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Title: A Woman's Impression of the Philippines
Author: Fee, Mary Helen
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Woman's Impression of the Philippines" ***

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From page images made available by the University of Michigan.



A Woman's Impressions of the Philippines

By

Mary H. Fee



To

My Schoolmate and Life-Long Friend

Martha Parry Gish

This Book

Is Affectionately Dedicated



Contents



    I.          The Voyage Begins 11
    II.         From San Francisco to Honolulu 21
    III.        Our Ten Days' Sightseeing 26
    IV.         From Honolulu to Manila 38
    V.          Our First Few Days in the City 45
    VI.         From Manila To Capiz 60
    VII.        My First Experiences As a Teacher of
                Filipinos 73
    VII.        An Analysis of Filipino Character 86
    IX.         My Early Experiences in Housekeeping 107
    X.          Filipino Youths and Maidens 119
    XI.         Social and Industrial Condition of the
                Filipinos 130
    XII.        Progress in Politics and Improvement of the
                Currency 150
    XIII.       Typhoons and Earthquakes 168
    XIV.        War Alarms and the Suffering Poor 179
    XV.         The Filipino's Christmas Festivities and
                His Religion 192
    XVI.        My Gold-hunting Expedition 206
    XVII.       An Unpleasant Vacation 217
    XVIII.      The Aristocracy, the Poor, snd American Women 232
    XIX.        Weddings in Town and Country    250
    XX.         Sickbeds and Funerals 262
    XXI.        Sports and Amusements 270
    XXII.       Children's Games--The Conquest of Fires 280



Illustrations



    Filipino School Children _Frontispiece_
    The Pali, near Honolulu 28
    West Indian Rain-tree, or Monkey-pod Tree 34
    The Volcano of Mayón 40
    View of Corregidor 42
    Swarming Craft on the Pasig River, Manila 46
    "The Rat-pony and the Two-wheeled Nightmare" 48
    The Luneta, Manila 52
    The Bend in the River at Capiz 62
    Street Scene in Romblón 64
    Church, Plaza, and Public Buildings, Capiz 80
    The Home of an American Schoolteacher 90
    A Characteristic Group of Filipino Students 100
    Filipino School Children 110
    A Filipino Mother and Family 120
    A Company of Constabulary Police 132
    Group of Officials in front of Presidente's (Mayor's)
    Residence 142
    A High-class Provincial Family, Capiz 148
    Pasig Church 154
    The Isabella Gate, Manila 162
    Calle Real, Manila 174
    Procession and Float in Streets of Capiz, in Honor of Filipino
    Patriot and Martyr, José Rizal 184
    A Rich Cargo of Fruit on the Way to Market 194
    A Family Group and Home in the Settled Interior 200
    Filipino Children "Going Swimming" in the Rio Cagayan 212
    Mortuary Chapel in Paco Cemetery, Manila 220
    The "Ovens" in Paco Cemetery, Manila 228
    Peasant Women of the Cagayan Valley 236
    A Wedding Party Leaving the Church 252
    A Funeral on Romblón Island 264
    Bicol School Children One Generation Removed from Savagery 272
    Sunset over Manila Bay 282



CHAPTER I

The Voyage Begins

I Find the Transport Ship _Buford_ and My Stateroom--Old Maids
and Young Maids Bound for the Orient--The Deceitful Sea--Making New
Friends and Acquaintances.


On a hot July day the army transport _Buford_ lay at the Folsom
Dock, San Francisco, the Stars and Stripes drooping from her stern,
her Blue Peter and a cloud of smoke announcing a speedy departure,
and a larger United States flag at her fore-mast signifying that she
was bound for an American port. I observed these details as I hurried
down the dock accompanied by a small negro and a dressing-bag, but
I was not at that time sufficiently educated to read them. I thought
only that the _Buford_ seemed very large (she is not large, however),
that she was beautifully white and clean; and that I was delighted
to be going away to foreign lands upon so fine a ship.

Having recognized with relief a pile of luggage going aboard--luggage
which I had carefully pasted with red, white, and blue labels crossed
by the letters "U.S.A.T.S." and _Buford_--I dismissed the negro,
grasped the dressing-bag with fervor, and mounted the gangway. To me
the occasion was momentous. I was going to see the world, and I was
one of an army of enthusiasts enlisted to instruct our little brown
brother, and to pass the torch of Occidental knowledge several degrees
east of the international date-line.

I asked the first person I met, who happened to be the third officer,
where I should go and what I should do. He told me to report at
the quartermaster's office at the end of the promenade deck. A
white-haired, taciturn gentleman in the uniform of a major, U.S.A.,
was occupying this apartment, together with a roly-poly clerk in a blue
uniform which seemed to be something between naval and military. When I
mentioned my name and showed my order for transportation, the senior
officer grunted inarticulately, and waved me in the direction of
his clerk, glaring at me meanwhile with an expression which combined
singularly the dissimilar effects of a gimlet and a plane. The rotund
junior contented himself with glancing suspiciously at the order and
sternly at me. As if reassured, however, by my plausible countenance,
he flipped over the pages of a ledger, told me the number of my
stateroom, and hunted up a packet of letters, which he delivered
with an acid reproof to me for not having reported before, saying
that the letters had been accumulating for ten days.

It is true that the _Buford_ had been scheduled to sail on the first
day of the month; but I had arrived a day or two before that date, only
to learn that the sailing date had been postponed to the tenth. I had
made many weary trips to the army headquarters in Montgomery Street,
asking for mail--and labels--with no results. Nobody had suggested
that the mail would be delivered aboard ship, and I had not had
sense enough to guess it. I did not make any explanations to the
quartermaster and his clerk, however, because an intuition warned
me not to add tangible evidence to a general belief in civilian
stupidity. I merely swallowed my snubbing meekly and walked off.

I ambled about, clinging to the dressing-bag and looking for some one
resembling a steward. At the foot of the ladder leading to the bridge
I encountered two young girls descending therefrom with evidences of
embarrassed mirth. They were Radcliffe girls, whose evil genius had
led them to the bridge and to an indignant request to explain their
presence there. They explained to no purpose, and, in response to a
plaintive inquiry where to go, were severely told, "We don't know,
but go down from here immediately." So they came down, crimson but
giggling, and saw me (they said) roaming about with an expression at
once wistful and complacent.

I found a steward and my stateroom at last, and a brown-haired,
brown-eyed young woman in it who was also a pedagogue. We introduced
ourselves, disposed of our parcels, and began to discuss the
possibilities of the voyage. She was optimistically certain that
she was not going to be seasick. I was pessimistically certain that
I was. And she was wrong, and I was right. We were both gloriously,
enthusiastically, madly seasick.

When we returned to the deck, it was crowded with passengers, the
mail was coming aboard, and all sorts of bugle-calls were sounding,
for we were carrying "casuals." It was a matter of wonder that so
many persons should have gathered to bid adieu to a passenger list
recruited from all parts of the Union. The dock was black with people,
and our deck was densely crowded. Khaki-clad soldiers leaned over the
side to shout to more khaki on the dock. An aged, poorly dressed woman
was crying bitterly, with her arms about the neck of a handsome boy,
one of our cabin passengers; and all about, the signs of intense
feeling showed that the voyage marked no light interval of separation.

I stood at the forward rail of the promenade deck, and fell into
conversation with a gentleman whom I had met in San Francisco and
who was a fellow passenger. We agreed in being glad that none of our
relatives were there to see us off; but, though we made much ado
to seem matter-of-fact and quite strong-minded about expatriating
ourselves, I noticed that he cleared his throat a great deal, and my
chin annoyed me by a desire to tremble.

The gongs warned visitors ashore, and, just as all the whistles of San
Francisco were blowing the noon hour, we backed away from the dock,
and turned our head to sea. As the little line of green water between
ship and dock widened to a streamlet and then to a river, the first
qualm concerning the wisdom of the expedition struck its chilly way
to my heart. Probably most of the passengers were experiencing the
same doubts; and the captain suspected the fact, for he gave us fire
drill just to distract our attention and to settle our nerves.

The luncheon gong sounded immediately after his efficacious diversion,
and the military people who were to eat in the first section--the
_Buford's_ dining-room was small--went down to lunch. The junior
lieutenants, and the civil engineers and schoolteachers, who made up
her civilian list, took their last look at San Francisco. We swung
past Alcatraz Island and heard the army bugles blowing there. The
irregular outline of the city with its sky-scrapers printed itself
against a background of dazzling blue, with here and there a tufty
cloud. The day was symbolic of the spirit which sent young America
across the Pacific--hope, brilliant hope, with just a cloud of doubt.

We passed the Golden Gate just as our own luncheon gong sounded, and
the _Buford_ was rolling to the heave of the outside sea as we sat
down to our meal. At our own particular table we were eight--eight
nice old (and young) maid schoolteachers. Some of us were plump and
some were wofully thin. One was built on heroic lines of bone, and
those sinners from Radcliffe were pretty.

Toward the end of luncheon the _Buford_ began to roll and pitch
and otherwise behave herself "most unbecoming," and my room-mate,
declining to finish her luncheon, fled to the deck, where the air
was fresher. Feeling no qualms myself, and secretly triumphing in her
disillusion, I followed with her golf cape and rug, of which she had
been too engrossed to think. My San Francisco acquaintance coming to
my assistance, we established her in a steamer chair and sat down,
one on each side, to cheer her up,--and badly she needed it, for her
courage was fast deserting her.

The sea was running heavily, and the wind was cold; I had not thought
there could be such cold in July. The distance was obscured by a
silvery haze which was not thick enough to be called a fog, but
which lent a wintry aspect to sea and sky--a likeness increased by
the miniature snow-field on each side of the bow as the water flung
up and melted away in pools like bluish-white snow ice.

As the _Buford_ waded into the swell, wave after wave dashed over the
forward deck, drenching a few miserable soldiers there, who preferred
to soak and freeze rather than to go inside and be seasick. Sometimes
the spray leaped hissing up on the promenade deck, and our weather
side was dripping, as I found when I went over there. I also slipped
and fell down, but as that side of the ship was deserted, nobody saw
me--to my gratification. I petted a bruised shin a few minutes and
went back to the lee side a wiser woman.

About three o'clock, when Miss R----'s face was assuming a fine,
corpse-like green tint, I began to have a hesitating and unhappy
sensation in the pit of the stomach, a suggestion of doubt as to the
wisdom of leaving the solid, reliable land, and trusting myself to the
fickle and deceitful sea. In a few moments these disquieting hints had
grown to a positive clamor, and my head and heels were feeling very
much as do those of gentlemen who have been dining out with "terrapin
and seraphim" and their liquid accompaniments. At this time Miss R----
gave out utterly and went below, but I was filled with the idea that
seasickness can be overcome by an effort of will, and stayed on,
making an effort to "demonstrate," as the Christian Scientists say,
and trying to look as if nothing were the matter. The San Francisco man
remained by me, persistent in an apparently disinterested attempt to
entertain me; but I was not deluded, for I recognized in his devotion
the fiendish joy of the un-seasick watching the unconfessed tortures
of those who are.

It was five o'clock when I gasped with a last effort of facetious
misery, "And yet they say people come to sea for their health," and
went below. The Farralones Islands, great pinky-gray needles of bleak
rock, were sticking up somewhere in the silvery haze on our starboard
side, and I loathed the Farralones Islands, and the clean white ship,
and myself most of all for embarking upon an idiotic voyage.

Arrived in the stateroom, it was with little less than horror that I
saw Miss R---- in the lower berth--my berth. Such are the brutalizing
influences of seasickness that I immediately reminded her that hers
was above. She dragged herself out, and, in a very ecstasy of selfish
misery, I discarded my garments and burrowed into the warmth of my
bed. Never had blankets seemed more comfortable, for, between the
wind and the seasickness, I was chilled through and through.

I fell asleep through sheer exhaustion, and wakened some time after
in darkness. The waves were hissing and slapping at the porthole;
the second steward was cursing expertly in the linen closet, which
happened to be opposite our stateroom; and somewhere people in good
health were consuming viands, for cooking odors and the rattle of
dishes came to us. A door in the corridor opened, and the sound of
a cornet was wafted back from the forward deck. Somebody was playing
"The Holy City." Steps went by. A voice with an English accent said,
"By Jove, you can't get away from that tune," and, in one of those
instants of stillness which fall in the midst of confusion, I heard
a gurgling moan.

I snapped on the light and turned--at what cost only the seasick
can appreciate--to behold Miss R---- sitting on the floor with her
back to the wall. She was still shrouded in her golf cape and hood,
and contemplated her boots--which were on her feet, sticking straight
out before her--as if they were a source of mental as well as bodily
inconvenience. At intervals she rolled her head and gave utterance
to that shuddering moan.

Wretched as I was, I could not help gasping, "Are you enjoying your
sea trip?" and she replied sepulchraily, "It isn't what it's cracked
up to be." We could say no more. That time we groaned in unison.

She must have gathered strength of mind and body in the night, however,
for she was in her berth next morning when the stewardess came in
to know what we wanted for breakfast. We did not want anything, as
we quickly made reply. The wind went down that day; the next day was
warm and clear, with a sea like sapphire, and we dragged ourselves to
the deck. Recovery set in quickly enough then, so that we began to
"think scornful" of seasickness. Fortunately the good ship _Buford_
ploughed her way across the Pacific without meeting another swell,
and our pride was not humbled again. We ate quite sparingly for
a meal or two, and had fits of abstraction, gazing at the ceiling
when extra-odorous dishes were placed in front of us. The Radcliffe
girls said that they had passed a strenuous night, engaged in wild
manoeuvres to obtain possession of the monkey wrench and feloniously to
secrete the same. Their collegiate training had included instruction
on the hygienic virtues of fresh air, which made no allowance for a
sea trip; and their views as to the practical application of these
principles came sadly into conflict with the ideas of their bedroom
steward. There were frantic searchings for a monkey wrench all that
night, while the article lay snugly bestowed between the mattresses of
a maiden who looked as if she might be thinking of the angels. Also
their porthole was open in defiance of orders, and much water came
into their stateroom. But they did not care, for it brought fresh
air with it.

The first two or three days of the voyage were spent in taking stock
of our fellow passengers and in finding our friends. We were about
seventy-five cabin passengers in all,--a small family, it is true. The
ship was coaled through to Manila, the first stop being Guam. So we
made acquaintance here and there, settling ourselves for no paltry
five or six days' run, but for a whole month at sea. We all came
on deck and took our fourteen laps--or less--around the promenade
deck before breakfast. The first two or three nights, with a sort of
congregational impulse, we drifted forward under the promenade awnings,
and sang to the accompaniment of the cornetist on the troop deck. The
soldiers sang too, and many an American negro melody, together with "On
the Road to Mandalay" and other modern favorites, floated melodiously
into the starlit silence of the Pacific. Our huge windsail flapped
or bellied as the breeze fell or rose; the waves thumped familiarly
against the sides; the masthead lantern burned clear as a star;
and the real stars swung up and down as the bowsprit curtsied to
each wave. In the intervals between songs a hush would fall upon us,
and the sea noises were like effects in a theatre.

In a few days, however, our shyness and strangeness wore off. We no
longer sang with the soldiers, but segregated ourselves into congenial
groups; and under the electric lights the promenade deck looked,
for all the world, like the piazza of a summer hotel.



CHAPTER II

From San Francisco to Honolulu

We Change Our Course and Arrive at Honolulu--The City Viewed from
the Sea--Its Mixed Population--We Are Detained Ten Days For Engine
Repairs.


When we were a week out from San Francisco and were eight hundred or
a thousand miles north of the Hawaiian Islands, the _Buford_ stopped
one evening just at sunset, and for at least twenty minutes slopped
about in the gentle swell. There is a curious sense of dulness when the
engines cease droning and throbbing; and the passengers, who had just
come up from dinner, were affected by the unusual silence. We hung over
the rail, talking in subdued tones and noting the beauty of the sunset.

Behind us the sea lay purple and dark, with the same sad, sweet
loneliness that a prairie has in the dusk; but between us and the sun
it resembled a molten mass, heaving with sinister power. Our bowsprit
pointed straight at the fiery ball hanging on the sky rim, above which
a pyramidal heaping of clouds aped the forms of temples set on rocky
heights. And from that fantastic mingling of gold and pink and yellow
the sky melted into azure streaked with pearl, and faded at the zenith
into what was no color but night--the infinity of space unlighted.

When the engines started up, the gorgeous picture swung around until
it stood on what is technically called the starboard beam, whereupon
one of the engineers called my attention to the fact that we had
changed our course. Since we were then headed due south, he added,
we must be bound for Honolulu.

Everybody was pleased, though there was some little anxiety to know the
cause of this disregard of orders and of our turning a thousand miles
out of our course. In an ordinary merchant ship doubtless somebody
would have been found with the temerity to ask the captain or some
other officer what was the matter, but nobody was fool enough to do
that on an army transport. The "ranking" officer aboard was rather
intimate with the quartermaster captain, and we hoped something might
be found out through him; but if the quartermaster made any confidences
to the officer, that worthy kept them to himself. We women went to
bed with visions of fire in the hold, or of "tail shafts" ready to
break and race. The night passed tranquilly, however, and the next
morning there was no perceptible anxiety about the officers. As the
_Buford's_ record runs were about two hundred and sixty miles a day,
the remembrance that something was wrong had almost faded before
Honolulu was in sight.

We arrived at Honolulu during the night, and, the steward afterwards
said, spent the second half of it "prancing" up and down outside the
bar, waiting for the dawn. A suspicion that the staid _Buford_ could
prance anywhere would have brought me out of bed. I did rise once
on my elbow in response to an excited whisper from the upper berth,
in time to see a dazzle of electric lights swing into view through
the porthole and vanish as the vessel dipped.

I dressed in time to catch the last of the sunrise, but when I went on
deck, found that nearly half the passengers had been more enterprising
than I. We were at anchor in the outer harbor, and Honolulu lay before
us in all the enchantment of a first tropical vision. A mountain of
pinky-brown volcanic soil--they call it Diamond Head--ran out into
the sea on the right, and, between it and another hill which looks
like an extinct crater and is called the Punch Bowl, a beach curved
inward in a shining line of surf and sand. Back of this line lay some
two or three miles of foreshore, covered with palm-trees and glossy
tropical vegetation, from which peeped out the roofs and towers of the
residence portion of the city. There were mountains behind the town,
jagged sierra-like peaks with clefts and gorges between. They were
terraced half-way up the sides and were covered with the light green
of crops and the deeper green of forests. Tatters of mist draped
them here and there, while clouds lowered in half a dozen spots,
and we could see the smoky lines of as many showers in brisk operation.

On our left the shipping lay clustered about the wharfs, sending
its tracery of masts into the clear sky; and all around glowed the
beauty of a shallow harbor, coral-fringed. From the sapphire of the
water in our immediate vicinity, the sea ranged to azure and apple
green, touched by a ray of sunlight into a flashing mirror here,
heaping into snow wreaths of surf there; and against this play of
color loomed the swart bulk of the Pacific Mail steamer _Coptic_,
flying her quarantine flag.

We watched the doctor's launch go out to her, saw the flag fall
and the belch of smoke as she started shoreward, while the launch
came on to us. In a little while we too were creeping toward the
docks. Naked Kanaka boys swam out to dive for pennies. The buildings
on the shore took shape. The crowd on the dock shaped itself into a
body of normal-looking beings, interspersed with ladies in kimonos
who were carrying babies on their backs (the Japanese population of
Honolulu is very large), and with other dark-skinned ladies in Mother
Hubbards decorated with flower wreaths. There were also numerous
gentlemen of a Comanche-like physiognomy, who wore ordinary dress,
but were distinguished by flower wreaths in lieu of hat bands. Here
and there Chinese women loafed about, wearing trousers of a kind of
black oilcloth, and leading Chinese babies dressed in more colors than
Joseph's coat--grass-green, black, azure, and rose. In the background
several army wagons were filled with officers in uniform and with
white-clad American women.

We schoolteachers lost no time when the boat was once tied up at the
dock, for it was given out that some trifling repairs were to be made
to the boat's engines and that we should sail the next day. We sailed,
in point of fact, just ten days later, for the engines had to be taken
down to be repaired. As the notice of departure within twenty-four
hours was pasted up every day afresh, it held our enthusiasm for
sight-seeing at a feverish pitch.



CHAPTER III

Our Ten Days' Sightseeing

The Fish Market--We Are Treated to Poi--We Visit the Stores--Hawaiian
Curiosities--The Southern Cross--Our Trip to the Dreadful Pali--The
Rescue--The Flowers and Trees of Honolulu--The Mango Tree and Its
Fruit.


My first impressions of Honolulu were disappointing. I had been, in my
childhood, a fascinated peruser of Mark Twain's "Roughing It," and his
picture of Honolulu--or rather my picture formed from his description
of it--demanded something novel in foliage and architecture, and
a great acreage of tropical vegetation. What we really found was
a modern American city with straight streets, close-clipped lawns,
and frame houses of various styles of architecture leaning chiefly
to the gingerbread, and with a business centre very much like that
of a Western town. Only after three or four days did the charm and
individuality of Honolulu make themselves felt.

To leave the dock, we had to pass through the fish market, which looked
like any other fish market, but seemed to smell worse. When we looked
at the fish, however, we almost forgot the odors, for they were as many
tinted as a rainbow. Coral red, silver, blue, blue shot with purple,
they seemed to tell of sun-kissed haunts under wind-ruffled surfaces
or of dusky caves within the underworld of branching coral. It is
hard to be sentimental about fish, but for the space of two minutes
and a half we quite mooned over the beauty fish of Honolulu.

Leaving the market, we came upon a _ley_ woman who wanted to throw
a heavy wreath of scented flowers about the neck of each of us at a
consideration of twenty cents per capita. She was a fat old woman who
used many alluring gestures and grinned coquettishly; but we were
adamant to her pleadings, and seeing a street car jingling toward
us--one of the bobtailed mule variety--we left her to try her wiles on
a fresh group from our boat, and hailed the street car. As we entered,
one passenger remarked audibly to another, "I see another transport
is in," which speech lowered my spirits fifty degrees. I hate to be
so obvious.

Under that nightmare of threatened departure we went flying
from place to place. In the first store which we entered we were
treated to _poi_--a dish always offered to the stranger as a mark
of hospitality--and partook of it in the national manner; that is,
we stuck our forefingers in the _poi_, and each then sucked her
own digit. _Poi_ is made from taro root, and tastes mouldy. It is
exceedingly nasty--nobody would want two dips.

The stores were just like those of the United States, and the
only commercial novelties which we discovered were chains made of
exquisitely tinted shells, which came from somewhere down in the South
Seas, and other chains made of coral and of a berry which is hard and
red and looks like coral. At the Bishop Museum, however, we found
an interesting collection of Malaysian curios and products--birds,
beasts, fishes, weapons, dress, and domestic utensils. Among the
dress exhibits were cloaks made of yellow feathers, quite priceless
(I forget how many thousand birds were killed to make each cloak);
and among the household utensils were wooden bowls inlaid with human
teeth. It was a humorous conceit on the part of former Hawaiian kings
thus to compliment a defunct enemy.

There was a dance that night at the Hawaiian Hotel in honor of
our passengers, most of whom attended, leaving me almost a solitary
passenger aboard. Those happy sinners from Radcliffe went off in their
best frocks. I lay in a steamer chair on the afterdeck, scanning
the heavens for the Southern Cross. I counted, as nearly as I can
remember, about eight arrangements of stars that might have been
said to resemble crosses. Not one of them was it, however. Later,
I made acquaintance with the Cross, and I must say it has been much
overrated by adjective-burdened literature. It does not blaze, and
it is lop-sided, and it is not magnificent in the least. It consists
of five stars in the form of an irregular diamond, and it is not half
so cross-like as the so-called False Cross.

Next morning the military band came down and gave us an hour's concert
on the promenade deck. We sat about under the awnings with our novels
or our sewing or our attention. At the end they played the "Star
Spangled Banner," and we all stood up, the soldiers at attention,
hat on breast. One of the passengers refused to take off his hat,
so that we had something to gossip about for another hour.

In the afternoon we took a ride up Pacific Heights on the trolley
car. Pacific Heights is a residence suburb where the houses are like
those on the Peak at Hong Kong, clinging wherever they can get room on
the steep sides of the mountain. The view of the city and of the blue
harbor dotted with ships was beautiful. In the evening we went to a
band concert in Emma Square, and on the third day made our memorable
trip to the Pali.

We had been hearing of the Pali ever since we landed. It is a
cliff approached by a gorge, whence one of those unpronounceable
and unspellable kings once drove his enemies headlong into the
sea. We could not miss a scene so provocative of sensations as this,
so several of us teachers and an army nurse or two packed ourselves
into a wagonette for the journey. We started bright and early, or
as near bright and early as is possible when one eats in the second
section and the first section sits down to breakfast at eight o'clock.

Our driver was a shrewd, kindly, gray-haired old Yankee, cherishing
a true American contempt for all peoples from Asia or the south
of Europe. He was conversational when we first started, but his
evident desire to do the honors of Honolulu handsomely was chilled
by a suggestion from one of the saints that, when we should arrive
in the suburbs, he would let down the check-reins. The horses were
sturdy brutes, not at all cruelly checked; but the saint could not
rise superior to habit. Unfortunately she made the request with
that blandly patronizing tone which in time becomes second nature
to kindergartners. Its insinuating blandness ruffled our Jehu, who
opined that his horses were all right, and that he could look after
their comfort without any assistance. He did not say anything about old
maids, but the air was surcharged with his unexpressed convictions, so
that all of our cohort who were over thirty-five were reduced to a kind
of abject contrition for having been born, and for having continued to
live after it was assured that we were destined to remain incomplete.

We drove through the beautiful Nuuana Avenue with its velvet lawns,
and magnificent trees, and then wound up the steep valley between the
terraced gardens of the mountain-sides. Not a hundred yards away a
shower drove by and hung a silver curtain like the gauze one which is
used to help out scenic effects in a theatre; and presently another
swept over us and drenched us to the skin. Half a dozen times in the
upward journey we were well soaked, but we dried out again as soon
as the hot sun peeped forth. We did not mind, but tucked our hats
under the seats and took our drenchings in good part.

At last we arrived at a point where the road turned abruptly around
a sharp peak, the approach to which led through a gorge formed by a
second mountain on the left. We could tell that there was a precipice
beyond, because we could see the remains of a fence which had been
recently broken on the left, or outside, part of the road. The driver
stopped some twenty-five or thirty yards outside the gorge, saying
that he could approach no nearer, as the velocity of the wind in the
cleft made it dangerous. Our subsequent experiences led me to doubt
his motive in not drawing nearer, and to accredit to him a hateful
spirit of revenge.

We alighted in another of those operatic showers, and made our way
to the gorge, laughing and dashing the rain drops from our faces. We
were not conscious of any particular force of wind, but no sooner
were we within those towering walls of rock than a demon power began
to tear us into pieces and to urge us in the direction of the broken
fence. The first gust terrified us, and with universal feminine assent
we clutched at our skirts and screamed.

The next blast sent combs and hairpins flying, drove our wet hair
about our faces, and forced us to release our garments, which behaved
most shockingly. I saw a kind of recess in the cliffs to the right
under an overhanging shelf of rock, and, though it was approached
by a mud puddle, made straight for it and in temporary quiet let go
my threshing skirts and braided my hair. I could see our driver in
the distance, pretending to look after his harness, and indulging in
hyæna mirth at the figures we cut. Then, to make matters worse, there
came a shout from the hidden road to the right, and, three abreast, a
party of young civil engineers from our ship charged round the corner.

Most of our party sat down in their tracks, and a stifled but heartfelt
moan escaped from more than one. I waded three inches deeper into the
mud puddle and flattened myself against a wall of oozy rock with an
utterly unfeminine disregard of consequences.


The men were of a thoroughly good sort, however, and, ignoring our
plight, insisted on helping us round the corner. They said that,
once we were out of the gorge and on the other face of the mountain,
the strong draught ceased. So each woman took a frenzied grasp of her
skirts, and, with an able-bodied man steadying her on each side, made
the run and brought up safe on the other side. There did not seem to
be much to see--nothing but the precipitous face of the cliff towering
above us, the road cut out of it, winding steeply down to the right,
and the shoulder of the left-hand peak running up into a cloud-swept
sky. Below us was a floor of mist, swaying to unfelt airs, heaving,
gray, and sad.

Just about this time a Chinaman arrived--one of the beast-of-burden
sort--with two immense baskets swung across his shoulders on a bamboo
pole. He made three ineffectual efforts to get round the point, but
had to fall on his knees each time, as the wind threatened to sweep him
too near the cliff. So the philanthropic youths went to his assistance
as they had come to ours, and piloted him safely round the bend. We
became so much interested in this operation and in the Chinaman's
efforts to express his thanks that we quite forgot our disappointment
at the Pali's unkind behavior. A sudden gleam of sunshine recalled
us. The clouds which had been dripping down upon us were rent apart
to reveal a long streamer of blue, and to give passage to a shaft
of sunlight which drove resistlessly through the mist floor. The fog
parted shudderingly, silently, and for a moment we looked down into a
beautiful valley, green and with a thousand other tints and shades,
and set in a great inward curve, beyond which the sea raced up in
frothy billows to the clean white sands. Far beneath us as it was,
we could detect the flashes on wet foliage; indeed, I could think of
nothing but a cup of emerald rimmed with sapphire and studded with
brilliants. For an all too brief space it quivered and shimmered
under the sunburst, and then the mist floor closed relentlessly,
the heavens grayed again, and another downpour set in.

We waited long, but the Pali declined to be wooed into sight again, nor
am I certain that we were the losers thereby. The whole effect was so
brief and vivid that our pleasure in it was greatly intensified. Longer
vision might have brought out details which we missed, but it would
have converted into the memory of a beautiful scene that which has
remained a peep into fairyland.

Our return through the gorge was accompanied by all the original
drawbacks. Our driver had released the check-reins of the horses,
but he ostentatiously checked them up again as we appeared. He had
entirely recovered his good humor, and contemplated our dishevelled
appearance with secret glee.

The Pali has its good features, but it must be admitted there are
drawbacks. Among the military people aboard there was a lady of
uncertain age, and of a mistaken conception of what was becoming to
her fading charms. She was gaunt, and leathery of skin, and she wore
"baby necks" and elbow sleeves, and affected childish simplicity
and perennial youth. On our first night out of Honolulu I happened
to come around the corner of the promenade deck in time to observe
one of the men passengers contemplating this lady, who stood at some
distance from him, attired in a rather _décolleté_ frock. The man's
attitude was a modified edition of that of the Colossus of Rhodes: He
steadied a cigarette between his lips with the third and fourth fingers
of his left hand, while his right hand was thrust into his trousers
pocket. A peculiar expression lingered on his countenance--kind of
struggle between a painful memory and a judicial estimate. He was so
absorbed in his musings that he did not notice me, and he spoke aloud.

"I knew she was thin," he said, "but even with her low-necked dresses,
I did not think that it was as bad as it is."

I beat a retreat without attracting his attention, but I understood
him, for I had seen him on the back seat of an army ambulance in the
clutches of the perennially youthful lady, starting for the Pali.

We left Honolulu with the modified regret which always must be
entertained when other lands are beckoning. The native custom of
adorning departing friends with wreaths of flowers was followed,
and some of our army belles were almost weighed down with circlets of
blossoms cast over their heads by admiring officers of Honolulu. Once
clear of the dock and out of eye range, they shamelessly cast these
tokens away, and the deck stewards gathered up the perfumed heaps and
threw them overboard. The favorite flowers used in these _ley_, or
wreaths, were the creamy white blossoms with the golden centre from
which the perfume frangipani is extracted. This flower is known in
the Philippines as _calachuchi_. There were also some of the yellow,
bell-shaped flowers called "campanilo," and a variety of the hibiscus
which we learned to call "coral hibiscus," but which in the Philippines
is known as _arana_, or spider.

The flowers of Honolulu and Manila seem very much alike. In neither
place is there a wide variety of garden flowers, but there is an
abundance of flowering shrubs and trees.

One quite common plant is the bougainvillaea, which climbs over
trellises or trees, and covers them with its mass of magenta
blossoms. The scarlet hibiscus, either single or double, and the
so-called coral hibiscus grow profusely and attain the size of a
large lilac bush. There is another bush which produces clusters of
tiny, star-like flowers in either white or pink. It is called in the
Philippines "santan," but I do not know its name in Honolulu.

Catholic missionaries were instrumental in introducing into the
Hawaiian Islands a tree of hardy and beautiful foliage which has
thrived and now covers a great part of the mountain slopes. This is
the algoroda tree, the drooping foliage of which is suggestive of a
weeping willow. Then there is the beautiful West Indian rain-tree,
which the Honolulu people call the monkey-pod tree, and which in
the Philippines is miscalled _acacia_. Its broad branches extend
outward in graceful curves, the foliage is thick but not crowded,
and it is an ideal shade tree, apart from the charm of its blossoms
of purplish pink.

The fire-tree and the mango are two others which are a joy to all true
lovers of trees. The fire-tree is deciduous, and loses its leaves in
December, In April or May, before the leaves come back, it bursts into
bloom in great bunches of scarlet about the size of the flower mass
of the catalpa tree. The bark is white, and as the tree attains the
size of a large maple, the sight of this enormous bouquet is something
to be remembered. When the leaves come back, the foliage is thick,
and the general appearance of the tree is like that of a locust.

Among tropical trees, however, the most beautiful is the mango. Its
shape is that of a sharply domed bowl. The leaves are glossy and
thickly clustered. It is distinguishable at a long distance by its
dignity and grace. But the mass of its foliage is a drawback, inasmuch
as few trunks can sustain the weight; and one sees everywhere the great
trunk prostrate, the roots clinging to the soil, and the upper branches
doing their best to overcome the disadvantages of a recumbent position.

We ate our first mangoes in Honolulu, and were highly disgusted with
them, assenting without murmur to the statement that the liking of
mangoes is an acquired taste. I had a doubt, to which I did not give
utterance, of ever acquiring the taste, but may as well admit that
I did acquire it in time. The only American fruit resembling a mango
in appearance is the western pawpaw. The mango is considerably larger
than the pawpaw, and not identical in shape, though very like it in
smooth, golden outer covering. When the mango is ripe, its meat is
yellow and pulpy and quite fibrous near the stone, to which it adheres
as does a clingstone peach. It tastes like a combination of apple,
peach, pear, and apricot with a final merger of turpentine. At first
the turpentine flavor so far dominates all others that the consumer
is moved to throw his fruit into the nearest ditch; but in time it
diminishes, and one comes to agree with the tropical races in the
opinion that the mango is the king of all fruits.



CHAPTER IV

From Honolulu to Manila

Voyaging over the Tropical Seas--We Touch at Guam, or Guahan, One
of the Ladrone Islands--Our First Sight of the Philippines--Manila,
"A Mass of Towers, Domes, and White-painted Iron Roofs Peeping Out
of Green"--Dispersion of the Passengers.


From Honolulu to Guam we crept straight across in the equatorial
current, blistering hot by day, a white heat haze dimming the horizon,
and an oily sea, not blue, but purple, running in swells so long and
gentle that one could perceive them only by watching the rail change
its angle. Once we saw a whale spout; several times sharks followed
us, attracted by the morning's output of garbage; and at intervals
flying fish sallied out in sprays of silver. Once or twice we passed
through schools of skate, which, when they came under our lee, had
a curiously dazzling and phosphorescent appearance. One of the civil
engineers aboard called them phosphorescent skate, but I had my doubts,
for I noticed that bits of paper cast overboard would assume the same
opalescent tints when three or four feet down in the water.

We had also the full moon, leaving a great shining pathway in our
wake at night, and flooding us with unreal splendor. The pale stars
swung up and down as the _Buford_ slipped over each wave, and little
ripples of breeze cooled the weather side of the ship. By this time
we were a thoroughly assorted company. The afterdeck was yielded
to flirtatious married ladies whose husbands were awaiting them in
Manila, while we sobersides and the family groups gathered under
the awnings. We sang no more; but the indefatigable cornetist on
the troop deck still entertained his fellows, while occasionally
a second steward stole out with a mandolin, and struggled with the
intermezzo from "Cavalleria." We did not run out of talk, however,
and the days went by all too swiftly.

Of Guam I can only say that it struck me as the most desolate spot
I had ever seen. It stays in my memory as a long peninsula, or
spit of land, running out into the sea, with a ten or twelve-foot
bank above, fringed with ragged cocoanut trees. Back of this the
land rose gradually into low hills. There was a road leading to the
town some eight miles inland, and four-mule ambulances dashed up and
down this. We had to anchor three miles off shore on account of coral
reefs. We had commissary stores to land, and our navigator captain lost
his temper, because the only available lighter in Guam was smashed by a
falling bundle of pig iron the first thing. For a while the outlook for
fresh provisions in Guam was a sorry one, for our captain vowed by all
his saints that he would up anchor and away at four o'clock. The glass
indicated a change of weather, and he was unwilling to risk his ship
in the labyrinth of coral reefs that encircles the island. Fortunately
a German tramp whaler dropped into harbor at this point for water,
and some boats were obtained from her--though I could never see why,
for we had plenty of our own. The unloading process went on briskly,
and toward noon the U.S. gunboat _Yorktown_ came in to pay a call; thus
there were actually three vessels at one time in the harbor of Guam.

Such a repletion of visitors had never been known there. The four-mule
wagons seemed crazed with excitement. The enthusiasm even spread to the
natives, who hung about in dug-outs, offering to sell us cocoanuts,
pineapples, and green corn. Our captain kept his word, for at four
o'clock we swung about and left Guam behind us. Our passenger list
was richer by several political prisoners who had been in exile and
were returning to their native land--whether for trial or for freedom,
I have no knowledge.

Some five or six days later, it was rumored that we should pick up the
light on the southeast coast of Luzon about midnight, and most of us
stayed up to see it. We also indulged in the celebration without which
few passenger ships can complete a long voyage. We had a paper and
it was read, after which ceremonial the ship's officers invited us to
partake of sandwiches and lemonade in the dining-room. The refreshments
were considerably better than the paper, which was neither wise nor
witty, but abounded in those commonplace personalities to which the
imagination of amateur editors usually soars.

About 2 A.M., when yawns were growing harder and harder to conceal,
the light made its appearance. I counted three flashes and went below.

Next morning, we were hugging the coast of Albay abreast the volcano
of Mayon, said to be the most perfect volcanic cone in the world. It
seems to rise straight from the sea; with its perfectly sloping sides
and a summit wreathed in delicate vapors, it is worthy of the pride
with which it is regarded by the Filipinos.

Then we entered the Strait of San Bernardino, between Luzon and Samar,
and passed for a day through a region of isles. The sea was glassy
save when a school of porpoises tore it apart in their pursuit of
the flying fish. On its deep sapphire the islands seemed to float,
sometimes a mere pinnacle of rock, sometimes a cone-shaped peak
timbered down to the beach where the surf fell over. Toward evening,
when the breeze freshened slightly, we seemed almost to brush the
sides of some of these islets, and they invited us with sparkling
pools and coves, with beaches over which the sea wimpled, and with
grassy hillsides running out into promontories above cliffs of volcanic
rock. Thatched villages nestled in the clefts of the larger islands,
or a fleet of paraos might be drawn up in a curving bay. And, yonder
in the golden west, shimmering, dancing, in rosy-tinted splendor, more
islands beckoned us to the final glory of a matchless day--clouds
heaped on clouds, outlined in thin threads of gold, and drawing,
in broad shafts of smoky flame, the vapors of an opal sea. At that
time I had not seen the famous Inland Sea of Japan, but I have since
passed through it twice, and feel that in beauty the Strait of San
Bernardino has little to yield to her far-famed neighbor.

Next day we crept up the coast of Batangas, and when I came on deck the
second morning they told me that the island on our left was Corregidor,
and that Manila was three hours' sail ahead. It was of no use going
into a trance and coming up in imagination with Dewey, because he
did not come our way. The entrance to Manila Bay is rather narrow,
and Corregidor lies a little to one side in it like a stone blocking
a doorway. The passage on the left entering the bay is called Boca
Chica, or Little Mouth; that to the right is called Boca Grande, or
Big Mouth. Dewey entered by the Boca Chica, and we were in Boca Grande.

By and by a cluster of roofs, church towers, docks, and arsenals
took form against the sea. A little later we could discern the hulks
of the Spanish fleet scattered in the water, and several of our own
fighting craft at anchor. This was Cavite. There, too, around a great
curve of eight or nine miles, lay Manila, a mass of towers, domes,
and white-painted iron roofs peeping out of green. Behind loomed
the background of mountains, without which no Filipino landscape is
ever complete.

By eleven o'clock we had dropped anchor and the long voyage was
over. Counting our ten days in Honolulu, we lacked but three of the
forty days and forty nights in which the Lord fasted in the wilds. It
would be injustice to the _Buford's_ well-filled larder, however,
to intimate that we fasted. Our food was good, barring the ice cream,
which the chef had a weakness for flavoring with rose water.

The first launch that came out after the doctor's brought a messenger
from the Educational Department with orders to us teachers to
remain aboard till next day, when a special launch would be sent
for us. So all day we watched our friends go down over the side,
and waved farewells to them, and made engagements to meet on the
Luneta. The launches and lighters and _cascos_ swarmed round us, the
cargo derricks groaned and screeched, the soldiers gathered up knapsack
and canteen and marched solemnly down the ladder. Vessels steamed past
us or anchored near us, while we hung over the rail, gazing at Manila,
so near and yet so far. After dinner we betook ourselves to the empty
afterdeck and stared down the long promenade--alas! resembling the
piazza of a very empty hotel!--and peopled it with the ghosts of
those who late had sat there. They had gone out of our lives after
a few brief days of idleness, but they would take up, as we should,
the work of building a nation in a strange land and out of a reluctant
people. Some were fated to die of wounds, and some were stricken with
the pestilence. Most of them are still living, moving from army post
to army post. Some are still toiling in the remotenesses of mountain
villages; others are dashing about Manila in the midst of its feverish
society. Some have gone to swell the American colonies in Asiatic
coast towns. A few have shaken the dust of the Philippines forever
from their feet, and are seeking fame in the home land and wooing
fortune in the traffic of great cities or in peaceful rural life. Some,
perhaps, may read these lines, and, reading, pause to give a tender
thought to the land which most Americans revile while they are in it,
but which they sentimentally regret when they have left it.

Eight long years have slipped by since that night, and in that time a
passing-bell has tolled for the Philippines which we found then. Who
shall say for many a year whether the change be for better or for
worse? But the change has come, and for the sake of a glamour which
overlay the quaint and moribund civilization of the Philippines of
that day I have chronicled in this volume my singularly unadventurous
experiences.

