice may have been introduced by the Spaniards, or
the Mexicans who accompanied them, as, in a like manner, the habit of
smoking opium among the Chinese, which has become a national curse,
was first introduced by the English. [Probably Malay Custom.] It is,
however, more probable that the Malays brought the custom into the
country. In the eastern portion of the Philippines, cock-fighting
was unknown in the days of Pigafetta. The first cock-fight he met
with was at Palawan. "They keep large cocks, which from a species of
superstition, they never eat, but keep for fighting purposes. Heavy
bets are made on the upshot of the contest, which are paid to the
owner of the winning bird." [47] The sight is one extremely repulsive
to Europeans. [The cockpit.] The ring around the cockpit is crowded
with men, perspiring at every pore, while their countenances bear
the imprint of the ugliest passions. Each bird is armed with a sharp
curved spur, three inches long capable of making deep wounds, and which
always causes the death of one or both birds by the serious injuries it
inflicts. If a cock shows symptoms of fear and declines the encounter,
it is plucked alive. Incredibly large sums, in proportion to the means
of the gamblers, are wagered on the result. [Its bad influence.] It
is very evident that these cock-fights must have a most demoralising
effect upon a people so addicted to idleness and dissipation, and so
accustomed to give way to the impulse of the moment. Their effect
is to make them little able to resist the temptation of procuring
money without working for it. The passion for the game leads many
to borrow at usury, to embezzlement, to theft, and even to highway
robbery. The land and sea pirates, of whom I shall speak presently,
are principally composed of ruined gamesters. [48]

[Feminine attractiveness.] In the comeliness of the women who
lend animation to its streets Manila surpasses all other towns in
the Indian Archipelago. Mallat describes them in glowing colors. A
charming picture of Manila street life, full of local color, is given
in the very amusing Aventures d'un Gentilhomme Breton. [49]

[Mestizas.] How many of the prettiest Filipinas are of perfectly
unmixed blood, it is, I confess, difficult to decide. Many of them
are very fair and of quite an European type, and are thereby easily
distinguished from their sisters in the outlying provinces. The
immediate environs of Manila can boast many beautiful spots, but
they are not the resort of the local rank and fashion, the object
of whose daily promenade is the display of their toilettes, and not
the enjoyment of nature. In the hot season, all who can afford it
are driven every evening along the [The Luneta.] dusty streets to
a promenade on the beach, which was built a short time back, where
several times a week the band of a native regiment plays fairly good
music, and there walk formally up and down. All the Spaniards [The
Angelas.] are in uniform or in black frock coats. When the bells ring
out for evening prayer, carriages, horsemen, pedestrians, all suddenly
stand motionless; the men take off their hats, and everybody appears
momentarily absorbed in prayer.

[Botanical gardens.] The same governor who laid out the promenade
established a botanical garden. It is true that everything he planted
in it, exposed on a marshy soil to the full heat of a powerful sun,
soon faded away; but its ground was enclosed and laid out, and though
it was overgrown with weeds, it had at least received a name. At
present it is said to be in better condition. [50]

[Pretty girls in gay garments.] The religious festivals in the
neighborhood of Manila are well worth a visit, if only for the sake
of the numerous pretty Filipinas and mestizas in their best clothes
who make their appearance in the evening and promenade up and down
the streets, which are illuminated and profusely decked with flowers
and bright colors. They offer a charming spectacle, particularly
to a stranger lately arrived from Malaysia. The Filipinas are very
beautifully formed. They have luxuriant black hair, and large dark
eyes; the upper part of their bodies is clad in a homespun but often
costly material of transparent fineness and snow-white purity; and,
from their waist downwards, they are wrapped in a brightly-striped
cloth (saya), which falls in broad folds, and which, as far as the
knee, is so tightly compressed with a dark shawl (lapis), closely drawn
around the figure, that the rich variegated folds of the saya burst
out beneath it like the blossoms of a pomegranate. This swathing only
allows the young girls to take very short steps, and this timidity of
gait, in unison with their downcast eyes, gives them a very modest
appearance. On their naked feet they wear embroidered slippers of
such a small size that their little toes protrude for want of room,
and grasp the outside of the sandal. [51]

[Dress of the poorer women.] The poorer women clothe themselves in a
saya and in a so-called chemise, which is so extremely short that it
frequently does not even reach the first fold of the former. In the
more eastern islands grown-up girls and women wear, with the exception
of a Catholic amulet, nothing but these two garments, which are,
particularly after bathing, and before they get dried by the sun,
nearly transparent.

[Men's clothing.] A hat, trousers, and a shirt worn outside them,
both made of coarse Guinara cloth, compose the dress of the men of
the poorer classes. The shirts worn by the wealthy are often made
of an extremely expensive home-made material, woven from the fibers
of the pineapple or the banana. Some of them are ornamented with
silk stripes, some are plain. They are also frequently manufactured
entirely of jusi (Chinese floret silk), in which case they will not
stand washing, and can only be worn once. The hat (salacot), a round
piece of home-made plaiting, is used as both umbrella and sunshade,
and is often adorned with silver ornaments of considerable value. [The
"Principales".] The principalia class enjoy the special privilege
of wearing short jackets above their shirts, and are usually easily
recognizable by their amusing assumption of dignity, and by the faded
cylindrical hats, yellow with age, family heirlooms, constantly
worn. [The dandies.] The native dandies wear patent leather shoes
on their naked feet, tight-fitting trousers of some material striped
with black and white or with some other glaringly-contrasted colors,
a starched plaited shirt of European make, a chimney-pot silk hat,
and carry a cane in their hands. [The servants.] The servants waiting
at dinner in their white starched shirts and trousers are by no means
an agreeable spectacle, and I never realised the full ludicrousness
of European male costume till my eye fell upon its caricature,
exemplified in the person of a "Manila dandy."

[Mestiza costume.] The mestizas dress like the Filipinas, but do not
wear the tapis, and those of them who are married to Europeans are
generally clad in both shoes and stockings. Many of the mestizas are
extremely pretty, but their gait drags a little, from their habit of
wearing slippers. As a rule they are prudent, thrifty, and [Clever
business women.] clever business women, but their conversation is
often awkward and tedious. Their want of education is, however, not
the cause of this latter failing, for Andalusian women who never learn
anything but the elementary doctrines of Christianity, are among the
most charming creatures in the world, in their youth. [Ill at ease
in society.] Its cause lies rather in this equivocal position; they
are haughtily repelled by their white sisters, whilst they themselves
disown their mother's kin. They are wanting in the ease, in the tact,
that the women of Spain show in every relation of existence.

