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Title: An Epoch in History
Author: Eley, P. H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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AN EPOCH IN HISTORY

by

P. H. ELEY



[Illustration: (signed) Very Truly, P. H. Eley.]



    _TO MY MOTHER,
    whose tender love and
    devotion for me are ever
    unchanged, I dedicate
    this book._



Copyright, 1904, by P. H. Eley.



CONTENTS.


1. AN EPOCH IN HISTORY.

2. MANILA.

3. A DRAMA IN ACTUAL LIFE.

4. WHAT THE TEACHERS DID.

5. A "BAILE."

6. A SKETCH OF LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

7. THE FILIPINO AT HOME.

8. A VISIT TO A LEPER COLONY.

9. A "HIKE."



PREFACE.


It was the good fortune of the author to take part in a movement
without precedent in the history of the world, and the incidents
concurrent with, together with those subsequent to that movement, have
furnished the material for this book. It has been the object of the
writer to weave into the story of his actual experiences an account of
those things which are as yet an unexplored field in the realm of
letters. The work is submitted to the reader in the hope that it will
prove to be pregnant with interest to those who are in sympathy with
great movements and to those who listen with delight to stories of
personal experiences in distant lands and among strange peoples.

                                                       THE AUTHOR.

_The Virginia Polytechnic Institute, April, 1904._



CHAPTER I.

AN EPOCH IN HISTORY.


Few people pause to think that Tuesday, the twenty-third day of July,
nineteen hundred and one, not only placed a mile-stone on the road of
civilization, but also marked an epoch in the history of the world.

That day placed a mile-stone on the road of civilization because it
saw the culmination of one of the greatest movements ever attempted in
behalf of common school education. It marked an epoch in the history
of the world because, for the first time within the knowledge of man,
a conquering people, instead of sending battalions of soldiers to hold
the conquered in subjection, sent a carefully selected body of men and
women to carry to them the benefits of a highly developed society.

It was on this day that the United States Government sent from San
Francisco four hundred and ninety-nine trained men and women to
establish throughout the Philippine Islands a system of free public
schools.

The ball on the tower of the Ferry Building in San Francisco had just
fallen, announcing the hour of noon on the one hundred and twentieth
meridian, when the propellers began revolving and the United States
Army Transport "Thomas" swung out into the middle of the bay, where it
dropped anchor for a few moments while some belated boxes of lemons
and a few other articles were added to the equipment of the steward's
department.

The anchor was again on its way to the surface when a row-boat driven
by four oarsmen with drawn muscles and clenched teeth glided in under
the bow of the ship. Its passenger, a belated teacher who at the last
moment had wandered from the pier, was shouting for some one to throw
him a rope, and a few moments later our last passenger whose silvery
hair little indicated the probability of such a blunder was landed in
a heap on the deck. Our ship was now under way and soon passed out of
the Golden Gate bearing on and between her decks the largest number of
teachers as well as the largest cargo of pedagogical equipment that
any vessel in the history of the world ever bore to a foreign land to
instruct an alien people. Late in the afternoon five whales came up
and spouted and played around us. We passed on and as their fountains
of spray disappeared in the distance the sun sank down to pay his
wonted devotion before the shrine of night. We were alone.

By good fortune we went by way of the Hawaiian Islands and touched at
Honolulu. We entered the harbor in the first faint light of the coming
morn while the moon still shone with resplendent glory just above the
nearer rim of the old extinct volcanic crater lying just behind the
town. High points of land lay around us on three sides, while across
the bay soft billowy clouds completed an enchanting circle from the
spell of which none of us wished ever to escape.

No traveler who lands at Honolulu will feel unrequited for his time
and his money should he visit two places in the vicinity of the town.
The first is the _Pali_ and the second, the Bishop Museum of
Polynesian Ethnology.

The first is a gigantic precipice, reached by a few hours ride from
the city by horse. As one reaches the precipice, there spreads out
before him at a dizzying depth below a verdant plain, bounded in the
distance by an emerald sea. The wind which always blows in tropical
countries is gathered in between the long projecting arms of a
mountain chain and rushes over the face of cliff with such force that
it is said by travelers to be one of the strongest continual winds on
the globe.

The Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology contains the finest
collection in existence of things illustrating the life and customs of
Polynesia. Among other things, the visitor is shown the personal god
of war of that sovereign whose grand-child was the last to hold the
sceptre of the Kanakas. There are royal documents to prove that more
than one thousand men have been beheaded before this grim-faced old
idol. Here, too, is the famous robe of birds' feathers, made to please
the fancy of this same grim old monarch. The feathers of which this
strange, but really elegant, robe is made are of a reddish color. The
birds from which they were plucked were found only in the Hawaiian
Islands and each bird had only four feathers, two being under each
wing. The extinction of the bird is attributed to the making of this
royal robe. So many of them were needed that hundreds of hunters were
employed a score or more of years to secure the number required.
Placing the wages of the hunters at a reasonable figure, the value of
the robe is over three hundred thousand dollars.

At Honolulu one sees also that famous sport of the South Sea
Islanders, _surf-shooting_. The native wades far out into the surf
with a long narrow board and then sits astride of it upon the surface
of the water. As the long billows come rolling in, he places his board
upon the convex surface of an advancing wave, then, with the poise of
a rope-dancer, he places his weight properly upon the plank and is
shot forward with precipitate rapidity.