The afterdeck was empty, and the promenade was the haunt of ghosts,
but across the circle of gloom we could see a long oval of arc lights
with thousands of little glow-worms beneath, which we knew were not
glow-worms at all, but carriage lamps dashing round the band stand;
and as if he divined our sentimental musings, the second steward took
heart and not only played but sang his favorite air from "Cavalleria."



CHAPTER V

Our First Few Days in the City

The Pasig River, With Its Swarm of House-boats--Through Manila into
the Walled City--Our First Meal--A Walk and a Drive in Manila--The
Admirable Policemen--We Superintend the Preparation of Quarters for
Additional Teachers--That Artful Radcliffe Girl.


Our guide from the Educational Department appeared about eleven
o'clock the next day, which happened to be Sunday. We and our trunks
were bundled into a launch, and we left the _Buford_ forever.

We were familiar with the magazine illustrations of the Pasig long
before our pedagogic invasion of Manila, but we were unprepared for
the additional charm lent to these familiar views by the play of
color. The shipping was as we had imagined it--large black and gray
coasters in the Hong-Kong and inter-island trade, a host of dirty
little _vapors_ (steamers) of light tonnage, and the innumerable
_cascos_ and _bancas_. The bancas are dug-out canoes, each paddled
by a single oarsman. The casco is a lumbering hull covered over in
the centre with a mat of plaited bamboo, which makes a cave-like
cabin and a living room for the owner's family. Children are born,
grow up, become engaged, marry, give birth to more children--in short,
spend their lives on these boats with a dog, a goat, and ten or twelve
lusty game-cocks for society.

The cascos lie along the bank of the river ten deep; every time a
coasting steamer wants to get out, she runs afoul of them in some way,
and there is a pretty mess. It always seems to turn out happily,
but the excitement is great while it lasts, and it is apparently
never dulled by repetition.

We swept up the Pasig with Fort Santiago and the ancient city wall on
the right; and, on the left, warehouses, or _bodegas_, a customhouse
with a gilded dome, and everywhere the faded creams and pinks of
painted wooden buildings. Some of the roofs were of corrugated iron,
but more were of old red Chinese tiles, with ferns and other waving
green things sprouting in the cracks. The wall was completely hidden
with vegetation.

We landed at the customhouse, left our trunks for inspection, and
entered gig-like vehicles which were drawn by diminutive ponies and
were called _carromatas_. Two of us were a tight fit, and, as I am
stout, I was afraid to lean back lest I should drag the pony upon his
hind legs, and our entrance into Manila should become an unseemly
one. The carromata wheels were iron-tired, and jolted--well, like
Manila street carromatas of that day. Since then a modification of the
carromata and of another vehicle called _calesin_ has been evolved. The
modern conveyance has rubber tires and a better angle of adjustment,
and the rat-like pony will dash about with it all day in good spirits.

We rattled up a street which I have since learned is called San
Fernando, and which looks like the famous Chinatown of San Francisco,
only more so. We passed over a canal spanned by a quaint stone
bridge, arriving in front of the Binondo Church just as the noon
hour struck. Instantly there burst out such a clamor of bells as we
had never before heard--big bells and little bells, brass bells and
broken bells--and brass bands lurking in unknown spots seemed to be
assisting. I do not know whether the Filipinos were originally fond
of noise or whether the Spaniards taught them to be so. At any rate,
they both love it equally well now, and whenever the chance falls, the
bells and the bands are ranged in opposition, yet bent to a common end.

The Bridge of Spain is approached from the Binondo side by almost the
only steep grade to be found in Manila. I was leaning as far forward
as I could, figuring upon the possible strain to be withstood by the
frayed rope end which lay between us and a backward somersault, when
my ears were assailed by an uncanny sound, half grunt, half moan. For
an instant I thought it was the wretched pony moved to protest by
the grade and my oppressive weight. But the pony was breasting the
steep most gallantly, all things considered. The miserable sound was
repeated a second later, just as our little four-footed friend struck
the level, and I discovered that it was my driver's appeal to his
steed. It is a sound to move the pity of more than a horse; until you
are thoroughly accustomed to it it leaves you under the apprehension
that the _cochero_ has been stricken with the plague. This habit of
grunting at horses seems to be disappearing at the present time, the
haughty customs of livery carromatas perhaps being responsible. Also
English is spreading. Apart from swear words, which appear to fill
a long-felt want for something emphatic, there are at least three
phrases which every Filipino who has to do with horses seems to have
made a part of his vocabulary. They are "Back!" "Whoa, boy!" and
"Git up!" Your cochero may groan at your horse or whine at it, but
when the need arises he can draw upon that much of English.

We jolted over the Bridge of Spain and through a masked gate into
the walled city, with the wall on our left, and the high bricked
boundaries of churches and _conventos_ on the right, till we arrived
at a low, square frame structure, with the words "Escuela Municipal"
above its portals. In Spanish times it was the training-school for
girls, and here temporary accommodation had been provided for us. We
crossed a hall and a court where ferns and palms were growing, and
were ushered into a room containing a number of four-poster beds. We
were to obtain our food at a neighboring restaurant, whither we soon
set out under guidance. The street was narrow, and all the houses
had projecting second floors which overhung the sidewalk. Box-like
shops on the ground floor were filled with cheap, unattractive-looking
European wares, with here and there a restaurant displaying its viands,
and attracting flies. We recognized the bananas and occasionally a
pineapple, but the other fruits were new to us--_lanzones_ in white,
fuzzy clusters like giant grapes; the _chico_, a little brown fruit
that tastes like baked apple flavored with caramel; and the _atis_,
which most natives prise as a delicacy, but which few Americans ever
learn to like.

We had been introduced to the alligator pear, the papaya, and the
mango at Honolulu, but we were still expecting strange and wonderful
gastronomic treats in our first Philippine meal.

We entered a stone-flagged lower hall where several shrouded carriages
would have betrayed the use to which it was put had not a stable odor
first betrayed it. Thence we passed up a staircase, broad and shallow,
which at the top entered a long, high-ceiled room, evidently a salon
in days past. It had fallen to baser uses, however, and now served as
dining-room. One side gave on the court, and another on an _azotea_
where were tropical plants and a monkey. It was a bare, cheerless
apartment, hot in the unshaded light of a tropical noonday. The tables
were not alluring. The waiters were American negroes. A Filipino youth,
dressed in a white suit, and wearing his black hair in a pompadour,
was beating out "rag time" at a cracked old piano.

"Easy is the descent into Avernus!" But there was consolation in
the monkey and the azotea, though we could neither pet the one nor
walk on the other. However, we were the sort of people not easily
disconcerted by trifles, and we sat down still expectant.

The vegetables were canned, the milk was canned, the butter was canned,
and the inference was plain that it had made the trip from Holland in
a sailing vessel going around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. As
for the fruits, there was but one fruit, a little acid banana full
of tiny black seeds. With guava jelly it was served for dessert. Our
landlord, an enterprising American, had been so far influenced by
local custom that he had come to regard these two delicacies as a never
inappropriate dessert. So long as we continued to "chow" with him, so
long appeared the acid, flavorless banana and the gummy, sticky jelly.

In justice to Manila it must be said, however, that such conditions
have long since been outlived. Good food and well-served American
tables are plentiful enough in Manila to-day. The cold-storage depots
provide meats and butter at prices as good as those of the home land,
if not better. Manila is no longer congested with the population,
both native and American, which centred there in war times. There
is not the variety of fruits to be found in the United States, but
there is no lack of wholesome, appetizing food.

We returned to the Escuela Municipal, and, after a nap, dressed
and went out for a walk. The narrow streets with overhanging second
stories; the open windows with gayly dressed girls leaning out to talk
with amorous swains on the pavement below; the swarming vehicles with
coachmen shouting "Ta-beh"; and the _frailes_ (friars)--tall, thin,
bearded frailes in brown garments and sandals, or rosy, clean-shaven,
plump frailes in flapping white robes--all made a novel scene to our
untravelled eyes. Mounting a flight of moss-grown steps, we found
ourselves on top of the wall, whence we could look across the moat
to the beautiful avenue, called, on the maps of Manila, the Paseo
de Las Aguadas, but familiarly known as the Bagumbayan. West India
rain-trees spread their broad branches over it, and all Manila
seemed to be walking, riding, or driving upon it. It was the hour
when everybody turns his face Luneta-ward. Seized with the longing,
we too sent for a carriage.

Our coachman wore no uniform, but was resplendent in a fresh-laundered
white muslin shirt which he wore outside his drill trousers. He
carried us through the walled city and out by a masked gate to a
drive called the Malecon, a broad, smooth roadway lined with cocoanut
palms. On the bay side the waters dashed against the sea wall just as
Lake Michigan does on the Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. But the view
across the bay at Manila is infinitely more beautiful than that at
Chicago. To the left stretches a noble curve of beach, ending with
the spires and roofs of Cavite and a purple line of plateau, drawn
boldly across the sky. In front there is the wide expanse of water,
dotted with every variety of craft, with a lonely mountain, rising
apparently straight from the sea, bulking itself in the foreground
a little to the left. The mountain is in reality Mt. Marivales,
the headland which forms the north entrance to Manila Bay, but it
is so much higher than the sierra which runs back from it that it
manages to convey a splendid picture of isolation. The sun falls
behind Marivales, painting a flaming background for mountains and
sea. When that smouldering curtain of night has dropped, and the sea
lies glooming, and the ships of all nations swing on their anchor
chains, there are few lovelier spots than the Luneta. The wind comes
soft as velvet; the surf croons a lullaby, and the little toy horses
and toy victorias spin up and down between the palms, settling at
last around the turf oval which surrounds the bandstand.

Here are soldiers in clean khaki on the benches; officers of the army
and navy in snow-white uniforms; Chinamen in robes of purple or blue
silk, smoking in their victorias; Japanese and Chinese nursemaids in
their native costumes watching their charges at play on the grass;
bareheaded American women; black-haired Spanish beauties; and native
women with their long, graceful necks rising from the stiff folds of
azure or rose-colored kerchiefs. American officers tower by on their
big horses, or American women in white drill habits. There are droves
of American children on native ponies, the girls riding astride,
their fat little legs in pink or blue stockings bobbing against the
ponies' sides. There are boys' schools out for a walk in charge of
shovel-hatted priests. There are demure processions of maidens from
the _colegios_, sedately promenading two and two, with black-robed
_madres_ vainly endeavoring to intercept surreptitious glances and
remarks. There are groups of Hindoos in turbans. There are Englishmen
with the inevitable walking-sticks. There are friars apparently of
all created orders, and there is the Manila policeman.

As I recall those early impressions, I think the awe and respect for
the Manila police was quite the strongest of all. They were the picked
men of the army of invasion, non-commissioned officers who could show
an honorable discharge. Size must have been taken into consideration
in selecting them, for I do not remember seeing one who was of less
than admirable proportions. Soldierly training was in every movement.

There was none of the loafing stride characteristic of the professional
roundsman. They wore gray-green khaki, tan shoes, tan leather leggings,
and the military cap; and a better set up, smarter, abler body of law
preservers it would be difficult to find. The "machinery of politics"
had not affected them, the instinct of the soldier to do his duty was
strong in them, and they would have arrested Governor William H. Taft
himself as gleefully as they would have arrested a common Chinaman,
had the Governor offered sufficient provocation.

We enjoyed that first night's entertainment on the Luneta as do all
who come to Manila, and I must confess that time has not staled it for
me. It is cosmopolitan and yet typically Philippine. Since that day
the fine Constabulary Band has come into existence, and the music has
grown to be more than a mere feature of the whole scene. The concert
would be well worth an admission fee and an hour's confinement in
a stuffy hall. Enjoyed in delightful pure air with a background of
wonderful beauty, it is a veritable treat.

On the following day we had our interview with the Superintendent
of Public Instruction. He informed us that in the course of a week
the transport _Thomas_ would arrive, carrying some five hundred or
more pedagogues. He suggested that, as we were then drawing full pay,
we might reimburse the Government by making ourselves useful at the
Exposition Building, which was being put in order to receive them.

So to the Exposition Building we betook ourselves, and for several
days made herculean efforts to induce the native boys and Chinese
who were supposed to clean it up to do so properly. We also helped
to put up cots and to hang mosquito nettings, and at night we lay and
listened to the most vociferous concert of bull frogs, debutante frogs,
tree toads, katydids, locusts, and iku lizards that ever murdered the
sleep of the just. We also left an open box of candy on the table of
the dormitory which we had preëmpted, starting therewith another such
frantic migration in the ant world as in the human world once poured
into the Klondike. They came on all trails from far and near. They
invaded our beds, and when the sweets gave out, took bites out of us
as the next best delicacy.

Manila seemed to be more or less excited over the new army of invasion,
the local papers teeming with jokes about pretty schoolma'ams and
susceptible exiles. The teachers were to land at the Anda Monument at
the Pasig end of the Malecon Drive, and thence were to be conveyed to
the Exposition Building in army ambulances and Doherty wagons which
the military had put at the disposal of the Civil Government.

Owing to the fact that I was appointed a sort of matron to the women's
dormitory, and had to be on hand to assign the ladies to their
cots and to register them, I did not go down to the Anda Monument
to see the disembarkation. Plenty of people who might have pleaded
less legitimate interest in the pedagogues than I had, were there,
however. By half-past ten the first wagon-load had arrived at the
Exposition Building in a heavy shower, and from then till early
noon they continued to pour in. On the whole, they were up to a
high standard--a considerably higher standard than has since been
maintained in the Educational Department. The women were a shade in
advance of the men.

Both men and women accepted their rough quarters with
few complaints. Nearly all were obliging and ready to do their
best to make up for the deficiencies in bell boys and other hotel
accommodations. We arranged a plan whereby twelve women teachers were
to be on duty each day,--a division of four for morning, afternoon,
and evening, respectively. The number of each woman's cot and room
was placed after her name, and one teacher acted as clerk while the
others played bell boy and hunted for those in demand.

And they were overworked! By five o'clock in the afternoon the parlor
of the Exposition Building looked like a hotel lobby in a town where a
presidential nominating convention is in session. To begin with, there
were the one hundred and sixty schoolma'ams. Then the men teachers,
who had been assigned to the old _nipa_ artillery barracks, found the
women's parlors a pleasant place in which to spend an odd half-hour,
and made themselves at home there. In addition, each woman seemed to
have some acquaintance among the military or civil people of Manila;
and officers in white and gold, and women in the creams, blues, and
pinks of Filipino _jusi_ thronged the rooms till one could hardly get
through the press. Victorias and carromatas outside were crowded as
carriages are about the theatres on grand opera nights at home.

It would have been difficult in all that crowd to say who was there
with good and sufficient reason. Many a man drifted in and out with the
hope of picking up acquaintance, and doubtless some were successful.

I was at the desk one day, doing duty for a teacher who was sick,
when two forlorn but kind-looking young men approached and asked if
I could tell them the names of any of the teachers from Michigan. We
had a list of names arranged by States, and I at once handed this
over. They pored over this long and sorrowfully. Then one heaved a
sigh, and one took me into his confidence. They were from Michigan,
and they had hoped to find, one or the other, an acquaintance on the
list. The eagerness of this hope had even led them to bring a carriage
with the ulterior motive of doing the honors of Manila if their search
proved successful. Their disappointment was so heavy, and they were
so naively unconscious of anything strained in the situation, that my
sympathy was honest and open. But when they suggested that I introduce
them to some of the women teachers from Michigan, and I declined the
responsibility as gently as I could, the frigidity of their injured
pride made me momentarily abject. They drifted away and hung about
with expectancy printed on their faces--that and a mingled hate and
defiance of the glittering uniforms which quite absorbed all feminine
attention and left their civilian dulness completely overshadowed.

One of the Radcliffe maidens had an experience which goes far to show
that higher culture does not eradicate the talent for duplicity for
which the female sex has long been noted, and which illustrates a
happy faculty of getting out of a disagreeable situation. It also
illustrates a singular mingling of unsophistication and astuteness,
which may be a result of collegiate training.

One of the chief difficulties which beset us was the matter of
transportation. In those days there was no street-car system--or
at least the apology for one which they had was not patronized by
Europeans. The heat and the frequent showers made a conveyance an
absolute necessity. The livery stables were not fully equal to the
demand upon them, and, in addition, there was no telephone at the
Exposition Building. As a consequence, we had to rely largely on street
carromatas. We had a force of small boys, clad in what Mr. Kipling
calls "inadequate" shirts, whose business it was to go forth in
response to the command, "_Busca carromata_," and to return not till
accompanied by the two-wheeled nightmare and the Lilliputian pony.

On the morning on which we drew our travel-pay checks, one of the
Radcliffe girls was most eager to get down town before the bank
closed. The shops of Manila had been altogether too alluring for the
very small balance which remained in her purse after our ten days at
Honolulu. The efforts of the small boys were apparently fruitless,
so she resorted to the expedient of trying to gather up a carromata
from some one leaving his at the Exposition Building. Every time a
carromata drove up, she thrust her cherubic countenance out of the
window and inquired of its occupant whether he was going to retain
his conveyance or to dismiss it. Most of the visitors signified
their intentions of never letting go a carromata when once they
had it; and failure had rather dimmed the bravery of her inquiry,
when one young man replied that he wished to retain his carromata,
but that he was returning immediately to the city and would be happy
to assist her and to take her wherever she wanted to go.

The Radcliffe girl closed with this handsome offer at once, accepting
it in the chummy spirit which is supposed to be generated in the
atmosphere of higher culture. A more worldly-wise woman might have
suspected him, not only on grounds of general masculine selfishness,
but on the fact that he had no business to transact at our hostelry. He
did not enter its doors, but remained sitting in the carromata till
she joined him. The girl had her mind on salary, however, and had
no time to question motives. The banks had closed, but her guardian
angel drove her to a newspaper office, where he introduced her,
vouched for her, and induced the bookkeeper to cash her check. He then
expressed a desire for a recognition of his services in the form of
introductions to some of the teachers at the Exposition Building. The
young woman was rather taken aback, for she had put all his civility
down to disinterested masculine chivalry; but she reflected that
she ought to pay the price of her own rashness. She was, however,
a girl of resources. She agreed to let him call that afternoon and
to introduce him to some of her new friends.

Then she came home and outlined the situation to an aged woman who
was chaperoning her daughter, to a widow with two children, and to
an old maid in whom the desire for masculine conquest had died for
want of fuel to keep the flame alive. When the young man appeared,
he found this austere and unbeautiful phalanx awaiting him. When the
introductions were over and conversation was proceeding as smoothly as
the caller's discomfiture would permit it to do, the artful collegian
excused herself on the ground of a previous engagement. She went away
blithely, leaving him in the hands of the three. Nor was he seen or
heard of on those premises again. Doubtless he still thinks bitterly
of the effects of higher education on the feminine temperament. It
was duplicity--duplicity not to be expected of a girl who could stick
her head out of a window and hail the chance passer-by as innocently
as she did.



CHAPTER VI

From Manila to Capiz

I Am Appointed to a School at Capiz, on Panay Island--We Anchor
at the Lovely Harbor of Romblon--The Beauty of the Night Trip to
Iloilo--We Halt There for a Few Days--Examples Showing That the
Philippines Are a "Mañana" Country--Kindness of Some Nurses to the
Teachers--An Uncomfortable Journey from Iloilo to Charming Capiz.


In due time our appointments were made, and great was the wrath that
swelled about the Exposition Building! The curly-haired maiden who
had fallen in love with a waiter on the _Thomas_ wept openly on his
shoulder, to the envy of staring males. A very tall young woman who
was the possessor of an M.A. degree in mathematics from the University
of California, and who was supposed to know more about conic sections
than any woman ought to know, was sent up among the Macabebes, who
may in ten generations arrive at an elementary idea of what is meant
by conic sections. Whether she was embittered by the thought of her
scintillations growing dull from disuse or of scintillating head axes,
I know not, but she made little less than a tragedy of the matter. The
amount of wire-pulling that had been going on for stations in Manila
was something enormous, and the disappointment was proportionate.

I had stated that I had no choice of stations, was willing to go
anywhere, and did not particularly desire to have another woman
assigned with me. I had my doubts about the advisability of binding
myself to live with some one whom I had known so short a time; and
subsequent experience and the observation of many a quarrel grown
out of the enforced companionship of two women who never had any
tastes in common have convinced me that my judgment was sound. I
was informed that my station would be Capiz, a town on the northern
shore of Panay, once a rich and aristocratic pueblo, but now a town
existing in the flavor of decayed gentility. I was eager to go,
and time seemed fairly to drag until the seventh day of September,
on which date the boat of the _Compañia Maritima_ would depart for
Iloilo, the first stage of our journey.

September the seventh was hot and steamy. We had endless trouble
getting ourselves and our baggage to the Bridge of Spain, where the
_Francisco Reyes_ was lying. Great familiarity has since quite worn
away the nervousness which we then felt on perceiving that our watches
pointed to half an hour after starting time while we were yet adorning
the front steps of the Exposition Building. Local boats never leave
on time. From six hours to three days is a fair overtime allowance
for them.

We finally arrived at the steamer in much agony and perspiration. The
old saying about bustle and confusion was applicable to the _Francisco
Reyes_ if one leaves out "bustle." There were no immediate signs of
departure, but there were evidences of the eleven o'clock meal. The
muchachos were setting the table under an awning on the after-deck. A
hard-shell roll with a pallid centre, which tastes like "salt-rising"
bread and which is locally known as _bescocho_, was at each plate
together with the German silver knives and spoons. The inevitable
cheese was on hand, strongly barricaded in a crystal dish; and when
I saw the tins of guava jelly and the bunch of bananas hanging from a
stanchion, I had that dinner all mapped out. I had no time, however,
to speculate on its constituent elements, because my attention was
attracted by the cloth with which the boy was polishing off dishes
before he set them down. This rag was of a fine, sooty-black color,
and had a suggestion of oil about it as if it had been on duty in
the engine-room. The youth grew warm, and used it also to mop his
perspiring countenance. I ceased to inspect at that point, and went
forward.

Several black and white kids of an inquisitive turn of mind were
resting under my steamer chair, which had been sent on board the day
before. They seemed to feel some injury at being dispossessed. I
guessed at once that we carried no ice, and that the goats were
a sea-faring conception of fresh meat. As their numbers diminished
daily, and as we enjoyed at least twice a day a steaming platter of
meat, _garbanzos_, peppers, onions, and tomato sauce, I have seen no
reason to change my opinion.

Passengers continued to arrive until nearly two o'clock. There were
one or two officers with their muchachos, and some twenty or more
schoolteachers. Six were women, and we found ourselves allotted the
best there was.

We got away about three o'clock, and, after fouling a line over a row
of cascos and threatening their destruction, sailed down the Pasig and
out into the Bay, We passed Corregidor about sunset, met a heavy sea
and stiff wind outside, and I retired from society. This was Saturday
night. On Sunday noon we cast anchor in the lovely harbor of Romblon,
and, defying sickness, I came on deck to admire.

The harbor at Romblon resembles a lake guarded by mountains which are
covered with cocoanut trees clear to their summits. At one end--the
end toward the entrance, which no unfamiliar eye can detect--a great
plateau mountain called Tablas stretches across the view in lengthened
bulk like the sky-line of some submarine upheaval. The waters are gayly
colored, shadowed into exquisite greens by the plumy mountains above;
and in a little valley lies the white town of Romblon with its squat
municipal buildings, its gray old church, and a graceful _campanile_
rising from a grassy plaza. They have dammed a mountain stream, so that
the town is bountifully supplied with pure cold water, and with its
clean streets and whitewashed buildings, it is a most attractive place.

The inhabitants of Romblon were eager to sell us mats, or _petates_,
the making of which is a special industry there. Their prices had
suffered the rise which is an inevitable result of American occupation,
and were quite beyond our means. I succeeded afterwards in getting
some Romblon mats through a Filipino friend for about one-fifth the
price asked that day.

Our stay at Romblon was not lengthy. We got out some time in the late
afternoon, and proceeded on our way. I cannot remember whether we
occupied all that night and the next day in getting down to Iloilo or
whether we made Iloilo in twelve hours. I do remember the night trip
down the east coast of Panay, with Negros on the invisible left,
and all about us a chain of little islands where the fisher folk
were engaged in their night work of spearing fish by torchlight. Dim
mountainous shapes would rise out of the sea and loom vaguely in the
starlit distance, the curving beaches at their bases outlined by the
torches in the bancas till they looked like boulevards with their lines
of flickering lamps. I remember that we fell to singing, and that after
we had sung everything we knew, an officer of the First Infantry who
was going back to his regiment after a wound and a siege in hospital
said enthusiastically: "Oh, don't stop. You don't know how it sounds
to hear a whole lot of American men and women singing together."

It was somewhere between ten and midnight when a light flashed ahead,
and beyond it lay a little maze of twinkles that they said was
Iloilo. The anchor chains ran out with a clang and rattle, for our
Spanish captain took no chances, and would not pick his way through
the Siete Pecadores at night.

The Siete Pecadores, or Seven Sinners, are a group of islands, or
rocks--for they amount to little more than that--some six miles north
of Iloilo, just at the head of Guimaras Strait. On the east the long,
narrow island of Guimaras, hilly and beautifully wooded, lies like
a wedge between Panay and Negros. Beyond it the seven-thousand-foot
volcano, Canlaon, on Negros, lifts a purple head. On the west lies the
swampy foreshore of Panay with a mountain range inland, daring the
sunlight with scarpy flanks, on which every ravine and every cleft
are sunk in shadows of violet and pink. The water of the straits is
glassy and full of jelly-fish, some of the white dome-like kind, but
more of the purple ones that float on the water like a petalled flower.

Iloilo was a miniature edition of Manila, save that there were more
gardens and that there was a rural atmosphere such as is characteristic
of small towns in the States. The toy horses and the toy carromatas
and quilices were there, and the four-horse wagons with a staring
"U. S." on their blue sides. There were the same dusky crowds in
transparent garments, the soldiers in khaki, the bugle calls, and
the Stars and Stripes fluttering from all the public buildings.

As Iloilo was not well supplied with hotels, we women were barracked in
a new house belonging to the American Treasurer, whose family had not
yet arrived from the States, We found our old friend, the army cot,
borrowed from the military quartermaster. There was a sitting-room
well equipped with chairs and tables. Our meals were obtained from
a neighboring boarding-house which rejoiced in the name "American
Restaurant," and was kept by a Filipina. She was a good soul, and had
learned how to make cocoanut balls, so that we bade a glad adieu to
the bananas and guava jelly.

Our own particular waitress was a ten-year-old child, who said "hello"
and smoked a cigar as long as herself. In a moment of enthusiasm
one of our number who was interested in temperance and its allied
reforms tipped Basilia a whole Mexican media-peseta. When the reformer
became aware of Basilia's predilection for the weed, she wanted her
media-peseta back, but Basilia was too keen a financier for that. The
media-peseta was hers--given in the presence of witnesses --and she
somewhat ostentatiously blew smoke rings when she found the reformer's
eye fixed upon her.

At Iloilo we picked up the word _tao_, which means "man," especially
"laboring man," for the Filipinos usually fall back upon the Spanish
words _caballero_ and _señor_ to designate the fortunate individuals
whose hands are unstained with toil. We had picked up the vernacular
of the street carromata in Manila. This is very simple. It consists
of _sigue, para, derecho, mano_, and _silla_. For the benefit of such
readers as do not understand pidgin Spanish, it may be explained that
these words signify, respectively, "go on," "stop," "straight ahead,"
"to the right," and "to the left." The words _mano_ and _silla_
mean really "hand" and "saddle"; I have been told that they are
linguistic survivals of the days when women, rode on pillions and the
fair incubus indicated that she wished to turn either to the side of
her right hand or to the skirt side.

By this time we had begun to understand--just to understand in
infinitely small proportion--what the old resident Americans
meant when they joked about the Philippines as a _mañana_
country. When we inquired when a boat would be in, the reply was
"Seguro mañana"--"To-morrow for sure." When would it leave? "Seguro
mañana." Nothing annoys or embarrasses a Filipino more than the
American habit of railing at luck or of berating the unfortunate
purveyor of disappointing news, or, in fact, of insisting on accurate
information if it can be obtained. They are ready to say anything at
a minute's notice. A friend of mine in Ilocos Norte once lost a ring,
and asked her servant if he knew anything about it. The boy replied
instantly, "Seguro raton," which is an elliptical form of "Surely
a rat ate it." The boy had not stolen the ring, but he jumped at
anything to head off complaint or investigation.

Time is apparently of no value in the Philippines. On the second day
of our stay in Iloilo the Treasurer sent up two pieces of furniture
for our use, a wardrobe and a table. They were delivered just before
lunch, about ten o'clock, and the Treasurer would not be at home
to sign for them till nearly one. When I came in from a shopping
expedition, I found eight or ten taos sitting placidly on their
heels in the front yard, while the two pieces of new furniture were
lying in the mud just as they had been dumped when the bearers eased
their shoulders from the poles. The noonday heat waxed fiercer, and
the Treasurer was delayed, but nobody displayed any impatience. The
men continued to sit on their heels, to chew their betel nut, and
to smoke their cigars, and, I verily believe, would have watched the
sun set before they would have left. In an hour or so the Treasurer
appeared, and settled the account, the taos picked up the furniture
and deposited it in the house, and the object lesson was over.

In spite of shopping, time hung somewhat heavy on our hands at
Iloilo. We made few acquaintances, for there were few civilian
women, and the army ladies, so we were informed, looked askance at
schoolteachers, and had determined that we were not to be admitted
into "society." The army nurses asked us to five o'clock tea, and we
went and enjoyed it. They were, for the most part, gentlewomen born,
and the self-sacrifice of their daily lives had accentuated their
native refinement. I have few remembrances more pleasant than those
of the half-hour we spent in their cool _sala_. As for the tea they
gave us and the delicious toast, mere words are inadequate to describe
them. We became sensible that the art of cooking had not vanished from
the earth. After the garbanzos and the bescochos and the guava jelly,
how good they tasted!

In the course of two or three days we were notified that the _vapor
General Blanco_ would leave for Capiz on Saturday at five P.M., and
some ten or twelve of us, destined for the province of that name, made
ready to depart. I was the only woman in the party, but our Division
Superintendent, who was personally conducting us and who was having
some little difficulty with his charges, assured me that I was a deal
less worry to him than some of the men were. I told him that I was
quite equal to getting myself and my luggage aboard the _Blanco_. I
had employed a native servant who said he knew how to cook, and I was
taking him up to Capiz with an eye to future comfort. Romoldo went
out and got a _carabao_ cart, heaping it with my trunks, deck chair,
and boxes. I followed in a _quilez_, and we rattled down to the wharf
in good time.

The _General Blanco_ was not of a size to make her conspicuous, and
I reflected that, if there had been another stage to the journey
and a proportional shrinkage in the vessel, it surely would have
had to be accomplished in a scow. Although by no means palatial,
the _Buford_ was a fair-sized, ocean-going steamer. The _Francisco
Reyes_ was a dirty old tub with pretensions to the contrary; and
the _General Blanco_--well, metaphorically speaking, the _General
Blanco_ was a coal scuttle. She was a supercilious-looking craft,
sitting at a rakish angle, her engines being aft. She had a freeboard
of six or seven feet, and possessed neither cabin nor staterooms,
the space between the superstructure and the rail being about three
feet wide. You could stay there, or, if you did not incommode the
engineer, you could go inside and sit on a coal pile. There was a
bridge approached by a rickety stair, and I judged that my deck chair
would fill it completely, leaving about six inches for the captain's
promenade. Behind the superstructure there was a sort of after-deck,
nearly four feet of it. When my trunks and boxes had been piled up
there, with the deck chair balancing precariously atop, and with
Romoldo reclining luxuriously in it, his distraught pompadour was
about on a level with the top of the smokestack.

I really didn't see any room aboard for me, and sat down on a
hemp bale to consider. Shortly after, the Division Superintendent
arrived, accompanied by several young men. He looked blank, and they
whistled. Then he went on board to talk with the captain, while his
assembled charges continued to ornament the hemp bales. Filipinos of
all ages and sizes gathered round to stare and to comment.

At last the Division Superintendent came back with the information
that the _Blanco_ would tow up a _lorcha_ which was lying a little
distance down the river, and that we should find her a roomier and
cooler means of transportation than the steamer. "Lorcha" is the name
given to the local sailing vessels. Our lorcha was about sixty feet
long, and, according to one of the teachers who had once seen Lake
Michigan, was "schooner rigged." There was a deck house aft, which
was converted into a stateroom for me. There were two bunks in it,
each of which I declined to patronize. Instead I had my steamer chair
brought over, and found there was plenty of room for it. There were
little sliding windows, which with the open door afforded fairly
decent ventilation. But the helm was just behind the deck house,
and the helmsman either sat or stood on the roof, so that all night
his responses to the steersman on the _Blanco_ interfered with my
sleep. Then, too, they kept their spare lanterns and their cocoanut
oil and some coils of rope in there. At intervals soft-footed natives
came in, and I was never certain whether it was to slay me or to get
some of their stores. Once a figure blocked out the starlight at one
of the windows, and I heard a rustling and shuffling on the shelf
where my food tins were piled. So I said, "Sigue! Vamos!" and the
figure disappeared.

The men opened their army cots on the forward deck, where the big sail
cut them off from the rest of the ship. The next morning they reported
a fine night's rest. I could not make so felicitous a report, for my
stateroom was considerably warmer than the open air, and a steamer
chair, though comfortable by day, does not make an acceptable bed.

We breakfasted from our private stores, and I found myself longing for
hot coffee, instead of which I had to drink evaporated milk diluted
with mineral water. The day was sunny, the heat beat fiercely off the
water, and I burned abominably. Near noon we sighted a town close to
the coast, and knew that we were nearing our journey's end.

We skirted the horn of a crescent-shaped bay, found a river's mouth,
and entered. Here at least was the tropical scene of my imagination--a
tide-swollen current, its marshy banks covered with strange foliage,
and innumerable water lanes leading out of it into palmy depths. Down
these lanes came bancas, sometimes with a single occupant paddling
at the stern, sometimes with a whole family sitting motionless on
their heels. Once we passed the ruins of what had been a sugar mill
or a _bino_ factory--probably the latter. Then the _Blanco_, puffing
ahead, whistled twice, we rounded a curve and came full upon the town.

Though subsequent familiarity has brought to my notice many details
that I then overlooked, that first impression was the one of greatest
charm, and the one I love best to remember. There were the great,
square, white-painted, red-tiled houses lining both banks of the river;
the picturesque groups beating their clothes on the flat steps which
led down to the water; and the sprawling wooden bridge in the distance
where the stream made an abrupt sweep to the right.

On the left of the bridge was a grassy plaza shaded with almond trees,
a stately church, several squat stone buildings which I knew for jail
and municipal quarters, and a flag staff with the Stars and Stripes
whipping the breeze from its top. Over all hung a sky dazzlingly blue
and an atmosphere crystal clear. Back of the town a low unforested
mountain heaved a grassy shoulder above the palms, and far off there
was a violet tracery of more mountains.

I knew that I should like Capiz.



CHAPTER VII

My First Experiences As a Teacher of Filipinos

After Resting in a Saloon I Arrive at My Lodging--I Attend an
Evening Party--Filipino Babies--I Take Temporary Charge of the Boys'
School--How the Opening of the Girls' School Was Announced--Curiosity
of the Natives Regarding the New School--Difficulty of Securing Order
at First.


The municipality of Capiz was expecting a woman teacher, for cries of
"La maestra!" began to resound before the boat was properly snubbed
up to the bank; and when I walked ashore on a plank ten inches wide,
there had already assembled a considerable crowd to witness that
feat. They gathered round and continued to stare when I was seated
in the principal saloon. Meanwhile a messenger was sent to find the
American man teacher, who had been notified by telegram to arrange
for my accommodation. The saloon was a very innocent-looking one,
so that I mistook it for a grocery storeroom. Such as it was, it
represented the best the Filipinos could do in the saloon line. One
sees, in Manila and, for that matter, all up and down the Chinese
and Japanese coasts, the typical groggery of America with somebody's
"Place" printed large over the entrance, and a painted screen blocking
the doorway with its suggestions of unseemliness. But the provincial
saloon is still essentially Spanish--a clean, light room with no
reservations, the array of bottles on the shelves smiling down on
the little green cloth-covered tables where the domino and card games
go on. There may be an ancient billiard table in one corner with its
accompanying cue rack, and there is almost sure to be a little hole
in the ceiling through which the proprietor's wife, who resides above,
can peep down and watch the card games. It is a genuine family resort,
too, for between four and seven all the town is likely to drop in,
the women chaffering or gossiping while their lords enjoy a glass of
beer and a game of dominoes.

The proprietor's wife must have had a fine look at me as I sat mopping
my sunburned face. At last the American teacher came, a pleasant-faced
young man who spoke Spanish excellently and was quite an adept at
the vernacular. In due time I was ushered into a room in a house
on the far side of the river, the window of which commanded a fine
view of the bridge, the plaza, the gray old church, and the jail,
with the excitements of guard mount and retreat thrown in.

The room had a floor of boards, each one of which was at least two feet
wide. They were rudely nailed and were separated by dirt-filled cracks,
but were polished into a dark richness by long rubbing with petroleum
and banana leaves. The furnishings consisted of a wardrobe, a table,
a washstand, several chairs, and a Filipino four-poster bed with a
mattress of plaited rattan such as we find in cane-seated chairs. A
snow-white valence draped the bed. The mattress was covered with a
petate, or native mat, and there were two pillows--a big, fat, bolstery
one, and another, called _abrazador_, which is used for a leg-rest.

I bathed in the provincial bathroom. Manila, being the metropolis of
the Philippines, has running water and the regular tub and shower baths
in tiled rooms. The Capiz bathroom had a floor of bamboo strips which
kept me constantly in agony lest somebody should stray beneath, and
which even made me feel apologetic toward the pigs rooting below. There
was a _tinaja_, or earthenware jar, holding about twenty gallons of
water, and a dipper made of a polished cocoanut shell. I poured water
over my body till the contents of the tinaja were exhausted and I
was cool. Already I was beginning to look upon a bath from the native
standpoint as a means of coolness, and incidentally of cleanliness.

When I got back to my room, my hostess and her sister came and sat
with me while I unpacked my trunk and applied cold cream to my sunburnt
skin. They were afraid that I should be _triste_ because I was so far
from home and alone, and they inquired if I wanted a woman servant
to sleep in my room at night. I was quite unconscious that this was
an effort to rehabilitate their conception of the creature feminine
and the violated proprieties; and my indignant disclaimer of anything
bordering on nervousness did not raise me in their estimation.

They left me finally in time to permit me to dress and gain
the sala when the bugles sounded retreat. The atmosphere was
golden-moted--swimming in the incomparable amber of a tropical
evening. The river slipped along, giving the sense of rest and peace
which water in shadow always imparts, and as the long-drawn-out notes
were caught and flung back by the echo from the mountains, the flag
fluttered down as if reluctant to leave so gentle a scene. When the
"Angelus" rang just afterwards, it was as if some benignant fairy had
waved her wand over the land to hold it at its sweetest moment. The
criss-crossing crowds on the plaza paused for a reverent moment; the
people in the room stood up, and when the bell stopped ringing, said
briskly to me and to one another, "Good evening." Then the members
of the family approached its oldest representative and kissed his
hand. It was all very pretty and very effective.

Afterwards we went out for a walk--at least they invited me to go
for a walk, though it was a party to which we were bound. Filipinos,
being devout Catholics, have a fashion of naming their children after
the saints, and, instead of celebrating the children's birthdays,
celebrate the saints' days. As there is a saint for every day in the
year, and some to spare, and it is a point of pride with every one
of any social pretension whatever to be at home to his friends on
his patron saint's day, and to do that which we vulgarly term "set
'em up" most liberally, there is more social diversion going on in a
small Filipino town than would be found in one of corresponding size
in America. At these functions the crowd is apt to be thickest from
four till eight, the official calling hours in the Philippines.

Starting out, therefore, at half-past six, we found the parlors of
the house well thronged. At the head of the stairs was a sort of
anteroom filled with men smoking. This _antesala_, as they call it,
gave on the sala, or drawing-room proper, which was a large apartment
lighted by a hanging chandelier of cut glass, holding about a dozen
petroleum lamps. Two rows of chairs, facing each other, were occupied
by ladies in silken skirts of brilliant hues, and in _camisas_ and
_pañuelos_ of delicate embroidered or hand-painted _piña_. We made
a solemn entry, and passed up the aisle doing a sort of Roger de
Coverley figure in turning first to one side and then to the other
to shake hands. No names were mentioned. Our hostess said, by way of
general announcement, "La maestra," and having started me up the maze
left me to unwind myself. So I zigzagged along with a hand-shake and
a decorous "Buenas noches" to everybody till I found myself at the
end of the line at an open window. Here one of those little oblong
tables, across which the Filipinos are fond of talking, separated
me from a lady, unquestionably of the white races, who received the
distinction of personal mention. She was "_la Gobernadora_," and her
husband, a fat _Chino mestizo_, was immediately brought forward and
introduced as "_el Gobernador_." He was a man of education and polish,
having spent fourteen years in school in Spain, where he married his
wife. After having welcomed me properly, he betook himself to the
room at the head of the stairs where the men were congregated. A fat
native priest in a greasy old cassock seemed the centre of jollity
there, and he alternately joked with the men and stopped to extend
his hand to the children who went up and kissed it.

I did my best to converse intelligently with the Gobernadora and the
other ladies who were within conversational distance. A band came up
outside and played "Just One Girl," and presently one of the ladies of
the house invited the Governor's wife and me to partake of sweets. We
went out to the dining-room, where a table was laid with snow-white
cloth, and prettily decorated with flowers and with crystal dishes
containing goodies.

There were, first of all, _meringues_, which we call French kisses,
the favorite sweet here. There was also _flaon_, which we would
call baked custard. In the absence of ovens they do not bake it,
but they boil it in a mould like an ice-cream brick. They line the
mould with caramel, and the custard comes out golden brown, smooth
as satin, and delicately flavored with the caramel. Then there was
_nata_, which is like boiled custard unboiled, and there were all
sorts of crystallized fruits--pineapple, lemon, orange, and citron,
together with that peculiar one they call _santol_. There were also
the transparent, jelly-like seeds of the nipa palm, boiled in syrup
till they looked like magnified balls of sago or tapioca.

I partook of these rich delicacies, though my soul was hungering for
a piece of broiled steak, and I accepted a glass of muscatel, which is
the accepted ladies' wine here. My hostesses were eager that I should
try all kinds of foods, and a refusal to accept met with a protest,
"Otra clase, otra clase." Then the Gobernadora and I went back to
the sala, and another group took our places at the refreshment table.