[Mestizos.] The mestizos, particularly those born of Chinese and Tagal
mothers, constitute the richest and the most enterprising portion of
the native population. They are well acquainted with all the good and
bad qualities of the Filipino inhabitants, and use them unscrupulously
for their own purposes.


[Native distrust of Europeans.] A Scotch merchant to whom I brought
a letter of introduction invited me with such cordiality to come
and stay with him, that I found myself unable to refuse. While thus
living under the roof and protection of one of the wealthiest and most
respected men in the city, the cabmen I employed insisted on being
paid beforehand every time I rode in their vehicles. This distrust was
occasioned by the scanty feeling of respect most of the Europeans in
Manila inspired in the minds of the natives. Many later observations
confirmed this impression. What a different state of things exists
in Java and Singapore! The reason, however, is easily explained.

[Dutch and English stand well in their colonies.] The Dutch are as
little able as the English to acclimatize themselves in tropical
countries. They get all they can out of countries in which they are
only temporary sojourners, the former by forced service and monopoly,
the latter by commerce. In both cases, however, the end is accomplished
by comparatively few individuals, whose official position and the
largeness of whose undertakings place them far above the mass of the
population. In Java, moreover, the Europeans constitute the governing
classes, the natives the governed; and even in Singapore where both
races are equal before the law the few white men understand how to mark
the difference of race so distinctively that the natives without demur
surrender to them, though not by means of the law, the privileges of a
higher caste. The difference of religion does but widen the gap; and,
finally, every European there speaks the language of the country, while
the natives are totally ignorant of that spoken by the foreigners.

[Dutch colonials well educated.] The Dutch officials are educated at
home in schools specially devoted to the East Indian service. The art
of managing the natives, the upholding of prestige, which is considered
the secret of the Dutch power over the numerous native populations,
forms an essential particular in their education. The Dutch, therefore,
manage their intercourse with the natives, no matter how much they
intend to get out of them, in strict accordance with customary usage
(adat); they never wound the natives' amor propio and never expose
themselves in their own mutual intercourse, which remains a sealed
book to the inhabitants.

[Spanish officials undesirables.] Things are different in the
Philippines. With the exception of those officials whose stay is
limited by the rules of the service, or by the place-hunting that
ensues at every change in the Spanish ministry, few Spaniards who
have once settled in the colony ever return home. It is forbidden
to the priests, and most of the rest have no means of doing so. A
considerable portion of them consist of subaltern officers, soldiers,
sailors, political delinquents and refugees whom the mother-country
has got rid of; and not seldom of adventurers deficient both in means
and desire for the journey back, for their life in the colony is far
pleasanter than that they were forced to lead in Spain. These latter
arrive without the slightest knowledge of the country and without
being in the least prepared for a sojourn there. Many of them are so
lazy that they won't take the trouble to learn the language even if
they marry a daughter of the soil. Their servants understand Spanish,
and clandestinely watch the conversation and the actions, and become
acquainted with all the secrets, of their indiscreet masters, to
whom the Filipinos remain an enigma which their conceit prevents them
attempting to decipher.

[Spanish lack of prestige deserved.] It is easy to understand how
Filipino respect for Europeans must be diminished by the numbers of
these uneducated, improvident, and extravagant Spaniards, who, no
matter what may have been their position at home, are all determined
to play the master in the colony. [Social Standing of Filipinos thus
enhanced.] The relative standing of the Filipinos naturally profits
by all this and it would be difficult to find a colony in which
the natives, taken all in all, feel more comfortable than in the
Philippines. They have adopted the religion, the manners, and the
customs of their rulers; and though legally not on an equal footing
with the latter, they are by no means separated from them by the
high barriers with which, not to mention Java, the churlish reserve
of the English has surrounded the natives of the other colonies.

[Spanish-Filipino bonds of union.] The same religion, a similar form
of worship, an existence intermixed with that of the indigenous
population, all tend to bring the Europeans and the Indians
together. That they have done so is proved by the existence of the
proportionately very numerous band of mestizos who inhabit the Islands.

[Latin races better for colonists in the tropics.] The Spaniards
and the Portuguese appear, in fact, to be the only Europeans who
take root in tropical countries. They are capable of permanent and
fruitful amalgamation [52] with the natives. [53]

[Initiative and individuality missing.] The want of originality, which
among the mestizos, appears to arise from their equivocal position,
is also to be found among the natives. Distinctly marked national
customs, which one would naturally expect to find in such an isolated
part of the world, are sought for in vain, and again and again the
stranger remarks that everything has been learned and is only a veneer.

[A compromise civilization.] As Spain forcibly expelled the
civilization of the Moors, and in Peru that of the Incas, so in the
Philippines it has understood how to set aside an equally well-founded
one, by appropriating in an incredible manner, in order to take root
itself the more quickly, all existing forms and abuses. [54]

[Imitation instilled and self-respect banished.] The uncivilized
inhabitants of the Philippines quickly adopted the rites, forms,
and ceremonies of the strange religion, and, at the same time, copied
the personal externalities of their new masters, learning to despise
their own manners and customs as heathenish and barbarian. Nowadays,
forsooth, they sing Andalusian songs, and dance Spanish dances; but
in what sort of way? They imitate everything that passes before their
eyes without using their intelligence to appreciate it. It is this
which makes both themselves and their artistic productions wearisome,
devoid of character, and, I may add, unnatural, in spite of the skill
and patience they devote to them. These two peculiarities, moreover,
are invariably to be found amongst nations whose civilization is but
little developed; the patience so much admired is often nothing but
waste of time and breath, quite out of proportion to the end in view,
and the skill is the mere consequence of the backward state of the
division of labor.

[Educated Filipino unnatural.] If I entered the house of a well-to-do
Filipino, who spoke Spanish, I was received with the same phrases his
model, a Spaniard, would employ; but I always had the feeling that it
was out of place. In countries where the native population remains
true to its ancient customs this is not the case; and whenever I
have not been received with proper respect, I have remarked that the
apparent fact proceeded from a difference in social forms, not more
to be wondered at than a difference in weights and measures. In Java,
and particularly in Borneo and the Moluccas, the utensils in daily use
are ornamented with so refined a feeling for form and color, that they
are praised by our artists as patterns of ornamentation and afford
a proof that the labor is one of love, and that it is presided over
by an acute intelligence. [Native art-sense spoiled.] Such a sense
of beauty is seldom to be met with in the Philippines. Everything
there is imitation or careless makeshift. Even the pina embroideries,
which are fabricated with such wonderful patience and skill, and
are so celebrated for the fineness of the work, are, as a rule,
spiritless imitations of Spanish patterns. One is involuntarily
led to these conclusions by a comparison of the art products of the
Spanish-American communities with those of more barbarous races. The
Berlin Ethnographical Museum contains many proofs of the facts I have
just mentioned.

