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Title: Recollections of Manilla and the Philippines - During 1848, 1849 and 1850
Author: MacMicking, Robert
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Recollections of Manilla and the Philippines - During 1848, 1849 and 1850" ***

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                  DURING 1848, 1849, AND 1850.


                    ROBERT MAC MICKING, ESQ.

             Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.



The Philippines, in many respects situated most advantageously
for trade, having long been governed by a people whose notions of
government and political economy have never produced the happiest
results in any of their once numerous and important colonies, appear
at last to be slowly reaping the benefit of the new commercial maxims
now in course of operation, in Spain, and show symptoms of progressing
with increased speed in the march of civilization, encouraged by
commerce. As such a state is always interesting, more especially to
my countrymen, whose commercial and manufacturing welfare is closely
bound up with the rate at which civilization advances in every part
of the world, I have attempted to give some idea of the actual state
and prospects of this valuable colony, as they appeared to me during a
residence there of the three years 1848-9-50, with the double object
of directing more attention to these islands than has hitherto been
paid to them by our merchants and manufacturers, and of deriving
some employment in doing so, during a tedious voyage from Singapore
to Hongkong, when, being in a great measure debarred from personal
activity, an interesting occupation was felt to be more than usually
necessary to engage the mind.

There are many imperfections in the execution of my task; but for these
the critical reader is requested to make some allowance, and entreated
not to forget the inconveniences all landsmen are subjected to at sea.

                                                    September, 1851.





About the time the Spanish arms under Hernan Cortez, Pizarro, and
Almagro, were meeting with their most splendid successes in America,
the thought occurred to Hernando Magallanes, a Portuguese gentleman
in the service of King Charles the Fifth of Spain, that if by sailing
south he could pass the new Western World, it would be possible to
reach the famous Spice Islands of the East, which he supposed to
contain untold-of wealth in their bosoms. This vast, and, in the
state of their knowledge at the time, apparently hardy and even rash
idea, met with approval by the King, who honoured Magallanes with
the distinguished military order of Santiago, and appointed him to
the command of a squadron which he immediately set about fitting out
to accomplish the project, with the view of conquering and annexing
these islands to his crown.

At length, when all the preparations were completed, on the 10th of
August, 1519, six ships, no one of which exceeded 130 tons, and some
of them being less than half that size, sailed from the port of San
Lucan de Barrameda on this bold and perilous enterprise.

In the prosecution of their voyage, many obstacles were encountered;
but everything disappeared before the ardour of their chief,
who, discovering, passed through the Straits of Magellan, which
alone immortalize his name, and spreading his sails to the gale,
stood boldly with his squadron, now reduced to three crazy vessels,
into the unknown and vast ocean which lay open before him, with all
the hardihood characteristic of his time, traversing in its utmost
breadth the Pacific, without, however, chancing to meet with any of
the numerous islands now scattered throughout its extent. At last,
the Mariana or Ladrone Islands were descried on the 16th of August,
1521, and a few days afterwards a cape on the east coast of Mindanao
was seen.

Coasting along the shores of Caraga, the ships anchored off Limasna,
where Magallanes was well received by the natives of the place;
from thence steering towards Cebu, he managed to establish a good
understanding with the country people, although upwards of two
thousand of them had assembled, armed with spears and javelins,
to oppose his landing.

Having constructed a house at this place, in order that mass might
be decently said, he landed to hear it, accompanied by his crews.

The royal family of Cebu, curious to observe the manners of their
strange visitors, attended its celebration, and, as the story
goes, were so much edified by the sight, that they were baptized
Christians, and an oath of allegiance and vassalage to the King of
Spain administered to them; and their example being followed to a
great extent by the nobles and people of Cebu, the Christian forms
of faith and the symbolic cross were planted by the Spaniards in the
country of the antipodes.

Some time afterwards, Magallanes met the end which best becomes a
brave and good soldier, by dying in the battle-field in the cause of
his new friends and allies.

But without his master-mind to direct them, things no longer went
on so smoothly between the Spaniards and the natives; and under his
successor, the hostile feelings then given birth to, soon found a
tragical vent, which resulted in a number of the white men being
cruelly massacred by their Indian hosts, and in the flight of
their companions, who, fearful of their own safety, made all sail
on their ships, and bore away, leaving their unfortunate countrymen
to their fate, without attempting and even refusing to ransom such
of them whose lives were spared, from having been less obnoxious to
the Indians than the others. This fatal accident left the surviving
crews so much weakened in numerical strength, that not having men
enough left to work all the ships, the "Concepcion" was set fire to,
and the survivors steered towards the Moluccas.

It were tedious to follow them through all their adventures; suffice
it to say, that Juan Sebastian de El Cano was the only captain who
succeeded in taking his ship home again round the Cape of Good
Hope. After many anxieties and vicissitudes he entered the same
port of San Lucar from which he had sailed about three years before;
and as a memento of his skill and of his being the first navigator
who had made the circuit of the world, the king granted him for an
armorial bearing, a globe, with the legend, "Primus circumdedit me,"
which he had thus so honourably gained.

At intervals of about four years between each other, three separate
expeditions were fitted out from Spain and America for these islands,
which were named "_Las Felipiñas_" by Villalobos, commander of the
last of these squadrons, in honour of the then Prince of Asturias,
afterwards better known as King Philip the Second of Spain.