I was much interested in the babies, who were strutting about
in their finest raiment and were unquestionably annoyed at its
restrictions. Filipino babies are sharp-eyed, black-polled, attractive
little creatures. Whether of high or low degree, their ordinary dress
is adapted to the climate, and consists usually of a single low-necked
garment, which drapes itself picturesquely across the shoulders like
the cloaks of Louis the Fourteenth's time seen on the stage.

On state occasions, however, they are inducted into raiment which their
deluded mothers fancy is European and stylish; but there is always
something wrong. Either one little ruffled drawers leg sags down,
or the petticoat is longer than the dress skirt, or the waistband is
too tight, or mamma has failed to make allowance in the underclothing
for the gauziness of the outer sheathing. As for the sashes with
which the victims are finally bound, they fret the little swelled
stomachs, and the baby goes about tugging at his undesirable adornment,
and wearing the frown of one harassed past endurance. Sometimes it
ends in flat mutiny, and baby is shorn of his grandeur, and prances
innocently back into the heart of society, clad in a combination of
waist and drawers which is associated in my memory with cotton flannel
and winter nights. Nobody is at all embarrassed by the _negligée_;
and as for the baby himself, he would appear in the garments of Eve
before the Fall without a qualm.

After everybody had been served with sweets, a young Filipina was led
to the piano. She played with remarkable technique and skill. Another
young lady sang very badly. Filipinos have natural good taste in music,
have quick musical ears, and a natural sense of time, but they have
voices of small range and compass, and what voice they have they
misuse shamefully. They also undertake to sing music altogether too
difficult for any but professionals.

When the music was over, I was rather anxiously anticipating a
"recitation," but was overjoyed to discover that that resource of rural
entertainment has no foothold in the Philippines. Dancing was next
in order. The first dance was the stately _rigodon_, which is almost
the only square dance used here. When it was finished and a waltz
had begun, I insisted on going home, for I was tired out. Somebody
loaned us a victoria, and thus the trip was short. A deep-mouthed
bell in the church tower rang out ten slow strokes as I threw back
the shutters after putting out my light. The military bugles took
up the sound with "taps," and the figure of the sentry on the bridge
was a moving patch of black in the moonlight.

The Division Superintendent started inland the next morning to place
the men teachers in their stations, and as he required the services
of the American teacher in interpreting, I was told to go over and
take charge of the boys' school, at that time the only one organized.

I went across the plaza and found two one-story buildings of stone with
an American flag floating over one, and a noise which resembled the
din of a boiler factory issuing from it. The noise was the vociferous
outcry of one hundred and eighty-nine Filipino youths engaged in
study or at least in a high, throaty clamor, over and over again,
of their assigned lessons. When I went in, they rose electrically,
and shrieked as by one impulse, "Good morning, modham." They were
so delighted at my surprise at their facility with English that they
gave it to me over and over again, and I saw that they had intuitions
of three cheers and a tiger.

When I had explained to the teacher that I was there to relieve him,
he explained it to the boys, and they replied with the same unanimity
and the same robustness of voice, "Yis, all ri'!" So he went away,
leaving me in charge of the boiler factory.

It stays in my recollection as the most strenuous five hours' labor I
ever put in. Only two personalities were impressive, those of the pupil
teacher who aided me, and who has since graduated from the University
of Michigan (agricultural department), and of a very small boy who had
possessed himself of a wooden box, once the receptacle of forty-eight
tins of condensed milk, which he used for a seat. He carried the box
with him when he went from one place to another, and more than one
fight was generated by his plutocracy. He also sang "Suwanee River"
in a clear but sweet nasal voice, and was evidently regarded as the
show pupil of the school.

The school was popular not only with boys but with goats. Flocks of
them wandered in, coming through the doors or jumping through the
windows. I soon found that Filipino children are more matter-of-fact
than American children. Nobody giggled when our four-footed friends
came in, and until I gave an order to expel them their presence was
accepted as a matter of course. When I suggested putting them out,
I found the Filipino youth ready enough at rough play. The first
charge nearly swept me off my feet, and turned the school into a
pandemonium. After that the goats were allowed to assist in the
classes at their pleasure.

During the next three days, what with the labor of school and the
fatigue of entertaining most of the population of Capiz during calling
hours, I was almost worn out. The Division Superintendent came back the
latter part of the week, and the _Presidente_, or mayor, sent out, at
his request, a _bandillo_ to announce the opening of a girls' school.

The bandillo corresponds to the colonial institution of the town
crier. It consists usually of three native police, armed with most
ferocious-looking revolvers, and preceded by a temporary guest
of municipal hospitality from the local _calabozo_. This citizen,
generally ragged and dirty and smoking a big cigar, is provided with
a drum which he beats lustily. The people flock to doors and windows,
and the curious and the little boys and girls who are carrying their
baby relations cross saddle on their hips, fall in behind as for a
circus procession. At every corner they stop, and the middle policeman
reads the announcement aloud from a paper. Then the march is taken
up again by those who desire to continue, and the rest race back to
their doorways to wag their tongues over the news. The bandillo makes
the rounds of the town and returns to the municipal hall whence it
started. The prisoner goes back to jail, the police lay aside their
bloodthirsty revolvers, and such is the rapidity with which news flies
in the Philippines that, in a little more than twenty-four hours,
the essentials of the bandillo may be known all over the province.

In spite of the bandillo I waited long for a pupil on the day of
opening my school. My little friend of the milk box deserted his own
classes and stationed himself at my door. After an interminable time
he thrust his head inside the door and announced, "One pupil, letty."

It was a very small girl in a long skirt with a train a yard long and
with a gauzy camisa and pañuelo--a most comical little caricature of
womanhood. She was speechless with fright, but came on so recklessly
that I began to suspect the cause of her determination. It was,
in truth, behind her as my groom of the front yard soon let me
know. Again the elfin face and the wiry pompadour leaned round the
door-jamb--"One more pupil, letty,--dthe girl's modther."

But she was not a pupil, of course, and she had only come in response
to the heart promptings of motherhood, white, black, or brown, to talk
about her offspring to the strange woman who was to usurp a mother's
place with her so many hours of each day. She was quite as voluble
as American mothers are, and her daughter was quite embarrassed by
her volubility. The child sat stealing frightened glances at me and
resentful ones at her mother.

Half an hour later, three more girls came in, and they continued
to drop in during the rest of the morning till I had forty-five
enrolled. Some of them were accompanied by their dogs, which curled
up under the benches without disturbance. Several nursemaids also
happened along to give their charges a peep at the American school,
and a crowd of citizens peered in at doors and windows and made
audible remarks about the new institution.

Within a few days the enrolment ran up to one hundred and
forty-nine. As this was too large a body to be handled by me alone,
the teacher of Spanish days was brought back to the school, pending the
arrival of more teachers from the States. She was a plump, middle-aged
body who had a little--a very little--English, but whose ideas of
discipline, recitation, and study were too well fixed to permit of
accommodation to our methods. She was unfailingly polite and kind,
though I could see that she was often harassed by the innovations to
which she could not accustom herself.

The school-house was one immense room, and one of the first acts of
the Division Superintendent was to set in motion the forces which
should separate it into three. This took time. First the Presidente
had to approve, and the town council to act on his suggestion. The
Municipal Treasurer, a native official, had to certify the cost to
the Provincial Treasurer, an American civil appointee, and if the
last-named official approved, the council could make the appropriation
and order the work done.

Pending these changes, the Filipino teacher took one end of the room
and I the other. We were sufficiently far apart not to interfere with
each other's recitations. In order that all the pupils should have
their reading and grammar recitations under my personal supervision,
we changed classes at intervals. For the sake of the drill, I made
the children move from one part of the room to the other, instead
of changing with the other teacher myself. We made great efforts
to accomplish this movement with order and decorum, but the result
at first was a fizzle. The double column always began to move with
dignity, but by the time it had advanced ten steps, excitement began
to wax, the march became a hurry, the hurry grew to a rush, and the
rush ended in a wild scramble for front seats. One little maid in
particular was such an invariable holder of an advantageous position
that my curiosity was aroused to see how she did it. I watched her, saw
her glistening brown body--perfectly visible through the filmy material
of her single garment--dive under the last row of seats and emerge
triumphant at the front while the press was still blocking the aisles.

Disorder and excitement were, however, mere temporary conditions. Under
repeated admonition and practice, the Filipino children moved about
with more order and regularity, the habit of studying aloud was
overcome, and the school began to show the organization and discipline
to which Americans are accustomed.

The hardest thing to overcome was their desire to aid me in matters
that I could manage better alone. If some one whispered and I tapped
a pencil, instantly half the children in the room would turn around
and utter the hiss with which they invoke silence, or else they
would begin to scold the offender in the vernacular. Such acts led,
of course, to unutterable confusion, and I had no little trouble in
putting a stop to them.



CHAPTER VIII

An Analysis of Filipino Character

American Pupils and Filipino Pupils Contrasted--The Filipinos' Belief
That They Are Highly Developed Musicians--Their Morbid Sensitiveness
to Criticism--Explanation of Their Desire for Education--Their
Belief That They Could Achieve Great Success in Manufactures, Arts,
and Literature If Left to Govern Themselves--Their Lack of Creative
Ability--Dillettanteism of Leading Filipinos--Manual Jealousies of
the People--Lack of Real Democratic Spirit in America--The Pride of
Filipino Men Compared to That of American Women.


So long as they find firmness and justice in the teacher, Filipino
children are far easier to discipline than are American children. At
the first sign of weakness in the teacher or in the Government which
is behind him, they are infinitely more unruly and arrogant than are
the children of our own race. There is, in even the most truculent
American child, a sense of the eternal fitness of things which the
Filipino lacks. American children are restless and mischievous. They
are on the alert for any sign of overstepping the limits of lawful
authority on the part of the teacher, and they have no compunctions
about forcing him to recognize that he rules by the consent of
the governed, and that he must not mistake their complaisance for
servility. On the other hand, they have, with rare exceptions, a
respect for the value of a teacher's opinion in the subjects which
he teaches, and will seldom contradict or oppose him in matters
that pertain wholly to learning. A class of American children which
would support in every possible way one of their number in defying
authority would not hesitate to make that same companion's life a
burden to him if he should set up his own opinion on abstract matters
in contradiction to his teacher's. Except when a teacher signally
proves his incapacity, American children are willing to grant the
broad premise that he knows more than they do, and that, if he does
not, he at least ought to know more. Filipino children reverse this
attitude. They are quite docile, seldom think of disputing authority
as applied to discipline, but they will naively cling to a position
and dispute both fact and philosophy in the face of quoted authority,
or explanation, or even of sarcasm. The following anecdote illustrates
this peculiarity. It happened in my own school and is at first hand.

One of the American teachers was training a Filipino boy to make
a recitation. The boy had adopted a plan of lifting one hand in an
impassioned gesture, holding it a moment, and of letting it drop, only
to repeat the movement with the other hand. After he had prolonged
this action, in spite of frequent criticism, till he looked like a
fragment of the ballet of "La Poupée," the teacher lost patience.

"Domingo," she said, "I have told you again and again not to make
those pointless, mechanical gestures. Why do you do it? They are
inappropriate and artificial, and they make you look like a fool."

Domingo paused and contemplated her with the pity which Filipinos
often display for our artistic inappreciativeness.

"Madame," he replied in a pained voice, "you surprise me. Those
gestures are not foolishness. They are talent. I thought they would
please you."

In my own early days I was once criticised by one of the young ladies
of Capiz for my pronunciation of the letter _c_ in the Spanish word
_ciudad_. I replied that my giving the sound of _th_ to the letter was
correct Spanish, whereupon she advised me to pay no attention to the
Spanish pronunciation, as the Filipinos speak better Spanish than do
the Spanish themselves. What she meant was that the avoidance of _th_
sounds in _c_ and _z_, which the Filipinos invariably pronounce like
_s_, is an improvement to the Spanish language. I imagined some of
that young lady's kindred ten years later arguing to prove that the
Filipino corruption of _th_ in English words--pronouncing "thirty" as
"sirty," and "thick" as "sick"--arguing that such English is superior
to English as we speak it. Here are some typically mispronounced
English sentences: "If Maria has seben fencils and see loses sree, see
will hab four fencils left, and if her moser gibs her eight fencils,
see will hab twel' fencils in all." Here is another: "Pedro has a new
fair of voots." Another: "If one fint ob binegar costs fi' cents,
sree fints will cost sree times fi' cents, or fikteen cents." It
would, I think, be hard to convince us that the euphonic changes in
these words are an improvement to our language.

Some four years ago, I was teaching a class in the Manila School of
Arts and Trades, and was giving some directions about the word form
of English sentences. I advised the class to stick to simple direct
sentences, since they would never have any use for a literary style
in English. Some six or eight young men instantly dissented from this
proposition, and insisted that they were capable of acquiring the best
literary style. Not one of them could have written a page of clear,
grammatical, idiomatic English. I tried to make it clear to them that
literary English and colloquial English are two different things,
and that what they needed was plain, precise English as a medium of
exchange in business, and I said, incidentally, that such was the
English possessed by the major portion of the English-speaking race. I
said that although the American nation numbered eighty millions,
most of whom were educated and able to make an intelligent use of
their language in conversation or in writing, the percentage of great
writers and speakers always had been small and always would be so.

When I had finished, the son of a local editor, arose and replied
as follows: "Yes, madame, what you say of Americans is true. But we
are different. We are a literary people. We are only eight millions,
but we have hundreds and thousands of orators. We have the literary
sense for all languages."

Nearly thirty years ago, when I was a pupil in the Kansas City,
Missouri, High School, the stepson of a United States Circuit judge
made a brutally rude and insubordinate reply to a woman teacher
who said to him, in reference to an excuse which he had given for
tardiness, "That is not a good excuse." The young man turned an
insolent eye upon the teacher--a gray-haired woman--and replied,
"It's good enough for me. What are you going to do about it?"



I cannot conceive that a Filipino child would be guilty of such
insolence, such defiance of decency and order. But never have I met
an American child who would have the artless indiscretion to put
himself in the position of Domingo. The American child does not mind
violating a rule. He is chary of criticising its propriety or its
value. In other words, the American child does not mind doing wrong,
but he is wary of making a fool of himself; and I have yet to meet
the Filipino child who entertained the faintest suspicion that it was
possible for him to make a fool of himself. Nor is the attitude of
dissent among Filipinos limited to those who express themselves. It
is sometimes very trying to feel that after long-winded eloquence,
after citation and demonstration, you have made no more real impression
upon the silent than upon the talkative, and that, indeed, the gentle
reserve of some of your auditors is based upon the conviction that
your own position is the result of indomitable ignorance. One of my
friends has met this spirit in a class in the Manila High School. A
certain boy insists that he has seen the iron head of a thunderbolt,
and although he makes "passing grades" in physics, he does not
believe in physics. He regards our explanations of the phenomena of
lightning as a parcel of foolishness in no wise to stand the test of
his own experience, and nothing can silence him. "But, ma'am," he says,
when electricity is under discussion, "I am see the head of a thunder
under our house." This young gentleman will graduate in a year or two,
and the tourist from the States will look over the course of study
of the Manila High School and go home telling his brethren that the
Filipino children are able to compete successfully with American youth
in the studies of a secondary education. I myself had a heart-breaking
time with a sixth-grade class in one of the intermediate schools of
Manila. The children had been studying animal life and plant life,
and could talk most learnedly about anthropoid apes, and "habitats"
and other things; but they undertook to convince me that Filipino
divers can stay under water an hour without any diving apparatus,
and that the reason for this power is that the diver is "brother to
a snake"--that is, that when the mother gave birth to the child, she
gave birth to a snake also, and that some mysterious power remains
in persons so born.

Filipino children are not restless and have no tradition of enmity
between teacher and pupil to urge them into petty wrong-doing. Their
attitude toward the teacher is a very kindly one, and they are
almost uniformly courteous. Their powers of concentration are not
equal to those of American children, and they cannot be forced
into a temporarily heavy grind, but neither do they suffer from the
extremes of indolence and application which are the penalty of the
nervous energy of our own race. They are attentive (which the American
child is not) but not retentive, and they can keep up a steady, even
pull at regular tasks, especially in routine work, at which American
children usually rebel. In fact, they prefer routine work to variety,
and grow discouraged quickly when they have to puzzle out things for
themselves. They will faithfully memorize pages and pages of matter
which they do not understand, a task at which our nervous American
children would completely fail. They are exceedingly sensitive to
criticism, and respond quickly to praise. Unfortunately the narrow
experience of the race, and the isolation and the general ignorance of
the country, make praise a dangerous weapon in the hands of a teacher;
for a child is apt to educe a positive and not a relative meaning from
the compliment. Filipino children have not attained the mental state
of being able to qualify in innumerable degrees. If a teacher hands
back a composition to an American boy with the words "Well done,"
the child understands perfectly that his instructor means well as
compared with the work of his classmates. The Filipino is inclined
to think that she means positively well done--above the average for
all the world. I once complimented a class in Capiz on the ease with
which they sang four-part music, and said, what I truly feel, that
the Filipinos are a people of unusual musical ability. They managed
to extract from the compliment the idea that the musical development
of the Filipinos is far in advance of that of the Americans.

Middle-class Filipinos have a very inadequate conception of the
tremendous wealth of artistic, literary, and musical talent interwoven
with the world's development, and are especially inclined to pride
themselves upon their racial excellence in these lines, where, in
truth, they have achieved almost no development whatever in spite of
the possession of undoubted talent. They do not understand the value
of long training, and are inclined to assume that the mere possession
of a creative instinct is final evidence of excellence in any art.

It will be some time before what real talent they have will make itself
felt in any line, because it will take a great deal of tactful handling
to make them reveal their natural artistic trend instead of falling
into imitation of Europe and America. It is strange that a people so
tenacious of its opinions with regard to matters of fact should be
so willing to surrender its ideal with regard to the thing of which
a nation has most reason to be tenacious, its natural expression. But
the whole race is so morbidly sensitive to the sneer that everything
Filipino is necessarily crude that the young art student or the young
musical student feels that his only hope of winning commendation is
in painting or playing or composing after European models; while as
for the populace at large it has its own standards in which other
motives than artistic excellence play the largest part.

I had a friend, a young Filipino girl, who has been one of the most
diligent among the pupils of the American schools. She was staying
with me two or three years ago when my publisher sent me a copy of a
primer intended for use in the Philippines, and which had just been
gotten out in the United States. The publisher had spared no expense
in his illustrations, and we were tremendously proud of the artistic
side of the book. This Filipino girl had heard me use the expression
"poor white trash," and I had explained to her how the Southern
negroes use the words as a term of derision of those who fail to
live up to the traditions of race and family. When I took my book
to her in the joy of an author in her first complete production,
she looked at it a minute and burst into tears. "Poor Filipino
trash!" was all she could say for a long time, and I finally pieced
it out that she was enraged because the Filipino boys and girls in
my book were sometimes barefooted, sometimes clad in _chinelas_, and
wore native camisas instead of American suits and dresses. I pointed
out to her that not one Filipino child in a hundred dresses otherwise,
but my argument was of no avail. The children in the American readers
wore natty jackets and hats and high-heeled shoes, and winter wraps,
even at play, and she wanted the Filipino children to look the same.

A great deal has been said in the American press about the eagerness
for education here. The desire for education, however, does not come
from any real dissatisfaction which the Filipinos have with themselves,
but from eagerness to confute the reproach which has been heaped
upon them of being unprogressive and uneducated. It is an abnormal
condition, the result of association of a people naturally proud and
sensitive with a people proud and arrogant. At present the desire for
progress in things educational and even in things material is more
or less ineffective because it is fed from race sensitiveness rather
than from genuine discontent with the existing order of things. The
educated classes of Filipinos are not at all dissatisfied with the
kind and quality of education which they possess; agriculturists are
not dissatisfied with their agricultural implements; the artisans
are not, as a class, dissatisfied with their tools or ashamed of
their labor. If you talk to a Filipino carpenter about the carefully
constructed houses of America, he does not sigh. He merely says, "That
is very good for America, but here different custom," Filipino cooks
are not dissatisfied with the terrible _fugons_ which fill their eyes
with smoke and blacken the cooking utensils, and have to be fanned
and puffed at every few minutes and occasionally set the house on
fire. The natural causes of growth are not widely existent, and it is
still problematic if they will ever come into being. Meanwhile growth
goes on stimulated by the eternal criticism, the sting of which the
Filipinos would move heaven and earth to escape.

Our own national progress and that of the European nations from whom
we are descended have been so differently conceived and developed that
we can hardly realize the peculiar process through which Filipinos
are passing. We cannot conceive of Robert Fulton tearing his hair
and undertaking a course in mechanics with the ulterior view of
inventing something to prove that the American race is an inventive
one. We cannot imagine Eli Whitney buried in thought, wondering how he
could make a cotton gin to disprove the statement that the Americans
are an unprogressive people. Cyrus Hall McCormick did not go out and
manufacture a reaper because he was infuriated by a German newspaper
taunt that the Americans were backward in agriculture. Nor can we
fancy that John Hay while dealing with the Chinese crisis in 1900 was
continually distracting his mind from the tremendously grave points
at issue by wondering if he could not do something a little cleverer
than the other diplomats would do.

All the natural laws of development are turned around in the
Philippines, and motives which should belong to the crowning years
of a nation's life seem to have become mixed in at the beginning--a
condition, due, of course, to the fact that the Filipinos began
the march of progress at a time when the telegraph and the cable
and books and newspapers and globe-trotters submitted their early
development to a harrowing comparison and observation. The Filipino
is like an orphan baby, not allowed to have his cramps and colic and
to cut his teeth in the decent retirement of the parental nursery,
but dragged out instead into distressing publicity, told that his
wails are louder, his digestive habits more uncertain, his milk teeth
more unsatisfactory, than the wails or the digestive habits or the
milk teeth of any other baby that ever went through the developing
process. Naturally he is self-conscious, and--let us be truthful--not
having been a very promising baby from the beginning, both he and
his nurses have had a hard time.

However, turned around or not, we are not responsible for the
condition. The Filipinos had arrived at the self-conscious stage
before we came here, and we have had to accept the situation and make
the best of it.

The American press of Manila, with the very best of intentions, has
indulged itself in much editorial comment, and the more the condition
of things is discussed, the more the native press strengthens in its
quick sensitiveness. The present attitude of the upper, or governing,
class of Filipinos is this: "We want the best of everything in the
world--of education, of morals, of business methods, of social polish,
of literature, art, and music, of roads and bridges, of agricultural
machinery, and of local transportation, and we can attain these
things." They have laid down in the beginning a premise for which no
inductive process can be found as justification,--that the Filipino
people is capable of doing anything which any other nation has done;
and that, given time and opportunity--especially the opportunity of
managing their own process of development--they will demonstrate
their capacity. The flat contradiction of this position which is
not infrequently taken by Americans in discussing Filipinos is,
of course, as extreme as the Filipino position itself, and, as an
observer, I have little to do with either. But at the present time I
do feel warranted in stating that the mass of intelligent Filipinos
fail to distinguish between critical or appreciative ability and real
creative ability, and that what they are acquiring in huge doses just
now is the critical and not the creative. Moreover, of the great body
of persons who make the demand for the best, only a very few have any
idea of what is the best except in book learning and social polish. The
prominent men among the Filipinos to-day are those who were educated
in Europe or in Filipino schools modelled on European patterns. Their
idea of education is a social one--an education which fits a man to
be considered a gentleman and to be an adornment to the society of
his peers. They have no conception of the American specialization
idea in education which grants a doctor's degree to a man who says
"would have went" and "He come to my house yesterday." The Filipino
leaders have a perfectly clear idea of what they want educationally,
of what they consider the best, and they are jealously watching
the educational department to see that they get it. The American
press urges more and more manual training, and the Filipino press,
because manual training is in the list of things marked "best,"
echoes the general call. But there is no small body of hobbyists in
the Islands keeping a jealous eye on the manual-training department
of education. It could be dropped out of the curriculum by simply
allowing it to become less and less effectual, and so long as no
formal announcement was made the Filipinos would not find out what
was being done. But in Manila and in most provincial towns there are
enough Filipinos who know what musical instruction is to watch that
the musical training be not too badly administered.

There is plenty of complaint about the Sanitary System of Manila,
there are plenty of people to complain about what _is_ being done, but
there is no small organized body of Filipinos whose paramount interest
in life is fixed upon sanitation and health, and who make it their
thankless task to harry the department and to preach ceaselessly at
the unthinking public till they get what they want. The legislators of
the Philippines are gentlemen born, men educated in conformity to the
ideals of education in aristocratic countries, but unfortunately they
have not had, owing to the political conditions which have prevailed
here, the practical experience of an aristocratic body in other
lands. In Mrs. Ward's "William Ashe" there is an analysis of a gouty
and rather stupid old statesman, who is so exactly a summary of what
a Filipino statesman is _not_ that I cannot forbear quoting it here:


"He possessed that narrow, but still most serviceable fund of human
experience which the English land-owner, while our English tradition
subsists, can hardly escape if he will. As guardsman, volunteer,
magistrate, lord lieutenant, member (for the sake of his name and
his acres) of various important commissions, as military _attaché_
even for a short time to an important embassy, he had acquired, by mere
living, that for which his intellectual betters had often envied him--a
certain shrewdness, a certain instinct both for men and affairs which
were often of more service to him than finer brains to other persons."


The only large practical experience which Filipino leaders have enjoyed
has come through their being land-owners and agriculturists. But
agriculture has not been competitive; and when the land-owning class
travelled, it was chiefly in Spain, which can hardly be called a
progressive agricultural country. Of men of the artisan class who
have worked their way up by their own efforts from ignorance to
education, from poverty to riches; of men who have had any large
available experience in manual labor or in specialised industries,
the present Assembly feels the lack. The Filipino leaders are a body
of polished gentlemen, more versed in law than in anything else,
with varying side lines of dilettante tastes in numerous directions.

Such as they are, the schoolboy desires to be. One of the periodic
frenzies of the local American press is an appeal to teachers--why
are they not remodelling character, why do not the aims and ideals
which it is their business to instil make a greater showing after ten
years of American occupation? American teachers have talked themselves
hoarse, and as far as talking can go, they have influenced ideals. The
child's _conscious ideal_ about which he talks in public, and to
which he devotes about one one-thousandth of his thinking time, is
some such person as George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln, or James
A. Garfield, who drove the canal boat and rose to be President of
the United States. But the subconscious ideal which is always in
his mind, upon which he patterns unthinkingly his speech and his
manners and his dreams of success, is--and it would be unnatural if
it were otherwise--some local potentate who will not carry home his
own little bag of Conant currency when he receives his salary at the
end of the month. What are a name and a few moral platitudes about a
dead-and-gone hero? What can they mean to a shirtless urchin with a
hungry stomach, against the patent object-lesson of his own countryman
whom not only his fellow citizens, but the invader, must treat with
consideration? It would be far easier to distract the attention of the
children of the State of Ohio from their distinguished fellow-citizens,
William H. Taft and John D. Rockefeller, to fix it upon the late Lord
Cromer or that Earl of Halifax known as the "Trimmer," than it is to
tell a Filipino child that the way to distinction lies through toil
and sweat. Children are very patient about listening to talk, but
they are going to pattern themselves upon what is obvious. Twenty or
thirty years from now, when the American school system will have aided
certain sons of the people, men of elemental strength, to bully and
fight their way to the front, and they will have become the evidence
that we were telling the truth--then will the results be visible in
more things than in annual school commencements and in an increase
in the output of stenographers and bookkeepers.

The weakest point in a Filipino child's character is his quick jealousy
and his pride. His jealousy is of the sort constitutionally inimical
to solidarity. Paradoxical as the statement may seem, the Filipinos
are more aristocratic in their theories of life than we are, and more
democratic in their individual constitution. Our democracy has always
been tempered by common sense and practicality. We like to say at
church that all men are brothers, and on the Fourth of July to declare
that they are born free and equal; but we do not undertake to put these
theories into practice. Every individual citizen of the United States
is not walking about with a harrowing dread of doing something that
admits a lesser self-esteem than his neighbor may possess. If a fire
breaks out in his neighborhood, and a little action on his part can
stop it before it gets a dangerous start, he does not hesitate to act
for fear doing so will show him possessed of less personal pride than
his neighbor up the street. If he is earning sixty dollars a month, and
learns that some other employee in another house is getting more money
for the same work, he does not take the chances of starvation because
to submit to the condition is to admit that he is less important than
another man. Yet the whole laboring element of the Filipino people
is permeated by just such a spirit. It is practically impossible to
fix a price for labor or for produce by any of the laws of supply and
demand that regulate such things elsewhere. The personal jealousies,
the personal assertions of individuals continually interfere with
the normal conditions of trade. If in the market some American
comes along in a hurry and pays a peso for a fish, the normal price
of which is about thirty-five cents, the price of fish goes up all
through the market--for Americans. You may offer eighty cents and be
refused, and the owner will sell two minutes after to a Filipino for
thirty-five. But in so doing he does not "lose his face." The other
man got a peso from an American, and a man who takes less--from an
American--is owning himself less able than his companions.

We talk of democracy, but we never know how little democratic we are
till we come in contact with the real article. Can you conceive what
would be the commercial chaos of America to-morrow if the humblest
laborer had the quick personal pride of the millionaire? With all
our alleged democracy, we realize the impossibility of ringing
Mrs. Vanderbilt's doorbell and asking her to sell us a few flowers
from her conservatory or to direct us to a good dressmaker, though
we can take just such liberties with houses where the evidences that
money would be welcome are patent.

The American laborer does not mind going to and from his work in
laboring clothes, and he makes no attempt to seem anything but a
laboring man. But you cannot tell in a Manila street car whether
the white-clad man at your side is a government clerk at sixty pesos
a month or a day laborer at fifteen. I once lost a servant because
I commanded him to carry some clothes to my laundress. "Go on the
street with a bundle of clothes, and get into the street car with
them! I would rather die!" he said; and he quitted rather than do it.

Compare that with the average common-sense attitude of the American
laboring man or even the professional man. Until he becomes really
a great man and lives in the white light of publicity, the American
citizen does not concern himself with his conduct at all as it relates
to his personal importance. He is likely to argue that he cannot do
certain things which violate his ideal of manhood, or other things
which are inconsistent in a member of the church, or other things
which are unworthy of a democrat, or of a member of the school board,
or even of an "all-round sport." Whatever the prohibitive walls which
hedge the freedom of his conduct, each is a perfectly defined one,
a standard of conduct definitely outlined in his mind, to which he has
pledged his allegiance; but he has no large conception that most useful
things are forbidden pleasures to him because of a sense of personal
importance. He has no God of the "I," no feeling that makes him stay
his hand at helping a cochero to free a fallen and injured horse,
while he looks to see that some other man of his class is helping also.

There is a perfectly defined class system in the Philippines, and,
between class and class, feeling is not bitter; but within each
class jealousy is rampant. The Filipino, though greatly influenced
by personality, does not yet conceive of a leadership based upon
personality to which loyalty must be unswervingly paid. He feels the
charm of personality, he yields to it just so long as it falls in
with his own ideas, but the moment it crosses his own assertiveness
he is ready to revolt. Many Americans speak of this characteristic
as if it were a twist in character. My own opinion is that it is a
passing phase, due to the Filipino's lack of the "narrow, but most
serviceable fund of human experience." But no matter to what cause
the condition is due, it makes a great difference in the life of the
individual and of the social body as a whole that each unit has fixed
his ideal of conduct upon an illimitable consciousness of personal
importance, instead of upon perfectly defined ideals in particular
matters. It makes for femininity in the race.

If the reader will meditate a little upon the difference between
masculine pride and feminine pride in America, he will probably
agree with me that masculine pride centres largely in loyalty to
well-defined ideals of what is manly, or honorable, or bold, or just,
or religious--in short, it tries to live up to the requirements of a
hundred separate standards. On the other hand, feminine pride, outside
of its adherence to what is chaste and womanly, consists of pride in
self, a kind of self-estimate, based frequently upon social position,
sometimes on a consciousness of self-importance which comes through the
admiration of men. In either case the pride is likely to show itself
in a jealous exaction of consideration for the individual. Such is
Filipino pride. It is almost wholly concerned in guarding its vested
rights, in demanding and exacting the consideration due the importance
of its possessor.

Filipinos are hard to enlist in any new undertaking until they are
certain that success will bring "consideration." They love newspaper
notices and publicity, they love the centre of the stage, and every
new advance in intelligence is bulwarked by a disproportional demand
for "consideration."

Filipino men are not lacking in manly qualities. They have the stronger
courage, the relatively stronger will and passions which distinguish
the men of our own race. But they are harder to get along with than
are Filipino women, because their sense of sex importance is so much
exaggerated, and because, as Mr. Kipling would put it, they "have too
much ego in their cosmos." The secret consciousness of power is not
enough for them. They must flash it every minute in your eyes, that you
may not forget to yield the adulation due to power. Like women, they
get heady on a small allowance of power; and indeed in both sexes there
are emphasized certain characteristics which we are accustomed to look
upon as feminine. Their pride is feminine as I have analyzed it. They
rely upon intuition to guide them more than upon analysis. In enlisting
coöperation, even in public matters, they are likely to appeal to a
sentiment of friendship for themselves instead of demonstrating the
abstract superiority of their cause. They will make a haughty public
demand, but will not scruple to support it with secret petition and
appeal. They are adepts at playing upon the weakness and petty vanity
of others; and they deal gently with the strong, but boldly with the
weak. Both men and women possess an abundance of sexual jealousy,
and have, in addition, the quick sensitiveness about rank, worldly
possessions, and precedence which with us has become the reproach
of the feminine. Lastly, they have, in its highest development, the
capacity to make a _volte-face_ with grace and equanimity. They are
cunning, but not shrewd; their reasoning is wholly deductive, they
are inclined to an enthusiastic assent to large statements, especially
when these take the form of moral or political truisms; but they do not
submit their convictions to practical working tests. They seem often
inconsistent, but observation will show that, however inconsistent
their practice is with their professions, it is always consistent
with their pride, as I have analyzed it in these pages.



CHAPTER IX

My Early Experiences in Housekeeping

I Set Up Housekeeping--Romoldo's Ideas of Arranging Furniture--My
Cheerful Environment--Romoldo's Success in Making "Hankeys"--He
Introduces the Orphan Tikkia as His Assistant--The Romance of Romoldo
and Tikkia.


At the period of my advent in Capiz there were but two other American
women there, wives of military men. Later our numbers were increased by
the wives of several civilian employees and two more women teachers. In
those first days the hospitality of the military women made no small
break in the routine of my daily life. At the time of our appointment
we teachers had been assured by a circular from the War Department
that we should enjoy the privileges of the military commissary; but
this ruling had been changed in the several months that had elapsed,
and I found myself stranded with practically no access to American
tinned fruits and vegetables. I ate rice, fish, and bananas with the
best grace I could; and when, after a month of boarding, I decided
to set up housekeeping, and one of these ladies surreptitiously and
with fear and trembling presented me with a can of concentrated lye,
my gratitude knew no bounds. My Filipino servant, named Romoldo,
whom I had dubbed "The Magnificent," was set to work cleaning up
my prospective dwelling; and I went out and secured the services
of a trooper of the Tenth Cavalry to supplement the deficiencies in
Romoldo's housecleaning instincts by some American brawn and muscle.

The trooper, a coal-black African, had picked up a great deal of
Spanish, which he spoke with the corruption of vowel sounds peculiar to
his race and color. In addition to collecting the stipend agreed upon,
he incidentally borrowed two dollars (U.S.) of me. Now, I was brought
up in Missouri and knew enough of the colored race to be sure that I
was bidding a fond adieu to the two dollars when I handed them to the
trooper. But I was not prepared for my henchman's persistence in having
the extension of time made formal. I was willing to forget the two
dollars and have done with them, but the African would not permit them
to rest in peace. He presented himself regularly every two weeks to
ask for another fortnight's extension. Finally, when the regiment was
about to leave the Islands, I insisted that he should accept the two
dollars as an evidence of my good-will toward the United States Army
and the defenders of the flag, and he was graciously pleased so to do.

The trooper's muscles were strong as his habits of renewal, and he
and Romoldo scoured the floors of my new establishment until the
shiny black accretions of twenty-five years of petroleum and dirt
had given way to unpolished roughness, and then I set to work to
get a new polish. Then we took hold of the furniture--heavy, wooden,
Viennese stuff--and scrubbed it with zeal. My landlord came to look
in occasionally and was hurt. He said plaintively that they had had no
contagious diseases, and he asked why this deluge of soap and water. I
basely declined to admit the flat truth, which was that the floors
and chairs were too greasy for my taste, but attributed our energy
to a mad American zeal for scouring. He said, "Ah, _costumbre_!" and
seemed to feel that the personal sting of my actions had been removed.

In due time the house was clean, and I moved in. The sala,
or drawing-room, was at least forty by thirty feet, with two sides
arcaded and filled with shell windows, which, when drawn back, gave
the room almost the open-air effect of a gallery. It was furnished
with two large gilt mirrors, a patriarchal cane-seated sofa, several
wooden armchairs, eleven majolica pedestals for holding _jardinières_,
and two very small tables. These last-named articles "the Magnificent"
placed at the head of the apartment in such a position as to divide
its cross wall into thirds, and then arranged all the chairs in two
rows leading from the two tables, beginning with the most patriarchal
armchair and ending with the dining-room chair, the leg of which
was tied on with a string. The effect was rigidly mathematical; and
when my landlady came in and adorned each table with a potted rose
geranium, stuck all over with the halves of empty egg-shells to give
it the appearance of flowering, I felt that it was time to assert
myself. The egg-shells went promptly into the garbage box, and the
chairs and tables were pulled about to achieve the unpremeditated
effect of our own rooms. Then I went out for a walk, and returning
found that Romoldo had restored things to his own taste. Again I
broke up his formation, so the next time he tried a new device. He
put one table at the top of the room and one at the bottom, with the
chairs arranged in a circle around each one. This gave the pleasing
impression to one entering the room that a card game was ready to
begin. Again Romoldo's efforts were treated with contempt.

For at least two weeks a deadly combat went on between Romoldo and me,
in which I finally came off victor. At the end of that time he seemed
to have accustomed himself to our ideas of decoration. He had, in our
week's deluging, cleaned up the lamps of the chandeliers, brushed
down the cobwebs, and removed some half-dozen baskets of faded and
dust-laden paper flowers. He administered the ironical consolation
meanwhile that their destruction did not matter, since my admiring
pupils would see that the supply was renewed. To my eternal sorrow he
was a true prophet, and I had to contemplate green chrysanthemums and
blue roses, and a particularly offensive hand-painted basket made of
plates of split shell. However, the potted palms and ferns with which
I ornamented the eleven pedestals made atonement; and when I came in
after a hard day's work and saw the unreal, golden-tinted light of
afternoon filling the dignified old room, I found it home-like and
lovely in spite of the paper flowers and the shell basket.

My bedroom was half as large as the sala, with a small room adjoining
it which I used for a dining-room, and at the back there were a
kitchen, a bathroom, closets, and a bamboo porch. For this shelter,
furnished as it was, I paid the munificent sum of twenty-five pesos
Mexican currency, or twelve and one-half dollars gold per month.

As my house was located over the second saloon in town--one of the
regular, innocent, grocery-looking Filipino breed--and as it commanded
a fine view of the plaza, guard mount, retreat, and Sunday morning
church procession, I had at least all the excitement that was going
in Capiz. The American soldiers swore picturesquely over their domino
and billiard games down stairs; the "ruffle of drums" (though why so
called I know not, for it consists of a blare of trumpets) woke up
the sultry stillness at nine A.M.; the great church-bells struck the
hours and threw in a frenzy of noise on their own account at some
six or eight regular periods during the day; at twelve, noon, the
village band stationed itself on the plaza to run a lively opposition
to the bells; and at sunset the charming ceremony of retreat brought
us all out to see the flag drop down, and to hear the clear, long
bugle notes; and there were sick call, mess call, and several other
calls. Not the least beautiful of these was "taps." I used to wait for
it in the perfect stillness of starlit nights when the Filipinos had
all gone to bed, and the houses were ever so faintly revealed by the
lanterns burning dimly in front, and the faintest gleam told where
the river was slipping by. There would be no sound save the step of
the trumpeter picking his way up the street. Then the church clock
would strike--not the ordinary bell, but a deep-throated one that
could have been heard for miles--and as the vibrations of the last
stroke died away, the first high-pitched, sweet notes would ring out,
to fade away in the ineffable sadness of the closing strain.

But if there was much that was novel and more that was noisy in those
first experiences, there was also plenty of irritation. As I stated
before, I had brought Romoldo from Iloilo to Capiz with the idea of
using him for a cook. In the days when I was still boarding, he had
confirmed me in this intention by stating that he had had experience
in that line with an American army officer. He was particularly
enthusiastic over his achievements with "hankeys." For a long while,
I could make nothing of this word, but at last I discovered that it
was his corruption of "pancakes." I found out this fact by asking
Romoldo to explain how he made "hankeys," and by recognizing among
his ingredients milk, eggs, and flour.

As the Filipina with whom I boarded professed to be eager to
learn American cookery, I told Romoldo to make some "hankeys." In
the language of Virgil, I "shudder to relate" what those "hankeys"
were. There were three, nicely piled on top of one another, after our
time-honored custom. No words could fitly describe them. They resembled
unleavened bread, soaked in a clarifying liquid, heated, pressed down,
and polished on both sides. The Filipina tried to conceal her disgust,
and pretended to accept my explanation that they were only a caricature
of our loved breakfast delicacy; but I could see that she thought I
was trying to cover up my newly acquired sense of national deficiency.

However, when I set up housekeeping, Romoldo was promoted to the
office of chief cook and only bottle washer. He conveyed to me a
delicate intimation that it was not proper for me to live without
a female attendant, and said that he had a friend--a young woman
lately orphaned--who needed work and would be glad to have the
position. I was sufficiently unsophisticated in Filipino ways to
take this statement at its face value. As the orphan was willing
to labor for a consideration of one dollar gold per month and room,
the experiment could not be an expensive one.

The orphan duly arrived, escorted by Romoldo. He carried her trunk
also, consisting of several garments tied up in a cotton handkerchief.

Her name, as Romoldo pronounced it, was Tikkia (probably Eustaquia),
and I could have wished she had been handsomer and younger. She was
a heavy-browed, pock-marked female, with a mass of cocoanut-oiled
tresses streaming down her back, and one leg, bare from the knee
down, rather obtrusively displaying its skinny shin where her dress
skirt was looped up and tucked in at the waist. She had no petticoat,
and her white chemisette ended two inches below the waist line. As
it was not belted down, it crept out and lent a comical suggestion
of zouave jacket to the camisa, or waist, of _sinamay_ (a kind of
native cloth made of hemp fibres). She understood not one word of
Spanish or English.