[Indolence from absence of incentive.] The oars used in the
Philippines are usually made of bamboo poles, with a board tied to
their extremities with strips of rattan. If they happen to break, so
much the better; for the fatiguing labor of rowing must necessarily
be suspended till they are mended again.

[Carelessness from lack of responsibility.] In Java the carabao-carts,
which are completely covered in as a protection against the rain,
are ornamented with many tasteful patterns. The roofless wagons used
in the Philippines are roughly put together at the last moment. When
it is necessary to protect their contents from the wet, an old pair
of mats is thrown over them, more for the purpose of appeasing the
prejudices of the "Castilians" than really to keep off the rain.

[Weakened character and want of dignity.] The English and the Dutch are
always looked upon as strangers in the tropics; their influence never
touches the ancient native customs which culminate in the religion of
the country. But the populations whom the Spaniards have converted to
their religion have lost all originality, all sense of nationality;
yet the alien religion has never really penetrated into their inmost
being, they never feel it to be a source of moral support, and it is
no accidental coincidence that they are all more or less stamped with
a want of dignity....

[Spanish rule not benevolent, but beneficial.] With the exception of
this want of national individuality, and the loss of the distinguishing
manners and customs which constitute the chief charm of most eastern
peoples, the Filipino is an interesting study of a type of mankind
existing in the easiest natural conditions. The arbitrary rule of
their chiefs, and the iron shackles of slavery, were abolished by the
Spaniards shortly after their arrival; and peace and security reigned
in the place of war and rapine. The Spanish rule in these Islands was
always a mild one, not because the laws, which treated the natives
like children, were wonderfully gentle, but because the causes did
not exist which caused such scandalous cruelties in Spanish America
and in the colonies of other nations.

[Circumstances have favored the Filipinos.] It was fortunate for
the Filipinos that their islands possessed no wealth in the shape of
precious metals or valuable spices. In the earlier days of maritime
traffic there was little possibility of exporting the numerous
agricultural productions of the colony; and it was scarcely worth
while, therefore, to make the most of the land. The few Spaniards
who resided in the colony found such an easy method of making money
in the commerce with China and Mexico, by means of the galleons,
that they held themselves aloof from all economical enterprises,
which had little attraction for their haughty inclinations, and
would have imposed the severest labor on the Filipinos. Taking into
consideration the wearisome and dangerous navigation of the time,
it was, moreover, impossible for the Spaniards, upon whom their too
large possessions in America already imposed an exhausting man-tax,
to maintain a strong armed force in the Philippines. The subjection,
which had been inaugurated by a dazzling military exploit, was chiefly
accomplished by the assistance of the friar orders, whose missionaries
were taught to employ extreme prudence and patience. The Philippines
were thus principally won by a peaceful conquest.

[Have fared better than the Mexicans.] The taxes laid upon the peoples
were so trifling that they did not suffice for the administration
of the colony. The difference was covered by yearly contributions
from Mexico. The extortions of unconscientious officials were by no
means conspicuous by their absence. Cruelties, however, such as were
practised in the American mining districts, or in the manufactures
of Quito, never occurred in the Philippines.

[A land of opportunity.] Uncultivated land was free, and was at
the service of any one willing to make it productive; if, however,
it remained untilled for two years, it reverted to the crown. [55]

[Low taxes.] The only tax which the Filipinos pay is the poll-tax,
known as the tributo, which originally, three hundred years ago,
amounted to one dollar for every pair of adults, and in a country
where all marry early, and the sexes are equally divided, really
constituted a family-tax. By degrees the tribute has been raised to
two and one-sixteenth dollars. An adult, therefore, male or female,
pays one and one-thirty-second dollar, and that from his sixteenth to
his sixtieth year. Besides this, every man has to give forty days'
labor every year to the State. This vassalage (polos y servicios)
is divided into ordinary and extraordinary services: the first
consists of the duties appertaining to a watchman or messenger, in
cleaning the courts of justice, and in other light labors; the second
in road-making, and similar heavier kinds of work, for the benefit
of villages and provinces. The little use, however, that is made of
these services, is shown by the fact that any one can obtain a release
from them for a sum which at most is not more than three dollars. No
personal service is required of women. A little further on, important
details about the tax from official sources, which were placed at my
disposal in the colonial office, appear in a short special chapter.

[Fortunate factors.] In other countries, with an equally mild climate,
and an equally fertile soil, the natives, unless they had reached a
higher degree of civilization than that of the Philippine Islanders,
would have been ground down by native princes, or ruthlessly plundered
and destroyed by foreigners. In these isolated Islands, so richly
endowed by nature, where pressure from above, impulse from within,
and every stimulus from the outside are wanting, the satisfaction
of a few trifling wants is sufficient for an existence with ample
comfort. Of all countries in the world, the Philippines have the
greatest claim to be considered a lotos-eating Utopia. The traveller,
whose knowledge of the dolce far niente is derived from Naples,
has no real appreciation of it; it only blossoms under the shade of
palm-trees. These notes of travel will contain plenty of examples to
support this. One trip across the Pasig gives a foretaste of life
in the interior of the country. Low wooden cabins and bamboo huts,
surmounted with green foliage and blossoming flowers, are picturesquely
grouped with areca palms, and tall, feather-headed bamboos, upon its
banks. Sometimes the enclosures run down into the stream itself, some
of them being duck-grounds, and others bathing-places. The shore is
fringed with canoes, nets, rafts, and fishing apparatus. Heavily-laden
boats float down the stream, and small canoes ply from bank to bank
between the groups of bathers. The most lively traffic is to be seen
in the tiendas, large sheds, corresponding to the Javanese harongs,
which open upon the river, the great channel for traffic.

[River resorts.] They are a source of great attraction to the
passing sailors, who resort to them for eating, drinking, and other
convivialities; and while away the time there in gambling, betel
chewing, and smoking, with idle companions of both sexes.

[Sleeping pilots.] At times somebody may be seen floating down
the stream asleep on a heap of coconuts. If the nuts run ashore,
the sleeper rouses himself, pushes off with a long bamboo, and
contentedly relapses into slumber, as his eccentric raft regains
the current of the river. One cut of his bolo-knife easily detaches
sufficient of the husk of the nuts to allow of their being fastened
together; in this way a kind of wreath is formed which encircles and
holds together the loose nuts piled up in the middle.