Between Honolulu and Manila lies the imaginary line where the days of
the week are supposed to begin and end. It has long been a custom
among sailors to hold the "Revels of Neptune" on the night after a
vessel crosses either the International Date Line or the Equator, and
the ship is then turned over to the crew. Even the petty officers of
the ship are not free from being made the objects of the sport, and
passengers of especial prominence have often been treated to a bath in
a tub of cold water or had their faces lathered with a broom as a
shaving brush while a bar of old iron served the purpose of a razor.

A naval lieutenant on the battleship which conveyed Napoleon from
London to St. Helena, writing to one of the court ladies in London,
states that Napoleon offered the sailors four hundred dollars in gold
and actually gave them eighty-five dollars to escape being ducked in a
tub of cold water and shaved with a rough iron hoop when they crossed
the equator.[A]

    [A] Century Magazine for September, 1889.

We reached the line on Thursday night and awoke a few hours later on
Saturday morning, having lost a day in revelry.



CHAPTER II.

MANILA.


One would imagine the water of Manila Bay to be as tranquil as a lake
should conclusions be drawn from its almost landlocked position. On
the contrary, it is noted among sailors the world over for the
roughness of its waters; and a breakwater behind which ships can lie
in quiet and take on or discharge their cargoes is essential to the
proper development of the city's shipping. But, so far as we were
concerned, this was a possible joy of the future. So, one by one we
descended the narrow stairway at the side of the ship, and then leaped
at opportune moments to the decks of the dancing steam launches below.
How it ever came to pass that each of us, ladies and all, in
succession went through with this mid-air acrobatic performance
without serious accident is a matter of profound wonder; but we did,
and the launches when loaded danced away over the bay and entered the
mouth of the Pasig River. At the wharf we were informally introduced
to a crowd of curious natives. The men wore hat, shirt, and pants, and
some of them wore shoes. The women wore a sort of low-necked body with
great wide sleeves and a skirt not cut to fit the body, but of the
same size at both bottom and top, the upper end not being belted or
tied, but just drawn tightly around the waist and the surplus part
knotted and tucked with the thumb under the part already wrapped
around the body. The long, black, glossy hair of the young women hung
loosely down their backs, in many cases reaching below the hips--heads
of hair that almost any lady would be proud to own. Many of the women
had in their mouths long poorly-made cigars that were wrapped and tied
with small white threads to hold them together while the lady owners
chewed and pulled away with vigor at the end opposite the fire.

The time of our landing was in the midst of the rainy season, and our
clothing each morning when we arose to dress was as wet as if it had
just come from a wringer. Our underclothing could be drawn on only
with difficulty and the excessive disagreeableness of the feeling
added no little to the discomfort of the situation.

When the Spaniard, attracted by riches of these distant islands that
he had named for his King Philip, built the city of Manila, he modeled
it after the mediaeval towns of his European home. And it is well that
he did so, for, if we give credence to the city's history, its early
life was not one of undisturbed quiet. Not to mention the sea-rovers
of those early times who paid their piratical respects to the town,
legend has it that this old wall has saved the city on two separate
occasions from bands of Moros sweeping northward from the southern
islands. So Manila consists of two parts, the city "intra muros" and
the new city which has sprung up around it.

It was on the morning following our landing that I first stood upon
the old stone bridge that for one hundred and fifty years has borne
the traffic between the old city and the new. The strokes of eight
o'clock were pealing forth from the tower of a neighboring _ecclesia_
when I purposely took this station that I might see the current of
Manila's life when flowing at its height.

At short intervals along the entire length of the bridge stood in its
center a line of well-shaped American policemen in neat _Khaki_
uniforms and russet leather leggins. Thousands of pedestrians were
pouring across the bridge in a ceaseless stream. Between the two lines
of pedestrians moved in opposite directions two lines of vehicles and
carts. It was indeed a cosmopolitan mixture of people. There were
English bankers, French jewelers, German chemists, Spanish merchants,
foreign consuls, officers and privates of the American army, seamen
from foreign warships lying in the bay, Chinese of all classes and
conditions from silk-clad bankers to almost naked coolies trotting
along with burdens swung over their shoulders. There were Japanese,
and East India merchants from Bombay and Calcutta, and, finally, all
classes and conditions of Filipinos apparently representing all of the
seventeen separate branches of the race,--each individual in this
wonderful stream following the channel of his own necessities.

In the river beneath were steam launches towing all kinds of small
crafts. Along the bank of the stream below the bridge were
inter-island steamers packed so closely along the shore that one could
almost have stepped from one to another. Into every nook and corner
between the steamers were crowded small odd looking boats loaded with
native produce over which the owners kept up an incessant chatter.

All of us remained in Manila for about two weeks awaiting assignment
to our stations. One may well imagine our consternation on awaking one
morning about the end of the second week to find the following notice
posted throughout all our quarters:

    All teachers not assigned to the city of Manila or to Iloilo
    should supply themselves with the following articles:

        a. One bed, or folding cot,

        b. One oil stove,

        c. One lamp,

        d. Enough supplies of all kinds sufficient for six months,

        e. Pots, pans, kettles, etc.

It is needless to say that positions in Manila and Iloilo were now at
a premium.