When I occupied my new home for the first night, I "ordered"
fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, and then went out in
the kitchen and cooked them. The army quartermaster had loaned me
a range. Romoldo displayed an intelligent interest in the cooking
lesson, but Tikkia seemed bored. When the potatoes were done, I gave
them to Tikkia to mash. Romoldo was in the dining-room, setting the
table. I told her in my best mixed Spanish and Visayan to mash them,
and then to put them on the stove a few minutes in order to dry out any
water in them. She understood just that one word "water"; and when I
returned, after being out of the kitchen a minute, the potatoes were
swimming in a quart of liquid. So I dined on fried chicken.

For the first two or three weeks there were many ludicrous accidents
in my kitchen and some irritating ones. But on the whole Romoldo took
hold of things very well; and though my _menu_ broadened gradually,
it was not long before he had learned a few simple dishes, and my
labor of supervision was much lighter. I said that I was pleased
with Romoldo to the enlisted man who was in charge of the officers'
mess and who incidentally made some market purchases for me. He said,
"You ain't particular," with a finality that left me no defence. He
was mistaken, however. I am particular, but at that time I was still
in the somnambulance of philanthropy which brought us pedagogues to
the Philippines.

I am willing to admit to-day that I vastly overrated Romoldo's
services, and yet, considering the untutored state of his mind and
the extent of his salary, they were a good investment. There has been
among some Americans here a carping and antagonistic spirit displayed
toward Filipinos, which reflects little credit upon our national
consistency or charity. We have a habit of uttering generalities
about one race on the authority of a single instance; whereas, with
our own, the tendency is to throw out of consideration those single
instances in which the actual, undeniable practice of the American
is a direct confutation of what his countrymen declare is the race
standard. My kitchen under Romoldo's touches was not perfect, but I
have seen worse in my native land.

Romoldo being a young and rather attractive man, and Tikkia such a
female pirate, I insist that my failure to suspect a romance is at
least partially justified; and certainly never by word or glance did
they betray the least interest in each other. But some days after my
establishment had begun to run smoothly, one of the military ladies
asked me to dinner. The punkah string was pulled by a murderous-looking
ex-_insurrecto_, who fixed me with a basilisk glance, half entreaty,
half reproach. It became so painful that toward the end of dinner I
asked my hostess if his expression was due to his general frame of
mind or to a special aversion toward pedagogues. She replied that
he was probably bracing himself to approach me on a topic consuming
his very vitals, or as much of them, at least, as may be expressed in
absent-mindedness. Tikkia was his _matrimonio_, and I, the _maestra_
had taken her and given her to Romoldo, and the twain lived in my
house! The lady added that Tikkia was not _matrimonio en iglesia_--that
is, married in church--but only _matrimonio pro tem_.

Pedro came into the sala after dinner and made his petition with
humility. He extolled his kindness to the ungrateful Tikkia, and
denounced Romoldo as a fiend and liar. He tried hard to weep, but
did not succeed.

_0 tempora! O mores!_ Such are the broadening effects of travel and two
short months in the Orient. Conceive of the old maid schoolteacher
in America assuming the position of judge in a matrimonial--or
extra-matrimonial--scandal of this sort.

I promised justice to the sniffling Pedro, and told him to call for
it next day at ten A.M. Like me, he supposed it would take the form
of Tikkia. But when I reached home and summoned the culprits before
the bar of a "moral middle class," they were not disconcerted in the
least. Romoldo stood upon high moral ground. Tikkia might or might
not be married. It was nothing to him, and he did not know. She was an
orphan of his acquaintance to whom he wished to do a kindness. Tikkia
promptly drew up her skirt over the unexposed knee and showed a
filthy sore which she said was caused by Pedro's playful habit of
dragging her about on stony ground by the hair. Moreover she stood
upon her legal rights. She was not _matrimonio en iglesia_, and she
had a right to leave Pedro when she chose.

Pedro came next day at ten A.M., but he did not get justice. On the
contrary, justice, as embodied in Tikkia, stood at the head of the
stairs and said, "No quiero" as often as I (and Pedro) turned our
imploring eyes upon her.

Things went on in this way for some time, and my perplexities offered
amusement to my friends. I felt sure that Romoldo and Tikkia were
lying, and at one time I resolved to discharge them both. The young
American teacher who had been in the Islands since the beginning of
our occupation gave me some sound advice. He said: "What on earth are
these people's morals to you? Romoldo is a good servant. He speaks
Spanish, and if you let him go for one who speaks only Visayan,
your own housekeeping difficulties will be greatly increased." Then
I pleaded the old-fash-ioned rural American fear that people might
think the worse of me for keeping such a pair in my employ; and
Mr. S---- simply collapsed. He sat and laughed in my face till I
laughed too. "We are not in America now," was his parting remark;
and I am still learning what a variety of moral degeneration that
sentence was created to excuse.

I have already given more space than is warranted by good taste
to the romance of Tikkia and Romoldo. The affair went on till I
began to fear lest Pedro, in one of the attacks of jealousy to which
Filipinos are subject, should take vengeance and a _bolo_ in his own
hands. Fortunately, at the critical moment, Romoldo and Tikkia fell
out. She kicked his guitar off the back porch and he complained that
she neglected her work. Then she asked leave to return to her own
town for a few days, and the request was joyfully granted. Pedro also
obtained a vacation. Their town was round the corner one block away,
and there they retired. They greeted me pleasantly whenever I passed
by, and Tikkia seemed in no wise embarrassed by her change of front.

If I have described this incident in full, it is because it illustrates
so perfectly the attitude of a large portion of the Filipino people
on marriage. The common people seldom marry except, as we would term
it, by the common-law marriage. When they do marry in church, it is
quite as much for the _éclat_ of the function as for conscientious
reasons. Marriage in the church costs usually eight pesos (four dollars
gold), though cheaper on Sundays, and to achieve it is quite a mark
of financial prosperity.

Of course, among the educated classes our own view of marriage
prevails, though I have heard of instances where the common-law form
was still observed. In some towns it is customary for marriages
to take place but once a year; an American told me of descending
on a mountain town where the annual wedding festival was due, and
of finding fifty-two happy couples in their gala attire wending a
decorous procession toward the church.



CHAPTER X

Filipino Youths and Maidens

Manners and Social Condition of Filipino Girls--Sentimental
Boy Lovers--Love-making by Proxy--How Courtship is Usually
Performed--Premature Adolescence of Filipino Youth--The _Boda
Americana_--Filipino Girls Are Coquettes, But Not Flirts--Exposure
of Filipino Girls to Unchaste Conversation--Unceasing Watchfulness
over Girls--Progressive Changes in All the Above Matters.


With regard to their women the Filipinos are an Occidental people
rather than an Oriental one. Marriage is frequently entered upon at
the will of the parent, but few parents will insist upon a marriage
where the girl objects. While the social liberty accorded a young girl
is much less than what is permitted in our own country, there is no
Oriental seclusion of women. Children accompany their parents to balls
and fiestas, and maidens are permitted to mingle freely in society
from their baby-hood. At fourteen or fifteen they enter formally
into society and begin to receive attentions from men. In the upper
classes seventeen or eighteen is the usual time for marriage. By the
time a girl is twenty-two or twenty-three she is counted _passée_,
and, if unmarried, must retire into the background in favor of her
younger sisters.

The young girls are exceedingly attractive. They are slender,
and their heads sit beautifully above long swan-like necks. They
dress their hair in a rather tightly drawn pompadour, and ornament
it with filigree combs set with seed pearls, or, if they are able,
with jewelled butterflies and tiaras. Jewellery is not only a fashion
here, but an investment. Outside of Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu, banks
are practically unknown. The provincial man who is well to do puts his
money into houses and lands or into jewellery for his womankind. The
poor emulate the rich, and wear in imitation what their wealthy
neighbors can afford in the real.

Filipino women never affect the dominating attitude assumed by young
American coquettes. They have an infinite capacity for what we call
small talk and repartee; and, as they never aim for brilliancy and
are quite natural and unaffected, their pretty ways have all the
charm that an unconscious child's have. They love dress, and in one
lightning flash will take you in from head to foot, note every detail
of your costume, and, the next day, imitate whatever parts of it
please their fancy and fall in with their national customs. They are
adepts at mimicry and among themselves will lash us mercilessly. They
straighten up their shoulders, pull in the abdomen, and strut about
with a stiff-backed walk and with their hands hanging stiffly at
their sides. They themselves are full of magnetism and can advance
with outstretched hand and greet you in such a way as to make you
believe that your coming has put sunshine in their lives. Their
chief talk is of lovers in the two stages of _pretendiente_ and
_novio_, and they are full of hints and imputations to one another
of love affairs. Among young people, in spite of the restrictions
put about them to keep the opposite sexes from meeting _tête-à-tête_
or the remotest chances of "spooning," the air is surcharged with
romance. Apparently the Filipino boy has no period in his development
in which he hates girls. At twelve or fourteen he waxes sentimental,
and his love notes are the most reeking examples of puppy love and
high tragedy ever confiscated by an outraged teacher. When written
in the vernacular they are not infrequently obscene, for one of the
saddest phases of early sentiment here is that it is never innocent;
but in English they run to pathos. One ludicrous phase of love-making
is the amount of third-person intervention--an outsider thrusting
himself into the matter to plead for his lovelorn chum. For some
years I made a collection of confiscated _billet-doux_, but they were
destroyed in one of the frequent fires which visit Manila. I can,
however, produce a fair imitation of one of these kindly first aids
to the wounded. This is the prevailing style:


Miss----,

_Lovely and Most Respectable Lady_:

I am do me the honor to write to you these few unworthy lines to tell
you why you are breaking the heart and destroying a good health of
my friend Pedro. Always I am going to his house every night, and I am
find him weeping for you. He is not eating for love of you. He cannot
sleep because he is think about your eyes which are like the stars,
and your hairs which are the most beautiful of all the girls in this
town. Alas! my friend must die if you do not give him a hope. Every
day he is walking in front of your house, but you do not give to him
one little word of love. Even you do not love him, you can stop his
weep if you like to send him one letter, telling to him that you are
not angry to him or to me, his friend.


I have been informed by several persons that there is an official
etiquette about this sort of correspondence. When a boy decides that
he has fallen in love with a schoolmate or with any other young girl,
no matter whether he knows her or not, he writes her a letter in the
first person similar to the above. If she ignores the letter utterly,
he understands that he does not please her--in brief, that "No Irish
need apply." But if she answers in a highly moral strain, professing
to be deeply shocked at his presumption, and informing him that she
sees no way to continue the acquaintance, he knows that all is well. He
sends her another letter, breathing undying love, and takes steps to be
introduced at her home. Once having obtained a calling acquaintance,
he calls at intervals, accompanied by seven or eight other young men,
and, in the general hilarity of a large gathering, endeavors to snatch
a moment in which to gaze into the star-like eyes of his _innamorata_,
or to gloat over her "hairs which are the most beautiful."

The lover's habit of fortifying himself with the society of his fellow
men would be the last which an American boy could understand. But a
Filipino swain rarely presents himself alone at a house to call. He
feels, perhaps, that it makes him conspicuous. The whole race,
for that matter, is given to the habit of calling in droves. If a
Filipino girl goes to an office on business, her mother and father
do not constitute a sufficient escort. Her brothers, cousins, a few
admirers, and possibly a female friend or two are added to the parental
guardians, till the bodyguard assumes the appearance of a delegation
large enough to negotiate a treaty. One of the division superintendents
tells a story which shows the humorous American recognition of the
inconveniences of this habit. The Superintendent had recommended two
young girls as _pensionadas_, or government students, in the Manila
Normal School. It was their duty, on arriving in Manila, to report
to the Director of Education; and they must have done so in the usual
force, for the Director's official telegram, announcing their arrival,
began in this pleasing strain: "Miss---- and Miss----, with relatives
and friends, called this morning."

The premature adolescence of the Filipino youth makes him very
repellent to the American. One of the most frightful things which I
ever saw was a play given in Spanish by children. The play itself was
one which Americans would never have permitted children to read or
to see, much less to present. The principal character was a debauched
and feeble old man of the "Parisian Romance" type; it was played by a
nine-year-old boy, who made the hit of the evening, and who reminded
me, in his interpretation of the part, of Richard Mansfield. His
family and friends were proud of his acting, which was masterly, and
laughingly declared that his conception of the role was wholly his
own. If so, there was no need of laughter and there was much cause
for tears.

Here is a short essay written by a twelve-year-old boy, in response to
an order to write a composition about what he had done the previous
day.


"Yesterday I called upon all my young lady friends. None but the
fathers appeared. We must all be judged according to our works."


The child wrote this by constructing the first sentence himself, and
by picking the other two out of phrase-books, which from some source
or other are scattered all over the Philippine Islands. What he meant
to convey in the carefully pieced mosaic was that he was a dangerous
fellow, and that when he came around the fathers kept a close eye on
their daughters. That is dubious wit in a man of thirty. In a child
of twelve it is loathsome.

Engagements are usually announced at once and are seldom long--from
three weeks to three or four months. If the marriage is really for
love, as is not infrequently the case, the lovers must have a hard
time of it; for they never see each other alone, and "spooning" before
others would seem to them in the last degree scandalous. They have
marvellous self-control. I have watched many a pair of Filipino lovers
for the stolen glances, the shyness, the ever-present consciousness
of each other which are characteristic of our lovers, and I have
never beheld the faintest evidence of interest in any engaged or
newly married couple. They manage to preserve an absolutely wooden
appearance at a time when one would expect a race so volatile to
display its emotions freely.

Elopements sometimes take place and are called the _boda Americana_,
or American marriage. However, they have the advantage of us in
one kind of elopement--that of the widow. Runaway marriages between
widows and old bachelors are not a common feature of American life,
but they seem to constitute the most frequent form of elopement
here. Forced marriages occur in spite of the restrictions put around
young girls. They cause a ten days' hubbub, winks, nods, and much
giggling behind fans. But no social punishment and ostracism of
the girl follows as in our own country. So long as the marriage is
accomplished, the Filipinos seem to feel that the fact of its being a
little late need disturb no one. But if, as sometimes happens, a girl
is led astray by a married man, then disgrace and punishment are her
lot. I recall a circumstance where a young girl under a cloud left her
native town, never to appear there again. But less than three months
after her banishment, her seducer was an honored guest, sitting at
the right hand of her brother, in the brother's own house. Apparently
the best of feeling prevailed over a matter that with us could never
have been forgiven, though bloodshed might perhaps have been averted.

In my eight years in those Islands I have met among the upper classes
but one young girl whose conduct offered reason to men to take her
lightly. In a pretty, childish way, Filipino girls are coquettes,
but they are not flirts. Their conception of marriage and of their
duty to their own husbands and their children is a high and noble
one. Nevertheless, with innately good and pure instincts, they cannot
take half as good care of themselves as can the American girl who is
more indiscreet, who knows much less of the matters pertaining to love
and sex. The latter has an infinite advantage over her dusky sister in
the prudery of speech which is the outwork in a line of fortifications
in which a girl's tenacity to her own ideal of chastity must be the
final bulwark, A frankness of speech prevails in the Philippines
with regard to matters about which we are frank under necessity,
but which, as far as possible, we slide into the background. Stories
are told in the presence of young girls, and jokes are interchanged,
of more than questionable nature according to our standards. Our
prudery of speech is the natural result of the liberty permitted to
women. When the protection of an older woman or of a male relative is
done away with, and a girl is permitted to go about quite unattended,
the best and the surest protection that she can have is the kind of
modesty that takes fright at even a bare mention, a bare allusion,
to certain ordinarily ignored facts of life.

The result of general freedom of speech and the process of safeguarding
a girl from its results is to make a Filipino girl regard her virtue
as something foreign to herself, a property to be guarded by her
relatives. If, through negligence or ignorance on the part of her
proper guardians, she is exposed to temptation, she feels herself
free from responsibility in succumbing. Such a view of life puts a
young girl at a great disadvantage with men, especially with men so
generally unscrupulous as Filipinos,

Among the lower classes there is no idea that a young girl can respect
herself or take care of herself. Girls are watched like prisoners,
and are never allowed to stray out of the sight of some old woman. It
is almost impossible for an American woman to obtain a young girl
to train as a servant, because, as they say, we do not watch them
properly. This jealous watching of a child's virtue is not, however,
always inspired by the love of purity. Too frequently the motive is
that the girl may bring a higher price when she reaches a marriageable
age, or when she enters into one of those unsanctified alliances with
some one who will support her. Filipino men are merciless in their
attitude toward young lower-class girls, not hesitating to insult or
annoy them in the most shameless way. I once forced a little maid of
mine to wear the regular maid's dress of black, with muslin cap and
apron, and she was certainly a joy to the eye; but one day I sent her
out on an errand, and she came back almost hysterical under the torrent
of ribald admiration which my thoughtlessness had brought upon her. A
seamstress will not remain alone in your house while you run into
a neighbor's on an errand without bolting herself in the room; and,
if you are to be gone any length of time, she will not stay there at
all, simply because she is afraid of your men servants--and justly so.

However, in respect to such matters, things are changing fast. The
Filipinos who love us least, high or low, rich or poor, admit that the
American idea of treating every self-respecting woman with respect is
a good thing. They remark frequently the difference between now and
former times, and say, with admiration, that a woman can go past the
_cuartels_ or the fire stations, without encountering insult in the
form of _galanteria_; and the electric street-car line, suspected
at first, has gained the confidence of nearly all. Many Filipino
families of the upper class permit their daughters to go to and from
the American schools on the trolley car, and it is no uncommon thing
to see three or four youngsters, all under ten, climbing on and off
with their books, asking for transfers, and enjoying their liberty,
who ten years ago would have been huddled into a quilez and guarded
by an elderly woman servant.

Lastly, a bill for female suffrage was introduced into the Philippine
Assembly a few weeks ago. It is one of those "best" things which
Filipinos all want for their land. The young man who introduced it had
probably been reading about the female suffragist movement in England,
and he said to himself that it would be a fine idea to show this
dull old world how progressive and modern are the Philippine Islands;
and so he drafted his bill. Nothing seems to have been heard of it,
and it was probably tabled, with much other progressive legislation,
in the hurry of the last days of the session. Another bill was one to
put an annual license of one thousand pesos (five hundred gold dollars)
on every minister of the gospel, Protestant or Catholic. I suspect its
parent of having been coached up on modern French thought. However,
that is not pertinent to the woman question. What I desire to do is
to give a correct impression of a country where _real_ conditions are
such as I have described them, and _ideal_ conditions have advanced
to the point of a bill for female suffrage.



CHAPTER XI

Social and Industrial Condition of the Filipinos

American and Tagalog Invaders of Visaya Compared--Doubt As to
the Aptitude of Filipinos for Self-Government--Their Civilization
Not Achieved by Themselves But Inherited from Spain--Their Present
Personal Liberty--Belief of the Poor That Alien Occupation is the
Root of Their Misery--How the Filipinos View Labor--Their Apathy
Toward Machinery--Their Interest Centred Not in Industry But in
Themselves--Their Hazy Conceptions of Government--Their Need of
a Remodelled Social System--Their Jealousy Lest Others Make Large
Profits in Dealing with Them--Zeal of the Aristocrats to Preserve
Their Prerogatives--A New Aristocracy Likely to Be Raised by the
American Public Schools.


Capiz was occupied by a company of the Tenth Cavalry and one of the
Sixth Infantry. The relations between Americans and Filipinos seemed
most cordial. There had never been any fighting in the immediate
neighborhood of the town. The Visayans are a peaceful race; even
in the insurrection against Spain the Capizeños felt a decided
pro-Spanish sentiment. Early in the rebellion a few boat-loads of
Tagalog soldiers came down from Luzon, and landed on the open north
coast two miles from the town. The valiant Capizeños had dug some
trenches on the beach and had thrown up a breastwork there, and
they went out to fight for Spain and Visaya. They fired two rounds
without disconcerting the Tagalogs very much, and then, having no
more ammunition, they "all ran home again," as my informant naïvely
described it. The Tagalogs took possession of the town, and the
Visayans lived in fear and trembling. Nearly all women, both wives
and young girls, carried daggers in fear of assault from Tagalog
soldiers. Some declared to me that they would have used the daggers
upon an assailant, others told me that the weapons were intended as
a last resort for themselves. The Spanish wife of our Governor said
that during the time of Tagalog occupation she seldom ventured out of
her home; that she discarded her European dress, affected the native
costume, wore her hair hanging down her back, and tried in every way
to keep from attracting the attention of the invaders. Nevertheless,
several young girls were seized in spite of their parents' efforts to
protect them. Many families fled from the town and took refuge in the
mountain villages inland. Others lived in boats, lurking about the
rivers and the innumerable waterways which criss-cross the swampy
coast plain. When the Tagalogs withdrew, the wanderers returned to
their homes, only to make a fresh exodus when the Americans came.

The Americans did not land on the north coast, but entered the
town from the south, having marched and fought their way up the
full length of the island from Iloilo. Horrid rumors preceded them
concerning their gigantic size and their bloodthirsty habits. It was
reported that they had burned hundreds of women and children alive at
Iloilo. The timid Capizeños had no idea of resistance, but, for the
most part, closed their houses, leaving some old servant in charge,
and took once more to the hills and the swamps. A few sage heads
had their own reasons for doubting the alleged American ferocity,
and decided to stay at home and risk it.

One of my pupils, a very intelligent young girl, described to me the
American entry. She said that the houses of the rich were closed,
shell windows were drawn to, and the iron-sheathed outer doors
were locked and barred. But most shell windows have in the centre a
little pane of glass to permit the occupants of the house to look out
without being seen. My young friend told me how her family were all
"peeking," breathless, at their window pane, and how the first view
of the marching columns struck fear to their hearts, so tall and
powerful seemed the well-clad, well-armed men. A halt was called,
and after the proper formalities at the _provoste_, or town hall,
the municipality was handed over to American rule, and the Stars and
Stripes floated from the local flagstaff. The soldiers were permitted
to break ranks, and they began buying fruits and bottles of beer and
of native wine in the _tiendas_, or shops. The soldiers overpaid,
of course, joked, picked up the single-shirted pickaninnies, tossed
them, kissed them, and otherwise displayed their content. Then, said
my informant, her father (who is an astute old fellow) decided that
the story of American ferocity was a lie. He ordered his house opened,
and the shell windows slid back, revealing his pretty daughters in
their best raiment, smiling and bowing. The officers raised their
caps and gave back smiles and bows; a few natives cried, "Viva los
Americanos," and behold, the terrible event was all over.

Acquaintance was at once struck up. The officers came to pay their
respects, drank beer and muscatel, consumed sweets, and paid florid
compliments in Spanish. They began to take possession of those houses
whose owners were out of town, and the news went out. Then there was
as great a scramble to get back as there had been to get away. In
a few days everything was running smoothly, and, as my interlocutor
remarked, all the American officers were much in love with the charming
Filipino girls.

Almost the first act of the military was to open the schools. The
schoolhouses had been used as barracks by the Tagalogs. The chaplain
of the Eighteenth Infantry, the children told me, was their first
teacher. The opening of the schools was a great surprise to the
Filipinos, who were clever enough to appreciate the national standards
which the act implied.

At the time of my arrival the foregoing facts were, in the rush of
events, almost ancient history. Two years had passed. American women,
wives of officers, had come and gone. Peace had been declared and
the machinery of civil government had been put in action.

It would be foolish for me to spend time discussing the Filipino's
aptitude for self-government. Wiser heads than mine have already
arrived at a hopeless _impasse_ of opinion on that point. There are
peculiarities of temperament in the Filipino people which are seldom
discussed in detail, but which offer premises for statements and
denials, not infrequently acrimonious, and rarely approached in a
desire to make those judging from a distance take into consideration
all that makes opinions reliable. Such peculiarities of character
seem to me pertinent to a book which deals with impressions.

Whatever their capacity for achieving the Anglo-Saxon ideal of
self-government, it ought to be recognized that the Filipinos are both
aided and handicapped by receiving not only their government but their
civilization ready made. Their newly aroused sense of nationality
is asserting itself at a period in the world's development when
the mechanical aids to industry and the conscience of a humane and
civilized world relieve Filipino development from the birth throes by
which other nations have struggled to the place at which the Filipinos
begin. Thus, at the same time that individuals are spared the painful
experiences which have moulded and hardened the individual units of
other races, the Filipinos have, as a race, received an artificial
impetus which tends to deceive them as to their own capacity, and
to increase their aggregate self-confidence, while the results of
personal ineptitude are continually overlooked or excused.

Both civilization, as acquired in the three hundred years of Spanish
occupation, and self-government have descended upon the Filipino
very much as the telephone and the music box have done--as complete
mechanisms which certain superficial touches will set in motion,
the benefits of which are to certain classes and individuals quite
obvious, and the basic principles of which they have memorized but
have not _felt_. At present there are not, in the emotional being
of the Filipinos, the convictions about liberty and government
which are the heritage of a people whose ancestors have achieved
liberty and enlightenment by centuries of unaided effort, and
who are willing to die--die one and all--rather than lose them;
and yet there is a sincere, a passionate desire for political
independence. The Filipino leaders, however, have no intention of
dying for political independence, nor do they desire to sacrifice
even their personal pleasures or their effects. They talk a great
deal about independence, they write editorials about it, it fills
a great part of their thoughts; and no reasonable person can doubt
their sincerity. But most of the political talk in the Philippines is
on a par with certain socialistic thought in the United States--the
socialistic talk of modern writers and speakers, of idealists and
dreamers. It seems as great a perversion of abstract justice, to a
Filipino, that an alien nation should administer his Government, as
it seems to a hard-working American woman that she should toil all
her life, contributing her utmost to the world's progress and the
common burden of humanity, while her more fortunate sisters, by the
mere accident of birth, spend their lives in idleness and frivolity,
enriched by the toil of a really useful element in society. But
to most Filipinos, as to most American women, the contemplation of
the elemental injustice of life does not bring pangs sufficient to
drive them into overt action to right the injustice. There are a few
Filipinos upon whom the American administration in the Philippines
presses with a sense of personal obstruction and weight heavy enough
to make them desire overt action; but upon the majority of the race
the fact of an alien occupation sits very lightly. No man, American
or Filipino, wants to risk his life for the abstract principles of
human justice until the circumstances of life growing out of the
violation of those principles are well-nigh unendurable to him. The
actual condition of the Philippines is such that the violation of
abstract justice--that is, alien occupation--does not bear heavily
upon the mass of the people. For the entire race alien occupation
is, for the time being, an actual material benefit. Personal liberty
in the Philippines is as absolute as personal liberty in the United
States or England. Far from making any attempt to keep the native in
a condition of ignorance, the alien occupiers are trying to coax or
prod him, by all the short cuts known to humanity, into the semblance
of a modern educated progressive man. There is no prescription which
they have tried and found good for themselves which they are not
importing for the Philippines, to be distributed like tracts. And to
the quick criticism which Filipinos of the restless kind are prone
to make, that what is good for an American is not necessarily good
for a Filipino, the alien occupiers may reply that, until the body
of the Filipino people shows more interest in developing itself, any
prescription, whether it originate with Americans or with those who
look upon themselves as the natural guides and rulers of this people,
is an experiment to be tried at the ordinary experimental risk.

The common people of the Philippine Islands enjoy a personal liberty
never previously obtained by a class so rudimentary in its education
and in its industrial development. They would fight blindly, at the
command of their betters, but not because they are more patriotic than
the educated classes. The aristocrats, who would certainly hesitate
to fight for their convictions, really think a great deal more about
their country and love it a great deal more than do the common people,
who would, under very little urging, cheerfully risk their lives. But
the poorer people live under conditions that seem hard and unjust
to them. The country is economically in a wretched state, and the
working-classes have neither the knowledge nor the ambition to apply
themselves to its development. Unable to discover the real cause of
their misery (which is simply their own sloth), they have heard just
enough political talk to make them fancy that the form of government
is responsible for their unhappy condition. With them the causes which
drive men into dying for an abstract idea do exist; and it is easy
for a demagogue to convince them that the alien occupation is the
root of all evil, and that a political change would make them all rich.

Among the extremely poor of the Filipinos there exists a certain
amount of bitterness against Americans, because they think that our
strong bodies, our undoubtedly superior health and vitality, our
manner of life, which seems to them luxurious past human dreams,
and our personal courage are attributes which we enjoy at their
expense. The slow centuries which have gone to our building up,
mental and physical, are causes too remote for their limited thinking
powers to take into consideration. Moreover, though we say that we
have come to teach them to work and to make their country great,
we ourselves do not work; at least, they do not call what we do
_work_. A poor Filipino's conception of work is of something that
takes him into the sun or that soils his clothing. Filipinos hate and
fear the sun just as they hate the visible tokens of toil on their
persons. Where they know the genteel trades such as hat weaving,
dressmaking, embroidering, tailoring, and silversmithing, there
is relatively a fair industrial willingness. Men are willing to be
cooks and house servants, but they do not want to learn carpentry or
blacksmithing or gardening, all of which mean soiled clothes and hot
work; and women are unwilling to work in the kitchen. From the poor
Filipinos' standpoint, the Americans do not work--they rule. It would
be difficult to make a Filipino of the laboring class believe that
a teacher or a provincial treasurer had done a day's work. Loving,
as all Filipinos do, to give orders to others, ignorant as they are
of the responsibilities which press upon those who direct, they see
merely that we do not soil our hands, and they envy us without giving
us credit for the really hard work that we do.

Meanwhile there pours in upon the country a stream of modern mechanism
and of modern formulated thought, and the laborer has just as little
real interest in knowing what is inside the machine as his slightly
more intelligent neighbor has in examining the thought and in accepting
or rejecting it on its merits. Some accept all that we offer them,
doing so in a spirit of real loyalty, on the assumption that we know
more than they do, and that our advice is to be accepted. Others
reject everything with a blind resentment because it comes from
our hands. They feel that, in accepting or rejecting, they are
demonstrating their capacity to do their own thinking, when in reality
they are only asserting their right to do their own _feeling_. A sense
of discrimination in what they accept or reject in our thought has
not yet appeared, to any great extent, in those classes of Filipinos
with whom I have come in contact; nor as yet have I ever beheld in the
laboring classes a desire to understand the mechanisms to which they
are constantly introduced, which will be the first symptoms of growth.

A few weeks ago a Filipino workman was making an electric light
installation in my house. He handled the wires very carelessly, and
I asked him if he was not afraid of a shock. On his replying that
the current was very light, I put the inevitable American query, How
did the company manage to get a light current on one street, and at
the same time to keep up the current in other parts of the city? His
reply was, "There is a box on Calle San Andres, and the current goes
in strong on one side and comes out light on the other," On my asking
if he knew how the box was able to produce such a result, he replied
blithely that he did not know; and to a third question, why he did
not try to find out, he asked me why he should _want_ to know. He
was a very ignorant man, but his attitude was not uncharacteristic of
much wiser men than he. I discovered one morning, in talking to the
most advanced class in the Manila School of Arts and Trades, that not
one of them knew what steam is, or had any idea of how it is applied
to manufacture; and yet they were working every day, and had been
working, most of them for two or three years, in the machine-shops
and the wood-working shops where a petroleum engine was in constant
operation. The boys had shown such a courteous interest in what was
pointed out to them, and had so little real interest and curiosity
in what they were working with, that their shop teachers had never
guessed that they did not know the elementary principles of mechanics.

If a flying machine should suddenly descend in an American village
with no sign of steam gear, electric motor, compressed air, or any
other motive power with which we are familiar, can you imagine that
eighty per cent of the population of the village would stand around,
begging the inventor to make it fly and alight again, exhibiting all
the delight of children in a strange toy, but giving it not one close
glance, one touch to determine how it is made, and not even wondering
anything about it? Can you imagine all those people placidly accepting
the fact that there are other nations interested in making strange
machines, and receiving the strange toy as an example of foreign energy
with which, at that or at any other time, they had no concern? Yet
such is the actual condition of affairs in the Philippine Islands,
and I am not sure that my estimate of eighty per cent is not too
low. Filipinos of the educated classes, gentlemen who can talk about


    "The grandeur that was Greece,
    And the glory that was Rome,"


or who can quote Tom Paine or Voltaire or Rousseau, or discuss the
fisherman's ring of the Pope, or the possibilities of an Oriental
race alliance, would give a glance at such a machine and dismiss
it with such a remark as this: "Ah! a new flying machine. Very
interesting. If it proves practical, it should be a great benefit to
the Philippines. The Government should buy two or three and put them
in operation to show the people how they can be used."

The great majority of the Filipino people are simply apathetic toward
the material and spiritual appliances of their present status. (Please
do not infer, however, that they are apathetic toward the status
itself.) Fortune is continually thrusting upon them a ready-made
article, be it of transportation, of furniture, of education, or
even of creed. With no factories of its own, their land is deluged
with cheap manufactured goods. With almost no authors, they have been
inundated with literature and texts. With no experience in government,
they have a complicated system presented to them, and are told to go
ahead, to fulfil the requirements, to press the button, and to let
the system do the rest. And they are, with few exceptions, making
the mistake of assuming that their aptitude in learning to press the
button is equivalent to the power of creating the system. They are like
some daring young chauffeur who finds that he can run an automobile,
and can turn it and twist it and guide it and control it with the
same ease that its inventor does, and who feels that he is as fully
its master--as indeed he is, till something goes wrong.

The intelligent Filipinos who are pressing for immediate
self-government have no intentions of changing the "press-the-button"
system if they get what they want. Nor can the American Government, if
it remain here, do any more than it is now doing to urge the Filipino
into real industrial and mental activity. Until the Filipino takes
more interest in _things_ than he takes in himself; until he learns to
approach life from some other standpoint than the social one, and with
some other object than seeing how large a figure he can cut in it,
it makes no difference what flag flies over his head, his national
existence is an artificial one, a semblance of living nourished by
the selfishness of those with whom he has commercial relations.

The intelligent Filipinos (I speak of the ordinary middle classes
of Manila and the provinces, not of the really eminent Filipinos
who are associated with the Government, for with them I have
little acquaintance) have had so little practical contact with
the great world, so little conception of what a strong commercial
and manufacturing nation is, that it is impossible to make them
understand that no nation of the present day can achieve greatness
except by industry. If you can get them to talk freely, you find
them absorbed in a glorious dream of the Filipino people dazzling
the world with pure intellectuality--a Philippines full of poets,
artists, orators, authors, musicians, and, above all, of eloquent
statesmen and generals. They do not reflect that a statesman is wasted
who has nothing but a handful of underfed people to govern, and that
it is commerce and agriculture which furnish the propelling power
to the ship of state on which the statesman is a pilot. They want
to be progressive, and their idea of progress is a constant stream
of mechanical appliances flowing like water into the Philippines
from other lands; but they do not even consider where the money is
to come from to pay for all the things they want. They howl like
victims over taxation, but they have a hazy idea that it is the duty
of their Government to seek out every labor-saving machine in the
world and to buy it and to put it in operation in the Philippines
till the inhabitants have accustomed themselves to its use, and have
obtained through its benefits the wherewithal to indulge in more
of the same sort. They do not concern themselves with the problem
of the Government's getting the money to do all this, other than
they think that if we Americans were out of the way, and the six or
eight million pesos of revenue which go annually into our pockets
were going to Filipinos instead, there would be money in plenty for
battleships, deep-water harbors, railroads, irrigation, agricultural
banks, standing armies, extended primary and secondary education;
and that the resources of the Government would even permit of the
repeal of the land tax, of the abolition of internal revenue taxes,
and of the lowering of the tariff. One of their favorite dreams of
raising money is to put a tremendously high license upon all foreigners
doing business in the Islands; and so high an opinion have they both
of their value to the world at large and of their prowess, that they
do not take into consideration the probability of the foreigner's
either getting out of the country or appealing to his own Government
to protect his invested capital. When they speak of independence,
they invariably assume that America is going to protect them against
China, Japan, or any of the great colony-holding nations of Europe.

Such are the peculiar governmental conceptions of the middle-class
Filipino--a class holding the ballot by the grace of God and the
assistance of the American Government. Their inverted ideas come
from real inexperience in highly organized industrial society, and
from perfectly natural deductions from books. When they study Roman
and Greek history, they learn there the names of generals, poets,
artists, sculptors, statesmen, and historians. Books do not dwell
upon that long list of thriving colonies which filled the Grecian
archipelago with traffic, and reached east and west to the shores
of Asia and to the Pillars of Hercules. The Filipinos learn that
Rome nourished her generals and her emperors upon the spoils of war,
but they do not reflect that the predatory age--at least in the Roman
sense--is past. Their imaginations seize upon the part played by the
little island republic of Venice, and they gloat over the magnificence
of the Venetian aristocracy, but they hardly give a thought to the
thousands of glass-blowers, to the weavers of silken stuffs, to the
shipbuilders and the artisans, and to the army of merchants that
piled up the riches to make Venice a power on the Mediterranean.

Filipinos have come in contact, not with _life_ but with _books_, and
their immediate ambition is to produce the things which are talked
of in books. Situated as these Islands are, remote from any great
modern civilization, there is no criterion by which the inhabitants
can arrive at a correct estimate of their condition. If here and there
a single Filipino educated in Europe should dazzle society with novels
or plays or happy speeches, most of his countrymen would be satisfied
with his vindication of Filipino capacity.

There are two things which are absolutely necessary to the future
development of the Philippines, whether they remain under our flag
or become independent. One is a new aristocracy to be a new type of
incentive to the laborer; the other is an increase in the laborer's
wants which will keep him toiling long after he has discovered the
futility of the hopes which urged him in the beginning. At present,
the American Government is trying to remodel a social system which
consists of a land-holding aristocracy and an ignorant peasantry,
the latter not exactly willing to work for a pittance, but utterly
helpless to extricate themselves from the necessity of doing so. To
the aristocrat the Government says, "Come and aid us to help thy
brother, that he may some day rob thee of thy prerogatives"; and
to the peasant, "O thou cock-fighting, fiesta-harboring son of
idleness and good-nature, wake up, struggle, toil, take thy share
of what lies buried in thy soil and waves upon thy mountainsides,
and be as thy brother, yonder." Nor is my picture complete if I do
not add that, under his breath, both peasant and aristocrat reply,
"Fool I for what? That I may pick _thy_ chestnuts out of the fire."

There is a story which illustrates the Filipino's sensitiveness to
picking somebody else's chestnuts out of the fire, not inappropriate to
be told here. The agent of the Kelly Road Roller Company had made an
agreement with a number of Filipinos in the Maraquina Valley to take
up a rice thresher and to thresh their crops for one-twelfth of the
output. As this was cheaper than the usual cost of rice-threshing,
they accepted the offer, but they were anxious to compare the new
machine with their own system. One way of threshing rice is to have a
kind of stone table like an armchair, in which the seat is a bowl for
the grain which drops down as the thresher strikes the laden stalks
against the stone back. On the appointed day the American appeared
with his thresher, and the Filipinos were on hand with their stone
table and a confident expert who was reputed the best rice-thresher
in the district. The American began to feed his machine, and the
Filipino made his bundles cut the air. In a few seconds the Filipino
had quite a little handful of grain collected in his stone bowl,
but not a grain of rice had appeared from the thresher. The workman
cast supercilious glances at the machine, when suddenly a stream
of rice as thick as his wrist began to pour out, and continued to
pour in startling disproportion to his tiny pile. He stood it half a
minute and then laid down his bundle of stalks and strode away. The
onlooking land-holders were at first amazed and delighted. Then
suddenly a horrible thought struck them! They got out their pocket
pads and pencils and began to figure. Then they held a consultation
and declared that the deal was off--that for one-twelfth the amount
of rice streaming out of the thresher, the American's profits would
be highway robbery of the poor Filipino. In vain the agent pointed
out to them that the one-twelfth was a ratio in which their gain would
always be proportionate to his. They could see nothing except that he
was going to make a large sum of money at their expense. The economy
of the thresher over their own wasteful system made no impression
against the fact that his commission would be a bulk sum which they
were unwilling to see him gain. They could not afford to buy the
machine, but they stopped the threshing then and there; and the agent
learned that what is good advertising in America is not necessarily
good in the Philippines.

The reader may fancy that he perceives in this chapter a direct
contradiction of what I said in a preceding chapter about the Filipino
aristocrat's desiring the best of everything for his country. But
the Filipino is like the sinner who says with all sincerity that he
desires to be saved, but who, when confronted with the necessity of
giving up certain of his pleasures as the price of salvation, feels
that salvation comes rather high, and begins to figure on how he can
accomplish the desired result without personal inconvenience. The
present land-holding aristocracy is jealous to the last degree of its
prerogatives, and it has fought every attempt to equalize taxation
and to make the rich bear their fair share in the national expense
account. The land tax and the _rentas internes_, or internal revenue
tax, are two governmental measures which the rich classes fought to
the extreme of bitterness, and which they would revoke to-morrow if
it lay in their power to do so.

An aristocracy represents a survival of the fittest--not necessarily
the ideally fit, but the fittest to meet the conditions under which it
must prove a survivor. The conditions which Spain created here to mould
Filipino character were mediæval, monarchical, and reactionary. The
aristocracy is a land-holding one, untrained in the responsibilities
of land-holders who grow up a legitimate part of the body politic of
their country. Previous to American occupation the aristocracy was
excluded from any share in the government, and the Spaniards were
exceedingly jealous of any pretensions to knowledge or culture on
its part. The aristocracy which could survive such conditions had
to do so by indirectness and courtier-like flattery, by blandishment
and deceit. The aristocrats learned to despise the poor and the weak;
for the more extravagant the alms-giving, the more arrogant the secret
attitude of the giver. They trusted less to their own strength than
to others' weakness. They relied less on their own knowledge than
on others' ignorance. Whatever solidarity the aristocracy had and
has to-day is of a class nature rather than of a racial. In the
insurrection against Spain it allied itself with its lower-class
brethren simply because Spain forced it to do so. Had the friars
made concessions to the aristocracy as a class, and permitted them
a voice in Filipino affairs, there would have been no insurrection
against Spain, nor would the entrance of a Filipino governing class
have made large changes in the conditions of the great mass of the
Filipino people.

Under a democratic Government the present aristocracy cannot retain
its present place and prestige, and a portion of its eagerness for
independence comes from a recognition of that fact. The American
Government has practically opened the way for the creation of a new
aristocracy in establishing the public schools. In the provinces
the primary schools are patronized by rich and poor alike, though it
has required considerable effort to make the poor people understand
that their children have as much right to the enjoyment of school
privileges as have the children of the rich. The secondary schools of
the provinces are patronized chiefly by the middle and upper classes,
and in the city of Manila the children of the really wealthy hardly
ever attend the public schools. The wealthy citizens of Manila prefer
to send their sons to the religious schools, and their daughters to
the _colegios_, or sisterhood schools, of which there are many. While
English is taught in all these schools, general instruction is in
Spanish; the courses of study include the usual amount of catechism,
expurgated history, and the question-and-answer method of "philosophy"
of the old Spanish system. If the American Government remain here,
a new aristocracy, the result of her public school system, is
inevitable. If it should not remain here, the Spanish-reared product
will continue to hold its present place.