In the meantime the Portuguese, jealous of the vicinity of such
powerful neighbours as the Spaniards, to their empire of the East
which Vasco de Gama and Albuquerque had so brilliantly founded
for their country, took advantage of the financial distress of the
Spanish king, who was then arming against France and Germany, and
for an inconsiderable amount purchased his right of conquest over
all the Philippines.

But they did not long retain them; for on Prince Philip of the Asturias
becoming King of Spain he regained the islands by breaking through
the treaty which confirmed their sale. Having, in 1564, appointed
Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi commander of an expedition fitted out
for the purpose of reacquiring them, and having made him Governor and
Adelantado of all the countries he could conquer,--which now-a-days
appears to be rather a vague commission, but was then a custom of that
venturous time,--that dignitary reached the Philippines, which had
been altogether neglected by the Portuguese, and without difficulty
re-established Spanish supremacy over the group, of which he may be
considered as the first governor.

Their favorable reception by the natives rendered the acquisition
altogether, or nearly, a bloodless one, for the warriors who gained
them over to Spain were not their steel-clad chivalry, but the
soldiers of the cross:--the priests, who, going out among a simple
but somewhat passionate people, astonished and kindled them by their
enthusiasm in the cause of Christ; while the novel doctrines they
taught so enthusiastically, aided by the usual splendid accompaniments
of that religion, captivated their senses, and took possession of
their imaginations.

Manilla was founded on the island of Luzon, the most important
of all the islands in the group; and the situation of the new
capital on the shore of a long bay, into which flow numerous rivers,
bringing down from the interior of a fertile country through which
they run, its varied and valuable produce, has secured for it
prosperity and commercial importance. A trade with China sprang up,
and its commencement was soon followed by many emigrants from that
densely-peopled country, whose habits of industry and prudence very
soon began to increase and develope the natural fertility of the soil,
and whose numerous descendants have mingled with the native character
some of those useful virtues which it seems scarcely probable they
would possess but for this slight mixture of blood.

Alas, that priestly ambition and the desire of domination should
in time usurp the place of those laborious, enthusiastic, and
pious missionaries who, so happily for the natives, had managed
to revolutionize their minds, and so spared their country those
scenes of blood which blot with a fearful stain the history
of Spanish power in America. But the influence of churchmen,
as usual, in the Philippines, was not always to be well directed;
for the merciless Inquisition having established itself at Manilla,
commenced its terrible career. No one was safe, none were exempt
from its powers; its emissaries penetrated even into the palace of
the Governor. Moderation in religion, or remissness in its strictest
observances, became crimes, punishable by the severest discipline of
that fearful and cruel establishment. All attempts, even when aided
or directed by the authority and influence of the highest officials,
to lessen its power, proved unsuccessful; and frequently a _Bishop_
was chosen to occupy the Governor-general's place, to perform his civil
and military duties! Everything was in the hands of the churchmen,
the subsequent effects of which were demonstrated to the world by the
easy success of the British expedition of 1762, which they permitted
to enter the bay without opposition, having passed the fortified
island of Corregidor at its entrance without a shot being fired to
prevent them. And the same effects caused but a feeble resistance to
be opposed to their arms, and the speedy surrender of Manilla by its
priest-ridden and effeminate defenders.


The Government of Spain has, ever since the period of their
acquisition, shown itself ignorant or neglectful of the commercial
importance of these islands, the commerce of which has long been
subjected to regulations and restrictions as injurious in their
tendency as can well be imagined,--they being framed, apparently at
least, more for the purpose of smothering it in its earliest existence
than with any kindly or paternal views of nourishing and increasing it.

But a change having at length once begun, a new era may be said
to have commenced with regard to them, and it is to be hoped that
increasing wisdom and liberality of ideas may clear away some of the
remaining obstacles which for so long encumbered, and even yet impede
and circumscribe within a very narrow circle, the natural course of
their commerce. For the Spanish Government are far from following a
similar policy to that of the great Henry the Fourth of France, who,
as an encouragement to the manufacturing industry of the country,
rewarded those silk manufacturers who had carried on business for
twelve years, with patents of nobility, as men who by doing so not
only benefited themselves, but deserved well of their country for
their enterprise and commercial spirit. Don Simon Anda was about
the first person who showed any desire to augment the trade of the
islands; and his election to the highest offices of the colony,
after its restoration by the English, was a most fortunate event for
Manilla. Although, unluckily, many of the steps he took with the best
intentions, notwithstanding being infinitely in advance of those of
his predecessors in office, were not always in the right direction,
and consequently unattended by the highest degree of success which he
aimed at, partial good results were obtained by them, and a beneficial
change began to regulate affairs.

The expulsion of the Jesuits from the Philippines in 1768, by throwing
their immense estates out of cultivation, and also the wars and
disturbances subsequent to the French Revolution, being felt even in
this remote part of the world, were attended with the worst effects
to the trade and agriculture of the islands. On the peace of 1814,
the condition of the country was truly deplorable, as, during a
long period of isolation and inactivity, abuses had multiplied to an
alarming extent, and the minds of the Indian population especially
had become divided between superstition and sedition, from each of
which a sanguinary catastrophe resulted. Public opinion at the time
fastened on the priests the guilt of the massacre of the Protestant
foreigners at Manilla in 1820, and the growing discontent of the
people blew into open rebellion in 1823, under a Creole leader,
who then rose and attempted to shake off the Spanish authority.