Was it possible that teachers were to be sent to places where even the
necessaries of life could not be obtained! Was it possible that many
would be sent to places so remote that for six months no fresh
supplies could be gotten! A mass meeting was held at once, and a
committee was appointed to send a cablegram to the Associated Press
petitioning aid from the American people at large. Realizing what
consternation would be created throughout the United States by such a
message, two of the teachers leaped into a carriage at the close of
the meeting and a few moments later were closeted with the chief
executive of the department. As a result the committee was persuaded
not to send the cablegram to the Associated Press until by courtesy it
had been sent to the President. Of course, this diplomatic move tided
affairs over and the teachers who had flatly refused to budge from
Manila now agreed to go on to their stations, being assured that
whatever action was best would be taken.

The day had come when we must separate. We were to enter an untried
and an unknown field. It was fitting that we have a final joyous
meeting, so the best orchestra in the archipelago was engaged and we
"chased the hours with flying feet" until dawn so that whatever might
come to us in that unknown future upon which we were entering each
would hold in pleasant memory our last evening together.



CHAPTER III.

A DRAMA IN ACTUAL LIFE.


Almost every one heeded the warning to go to his station forearmed
with at least necessaries of life, but, as it had never fallen to the
lot of the writer to cook, he refused to learn at that late day, so he
took no pot, no pan, no kettle, putting his future into the hands of
an uncertain fate and relying upon the unknown hospitality of the
Filipino.

Bacalod, the capital of the province of Occidental Negros, was our
destination. The second morning after leaving Manila, we awoke with
the "Kilpatrick" lying at anchor in a shallow bay. We were several
miles from the shore and nothing in sight indicated that we had
reached a place of any importance. Late the night before we had been
awakened by the loud, sharp ringing of the ship's bells, accompanied
by the reversal of the engines and a general disturbance awaking the
crew. So our first impressions on coming on deck were that we had run
aground. But the captain assured us that everything was ship-shape and
that this was the nearest point of approach to Capiz, a town of
considerable importance on the island of Panay, where a body of troops
was to embark for home. Not even the grass hut of a native was in
sight. Search as we would, not a sign was seen of a stream flowing
into the sea, indicating the probable presence of a town. There was
not a sign of life of any kind save one lone column of thin, blue
smoke that arose from the side of a mountain miles away. One would
have thought that we were explorers of three hundred years ago lying
off the shore of some unknown land.

After breakfast the steam launch, together with all the boats, was
lowered, and several of us who had determined to miss no opportunity
to gather information about the islands took our places in the launch
by the side of the ship's mate, and steamed away across the water with
a long line of boats strung out in the rear. We headed away toward a
group of cocoanut trees, and about an hour later stepped ashore on a
pile of decayed coral rocks that extended some twenty or thirty feet
out into the water, thus forming the only landing place of a town of
several thousands of people and of considerable commercial importance.
A few moments after we had landed, an army wagon drawn by a
magnificent pair of mules came up out of a tropical jungle along a
narrow road. We clambered into the wagon and were soon lost in the
depths of foliage from which we had just seen the vehicle emerge.

Long waving bamboos with their plumy leafage hung over the road from
each side, meeting and overlapping in the center until they formed an
archway so dense that the tropical sun now high in the heavens
penetrated it only at intervals. At times the wagon sank up to the
hubs in the soft earth, and the muscles of the mules stood out like
whip-cords under the skin as they drew us forward.

At a sharp turn in the road we came upon the first division of troops
that was to embark for home. The look of joy upon their sun-browned
faces was inexpressible. Their work was done, and with elastic step
and smiling faces they saluted us as they passed by. The reign of
force was at an end; it was going out with them; the reign of peace
had begun; it was coming in with us.

In the afternoon when we returned from the town the last of the troops
had arrived and, as we drove up, the bugle was sounding the call to
supper. We noticed native women mingling with the troops and, indeed,
a native woman was in constant attention waiting upon one of the
soldiers with whom we ate. Her clothes were clean, her hair was nicely
combed, and her general appearance was neat. She seemed to anticipate
the slightest wish of the soldier with whom she was. She brought him
water to drink, cleaned his plate after the meal and saw that his
knife, fork, and spoon were put into his haversack.

We had now finished supper and the launch had returned for the last
load of troops. The lieutenant in command of the company gave the
order to "fall in"; the men shouldered their rifles and fell into
line. "Forward, march!" called the lieutenant, and the column swept
forward towards the boats. The women had until now restrained
themselves, but, as their husbands marched away never to return, their
feelings could no longer be restrained. One young woman of about
eighteen, who was leaning against a rock by the roadside sobbing, when
her husband passed, leaped up in frenzy of passionate love and caught
the rifle from his shoulder. Her first impulse seemed to be to throw
the gun away, but suddenly realizing the futility of such an act she
burst into tears, shouldered the rifle herself and marched on by his
side. Another woman of more mature age threw her arms around the legs
of a tall stalwart man, and drew him bodily from the line.

But the troops marched on and entered the boats. One woman who had
been unnoticed before came down into the shallow water and caught hold
of our last boat as if to prevent its leaving, while others stood
mingling their sobs with the sounds of the wavelets as they broke on
the sands. As we passed away, an expectant mother, standing in bold
outline against the twilight sky, threw up her hands in an agony of
despair and then sank upon the stones. The curtain had fallen upon a
drama in actual life deeper in pathos than any other we had ever seen
or ever expected to see. Depth of passion, depth of love! Who can
fathom the human heart?



CHAPTER IV.

WHAT THE TEACHERS DID.


There is a remarkable sameness about the towns in the Philippines.
They all have a large open square about the middle of the town, around
three sides of which are Chinese stores, unless one side lies open to
the sea, and on the fourth is the great stone _ecclesia_. The streets
run at right angles to one another and divide up the town into
creditable squares.