CHAPTER XII

Progress in Politics and Improvement of the Currency

Our First Election of a Governor--More Feeling in Our
Next Election--We Organize a Self-Governing Society in the
School--Improvement in Parliamentary Procedure--The Boys Imitate
the Oratory of a Real Politician--A Much-mixed Currency in
the Philippines--Losses to the Teachers Through Fluctuations in
Exchange--The Conant System Brings Stability--The New Copper Coins
Astonish the Natives.


We had been in Capiz but a short time when talk of the coming election
began to occupy both Americans and Filipinos. The Governor of the
province at that time held his position by appointment from Mr. Taft,
but provisions had been made by the Commission for an election at a
specified time, which was then at hand. In view of the fact that it was
the first election ever held in the province, we Americans expected to
encounter much rejoicing over the newly acquired right, and a general
outbreak of gratification. It made a barely perceptible ripple. The
Filipinos had not gathered momentum enough under the new system to
approach an election by the well-recognized channels. There were no
speeches, no public gatherings, no processions, and, so far as the
mass of the population were concerned, no interest whatsoever. There
is not universal suffrage in the Philippines. The electors for the
occasion were the _concejales_, or town councillors, of the towns in
the province. On a given day they would assemble to cast their votes.

Our appointed Governor was a candidate to succeed himself, and the
only opponent of any importance was a local lawyer, named D----. D----
was on very good terms with most of the Americans, who regarded him
as something of an Americanista, but he was greatly hated by the
prominent Filipino families in town, not only on the score of his
suspected pro-American sentiment, but on account of certain meddlings
of his in past time with _cacique_ power.

A short time before the election the American community were
thunderstruck on hearing that D---- had been arrested on a charge of
murder. Our Supervisor--and, I believe, the Treasurer--offered to go
on his bail. Then came a telegram from Judge Bates at Iloilo, denying
bail. For a day or two telegrams flew back and forth, the Americans
trying to secure the temporary release of the unfortunate lawyer
but accomplishing nothing. D---- was kept practically _incomunicado_
in the local calabozo. He insisted that there was a plot on foot to
destroy him, and either he was much distressed or he pretended to be
so. Then came an order to take him out to a small town in the interior
whence the charge came. D---- declared that he should be killed on
the way. The Americans finally prevailed upon an American inspector
of constabulary to accompany the prisoner's escort. The rainy season
was in full force, and prisoner and escort had a bad time getting
out to Maayon, the town aforementioned. Once there the charge broke
down at once. It was based upon a statement made by an old woman
that a spirit had appeared to her in a dream, and had accused D----
of being the cause of its immaterial existence. The prisoner was
almost immediately set at liberty. For reasons best known to himself,
he found it inconvenient to return to Capiz and to renew his campaign
for the governorship.

By the fortuitous circumstance of the charge against D----, our
Governor, who professed a smiling ignorance of all the circumstances
of the case, had been relieved of his only formidable rival, and he
prepared to do the honors of Capiz to the _concejales_. He lived in
the old palace of the Spanish governors, which had since come to serve
as provincial capitol and gubernatorial residence. There was plenty of
room in the fine old place, and the _concejales_ found everything to
their satisfaction. They had but to step out of their bedrooms to find
themselves at the polls. Our Governor was elected almost unanimously,
to succeed himself for two years.

That was doing pretty well for a set of tyros at politics; but
by the time the next election swung round, political feeling had
awakened, there were wheels within wheels, and feeling was running
explosively high. Political parties had crystallized into two bodies,
known as _Progresistas_ and _Federalistas_. The Progresistas were
the anti-American party, pledged to every effort for immediate
independence. The Federalistas were those who stood by the Taft
administration, and talked of compromise in the present, and of
independence at some distant day. Our Governor, who was again
a candidate to succeed himself, was the Federalista head. The
Federalistas accused the Progresistas of being "Aglipianos"--that is,
schismatics from the Roman Church--and they hinted that Aglipianoism
was more a political movement than it was a religious one.

Each party professed itself sceptical of the good intentions of the
other. Each was certain that the other would come to the polls with
firearms and bolos. I began to worry about my desks, having promised
to loan twenty-five nice new oak ones of the latest American pattern
for the use of the _concejales_ in making out their votes.

The officer commanding the constabulary at that time was a huge,
black-browed, black-whiskered Irish-man, who, among the American
men, went by the name of "Paddy" L----. Both parties ran to Captain
L----, clamoring for a military guard at the election. Captain L----
pooh-poohed the notion that any serious trouble could grow out of the
election, declined to consider a guard, except the two soldiers to
guard the ballot box, who were more for function than for protection,
and smilingly added that his trust in the Filipino sense of law and
order was so great that he intended to go to the election and see it
all himself.

By this time the Governor's family had removed from the government
building, and a suite of apartments at the rear which had served
for kitchen, dining-room, store-rooms and servants' quarters,
had been cleaned up, painted, and handed over to the Provincial
Intermediate School, of which I was principal. One of our school-rooms
was connected by an uncurtained glass door with the great central
hall of the building, which was usually given over to the Court of
the First Instance, but which was, that day, a sort of anteroom to
the voting precinct located in the former sala of the palace. My
school-room would, therefore, command a full view of the polls. For
several days I lived in dread of hearing that election day would be
declared a school holiday, but no order came to that effect, and on
election day I went to school with my mind bent on taking notes of
all that went on, also wondering a little if in case the non-expected
riot came off, I should not have to vacate a little hurriedly.

By nine o'clock the court-room was packed with electors and lobbyists,
or whatever the interested outsiders may be called. Through the
glass doors we could see them in groups, some laughing and chatting
in ordinary social converse, others dark and gloomy, others gathered
in whispering knots with fingers on lips, much mysterious nodding
and shrugging of shoulders, and all the innocent evidences of
conspiracy. Beyond, through double doors, the voting precinct was in
full view, my twenty-five desks occupied by meditative _concejales_,
sucking the ends of their pencils. There were the judges and the
ballot boxes, symbols of progress and modernity, and there, too,
as a concession to dignity which fills the Filipino with joy, were
two dear little constabulary soldiers with guns about as long as
themselves. Their khaki suits were spick and span from the laundry,
their red shoulder straps blazed, their gilt braid glittered, and
their white gloves were as snowy as pipe clay could make them. Their
little brown faces were stolid enough to delight the most ambitious
commander. The whole was a sight to cheer the heart of rampant
democracy.

In the midst of the throng in the court-room, jovial, lusty, bright
of eye, loitered our easy-going chief of constabulary. His was no
common girth at any time, but belted with a particularly large-sized
and vicious-looking revolver, he seemed to be at least sixty inches
around the waist. There was something casual about that revolver,
and at the same time something very significant. But nothing could
have been more blandly unconscious than the Captain's manner. He
had what is commonly described as "a kind word and a sweet smile for
everybody." There were constabulary reserves a block away, but the
Captain's appearance was an assurance that there would be no need for
the reserves. He loafed about, chatting first with one group and then
with another. The conspirator looks gave way to laughter and clappings
on the back, but when he turned away, more than one eye followed the
time-worn holster and its bulky contents.

That election went off as calmly as a county fair--much more calmly,
indeed, though there was a _reclama_ afterwards, and a long struggle
about it which had to be decided by the Court of First Instance. The
quarrel over the election was not related, however, to the Captain's
presence there.

Apparently the Church was interested in the election, for every
shovel-hatted _padre_ in the district seemed to have come in for
it. They and the provincial dignitaries from towns which had not then
risen to the dignity of an American public school, wandered into the
school in groups of three and sometimes of twenty. It was their first
contact with coeducation, and they were highly amused at the sight
of a class of boys and girls working together in the reduction of
compound fractions. They were also delighted with the choral music,
especially with "The Watch on the Rhine" which the pupils sang with
great enthusiasm.

Not very long after that election we began our first work with
self-governing societies. The school had been long enough established
to have an advanced class capable of speaking English, and our Division
Superintendent suggested that I give them a little practical experience
in the "machinery of politics." I assented with outward respect, and
then retired to smile, for the "machinery of politics" is the last
thing in which the Filipino has need of instruction from us. He is a
born politician, and we compare to him in that respect as babes to a
philosopher. But I recognized that my pupils did need the experience
of a self-governing society, and practice in parliamentary usages,
and so we organized our society from the three most advanced classes
in the school.

In the beginning I organized the society, acting as temporary
chairman. I called for an election by informal ballot of short-term
officers to serve until a time of regular elections could be set. Our
first ballot polled seventy-three votes, although there were
only fifty-five persons in the room. I threw that out and called
for a roll call vote. In due time a regular election took place,
and officers for three months were elected. As the vote was open,
the aristocratic element came off best, as was to be expected. The
children of one prominent family, together with some of their friends,
held every office. Practically the result was not bad. The officers,
four out of five of whom were girls, represented considerable
ability. The girls were elected chiefly out of the _galanteria_ of
certain of the boy aristocrats, who had very little conception of
what a self-governing society means, but who wished to pay their fair
innamoratas a compliment.

Our society was a pronounced success. The pupils took to parliamentary
practice very much as they would to a new game. Visitors thronged our
Friday afternoon meetings. We teachers had to put in six or eight hours
every week, drilling the pupils on duty, helping to get up music,
and meeting with committees. A teacher was parliamentary "coach,"
and sat at the side of Madame President, giving her directions in an
undertone. All the teachers were elected honorary members, and one
was critic. Peace reigned and Joy flapped her wings.

About this time, however, the gentlemen who were running that province
engaged in the real game which we were imitating, and became involved
in a quarrel which threatened to strain the relations between Americans
and Filipinos to the breaking point. Governor Taft came down in
person to look into the affair. There was a banquet and there were
speeches. The Filipino Governor prefaced his oratorical flight by the
statement that three times only in his life had he trembled. Time has
clouded my memory, but I think he said the first of these was when he
took his Bachelor's degree from the University of Spain; the second was
when he led his fair partner to the matrimonial altar; and the third
was that present occasion when he stood up before that illustrious
assembly, seeking words in which to welcome the distinguished guest.

He did not look as if he were suffering from nervousness, and
his words flowed with sufficient ease to indicate that he was not
having much trouble in the search. Sitting at the far end of the
festal board, contemplating my glass of _tinto_ (I am unable to say
whether I drank _tinto_ because the champagne ran short or because,
being feminine and educational, I was deemed unworthy of the best), I
reflected somewhat cynically that if he was telling the strict truth,
his childhood must have been singularly barren of the penalties which
follow real childish joy, or else his was a remarkable personality.

But that is neither here nor there. The utterance wafted me a gentle
amusement at the time. But from that time on, the boys of my literary
society began to tremble--always twice anteriorly, and for the
third time when they stood up before that intellectual and critical
assemblage. Every boy for weeks to come used that worn-out preface
for his remarks. The pupils gave no signs either of amusement or
scorn. Apparently they received it seriously as an eminently becoming
preface of oratory, just as they do the "Do-minus vobiscum" of the
mass. But one day I spoke of it in one of the classes--intentionally
not in the society. When they saw our viewpoint, they shrieked with
delight, and from that time on, the budding orators ceased to tremble.

At last we arrived at the point of an open session, and the event
was what is described in society papers as one of the social events
of the season. We had really a good programme, we transacted quite
a little business in accordance with parliamentary usage: we elected
the Governor, the Presidente, and several prominent citizens honorary
members, and they acknowledged the compliment with appropriate remarks.

About a week after our open session I was about to retire
one night, when I heard the sound of music and saw lights
approaching. Transparencies were waving about in the warm air. As there
was no cholera, and therefore no occasion for a San Roque procession,
I hung out of the window, local fashion, to find out what it was all
about. It was a newly organized parliamentary society parading. In less
than a month three new societies had blossomed among the youths and old
men of the town. American teachers were engaged as parliamentarians,
although the societies were conducted in Spanish, not English. The
societies all died a natural death in a little while; but of course,
the school society being compulsory could not die, and so far as I know
is still going on. Every public school of the secondary class has its
school societies, and they must form the ideals of the new generation.

One of the most irritating features of life in those early days,
and one which offered a problem rather difficult for the Government
to solve, was the matter of currency. The money in use was silver,
with a small paper circulation of Banco Espagnol-Filipino notes. The
notes were printed on a kind of pink blotting paper which looked as if
it would be easy to counterfeit. The silver was what we called at first
"Mex" and later "Dobie." There were some pieces coined especially for
the Philippines, but in general "Mex" was made up of coins of Spain,
Mexico, Islas Filipinas, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Canton, and Amoy--only
the experts of the Government could tell where it all came from. With
the public at large, any coin that looked as if it contained the fair
average of silver was accepted. Every month the paymasters of the
United States Army and Navy issued thousands of dollars in American
silver and paper, but this disappeared in a twinkling, swallowed up
by the local agents who were buying gold with which China paid her
indemnity. Each incoming steamer brought loads of "Dobie" from the
Asiatic coast, but our good dollars and quarters went out of sight
like falling stars.

The silver coins consisted of pesos, medio-pesos, pesetas (twenty-cent
pieces), media-pesetas (ten-cent pieces), and it seems to me that I
have a hazy recollection of a silver five-cent piece, though I cannot
be certain. The copper coins were as mongrel as the silver.

There were English, Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese coins from the
neighboring coasts, but the greater part of the copper coins consisted
of roughly pounded discs with ragged edges, which were made, they
said, by the Igorrotes. The coins had no inscriptions, but went with
the natives by the name of "dacolds"--the native word for "big,"
The Americans renamed the dacolds "claquers," and used either name
at pleasure. It required eighty dacolds to equal one peso, forty to a
half-peso, sixteen to a peseta, eight to a media-peseta. Theoretically
a peso was a hundred cents, as a peseta was twenty cents, but there
was no cent with which to make change. You accepted the dacold at
its value of eighty to a peso, or you transacted no business. The
Filipinos also had a way of figuring a medio-peso as _cuatro reales_,
thus giving the _real_ a value of twelve and a half cents, though
there was no coin called a _real_. Nevertheless, the _real_ figured
in all business transactions.

At the time we landed in Manila "Mex" stood with gold at an even
ratio of two pesos "Mex" for one dollar gold. I innocently allowed a
bank to transfer a gold balance on a letter of credit to an account
in local currency at that ratio. A few weeks later, when I wanted to
change back and carry my account in gold, they wrote me courteously
but firmly that I would have to buy back that account at the ratio
of 2.27, and by the time that the transfer was finally effected,
gold had jumped to 2.66. We had been told by a circular from the War
Department, at the time our appointments were made, that we should be
paid in gold. I drew just one cheque in U.S. currency after reaching
the Islands. My second cheque was drawn in local currency at a ratio
of 2.27, but, by the time it had reached me at Capiz, gold had gone
to 2.46. We had to endure the evils of a fluctuating currency for
over two years. On all money sent to the States we lost heavily. So
far as our daily expenses were concerned we in the provinces had very
little inconvenience to suffer on account of "Mex"; but in Manila all
merchants fixed their prices in gold and took occasion to put them
up mercilessly. I remember trying to buy some Japanese matting which
could have been bought for twenty-five cents a yard in the States,
but which was priced at seventy-five cents in Manila. The merchant
wanted me to pay him in "Mex" at a ratio of 2.66, or at the rate of
two pesos a yard for matting which he bought in Japan at probably
less than twenty sen a yard.

There was a tremendous protest against the fluctuating currency and
the extortion which grew out of it, and we were all relieved when we
learned that Congress had adopted the so-called "Conant" system of
currency for the Islands. Mr. Conant was the expert who investigated
conditions for the Government and devised the system.

The Conant system followed the old Spanish values for coins, the new
coins being pesos, medio-pesos, pesetas, media-pesetas, nickels,
and copper cents. There was also a copped half-cent, but neither
Congress nor Mr. Conant read the Filipino aright. In two years we
had taught him to sniff at any value less than a cent. The new system
is held at a ratio of two to one by the Government's redeeming it in
the Philippine treasury at a ratio of two pesos Conant to one dollar
U.S. The importation of "Mex" is no longer permitted, and we rejoice
in a stable currency once more.

We provincials followed the newspaper talk about the new system
with no small interest. When our treasurer informed us that he had
received a consignment of the new currency, and that our next salary
cheques would be paid in "Conant," we were delighted. My cheque,
by some accident, got in ahead of those of the other employees,
and was the first presented for payment.

The beautifully made, bright new silver coins had an engaging
appearance after the tarnished mongrel coins to which we were
accustomed. When the Treasurer had counted out all my hard-earned
money except ten pesos, he produced two bags of pennies, and announced
that I should have to take that sum in small coin in order to get
the pennies into circulation. They were of beautiful workmanship,
yellow as gold and heavy as lead. I called in the aid of a small boy
to help me lug home my three bags of coin.

I had been at home only a few minutes when in came the regular vender
of eggs and chickens, who called at my house three times a week. He
squatted on the floor and I sat in front of him in a rocking-chair,
watching my little maid drop the eggs into water to test their
freshness. After we had chaffered the usual time and had come to an
agreement, I went into my room and brought out the bags of new coin. I
had bought about seventy-five cents worth from him, and I first gave
him three of the new silver pesetas, which he admired greatly. There
were still fifteen cents due him; and when I reached my hand into the
penny bag and hauled out a handful of gleaming copper, the maid said,
"Jesus!" under her breath, and the man, "Dios mio!" He received his
fifteen centavos with an attempt to conceal his satisfaction. The maid
requested permission to look inside the bag, and when she had done
so merely grinned up at me with a look that said, "My! You're rich,
aren't you?"

It was Saturday morning, and I went on busying myself about things at
home. Pretty soon there came a deprecatory cough from the stairway--the
local method of announcing a visitor. Outside of Manila knocking or
ringing does not seem to appeal to the Filipinos. In the provinces
the educated classes come to the foot of the stairway and call
"Permiso!" and the lower-class people come to the head of the stairway
and cough to attact attention. My chicken man had returned. Was it
possible that he had heard aright when he had understood the Señora to
say that twenty of the new gold pieces went to one peseta? The Señora
explained that he had made no mistake. Then, said the old rascal,
with bows and smirks, since the lady had so many of them--bags full of
them--had he not seen with his own eyes?--would she have the kindness
to take back those gleaming new pesetas, which were indeed beautiful,
and give him gold in their stead? The lady assured him that the new
money was the same metal used in the old "dacold" and that in time
it would become as dark and ugly, but his Filipino habit of relying
on his own eyes was in full command of him. The man thought that I
had got hold of gold without knowing it, and supposed that he was
getting the best of me. I changed one peseta into coppers for him,
and had difficulty in getting him to leave the house. Ten minutes
after he had left, a woman came in to sell me some more chickens. I
told her that I had just bought, but she put such a price on chickens
as had never before come under my ken. Ten cents was acceptable for a
full-grown laying hen, the ordinary value of which was forty or fifty
cents. I suspected her of having had some information from the old man,
and, in order to find out, I gave her the price of the five chickens,
which I agreed to take, in the old "Mex" media-pesetas. Then there
was an explosion. She reached for her precious chickens and broke that
bargain then and there. Her chickens would sell for ten cents gold, but
for no media-peseta. I asked her how she knew I had gold, and she said
that did not matter--I had some "diutang-a-dacolds" (little dacolds),
and she was willing to sell hens for ten "diutang-a-dacolds" _gold_,
but not for media-pesetas. So I counted her out fifty new coppers
and we both rejoiced in our bargain. I told her that the media-peseta
was worth ten dacolds, but she wanted the bright new money.

For the next two hours I was persecuted with truck-sellers. Ordinarily
the fishermen were unwilling to stop and sell in the streets or in
private houses, preferring to do all their business in the market,
but that morning, I could have had the pick of half the catch. Finally
came a woman who had had a straight tale from the first woman. Woman
number two had nothing to sell, but, after a minute, she pulled out a
jagged old media-peseta and said that she had heard that I said that a
media-peseta was worth ten of the new gold pieces. If I was as good as
my word, why not change her media-peseta for gold? I said that I would
do it if she would give me the new media-peseta, but that I could not
do it for the old. When she wanted to know where she could get a new
media-peseta, and I told her the Treasurer would redeem old silver at
the government ratio, she went off to get a new media-peseta, but it
was plain that she distrusted me. The people flocked to my house all
day trying to get me to buy something and to pay them in the new coins.

It was remarkable how easily and quickly one circulating medium
disappeared and another took its place. At first there was some trouble
about getting the poor people to recognize the copper on a basis of a
hundred to a peso. They were willing enough to receive change on that
basis, but, in giving it, tried to treat the new centavo as a dacold,
eighty to the peso. I had to have one Chinese baker arrested for
persistently giving short change to my _muchacha_, and the Treasurer
had a long line of delinquents before him each morning admonishing
them that they could not play tricks with Uncle Sam's legal tender. But
on the whole the change went off quickly and without much friction.

This morning I asked my maid, an elderly woman, if she remembered the
old money we had four years ago. She struck her forehead with her hand,
and thought a long time. Finally her face lit up. She remembered those
Iggorote dacolds and a silver five-cent piece--"muy, muy chiquitin"
(very, very small). She said that the Tagalogs called the dacolds
"Christinas" after the mother of the Queen-mother. But the difference
between a stable and a fluctuating medium meant nothing to her, and
probably many of her countrymen have almost forgotten that there was
ever any other than Conant in the land.



CHAPTER XIII

Typhoons and Earthquakes

How Typhoons Assert Themselves--Our First Typhoon--Six Weeks' Mail
Brought by the _General Blanco_--Her Narrow Escape From Wreck:--A
Weird Journey on a Still Smaller Steamer--Another Typhoon--Rescue of
Captain B---- --Havoc Wrought by the Typhoon.


In the month of November two more American women teachers arrived at
Capiz, one of whom joined me, and our society was still more increased
by two army officers' wives, and the wives of the provincial Treasurer
and the Supervisor. This made nine women in all, and we began to give
dinners and card parties, and assume quite metropolitan airs.

Miss C---- and I, from our central positions on the plaza, saw and
heard most of what was going on, and we heartily concurred in the
gossip of the day that there was always something doing in Capiz. About
the middle of the month there was a lively earthquake that shook up
our old house most viciously; and just before Thanksgiving we met
our first typhoon.

Typhoons have various ways of asserting themselves, but there is one
predominating form of which this particular typhoon happens to be
an example. The beginning of all things is usually a casual remark
dropped by a caller that the first typhoon signal is up. Then the
weather thickens, and a fine drizzling rain sets in. It stops by and
by, and you have no sort of opinion of typhoons. Then the rain begins
again with a steady downpour, which makes you wonder if there will be
any left for next year. Again it stops, almost leads you to think it
intends to clear. Then a little vagrant sigh of wind wafts back the
deluge. A few minutes later nature sighs again with more tears. Each
gust is stronger than the one before it, and at the end of eight or
ten hours the blasts are terrific, and the rain is driven like spikes
before them. It may keep this up twelve hours or fifty-six. It may
increase to an absolute hurricane, levelling all before it with great
loss of life, or it may content itself with an exhibition of what it
could do if it really desired.

At the end of the first day of our typhoon I went to bed wondering
how long the ant-eaten supports of our house could hold out against
the violent wrenchings and shakings it was getting. I had poor rest,
for the howling of the wind, the noise of boards torn loose, and
the clatter of wrenched galvanized iron roofing made sleep almost
impossible. When I went out into the kitchen next morning, my
heart sank into my boots. The nipa roof had been torn away piece by
piece. The whole place was soaked, the stove was rusted, and rivulets
were running outside and inside of the pipe. Romoldo clucked his glee
in this devastation, and opined that the outlook for breakfast was
poor. It was certainly no poorer than breakfast when it came.

I dressed myself for the weather and went to school in a mackintosh
and rubber boots. The costume seemed to afford no small excitement to
the Filipinos who beheld. They had hitherto considered mackintoshes and
rubber boots as the exclusive property of men. Had I appeared in a pair
of pantaloons, I should not have created more sensation. Nobody came
to school, of course, but I had to go through the form of reporting
there twice anyway. We lunched on gingersnaps and water, and had a
dinner composed chiefly of tinned things.

After dinner, to our immense surprise, we had callers in spite of the
storm. Lieutenant and Mrs. C---- came over to ask us to Thanksgiving
dinner, and a couple of men from the officers' mess dropped in. One
of these, Captain R----, was in command of the launch kept at Capiz by
the military Government. She was about sixty feet long, and having been
built at Shanghai, rejoiced in a Chinese name--the _Yuen Hung_. But as
something was the matter with her engines, which coughed and wheezed
most disgracefully, the flippant Americans had rechristened her the
_One Lung_, much to the chagrin of her skipper.

A barkentine, loaded with molave timber and carrying native passengers,
had been driven ashore at the port that day, and the _One Lung_
had gone to the rescue and taken off the passengers. Fortunately the
little craft did not have to brave the full force of the sea, as the
arms of the bay broke the fury. But even in the bay Captain R----
said the waves were frightful, and he thanked his stars that they
had gotten back alive.

While we were still talking of the storm, there came a shout from
the tribunal next door, and the noise and rattle of the four-horse
escort wagon starting down to Libas. That could mean but one
thing--States mail, the which, as we had seen none of it for six
weeks, was particularly welcome. But we wondered what boat had come
in in such a storm, and, the unexpected always happening, were not
wholly unprepared to learn that that disreputable old tub the _General
Blanco_ had made harbor safe and sound. It took till nearly midnight
to get the mail up and distributed, but we stayed up for it. There
were actually eight sacks of mail for our little colony, and we went
over to the tribunal and watched the mail sacks opened, and seized
on our share with avidity, while we alternately blessed and despised
the skipper of the _Blanco_ for getting caught out in the tempest.

This was not the last feat the _Blanco_ was destined to achieve during
my stay in Capiz. She had a habit of dropping into port in weather that
it seemed no boat could live in. Once she came in about two P.M. in
a tremendous sea, bringing a single American passenger--a girl of
twenty-one, a Baptist missionary. As the _Blanco_ had no cabins, the
captain was forced to lock his native passengers in the engine room,
where no doubt they contributed much to the enjoyment of the engineer
and his aids. He had the deck chair of this girl carried up on his
bridge and lashed, and she was lashed to the chair. There they two
rode out the storm. The captain said that from eleven o'clock till
two, when he made the shelter of Batan Bay, he expected his boat to
be swamped any instant, and he expressed his unqualified admiration
for the way in which this girl faced her possible doom. He concluded
with a favorite Filipino ejaculation, "Abao las Americanas," which in
this case may be freely translated as "What women the Americans are!"

The _Blanco_ is still skipping defiantly over the high seas between
Iloilo and Capiz, though after all her hairbreadth escapes she came
near ending herself in a typical way. She started out one night from
Capiz for Iloilo, a heavenly calm night, bright moonlight, and a sea
smooth as a floor. Two or three miles from the port, a large island
called Olatayan lies off the coast--a single mountain rising out
of the sea. Everybody on the _Blanco_, including the watch and the
steersman, thought it a good night for sleep, and left the _General_
to steer her own course. The _General_ made straight for Olatayan,
and ran her nose up on the beach. She stayed there two weeks, and was
beaten up by bad weather, and assistance had to be sent to get her
off. Then she had to be pretty well rebuilt, and repainted. At the
time of all these happenings I was in Iloilo, whither I had gone for
treatment of an abscess of the middle ear, and as I depended on the
_Blanco_ for getting back, felt personally injured by her antics. I
went several times to the office of her agents, one of the big English
trading firms, to inquire how the wreck was getting along, and what
the prospect was for a return to Capiz before Christmas. The man at
the desk did not look characteristically English, and on my first
appearance I addressed him tentatively in Spanish. He answered in that
language, and we continued to use it. On one of the later visits this
gentleman was not visible, but in his place a red-headed, freckled
youth, with the map of Scotland outlined on his rugged countenance,
presided over the collection of inkstands and ledgers. Naturally, I
accosted him in English, whereupon the shape of my former interlocutor
rose up from behind a screen and remarked, "By Jove, I thought you
were Spanish, don't you know? and have been talking to you all this
time in Spanish. What a sell!"

Failing the _Blanco_, I took passage for Capiz on the _Fritz_, a craft
one or two degrees smaller and rustier than the old _General_. Of
all the weird experiences I ever had, that twenty-four hours was the
weirdest. They cleared out a sort of pantry or lazaretto just back
of the deck engine-house for me to use as a stateroom, and I slept on
the pantry shelf. Some kind of steam pipes must have passed under it,
for it grew so hot that several times I had to vacate and get down on
the floor. Then we met a little wind as we rounded the north coast,
and I was sick. A family of Filipino aristocrats came on board
at Estancia, and the ladies elected to share my retreat. They had
several servants and one or two babies and other necessaries of life,
and they left me only a corner of the pantry shelf, against which I
propped my weary and seasick frame. We made Capiz just at dusk, and
never was a wanderer more eager to see home. There on the bank were
two of my friends, who said they were invited out to dinner and were
to bring me if I arrived in time. So we went to that cheery American
home with its spotless linen, its silver and china. For six weeks I
had been living on Spanish "chow," and the contrast made me serenely
happy. It was almost worth enduring--the six weeks of chow and the
_Fritz_, I mean--to enjoy the change.

But to return to typhoons. We had several more that year, and I began
to feel that typhoons were terribly exaggerated in books. But in 1903
we had an object lesson that I do not care to repeat. We went through
all the usual preliminaries of typhoon signals, drizzle and gust. It
was, I believe, the tenth of June. I stayed up late that night,
working, and noticed that the gusts were increasing. Just at midnight
I laid down my pen and started to go to bed, when there came a blast
that shook the house like an earthquake and made me decide to wait
a while. For the next three hours the storm raged in a very orgy of
gladness. It slapped over nipa shacks with a single roar. It ripped
up iron roofing and sent it hurtling about the air. The nipa of my
roof was torn off bit by bit, and the rain came in torrents. I used
my mackintosh to cover up the books, and put a heavy woollen blanket
over the piano. Then I held an umbrella over the lamp to keep the rain
from breaking the chimney, and sat huddling my pet monkey, which was
crazed with fear. The houses on either side were taller than mine,
and for this little hollow it seemed as if all the iron roofing of
the town had steered a direct course. The pieces came down, borne by
the shrieking wind, and landed with rattle and bang. My house swayed
at every gust. It seemed that the cross-beams in the roof moved at
least a foot each way. The little lanterns that burn in front of
the houses were blown out by the wind, and when I peered out there
was nothing but the inky darkness, the howling of the wind, the
thrashing of the cocoanut trees, and the thud of falling nuts. From
my side window I could see the native family next door to me all on
their knees in front of an image of the Virgin, and once, in a lull,
caught the sound of their prayers.

The storm reached its greatest violence by half past one and subsided
by about three, at which time I went to bed and slept till morning. In
spite of my fear I could not help laughing at my two Filipino girl
servants. They slept undisturbed through the earlier gusts, but
when the roof went and the water came in, they awoke--disgusted. The
oldest one said, "Mucho aguacero" (a heavy shower) and cast about for
a dry spot. She didn't find any at first, but she finally concluded
that the corner where my bed stood was highest; lifting the valence,
they disappeared.

Next morning Capiz presented a pitiful sight. Many of the great almond
trees on the plaza were uprooted and the others dismembered. The
little nipa houses were flat on the ground or drunkenly sprawling
at every slant and angle. Even the best houses had suffered. The
constabulary cuartel was absolutely wrecked. The Supervisor's kitchen
was gone, and his wife mourned for her dishes, which were scattered
up and down the length of the street. The home of the scout officer
was jruined. He and his wife had taken shelter under a stone wall,
and been drenched for three or four hours. The young mangoes had
been strewn on the ground, and there was no hope of that crop. Many
of the cocoanut trees were broken off, and where this was not the
case, the nuts had been whipped off. The banana trees were entirely
destroyed. Altogether it was a sorry sight, and we all got out and
walked about and viewed the ruins, just as we do for a cyclone at home.

The storm had an aftermath in the rescue of an Englishman, Captain
B----, a pearl fisher. He was anchored under the lee of a small
island in the sea between Panay and Masbate. He was in a small
lorcha, or sailing vessel, with no barometer, his glass having been
left on a lorcha of larger tonnage, which was at another point. The
heavy wind caught them without warning almost, and its impact soon
pressed the lorcha over. Captain B---- found himself struggling in
the water--able to swim, but drowning, as he expressed it, with the
spindrift which was hurtling into his face. He kept one arm going,
and partially protected his face with the other. Then in the inky dark
he touched a human body. It was the leg of one of his crew, four of
whom were clinging to one of the lorcha's boats. It kept turning over
and over, and they had to go with it each time. Captain B---- hung
to the prow, so his circuit was not so wide as that of the others,
but his body--arms, legs, and chest--was literally ploughed by the
rough usage. Once he let go and lost the prow as it came up, and the
fright of this was enough to strengthen his hold. They were in the
water clinging to this all the rest of the night, the next day, and
the next night. One man died of exhaustion, and one went mad and let
go. On the second morning they succeeded in bailing it out by means
of an undershirt, which Captain B---- had been wearing, and which,
though torn to ribbons across the front, was whole in the back. They
remained in the boat all day, beaten on by the tropical sun, having
been thirty hours in the water without food or drink.

Captain B---- said they were all a little mad. They saw the _Sam
Shui_--the boat of the commanding officer of the Visayas--in the
distance, but were too low to be sighted by her. They wore their finger
ends down, tearing a plank off the side to use for an oar. Meanwhile
the current carried them down closer to the Panay coast, and on the
third day they were close enough to fall in with one of the big fishing
_paraos._ This carried them into Panay, a town five or six miles east
of Capiz. Captain B---- had just strength to write a line or two and
sign his name. This was brought down to Capiz, and the constabulary
officer on duty there went out immediately with a launch and brought
him in. He was in the military hospital a long time. His attending
physician said that between salt water and sun he had been literally
flayed, and the flesh torn into ribbons and gouged by the impact of
the boat.

The storm did frightful havoc all through the Visayas, and many lives
were lost and vessels wrecked. The _Blanco_ as usual made harbor all
right, but another little Capiz boat, the _Josefina_, went ashore, and
her captain and several others were lost. The adventurous _One Lung_
was at Iloilo, and it was reported that she started out of the river
without consulting her pilot, creating thereby general consternation
among her sister craft.

We accustomed ourselves at last to typhoons and earthquakes, and,
on the whole, decided that they were less fearful than tornadoes at
home. Meanwhile we rather luxuriated in the sensations of romance
inspired by living in a town surrounded by a hostile population and
protected by soldiery. It was very, very new, and we made the best
of it.



CHAPTER XIV

War Alarms and the Suffering Poor

A Surprise Party of Bolo-Men--Forty_ _Insurrectos_ _Arrive in Our
Neighborhood--Anecdotes of Encounters with Insurgents--Anxiety Because
of Treachery of the Natives--A False Alarm--Five Hundred Starving
Persons--Great Lack of Institutions for the Poor--Smallpox Patient
in the School Building--The Newspaper a Creator of Hysteria.


As I said before, Capiz had never been a warlike province, and
there had been comparatively little resistance to the American
occupation. Antique province to the west of us had fought stubbornly
and was still infested by _ladrones_, or guerilla troops. One
engagement took place at Ibajay, a town on the north coast close to
the western border of Capiz, quite worthy of description.

There was a small American garrison at Ibajay--about seventy-five or
a hundred--and the Filipinos planned to surprise and massacre them
just at day-break when the reveille was sounded. But the bugler was
an astute youth, with an observing mind, and as he made his morning
promenade, it seemed to him that there were far too many ladies
squatting about on the plaza. So he got as close to quarters as he
could, and instead of blowing reveille, blew the call to arms with
all his soul, and then ran for his life. The American troops swarmed
out in their underdrawers and cartridge belts, and that surprise
party turned right about face. The squatting women on the plaza,
who were bolo-men in disguise, left for the hills with the yelling
undergarmented in pursuit. A Filipino girl who saw it all described
the affair to me, and said, "Abao," as she recalled the shouts of
enjoyment with which the Americans returned after the fray. They
seemed to regard the episode as planned to relieve the monotony of
life in quarters and to give them a hearty breakfast appetite.

I had been little more than a month in Capiz when the rumor went
abroad that a parao with forty insurrectos from Samar had landed at
Panay, just east of us, and the occupants had scattered themselves
out between Panay and Pontevedra. Pontevedra was supposed to be an
insurrecto town, thirsting for American gore.

As we at Capiz were protected by a company of the Sixth Infantry and
one of the Tenth Cavalry, and the Islands were theoretically at peace,
we were not very much alarmed by this. But it gave us something to
talk about, and we enjoyed it just as we do telling ghost stories on
winter nights, when the fire is low, and there is plenty of company
in case the ghosts materialize. Shortly after, however, came the
shocking details of the affair at Balangiga, and we--I speak of
the feminine portion of our colony--did not feel so secure by any
means. The Supervisor's wife insisted upon having a guard at her house,
and when any two American women got together they discussed what they
would do in case of a sudden alarm.

I am certain that there is no braver soldiery in all the world than
ours. But I am equally certain that when war is a man's profession,
on which all his chances of honor, pay, and promotion hinge directly
or indirectly, the wish in his mind is father to the thought, and
unconsciously he scents danger because he wants danger. Of an officer
it may be said, as of Thisbe's lion, that his trade is blood, and
"a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing," But nothing pleased
me more than to hear the officers tell tales of the old campaign and
speculate on the possibilities of a new one.

Our Supervisor had been a captain of volunteers in a Minnesota
regiment. He was a thoroughly interesting talker, and an inimitable
story-teller, a man who did not lose his sense of humor when the
joke turned on himself. I heard him tell one or two stories well
worth repeating.

Our valorous Supervisor was stationed in Antique province, while
in Capiz was a detachment of the regular army. And in full sight
of both on the top of a precipice, an insurrecto flag flaunted its
impertinent message.

The Supervisor said he waited a decent length of time to give the
regulars a chance to pull down the flag, as it lay in their province,
but when they failed to act, he went out, full of hope and good United
States commissary valor, to destroy the insurrecto stronghold and
to give an object lesson in guerilla warfare to the regulars. His
men hacked and hewed their way through the jungle and cogon grass,
with never a shot from the insurrectos. Then at the last they
came to a clear slope, and when they were about half-way up this,
the insurrectos opened fire, not only with rifles but with great
boulders. The Supervisor said it took them over two hours to get
up, and they went down in less than twenty minutes. One little Dutch
private was in so much of a hurry that he punched him (the officer) in
the back with a gun butt and said, "Hurry up! get out of the way." Most
of the shots flew high, however. The flag came down later, but it
required four hundred men and a battery of artillery to bring it down.

On another occasion the Supervisor, his wife, a constabulary
lieutenant, and I were out on the _playa_ (beach) when we came to a
little hollow almost hidden by grass, so that I stumbled in crossing
it. This started the two men into retrospect of a day's fight over on
the beach of the west coast. The insurrectos at last took to flight,
and the Supervisor started after one whom he had noticed, on account
of the beautiful kris, or fluted bolo, which he carried. As they ran,
the Supervisor stumbled over such a grass-hidden hollow, and without
his perceiving it, his revolver flew out of its holster. He kept on
gaining slightly on his quarry, who glanced apprehensively over his
shoulder now and then, expecting to see the big Colt come out. At
last, when he thought the range was good, the officer reached for
his revolver. He described the sort of desperate grin with which
the Filipino glanced back expecting the end, and the rapid change to
satisfaction and triumphant ferocity as pursuer and pursued realized
what had happened. Then the race changed. It was the Supervisor
who panted wearily back toward his scattered fellows, and it was
the Filipino with a kris to whose muscles hope of victory lent fresh
energy. Fortunately, this young constabulary lieutenant, who had been
a non-commissioned officer of volunteers, saw what was going on, and
picked off the Filipino with a long range shot from his rifle. The
kris was secured, and its beautiful blade and tortoise-shell scabbard,
inlaid with silver, went as a present to Mrs. Wright when she visited
the province.

Somewhere in his "Rulers of the South" Marion Crawford speaks of the
wonderful rapidity with which news flies among the native population in
warfare, and he cites as an illustration that "when Sir Louis Cavagnari
was murdered in Cabul, in 1879, the news was told in the bazaar at
Allahabad before the English authorities received it by telegraph,
which then covered more than half the whole distance between the
two places." This same condition beset the American officers in
the Philippines. Secretly as they might act, they found the news of
their movements always in advance of them, and the crafty native hard
to surprise.

Among the leaders in Panay a certain Quentin Salas who operated
both in Antique and Iloilo provinces was noted for his daring and
cruelty. The American troops spent much time in pursuit of him,
and among others the doughty Captain of volunteers. The Captain said
that Salas made his headquarters in a certain pueblo, and often word
was brought that the insurrecto would be found there on a certain
day. The Captain tried all devices, forced marches, and feints on
other pueblos, but to no purpose. He always arrived to find his quarry
gone, but breakfast waiting for him (the American) at the _convento_,
or priest's house. The table was laid for just the right number of
persons, and the priest was always affable and amused. The Captain
grew desperate. He gave out false marching orders, and tried all the
tricks he knew of. Finally, he let it be known that he intended to
march on Salas's pueblo the next morning, and he did so, and actually
arrived unexpectedly, or at least so nearly so that breakfast was
not ready. The Filipinos had assumed that his announcement cloaked
some other invention, and had expected him to branch off at the
eleventh hour.

The Captain searched the town from garret to cellar, but no Quentin
Salas. He unearthed, however, the usual score of paupers and
invalids. One of these was a man humped up with rheumatism, as only
a Filipino decrepit can be. The Americans finally departed, leaving
this ruin staring after them from the window of a nipa shack. Months
afterward, when peace had been declared, the officer heard his name
called in the government building at Iloilo, and saw a keen-eyed
Filipino holding out his hand. The Filipino introduced himself as
Quentin Salas, and owned that he possessed a slight advantage in
having viewed the officer _in propria persona_, while he, Salas, was
in disguise. He confessed that the American had caught him napping on
that day, and that he had been forced to assume hurriedly the garb
and mien of an aged pauper. The American owned himself outwitted,
and shakes his head to this day to think how near he came to victory.