To give the reader some idea of the commercial regulations then
existing, which helped, no doubt, to bring about these disorders,
it may be mentioned that among many other things, even after the
port of Manilla was thrown open to ships of all nations, the vessels
belonging to that port itself were not allowed to trade with Europe,
or to proceed beyond the Cape of Good Hope; and Government yet further
limited their intercourse with the only ports of China and India
which were open to them, by issuing passes to all colonial ships,
the conditions of which were perfectly incompatible with the usual
course of commerce, as they were required to return home directly
from the port to which they were destined from Manilla, and were not
at liberty to touch at, or have any intercourse with, other places
than those specified in their passport.

These absurd restrictions of course prevented a ship from profiting
by any freight she might be offered at the port of her destination
from Manilla, because the terms of her pass made it compulsory for
her to return there before she could accept any new engagement such as
might be offered her, and of course, in such a case, frequently forced
them to decline most profitable business; consequently, the colonial
shipowners found that they had to sail their vessels at a great
disadvantage with all others who were free from such interference.

Neither was the trade with Spain open to them, for the Trading Company
numbered among their many other privileges, that of having the sole
right of placing ships on the berth for the Peninsula.

This state of things actually remained in force till 1820, when a
royal order confirmed a decree of the Cortes exempting from all duties
whatever any products of the Philippines which might be imported into
Spain during the ensuing ten years; and this step may be considered
as the first evidence of a desire shown by that Government to give
an impulse to their colonial agriculture or to the manufactures and
commerce of these splendid islands.

This good work, having once begun, was followed up by the
enlightened and benevolent government of Don Pascual Enrile, who was
Captain-General of the Philippines from 1831 to 1835, and whose entire
administration has left behind it the happiest results for the people
he governed.

Commencing his reform of the laws relating to navigation by giving
passes to ships, for the period of two years, without requiring them
to declare to what place or places they were bound, or might touch
at during their absence from the port to which they belonged, he
had an opportunity of satisfying himself of the good results ensuing
from non-interference; and some time afterwards entirely loosed the
fetters which burdened them, by giving colonial ships liberty to
sail wherever they chose without restrictions as to time or place:
and certainly, his doing so was an honour for the national flag,
which then waved on every sea. These concessions proved alike wise
and beneficent; and since the time of their being granted, the tonnage
and commerce of Manilla has increased in an amazing degree, and still
goes on prosperously augmenting Her Most Catholic Majesty's treasury,
besides improving the condition of the people and the agriculture of
the country.

But this was far from being the only wise act of Governor Enrile,
for under his administration a boon of even greater importance was
secured to the country and the people of the colony, by the opening
of internal communications throughout the Philippines. He established
a comprehensive system of roads, and organised posts throughout the
islands. Although most of the roads are now kept in most wretched
order, yet being nearly always passable by horses, they are found
to be of the utmost importance to the well-being of the country,
even as they now exist.

But should a time come when more attention will be bestowed upon them
than now is, and new ones judiciously constructed in districts where
they have not yet been, the agriculture of the islands will improve
to a great degree, and corresponding advantages will follow in its
train to be reaped by the Government that is enlightened enough to
undertake them, and which is sensible enough to know what is most for
its true interests. May that day soon come, for it will be a happy
one to the Philippines and all belonging to them.


On approaching Manilla from the bay in one of the bancas--or canoes
having a cover as a protection against the sun--which generally go off
to all ships after their anchor has been let go, and the port-captain's
boat has boarded the new arrival, the spires, towers of churches,
and lofty red-tiled roofs of houses or convents are all that can be
seen over the walls, so that the first impressions of a stranger are
not in general very vivid or interesting.

On reaching the múrallon, your banca enters the waters of the Pasig
river, prolonged by two piers into the bay, on the extreme point
of one of which is situated a small fort garrisoned by a company
of soldiers, and on the other the lighthouse, a most insignificant
and nearly useless building. Passing these, the boatmen pull up the
river to the garrita, a small round house, where the banca is viséd
by the people of the gun-boats, at all times stationed there for
that purpose, and should there be any packages or baggage in it,
the port-captain's deputy, or aide-de-camp, puts a guard on board,
who conducts you to the custom-house for the purpose of having it
inspected there; but the examination is generally not a very minute
one, and personal effects are for the most part passed merely by
opening the boxes and showing the tops of their contents, although
you may be asked whether it contains either pocket-pistols or a bible,
both of which are prohibited and seizable.

The city of Manilla, ever since its foundation, which took place at
a very early period of the Spanish power in Luzon, from the natural
advantages combined in its situation--so judiciously chosen by
them--continued to be the capital of the Philippines, whose history
ever since may be said to have centered in the transactions which at
various times have taken place under the shadow of its walls.

It is built at the mouth of the river Pasig, on the low-lying and
sandy point formed by its junctions with the waters of the bay,
between which and the ditch that surrounds the walls on the seaward
side, a level sward stretches along the beach.

An Englishman, on arriving, perceives a marked difference between
the place and people and any of his country's Indian possessions; the
air he breathes, and the habits he gradually falls into from seeing
them the customary ones of other people, are not the same as those
of his countrymen in British India. Should he be fortunate enough to
have arrived towards the end of the year, in addition to the greater
coolness of the weather then usually prevalent, and so delightful in
the tropics, he will most probably not want opportunities for enjoying
himself; as, after suffering a penitential confinement to the house
during the long rainy season, for some time before Christmas, the
cool nights and other circumstances induce the residents to break out
into greater gaiety than is prevalent at other seasons of the year;
and amusement, about that time, generally appears to be the order of
the day.