[Labor-saving conditions.] The arduous labors of many centuries
have left as their legacy a perfect system of transport; but in
these Islands man can obtain many of his requirements direct with
proportionately trifling labor, and a large amount of comfort for

[Easy food.] Off the Island of Talim, in the great Lagoon of Bay, my
boatmen bought for a few cuartos several dozens of fish quite twelve
inches long; and those which they couldn't eat were split open, salted,
and dried by a few hours' exposure to the heat of the sun on the roof
of the boat. When the fishermen had parted with their contemplated
breakfast, they stooped down and filled their cooking-vessels with
sand-mussels (paludina costata, 2.a G.), first throwing away the
dead ones from the handfuls they picked up from the bottom of the
shallow water.

[River's importance.] Nearly all the dwellings are built by the water's
edge. The river is a natural self-maintaining highway, on which loads
can be carried to the foot of the mountains. The huts of the people,
built upon piles, are to be seen thickly scattered about its banks,
and particularly about its broad mouths. The appropriateness of
their position is evident, for the stream is at once the very
center of activity and the most convenient spot for the pursuit
of their callings. At each tide the takes of fish are more or less
plentiful, and at low-water the women and children may be seen picking
up shell-fish with their toes, for practice has enabled them to use
their toes as deftly as their fingers, or gathering in the sand-crabs
and eatable seaweed.

[Riverside gaiety.] The riverside is a pretty sight when men, women,
and children are bathing and frolicking in the shade of the palm-trees;
and others are filling their water-vessels, large bamboos, which they
carry on their shoulders, or jars, which they bear on their heads;
and when the boys are standing upright on the broad backs of the
carabaos and riding triumphantly into the water.

[Coco-palms.] It is here too that the coco-palm most flourishes, a tree
that supplies not only their food and drink, but also every material
necessary for the construction of huts and the manufacture of the
various articles which they use. While the greatest care is necessary
to make those growing further inland bear even a little fruit, the
palm-trees close to the shore, even when planted on wretched soil,
grow plentiful crops without the slightest trouble. Has a palm-tree
ever been made to blossom in a hothouse? Thomson [56] mentions that
coco-trees growing by the sea-side are wont to incline their stems over
the ocean, the waters of which bear their fruit to desert shores and
islands, and render them habitable for mankind. Thus the coco-tree
would seem to play an essential part in the ocean vagabondage of
Malaysia and Polynesia.

[Nipa-palms.] Close to the coco-trees grow clumps of the stunted
nipa-palms, which only flourish in brackish waters; [57] their
leaves furnish the best roof-thatching. Sugar, brandy, and vinegar
are manufactured from their sap. Three hundred and fifty years ago
Pigafetta found these manufactures in full swing, but nowadays
they seem to be limited to the Philippines. Besides these, the
pandanus-tree, from the leaves of which the softest mats are woven,
is always found in near proximity to the shore.

[Fertile fields.] Towards the interior the landscape is covered with
rice-fields, which yearly receive a fresh layer of fertile soil,
washed down from the mountains by the river, and spread over their
surface by the overflowing of its waters; and which in consequence
never require any fertilizer. [The carabao.] The carabao, the favorite
domestic animal of the Malays, and which they keep especially for
agricultural purposes, prefers these regions to all others. It loves
to wallow in the mud, and is not fit for work unless permitted to
frequent the water.

[Bamboo.] Bamboos with luxuriant leafy tops grow plentifully by the
huts in the rice-fields which fringe the banks of the river. In my
former sketches of travel I have endeavored to describe how much
this gigantic plant contributes to the comfort and convenience of
tropical life. Since then I have become acquainted with many curious
purposes to which it is turned, but to describe them here would be
out of place. [58] I may be allowed, however, to briefly cite a
few examples showing what numerous results are obtained from simple
means. Nature has endowed these splendid plants, which perhaps surpass
all others in beauty, with so many useful qualities, and delivered
them into the hands of mankind so ready for immediate use, that a
few sharp cuts suffice to convert them into all kinds of various
utensils. [Strength.] The bamboo possesses, in proportion to its
lightness, an extraordinary strength; the result of its round shape,
and the regularity of the joints in its stem. The parallel position and
toughness of its fibers render it easy to split, and, when split, its
pieces are of extraordinary pliability and elasticity. To the gravelly
soil on which it grows it owes its durability, and its firm, even,
and always clean surface, the brilliancy and color of which improve by
use. [Convenience.] And finally, it is a great thing for a population
with such limited means of conveyance that the bamboo is to be found
in such abundance in all kinds of localities and of all dimensions,
from a few millimeters to ten or fifteen centimeters in diameter,
even sometimes to twice this amount; and that, on account of its
unsurpassed floating power, it is pre-eminently fitted for locomotion
in a country poor in roads but rich in watercourses. A blow with a bolo
is generally enough to cut down a strong stem. [Usefulness.] If the
thin joints are taken away, hollow stems of different thicknesses can
be slid into one another like the parts of a telescope. From bamboos
split in half, gutters, troughs, and roofing tiles can be made. Split
into several slats, which can be again divided into small strips and
fibers for the manufacture of baskets, ropes, mats, and fine plaiting
work, they can be made into frames and stands. Two cuts in the same
place make a round hole through which a stem of corresponding diameter
can be firmly introduced. If a similar opening is made in a second
upright, the horizontal stem can be run through both. Gates, closing
perpendicularly or horizontally in frames moving without friction on
a perpendicular or horizontal axis, can be made in this way.

Two deep cuts give an angular shape to the stem; and when its two sides
are wide enough apart to admit of a cross-stem being placed between
them, they can be employed as roof-ridges or for the framework of
tables and chairs; a quantity of flat split pieces of bamboo being
fastened on top of them with chair-cane. These split pieces then
form the seats of the chairs and the tops of the tables, instead of
the boards and large bamboo laths used at other times. It is equally
easy to make an oblong opening in a large bamboo in which to fit the
laths of a stand.

A couple of cuts are almost enough to make a fork, a pair of tongs
or a hook.

If one makes a hole as big as the end of one's finger in a large
bamboo close under a joint, one obtains by fastening a small piece of
cloth to the open end, a syphon or a filter. If a piece of bamboo is
split down to the joint in strips, and the strips be bound together
with others horizontally interlaced, it makes a conical basket. If
the strips are cut shorter, it makes a peddler's pack basket. If
a long handle is added, and it is filled with tar, it can be used
as a signal torch. If shallower baskets of the same dimensions,
but with their bottoms cut off or punched out, are placed inside
these conical ones, the two together make capital snare baskets for
crabs and fish. If a bamboo stem be cut off just below the joint,
and its lower edge be split up into a cogged rim, it makes, when the
partition of the joint is punched out, an earth-auger, a fountain-pipe,
and many things of the kind.