We lived in a maze of war talk all that autumn. I doubt not that,
to the officer commanding, much that was mere excitement to us
was deadly reality and anxiety, for although peace was declared,
the treachery of the natives had been demonstrated at Balangiga,
and there was no certainty that the affair would not be repeated
elsewhere. The American people have little conception of the burdens
laid upon the army. These were to hold a people in subjection while
denying that they were in subjection; to assume the belief of peace
and yet momentarily to expect war; to rule without the semblance of
rule; to accomplish when all the recognized tools of accomplishment
were removed; to be feared and yet to be ready to bear cheerfully all
blame if that fear expressed itself in complaint. I cannot but feel
that the army had much to bear in those early days, and bore it well.

One little incident will serve to illustrate how lightly and yet how
seriously the circumstances of life were viewed at that time. The
open sea beach, or playa, two miles north of the town, was the
favorite afternoon drive, and one day Miss C----, who lived with me,
was invited by the wife of Dr. D---- to share her victoria. They left
for the playa about half-past four, the Doctor accompanying them on
his bicycle. He never permitted his wife to leave the borders of the
town unaccompanied.

Mrs. D---- was in poor health and found long drives unendurable, so
when seven o'clock came and Miss C---- had not returned, I concluded
that she was going to dine at Dr. D----'s. However, before sitting down
without her, I sent Romoldo up to the Doctor's to inquire if she was
there. He came back saying that the D----s had not returned, and that
their servants were quite upset, as such a thing had never happened
before. I waited till eight and sent Romoldo again for news. Again he
brought back word that the D----s had not appeared. I thereupon went
over to Lieutenant C----'s house, who instantly picked up his hat and
left to talk the matter over with the officer of the day. Thence it
was reported to Captain M----, who ordered out searching parties for
each of the three main roads leading out of Capiz. Just as the men
were ready to start, the victoria and bicycle appeared. Our friends
had stopped at a Filipino house where a saint's day celebration was
in full swing, and had found it impossible to leave. The Filipino
hosts had brought up ice all the way from Iloilo to make ice-cream,
but as they were not adepts, it didn't freeze properly, and they would
hear of no guest leaving until the ice-cream had been served. Miss
C---- said they were worried and tried to get away, but I declined to
believe her. Ice-cream, I insisted, might excuse four times the delay,
and I flatly refused to be convinced that they had intended to turn
their backs on it after a compulsory fast of seven months.

The troops bundled themselves back to quarters, and it all ended
in a laugh. Only the commanding officer leaned out of his window to
chuckle at me.

"Well, did you get your chicken?" and I went home and vowed that
Miss C---- should perish four times over before I would stir up an
excitement about her again.

If we lived in a slightly hysterical state as concerns the
possibilities of war and bloodshed, we soon learned to be phlegmatic
enough about disease and pestilence. Nearly five hundred starving
people had gathered in Capiz, and their emaciated bodies and cavernous
eyes mocked all talk of the brotherhood of man. This condition did
not represent the normal one of the whole province,--but rather these
people represented the aggregate of starvation. Of course, following
the war, there was a short crop and no little distress. But a certain
Capiz politician with his eyes on the future caused word to be sent
out through the province that if the needy would come into Capiz he
would see that they were fed. Of course he did no such thing. They
came and starved to death; but meanwhile the report of his generosity
was spread abroad, and nobody took any pains to tell the story of how
the miserable wretches had been cheated. So the politician profited
and the poor died.

No one whose life has been passed in American rural prosperity
can wholly realize one's helplessness in the face of these
conditions. Capiz was a town of twenty-five thousand people rejoicing
in many commodious and luxurious homes and a fine old church. It
would seem a small affair to tide over the distress of so small a
number as five hundred starving. But the greatest obstacle was the
fact that they were not temporarily starving. They represented a
portion of the inhabitants who either from voluntary or involuntary
helplessness would always need assistance, and the people of the town
did not see a clear way of assuming the burden.

I confess in my unsophistication I went out among them consuming with
fine altruistic zeal. A woman with a starving child in her arms begged
of me in the plaza. Instantly my purse was out, and instantly I was
mobbed by the howling, filthy crowd. My purse was almost torn out of
my hand, my hat was knocked over my eyes, and a hundred eager claws
tugged and pulled at my garments. I had fairly to fight my way out of
the mob, and learned to bestow no more alms in public. Then I took to
throwing pennies out of the window, and found as a consequence that
there was no rest day or night from the wailing and howling in the
street. Little by little the fountain of my philanthropy dried up,
and I contented myself with giving what I could to the Church to be
bestowed in regular channels.

At that time there was not a single hospital (American military
hospital excepted) in the Philippine Islands outside of the city of
Manila, and with the exception of one or two missionary establishments,
no poorhouses, no orphan asylums,--in short, no properly organized
eleemosynary institutions conducted by the State. The result was
one at which we Americans were first appalled, then indignant, then,
through sheer helplessness, indifferent. We simply became hardened
to sights and sounds which in our own land would stir up a blaze of
excitement and bring forth wagon-loads of provisions.

Between the two stone schoolhouses at Capiz was a connecting house
of nipa where in ante-insurrection days the native teachers had
their quarters. At first the horde of beggars were allowed to make
their headquarters in this; but on the arrival of the Division
Superintendent, he protested against sowing the seeds of disease
among school children in that way. So the paupers were driven forth
and found shelter wherever they could, in barns and unused houses.

In the following June a part of the older pupils were separated from
the others and placed in a room in the tribunal, as the nucleus of an
intermediate school. I was in charge of them, and noticed one day a
heap of rags lying on a pile of boards underneath the opposite wing
of the building. Presently the rag heap began to twist and turn and
throw arms about and then to scream. I went over to investigate, and
found a girl of fourteen or fifteen nearly dead. Her skeleton body
was covered with sores, her eyes seemed sightless, and the flies had
settled in clouds around them and her nostrils. She would lie on the
hard boards a few minutes until the torment grew unendurable, and then
break into screams and lamentations. The rooms of all the municipal
officers were about her, she was in full sight of the police, and yet
there she lay and suffered with no human being to help her. Naturally
I went to the Mayor, or Presidente. He wanted to know, with some
irritation, what was to be expected when the School Superintendent
refused to let the school building be used by the poor. After some
talk the girl was removed to a house and assistance given her. She
was past the need of food, and died in less than twenty-four hours.

The aforementioned nipa house between the two schoolhouses was
utilized for janitors' quarters, and the arrangement was such that
pupils leaving the room temporarily passed through it. One day one
of the children casually remarked that some one was sick in there
with _viruela_ (smallpox). I went in and found a child apparently in
the worst stages of confluent smallpox. Now in our own dear America
this would have meant almost hysteria. There would have been head
lines an inch deep in the local papers, the school would have been
closed for two weeks, a general vaccination furor would have set in,
and many mammas and little children would have dreamed of confluent
smallpox for weeks to come. But we did none of these things in
the Philippines. We merely requested the authorities to remove the
smallpox patient, and ordered the janitor to scrub the room with
soap and water. Nobody quitted school; nobody got the smallpox;
and the whole thing was only an incident.

Later I was destined to pass through the cholera epidemic of 1902-03,
and I realized how great a factor a daily paper is in creating public
hysteria. Part of the time I was in Manila, where the disease was under
much better control than it ever was in the provinces (where it was
not under control at all), and there was about five or six times as
much worry, talk, and excitement in Manila as ever prevailed outside,

I have lived in towns with newspapers and in towns without them,
and have come to believe with Gilbert Chesterton that the newspaper
is used chiefly for the suppression of truth, and am inclined to add,
on my own account, the propagation of hysteria.



CHAPTER XV

The Filipino's Christmas Festivities and His Religion

Autumn Weather--Winter Weather--A Christmas Tree for
Filipino Children--A Christmas Eve Ball--Early Mass on
Christmas--Visitors--Attitude of the Filipino to Religion--His Ideas
of the Fine Arts Formed by the Church--Joys and Sorrows Carried to
Church--Religion Not a Source of Party Animosity--Filipinos More
Likely to Become Rationalists than Protestants.


What with typhoons, earthquakes, talk of insurrection, the novelty
of military life about us, and the effort to comprehend the native,
the days sped quickly by at Capiz. October and November came and went
in alternate stages of storm and sunshine. For days at a time the
fine rain drove like a snow storm before a northeast wind, and it
was difficult to realize that the deluge was the remnant of a great
blizzard which, starting on the vast frozen plains of Siberia, had
swept southward, till crossing the China Sea it gathered up a warm
flood and inundated us with it. We spoke of its being autumn at home,
but we could not realize the fact. When clear days came, they were so
warm, so glinting with sunlight, that it seemed all the world must
be bathed in glory. It would rain steadily for a week or ten days,
and then there would come one of those clear days when every breath of
vapor was blown out of the sky, the heavens were a field of turquoise,
and the mountain chains were printed against them in softest purple.

With the month of December the weather changed, the rain ceased, and
the dry chill winter of the tropics set in. The nights were so cold
that one was glad to nestle into bed under a blanket. The northeast
wind still blew, but fresh and cool from the sea, and hardly a cloud
floated in the sky. We drove often out to the open beach where the
surf came in gloriously, and the great mountain island of Sibullian,
away to the north, hung half cloud, half land in the sky.

Christmas was near at hand, and we began to think of turkey and
other essentials. Presents to home folk had to be mailed early in
November, and after that an apathy came on us. Thanks to Mrs. C----,
the energetic wife of a military man of private fortune, Christmas
was destined to wear, after all, an Anglo-Saxon hue.

The Filipinos do not understand Santa Claus or the Christmas Tree. The
giving of presents is by no means a universal custom of theirs,
and such as are given are given on the festival of _Tres Reyes_, or
The Three Kings, some six or eight days after Christmas. Mrs. C----
decided to give a Christmas festival to certain Filipino children,
and she actually managed to disinter, from the Chinese shops, a box
of tiny candles, and the little devices for fastening them to the
tree. No Christmas pine could be found, but she got a lemon tree,
glossy of foliage. With the candles and strings of popcorn and colored
paper flowers, this was converted into quite the natural article. She
invited several of us to dinner on Christmas Eve, and we went early
to see the celebration.

By half-past six o'clock, when the tropical dusk had closed down, the
little guests began to arrive, each in charge of a servant. There were
twenty-five twinkling, berry-eyed babelets with their satiny black down
hanging like bangs over their eyes, and their tubby little stomachs
covered with fine garments and bound about with gorgeous sashes. They
squatted on their little heels and sucked their little thumbs, and
waited in wondering patience for this strange mystery to occur. As many
American children would have made the air noisy for a block around.

The windows of the house were thrown wide open, and the sliding doors
which pull back all around the base boards were open too, so that
the whole interior was visible from the street below. There a great
crowd had gathered, men, women, and children, beggars, and many of
the elder brothers and sisters of the favored guests within. Nearly
every child was displaying a toy that seems to be the special evidence
of Christmas in the Philippines--some sort of animal made of tissue
paper and mounted on wheels. It is lighted within like a paper lantern,
and can be dragged about. Great is the pride in these transparencies,
and great the ambition displayed in the construction. Pigs, dogs, cats,
birds, elephants, and tigers, of most weird and imposing proportions
they are, and no few feuds and jealousies grew out of their possession.

When the coverings were drawn off the tree, and the candles were
lighted, the crowd in the street waxed quite vociferous, but
the babies merely uttered little ecstatic sighs. They took their
presents and turned the toys over gravely, and sucked gingerly at the
sweets. Then one by one they marched out to join their relatives and
the transparencies.

We had a good dinner and drank to the homeland and a merry
Christmas. Afterwards Captain C---- leaned out of the window and cried
to us to look at the snow. The moon was just overhead, ringed round
with a field of cirrus clouds. They were piled one on top of another,
glistening and cool, with the sheen of real snow by moonlight. I have
never seen such an effect in our own land, and only once subsequently
here.

There was a ball that night, and we were all going. While we were at
dinner, the waits came in and sang in the hallway just as in merry
England they sing under the window. But if the English waits sing
as badly as the Filipino ones, then the poetry of the wait songs is
gone from me forever. These of ours were provided with tambourines,
and they sang an old Latin chant with such throaty voices that it
sounded as if the tones were being dragged out by the roots.

By half-past nine the local band, or one of them--for most Filipino
towns rejoice in half a dozen--came round to escort us to the
hall. This attention was, as President Harper always declared of the
many donations to the University of Chicago, "utterly unsolicited on
our part," and was the result of a hope of largesse, and of a high
Filipino conception of doing honor to the stranger. Preceded by the
band and surrounded by a motley assembly of several hundred people,
the children dragging their transparencies with them, we strolled up
the quarter of a mile of street intervening between the Lieutenant
and Mrs. C----'s house and the Filipino mansion where the ball was
held. When we entered, the guests all rose to do us honor, and shortly
thereafter the rigadon was called.

The ball differed little in its essential features from other balls,
save that, owing to its being Christmas Eve, the Filipino men,
in accordance with some local tradition, discarded the usual black
evening dress, and wore white trousers, high-colored undershirts, and
camisas, or outside Chino shirts, of gauzy piña or _sinamay_. This is
the ordinary garb of a workingman, and corresponds to the national
or peasant costume of European countries; and its use signifies a
tribute to nationality.

At midnight the church bells began to toll, and the three or four
hundred ball guests adjourned _en masse_ to the church. This building
is larger than any I can remember in America, except the churches
of Chicago and New York, and was packed with a dense throng. It was
lighted with perhaps two thousand candles, and was decked from lantern
to chapel with newly made paper flowers. The high altar had a front
of solid silver, and the great silver candlesticks were glistening
in the light.

The usual choir of men had given place to the waits with their
tambourines, though the pipe organ was occasionally used. The mass
was long and tedious, and I was chiefly interested in what I think
was intended to represent the Star of Bethlehem. This was a great
five-pointed star of red and yellow tissue paper, with a tail like a
comet. It was ingeniously fastened to a pulley on a wire which extended
from a niche directly behind the high altar to the organ loft at the
rear of the church. The star made schedule trips between the altar
and the loft, running over our heads with a dolorous rattle. The
gentleman who moved the mechanism was a sacristan in red cotton
drawers and a lace cassock, who sat in full view in the niche behind
the high altar. There seemed to be a spirited rivalry between him and
the tambourine artists as to which could contribute the most noise,
and I think a fair judge would have granted it a drawn battle.

Mass was over at one, and we went back to our ball, and the supper
which was awaiting us. I shall speak hereafter of feasts, so will give
no time to this particular one. Dancing was resumed by half-past two,
and shortly afterwards I gave up and went home. Sleep was about to
visit my weary eyelids when that outrageous band swept by, welcoming
the dawn by what it fancied was patriotic music--"There'll be a Hot
Time," "Just One Girl," "After the Ball," etc. It passed, and I was
once more yielding to slumber, when the church bells began, and some
enterprising Chinese let off fire crackers. I gave up the attempt
to rest, and rose and dressed. Then the sacristan from the church
appeared in his scarlet trousers and cassock. He carried a silver
dish, which looked like a card receiver surmounted by a Maltese cross
and a bell. The sacristan rang this bell, which was most melodious,
went down on one knee, and I deposited a peso in the dish. He uttered
a benediction and disappeared. After him came the procession of common
people, adults and children, shyly uttering their _Buenas Pascuas_. We
had, forewarned by the sagacious Romoldo, laid in a store of candy,
cigarettes, cakes, and wine. So to the children a sweet, and to the
parents a cigarette and a drink of wine,--thus was our Christmas cheer
dispensed. Later we ate our Christmas dinner with chicken in lieu of
turkey, and cranberry sauce and plum pudding from the commissary. The
Filipinos honored the day by decorating their house-fronts with flags
and bunting, and at night by illuminating them with candles in glass
shades stuck along the window sills.

The church in the provinces is at once the place of worship, the
theatre, the dispenser of music and art, the place where rich and
poor meet, if not on the plane of equality, in relations that bridge
the gulf of material prosperity with the dignity of their common faith.

So far as the provincial Filipino conceives of palaces and
architectural triumphs, the conception takes the form of a
church. There are no art galleries, no palaces, no magnificent public
buildings in the Philippines, but there are hundreds of beautiful
churches, of Byzantine and Early Renaissance architecture. You may
find them in the coast towns and sometimes even in the mountainous
interior, their simple and beautiful lines facing the plaza, their
interiors rich with black and white tiling and with colored glass. The
silver facings of the altars and their melodious bell chimes are the
most patent links which bind the Philippines to an older civilization.

As far as he has ever come in contact with beautiful music, the
provincial Filipino has met it in the church. Nearly every one boasts
its pipe organ imported from Europe, and in the choir lofts you may
find the great vellum-leaved folios of manuscript music, with their
three-cornered, square, and diamond-shaped notes. They know little
of the masses of Mozart, Gounod, or more modern composers, but they
know the Gregorian chants, and the later compositions of the Middle
Ages. Often badly rendered--for nowhere are voices more misused than
in the Philippines,--their music is nevertheless grand and inspiring.

On the walls of churches and conventos too are found pictures in
oil, often gloomy, full of tortures and death, as Spanish paintings
incline to be, yet essentially true art--pictures which it is to be
hoped will survive the inundation of American commercial energy. The
extract-of-beef advertisements and the varied "girls" of all pursuits
have found their way into the Philippines; and the Filipino, to our
sorrow be it said, takes kindly to them.

So far as the Filipino knows pageantry, it is the pageantry of the
Church. He knows no civic processions, no industrial pomp, such as
exploits itself in the Mardi Gras at New Orleans, or the Veiled Prophet
of St. Louis. He is even a stranger to the torchlight procession of
politics, and the military displays of our civil holidays. Neither
the Masons, nor the Knights Templars, nor the Knights of Pythias,
nor the Ancient Order of Hibernians, with their plumes and banners,
have any perceptible foothold in the Philippines. But in Holy Week and
certain other great festival or penitential seasons of the Church, the
great religious processions take place--floats sheathed in bunting
and decked with innumerable candles in crystal shades, carrying
either the altar of the Virgin or some of the many groups of figures
picturing events in the life and passion of the Saviour. Almost every
provincial family of wealth owns one of these cars, and the wooden
figures surmounted by wax heads, which constitute the group. At the
proper seasons the figures are clothed in gorgeous raiment decked
with jewels, and the car is put at the service of the Church for use
in the procession. The floats are placed about a hundred yards apart,
and between them the people form in two parallel lines, one on each
side of the street, every person carrying a lighted candle. When there
are twenty or thirty floats, and half as many bands, the glitter and
brilliancy of it all strikes even our satiated minds. What must it
be to the untravelled child of the soil?

When the Filipinos win a fight or an election, or fall heirs to
any particular luck, they do not express their enthusiasm as we do
in fire crackers, noise, and trades processions. They go sedately
to church and sing the Te Deum. And as we enjoy the theatre, not
merely for the play, but for the audience and its suggestions of a
people who have put care behind them and have met to exhibit their
material prosperity in silks and jewels, so do the Filipinos enjoy
the splendor of the congregation on feast days. The women are robed
as for balls in silken skirts of every hue--azure, rose, apple-green,
violet, and orange. Their filmy camisas and pañuelos are painted in
sprays of blossoms or embroidered in silks and seed pearls. On their
gold-columned necks are diamond necklaces, and ropes of pearls half
as big as bird's eggs; while the black lace mantillas are fastened
to their dusky heads by jewelled birds, and butterflies of emeralds,
sapphires, and diamonds.

The first time I went to church in Capiz and looked down from the choir
loft on the congregation, I could think of nothing but a kaleidoscope,
and the colored motes that fall continually into new forms and
shapes. When the results of the war had made themselves felt, and
the cholera had ravaged the province, this variety of color was lost,
and the congregation appeared a veritable house of mourning. This was
not, however, due to the appalling mortality, but to the Filipinos'
punctilious habit of putting on mourning. When death visits a family,
rich or poor, even the most distant relatives go into mourning,
and they cling to it for the required time.

If the reader will take into consideration all that I have said about
the part played by the Church in Filipino life, and at the same
time consider their insular isolation, their lack of familiarity
either through literature or travel with other civilizations,
he will readily perceive that religion means a totally different
thing in the Philippines from what it does in America, even in Roman
Catholic America.

To the complacent Protestant evangelist who smacks his lips in
anticipation of the future conquest of these Islands, I would
say frankly that there is no room for Protestantism in the
Philippines. The introspective quality which is inherent in true
Protestantism is not in the Filipino temperament. Neither are the vein
of simplicity and the dogmatic spirit which made the strength of the
Reformation. Protestantism will, of course, make some progress so long
as the fire is artificially fanned. There will always be found a few
who cling ardently to it. But most Americans with whom I have talked
(and their name is legion) have agreed with me in thinking that it
will never be strong here.

The attitude of the Filipino Catholic is at once tolerant
and positive. It is positive because without any research into
theological disputes the ordinary Filipino is emotionally loyal to
his Church and satisfied with the very positive promises which that
Church gives him. It ministers not only to his spiritual but to his
material needs on earth, and it promises him in no circumlocutory
terms salvation or damnation. It either gives him or denies him
absolution. He believes in it with the implicit faith of one who
has never investigated. On the other hand, he is tolerant with the
tolerance of one who has in his blood none of the acrimony begotten
by an ancestry alternately conquerors and victims through their
faith. The Filipino Catholic is far more tolerant than the Irish or
German Catholic. But the Philippines have known no battle of the Boyne,
no Thirty Years' War. When the abuses of the friars here led to revolt
and insurrection, the ultimate outcome of the struggle would have
been probably a religious secession from Rome, as well as political
severance from Spain, had not the accident of the Spanish-American
War precipitated us upon the scene, and settled the matter by the
immediate expulsion of the Spanish Government. The only real point of
infection left to create a sore in the new body Filipino--the friar
lands--was fortunately so treated by Secretary Taft that it ceased
to menace the State or threaten to mingle religion with government.

The Filipinos are tolerant of Protestantism because to them it is
still a purely religious and not a civil influence. They have not
killed or been killed for religion; for it they have not burnt the
homes of others, nor seen their own roof trees blaze; they have not
gained power or office through religion; they have neither won nor
lost elections through it. They have the same tolerance in religious
matters that they have in regard to the Copernican Theory or Kepler's
Laws. Religion, as pure religion, unrelated to land or land titles,
property or office, is no more the source of party animosity to them
than to us. Secretary Taft was wise enough to see that, and eliminated
the cause that threatened to make religion a vital question.

But if religion is not consciously vital to the Filipinos, as they
themselves would conceive and act on it (and I make the assertion in
the assumption that the reader understands as I do by _consciously
vital_ that for which the individual or the race is willing to die
singly or collectively), the unprejudiced observer must admit that
it is vital to their ultimate evolution, vital in just the sense that
any function is vital to one who is in need of it. As I said before,
they are not essentially a religious people; but the early Spanish
discoverers prescribed religion as a doctor prescribes a missing
ingredient in the food of an invalid, and the Filipinos have benefited
thereby, Roman Catholicism is just what the Filipino needs. He has no
zest for morbid introspection, he does not feel the need of bearing
testimony to cosmic truth, and in his lack of feeling that need is just
as helpless as the man whose system cannot manufacture the necessary
amount of digestive juices or red blood corpuscles; he is an invalid,
who must be supplied artificially with what his system lacks.

I am quite sure that the Catholic clergy, as represented by
the American Archbishop, bishops, and priests, are certain that
Protestantism holds no threats for the Church in the Philippines
other than that it may be the opening wedge in a schism which will
send the Filipino not only out of the Church, but to rationalism of
the most Voltairian hue. When danger really threatens the Church in
the Philippines, it will be no half-way danger. The Filipino will be
orthodox as he is now, formally, positively orthodox, or he will be
cynically heterodox. As God made him, he might in time have arrived
at the philosophy of Omar, "Drink, for ye know not why or when,"
or the identical philosophy of Epicurus, "Let us eat and drink,
for to-morrow we die." But the Church found him, and recognizing his
peculiarities artfully substituted her own phrase, "Eat and drink in
peace, for to-morrow you die in the full knowledge that pertains to
your salvation." Let no proselyting evangelist delude himself with the
idea that the Filipino has the mental bias which leads him to think,
"Let me neither eat nor drink till I know whence I came and whither
I go." That is the spirit of true Protestantism, which discovers a
new light on faith every decade and still is seeking, seeking for
the perfect light.

But if the Church in the Philippines is in no real danger from
Protestantism, it is in more or less imminent danger from two
sources--the necessity for reform in the Church itself, and the
growing national sense of the Filipinos, which leads them to demand
their own clergy, and to resent to the point of secession a too firm
hold by the new American clergy.



CHAPTER XVI

My Gold-Hunting Expedition

Word of an Abandoned Gold Mine near Manila--I Arise Before Three
A.M. and Find the Town Asleep--Our Trip down the River--Scenery and
Sights by the Way--Three Buffaloes Are Brought to Drag Us over the
Mud--Digging for Gold--I Fail As an Overseer of Diggers--Results of
the Digging Unsatisfactory--The Homeward Trip.


After Christmas we settled down to humdrum work, and barring my
gold-hunting experience there was little to relieve the daily monotony
of existence. I wrote an account of the gold-hunting expedition as one
of a series of newspaper articles published in _The Manila Times_,
With the consent of the editors, I now transcribe it bodily here,
for, without any gleam of romance or adventure, the experience was
one typical of the land and of our life here, which I believe the
generous reader will be willing to accept without any attempt on my
part to embellish it with excitement and lurid writing.

Our Supervisor had gotten hold of a legend of an abandoned mine
in a mountain some four or five miles from town. According to the
native story, half a century or more before this period the mine was
worked, and considerable quantities of gold were taken out of it. But
dissensions arose between the _barrios_ that supplied the labor, and
finally the native priests ordered the shaft to be filled and closed,
and all work to cease, lest it bring a curse upon the people. They
obeyed, and the mining interests thereabouts fell into oblivion.

The Supervisor had, with native assistance, located the spot, and
made a few crude washings in which he found "color." Then he came
back to make a sluice box, and, together with a young lieutenant of
constabulary, intended to pass the Sabbath day in further investigation
of the mine's possibilities.

The occasion was too tempting. I promptly laid siege to the
Supervisor's wife, pleading that she induce her liege to let us
accompany him. As he was good-natured and the trip was short and easy,
he consented. We were to leave town in a _baroto_ at three A.M. to
get the benefit of the tide. At half-past nine the night before, the
lunch basket containing my contribution to the commissary department
was packed and suspended from the ceiling by a rope, protected by
a petroleum-soaked rag, and I went to bed to dream of gold mines,
country houses, yachts, and European travel. It was ten minutes to
three when I scrambled out in a great fright lest I should be late
and keep the others waiting. I lighted the alcohol lamp to boil the
coffee, and flew into my garments. But I dressed and ate and still
they came not. So I poked my head out of the window into the sad
radiance of a setting moon.

It was a town sleeping peacefully, and yet with every hint of warlike
preparation that scattered itself along the river. In front of the
officers' quarters a sentry clanked up and down the pavement. From
the military jail came a sound of voices and the creaking of benches,
as the guard turned on the hard bamboo seats, mingled also with a
steady tramp. More sentries could be seen across the river, where the
troop barracks loomed up and almost hid the hills which gloomed over
the town. The bridge was in shadow, but now and then a tall figure,
gun on shoulder, emerged at its farthest end into a pale little dash
of moonlight. The lanterns which the Filipinos hang out ol their
front windows in lieu of street lamps burned spectrally, because they
were clogged with lamp black. And the brooding and hush of night were
disturbed only by the rhythmic footfalls, or by the occasional slap
of a wave against the bridge rests, or by a long shrill police whistle
which told that the municipal police were awake and complying with the
regulation to blow their whistles at stated intervals for the purpose
of testifying to the same. It was all full of charm and suggestion,
singularly like and singularly unlike an American village under the
same conditions of light and temperature.

The moon sank so low that the mists caught it and turned its sheen
into a surly red. Presently a sentry challenged up by the jail, and
then the glint of white clothing grew distinct. I unhooked the lunch
basket and prowled my way out of the house, seeking to disturb nobody
and feeling quite adventurous.

Our baroto with six native oarsmen was waiting at the stone stairway
in the shadow of the bridge, and as the tide was beginning to turn we
lost no time in bestowing ourselves and our provisions. The middle
of the baroto, for a distance of about six feet, was floored and
canopied. Mr. L---- took the far corner, his wife pushed herself
and a couple of pillows up against him; then I braced myself and my
pillows against her; and the unfortunate lieutenant fell heir to the
fate of an obliging young gentleman and was stowed away at the end,
supported (or incommoded) by the lunch baskets and an unsympathetic
soap-box filled with water bottles. The men unslung their revolvers,
and we disposed ourselves so as to secure a proper equilibrium to
our tippy craft, and were off.

We slipped down the river, aided by the tide, and in a few minutes
were far away from the last house, the last gleam of light, and
the least sound of human life. Save for the soft dip of oars, not a
sound broke the night. Yet it was not silence so much as the sense of
deep respiration, as if the earth slept and sent up an invocation to
the watching heavens. The banks were thickly weeded at the water's
edge with nipa, and behind that were knolls of bamboo with here
and there a gnarled and tortured tree shape silhouetted against the
faint sky. Occasionally we came to a convention of fireflies in that
tree which they so much affect, the name of which is unknown to me,
but which in size and outline resembles a wild cherry. Millions of
them starred its branches, and in the surrounding gloom it winked
and sparkled like a fairy Christmas tree.

We talked little, and were content to drink in the silence and the
strangeness, till by and by the wind fell cooler and we knew the dawn
was at hand. It seemed to come suddenly, bursting out of the east in
a white glare, without the pearly tints and soft gray lights that
mark our northern day births. Then the white glare changed to red,
to a crimson glow that painted the world with its glory, and dying,
left little nebulous masses floating in the azure, tinted with pink,
gold, and purple.

With the first touch of light we turned out of the main river,
which was now a broad estuary as it neared the sea, and fled down a
water lane not over fifteen or twenty feet wide, absolutely walled
with impenetrable nipa growths. From this we emerged just as the day
played its last spectacular effects, and found ourselves in a deep
oval indentation, glassy as an inland lake, whose bosom caught the
changing cloud tints like a mirror, and whose deep cool green borders
were alive with myriads of delighted birds, skimming, chattering,
calling. Half a mile away, at its farther end, the surf leaped frothily
over a bar, and beyond that the open sea tumbled and flashed in the
first sun-rays. It was idyllic--and on our left a mere stone's throw,
it seemed, behind the embowering forest, the mountain of our quest
thrust a treeless, grassy shoulder into the blue.

Mr. L----, however, warned us that our way was still long and
circuitous. We crossed the lagoon and went wandering off down a green,
silent waterway which rejoiced in the appellation of "kut-i-kut" and
proved itself unworthy of the same. The tide was going out rapidly,
and the water mark oh the tree trunks was growing high. Sometimes we
met a baroto on its way to market with a cargo of three chickens,
five cocoanuts, two bunches of bananas, one head of the family,
four children, and several women unaccounted for. The freight was
heaped at one end, and the passengers all squatted in that perfect,
uncommunicative equilibrium which a Filipino can maintain for hours
at a time. Sometimes we came out where there were almost a hundred
square yards of ground and two or three houses and the stir of morning
life. Ladies with a single garment looped under their arm pits were
pouring water over themselves from cocoanut shells, and whole colonies
of game-cocks were tethered out on the end of three feet of twine,
cursing each other and challenging each other to fights. The male
population almost to a man was engaged in the process of stroking the
legs of these jewels, to make them strong, and some of the children
were helping.

As a rule, our advent generally disturbed these morning devotions, for
American women were still comparatively new and few in the province at
that time. A shout, "Americanas!" usually brought the whole village
to the waterside, where they bowed and smiled and stared, proffering
hospitality, and exchanging repartee with the lieutenant, who used
the vernacular.

Meanwhile the tide went out and out, and we sank lower and lower in
kut-i-kut till we were in a slimy ditch with four feet of bank on
each side. The turns and twists grew narrower, and the difficulty of
steering our long baroto around these grew greater. The men got but
and waded, pushing the baroto lightly over the soft ooze. But finally
this failed. It was eight o'clock, the sun climbing higher and burning
fiercer, when we stuck ignominiously in the mud of kut-i-kut.

After a short consultation the lieutenant sighed, cast a glance at the
mud and his clean leather puttees, then went overboard, taking a man
with him. They disappeared in the nipa swamps, but came back in half
an hour with three carabaos, their owners, and an army of volunteers.

Our motive power, being hitched tandem, now extended round a couple of
bends, and there ensued the wildest confusion in an endeavor to get
them all started at the same time. Apparently it couldn't be done,
and we wasted a half-hour, in which every native in the swamp seemed
to be giving orders, and the overwhelming desire of the carabaos was
to swarm up the bank and get out, without regard to the effect on the
baroto. The lieutenant had come aboard and was sitting on the high
prow dangling his muddy leggins ahead. To him Mr. L---- in disgust
suggested that the _taos_ were making little real effort and that he
"stir 'em up," Soothe lieutenant drew his revolver and at a season
of discord aimed it carefully in the high distance and fired.

The effect on the humans was just what he desired, but he did not allow
for the nervousness of the carabaos on hearing a revolver shot in a
locality where it is distinctly not native. The unanimity thait had
so long been sought swept like an epidemic into our lumbering steeds,
and our baroto started ahead with a firmness of purpose that sent the
author of this book flying into the mud, and bumped us all up most
gloriously as we lunged round the corner. The good work once begun
was not allowed to fall slack, however. The lieutenant caught up and
climbed aboard, and we swept through the three miles of kut-i-kut
in a wild cavalcade, rolling like a ship in a storm. At its end we
struck upon water, and parted from our long-horned _ayudantes_.

A short row up a narrowing stream brought us to the place of
disembarkation, an open grassy field which swept down from a cleft
between the mountains. We walked across this till we came to a
brook purling out of cool green shadows, and after following it in
a rather stiff climb for about forty-five minutes, came to the scene
of investigation.

There, the week before, the men had built a dam, and had thrown a
rough framework and shelter across the bed of the stream. This they now
covered with freshly cut boughs and leaves, and Mrs. L---- and I were
only too glad to spread our pillows and lie down for a few minutes in
the cool shade with the water bubbling and murmuring underneath. I was
pretty well done with the heat and the unaccustomed exercise, but was
soon rested and helped to make the coffee. That was a good meal, spiced
with waiting, and immediately after we went at the business at hand.

The men set up the sluice box, which the _taos_ had brought along
with labor and disgust, and giving me a revolver, commissioned me to
see that the excavating department kept busy. So I sat on the edge
of a twenty-foot bank clasping the Colt, and hanging my feet into
vacancy. I hadn't felt so close to childhood for many a long year.

For an hour or so all went well, and the cheerful _tao_ dug and delved
and carried without murmur. Then his diligence subsided and there
was a talk of "siesta." Somebody down at the sluice box shouted,
"Keep busy up there"; so, after one or two efforts to hurry up our
minions, I pointed the pistol carefully into the ground and fired. They
all jumped prodigiously and looked around. But I couldn't play the
part. I didn't look stern, and I simply sat there grinning fatuously
with the sense of my own valor, whereupon the _taos_ burst into a
shout of laughter and seemed to think a bond of friendship had been
established between us. They got lazier and lazier and smiled at
me more and more openly, and made what I judged to be remarks about
my personal appearance. So at another convenient opportunity I let
off another shot, which was a worse fizzle than the first. One old
fellow whose back was glistening with sweat turned and winked at me,
and another pretended to hunt for imaginary wounds.

Recognizing that I was an ignominious failure in the public works
department, I left it to manage itself and strolled over to add my
inexperience and ignorance to the sluicing agency.

Mrs. L---- had anticipated me and was already advising the willing
workers when I appeared. On the whole, they were pretty patient about
it all, and let us ask innumerable questions and make suggestions
(which, however, they never observed) _ad libitum_.

But however little I knew about gold-mining, I have shared one thing
with the real prospector--the eager, fascinated, breathless suspense
of staring into a fold of blanket for "color." When we really saw a
vagrant glint here and there, what delight!--delight easily quenched
by Mr. L----, however, who declared the yield too small for a paying
basis.

All that hot summer day, we dug and washed and watched, but with
unsatisfactory results. In the long-shadowed afternoon we packed
traps and set off down the valley. The egrets, camping by dozens on
feeding carabao, flapped away as we approached; we found our baroto
as we had left it, rising gently on the incoming tide in the shade
of a clump of bamboo.

The homeward journey, if not one of resignation to the will of
Providence, had its compensation in the loveliness of afternoon lights
and the cool, peaceful silence of the forests. We avoided the insidious
snares of kut-i-kut, but found our lagoon just bestowed for the night,
snug, glassy, with the dusk creeping on and on. Thence we passed
into the open sea, were cradled gently into our own bay, and saw the
coastguard station at the inlet send ruddy gleams across the water,
beneath the lowering form of the hill. Once in the river, we fairly
flew along, bathed in moonlight. We neared home, heard bands playing
in the distance, and, with sudden remembrance that it was a native
fiesta, turned the bend and saw a fairy city aglow with lanterns,
where eighteen hours before had been silence and stealth. All the
craft in the river were hung with multicolored lights, and the people
were out promenading, while a crowd of school children, sitting on
the river bank, were singing "Old Kentucky Home" in four parts.

It was a happy day, one of those photographic experiences to be
treasured forever, but the dream of yachts and country houses never
has become a reality. If an energetic prospector wishes to try, he
will find in a cleft between two tall mountains an abandoned shaft and
the remains of a dam spanning a mountain stream. But let him not taste
of the babbling water. I did, and put in six weeks of illness therefor.



CHAPTER XVII

An Unpleasant Vacation

The Inspector's Nightly Bonfires--Our Vacation in Manila and in
Quarantine--After Our Return to Capiz Cholera Breaks Out--Record of
Our Experiences During the Epidemic.


School closed in March, and Miss C---- and I decided to spend our
vacation in Manila. We were to leave Capiz on the small army transport
_Indianapolis_ and go to Iloilo, thence by the _Compania Maritima's_
boat to Manila.

The _Indianapolis_ was carrying an inspector around the island,
which gave us a four days' trip to Iloilo. The sea was perfectly
smooth and the nights brilliant moonlight. We ran from town to town
wherever a military detachment was stationed, and the inspector went
ashore and inspected. This rite usually culminated in a huge bonfire
on the beach, in which old stoves, chairs, harnesses, bath towels, and
typewriters were indiscriminately heaped. I remarked once with civilian
density that this seemed a most extravagant custom. If the army did
not want these things longer, why not let them fall into the hands
of others who could patch them up and make use of them? The captain
of the transport explained to me that all condemned articles must be
irretrievably destroyed to prevent fraud in subsequent quartermasters'
accounts. For example, if a quartermaster has a condemned stove which
is not destroyed, he can sell a perfectly new stove, and on the next
visit of the inspector present again the condemned article to be
recondemned, and continue to follow this practice till he has robbed
the Government of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course it was
plain enough after the explanation, and I wondered at my stupidity.

Our four days' trip around the island was uneventful save for the
nightly bonfires of the inspector. Once at San Joaquin a fine military
band came down to the beach and played for an hour in the silver
moonlight. I enjoyed immensely the music, the bonfire (which was
burning enthusiastically), the wonderful light, the tranquil expanse
of the China Sea, and the delicate spire of the village church,
rising in the ethereal distance from glinting palm fronds. Nothing
is more beautiful than the glisten of moonlight on palms.

Arrived at Iloilo, I was taken ill almost immediately with the
prevailing tropical evil, dysentery, presumably the result of drinking
spring water on the gold hunt. At the same time there came down the
report that cholera was epidemic in Manila. Nevertheless, when I was
able to travel, to Manila I went, and there loathed myself, for it was
blistering hot. I was staying at a hotel in the Walled City, and the
great yellow placards announcing cholera were to be found on houses
of almost all streets in the vicinity. But when I was ready to leave,
the full evil of a cholera epidemic made itself apparent. There was
no getting out of Manila without putting in five days' quarantine in
the bay.

We went aboard on the twenty-seventh of May. The steamer pulled out
into the bay and dropped anchor. We were paying five pesos a day
subsistence during this detention, and yet we were supplied with no
ice and no fresh meat. We consumed the inevitable goat, chicken,
and garbanzos, the cheese, bananas, and guava jelly, and the same
lukewarm coffee and lady-fingers for breakfast. Owing to the heat,
and the lack of fans, the staterooms were practically impossible,
and everybody slept on deck either on a steamer chair or on an army
cot. The men took one side of the deck, and the women the other. By
day we yawned, slept, read, perspired, and looked longingly out at
Manila dozing in the heat haze. There were several Englishmen aboard,
and they were supplied with a spirit kettle, a package of tea, some
tins of biscuits, and an apparently inexhaustible supply of Cadbury's
sweets, which they dispensed generously every afternoon. They had
also a ping-pong outfit, and played.

Every day the doctor's launch came out to see that none of us had
escaped or developed cholera, and it brought us mail. Decoration
Day was heralded by the big guns from Fort Santiago and the fleet at
Cavite, and as I recalled all the other Decoration Days of my memory,
the unnaturalness of a Decoration Day in the Philippines became more
and more apparent.

Our quarantine was up on Sunday morning, but at the eleventh hour it
was noised about that we should not leave, because a lorcha which
we had to tow had failed to get her clearance papers. Our spirits
descended into abysmal infinity. We felt that we could not endure
another twenty-four hours of inaction.

The lorcha was a dismasted hull, no more, with a Filipino family and
one or two men aboard to steer. We had a Scotch engineer who might
have been the original of Kipling's McFee. I spoke to him about the
rumor as he leaned over the side staring at the lorcha, and he gave
vent to his feelings in a description of the general appearance of the
lorcha in language too technically nautical for me to transcribe. At
the end he waxed mildly profane, and threatened to "pull the dom nose
out of her" when once he got her outside of Corregidor.

The rumor proved a _canard_, however, and we lined up at eleven
o'clock, while the doctor counted us to see that we were all alive
and well. Then up anchor and away, with the breeze born of motion
cooling off the ship.

The engineer was not able to keep his dire threat about the lorcha's
nose, but it is only just to say that he tried to. We met a heavy sea
outside of Corregidor, and never have I seen anything more dizzy and
drunken and pathetic than the rolls and heaves of the lorcha.

At Iloilo we met the army transport _McClellan_, and continued our
voyage upon her to Capiz. We bade farewell to her with regret, and
consumed in an anticipatory passion of renunciation our last meal with
ice water, fresh butter, and fresh beef. The _McClellan_ took away the
troops of the Sixth Infantry and the Tenth Cavalry, and left us, in
their stead, a detachment of the Ninth Cavalry, which remained perhaps
two months, and was then stationed at Iloilo, leaving us with nothing
but a troop of native _voluntarios_, or scouts, officered by Americans,
and a small detachment of native constabulary. We had barely accustomed
ourselves to this, and ceased to predict insurrection and massacre,
when the cholera, which we had hoped to avoid, descended upon us.