Everybody in the Philippines lives up-stairs, for the ground is so
soaked with water during the rainy season that it is a menace to
health to live upon the ground floor. So even the poorest _nippa_ hut
is built upon stakes four or five feet above the ground.

Bacalod is a typical Philippine town. As we landed, a broad open
square was spread out before us. Two sides of the square were lined
with two-story houses in which were Chinese stores below and Filipino
homes above. On the third side stood the great stone church in whose
massive tower the clock was striking the hour of four, while the
fourth lay open to the sea that had borne us thither.

We landed, but it was in a method new to us and one not usually
employed by the traveling public.

When our sail boat ran aground on the sandy bottom a hundred yards or
more from the shore, a crowd of Filipino men who were on the beach
slowly rolled up their pantaloons and waded out to the rescue,--for
the money that was in it. The boat's crew elevated their trousers'
legs also and slided down into the water. Each of us then straddled
the neck of a Filipino standing in the water and was held by ankles to
be steadied while our biped mounts proceeded to the shore.

We were now on the ground and face to face with the situation. To give
the reader an idea of the actual conditions met by the first teachers
who went to the Islands, the following is copied from the instructions
given us in Manila:

    1. There shall be two sessions daily of all schools, and the
    last hour of the morning session shall be devoted solely to
    instructing the Filipino teachers.

    2. In cases where teachers are sent to a town in which there
    is no school-house, they are expected to secure the aid of the
    people and have one built.

    3. The American teacher is to see that all studying aloud is
    stopped.

    4. All supplies must be kept under lock and key. In towns
    where there is no case or box to lock the supplies in, and it
    is also impossible to get the town council to furnish a case,
    a requisition may be sent to Manila, and, if an appropriation
    can be secured, one will be made and sent out.

Thus it can be easily seen that we were indeed pioneers. In many
places no school-house was to be found, and in some cases it was even
difficult to get the town council to provide a case in which to keep
the supplies.

The work of the teachers was, in short; to "make the English language
the basis of instruction in the public schools." On our arrival at
Bacalod two schools were found in progress, for some soldiers had been
detailed for the work here previous to our coming. One of these was
for boys and the other, for girls. Thus the work here had been in a
measure simplified, but complications that had arisen at Talisay, one
of the largest and richest towns on the island, demanded a change of
teachers and the writer was assigned to the place as superintendent.
Here an attempt had been made to start a school but it had failed
ignominiously and a system of education was to be put into operation
from the very start.

The Filipinos are not strong advocates of co-education, so separate
schools were to be started for the boys and the girls. The one for the
boys was gotten well in hand before the one for the girls was
attempted at all.

A few days after reaching the town and securing a home the
_presidente_ of the town had it publicly announced that the following
Monday morning at eight o'clock a public school for boys would be
opened in a building that had been rented for the purpose by the
municipal council. About the middle of the afternoon of the same day a
man beat a little drum throughout all the streets of the town to call
the people out and the town clerk announced both in Spanish and in the
native language that this public school would begin at the time and
place mentioned above; that instruction would be free to all who came;
that the government would furnish all supplies; and that instruction
would be given in the English language. A native principal and
assistants were employed and everything was ready to begin.

The official report of the result is as follows:

    Boys' public school of Talisay, Negros, P. I., began November
    4, 1901. Forty-three boys present at eight o'clock. Forty-one
    of them knew "good morning" and "good afternoon" but do not
    know the distinction between them. Two of them speak simple
    Spanish. At eight forty-five, eight more, who had been
    attending an early morning private school, came in together.

    The books they brought were so varied and so different from
    one another that it seemed impossible to bring any reasonable
    degree of order out of such a chaos, and so, after struggling
    vainly for about a week with the problem, the superintendent
    by one fell stroke removed everything in use and put in a
    uniform system, and from that day on the English language has
    been the _basis_ of instruction in the public schools of
    Talisay. The work was of necessity very slow at first, but by
    the end of a year two schools were going nicely and a number
    of the brightest boys and girls had made really excellent
    progress.



CHAPTER V.

A "BAILE."


Not long after the arrival of our party at Bacalod we received an
invitation to a "baile" given in our honor by the inhabitants of
Silay, a town some ten or twelve miles up the northern coast and one
noted for its social life. The invitation was accepted with pleasure,
and about the middle of the afternoon on the day appointed we were
clad in the immaculate white of the tropics and steaming away up the
coast on board a launch sent for our conveyance. Twilight was still
lingering on the path of day when we anchored just off shore at the
town. A row-boat containing the officials of the city came out to meet
us and, in due season, we were ushered into a spacious drawing-room
filled almost to overflowing with the élite of the town. The élite of
towns in the Philippines speak Spanish, and, as only one or two of our
party could at that time boast of more than a formal acquaintance with
the Castilian tongue, the exchange of ideas that evening between us
and the Filipinos was of necessity not very rapid.

The necessity of easy communication between us was rendered somewhat
less indispensable by the announcement of supper as soon as we were
rested from our trip. When we had taken our places at the table a
young Filipino about twenty-five years of age arose and gave a lengthy
toast to the recent union of the Philippines with the United States.
But as we Americans were unable to scale the dizzy heights of his
climaxes or sink to the depths of his pathos, we forewent the
pleasures of his oratory and turned our attention to the savory odor
of lamb, chicken, and roast pig that came slyly stealing up our
nostrils to send us nerve dispatches about the gastronomic delights of
our not far distant future.