* * * * *

[Pleasures of travel.] Strangers travelling in the interior have
daily fresh opportunities of enjoying the hospitality of nature. The
atmosphere is so equitably warm that one would gladly dispense with
all clothing except a sun-hat and a pair of light shoes. Should one
be tempted to pass the night in the open air, the construction of a
hut from the leaves of the palm and the fern is the work of a few
minutes; [Village rest houses.] but in even the smallest village
the traveller finds a "common house" (casa real), in which he can
take up his quarters and be supplied with the necessaries of life
at the market price. There too he will always meet with semaneros
(those who perform menial duties) ready to serve him as messengers
or porters for the most trifling remuneration. But long practice
has taught me that their services principally consist in doing
nothing. On one occasion I wanted to send a man who was playing
cards and drinking tuba (fresh or weakly-fermented palm-sap) with his
companions, on an errand. [Pleasant prison life.] Without stopping his
game the fellow excused himself on the ground of being a prisoner,
and one of his guardians proceeded in the midst of the intense heat
to carry my troublesome message. Prisoners have certainly little
cause to grumble. [Frequent floggings little regarded.] The only
inconvenience to which they are exposed are the floggings which the
local authorities very liberally dispense by the dozens for the most
trifling offences. Except the momentary bodily pain, however, these
appear in most cases to make little impression on a people who have
been accustomed to corporal punishment from their youth upwards. Their
acquaintances stand round the sufferers, while the blows are being
inflicted, and mockingly ask them how it tastes.

[Change from Malayan character.] A long residence amongst the earnest,
quiet, and dignified Malays, who are most anxious for their honor,
while most submissive to their superiors, makes the contrast in
character exhibited by the natives of the Philippines, who yet belong
to the Malay race, all the more striking. The change in their nature
appears to be a natural consequence of the Spanish rule, for the same
characteristics may be observed in the natives of Spanish America. The
class distinctions and the despotic oppression prevalent under their
former chiefs doubtless rendered the Filipinos of the past more like
the Malays of today.


[The familiar field for travellers.] The environs of Manila, the Pasig,
and the Lagoon of Bay, which are visited by every fresh arrival in the
colony, have been so often described that I have restricted myself
to a few short notes upon these parts of the country, and intend to
relate in detail only my excursions into the south-eastern provinces
of Luzon, Camarines, and Albay, and the islands which lie to the east
of them, Samar and Leyte. Before doing this, however, it will not be
out of place to glance at the map and give some slight description
of their geographical conditions.

[Archipelago's great extent.] The Philippine Archipelago lies between
Borneo and Formosa, and separates the northern Pacific Ocean from the
China Sea. It covers fourteen and one-half degrees of latitude, and
extends from the Sulu Islands in the south, in the fifth parallel of
north latitude, to the Babuyans in the north in latitude 19 deg. 30'. If,
however, the Bashee or Batanes Islands be included, its area may be
said to extend to the twenty-first parallel of north latitude. But
neither southwards or northwards does Spanish rule extend to these
extreme limits, nor, in fact, does it always reach the far interior
of the larger islands. From the eastern to the western extremity of
the Philippines the distance is about nine degrees of longitude. Two
islands, Luzon, with an area of two thousand, and Mindanao, with one of
more than one thousand five hundred square miles, are together larger
than all the rest. The seven next largest islands are Palawan, Samar,
Panay, Mindoro, Leyte, Negros, and Cebu; of which the first measures
about two hundred and fifty, and the last about one hundred square
miles. Then come Bohol and Masbate, each about half the size of Cebu;
twenty smaller islands, still of some importance; and numerous tiny
islets, rocks, and reefs.

[Favored by position and conditions.] The Philippines are extremely
favored by their position and conditions. Their extension from
north to south, over 16 deg. of latitude, obtains for them a variety of
climate which the Dutch Indies, whose largest diameter, their extent
in latitude north and south of the equator being but trifling, runs
from the east to the west, by no means enjoy. The advantages accruing
from their neighborhood to the equator are added to those acquired
from the natural variety of their climate; and the produce of both the
torrid and temperate zones, the palm-tree and the fir, the pine-apple,
the corn ear and the potato, flourish side by side upon their shores.

[Harbors and water highways.] The larger islands contain vast inland
seas, considerable navigable rivers, and many creeks running far
into the interior; they are rich, too, in safe harbors and countless
natural ports of refuge for ships in distress. Another attribute
which, though not to be realized by a glance at the map, is yet one
of the most fortunate the Islands possess, is the countless number
of small streams which pour down from the inland hills, and open out,
ere they reach the ocean, into broad estuaries; up these watercourses
coasting vessels of shallow draught can sail to the very foot of the
mountains and take in their cargo. [Soil and sea alike productive.] The
fertility of the soil is unsurpassed; both the sea around the coasts
and the inland lakes swarm with fish and shell-fish, while in the whole
archipelago there is scarcely a wild beast to be found. It seems that
only two civets happen to appear: Miro (paradoxurus philippinensis
Tem.) and galong (viverra tangalunga Gray). Luzon surpasses all the
other islands, not only in size, but in importance; and its fertility
and other natural superiority well entitle it to be called, as it is
by Crawfurd, "the most beautiful spot in the tropics."

[Luzon.] The mainland of the isle of Luzon stretches itself in a
compact long quadrangle, twenty-five miles broad, from 18 deg. 40' north
latitude to the Bay of Manila (14 deg. 30'); and then projects, amid
large lakes and deep creeks, a rugged promontory to the east, joined
to the main continent by but two narrow isthmuses which stretch east
and west of the large inland Lagoon of Bay. Many traces of recent
upheavals betoken that the two portions were once separated and
formed two distinct islands. The large eastern promontory, well-nigh
as long as the northern portion, is nearly cut in half by two deep
bays, which, starting from opposite points on the south-eastern
and north-western coasts, almost merge their waters in the center
of the peninsula; the Bay of Ragay, and the Bay of Sogod. In fact,
the southern portion of Luzon may be better described as two small
peninsulas lying next to one another in parallel positions, and joined
together by a narrow neck of land scarcely three miles broad. Two small
streams which rise nearly in the same spot and pour themselves into
the two opposite gulfs, make the separation almost complete, and form
at the same time the boundary between the province of Tayabas on the
west, and that of Camarines on the east. The western portion, indeed,
consists almost entirely of the first-named district, and the eastern
is divided into the provinces of North Camarines, South Camarines,
and Albay. The first of these three is divided from Tayabas by the
boundary already mentioned, and from South Camarines by a line drawn
from the southern shore of the Bay of San Miguel on the north to the
opposite coast. The eastern extremity of the peninsula forms the
province of Albay; separated from South Camarines by a line which
runs from Donzol, on the south coast, northwards across the volcano
of Mayon, and which then, inclining to the west, reaches the northern
shore. A look at the map will make these explanations clearer.