I am sorry that I can relate no deeds of personal heroism or of
self-sacrifice in the epidemic. There didn't seem to be any place
for them, and I am not certain that I knew how to be heroic and
self-sacrificing. I was not, however, so nervous about the cholera
as some Americans were, and I like to convince myself that if any
of my friends had sickened with it and needed me, I should have gone
unhesitatingly and nursed them. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the
proof of my valor) this was not the case. The scourge stayed with
us between two and three months. The highest mortality was between
a hundred and a hundred and fifty deaths a day, and by its ravages
Capiz was reduced from a first-class city of twenty-five thousand
inhabitants to a second-class city of less than twenty thousand. I
kept a brief record, however, of our experiences during that time,
and once again, by permission of _The Times_, insert them here.

_September 8._ Miss P----, Dr. B----, and I were out for a long
walk this afternoon. They left me at my door just as Mrs. L---- and
Mrs. T---- drove up in the latter's victoria. Both ladies were much
excited by the news that a parao had landed at the playa with one
dead man and a case of cholera still living. The other people of the
parao had scattered before the health officers got hold of the matter.

_September 9._ The story about the parao has been confirmed. We had
hoped to escape the epidemic, but are in for it now, for certain.

_September 10._ It is rumored that two cases of cholera developed
yesterday. Dr. B---- denies it, says they are nothing but acute
dysentery. Dr. S---- thinks they are cholera.

_September 11._ Whatever this illness be, it kills people in a very
short time. A little public-school boy was taken sick last night,
and died in three or four hours. Natives are terribly frightened,
and we Americans are far from comfortable.

_September 12._ Several more deaths. Dr. S---- says cholera. Dr. B----
says if there has been a case of cholera in town he will eat his
hat. They are making every effort to find out what it is, but the
bacillus is shy, and refuses to respond to the searchings of the
microscope.

_September 13._ Cholera increasing. Dr. B---- has given in at
last. A scout died, and they made an examination of the stomach and
bowels. Found the bacillus. Dr. B---- says if I will come around to
the hospital, he will show me one.

_September 14._ Have seen the comma bacillus. It is certainly an
insignificant microbe to be raising so much trouble. Got hold of
a report from the Board of Health, saying that, if the epidemic
grew worse, the public school buildings should be converted into
hospitals. Took it over to the Deputy Division Superintendent to
protest. Schoolhouses are scarce here. Cannot afford to infect them.

_September 15._ The schools are closed to-day, the number of deaths
having passed ten _per diem_. As I am the only householder, the other
teachers are to have their meals with me till the epidemic is over.

_September 16._ The house smells to high heaven! The provincial
Supervisor came in this morning with a quart of crude carbolic acid,
about half a bushel of chloride of lime, and a lot of camphor. I
immediately put the camphor in my trunks, having wanted some for
quite a little time, and devoted the rest of the stuff to its proper
uses. Put the lime over the stone flagging below, with a large heap at
the foot of the stairs, so that everybody coming in must walk through
it. The floors and stairs are frightfully tramped up. Ciriaco, much to
his disgust, had to wash off all the furniture with _agua finecada_
(diluted carbolic acid). Bought a new kettle in which to boil the
drinking-water. Bought yards and yards of new tea towelling, and gave
orders that, after being once used, the dish towel is to be boiled
before using again.

_September 18._ Dr. S---- says get nothing out of the market. Dr. B----
says he eats cucumbers three times a day. What the doctor can risk
surely the layman can chance. I buy cucumbers still. On being brought
into the house they are washed in diluted carbolic acid, and rinsed
in boiled rain water. Then the servant washes her hands in bichloride
solution, peels the cucumber, slices it and lets it stand in vinegar
till meal time. Dr. B---- says the vinegar is sure death to the
shy bacillus.

_September 19._ All the change is deposited in _agua finecada_ when the
servant comes in from market. What could we do without cucumbers? How
weary we are of the canned stuff from the commissary! It is rumored
that Dr. S---- and wife will not eat butter, because it must stand
too long. Mrs. S---- bakes her own bread, and, it is reported,
locks her cook up at night for fear he may escape and visit among
his kindred. He is not allowed to leave the premises by day.

Miss P---- tells me that at Mrs. T----'s the visitor is requested to
scrape his feet in the chloride of lime at the foot of the stairs, and,
on arriving at the top, is presented with a bowl of _agua finecada_,
wherein to wash his hands. The towel has been boiled, and, of course,
a fresh one is provided for each person. This is not so extravagant as
it sounds. We Americans are few in number, and do but little visiting
these days.

_October 3._ Saw four cholera patients carried past to-day. The
new cholera hospital is now open, and a credit to the town. Deaths
average about fifty per day. The town is unutterably sad. Houses are
closed at dusk, and not a gleam of light shines forth where there
used to issue laughter and song. The church, which used to resemble a
kaleidoscope with the bright-hued raiment of the women, is now filled
with kneeling figures in black. So far, the sickness has not touched
the _principales_. Only the poor people are dying. There is a San
Roque procession every night. Fifty or a hundred natives get a lot
of transparencies and parade in front of the altars of the Virgin and
San Roque. A detachment of the church choir accompanies, caterwauling
abominably. It is all weird and barbaric and revolting--especially
the "principal" in a dress suit, who pays the expenses, and, with a
candle three feet long, paces between the two altars. I always set
three or four candles in my windows, which seems to please the people.

_October 6._ Mr. S----, being a member of the Board of Health, has
been engaged in inspecting wells. The natives are now saying that he
poisoned them. He is indignant, and we are all a little uneasy. We are
a handful of Americans--fifteen at the most. We have little confidence
in the native scouts, though their officers insist on their loyalty. We
are twenty-four hours from Iloilo by steamer, and forty-eight from
Manila, and are without a launch at this port. In case of violent
animosity against us, the situation might become serious.

_October 7._ At dinner last night, Mr. S---- said there had been an
anti-American demonstration in the market, and that a scout had cried,
"Abajo los Americanos!" That settled me. I lost my nerve completely,
and went up and asked Dr. and Mrs. S---- to let me spend the night
at their house. They were lovely about it, and salved over my
mortification by saying that they wondered how I had been able to
stand it so long, alone in the native quarter. Slept badly in the
strange house, and am afraid I gave much trouble.

_October 8._ Got some command of my nerves last night, and stayed at
home, though I asked the officer commanding the constabulary for a
guard. He was most accommodating and outwardly civil, though it was
apparent he thought I was making a goose of myself. The guard came,
in all the glory of khaki, red-shoulder-straps, 45-calibre revolver,
and rifle--don't know whether it was a Krag or a Springfield. At any
rate, he was most imposing, and, as he unrolled his petate on the
dining-room floor, assured me in broken Spanish that he would protect
me to the last. I bolted my door and went to bed. Slept wretchedly,
being, it must be confessed, about as much afraid of the guard as of
the possible anti-Americanos.

_October 9._ Last night, decided that I had yielded to my nerves long
enough. Stayed at home, and didn't ask for a guard either. Being much
exhausted by two nights of wakefulness, slept soundly all night. To-day
the world looks bright and fresh, and my late terrors inexplicable.

_October 12._ Poor M---- has the cholera. His duties as a road overseer
have taken him into the province, and he has been forced to eat native
food. He got a bottle of chlorodyne and seemed to feel that it would
save him.

But to-day he is down. Mr, S---- brought the news when he came by to
take me for an afternoon walk. We met the inspector and the padre,
coming from M----'s house. Extreme unction had been given him and all
hope of recovery was gone, though both American physicians had been
with him all day and were making every effort to save him. He asked
for Mr. S----, so the latter left me to go to his bedside.

At seven o'clock Mr. S---- went by in the dusk, and called to me from
the street to send his dinner up to his house. Poor M---- had just
died. Mr. S---- held his hand to the last, and was on his way home
to burn his shoes and clothing and to take a bath in bichloride.

Most of the American men went in to see M----. I am glad of it. It
may not be sanitary, but it is revolting to think of an American
dying alone in a Filipino hut.

M---- was buried to-night. I saw the funeral go by. First came the
body in the native coffin, smeared with quicklime. The escort wagon
loomed up behind in the starlight, full of American men, and then
came the scout officer and his wife in the spring wagon. M---- was
once a private in the Eighteenth Infantry.

Just after this mournful little procession went by with its queer
muffled noises, the big church bell boomed ten, and the constabulary
bugles from the other end of the town blew taps. The sound came faintly
clear on the still night air, and the tall cocoanut tree that I love
to watch from my window drooped its dim outline as if it mourned.

_October 15._ The weather remains bright and hot in spite of our
continual prayers for rain. The natives say a heavy rain and wind
will "blow the cholera away." The deaths have now swelled to more
than a hundred a day, though the disease remains largely among the
poor. Yesterday I saw a man stricken in the street. He lay on his
back quite still, but breathing in a horrible way. The bearers came
at last and carried him away on a stretcher. Two cases were taken
out of the house next door to me.

_October 16._ Ceferiana professed to be ill this morning, and I was
alarmed. I dosed her with the medicine which Dr. S---- had given me
when the epidemic first appeared, and sent for the Doctor himself. But
I discovered, before he came, that she had gotten too close a whiff
of the chloride-of-lime bag, and it nauseated her. She is more afraid
of the disinfectants than of the disease.

_October 20._ Have had to chastise Tomas, and have thus violated
Governor Taft's standards for American treatment of our brown
friends. Tomas is about forty and the father of a small boy, and
Mr. S----, who contemplates setting up a bachelor's establishment when
the epidemic is over, fondly dreams that Tomas embodies the essentials
of a cook. So Mr. S---- brought Tomas down, accompanied by his son,
a child of twelve, with the request that I train them for him. I set
them first to washing dishes, and had a struggle of a week or so's
duration in trying to adjust Tomas's conception of that labor to my
own. I particularly ordered that no refuse was to be thrown in the
yard or under the house. This rule was violated several times, and
my patience pretty well exhausted. I stepped into the kitchen this
morning just in time to see Tomas doubling over, and poking the coffee
grounds down between the bamboo slats of the flooring. The American
broom was handy, and the angle of Tomas's inclination was sufficient
to expose a large area of resisting surface. So I promptly "swatted"
Tomas with the broom with such energy that the coffeepot flew up in
the air and he tumbled over head foremost. His small boy sent up a
wail of terror; and Billy Buster, the monkey, who was discussing
a chicken bone, fled up to the thatch, where he remained all day
until coaxed down by the tinkle of a spoon in a toddy glass. Tomas
was out of breath, but not so much so that he could not ejaculate,
"Sus! Maria Santisima, Señorita!" in injured tones. Ciriaco, the cook,
lay down on the floor and laughed. Later I heard him and Ceferiana
agreeing that I was "_muy valiente_"

_October 25._ In spite of the agua finecada and the boiled towel,
Mrs. T----'s cook has developed cholera. Though I speak of it lightly,
I am truly sorry for them, for Mrs. T---- is exceedingly nervous,
and they have a little child to care for.

There is a slight diminution in the death rate, and we begin to hope
the worst is over.

_October 28._ The death rate is still decreasing. When will the
rain come?

To-day I discovered that all the elaborate boilings of dish cloths and
towels that have been carried out here since the epidemic began have
been a mere farce. Every day for a week I went out and superintended
the operation till I thought Ceferiana had mastered it. She had,
indeed, caught the details, but quite missed the idea. She found the
process of suspending the dish towel on a long stick till it was cool
enough to wring out, a tedious one, so she set her fertile brain to
work to find an expedient in the way of a bucket of cool well water,
into which she dropped them. Well water! All but pure cholera! We
had a hearty laugh over it at dinner to-night, though Mr. C----
looked grave. His official dignity sits heavily upon him.

Tomas dodges me when he passes. I find it impossible to restore
his confidence.

_November 2._ The rains have come, and whether they have anything to
do with it or not, the epidemic is subsiding. Two days ago, when the
first shower broke after an inconceivably sultry morning, the bearers
were passing with a couple of cholera patients on stretchers. They were
at first minded to set them down in the rain, but thought better of
it, and carried them into my lower hall. The shower lasted only a few
minutes, and then they went on their way, and Ciriaco and I descended
and sprinkled the floor all over with chloride of lime. While they
were there, I was nervously dreading the sounds of the great suffering
which accompanies cholera. But the patients were very quiet.

To-night at dinner Mr. C---- tasted his coffee and looked
suspicious. In my capacity of boarding-house keeper, I was instantly
alarmed and tasted mine. It seemed to have been made with _agua
finecada_. Miss P---- said plaintively that she had as lief die of
cholera as of carbolic acid poison. Neither Ciriaco nor Ceferiana
could explain. They conceded that the _agua finecada_ was there,
but could not say how. They were not much concerned, and seemed to
regard it as a pleasing sleight-of-hand performance on their part.

_November 5._ Only eighteen deaths to-day! If the decrease continue
steady, we shall open school in a few days. It will be a relief after
the long tension of these two months--for it was a tension in spite
of our refusal to discuss its more serious aspects. We have taken all
legitimate precautions, and laughed at each other's oddities, knowing
that it is better to laugh than to cry. But had sickness come to any
of us as in the case of poor M----, everybody stood ready to chance
all things to aid. But we come out unscathed with the exception of
that one poor fellow.

_November 14._ School will begin to-morrow! Have had to discharge
Tomas. He went to Baliwagan, a barrio where the cholera is still
raging, last night, and Mr. S---- was properly incensed. As a parting
benediction, Tomas stole a lamp of mine, but I haven't the energy
to go after him. Besides, I have a guilty conscience, and if Tomas
feels our account is square, I am willing to accept his terms.

_November 15._ Began work again to-day. The school is much fallen
off. Many pupils are dead, and the rest have lost relatives. It is
a gloomy school, but the worst is over.



CHAPTER XVIII

The Aristocracy, the Poor, and American Women

Aristocracy and "Caciquism" in the Philippines--Poverty of the
Filipino Poor--Happiness in Spite of Poverty--Virtual Slavery of the
Rustics--Their Loyalty to Their Employers--Wages in Manila and in the
Provinces--Many Resources Possessed by the Upper Classes--Chaffering
for All Kinds of Produce--Happiness Within the Reach of American
Women if Employed--American Women Safe in the Philippines--After a
Visit to America I Am Glad to Return to the islands.


To an American of analytical tendencies a few years in the Philippines
present not only an interesting study of Filipino life, but a novel
consciousness of our own. The affairs of these people are so simple
where ours are complex, so complex where ours are simple, that one's
angle of view is considerably enlarged.

The general construction of society is mediæval and aristocratic. The
aristocracy, with the exception of a few wealthy brewers and cigar
manufacturers of Manila, is a land-holding one. There is practically
no bourgeoisie--no commercial class--between the rich and the poor. In
Manila and all the large coast towns trade is largely in the hands of
foreigners, chiefly Chinese, some few of whom have become converted
to the Catholic faith, and established themselves permanently in the
country;--all of whom have found Filipino helpmates, either with or
without the sanction of the Church, and have added their contingent
of half-breeds, or _mestizos_, to the population.

The land-owning aristocracy, though it must have been in possession
of its advantages for several generations, seems deficient in jealous
exclusiveness on the score of birth. I do not remember to have heard
once here the expression "of good family," as we hear it in America,
and especially in the South. But I have heard "He is a rich man" so
used as to indicate that this good fortune carried with it unquestioned
social prerogative. Yet there must be some clannishness based upon
birth, for your true Filipino never repudiates his poor relations
or apologizes for them. At every social function there is a crowd of
them in all stages of modest apparel, and with manners born of social
obscurity, asserting their right to be considered among the elect. I am
inclined to think that Filipinos concern themselves with the present
rather than the past, and that the _parvenu_ finds it even easier to
win his way with them than with us. Even under Spanish rule poor men
had a chance, and sometimes rose to the top. I remember the case, in
particular, of one family which claimed and held social leadership in
Capiz. Its head was a long-headed, cautious, shrewd old fellow, with so
many Yankee traits that I sometimes almost forgot, and addressed him
in English. My landlady, who was an heiress in her own right, and the
last of a family of former repute, told me that the old financier came
to Capiz "poor as wood." She did not use that homely simile, however,
but the typical Filipino statement that his pantaloons were torn. She
took me behind a door to tell me, and imparted the information in a
whisper, as if she were afraid of condign punishment if overheard.

"Money talks" in the Philippines just as blatantly as it does in
the United States. In addition to the social halo imparted by its
possession, there is a condition grown out of it, known locally as
"caciquism." Caciquism is the social and political prestige exercised
by a local man or family. There are examples in America, where every
village owns its leading citizen's and its leading citizen's wife's
influence. Booth Tarkington has pictured an American cacique in "The
Conquest of Canaan." Judge Pike is a cacique. His power, however,
is vested in his capacity to deceive his fellowmen, in the American's
natural love for what he regards as an eminent personality, and his
clinging to an ideal.

A Filipino cacique is quite a different being. He owes his prestige
to fear--material fear of the consequences which his wealth and power
can bring down on those that cross him. He does not have to play a
hypocritical role. He need neither assume to be, nor be, a saint in
his private or public life. He must simply be in control of enough
resources to attach to him a large body of relatives and friends whose
financial interests are tied up with his. Under the Spanish regime
he had to stand in by bribery with the local governor. Under the
American regime, with its illusions of democracy, he simply points to
his _clientèle_ and puts forward the plea that he is the natural voice
of the people. The American Government, helpless in its great ignorance
of people, language, and customs, is eager to find the people's voice,
and probably takes him at his word. Fortified by Government backing,
he starts in to run his province independently of law or justice,
and succeeds in doing so. There are no newspapers, there is no
real knowledge among the people of what popular rights consist in,
and no idea with which to combat his usurpations. The men whom he
squeezes howl, but not over the principle. They simply wait the day
of revolution. Even where there is a real public sentiment which
condemns the tyrant, it is half the time afraid to assert itself,
for the tyrant's first defence is that they oppose him because he is a
friend of the American Government. Local justice of the peace courts
are simply farcical, and most of the cacique's violations of right
keep him clear at least of the courts of first instance, where the
judiciary, Filipino or American, is reliable. Thus our Government,
in its first attempts to introduce democratic institutions, finds
itself struggling with the very worst evil of democracy long before
it can make the virtues apparent.

The poor people among the Filipinos live in a poverty, a misery, and
a happiness inconceivable to our people who have not seen it. Their
poverty is real--not only relative. Their houses are barely a covering
from rain or sun. A single rude bamboo bedstead and a stool or two
constitute their furniture. There is an earthen water jar, another
earthen pot for cooking rice, a bolo for cutting, one or two wooden
spoons, and a cup made of cocoanut shells. The stove consists of three
stones laid under the house, or back of it, where a rice-pot may be
balanced over the fire laid between. There are no tables, no linen,
no dishes, no towels. The family eat with their fingers while sitting
about on the ground with some broken banana leaves for plates. Coffee,
tea, and chocolate are unknown luxuries to them. Fish and rice, with
lumps of salt and sometimes a bit of fruit, constitute their only
diet. In the babies this mass of undigested half-cooked rice remains
in the abdomen and produces what is called "rice belly." In the adults
it brings beriberi, from which they die quickly. They suffer from
boils and impure blood and many skin diseases. Consumption is rife,
and rheumatism attacks old and young alike. They are tormented by
gnats and mosquitoes, and frequently to rid themselves of the pests
build fires under the house and sleep away the hot tropical night in
the smoke. While the upper classes are abstemious, the lower orders
drink much of the native _vino_, which is made from the sap of cocoanut
and nipa trees, and the men are often brutal to women and children.

I think the most hopeful person must admit that this is an enumeration
of real and not fancied evils, that the old saw about happiness
and prosperity being relative terms is not applicable. The Filipino
laborer is still far below even the lowest step of the relative degree
of prosperity and happiness. Yet in spite of these ills he is happy
because he has not developed enough to achieve either self-pity or
self-analysis. He bears his pain, when it comes, as a dumb animal
does, and forgets it as quickly when it goes. When the hour of death
descends, he meets it stoically, partly because physical pain dulls
his senses, partly because the instinct of fatalism is there in spite
of his Catholicism.

Of course this poverty-stricken condition is largely his own fault. He
has apparently an ineradicable repugnance to continued labor. He
does not look forward to the future. Fathers and mothers will sit
the whole day playing the guitar and singing or talking, after the
fashion of the country, with not a bite of food in the house. When
their own desires begin to reinforce the clamors of the children,
they will start out at the eleventh hour to find an errand or an odd
bit of work. There may be a single squash on the roof vine waiting
to be plucked and to yield its few centavos, or they can go out to
the beach and dig a few cents' worth of clams.

The more intelligent of the laboring class attach themselves as
_cliente_ to the rich land-holding families. They are by no means
slaves in law, but they are in fact; and they like it. The men are
agricultural laborers; the women, seamstresses, house servants, and wet
nurses, and they also do the beautiful embroideries, the hat-plaiting,
the weaving of piña, sinamay, and jusi, and the other local industries
which are carried on by the upper class. The poor themselves have
nothing to do with commerce; that is in the hands of the well-to-do.

As the children of the _clientèle_ grow up, they are scattered
out among the different branches of the ruling family as maids and
valets. In a well-to-do Filipino family of ten or twelve children,
there will be a child servant for every child in the house. The
little servants are ill-fed creatures (for the Filipinos themselves
are merciless in what they exact and parsimonious in what they give),
trained at seven or eight years of age to look after the room, the
clothing, and to be at the beck and call of another child, usually a
little older, but ofttimes younger than themselves. They go to school
with their little masters and mistresses, carry their books, and play
with them. For this they receive the scantiest dole of food on which
they can live, a few cast-off garments, and a stipend of a medio-peso
(twenty-five cents cents U.S. currency) per annum, which their parents
collect and spend. Parents and child are satisfied, because, little
as they get, it is certain. Parents especially are satisfied, because
thus do they evade the duties and responsibilities of parenthood.

It was at first a source of wonder to me how the rich man came out even
on his scores of retainers, owing to their idleness and the demands
for fiestas which he is compelled to grant. But he does succeed in
getting enough out of them to pay for the unhulled rice he gives
them, and he more than evens up on the children. If ever there was
a land where legislation on the subject of child labor is needed,
it is here. Children are overworked from infancy. They do much of the
work of the Islands, and the last drop of energy and vitality is gone
before they reach manhood or womanhood. Indeed, the first privilege
of manhood to them is to quit work.

The feeling between these poor Filipinos and their so-called employers
is just what the feeling used to be between Southerners and their
negroes. The lower-class man is proud of his connection with the great
family. He guards its secrets and is loyal to it. He will fight for
it, if ordered, and desist when ordered.

The second house I lived in in Capiz was smaller than the first,
and had on the lower floor a Filipino family in one room. I demanded
that they be ejected if I rented the house, but the owner begged me
to reconsider. They were, she said, old-time servants of hers to whom
she felt it her duty to give shelter. They had always looked after
her house and would look after me.

I yielded to her insistence, but doubtingly. In six weeks I was
perfectly convinced of her wisdom and my foolishness. Did it rain,
Basilio came flying up to see if the roof leaked. If a window stuck and
would not slide, I called Basilio. For the modest reward of two pesos
a month (one dollar gold) he skated my floors till they shone like
mirrors. He ran errands for a penny or two. His wife would embroider
for me, or wash a garment if I needed it in a hurry. If I had an errand
which took me out nights, Basilio lit up an old lantern, unsolicited,
and went ahead with the light and a bolo. If a heavy rain came up when
I was at school, he appeared with my mackintosh and rubbers. And while
a great many small coins went from me to him, I could never see that
the pay was proportional to his care. Yet there was no difficulty in
comprehending it. Pilar (my landlady) had told him to take care of me,
and he was obeying orders. If she had told him to come up and bolo
me as I slept, he would have done it unhesitatingly.

The result of American occupation has been a rise in the price of
agricultural labor, and in the city of Manila in all labor. But
in the provinces the needle-woman, the weaver, and the house
servant work still for inconceivably small prices, while there
has been a decided rise in the price of local manufactures. Jusi,
which cost three dollars gold a pattern in 1901, now costs six and
nine dollars. Exquisite embroideries on piña, which is thinner than
bolting cloth, have quadrupled their prices, but the provincial women
servants, who weave the jusi and do the embroidering, still work for
a few cents a day and two scanty meals.

When I arrived here a seamstress worked nine hours a day for twenty
cents gold and her dinner. Now in Manila a seamstress working for
Americans receives fifty cents gold and sometimes seventy-five cents
and her dinner, though the Spanish, Filipinos, and Chinese pay less. In
the province of Capiz twelve and a half cents gold per day for a
seamstress is the recognized price for an American to pay--natives
get one for less. A provincial Filipino pays his coachman two and
a half dollars gold a month, and a cook one dollar and a half. An
American for the same labor must pay from four to eight dollars for
the cook and three to six dollars for the coachman. As before stated,
the subordinate servants in a Filipino house cost next to nothing,
because of the utilization of child labor.

A provincial Filipino can support quite an establishment, and keep
a carriage on an income of forty dollars gold a month where to an
American it would cost sixty or eighty dollars. This is due partly to
our own consumption of high-priced tinned foods, partly to the better
price paid for labor, but chiefly to our desire to feed our servants
into good healthy condition. We not only see that they have more food,
but we look more closely to its variety and nutritious qualities. We
employ adults and demand more labor, because our housekeeping is more
complex than Filipino housekeeping, and we expect to employ fewer
servants than Filipinos do.

The Filipinos, the Spanish, and even the English who are settled
here cling to mediæval European ideas in the matter of service. If
they have any snobbish weakness for display, it is in the number of
retainers they can muster. Just as in our country rural prosperity is
evinced by the upkeep of fences and buildings, the spic and span new
paint, and the garish furnishings, here it is written in the number of
servants and hangers-on. The great foreign trading firms like to boast
of the tremendous length of their pay rolls. They would rather employ
four hundred underworked mediocrities at twenty pesos a month than
half a hundred abilities at four times that amount. The land-holders
like to think of the mouths they are responsible for feeding so very
poorly, and the busy housewife jingles her keys from weaving-room to
embroidery frame, from the little _tienda_ on the ground floor, where
she sells _vino_, cigars, and betel-nut, to the extemporized bakery
in the kitchen, where they are making rice cakes and taffy candy,
which an old woman will presently hawk about the streets for her.

One of the curious things here is the multiplicity of resource which
the rich classes possess. A rich land-holder will have his rice fields,
sugar mill, vino factory, and cocoanut and hemp plantations. He will
own a fish corral or two, and be one of the backers of a deep-sea
fishing outfit. He speculates a little in rice, and he may have some
interest in pearl fisheries. On a bit of land not good for much else
he has the palm tree, which yields _buri_ for making mats and sugar
bags. His wife has a little shop, keeps several weavers at work,
and an embroidery woman or two. If she goes on a visit to Manila,
the day after her return her servants are abroad, hawking novelties in
the way of fans, knick-knacks, bits of lace, combs, and other things
which she has picked up to earn an honest penny. If a steamer drops
in with a cargo of Batangas oranges, she invests twenty or thirty
pesos, and has her servants about carrying the trays of fruit for
sale. According to her lights, which are not hygienic, she is a good
housekeeper and a genuine helpmeet. She keeps every ounce of food under
lock and key, and measures each crumb that is used in cooking. She
keeps the housekeeping accounts, handles the money, never pries into
her husband's affairs, bears him a child every year, and is content,
in return for all this devotion, with an ample supply of pretty
clothes and her jewels. She herself does not work, busy as she is,
and it speaks well for the faith and honor of the Filipino people
that she can secure labor in plenty to do all these things for her,
to handle moneys and give a faithful account of them. It is pitiful
to see how little the Filipino laboring class can do for itself,
how dependent it is upon the head of its superiors, and how content
it is to go on piling up wealth for them on a mere starvation dole.

As before said, the laboring man who attaches himself to a great
family does so because it gives him security. He is nearly always
in debt to it, but if he is sick and unable to work he knows his
rice will come in just the same. Under the old Spanish system, a
servant in debt could not quit his employer's service till the debt
was paid. The object of an employer was to get a man in debt and
keep him so, in which case he was actually, although not nominally,
a slave. While this law is no longer in force, probably not ten per
cent of the laboring population realize it. They know that an American
cannot hold them in his employ against their will, but they do not
know that this is true of Filipinos and Spaniards. Nor is the upper
class anxious to have them informed. The poor frequently offer their
children or their younger brothers and sisters to work out their debts.

Children are sold here also. Twice in my first year at Capiz, I refused
to buy small children who were offered for sale by their parents lest
the worse evil of starvation should befall them; and once, on my going
into a friend's house, she showed me a child of three or four years
that she had bought for five pesos. She remarked that it was a pity
to let the child starve, and that in a year or two its labor would
more than pay for its keep.

Filipinos who have capital enough all keep one or more pigs. These
are yard scavengers, and, as sanitary measures are little observed
by this race, have access to filth that makes the thought of eating
their flesh exceedingly repulsive. When the owners are ready to kill,
however, the pig is brought upstairs into the kitchen, where it lives
luxuriously on boiled rice, is bathed once a day, and prepared for
slaughter like a sacrificial victim. If you are personally acquainted
with a pig of this sort and know the day set for his decease, you
may send your servant out to buy fresh pork; otherwise you had better
stick to chicken and fish.

Before the Insurrection, when the rinderpest had not yet destroyed the
herds, beef cattle were plenty, and meat was cheap enough for even the
poorest to enjoy. A live goat, full grown, was not worth more than a
peso (fifty cents gold). Now there are practically no beef cattle at
all, so the only meat available is goats' flesh, which is sold at from
twenty to sixty cents a pound (ten to thirty cents gold). Americans
living in the provinces rely largely upon chicken, though in the coast
towns there is always plenty of delicious fish. There are also oysters
(not very good), clams, crabs, shrimps, and crayfish.

One of the most irritating features of housekeeping here is the
lack of any fixed value, especially for market produce. There are no
grocery stores, every article must be chaffered over, and is valued
according to the owner's pressing needs, his antipathy for Americans,
or his determination to get everything he can.

You may be driving in the country and see a flock of chickens
feeding under or near a house. You ask the price. The owner has just
dined. There is still enough _palay_ (unhulled rice) to furnish the
evening meal. He has no pressing need of money, and he doesn't want
to disturb himself to run down chickens. His fowls simply soar as to
price. They are worth anywhere from seventy-five cents to a dollar
apiece. The current price of chickens varies according to size and
season from twenty to fifty cents. You may offer the latter price and
be refused. The next day the very same man may appear at your home,
offering for twenty or thirty cents the fowls for which the day before
he refused fifty.

Except in the cold storage and the Chino grocery shops of Manila,
nothing can be bought without chaffering. The Filipinos love this;
they realize that we are impatient and seldom can hold out long at it,
and in many cases they overcharge us from sheer race hatred. Also
they have the idea, as they would express it, that our money is
two times as much as theirs, and that therefore we should pay two
prices. Often they put a price from sheer caprice or effrontery and
hang to it from obstinacy. In the same market I have found mangoes
of the same quality ranging all the way from thirty cents to a dollar
and fifty cents a dozen.

In the provinces market produce is very limited. In fresh foods there
is nothing but sweet potatoes, several varieties of squash, a kind of
string bean, lima beans, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers (in season),
spinach, and field corn. Potatoes and onions can be procured only
from Manila, bought by the crate. If there be no local commissary,
tinned foods must be sent in bulk from Manila. The housekeeper's task
is no easy one, and the lack of fresh beef, ice, fresh butter, and milk
wears hard on a dainty appetite. The Philippines are no place for women
or men who cannot thrive and be happy on plain food, plenty of work,
and isolation. Nor is there any sadder lot than that of the American
married woman in the provinces who is unemployed. Her housekeeping
takes very little time, for the cheapness of native servants obviates
the necessity of all labor but that of supervision. There is nowhere
to go, nothing to do, nothing to read, nothing to talk about. She
has nothing to do but to lie in a steamer chair and to think of
home. Most women break down under it very quickly; they lose appetite
and flesh and grow fretful or melancholy. But to a woman who loves
her home and is employed, provincial life here is a boon. Remember
that for an expenditure of forty or fifty dollars a month the single
woman can maintain an establishment of her own--a genuine home--where
after a day's toil she can find order and peace and idleness awaiting
her. Filipino servants are not ideal, but any woman with a capacity
for organization can soon train them into keeping her house in the
outward semblance at least of order and cleanliness. She had better
investigate it pretty closely on Saturdays and Sundays; if she does
so, she can leave it to run itself very well during the five days of
her labor. And what a joy it is--I speak in the bitter remembrance
of a long line of hotels and boarding-houses--to go back to one's
home after a day's labor instead of to a hall bedroom; to sit at
one's own well-ordered if simple table, and escape the chatter of
twenty or thirty people who have no reason for association except
their economic necessities!

In the six years I have lived in these Islands, I have never heard of
indignity or disrespect shown to American women. [1] They are perfectly
safe, and if they choose to exercise any common sense, need not be
nervous. Housebreaking outside of Manila is unknown. I myself lived
for four years in a provincial town, the greater part of the time quite
removed from the neighborhood of other Americans, with only two little
girls in the house with me. I remember one evening having a couple of
civil engineers, who had been fellow passengers on the transport and
were temporarily in town, to dinner. When they were ready to leave,
at half-past ten, the little girls had both gone to sleep, so I went
downstairs to let them out and bar the door after them. One burst
out laughing and remarked that my bolting the door was a formality,
and that I must have confidence in the honesty of the natives. The
door was of bamboo, tied on with strips of rattan in place of hinges,
which any one could have cut with a knife. I admitted that the man was
right, but the closed door was the symbol that my house was my castle,
and I had no fear of Filipino thieves. The only time I was ever really
afraid was when there were two or three disreputable Americans in town.

The two girls from Radcliffe were in a town in Negros where there was
no other American, man or woman, and held their position for over a
year; nor were they once affrighted in all that time.

After five years of this peace and security in the "wilds," I went back
to the United States and met the pitying ejaculations of the community
on my exile. Well, there was a difference. I noted it first on the
dining-car of the Canadian-Pacific Railroad, where one's plate was
surrounded by a host of little dishes, where the clatter of service
was deafening (so different from the noiselessness of the Oriental),
and the gentleman who filled my water glass held it about three feet
from the water bottle, and manipulated both in sympathetic curves
which expressed his entire mastery of the art. I found it again on the
Northwestern, where the colored porter, observing some Chinese coins
in my purse when I tipped him, said, "Le's see," with a confidence
born of democracy, and sat down on the arm of the Pullman seat to
get a better view of them.

But it was in Chicago--the busy, noisy, dusty, hustling Chicago--that
all the joys of civilization fell on me at once. It seemed to be in a
state of siege with house thieves, assassins, and "hold-ups." There
had been several murders of women, so revolting that the newspapers
would not print the details. I found my brother's flat equipped with
special bolts on all outside doors, so that they could be opened for
an inch or two without giving anybody an opportunity to push in. Once
when a police officer called at the door to ask for subscriptions
for the sufferers of the San Francisco disaster, I locked him out
on the back porch while I did some telephoning to see if it was all
right. Women were afraid to be on the streets in the early dusk. Extra
policemen had been sworn in, preachers had delivered sermons on the
frightful condition of the city.

At night I locked my bedroom door, and dreamed of masked burglars
standing over me threatening with drawn revolver. For the thirty days
I remained there, I knew more of nervousness and terror than the whole
time I spent in the Philippines, and I came back to resume the old
life where there is security in all things, barring a very remote
insurrection and the possibility of hearing the roar of Japanese
guns some fine morning. And through and through a grateful system I
felt the lifting of the tremendous pressure, the agonizing strain,
competition, and tumult of American life. Thank Heaven! there is still
a mañana country--a fair, sunny land, where rapid transportation and
sky-scrapers do not exist.



CHAPTER XIX

Weddings in Town and Country

Filipino Brides, Their Weddings and Wedding Suppers--River Trip
to a Rural Wedding--Our Late Arrival Delays the Ceremony Until Next
Morning--The Ball--We Tramp Across the Fields to the Church--After
the Marriage, Feasting and Dancing.


The composure with which a Filipino girl enters matrimony
is astounding. There are no tears, no self-conscious blushes,
none of the charming shyness that encompasses an American girl as
a garment. It is a contradictory state of affairs, I must admit,
for this same American girl is a self-reliant creature, accustomed
to the widest range of action and liberty, while the matter-of-fact,
self-possessed Filipina has been reared to find it impossible to step
across the street without attendance. But the free, liberty-loving
American yields shyly to her captor, while the sedateness of the
prospective matron has already taken possession of the dusky sister.

Filipino marriages, among the upper class, are accompanied
by receptions and feasts like our own, but differ greatly in
the comparatively insignificant part played by the contracting
parties. Whereas, in an American wedding, the whole object of calling
all these people together seems to be a desire to silhouette the
bride and groom against the festive background, one comes away from
a Filipino celebration with a feeling that an excuse was needed
for assembling a multitude and permitting them to enjoy themselves,
and that the bridal pair unselfishly lent themselves to the occasion.

Most weddings take place about half-past six or seven in the evening;
and immediately after the religious ceremony in the church, all the
invited guests adjourn to the home of a relative (usually, but not
necessarily, the nearest kinsman of the bride), where supper is served
and is followed by a ball.

On these occasions, except for the candles on the altar, the church is
unlighted, and in its cavernous darkness the footfalls of a gathering
crowd ring on the stone floor, and the hum of voices rolls up into
the arching gloom of the roof.

There are no pews, but two rows of benches, facing each other, up the
middle length of the edifice, offer seats to the upper-class people,
who seem chiefly interested in preserving the spotlessness of their
gala attire. No attempt at exclusiveness is made, and a horde of
babbling, gesticulating, lower-class natives surges to and fro at
the rear, awaiting the bride.

Presently, to the clangor of half a dozen huge bells, she sweeps in,
accompanied by her _madrina_, or chief witness. They take station
at the back between the baptismal fonts and just in front of the
overhanging choir gallery. Instantly they are hemmed in, mobbed,
by that swarm of _pobres_, some speculating on the motive of the
match and its probable outcome. Meanwhile the bridegroom is smoking a
cigarette at one side, and chatting with a group of bachelor friends
who are faithful to the last.

Just as one begins to wonder how much longer these unfortunate women
can endure the position, the barefooted acolytes shuffle in, bearing
six-foot silver candlesticks, and preceding the padre, who is carrying
his illumination with him--or rather, having it carried in front of
him. The bridegroom throws away his cigarette, and shouldering his way
through the press, takes his position at the side of the bride. The
mob closes in again, not infrequently incommoding the padre, who is
peering at his half-lighted missal. The aristocrats on the benches
pay no attention and continue to guard their _ropa_ and converse on
chance topics.

To one standing on the edge of that wriggling throng with the yellow
flare just lighting the impassive countenances of its chief personages,
and hearing a low monotone, broken only by the clink of metal as gold
pieces fall into the plate, it is difficult to believe that this is
a wedding, just like those pictured and tableau effects that one is
treated to at home.

At last the voice stops, the mob and the smoky candles surge forward
to the altar, where the benediction is said. Another impeded progress
to the rear (everybody gets up without waiting for the bride and
bridegroom to pass), the sorely tried couple step into a waiting
victoria, and we troop after them, getting our felicitations ready.

On arriving at the house we are received by the groom and some female
relative of his, or, perchance, the bride's papa. No opportunity
of formally congratulating the young couple is offered. The bride
retires into an inner room, where she removes her veil, and receives
such of her lady friends as desire to kiss her on both cheeks. But
by and by she comes out, self-possessed and unsmiling, to distribute
the fragments of her artificial orange blossom wreath to her aspiring
girl friends. This is a parallel to the distribution of wedding cake,
which the American girl puts under her pillow and dreams upon.

By this time the orchestra has arrived and is playing triumphantly
under the windows. Though engaged beforehand, it always
accomplishes its appearance with a casual and unpremeditated air. The
musicians are then (per contract) invited to enter, and strike up a
rigadon. Generally, but not always, the most important man present
invites the bride for this dance. But I have known brides to sit it
out, for lack of a partner. The bridegroom chooseth as he listeth;
when American women are present, the fathers of the bride and groom
usually request the honor of leading them out.

After this first dance supper is served. If an important native
official be present, it is a point of etiquette that he take the
bride. Only a few men of high rank sit at the first table, which is
given over to women. The service is not left to servants, but all
male relatives of the family vie with each other in anticipating the
wants of the guests.

It is a feast of solid and satisfying excellence. It begins usually
with vermicelli soup (made from a lard stock) which is more than likely
to have been dished a half-hour and to be stone cold. But Filipinos
are not critical in this regard; and Americans, in view of all that
is coming, may dispense with this one dish.

Then follow meats innumerable, each with its own garnish, but without
separate vegetables. There is goat's flesh stewed with garbanzos,
onions, potatoes, and peppers; chicken minced with garlic, and green
peas; chicken boned and made to look and taste like breaded cutlet;
boiled ham; a fat capon, boned, stuffed, and seasoned with garlic,
his erstwhile proud head rolling in scarified humility; breaded pork
chops; roast pork, with unlimited crackling; cold turkey; baked duck,
and several kinds of fish.

There are no salads, but plenty of relishes, including the canned
red peppers of Spain; olives, pickles, cheese, and green mango
pickles. At intervals along the table are alluring glass dishes,
filled with crystallized fruits.

After this come the sweets. There is no cake, as we know it, but
meringues (French kisses), baked custard coated with caramel sauce,
which they call _flaon_; a kind of cocoanut macaroon, the little
gelatinous seeds of the nipa palm, boiled in sugar syrup, and half
a dozen kinds of preserves and candied fruits. Tinto accompanies the
supper, and possibly champagne.

As two or three hundred people are served on such an occasion, the
intermission for supper is a long one, and dancing is not resumed
till half-past nine or ten o'clock. It may then continue till
midnight or dawn, just as the actions of a few important guests may
determine. Filipinos are very quick to follow a lead; and if, owing
perhaps to a concurrence of events which may be perfectly foreign to
the occasion, a number of prominent people leave early, the rest soon
take flight.

In one of the later years of my stay my good fortune led me to
witness a wedding of another type, which differed from the class I
have described as the simple rural gathering at home differs from the
exotic atmosphere of a fashionable reception. It was just after my
return from vacation that one morning a group of my pupils burst in,
accompanying a middle-aged Filipina who hesitatingly made known her
errand. Her niece, who lived some five or six miles up the river,
was to be married that night, and a large number of people from town
were going up. Could I accompany them, and would I act as one of the
three _madrinas_ for the occasion? As the bride was of an insurrecto
family, whose name was familiar through bygone military acquaintances,
I snapped at an opportunity to view the insurrecto upon his own
(pacified) hearth, and after consuming a hasty lunch and packing a
valise, I set out for the river bank where we were to rendezvous.