The city is not unworthy of a curiosity seeker's visit. The town,
within the fortifications, although not of great size, is for the
most part well planned, the streets being straight, regular, and some
of them kept clean and in good order, although many of the smaller
ones are allowed to fall into great disrepair. They are too narrow,
moreover, for the heat of the climate, as the confined air and stench
frequently existing in them, are principally generated by their
closeness, and more especially during the cool of the evening and
early morning, are far from conducing to the health of the population.

The latitude of the citadel, or Fuerza de Santiago, is 14° 36' N.,
longitude 127° 15' E. of Cadiz, or in latitude 14° 36' 8'' N., and
longitude 120° 53 1/2' E. of Greenwich.

The fortifications surrounding the town are regular, and apparently
strong, defences; but although the walls and ditch look formidable
enough in themselves, the want of sufficient good artillery to
protect them would probably be felt in the event of an assault,
and might render the place not a very difficult prize to a large
attacking force. But no invader need now-a-days expect to meet with
such very easy success as attended our expedition last century,
at a time when weak and priestly notions not only ruled the church,
but governed the people and the camp.

Very different feelings and modes of action are now prevalent among
the white population, from those then in operation among them.

For some years past the influx of fresh blood from Europe has been
very much greater than in former times, the consequence of which
is that a change is creeping over the place, from the energy and
enterprize of the new comers.

There is little doubt but that all this is for the best, and in the
course of a few years more, I hope to hear that the Government,
increasing in liberality and wisdom, will allow the natural
capabilities of the Philippines to be developed, and their importance
appreciated, by permitting foreigners to hold land and become planters,
as without their capital and knowledge it will probably be a long
time before the Spaniards of themselves attain these ends in the like
perfection; such measures would ensure their doing so at once.

By far the most populous and important part of the town of Manilla
is situated without the walls, and on the other side of the river
from the fortified city, the intermediate communication being by a
handsome bridge, one of the eight arches of which, having given way
to the shock of an earthquake, has not been rebuilt, but is replaced
by wood. It has been proposed to construct a drawbridge at this point,
so as to allow the colonial shipping to proceed up the river above the
bridge, which they cannot now do. And should the project be carried
into effect, it is likely that the small sized coasting vessels,
when nothing better offers for them to do, will go on to the Laguna,
and supersede the clumsy _cascos_ which now solely navigate the lake
and bring down the produce of the fruitful country which surrounds it,
to dispose of in the market of Manilla.

Without the walls nearly all the trade is carried on, the Escolta
and Rosario, on that side of the river, being the principal streets,
built however without any regard to regularity, so that they are
not handsome, but in them nearly all the best Chinamen's shops are
situated. These are in general very small confined places, though
crammed with manufactures, the produce of Manchester, Glasgow,
Birmingham, and of many other European and Chinese manufacturing
marts. Some of the shops may also be seen stuffed to the door with the
valuable Piña cloth, husè, and other productions of the native looms.

The great object of the Chinese shopmen appears to be, to show the
most varied, and frequently miscellaneous, collection of goods in the
smallest possible space; as, their shops being for the most part not
more than ten feet broad towards the street, leaves but little space
besides the doorway to display the attractions of their wares, and
every inch has to be made the most of by them. These China shopkeepers
have nearly driven all competition, except with each other out of the
market,--very few Mestizos or Spaniards being able to live on the
small profits which the competition among themselves has reduced
them to. A China shopkeeper generally makes his shop his home,
all of them sleeping in those confined dens at night, from which,
on opening their doors about five in the morning, as they usually do,
a most noisome and pestiferous smell issues and is diffused through
the streets. The Mestizos cannot do this, but must have a house to
live in out of the profits of the shop; and the consequence has been,
that when their shopkeeping profits could no longer do that, they have
nearly all betaken themselves to other more suitable occupations, from
which the energies of their Chinese rivals are less likely to drive
them. The number of Chinamen in Manilla and throughout the islands
is very great, and nearly the whole provincial trade in manufactured
goods is in their hands. Numerous traders of that nation have shops
opened throughout the islands, their business being carried on by
one of their own countrymen, generally the principal person of the
concern, who remains resident at Manilla, while his various agents
in the country keep him advised of their wants, to meet which he
makes large purchases from the merchants, and forwards the same to
his country friends. Besides having many shops in the provinces,
each of these head men is generally in the habit of having a number
of shops in Manilla, sometimes upwards of a dozen being frequently all
contiguous to one another, so that any one going into one of his shops
and asking for something the price of which appears too dear, refuses
it and goes to the next shop, which probably belongs to the same man,
and is likely to buy it, as he is apt to think--because they all ask
the same price--that it cannot be got cheaper elsewhere, so gives
the amount demanded for it, although it is probably very much too dear.

There is another advantage which the Chinese have found from the
system they pursue,--that large purchasers of goods from the merchants
who import them for sale are frequently able to buy them for less
money than those smaller traders who are not in the habit of making
purchases to the same amount from the importers,--as the credit of
a small dealer is not sufficiently good to induce a merchant to sell
them more than he imagines he is likely to be paid for.

In these Chinese shops, the owner usually engages all the activity
of his countrymen employed by him in them, by giving each of them a
share in the profits of the concern, or, in fact, by making them all
small partners in the business, of which he of course takes care to
retain the lion's share, so that while doing good for him by managing
it well, they are also benefiting themselves. To such an extent is
this principle carried, that it is usual to give even their coolies
a share in the profits of the business in lieu of fixed wages, and
the plan appears to suit their temper well; for although they are
in general most complete eye-servants when working for a fixed wage,
they are found to be most industrious and useful ones when interested
even for the smallest share.