At last the toast was ended and the world-wide soup ushered in a long
train of things good to eat, served in a style better fitted to the
delights of the appetite than to the formalities of dinners, for, as
soon as the pleasant task of one dish was completed by any one, the
next was served him at once regardless of the progress made by the
others at the table.

The last course was _dulce_. The new-comers to the Philippines will
not be long in making the acquaintance of this dish, and at all
meetings, both public and private, where eatables are served, it
performs an important part. It is anything sweet, and it may vary all
the way from an india-rubber-like black mixture of cocoanut milk and
dirty sugar to a really toothsome and respectable confection. No
matter of what materials a dish is composed, just so long as it is
sweet, it is _dulce_.

After paying our respects to this last course, we arose from the table
and entered a great rectangular room from the center of whose ceiling
hung a large glass chandelier, a mass of shimmering crystals. In the
chairs around the room were the wealth, the youth, and the beauty of
the town.

The first and also the last number of every Filipino dance of any
formality is the "_rigodon_." The dancers are arranged in a square, or
quadrangle according to the number participating, and are then led
through a tangled maze of figures that so utterly bewilders the novice
that he sinks into his chair at the end of the dance wondering how it
all came to pass.

We Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the "rigodon" ended, and
mustered fresh courage for social conquests in the waltz that was now
breathing forth from the trembling strings. My companion in the first
dance had been the young lady by whose side I had sat at dinner. But
it now became necessary to search for another, so I prudently waited
to see how partners were chosen, and made no mistake when a few
moments later I faced one of the most luscious looking señoritas on
the opposite side of the room and offered her my arm. My eyes must
have told the story that my lips could not utter in Spanish, for she
smiled upon me sweetly, arose, and put her hand upon my shoulder. My
arm encircled her waist and I began to waltz. Unfortunately my
companion did not follow, but began to hop up and down in a manner
most distressing. Supposing the attack to be only temporary, I paused
and, much to my relief, she soon showed signs of recovery; and in the
course of time she came to a standstill looking up into my face in an
inquiring sort of way, apparently wondering why St. Vitus had not paid
his respects to me also. A second attempt to follow the music met with
results similar to the first, and during the third attempt, which
seemed to be trembling on the verge of a failure, St. Vitus let go my
companion and seized me with such vigor that she, who was small even
for a Filipino, was gathered up bodily and taken around the room at
such a pace that her toes touched the floor only at far distant
intervals.

At this point my devotion to the shrine of Terpsichore ceased from
force of circumstances and I seated myself in one of the most
comfortable chairs in sight that I might carry out a previously formed
plan to study the Filipino somewhat critically as he appears in
society.

The first thing that impressed me as the dancers passed up and down
the room was the flash of diamonds. Nearly every woman in the room had
on a brooch that flashed the colors of the rainbow at every turn.
Almost all of them wore one or more rings that showed up brilliantly
under the chandelier. Many of the men too, especially the young men,
wore gems that appeared to be exquisite. A closer inspection showed
that some of the gems had flaws and others were of a poor color, but
no one would have denied that, taken as a whole, it was a really
beautiful display.

The dress of the ladies was richly colored. Many of their skirts were
of silk covered with hand embroidered flowers, and their filmy pina
waists and broad collar pieces were rich with needle-work. They all
wore a kind of heelless velvet slipper, very common as a dress shoe in
the Philippines, or high-heeled patent leather shoes with neatly
fitting black stockings.

The men were dressed in white coats and white pantaloons or black
coats and white pantaloons. White shirts and collars, together with
all sorts and styles of cravats and low-cut patent leather shoes with
highly colored socks completed their dress.

It was easy to see that the Filipinos really had a good deal of money;
that they liked to dress was apparent; and that they believed in a
table loaded with good things was a fact to which all of us were
enthusiastic witnesses.



CHAPTER VI.

A SKETCH OF LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES.


House-keeping in the Philippines presents some interesting phases. Our
club of American officials decided to run a mess, so we employed a
cook and a house boy, then each of us provided himself with a personal
servant, making a total of six servants for four men--it takes about
this proportion of servants to live in any sort of comfort in the
Philippines--and launched ourselves boldly upon the sea of domestic
economy. But there were shoals ahead of us, for the question of
regulating servants is one of no small importance in the Philippines,
and one of its most disadvantageous features is the long chain of
dependents that usually attends it.

We gave the cooks so much a day with which to buy supplies in the
local market, for our own table, making him render a daily list of
expenditures, and a fixed amount besides to purchase rice and fish for
himself and the other servants. Of course, if they wished to vary
their diet and get chicken and fresh pork, which could be had at far
distant intervals, it was wholly a matter of their option, but the
allowance was made on the basis of so much rice and fish a day for
each. This allowance was about fifteen cents a day in Spanish coin per
servant.

Thus far all was well. We had agreed to give the cook eight dollars a
month in Spanish money, thinking that good wages would procure good
service, but the visions of affluence that floated before him on such
floods of wealth were so alluring that they drew him from the kitchen
to the cooler veranda. In less than a week he had employed an
assistant at four dollars a month; in less than another week that
assistant had employed him an assistant at two dollars a month; in
less than another week that assistant to the assistant had employed
him an assistant at the princely salary of fifty cents a month; and
from fear that the chain of dependents would end only by our having
the whole Filipino race attached to our culinary force, we broke up
house-keeping and went boarding again, choosing that as the less of
the two evils.