[The monsoons.] There are two seasons in the Philippines, the wet and
the dry. The south-west monsoon brings the rainy season, at the time of
our summer, to the provinces which lie exposed to the south and west
winds. On the northern and eastern coasts the heaviest downpours take
place (in our winter months) during the north-eastern monsoons. The
ruggedness of the country and its numerous mountains cause, in
certain districts, many variations in these normal meteorological
conditions. The dry season lasts in Manila from November till June
(duration of the north-east monsoon); rain prevails during the
remaining months (duration of the south-west monsoon). The heaviest
rainfall occurs in September; March and April are frequently free from
rain. From October to February inclusively the weather is cool and dry
(prevalence of N.W., N., and N.E. winds); March, April, and May are
warm and dry (prevalence of E.N.E., E., and E.S.E. winds); and from
June till the end of September it is humid and moderately warm.

There has been an observatory for many years past in Manila under
the management of the Jesuits. The following is an epitome of the
yearly meteorological report for 1867, for which I am indebted to
Professor Dove:

Barometrical readings.--The average height of the mercury was, in 1867,
755.5; in 1865, 754.57; and in 1866, 753.37 millimeters.

In 1867 the difference between the highest and lowest barometrical
readings was not more than 13.96 millimetres, and would have been
much less if the mercury had not been much depressed by storms in July
and September. The hourly variations amounted to very few millimeters.

Daily reading of the barometer.--The mercury rises in the early morning
till about 9 a.m., it then falls up to 3 or 4 p.m., from then it rises
again till 9 p.m., and then again falls till towards day-break. Both
the principal atmospheric currents prevalent in Manila exercise
a great influence over the mercury in the barometer; the northern
current causes it to rise (to an average height of 756 millimeters),
the southern causes it to fall (to about 753 millimeters).

Temperature.--The heat increases from January till the end of May,
and then decreases till December. Average yearly temperature, 27.9 deg.
C. The highest temperature ever recorded (on the 15th of April at 3
p.m.) was 37.7 deg. C.; the lowest (on the 14th of December and on the
30th of January at 6 a.m.), 19.4 deg. C. Difference, 18.3 deg. C. [59]

Thermometrical variations.--The differences between the highest
and lowest readings of the thermometer were, in January, 13.9 deg.;
in February, 14.2 deg.; in March, 15 deg.; in April, 14.6 deg.; in May, 11.1 deg.;
in June, 9.9 deg.; in July, 9 deg.; in August, 9 deg.; in September, 10 deg.; in
October, 11.9 deg.; in November, 11.8 deg.; and in December, 11.7 deg..

Coolest months.--November, December and January, with northerly winds.

Hottest months.--April and May. Their high temperature is caused by
the change of monsoon from the north-east to the south-west. The
state of the temperature is most normal from June to September;
the variations are least marked during this period owing to the
uninterrupted rainfall and the clouded atmosphere.

Daily variations of the thermometer.--The coolest portion of the day
is from 6 to 7 a.m.; the heat gradually increases, reaches its maximum
about 2 or 3 p.m., and then again gradually decreases. During some
hours of the night the temperature remains unchanged, but towards
morning it falls rapidly.

[Winds.] The direction of the wind is very regular at all seasons
of the year, even when local causes make it vary a little. In the
course of a twelvemonth the wind goes around the whole compass. In
January and February north winds prevail; in March and April they blow
from the south-east; and in May, June, July, August, and September,
from the south-west. In the beginning of October they vary between
south-east and south-west, and settle down towards the close of the
month in the north-east, in which quarter they remain tolerably fixed
during the two following months. The two changes of monsoon always
take place in April and May, and in October. As a rule, the direction
of both monsoons preserves its equilibrium; but in Manila, which is
protected towards the north by a high range of hills, the north-east
monsoon is often diverted to the south-east and north-west. The same
cause gives greater force to the south-west wind.

[Sunshine and rain.] The sky is generally partially clouded; entirely
sunny days are of rare occurrence, in fact, they only occur from
January to April during the north-east monsoons. Number of rainy days
in the year, 168. The most continuous and heaviest rain falls from
June till the end of October. During this period the rain comes down
in torrents; in September alone the rainfall amounted to 1.5 meters,
nearly as much as falls in Berlin in the course of the whole year,
3,072.8 millimeters of rain fell in the twelve month; but this is
rather more than the average.

The evaporation only amounted to 2,307.3 millimeters; in ordinary
years it is generally about equal to the downfall, taking the early
averages, not those of single months.

The average daily evaporation was about 6.3 millimeters.

[Storms.] The changes of monsoons are often accompanied with tremendous
storms; during one of these, which occurred in September, the velocity
of the wind was as much as thirty-seven or thirty-eight meters per
second. An official report of the English vice-consul mentions a
typhoon which visited the Islands on September 27, 1865, and which
did much damage at Manila, driving seventeen vessels ashore.

* * * * *

[Provinces and districts.] The Philippines are divided into provinces
(P), and districts (D), each of which is administered by an alcalde of
the 1st (A1), 2nd (A2), or 3rd class (A3) (de termino, de ascenso, de
entrada); by a political and military governor (G), or by a commandant
(C). In some provinces an alcalde of the 3rd class is appointed as
coadjutor to the governor. These divisions are frequently changed.

[Population.] The population is estimated approximately at about
five millions.

[Language and dialects.] In spite of the long possessions of the
Islands by the Spaniards their language has scarcely acquired any
footing there. A great diversity of languages and dialects prevails;
amongst them the Bisayan, Tagalog, Ilocano, Bicol, Pangasinan, and
Pampangan are the most important.

[Luzon Provinces and their languages and populations.]