The amount of business done by some of these Chinamen with the
principal importers of manufactured goods, who are the British
merchants, is very considerable, some of them frequently making monthly
purchases to the extent of ten or fifteen thousand dollars from one
person, nearly all of the goods being sold to them on credits of
three, four, or six months after the date of purchase and delivery
of the merchandise. Occasionally, however, some of them break down,
and those importers who have been trusting them for large amounts,
of course burn their fingers; Chinamen, as a general rule, being
honest and trustworthy only so long as it appears to be their own
interest to remain so. Most of them at Manilla are people who have
made everything for themselves, from nothing except their hands to
begin with, as no rich Chinamen, such as are met with in their native
country, and occasionally in Java and Singapore, are found at Manilla;
for nearly all those who come there have originally arrived as coolies,
earning their bread by manual labour, but very few of them indeed
having inherited anything from their fathers, except the arts of
reading and writing, which nearly the whole of them, however poor,
understand and are able to perform. Whenever they make money, they
invariably return to China, the Government holding out no inducements
for them to remain in the Philippines, as they do elsewhere in the
Archipelago, where greater freedom and protection are allowed them.


The streets of Manilla have at all times a dead and dull appearance,
with the exception of the two already mentioned as being in the
business part of the town. The basement-floor of the houses being
generally uninhabited, there are no windows opened in their walls,
which present a mass of whitewashed stone and lime, without an object
to divert the eye, except here and there, where small shops have
been opened in them, these being generally for selling rice, fruit,
oil, &c., and entirely deficient in the glare or glittering colours
of gay merchandise, nearly all of which is confined to the shops of
the Escolta, Rosario, and Santo Christo.

The houses here, as elsewhere in hot climates, are arranged with great
regard to ventilation and coolness, and are mostly large edifices;
but are seldom well laid out, and are deficient in many respects. The
entire white population, which amounts to upwards of 5,000, resides
either in the city, by which is meant that portion of it within the
walls, or in the principal part of the town outside the walls, and
on the other side of the river from the city within the walls; and
in this district is comprehended the great bulk of the population,
which amounts to upwards of 200,000 souls.

Those resident within the walls are principally government servants,
&c., induced, by the proximity of the public offices, regimental
cantonments, &c., as well as a lower house-rent, to brave the greater
heat usually felt there, from the confined space within the walls,
and the narrow streets, not permitting so free a circulation of air
as is enjoyed in the houses _extra muros_.

The largest description of houses, being the residences of Europeans,
are spacious, and in many cases built on one plan, most of them
being quadrangles inclosing a court-yard within their squares. Here
the stables, &c., are usually situated; and, as may be supposed,
the smell and view of them, should they happen to be in the least
negligently kept, as they frequently are, afford but very little
gratification to persons whose windows happen to be near.

The upper part of the house, or second story, as we would say in
Scotland, is in general the only portion of the house inhabited by
its residents. The rooms below, being considered unhealthy, are in
general converted into warehouses or shops, if they can be let as such
from happening to be conveniently situated, or serve as coach-houses,
lumber-rooms, &c. &c. The masonry of the lower walls is usually very
substantial and strong, being calculated to resist the shocks of
earthquakes, which occasionally happen. Those of the upper stories,
which rise from them, and form the habitable part of the house above,
are much slighter than the lower ones, and the joists and wooden-work
about the roof are adapted for security against such accidents,
by their being fastened with bolts on either side of the masonry,
thus enabling it to give a little play to the motion of the shock,
without being displaced by it, and coming down, as thick and heavy
walls would most certainly do.

However, on the occurrence of an earthquake, it is usual to run down
stairs, and have the protection of the thick lower walls against
any accident, such as that of the roof giving way. As the house I
lived in while there may be taken as a specimen of many others, I
shall describe it. After entering the gateway, the door of which is
always very stout and heavy, and under the constant protection of a
porter, for security's sake, you reach a flight of steps leading to
the habitable part of the house, and enter a gallery running from
the top of the staircase, and a suite of rooms facing the street,
to the gala or drawing-room at the other end of the house, and a
suite of rooms facing the river. The entire length of the gallery
is about a hundred feet, by twenty broad, and it looks into the open
court-yard forming the centre of the building, on one side. There are
several large and spacious bedrooms on the other side, the windows of
which are lighted from a narrow street running to the river. Facing
the gallery, and on the other side of the house, across the central
court-yard, that entire side of the building is appropriated by the
servants for cooking and sleeping-places.

The beams supporting the upper or habitable floor extend four or
five feet beyond the outer wall, towards the street, forming a sort
of verandah, or corridor, as it is called in Spanish as well as in
English, round the entire building, affording a considerable protection
against the sun's rays. The outer side of this corridor is composed
of coarse and dark-coloured mother-of-pearl shell of little value,
set in a wooden framework of small squares, forming windows which move
on slides. Although the light admitted through this sort of window is
much inferior to what glass would give, it has the advantage of being
strong, and is not very liable to be damaged by the severe weather
to which it is occasionally exposed during some months of the year.

There are few buildings distinguishable for architectural beauty,
and those few are for the most part churches. The governor's house,
or the palace, is a large and spacious building within the walls,
and forms one side of the Playa, the other three being formed by
the cathedral, the Cabildo, and some private houses, whose irregular
height detracts considerably from the appearance of the square. In the
centre of the square stands a statue of I forget what King of Spain,
well executed in bronze.