Our house furnishings were almost wholly Philippine. The table ware
and the food on the table came from the ends of the earth. The knives
and forks were made in Germany, the plates were manufactured in
England, the glass ware and table cloth, in the United States. The
oatmeal and flour came from the United States also. The butter came
from Australia, the rice from China, the salt from Russia, and the
other eatables from sources about as various as their separate names.
Switzerland furnished the condensed milk and Illinois the canned
cream. Nearly all of the canned fruit bore labels from Spain.

Thus it can easily be seen that life in the Philippines, if lived
according to American ideals, is dependent upon a highly developed and
highly complex commerce. However, the difficulties of transportation
and the restriction of large stocks of merchandise to Manila and some
half a dozen other towns, make so great a difference between country
life and city life that a short comparison of the two will not be out
of place, and life in Manila may well be taken as being fairly typical
of the latter.

Life in Manila is pleasant, but expensive. It is pleasant from the
fact that it is not only the capital but also metropolis of the
archipelago. Thus the combination of wealth and high official position
has given to Manila a society of the highest and most refined type.
The process of beautifying and improving the city which is constantly
going on bids fair to give us at no distant day a city of which we may
well be proud.

But let him who intends living well in Manila on a small income bid
farewell at once to so idylic a dream, for it costs much to live well
there. In the city of Manila one can get almost anything he wishes,
but it must be paid for at the price it commands. Especially in the
case of eatables, this price is by no means small, because to the
first cost of articles must in most cases be added the expense of
distant shipment from American, European, or Australian ports, and not
infrequently the cost of long refrigeration must also be taken into
consideration. But, expensive though it is, it is very pleasant to
live there and those who have once enjoyed it often wish again to
quaff the cup of its delights.

In strong contrast to this pleasant life is the life of the quiet
little hamlet away in the distant islands. Indeed, the Filipino from
the distant town, who by some good fortune has been to Manila, or, by
a _coup de main_, has studied in one of the Manila colleges, is looked
up to in a true hero-worshiping attitude by all who either know him or
hear of his fame. Life in such a place is one long state of harmless
inactivity. Not a wave of trouble from the great outer world ever
disturbs its peaceful repose. One lounges forever in an air of
indolent ease and extreme aversion to anything approaching what might
be called a respectable effort.

One arises in the morning about the time the sun's first rays silver
the top leaves of the cocoanut trees and then stirs around until nine
or ten o'clock, when it is found expedient to avoid a further exposure
to the sun. From then until about five o'clock in the afternoon it is
best to take things as they come, even though one of those things be a
Filipino dinner. But then you may have your _vehiclo_ attached to a
young bull with a ring in his nose and go for a drive. If it is the
dry season you will probably enjoy the drive unless you object to the
frequent clouds of dust swept along by the evening wind. If it is in
the rainy season your pleasure will depend to a considerable extent
upon how wet you get; but, whether the season be wet or dry, your
pleasure will be regulated largely by the state of harmony existing
between the driver and the bull.

In these quiet secluded nooks successive generations of Filipinos are
born, reared, grow old and die in an even chain of events broken only
by the occasional erection of a new grass house on the identical spot
where its predecessors have stood for ages. The son lives in the house
of his father, cultivates the same few square feet of soil planted in
edible roots, climbs the same cocoanut trees, follows the same winding
path down to the stream, pounds rice in the same mortar and with the
same stick that his ancestors have used from time unremembered, and,
in case of illness, curls up on a grass mat in a corner of the room
until he dies or by some good fortune recovers. Beyond this narrow
horizon he never looks. So narrow and contracted is the life that the
languages of two towns a few miles apart are so different that one
would scarcely recognize them as belonging to the same race of people.

Such are the two extremes of life in our new far Eastern provinces:
the one is active, progressive, and cosmopolitan; the other, inactive,
decadent, and narrow; but, whether one enjoys the first or endures the
second, there comes to him after leaving a longing to lounge again in
tropic airs and listen to the lullaby of the winds among the palms.



CHAPTER VII.

THE FILIPINO AT HOME.


As one enters a Filipino sitting-room for the first time, there is one
feature in the arrangement of the furniture that impresses itself upon
him at once, and it may be stated without fear of serious
contradiction that this same peculiar feature in its arrangement will
continue to face him, as he enters different homes, about as certainly
as he crosses the threshold.

The arrangement referred to is that of one large mirror, one settee,
and some ten or a dozen chairs that appear to have had a certain
orderly affection for one another. The mirror is hung upon one of the
large interior parts of the house about four feet above the floor. The
wooden houses in the Philippines are built by setting large posts
upright into the ground, extending into the air from twenty to thirty
feet. Cross timbers are fastened to these upright posts about eight or
ten feet above the ground and then not sawed off even with the posts,
but allowed to extend beyond them each way. The framework of the house
is built upon these extending cross timbers, a style of building by
which these large upright posts are left standing out on the inside of
the room from one to three feet from the walls. It is on that one of
these posts most nearly opposite the door that the mirror always finds
its place. Immediately beneath the mirror is the settee; and the
chairs are arranged in two parallel lines facing one another and at
right angles with the ends of the settee. However odd this arrangement
may appear to one when he first enters a Filipino drawing-room, there
are two things to be said in its favor. In the first place, it places
you face to face with the person with whom you are conversing so that
you can watch him,--a matter of no small moment in the Philippines. In
the next place, it enables you to give one of the young ladies a
sheep's-eye in the mirror while the others present are left where
Moses was in our much abused conundrum.