Island of Luzon

Rank of Rank of Name Prevailing Population Pueblos
Official District Dialect

G. P. Abra Ilocano 34,337 5
A1. P. Albay Bicol 330,121 34
A2. P. Bataan Tagalog,
Pampangan 44,794 10
A1. P. Batangas Tagalog 280,100
D. Benguet Igorot,
Pangasinan 8,465
D. Bontoc Suflin,
Igorot 7,052
A1. P. Bulacan Tagalog 240,341 23
A1. P. Cagayan Ibanag,
Malaneg 64,437 16
A2. P. Camarines Norte Tagalog,
Bicol 25,372 7
A2(?) P. Camarines Sur Bicol 81,047 31
A3. P. Cavite Spanish,
Tagalog 109,501 17
A1. P. Ilocos Norte Ilocano,
Tinguian 134,767 12
A1. P. Ilocos Sur Ilocano 105,251 18
C. D. Infanta Tagalog 7,813 2
G. P. Isabela Ibanag,
Tagalog 29,200 9
A1. P. Laguna Tagalog,
Spanish 121,251 25
D. Lepanto Igorot,
Ilocano 8,851 48
3A1. P. Manila Tagalog,
Chinese 323,683 23
C. D. Morong Tagalog 44,239 12
A2. P. Nueva Ecija Tagalog,
Ilocano 84,520 12
A3. P. Nueva Vizcaya Gaddan,
Ilongote 32,961 8
A1. P. Pampanga Pampangan,
Ilocano 193,423 24
A1. P. Pangasinan Pangasinan,
Ilocano 253,472 25
D. Porac Pampangan 6,950 1
C. D. Principe Tagalog,
Ilongote 3,609 3
D. Saltan Gaddan 6,540
A2. P. Tayabas Tagalog,
Bicol 93,918 17
D. Tiagan Different
dialects 5,723
G. P. Union Ilocano 88,024 11
A2. P. Zambales Zambal,
Pangasinan 72,936 16


Islands between Luzon and Mindanao

G a3. P. Antique (Panay) Bisayan 88,874 13
G a3. P. Bohol Bisayan 187,327 26
C. Burias Bicol 1,786 1
G a3. P. Capiz (Panay) Bisayan 206,288 26
G a2. P. Cebu Bisayan 318,715 44
G a3. P. Iloilo (Panay) Bisayan 565,500 35
G a3. P. Leyte Bisayan 170,591 28
D. Masbate, Ticao Bisayan 12,457 9
A2. P. Mindoro Tagalog 23,050 10
G a3. P. Negros Cebuan,
Bisayan 144,923 31
D. Romblon Bisayan 21,579 4
G a3. P. Samar Bisayan 146,539 28


D. Cotabato Spanish,
Manobo 1,103 1
G a3. D. Misamis (J) Bisayan 63,639 14
G a3. D. Surigao (J) 24,104 12
D. Zamboanga (J) Mandaya,
Spanish 9,608 2
G a3. D. Davao Bisayan 1,537

[Outlying Islands.]

Distant Islands

G a3. P. Batanes Ibanag 8,381 6
G a3. P. Calamianes Coyuvo,
Agutaino Calamiano 17,703 5
G. P. Marianas Chamorro, Carolino 5,940 6

[Unreliability of government reports.] The statistics of the above
table are taken from a small work, by Sr. [Vicente] Barrantes,
the Secretary-General of the Philippines; but I have arranged
them differently to render them more easily intelligible to the
eye. Although Sr. Barrantes had the best official materials at his
disposal, too much value must not be attributed to his figures,
for the sources from which he drew them are tainted with errors
to an extent that can hardly be realized in Europe. For example,
he derives the following contradictory statements from his official
sources:--The population of Cavite is set down as 115,300 and 65,225;
that of Mindoro as 45,630, and 23,054; that of Manila as 230,443,
and 323,683; and that of Capiz as 788,947, and 191,818.


[To Bulacan by steamer.] My first excursion was to the province of
Bulacan, on the northern shore of the Bay of Manila. A couple of
hours brought the steamer to the bar of Binuanga (not Bincanga as
it is called in Coello's map), and a third to Bulacan, the capital
of the province, situated on the flat banks of an influent of the
Pampanga delta. I was the only European passenger, the others were
composed of Tagalogs, mestizos, and a few Chinese; the first more
particularly were represented by women, who are generally charged with
the management of all business affairs, for which they are much better
fitted than the men. As a consequence, there are usually more women
than men seen in the streets, and it appears to be an admitted fact
that the female births are more numerous than the male. According,
however, to the church-record which I looked through, the reverse was,
at any rate in the eastern provinces, formerly the case.

[Carromatas.] At the landing-place a number of carromatas were waiting
for us,--brightly painted, shallow, two-wheeled boxes, provided with
an awning, and harnessed to a couple of horses, in which strangers
with money to spend are quickly driven anywhere they may desire.

[Town of Bulacan.] The town of Bulacan contains from 11,000 to 12,000
inhabitants; but a month before my arrival, the whole of it, with the
exception of the church and a few stone houses, had been burnt to the
ground. All were therefore occupied in building themselves new houses,
which, oddly enough, but very practically, were commenced at the roof,
like houses in a drawing. Long rows of roofs composed of palm-leaves
and bamboos were laid in readiness on the ground, and in the meantime
were used as tents.

[Frequence of fires.] Similar destructive fires are very common. The
houses, which with few exceptions are built of bamboo and wood, become
perfectly parched in the hot season, dried into so much touchwood by
the heat of the sun. Their inhabitants are extremely careless about
fire, and there are no means whatever of extinguishing it. If anything
catches fire on a windy day, the entire village, as a rule, is utterly
done for. During my stay in Bulacan, the whole suburb of San Miguel,
in the neighborhood of Manila, was burnt down, with the exception of
the house of a Swiss friend of mine, which owed its safety to the
vigorous use of a private fire-engine, and the intermediation of a
small garden full of bananas, whose stems full of sap stopped the
progress of the flames.

[To Calumpit by carriage.] I travelled to Calumpit, a distance of
three leagues, in the handsome carriage of an hospitable friend. The
roads were good, and were continuously shaded by fruit-trees, coco and
areca palms. The aspect of this fruitful province reminded me of the
richest districts of Java; but the pueblos here exhibited more comfort
than the desas there. The houses were more substantial; numerous roomy
constructions of wood, in many cases, even, of stone, denoted in every
island the residence of official and local magnates. But while even
the poorer Javanese always give their wicker huts a smart appearance,
border the roads of their villages with blooming hedges, and display
everywhere a sense of neatness and cleanliness, there were here far
fewer evidences of taste to be met with. I missed too the alun-alun,
that pretty and carefully tended open square, which, shaded by waringa
trees, is to be met with in every village in Java. And the quantity
and variety of the fruit trees, under whose leaves the desas of Java
are almost hidden, were by no means as great in this province, although
it is the garden of the Philippines, as in its Dutch prototype.