It is usual for a military band to perform before the palace on
Sunday and feast-day evenings, and on these occasions many carriages
go there from the drive, about eight o'clock, to enjoy the music,
and give people a good opportunity for either gossip or love-making,
as their tastes or the moonlight may incline them.

The native Indians appear to have a good ear for music, and execute
many of the finest operas with spirit and taste; and the amateur
musicians in particular, who train the casino band, have brought the
native performers to a very high degree of perfection in most of the
pieces performed by them. A good deal more attention, however, appears
to be paid to training these military bands, than in perfecting the
troops themselves in their evolutions.

Religious processions are as frequently passing through the streets,
as they are in all the Roman Catholic countries of Europe, but
the features of all are very nearly identical, and so need not be
particularly described.

When one of these processions takes place during the day, an awning
is spread along the streets it will pass through, to protect the
bareheaded promenaders from the sun, the canvass being attached to
the house roofs along the streets; making them incredibly hot to pass
along, so long as it remains there.

A good deal of display in silver and gold ornaments may be seen in
some of the churches, the collections of many successive years, as
every incumbent shows his piety and zeal by adding something to them
during the time he holds the cure.

The jewels in some of the dresses of the figures, especially those of
the Virgin, are valued at, or amount to, a considerable sum of money,
and I have heard twenty thousand dollars mentioned as the value of
those belonging to one church in Manilla.

The houses of the Indian and Mestizo population are for the most
part in the outskirts of the business part of the town, those of the
richer sort being built of stone, and those of the poorest class being
composed of _nipa_, or attap. Among houses of this sort, when a fire
takes place, great and rapid destruction is inevitable, and the only
way of saving any portion of them from its fury is by throwing down
all those in the direction of its advance.

Nearly every season, however, some fires happen among them, and
hundreds of families are frequently burned out before its progress can
be arrested. This, however, is not anything like so calamitous an event
for them as such an occurrence would be to the poor of Europe, for as
the chief cost of a _nipa_ house consists in the labour of erection,
after such a misfortune, they are soon replaced by their own personal
labour--for whatever their usual trade or occupation may be, nearly
all of the Indians are quite capable of constructing these houses for
themselves, and often manage to complete them roughly in a few days. No
nails need be used in their construction, everything necessary being
produced in the islands, and easily attainable. Houses so constructed
are very suitable for the climate, affording all the shelter requisite;
and indeed the people appear to be much better lodged than many of
the poor in England, where the cold and damp of the climate demand
a substantial house, which too often they do not possess.


The government of all the Philippine group, including the Mariana
Islands, is intrusted to the charge of a Captain-General, who in
virtue of his office is commander-in-chief of the forces, president
of the Hacienda, admiral of marine, postmaster-general &c., &c. His
power and authority, in short, extend to all those departments,
over which his control, should he choose to exert it, is very absolute.

The civil department of Her Most Catholic Majesty's service, so far
as finance, &c., are concerned, is left to the administration of an
officer who takes the title of Super-Intendente of the Hacienda; and
who, putting the Archbishop aside, is regarded as the second official
person at Manilla, or as ranking next to the Governor, the revenue,
&c., being the branch he has principal charge of; but his acts are
always subject to the control of the Captain-General.

A military officer under the title of segundo Cabo, is under the
Governor as acting commander-in-chief of the forces, and, in the event
of the governor's absence from Manilla, is the person who fills his
situation and succeeds him in his power. A post-captain of the navy
is usually the rank of the person intrusted with the direction and
management of the sea force, but he always has, I believe, the local
or brevet rank of an admiral.

The internal administration of the country is carried on by officials
subordinate to those above-mentioned, the whole of the islands being
parcelled out or divided into several provinces, in each of which
there is an Alcalde, or Lieutenant-Governor, receiving his orders
from, and quite dependent on the Captain-General, to whose favour he
generally owes his appointment.

These officers are invested with the chief civil and military
authority in their own provinces; but although they have always a
small guard of soldiers, the good order and quiet generally prevalent
everywhere throughout the country render their military duties very
unimportant, and their principal care is now required in the collection
of revenue and the administration of justice within their several
jurisdictions. These are not very arduous duties, owing principally
to the efficient assistance derived from the authorities under them.

Every province is divided into districts or parishes, in which there is
some village or town, and in each of these places there is an official
whom I shall call the Major, or _Capitan Gobernadorcillo_, and also
some _Tenientes_ or Aldermen, as well as police alguacils. All
of these have to report to the alcalde of the province any thing
of importance occuring within their districts, and are commanded
severally to assist and promote the views of the cura, or priest,
by every means in their power. Most of the people who fill these
situations are Indians or Mestizos, rather better off in worldly
goods than the run of their countrymen.

These gobernadorcillos, or little governors, possess considerable
authority over the natives, for, besides having the chief municipal
authority in their own districts, they are allowed to decide judicially
in civil cases, when the amount in dispute does not exceed the
value of forty-four dollars, or about ten pounds sterling, and in
criminal cases undertake the prosecution, collecting the evidence
and ascertaining the charges against any delinquent within their
district, all of which is remitted by them to the provincial-governor
and judge for his decision. Their election takes place annually,
on the commencement of the new year, all over the country, and their
power is exactly defined in a printed commission which they all hold
from the Governor of the Philippines.