The size of the residence and the quality of its furnishings depends
upon the wealth of the owner. But there is so vast a difference
between the mode of life of the highest class and the _tao_, or lowest
class, that it is well to speak of them separately, and the great
middle class of Filipinos can easily be imagined to occupy the
intervening ground.

The rich Filipino's house is usually of wood built upon a wall of
stone or brick from ten to fifteen feet high. The floors are kept
highly polished in his hallway, dressing-room, and bed-rooms. There
are, of course, no fire-places in any of the rooms, but on some
occasions something is needed to dry the rain-soaked atmosphere, for
even in the dry season it has been seen to rain for five successive
days and nights without the cessation of a moment.

A long chain of dependents is attached to the household of the rich
Filipino. The master has his special body servant to be present at all
times to do his master's bidding, in short, to be the visible
mechanism of his master's volition. So, too, the lady of the house has
her servant woman to do the slightest bidding of her ladyship. Then
there is the cook who is almost invariably a man, a house boy or two,
and the coachman. These functionaries, with their assistants and
assistants to the assistants, together with a servant or two for the
exclusive service of the children, complete the economic household.

Such a family has an abundance of rice and wheat bread, also of
chicken and fish with occasional fresh beef. They have also a good
deal of _dulce_. They regularly serve wine and frequently serve beer
on their tables.

In strong contrast with this mode of life is that of the _tao_. His
diet consists almost wholly of rice and small uncleaned fish boiled
together. As a rule knife, fork, plate, and spoon find no place in his
household. The rice and fish are boiled in a pot and then allowed to
cool in the same vessel or poured out to cool in a large earthen or
wooden bowl. Then Mr. Tao together with Mrs. Tao and all the young
Taos squat on their heels around the mixture and satisfy that
intangible thing called the appetite. They do not use chop sticks as
the Chinese do, but the rice and fish are caught in a hollow formed by
the first three fingers of the right hand. The thumb is then placed
behind the mass. It is raised up and poised before the mouth, with a
skill coming from the evolution of ages, when a contraction of the
muscles of the thumb throws the mass into the mouth with a skill that
is marvelous to any but a Filipino. To judge from the most reliable
information, the poorest class do not have an abundance of food,
although it would seem that such a condition of things would be
well-nigh impossible. However, in a census of one hundred school
children there were found six boys and four girls who declared that
they had never had enough to eat, and the native teacher stated that
this was probably true.

The wide gulf between the _tao_ and the rich man is filled by the
great middle class of Filipinos.



CHAPTER VIII.

VISIT TO A LEPER COLONY.


Not far from our town was a leper colony and the first Saturday that
could be spared was set aside for a trip to the place. It happened
that none of the other Americans were at leisure on this particular
morning, but, rather then delay the trip or miss it altogether, the
writer, armed with a revolver, started out alone.

The road had been described so accurately by one who was supposed to
know it that it was deemed well-nigh impossible to miss the way. The
main highway was followed to the point where the by-path supposed to
lead to the settlement turned off through some bamboo thickets and a
low tropical wood. This path led straight away towards the sea-coast
where the houses of the colony were said to stand in a cocoanut grove
by the beach.

Upon arriving at the settlement, a very inhospitable reception was
received from a mangy cur that growled and showed a very uninviting
set of sharp, white teeth behind his snarling lips. The growling of
the dog had attracted the attention of an old man who, with age-bent
back, was pounding rice in a mortar about fifty yards away. He turned
slowly around and, upon seeing an intruder into the primitive quiet of
the place, gave a sharp, far-reaching call. The sound had scarcely
rung through the grove when from about a dozen of the little grass
houses dotted here and there fifteen or twenty men armed with bolos
came out and gathered around the old man. A sense of my danger flashed
upon me. Three miles from town and alone in a tropical jungle, I could
be almost instantly overcome by this band of bolo-men, and the only
report that would ever reach my people would be that I had
"disappeared." Of course, attack was by no means certain, but the
potentiality of the situation was thrilling. A drawn revolver and the
gleaming of its shining barrel had the effect of stopping the men, who
seemed to be hesitating as to a course of action, until a somewhat
dignified retreat was made to an open space in the rear from where a
less dignified and a more hasty retreat began which did not stop short
of Bacalod.

Enough had been seen, however, even in this short visit, to give
convincing proof that the settlement visited was no colony of lepers;
so, that afternoon two servant boys being taken as guides and
interpreters, another attempt was made to reach the goal desired.

This attempt was successful, and, after about two hours of walking, a
little cluster of grass huts snugly hidden by the sea-coast came into
view. As we approached, one would have thought it a gala-day. Some few
children, apparently from six to thirteen years of age, almost wholly
nude, were romping and playing in the open space around which the huts
stood, and no one would ever have thought that any cloud so horrible
as leprosy could hover over a place apparently so happy.

By the side of the path as we passed was a man and his wife setting
out potato plants. His hands were so puffed and his fingers so short
that he could scarcely use them, but he was working along as best he
could. His wife's feet were so swollen and twisted that she walked
only with the greatest difficulty. We passed them by and entered the
open space above referred to.

The children now saw us, and those of them who could darted away like
frightened rabbits, each to his own burrow. An old man who was sitting
in the warm afternoon sun on the little bamboo platform before his hut
was aroused from his lethargic repose by the scampering away of the
children. He arose, trembling upon his tottering limbs, all drawn and
twisted, and hobbled away into his hut.