[Calumpit.] I reached Calumpit towards evening, just as a procession,
resplendent with flags and torches, and melodious with song, was
marching round the stately church, whose worthy priest, on the strength
of a letter of introduction from Madrid, gave me a most hospitable
reception. Calumpit, a prosperous place of 12,250 inhabitants, is
situated at the junction of the Quingua and Pampanga rivers, in an
extremely fruitful plain, fertilized by the frequent overflowing of
the two streams.

[Mt. Arayat.] About six leagues to the north-west of Calumpit,
Mount Arayat, a lofty, isolated, conical hill, lifts its head. Seen
from Calumpit, its western slope meets the horizon at an angle of 20 deg.,
its eastern at one of 25 deg.; and the profile of its summit has a gentle
inclination of from 4 deg. to 5 deg..

[Picking fish.] At Calumpit I saw some Chinese catching fish in a
peculiar fashion. Across the lower end of the bed of a brook which
was nearly dried up, and in which there were only a few rivulets
left running, they had fastened a hurdle of bamboo, and thrown up a
shallow dam behind it. The water which collected was thrown over the
dam with a long-handled winnowing shovel. The shovel was tied to a
bamboo frame work ten feet high, the elasticity of which made the
work much easier. As soon as the pool was emptied, the fisherman
was easily able to pick out of the mud a quantity of small fish
(Ophiocephalus vagus). These fishes, which are provided with peculiar
organisms to facilitate respiration, at any rate, enabling them to
remain for some considerable time on dry land, are in the wet season
so numerous in the ditches, ponds, and rice-fields, that they can
be killed with a stick. When the water sinks they also retire, or,
according to Professor Semper, bore deeply into the ooze at the bottom
of the watercourses, where, protected by a hard crust of earth from
the persecutions of mankind, they sleep away the winter. This Chinese
method of fishing seems well adapted to the habits of the fish. The
circumstances that the dam is only constructed at the lower end of
the watercourse, and that it is there that the fish are to be met
with in the greatest numbers, seem to indicate that they can travel
in the ooze, and that as the brooks and ditches get dried up, they
seek the larger water channels.

[To Baliwag.] Following the Quingua in its upward and eastward
course as it meandered through a well-cultivated and luxuriantly
fertile country, past stone-built churches and chapels which grouped
themselves with the surrounding palm-trees and bamboo-bushes into
sylvan vignettes, Father Llano's four-horsed carriage brought me to
the important town of Baliwag, the industry of which is celebrated
beyond the limits of the province.

[Board houses and their furniture.] I visited several families and
received a friendly reception from all of them. The houses were built
of boards and were placed upon piles elevated five feet above the
ground. Each consisted of a spacious dwelling apartment which opened on
one side into the kitchen, and on the other on to an open space, the
azotea; a lofty roof of palm-trees spread itself above the dwelling,
the entrance to which was through the azotea. The latter was half
covered by the roof I have just mentioned. The floor was composed
of slats an inch in width, laid half that distance apart. Chairs,
tables, benches, a cupboard, a few small ornaments, a mirror, and some
lithographs in frames, composed the furniture of the interior. The
cleanliness of the house and the arrangement of its contents testified
to the existence of order and prosperity.

[Tapis weaving.] I found the women in almost all the houses occupied
in weaving tapis, which have a great reputation in the Manila
market. They are narrow, thickly-woven silk scarves, six varas in
length, with oblique white stripes on a dark-brown ground. They are
worn above the sarong.

[Petaca cigar cases.] Baliwag is also especially famous for its
petaca [60]cigar-cases, which surpass all others in delicacy of
workmanship. They are not made of straw, but of fine strips of Spanish
cane, and particularly from the lower ends of the leaf-stalks of the
calamusart, which is said to grow only in the province of Nueva Ecija.

[Preparation of material.] A bundle of a hundred selected stalks,
a couple of feet long, costs about six reals. When these stalks have
been split lengthways into four or five pieces, the inner wood is
removed, till nothing but the outer part remains. The thin strips
thus obtained are drawn by the hand between a convex block and a
knife fixed in a sloping position, and between a couple of steel
blades which nearly meet.

[Costly weaving.] It is a task requiring much patience and
practice. In the first operation, as a rule, quite one-half of the
stems are broken, and in the second more than half, so that scarcely
twenty per cent of the stalks survive the final process. In very fine
matting the proportionate loss is still greater. The plaiting is done
on wooden cylinders. A case of average workmanship, which costs two
dollars on the spot, can be manufactured in six days' uninterrupted
labor. Cigar-cases of exceptionally intricate workmanship, made to
order for a connoisseur, frequently cost upwards of fifty dollars.

[Volcanic stone quarries.] Following the Quingua from Baliwag up its
stream, we passed several quarries, where we saw the thickly-packed
strata of volcanic stone which is used as a building material. The
banks of the river are thickly studded with prickly bamboos from
ten to twelve feet high. The water overflows in the rainy season,
and floods the plain for a great distance. Hence the many shells of
large freshwater mussels which are to be seen lying on the earth which
covers the volcanic deposit. The country begins to get hilly in the
neighborhood of Tobog, a small place with no church of its own, and
dependent for its services upon the priest of the next parish. The
gentle slopes of the hills are, as in Java, cut into terraces and
used for the cultivation of rice. Except at Lucban I have never
observed similar sawas anywhere else in the Philippines. Several small
sugar-fields, which, however, the people do not as yet understand
how to manage properly, show that the rudiments of agricultural
prosperity are already in existence. The roads are partly covered
with awnings, beneath which benches are placed affording repose to
the weary traveller. I never saw these out of this province. One
might fancy oneself in one of the most fertile and thickly-populated
districts of Java.

[A convento and the parish priest.] I passed the night in a convento,
as the dwelling of the parish priest is called in the Philippines. It
was extremely dirty, and the priest, an Augustinian, was full of
proselytish ardor. I had to undergo a long geographical examination
about the difference between Prussia and Russia; was asked whether
the great city of Nuremberg was the capital of the grand-duchy or of
the empire of Russia; learnt that the English were on the point of
returning to the bosom of the Catholic Church, and that the "others"
would soon follow, and was, in short, in spite of the particular
recommendation of Father Llanos, very badly received. Some little time
afterwards I fell into the hands of two young Capuchins, who tried to
convert me, but who, with the exception of this little impertinence,
treated me capitally. They gave me pates de foie gras boiled in water,
which I quickly recognized by the truffles swimming about in the
grease. To punish them for their importunity I refrained from telling

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