The half-breeds, or people of mixed Chinese and Indian blood, known by
the name of Sangleys, are usually permitted, in districts where their
number is considerable, to elect a Major from among their own class,
whose power over them is exactly similar to that of the captain of
the village where they reside over the aboriginal Indians: they do
not interfere with each other, and are quite independent of any one
save the alcalde of the province. When there are two gobernadorcillos
in the same village, they each look after their own class, whether
Mestizos or natives.

In addition to these local officials there is another curious body of
men, called _Cabezas de barangay_; each of whom has under his charge
about fifty families, whose tribute to government he has to collect,
and for the amount of which he is held accountable.

The persons who fill this office are usually resident in the immediate
neighbourhood or in the same street with those from whom they have to
collect the tribute, and have some slight authority over those who pay
it to them, such as deciding petty quarrels and disputes among them,
&c. The institution of this body is uncertain, and is said to have
been originated by the aboriginal Indians themselves, and to have
been found in full operation at the time of the earliest Spanish
intercourse with them. The probability is, however, that at that
period it was of a military nature, and their duties then were more
to officer the armies of the native kings than for any of the uses
it has been subsequently wisely put to by the white man. The office
is hereditary in their families; but in the event of the person who
exercises it changing his residence, or from other causes becoming
unfit to discharge its duties, a successor is elected in his place.

They are recompensed for their trouble in collecting taxes, &c.,
by being themselves exempted from paying tribute to the state,
and have several privileges by virtue of their office. As a body,
they are always considered the principal people of their village,
and only from among them, and by their votes alone, is the mayor or
gobernadorcillo of the _pueblo_ chosen; that is to say, they choose
a list of three Indians from among their own number for that office,
each of whom should by law be able to speak, read, and write Spanish;
and this list being forwarded to the alcalde, he indicates which
of them is to be chosen, by scratching his name and filling up his
commission. The election of these candidates ought to be made with
closed doors, and must be authorized by the presence of an escribano,
or attorney, to note the proceedings. The parish priest is allowed
to attend if he choose, in order that he may influence the election
of fit persons for the office by speaking in their favour, but he
has not any vote in the matter.

In the capital, owing to the number of Chinamen there, and in the
neighbourhood, they are obliged to choose a capitan from among
themselves, in order that he may collect their tribute and arrange
their petty disputes with each other, which some one conversant with
their customs and language is only fit to do.

There are some fees now attached to this office, but the duties are so
troublesome that the industrious Celestials very frequently find them
incompatible with the management of their own trade or business, and
for the most part are not at all ambitious of the honour of filling
the situation, even although some fees accompany it.

At the same time that the capitan is elected, his lieutenant and a
head constable are also chosen by their countrymen.

All Chinese arriving at Manilla are registered in a book kept for
the purpose, for, as they pay tribute according to their occupation,
the amount of it, and their numbers, are at once ascertained from
that. Should they leave the country, their passports have to be
countersigned by their capitan, who is to some extent responsible
for them while residing in it.

The emoluments of government offices are not very high; much too low,
in fact, to recompense the class of men who are required to discharge
them, and the consequence is, (as usual in such cases), that extortion
and improper means are resorted to in order to increase their amount,
all of which fall much heavier on the people than regularly collected
taxes, sufficient to support their proper or adequate pay, would
amount to.

In the province of Cagayan, for instance, the alcalde's nominal pay
is 600 dollars a-year, which sum is of course totally insufficient to
recompense any educated man for undertaking and supporting the dignity
of governor of a considerable province. But as the best tobacco is
grown there, one of his duties is to collect and forward it to Manilla,
for which he is allowed a commission, and this, with other privileges,
is found to yield him in ordinary years about 20,000 dollars a-year,
being in reality one of the most lucrative situations at the disposal
of the Government.

I believe that most people will concur with me in the opinion that the
system of reducing the fixed official pay below a remuneration that
will induce men of standing and education to undertake the duties
which their situation requires them to exercise, and to trust to
exaction supplying its place, is extremely impolitic, and much more
expensive to the country than a more liberal scale of pay would prove.

The alcaldes are allowed to trade on their own account, and for this
their position affords them many facilities; but for the permission
to do so, they are required to pay a considerable annual fee to
Government, ranging from about one hundred to three thousand dollars.

The wisdom of granting them this permission is very doubtful, as it
not unfrequently happens that the privilege is abused by rapacious
men, eager to make the most of their time and collect a fortune,
and occasionally it gives rise to much oppression.

The poor Indian cultivators of the soil, accustomed all their lives
to look upon the alcalde of their native province as the greatest
and most powerful man they know of, have very little redress for
their grievance, should that person, in the pursuit of money-making
and trade buy up all their crop of sugar, rice, or other produce,
whatever it may be, and in a falling market refuse to receive the
articles contracted for, or to complete the bargain agreed upon with
them. On the contrary, however, should anything he may have contracted
to buy be rising in value at Manilla, the poor Indian, who has sold it
too cheap to him, has no chance of getting clear of the bad bargain he
may have made with the alcalde, should it appear to that individual
worth his while to keep him to it, as every means are at his command
or beck, aided by all the force of the executive, and the terrors of
a law administered by himself, to compel him to ratify his contract.

In these circumstances the alcalde never makes a bad bargain, or loses
money on any of his transactions, and there is little wonder that
rapid fortunes are made by men holding these situations, when such
scandalous means are constantly resorted to by them, so that generally,
after a very few years of office, these people are upon very easy terms
with the world, although nominally only receiving a wretchedly low pay.