Our craft, a catamaran made by securing three barotos side by
side and flooring them with bamboo, was the centre of great public
excitement. It had a walk dutrigged at each side for the men who were
to punt, or pole us up the river. It was roofed with a framework
of bamboo, which was covered with palm, leaves and wreathed in
_bonoc-bonoc_ vines, and from this green bower were suspended the
fruits of the season.--bananas, the scarlet _sagin-sagin_, and even
succulent ears of sweet corn.

Cane stools were provided for a few, but many of the young people sat
flat on the floor. When we were embarked, to the number of about forty,
the barotos were so deep in the water that the swirling current was
within an inch of their gunwales. A tilt to one side or a wave in
the river would have sunk us.

The baggage and a few supernumerary young men and a mandolin orchestra
were loaded into an enormous baroto, and ten sturdy brown backs bent
forward as the boatmen pushed with all their strength against the great
bamboo poles, which looked as if they would snap under the strain.

The river was swollen with three days' tropical downpour and running
out resistlessly in the teeth of a high tide. As we slipped out of the
shallow water at the bank, the current caught us and hurled us fifty
feet down stream. The baroto left apparently for the port, which was
four miles away. Our valiant punters were useless against the river;
but amid a hubbub in which every man, woman, and babe aboard, except
one American man and myself, appeared to be giving orders, we got
back to the bank and shipped an additional crew. This consumed time,
because the spectators, who had seen what work it was going to be,
were coy of enlisting. But at last we got away, eight men to a side,
and the water perceptibly nearer the gunwales, and with infinite labor
we succeeded in poling around a bend and leaving the town behind us.

But there we stuck again in a swift reach, and there were time and
opportunity to marvel at the impenetrable green and silence of the nipa
swamps. The banks--or rather limits of the current--were thickets of
water grass six feet high, its roots sunk in ooze. Here and there a
rise of ground betrayed itself in a few cocoanuts, the ragged fans of
tall bouri palms, or a plume-like clump of bamboo and the hospitable
shade of a magnificent mango tree.

The atmosphere was close and muggy, and now and then a shower pattered
down on us. Suddenly, through the strange desolation of this alien
landscape, the familiar thump of guitars and mandolins assailed the
stillness. The music carried me back to half-forgotten experiences--red
sunsets between the cathedral bluffs of the Mississippi, and sad-eyed
negroes twanging the strings on the forward deck of a nosing steamboat;
crisp July afternoons on the Straits of Mackinac when the wind swept
in from froth-capped blue Huron, and the little excursion steamer
from St. Ignace rollicked her way homeward to the cottage-crowned
heights of the island.

I shut my eyes and tried to "make believe" that they would open on
far-off, familiar scenes. Nothing could have been more weird and
incongruous than the American air with this alien soil and people. It
was "Hiawatha," and to the inspiring strains of "Let the women do
the work, let the men take it easy," our forgotten baroto swept into
sight in the easy water under the opposite bank. We made a herculean
effort, inspired by envy, and got away. Space forbids me to enumerate
the hairbreadth escapes of that journey. We put men ashore when the
banks permitted and were towed like a canal boat. Once we were swept
into mid-stream, where the poles were useless on account of the great
depth, and had to drift back till the water shoaled again. In late
afternoon we took on a supply of sugar cane, and chewed affably all
the rest of the way.

At first I had been nervous, but my native friends were quite
unconcerned. So remembering that Heaven protects the insane and the
imbecile, and regarding them as the former and myself as the latter,
I ceased to speculate on the probabilities of another incarnation.

We consumed six hours in a journey normally accomplished in two, and
night overtook us in a labyrinth of water lanes above whose forested
swamps the outlines of a stern old church were magnified in the
gloom. One by one the stars sprang mysteriously into view in the soft
void overhead, and somehow--marvellously--we found our destination. A
group of friends and servants flared their torches on the bank, and we
dragged our stiffened limbs to them. It was too dark to see where we
were going, until we stumbled almost into a lighted doorway and found
the company awaiting us. Owing to the delay in our arrival, the wedding
was deferred till the next morning, but the ball was about to open.

Food was given us, and after a freshening up and a change of raiment
we joined the reunion, which was in full swing. The prospective
husband and wife were enjoying their usual state of effacement, but
I discovered them finally. I talked with the insurrecto and found
him a man of ability.

I left the ball, exhausted, at one o'clock, but those indefatigable
people kept it up all night. I awoke at dawn to find the floor
occupied by about twenty yawning maidens who were merely resting,
for there was no time for a nap. We dressed in the cool dawn breeze
and went out in time to see the morning mists rise from a broad oval
of rice and maize fields, and hang themselves in ever-changing folds
on the sides of the purple mountains beyond.

But for the character of the vegetation that rimmed the arable land,
and the bare green shoulders of the hills, streaked here and there
with pink clayey ravines, it might have been a peaceful sunrise in
middle America. The homelike atmosphere was accentuated by the roofs
of a town and by a church spire, still silvered with mist, half a mile
away. We tramped across the fields to our objective point. As madrina,
I walked with the bride, but conversation did not thrive because she
spoke little Spanish, and I less Visayan.

Carabaos sniffed at us as we passed, and people crowded their windows
to look. We crossed a slough upon a bridge of quaint and ancient
architecture on the thither side of which were a grassy plaza and
the stern lines of the church. The wedding bells broke forth in a
furious joy and flung their notes to the distant hill flanks, which
in turn flung them back to the blue, sparkling sea.

The church was tiled in black and white marble, and inhabited by
a lusty family of goats. Their innate perversity and an apparent
curiosity led them to resent exclusion; but after a lively pursuit
they were ejected, and the bride and I sat on a bench to rest. The
bridegroom took a last smoke, and the strangers deciphered obituary
notices on the mural tombstones.

The padre came along finally, smelling of a matutinal appetizer,
and they distributed pillows and candles to the _madrinas_ and
_padrinos_. As evidence of change of heart in the late insurrecto,
the pillows were some of red, some of white, and some of blue cloth.

It was over at last, when I was stiff with kneeling and had ornamented
myself with much candle grease. I went up to congratulate the bride,
but felt that the handshake was not coming off properly. Finally I
discovered that I was resisting an effort on her part to bring my
hand to her lips. So I succumbed and submitted to the distinction,
and she then proceeded to salute the other madrinas.

There was nothing coy or sentimental about that bride. She needed
no support, moral or other. Sweet sixteen, "plump as a partridge,"
she gathered up her white silk skirt with its blue ribbons and struck
out for home. Her husband made no attempt to follow her. She beat
us all home by a quarter of a mile. When we arrived, she had changed
her gown and was supervising breakfast preparations.

I was tired, and when a native sled drawn by a carabao came along,
was glad enough to seat myself on its flat bottom, together with one or
two wearied maidens, and be drawn back in slow dignity. We intercepted
a boy with roasting ears, and the wedding guests sat about, nibbling
like rodents while we waited breakfast.

After that meal dancing began again and continued until dinner. Once
the floor was cleared, and the bridal pair danced one waltz
together. They did not glance once at each other, and seemed bored.

Dinner was another feast, and afterwards we sought our state barge and
the perils of the return journey. The newly married couple came down to
see us off, still bearing themselves with a preoccupied and listless
air. The orchestra remained until the next day, and we threaded the
water lanes in quiet, emerging at last on the full-breasted river. The
home journey consumed only three hours, and was comparatively
uneventful. The wife of the Presidente gathered her family about her
and artlessly searched their raven pates for inhabitants which pay
no taxes, and most of the young people drooped with weariness. We
rounded the bend at five o'clock; and thankful I was to put foot on
_terra firma_ once more. I was tired, but glad that I had gone.



CHAPTER XX

Sickbeds and Funerals

Customs in the Treatment of the Sick--Stately Funeral Processions--The
Funeral of a Poor Man--Unsociableness of the Poor--Wakes and Burial
of the Rich--A "Petrified" Man.


Filipinos are punctilious about many things concerning which we have
passed the extremely punctilious stage. Some of their strictest
observances are in the matters of sickness and death. The sick
have what we would consider a hard time. To begin with, they are
immured in rooms from which, as far as possible, all light and air
are excluded. In a tropical climate, where the breeze is almost
indispensable to comfort, the reader may imagine the result. Then
all their relatives, near and far, flock to see them; they crowd the
apartment, and insist on talking to keep the patient from becoming
_triste_. When the sufferer finds this insupportable and gives up
the struggle to live, the whole clan, out to the last connection,
set about preparing their mourning.

Every woman makes a black dress, and every man ties a band of black
cloth around his white coat sleeve. When there is a wake, it is
noisy enough to be Irish. Our Eastern friends resemble the Irish
also in their love of a fine funeral. To go to the last resting-place
escorted by a band and with all possible ceremony seems to make even
death acceptable to them.

Among the very poor this ambition is quite disproportionate to their
resources. The percentage of infant mortality, owing to poor nutrition,
is especially high; yet babe after babe whose mother unwittingly
starved it to death is given a funeral in which the baby carriage
hearse is preceded by a local band, and hired mourners stalk solemnly
behind the little coffin in place of the mother, who is, in etiquette,
required to remain at home.

In Manila funerals resemble our own, save that the hearse, be it white
for a child or black for an adult, is drawn by stately caparisoned
horses, at the bridles of which stalk men in eighteenth-century court
costumes, which include huge shoe buckles, black silk stockings,
and powdered wigs. The carriages flock behind with little pretence of
order, and at a sharper pace than is customary with us. The populace
are, however, most respectful; rich and poor alike remove their hats
when the funeral _cortege_ is passing.

In the provinces where there are no hearses, a funeral consists
usually of a coffin carried on the shoulders of four men, and
followed by a straggling concourse of mourners. If the corpse be
that of a child, it not infrequently lies, gorgeously dressed,
upon the blue-and-pink-beribboned cushions of a four-wheeled baby
carriage. New-born babes are buried in tiny coffins covered with pink
or blue cambric.

The Filipinos say that when a child dies its pure little soul goes
straight to _gloria_, wherefore it is much to be congratulated on
leaving this abode of sorrow for one of unending happiness, and only
gay music is used at the funeral. The local bands play solely by ear,
and make the most of whatever music they hear sung or whistled on
the streets, with the result that strangely inappropriate selections
are used on these occasions. At the first child's funeral I ever saw,
the band was playing "Hot Time," and a friend to whom I related this
fact, declared that at the first one he ever saw they were playing,
"I don't care if you never come back." This sounds too fortuitously
happy to be true, but it is quite within the possible.

When I had lived in Capiz a year or two, my washerman, or _lavandero_,
died, and his widow, pointing to a numerous progeny, besought for
an advance of five pesos for necessary funeral expenses. She wanted
ten, but I refused to countenance that extravagance. She did not
seem overcome by grief, and her plea of numerous offspring was really
valueless, for, if anything, they were all better off than before. Her
lord had been only a sham washerman, collecting the garments for her
to wash, delivering them, and pocketing the returns, of which he gave
her as small a moiety as would sustain life, and spent the rest on
the cockpit.

Funerals in a country where there are no preservatives take place
very soon. The lavandero died at dawn, his widow made her levy on
me before seven o'clock, and, coming home that afternoon, I met the
funeral in a thickly shaded lane.

Local tradition disapproves of the appearance of near female
relations at a funeral, so the dead man's escort consisted only of
the four bearers, and three small boys, all under eleven years of
age. The coffin was one in general use--rented for the trip to the
cemetery! Once there, the body, wrapped in its _petate_, or sleeping
mat, would be rolled into a shallow grave.

The four bearers were dirty and were chewing betel-nut as they
trudged along under their burden. Behind them came the dead man's son,
apparelled in a pair of blue denim trousers. His body, naked to the
waist, was glistening brown after a bath, and he carried under one
arm a fresh laundered _camisa_, or Chino shirt, of white muslin,
to be put on when he reached the church.

His two supporters were the brothers of my _muchacha_, who lived in
the same yard and who evidently had convictions about standing by a
comrade in misfortune. The elder, a boy of seven, was fairly clean;
but the younger, somewhere between three and five, was clad in a
single low-necked slip of filthy pink cotton, which draped itself at
a coquettish angle across his shoulders, and hung down two or three
inches below his left knee. His smile, which was of a most engaging
nature, occupied so much of his countenance that it was difficult to
find traces of the pride which actually radiated from the other two.

My curiosity was enough to make me turn and follow them to the
church. There the body was deposited on the floor at the rear,
just below a door in the gallery which led to the priest's house, or
_convento_. The bearers squatted on their heels and fell to wrapping up
pieces of betel-nut in lime paste and _buya_ leaf, while a sacristan
went to call the priest. The dead man's son reverently put on his
clean shirt, and the youngest urchin sucked his thumb and continued
to grin at me.

Presently a priest came through the door and leaned over the
gallery, followed by two sacristans, one bearing a censer and the
other a bell. The censer-bearer swung his implement vindictively
in the direction of the corpse, while the other rang a melodious
chime on the bell. At this all the babies fell on their knees. The
priest muttered a few lines of Latin, made the sign of the cross,
and disappeared to another chime of the bells and a last toss of the
censer. The bearers picked up the coffin, and the little procession
went on its way to the cemetery. The ceremony lasted about one minute
and a half, and consumed three out of my five pesos.

This incident illustrates neatly the friendless condition in which
most Filipino poor live. Filipino lower-class people are gregarious,
but not sociable. They are averse to solitary rural life and tend
everywhere to live in villages, but they visit little with each other,
and seem very indifferent to the cordial relations which bind our
own laboring classes together.

In the same yard with the dead lavandero lived at least ten or twelve
other families, yet no one could be found to accompany him to his
grave save two play-mates of his son.

If the poor are fond of display, the rich outvie them. The pomp of a
rich man's obsequies finds its beginning while he is yet on earth, when
the padre goes in state to administer extreme unction. His vehicle, a
gilt coach which looks like the pictures of those of the seventeenth
century, is often preceded by a band, while the priest within is
arrayed in embroidered vestments. When the _surra_, or horse disease,
had made a scarcity of those animals, the padre's gilded equipage had
to be drawn by a cebu, or very small and weary-looking cow, imported
from Indo-China. The spectacle of this yoke animal, the gilt coach,
and the padre in all his vestments was one not to be forgotten.

When the rich man dies, there is generally a wake, noisy enough, as
before stated, to be Irish, and a pretentious funeral. Five o'clock
in the afternoon seems to be a favorite hour for this. In the rainy
season, with sodden clouds hanging low in the sky, with almond trees
dripping down, and the great church starred with candles which do
not illuminate but which dot the gloom, the occasion is lugubrious
indeed. Fresh flowers are little used, but _immortelles_ and set
designs accompanied by long streamers of gilt-lettered ribbon attest
the courtesy of friends.

They bury the dead--that is, all the upper-class dead--in _nichos_,
or ovens, such as are found in the old cemeteries of New Orleans. The
cemetery, which is usually owned, not by the municipality but by the
church, is surrounded by a brick or stone wall six or eight feet high
surmounted by a balustrade of red baked clay in an urn design. The
ovens form their back walls against this, and are arranged in tiers
of four or five, so that the top of the ovens makes a fine promenade
around three sides of the enclosure. In the centre there is generally
a mortuary chapel, where the final words are said. From the chapel
tiled walks lead out to the ovens. The plan is a very pretty one,
and if the cemeteries were kept in good condition, it would be
beautiful. But they are nearly always dirty and neglected.

In the open ground between the chapel and the sides, the poor people
are rolled into graves so shallow that a little digging would soon
exhume the body.

The nichos, or ovens, are rented by the year; if the tenant's surviving
family are not prompt with the annual payment, the body is taken out,
the bones cast ruthlessly over the back fence, and the premises once
more declared vacant.

When we first came, there used to be a great heap of these bones at
the back of the Paco Cemetery in Manila, but so much was said about
them that the Church grew sensitive and removed them. Our cemetery
at Capiz also had its bone heap.

An American negress, a dressmaker who was working for me, told me
that there was a petrified man, an American, in the Paco Cemetery,
and that the body was on exhibition. She had been to see it, and it
was wonderful. I had my doubts about the petrifying, but as I had to
pass the cemetery on leaving her house, I asked the custodian at the
gate if there was such a body there. He said that the body had just
been removed by the city authorities to be placed in the "Cemeterio
del Norte," where there is a plot for paupers. The body was that of
an American, buried in the cemetery five years before. His rent,
five pesos a year, had been prepaid for five years, but his time
had run out. When they came to take out the body, which had been
embalmed, it was found in a remarkable state of preservation. The
custodian said, with an irreligious grin, that in the old days the
condition of the body would have been called a miracle, and a patron
saint would have been made responsible, and all the people would have
come, bearing lighted candles, to do honor to the saint; and he added
regretfully that it was no good in these days. The Americans would
say that it was because of their superior embalming process. "But
what a chance missed!" he said, "and what a pity to let it go
with no demonstration!" There are many ways of looking at the same
thing. I could not help laughing, thinking of the negress. She said,
"He's sittin' up there by the little church, lookin' as handsome as
life--and him petrified!"



CHAPTER XXI

Sports and Amusements

Dancing, Cock-fighting, Gambling, Theatricals--Sunday in
the Philippines--Lukewarmness of Protestant Christians in the
Philippines--How a Priest Led Astray the Baptist Missionary's
Congregation on Thanksgiving--Scarcity of Amusements in Provincial
Life--An Exhibition of Moving Pictures--Entertainments for the Poorer
Natives--The Tragedy of the Dovecot.


The Filipino's idea of a good time is a dance. Sometimes, in the
country, a dance will go on for forty-eight hours. People will slip
out and get a little sleep and come back again. Next to the dance,
the cock-fight is their chief joy. A cock-fight is, however, not a
prolonged or painful thing. Tiny knives, sharp as surgical instruments,
are fastened to each bird's heels, and the cock which gets in the
first blow generally settles his antagonist.

Gambling is the national vice. The men gamble at _monte_ and
_pangingue_, and over their domino games, their horses, and their
game-cocks. The women of both high and low class not infrequently
organize a little card game immediately after breakfast and keep at it
till lunch, after which they begin again and play till evening. Women
also attend the cock-fights, especially on Sunday. Often the cockpit
is in the rear of the church and the convento; and the padre derives
a revenue from it.

Manila, being the metropolis, has its theatres, cinematograph shows,
and music halls. Nearly every year there is a season of Italian opera,
in which the principals are very good, and the chorus, for obvious
reasons, small and poor. Most of the theatrical talent which wanders
in and out comes from Australia. One theatre, which American women
do not patronize, keeps a sort of music-hall programme going all
year. There are many smaller theatres, where plays in the Tagalog
language, the products of local talent, are presented. I cannot say
what is the trend of these at the present time, but seven years ago
the plots nearly all embraced bad Spanish frailes who were pursuing
innocent Filipino maidens, and who always came to an end worthy of
their evil deeds. The disposition to express racial and political
hatreds in those plays was so strong that a friend in asking me to go
naïvely pictured his conception of them in the invitation. He said,
"Let's go over to the Filipino theatre and see them kill priests."

Of course, there is no Puritan Sabbath in the Philippines. Theatres,
balls, and receptions are carried on without any observance of that
day. The Protestant churches make a valiant effort to keep a tight
rein over their flocks, but with little success. It cannot truthfully
be said that most Americans here are either fond of church-going or
fond of the church social, which, with its accompanying features of
songs, recitations, and short addresses by prominent citizens, who
were never designed by the Creator to speak in public, and its creature
comforts of home-made cake and ice cream, has leaped the Pacific.

During my third year in Capiz a Baptist missionary arrived and took up
his work. He seemed to feel that he had a claim upon all Americans
to rally to his support. But, alas! they did not come up to his
expectations. Some were Roman Catholics; others, of whom I was one,
had an affection for the more formal, punctilious service of the
Church of England; and even two or three nonconformist teachers
realized that a too open devotion to the missionary cause would
hopelessly endanger their usefulness as teachers.

So the missionary carried on his services for nearly a year, and no
single American appeared at them. His congregation, which was largely
recruited from the poorer classes, and which had been hoping for the
social advantage which would be derived from the American alliance,
naturally pressed the unfortunate missionary for a reason. The sorely
tried man spoke at last. He said briefly that the Americans in Capiz
were pagans.

On one occasion the missionary arranged a service for Thanksgiving
morning and invited us personally. Of course we all said that we
should be glad to go. But the astute padre of the Church Catholic
was not going to have any such object lesson as that paraded before
his flock. He arranged for the singing of a _Te Deum_ in honor of the
day at half-past nine, just half an hour before the time set for the
other service. Then he got the Filipino Governor to send out written
invitations from his office in such a way that the affair assumed
the complexion of a national courtesy offered by the Filipino to
the American. For us, as Government employees, to disregard this
was impossible. So we went _en masse_ to the Roman Catholic church,
where two rows of high-backed chairs were arranged facing each other
up the centre of the church for our high mightinesses.

We had agreed privately that after the _Te Deum_ we would go over
to the Protestant chapel, and not leave the poor missionary to feel
himself wholly deserted. But no opportunity came. The service was
prolonged till any hope of our appearing in the rival chapel was
effectually quashed. When we came out, we looked at one another and
burst out laughing. It was one more evidence that the American is no
match for the Filipino in _finesse_.

Naturally, unless one falls in with the Filipino devotion to dancing,
there are few sources of so-called amusement in provincial life. The
American women visit each other and give dinners, which, to the
men who live in helpless subjection to an ignorant native cook, are
less a social than a gastronomic joy. If we are near the seashore, we
make up picnics on the beach, swim, dig clams, and cook supper over a
fire of driftwood. If thirst overtakes us, we send a native up a tree
for green cocoanuts. He cuts a lip-shaped hole in the shell with two
strokes of his bolo, and there is water, crystal clear and fresh. The
men hunt snipe and wild ducks, and sometimes wild pigs and deer.

In default of travelling theatrical companies, the provincial natives
have their own organizations of local talent and present little
plays in either Spanish or the native tongue. If American troops are
stationed near a town, there will be one or two minstrel shows each
year. The Filipinos all go to these, but they don't understand them
very well and are not edified. I think they imagine that the cake
walk is a national dance with us, and that the President of the United
States leads out some important lady for this at inaugural balls.

Once in a while a travelling cinematograph outfit roams through the
provinces, and then for a tariff of twenty-five cents Mexican we throng
the little theatre night after night. I remember once a company of
"barn-stormers" from Australia were stranded in Iloilo. They had a
moving picture outfit, and a young lady attired in a pink _costume de
ballet_ stood plaintively at one side and sang, plaintively and very
nasally, a long account of the courting of some youthful Georgia
couple. The lovers embraced each other tenderly (as per view) in
an interior that had a "throw" over every picture corner, table,
and chair back. Some huge American soldier down in the pit said,
"That's the real thing; no doubt about it," but whether his words
had reference to the love-making or the room we could not tell.

The song went on, the lovers married and went North; but after awhile
the bride grew heartsick for the old home, so "We journeyed South a
spell." With this line the moving picture flung at us, head on, a great
passenger locomotive and its trailing cars. To the right there were
a country road, meadows, some distant hills, a stake and rider fence,
and a farmhouse. The scene was homely, simple, typically American, and
rustic, and it sent every drop of loyal American blood tingling. The
tears rushed to my eyes, and I couldn't forbear joining in the roar of
approbation that went up from the American contingent. An Englishman
who was with our party insisted that I opened my arms a yard and a
half to give strength to my applause. I said I didn't regret it. We
poor expatriated wanderers had been drifting about for months with no
other emotion than homesickness, but we had a lively one then. The
Filipino audience at first sat amazed at the outburst; but their
sympathies are quick and keen, and in an instant they realized what
it meant to the exiles, and the wave of feeling swept into them
too. The young lady in the pink costume grew perceptibly exalted,
and in the effort to be more pathetic achieved a degree of nasal
intonation which, combined with her Australian accent, made her unique.

The poorer natives have one source of enjoyment in a sort of open-air
play which they call _colloquio_. This is always in the hands of local
talent, and is probably of Spanish mediæval origin. The three actors
are a captive princess, a villain, and a true knight. The villain is
nearly always masked, and sometimes the princess and knight are masked
also. The costuming is European. The performance may take place in a
house if anybody is kind enough to offer one, but more frequently the
street is the scene. A ring is marked off, and the captive princess
stands in the middle, while knight and villain circle about her with
their wooden swords, countering, and apparently making up verses and
dialogue as they go along. When they get tired, the princess tells her
sorrowful tale. The people will stand for hours about a performance
of this sort, and for weeks afterwards the children will repeat it
in their play.

Once a _circo_, or group of acrobats, came to Capiz and played for over
a month to crowded houses. The low-class people and Chinese thronged
the nipa shack of the theatre night after night from nine P.M. till
two A.M. When a Filipino goes to the theatre, he expects to get his
money's worth. I myself did not attend the circo, but judging from
what I saw the children attempt to repeat, and one other incident,
I fancy it was quite educative.

The other incident has to do with my henchman, Basilio, previously
mentioned, who later arrived at the dignity of public school
janitor. Basilio had been a regular patron of the circo, so much so
that he came into my debt. One of the first things we had set ourselves
to do was the clearing up of all school grounds and premises by pupil
labor. Exactly in the middle of the back yard of the Provincial School
was a great dovecot, which spoiled the lawn for grass tennis courts. So
our industrial teacher decided to move the dovecot bodily to another
place. I doubted if it could be accomplished without somebody's getting
hurt, and Basilio, without offering any reason, vociferously echoed my
sentiments, and jeered openly at the idea of the industrial teacher's
getting that dovecot safe and sound to the other end of the yard.

I refused to risk the Provincial School boys on the task, so
the teacher borrowed a file of prisoners from the Provincial
jail. Basilio the incredulous was ordered to be on hand and to make
himself useful. He appeared in a pair of white duck trousers, the gift
probably of some departing American, and somebody's discarded bathing
shirt in cherry and black stripes. He had cut off the trousers legs at
the thighs, and, with bare arms and legs glistening, was as imposing
an acrobat as one could wish to see.

I had long wanted a swing put up in a great fire-tree which stood near
the dovecot, and while the prisoners were loosening the earth about
the four supporting posts, I sent Basilio to put it up. He finished
his work just as the prisoners were ready to heave up on the posts,
and, to express his entire glee in what was shortly to occur, he came
down the rope _à la circo_, and landed himself with a ballet dancer's
pirouette, kissing both hands toward the tugging men. Anything more
graceful and more comical than Basilio's antics, I have never seen.

The dovecot was supported, as I said, by four great posts sunk in
the ground. On top of these was a platform, and on the platform
rested the house. The American teacher had assumed that the platform
was securely fastened to the posts and that the house was nailed to
the platform. This was his great mistake. He had not been over very
long, and he couldn't make allowance for the Filipino aversion for
unnecessary labor. The dovecot would hold firm by its own weight, and
the builders had not seen the necessity of wasting nails and strength.

Basilio with outstretched arms continued to stand on his toes
while the prisoners grunted over the posts, which came up with
difficulty. They were shamelessly lazy and indifferent to the commands
of the industrial teacher, who had, however, the sagacity to get out of
range himself. They lifted unevenly, there was a tipping, a sliding,
and a smash, as by one impulse the prisoners jumped aside and let
house, platform, and posts come thundering to the ground. Feathers
drifted about like snow; there were wild flutterings of doves; and
squabs and eggs spattered the lawn.

When I saw that nobody was hurt, I joined in the cackles of the
prisoners, who were doubled up with joy at the discomfiture of the
American teacher. He was in a blind rage, which was not diminished by
the outcries and lamentations of the Governor and a horde of clerks,
who swarmed out to express their grief over the wanton destruction
of a landmark. Privately, I don't believe they cared a rap, but the
opportunity to reproach an American for bad judgment comes so seldom
to the Filipinos that they refuse to let it escape.

Basilio never moved a muscle when the crash came. He had stood
buoyantly expectant; he received it flamboyantly calm. A smile
of ineffable pleasure then seized upon his features, and with the
breaking forth of the chorus he rose to joyous action. He spun on his
heels like a dervish. He threw handsprings, he walked on his hands,
he exhausted, in short, all that he had been able to acquire in the
abandon of the previous weeks; and then gravely righting himself,
he went over and began to pick up squabs. These he offered to the
American with a perfectly wooden countenance, and with the simple
statement that they were very good eating. He acted as if he thought
the teacher had done it all for that purpose.



CHAPTER XXII

Children's Games--The Conquest of Fires

Children's Games--How Moonlight Nights Are Enjoyed--The Popularity
of Baseball Among the Filipinos--My Domestics Play the Game--The
Difficulty of Putting Out Fires--Need of Water-Storage for the Dry
Season--Apathy of the Public at Fires--Examples Showing the Loyalty
and Devotion of Servants When Fires Occur.


Filipino children are not so active as the children of our own race,
and their games incline to the sedentary order. Like their elders,
they gamble; and like all children, the world over, they have a
certain routine in which games succeed one another. At one season
in the year the youngsters are absorbed in what must be a second
cousin to "craps." Every child has some sort of tin can filled with
small spotted seashells. They throw these like dice; they slap their
hands together with the raking gesture of the crap-player, and utter
ejaculations in which numeral adjectives predominate, and which must
be similar to "lucky six" and kindred expressions.

Following the crap game there is usually a season of devotion to a
kind of solitaire which is played with shells on a circular board,
scooped out into a series of little cup-like depressions. They will
amuse themselves with this for hours at a time. The shells are moved
from cup to cup, and other shells are thrown like dice to determine
how the shells are to progress.

The commonest form of child gambling, however, is that of pitching
coppers on the head and tail plan. You may see twenty or more games
of this sort at any time around a primary school. Sometimes the game
ends in a fight. Sometimes the biggest urchin gathers up everything
in sight and escapes on the ringing of the bell, leaving his howling
victims behind.

Not unnaturally, in consideration of the heat, there is comparatively
little enthusiasm for rough sport. The only very active play in which
little boys and girls engage, is leap frog, which differs slightly
from the game in our own country.

Two children sit upon the ground and clasp their right hands. A leader
starts out, clears this barrier, and all the rest of the players
follow. Then one of the sitting children clasps his unoccupied left
hand upon the upraised thumb of his companion, thus raising the height
of the barrier by the width of the palm. The line starts again and
all jump this. Then the second sitter adds his palm and thumb to the
barrier, and the line of players attack this. It is more than likely
that some one will fail to clear this last barrier, and the one who
does so squats down, pressing close to the other two, and puts in his
grimy little paw and thumb. So they continue to raise the height of
the barrier till, at last, nobody can jump it.

When they play _drop the handkerchief_, Filipino children squat
upon their heels in a circle instead of standing. They have also the
familiar "_King William was King James's Son_"; I do not know whether
the words in the vernacular which they use are the equivalent of ours
or not. The air, at least, is the one with which we are all familiar.

They have one more game which seems to be something like our
_hop-scotch_ but more complicated. The diagram, which is roughly
scratched out on the ground, is quite an extensive one. The player is
blindfolded, and hops about, kicking at his bit of stone and placing it
in accordance with some mysterious rule which I have vainly sought to
acquire. The children play this in the cool, long-shadowed afternoons,
when they have returned from school, have doffed their white canvas
shoes and short socks, and have reverted to the single slip of the
country.

There is a local game of football which is played with a hollow ball
or basket of twisted rattan fibres. The players stand in a ring, and
when the ball approaches one, he swings on one heel till his back is
turned, and, glancing over his shoulder, gives it a queer backward
kick with the heel of his unoccupied foot. It requires some art to
do this, yet the ball will be kept sometimes in motion for two or
three minutes without once falling to the ground.

On moonlight nights the Filipinos make the best of their beautiful
world. The aristocrats stroll about in groups of twenty, or even
thirty, the young people snatching at the opportunity to slip into
private conversation and enjoy a little _solitude à deux_ while their
elders are engrossed in more serious topics. The common people enjoy
a wholesome romp in a game which seems to be a combination of "tag"
and "prisoner's base." Groups of serenaders stroll about with guitars
and mandolins, and altogether a most sweet and wholesome domesticity
pervades the village.

At present the nearest real bond between American and Filipino
is baseball--"playball" the Filipinos call it, having learned to
associate these words with it from the enthusiastic shouts of American
onlookers. Baseball has taken firm hold, and is here to stay. In Manila
every plot of green is given over to its devotees. Every secondary
school in the country has its nine and its school colors and yell,
and the pupils go out and "root" as enthusiastically as did ever
freshmen of old Yale or Harvard. No Fourth of July can pass without
its baseball game.

We had a good baseball team at Capiz as early as 1903, and played
matches with school teams from neighboring towns. I did not realize,
however, how popular the game had become until one warm afternoon,
when I was vainly trying to get a nap.

The noise under my window was deafening. Thuds, shrieks, a babble of
native words, and familiar English terms floated in and disturbed my
rest. Finally I got up and went to the window.

The street was not over twenty-five feet wide, the houses, after
native custom, being flush with the gutter. In this narrow space my
servants had started a game of ball. They had the diamond all marked
out, and one player on each base. There was Ceferiana, the cook,
a maid of seventeen, with her hair twisted into a Sappho knot at the
back with one wisp hanging out like a horse's tail. Her petticoat was
wrapped tightly around her slim body and its back fulness tucked in at
the waist. She was barefooted, and her toes, wide apart as they always
are when shoes have never been worn, worked with excitement. There was
Manuel, who skated the floors, an anæmic youth of fifteen or sixteen,
dressed in a pair of dirty white underdrawers with the ankle strings
dragging, and in an orange and black knit undershirt. There was
Rosario, the little maid who waited on me and went to school. She was
third base and umpire. A neighbor's boy, about eight years old, was
first base. Manuel was second base and pitcher combined. Ceferiana
was at the bat, while behind her her youngest brother--he whose
engaging smile occupied so much of my attention at the funeral of
the lavandero aforementioned--was spread out in the attitude of a
professional catcher. His plump, rounded little legs were stretched
so far apart that he could with difficulty retain his balance. He
scowled, smacked his lips, and at intervals thumped the back of his
pudgy, clenched fist into the hollowed palm of the other hand with
the gesture of a man who wears the catcher's mitt. Had a professional
baseball team from the States ever caught sight of that baby, they
would have secured him as a mascot at any price.

The ball was one of those huge green oranges which the English call
pomeloes, about twice the size of an American grape-fruit. Being green,
and having a skin an inch thick; it withstood the resounding thwacks
of the bat quite remarkably. It was fortunate that the diamond was so
small, for it would have taken more strength than any of the players
possessed to send that plaything any distance. Catching it was only the
art of embracing. It had to be guided and hugged to the breast, for it
was too big to hold in the hands. The valorous catcher, in spite of his
fiercely professional air, invariably dodged it and then pursued it.

The bat was a board about eight inches wide, wrenched from the
lid of a Batoum oil case and roughly cut down at one end for a
handle. With the size of the ball, and the width of the bat, missing
was an impossibility. It was only a question of how far the strength
of the batter could send the ball. When it was struck, everybody ran
to the next base, and seemed to feel if he got there before the ball
hit ground, he had scored something.

Rosario, as I said, was both third base and umpire (after a run they
always reverted to their original positions). Her voice rang out in
a symphony like this: "Wan stri'! Wan ball! Fou' ball! Ilapog! ilapog
sa acon! Hindi! Ilapog sa firs' base! Fou' ball."

At times when somebody on a base made a feint of stealing a run
(for they were acting out everything as they had seen it done at
the last public match), Manuel threatened all points of the compass
with his four-inch projectile, and again the voice of Rosario soared,
"Ilapog--Ilapog sa firs' base--Hindi! sa Ceferiana! ah (ow-ut)!" while
an enthusiastic onlooker who had set down a bamboo pipe filled with
_tuba dulce_ (the unfermented sap of the nipa palm or the cocoanut
tree) added his lungs to the uproar in probably the only two English
words he knew--"Play ball! play ball!"

Thus are the beginnings of great movements in small things. Those
children got more real Americanism out of that corrupted ball game
than they did from singing "My Country, 'tis of Thee" every morning.

From a baseball game to a fire is a far cry, but fire in the
Philippines has such distinctive features that I cannot pass it
without a word. The lack of all facilities for combating it makes it
an ever present menace. The combustible materials of which houses are
built, and their close crowding together, tend to spread it rapidly;
while the thatched roofs make even the burning of an isolated house
a danger to the entire community.

Manila has an up-to-date American fire department, but even there,
with water mains and a signal-box system for alarms, a fire once
started in a nipa district in the dry season can seldom be checked
until the neighborhood is clean swept. In the provinces, where there
is not so much as a bucket brigade, the first alarm sends everybody's
heart into his mouth.

The chief trouble is the lack of water for putting out a fire in its
incipiency. Never was there a land in which water was more abundant or
more scarce than it is in the Philippines. For five months of every
year the skies let down a deluge, but nothing appreciable of all the
downfall is saved. The rich--the haughty, ostentatious rich--have
great masonry tanks walled up at the ends of their houses, capable
of holding two or three thousand gallons of water. With the contents
of these tanks the rich people supply themselves with drinking water
during the dry season, and net a considerable income from its sale to
their less fortunate neighbors. The merely well-to-do people content
themselves with a galvanized iron tank, which may store from two
to six hundred gallons, which is seldom enough to last out the dry
season. In this case they buy water from the mountaineers, who fill
their _tinajas_, or twenty-gallon earthenware jars, with water from
mountain springs, and bring them to the nearest towns in bancas.

The poor people have no way whatever of storing rain-water, and
either beg a few quarts each day from the rich people to whom they
are feudally attached, or else they fall back upon the ground wells,
or _pozos_, which, even they know, breed fevers and dysentery.

By no means every house has its well. Sometimes there are only two
or three to a block. Sometimes the well is merely a shallow hole,
uncemented, to catch the seepage of the upper strata. Sometimes it is
a very deep stone-walled cavity. Rarely is there a pump or a windlass
or any other fixed aid for raising the water.

When a fire starts, therefore, with such an inadequate water supply,
nothing can be done except to tear down communicating houses or
roofs. Enterprising natives who live even at a considerable distance,
usually mount their ridge-poles and wet down their roofs if they can
get the water with which to do it.

In the immediate vicinity of the fire itself tumult reigns. Filipino
womankind, who are so alluringly feminine, are also femininely helpless
in a crisis, and if there be no men around to direct and sustain them,
often lose their heads entirely. They give way to lamentations,
gather up their babies, and flee to the homes of their nearest
relatives. Often they forget even their jewels and ready money,
which are locked in a wardrobe.

Meanwhile, if there be men folks about, they make a more systematic
effort to save things, and as all relatives and connections who are
out of danger themselves rush in at the first alarm, quite a little
may be rescued. The things which are traditional with us as showing
how people lose their heads at a fire are just as evident here as
in our own land. They throw dishes, glassware, and fine furniture
out of the windows, and carry down iron pots and pillows. The poor
gather their little store of clothing in sheets, release the tethered
goats, puppies, game-cocks, and monkeys, which are always abundant
about their shacks, and toddle off with their doll trunks in their
arms. The sight is a pitiful one, especially when the old and decrepit,
of which almost every house yields up one or more, are carried out in
hammocks or chairs. Yet in a few hours all will have found shelter
with friends, and probably the suffering consequent upon a fire is
less than in our own country, where people have more to lose and
where the rigor of climate is a factor not to be overlooked.

There is very little use in combating fire under such circumstances,
and perhaps long experience has contributed to the apathy with
which such disasters are treated. The American constabulary and
military officials generally turn out their men, and lend every effort
themselves to quell the flames. Here and there individual Filipinos,
such as governors or presidentes, who feel the pressure of official
responsibility, display considerable activity; but, on the whole,
the aristocratic, or governing, class rather demonstrates its weakness
at such times. The men whose property is not threatened seldom exert
themselves, but stand in groups and chatter about how this could be
done or that. Everybody is full of suggestions for somebody else to
execute, but nobody does anything. The municipal police nose about in
the crowd, and at intervals seize upon some obscure and inoffensive
citizen, propelling him violently in the direction of the conflagration
with orders to "work." He half-heartedly picks up an old five-gallon
petroleum can or a bamboo water-pipe, and starts off to the nearest
well, but as soon as he is out of range of the policeman's eye he
drops the article, shuffles back into the gazing crowd, and does no
more work.

At such time the loyalty and devotion of servants are put to a severe
test. Two incidents came under my notice which it is a pleasure to
describe. During my third year at Capiz our own home (I was "messing"
with another American woman teacher) was threatened by fire one
night, and all our household goods were carried out and saved by
American men. The house was on fire more than once, but they managed
to extinguish the fire each time.

Mention has previously been made of my little maid, Ceferiana. At
the first alarm that night, she rushed into my room, and, spreading
out a sheet, began to throw clothes into it from my drawers and
wardrobe. When she had gathered up a full bundle, she rushed off to
a place of safety, deposited it and came back for more. Meanwhile I
had gathered up some silver and other valuables, and locked them in a
trunk. Ceferiana helped me to carry this out, and as we were returning,
the sweep of the flames seemed to be almost engulfing our house. For
the first time Ceferiana gave a thought to her own possessions. With
a wail--"Ah, Dios mio, mi ropa!" ("Oh, my God! my clothes!")--she
sank down on her knees, beating her breast, and bewailing the loss
of a wardrobe made up chiefly from my cast-off garments, but even
then far richer than that of most girls of her class.

About this time the American men began to arrive on the scene,
and though they would not permit us to return to the house, they
chivalrously rescued Ceferiana's possessions as well as mine.

The lady who lived with me had some time before discharged a servant
for a cause which we others considered not very just. She was timid,
and as her husband was away, she was unwilling to permit the servant
to leave the premises for even a brief time. Filipino servants simply
cannot be handled in that way. A certain amount of time for recreation
and pleasure is their just due, and they will have it. Adolphus,
robbed of his _paseo_, reported that his grandmother was dying, and
demanded an evening off to visit her. His mistress happened to take a
walk that evening and beheld Adolphus the perfidious, not sitting by a
dying grandmother, but tripping the light fantastic in a nipa shack,
eight by twelve. She forthwith discharged Adolphus, and even levied
on the services of a friendly constabulary officer to thrash him
with a _stingaree_, or sting ray cane. Adolphus retaliated by forging
her husband's name to some chits for liquors. She had him arrested,
prosecuted, and jailed. He had just finished his sentence when the
fire came. He was almost the first person to appear, and worked like
a Trojan for two hours, his services being of no mean value. I think
the reader will agree with me that Adolphus showed a Christian and
forgiving spirit.


The End



NOTE

[1] Since the writing of the above sentence, one American woman has
been murdered in Batangas, one young girl violated in Manila, and
knowledge has come to the writer of three cases of attempted assault
on American women, which were kept out of the newspapers.





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