The children soon recovered from their fright and began to reappear at
the doors of the houses, from which now also came the men and women of
the settlement. In a few moments we were surrounded by a circle of
human beings at once so repulsive and so pitiable that its graphic
vividness can never be accurately portrayed.

The old man referred to above, having put on a pair of snow-white
pantaloons, appeared now at the doorway of his hut, followed a few
moments later by his wife who had evidently clothed herself in the
best raiment she had. At a call from the old man, all the men, women,
and children in the settlement came out of their huts and stood in a
line before us. The old man was spokesman and in his native visayan
tongue made a heart-rending appeal for aid which we were powerless to
give. Attention was called to a leper woman, apparently about
twenty-five years of age, whose face had been attacked by the disease
and whose appearance was truly pathetic. Upon her hip was a child
about a year and a half old and, strange to say, the child showed as
yet no signs whatever of the disease.

What an indissoluble enigma is life! Here in a little cluster of grass
huts in a secluded nook of a secluded island of an all but secluded
archipelago was gathered together a little community of wretched
natives, driven by their loathsomeness from association with others
even of the same half-savage race. Yet here, men and women loved and
were married, by mutual trust if not by law, and children were born of
the union to live forever under the unspeakable horror that
overshadowed the unfortunate parents. Love, hatred, sorrow, and
joy--every passion that enters into the complex structure of the human
heart even here, in this scene of sadness and despair, was playing
apparently as freely as where misfortune and disease had never crossed
the portals of life.



CHAPTER IX.

A "HIKE."


We were lounging lazily in our hammocks at Jimamaylan one evening in
April. Supper was just ended, and the soldiers in the post were
collected in groups here and there spinning yarns to pass away the
time, when a Filipino clad only in a loin cloth came down the street
at a steadily swinging run and stopped in front of the sentry. He
brought the announcement that a band of ladrones had just burned a
sugar mill and were advancing to sack a barrio about fifteen miles
away.

The invitation of the commanding officer to go on a "hike" was eagerly
accepted, and, in ten minutes after the message was given, the troops
were on the march followed by two adventurous pedagogues.

Darkness was just closing in as we left the town, but a resplendent
tropic moon soon made the night almost as brilliant as the day. The
trail we followed led over rough and rocky country. Sometimes for a
distance of a mile or more we passed over barren wastes of volcanic
slag poured out in anger by some peak whose convulsions have long
since ceased. Again we would descend into a tropical jungle from the
dense foliage of which the ladrones could have leaped at any moment,
had they known of our coming, and annihilated our little band. We
forded rapid streams with the water at our breasts, and halted only
once in that rapid march of fifteen miles.

About a quarter of a mile from the town we met a man who was standing
guard against a surprise by the ladrones. Nothing could well have been
much more grotesque and nothing could much better illustrate the
absolutely primitive condition of the Filipinos in the interior of the
islands than the appearance of this guard. A pair of knee pants, a
conical grass hat, and a hemp shirt formed his entire apparel. A long
flat wooden shield, a bolo, and a long bamboo spear with a sharp,
flat, iron point, completed his equipment for battle.

Here stood the first and the twentieth centuries side by side. The
Filipino who had advanced only a stage beyond the condition of
primitive man with his knife, spear, and wooden shield, stood side by
side with the American soldier, a representative of modern life with
his magazine rifle, his canteen, his knapsack,--with every article of
his clothing made to give him the highest possible efficiency as the
unit of a military organization.

A few yards farther on we met another guard equipped similarly to the
first. Upon reaching the town, news had just been received that a
detachment of troops from another post had intercepted the ladrones
and fought a skirmish with them. The ladrones had escaped and we set
out in pursuit of them on a chase wilder than a Quixotic dream. We
wound our way into the mountains behind the town, inquiring at every
grass hut we passed whether the band of ladrones had passed that way,
but only once was even a trace of them found. Then it was learned that
at a certain place they had separated into groups of three or four and
gone glimmering through the dream of things that were. This place was
in a secluded nook of the mountains where in years gone by some
adventurous Spaniard had erected a primitive water mill to grind his
sugar-cane. We had now marched about twenty miles and the feet of the
pedagogues were a mass of blisters. They had reached the point where
that form of military maneuvering called "hiking" ceased to possess
any alluring charms. So a native was persuaded to come out of his lone
mountain hut and hitch up his carabao and cart. He was then made to
get on the carabao's back, while the aforesaid pedagogues lay down on
the sugar-cane pulp that had been put into the body of the cart, and
the driver was instructed to start for the post we had left hours
before, and not to stop until he got there. Being uncertain but that
some of the ladrones would learn of our having left the body of troops
and would try the metal of our steel, we at first agreed that neither
of us should go to sleep, but it was later decided that probably the
driver had no greater desire to cross the Styx than his passengers had
and that in case of danger he would awaken us, so both took a revolver
in each hand, stretched out supinely and went to sleep.

Such a sleep! The rough jolting of the cart over an almost impassable
road was never enough to break the spell of slumber. When we awoke the
blazing tropic sun was past the midday mark of morning, shining full
into our unprotected and well-nigh blistered faces.

A pack of dogs were heralding our approach to a little village at the
foot of the mountains where ponies were procured to take us back to
the post.



HAMMOND'S PRINTING WORKS, ROANOKE, VA.



     *     *     *     *     *     *



Transcriber's Notes:

   Spelling left as in original.

   The title for Chapter 2 "MANILA" was omitted in the original.





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