Notwithstanding these abuses, however, the government of the people
is on the whole much more effective, and consequently better, than
it is in many places of British India. No such thing was ever known
as disaffection becoming so generally diffused among them as to lead
to a rebellion of the people, or an attempt to shake off the leeches
who suck them so deeply; and this can only be attributed to the sway
the priesthood have over the minds of the Indians, as without their
influence and aid, beyond a doubt, such an attempt would be made;
and if it should ever come about, it would be no very difficult
affair for the natives, if properly led, to overthrow the sway of the
Spaniards. Although there is very little religion among the Indians,
there is abundance of superstitious feeling, and fear of the padre's
displeasure; indeed, the church has long proved to be, upon the whole,
by much the most cheap and efficacious instrument of good government
and order that could be employed anywhere, so long as its influence
has been properly directed. In the Philippines there appears to be
little doubt but that it is one of the most beneficial that could
be exerted as a medium for the preservation of good order among the
people, who are admonished and taught to be contented, while it is
not forgetful of their interests, as they very generally learn reading
by its aid--so much of it, at least, as to enable them to read their
prayer-books, or other religious manuals.

There are very few Indians who are unable to read, and I have
always observed that the Manilla men serving on board of ships,
and composing their crews, have been much oftener able to subscribe
their names to the ship's articles than the British seamen on board
the same vessels could do, or even on board of Scottish ships, whose
crews are sometimes superior men, so far as education is concerned,
to those born in other parts of Great Britain. This fact startled
me at first; but it has been frequently remarked upon by people very
strongly prejudiced in favour of white men, and who despise the black
skins of Manilla men, regarding them as inferior beings to themselves,
as strongly as many of our countrymen often do.


From old prejudices, and other causes, the Spanish people have not
as yet learned how to work the more liberal form of government now
enjoyed by their country. But there is no doubt that the experience
necessary to do so is daily being acquired by them at home, and when
it becomes prevalent, its effects may be expected to be shown by the
class of men selected to administer the government of their colonies,
the white population of which are of considerably more advanced
intelligence than their countrymen in Spain.

In most colonies the people appear to possess a superior degree of
vigour or freshness of mind to those born in Europe, or in old and
thickly inhabited countries. This may result in a great degree from
their comparative freedom from conventional prejudices, the results
of a long and insensible growth in families, which trammel nearly
every mind in densely peopled countries, and more especially in places
where commerce is languidly carried on. Perhaps also in some measure
it may be owing to the greater facility the poorer classes have in
all colonies of earning a livelihood, which, by freeing their minds
from anxiety on that score, leaves some room for their speculations
on other matters.

In the administration of government, they are even now guided
essentially by the most imperative rules; but I hope that, ere long, in
many cases, the very arbitrary proceedings of their chief authorities
abroad, may become subject to approval by a council such as exists
in our Indian possessions, and in Java among the Dutch, as there can
be little doubt but that it would prove advantageous to the country
did such a body exist.

As an example of the procedures of the Manilla government, I may
mention the following facts, which occurred to an acquaintance of my
own, and on which every dependence may be placed.

Don Francisco P. de O---- having been presented with the governorship
of one of the best or most lucrative provinces in the Philippines,
set out for his residency and commenced his duties, which he continued
to fulfil satisfactorily to himself and the people for upwards of
a year--about fifteen months, I believe. His commission as Governor
embraced four years from the date of his appointment; however, at the
end of the first year in his office, a nephew of the then Governor
happened to arrive at Manilla, and it became an object of interest
to his uncle to get him into some good place before the term of his
appointment as Governor expired. Casting his eyes around on everything
that might serve his turn, he happened to recollect Don Francisco's
alcalde-ship, and forthwith despatched an order to my unfortunate
friend to return to Manilla, there to answer some complaints which,
he alleged in the order of recall, had been made against his
administration of the province, and at the same time told him to
deliver over all authority to the person he sent for the purpose,
that individual being neither more nor less than his own nephew.

Don Francisco, ignorant of committing any crime or fault, or of
anything that could justify this very unceremonious recall, hastened to
Manilla, and presenting himself at the palace, demanded what charges
had been lodged against him, and by whom they had been made. But
he could learn nothing of them, and was commanded by the Governor
to wait in Manilla till he should be formally summoned to answer
them. It is now, however, upwards of ten years since this happened,
and from that day to this he has never been summoned, nor has he been
even able to find out what the charges were on which he was recalled
from his lucrative appointment, although repeated applications were
made to the Governor who recalled him for a trial. All the subsequent
Governors have professed their inability to give him the information,
which, had such charges actually been framed, must have been found in
the archives, so that no doubt can now exist but that this villanous
trick was trumped up by the Governor to serve his own family by the
bestowal of Don Francisco's place. And as my friend has since filled
other situations, (and, in fact, is an Alcalde,) having been selected
by different Governors for office, the accusation does not in the
least affect his character.

But, in truth, many of the natives of Spain who are even now selected
to fill the highest offices, are about as despotic and as unscrupulous
as any Asiatics in their notions of government and in their exercise
of power, and as bad even as the Turks themselves are in their
administration of justice and equity; while the Spanish government,
and the political knowledge of the people, are infinitely behind the
Turkish government in everything concerning their commercial policy.

During the time of electing members for the Cortes, or parliament
in Spain, of course the existing government were anxious to secure
the tide of the general election running in their favour--but what
means do you, my courteous reader, imagine they took to secure this
object? Why, neither more nor less than to order the police to seize
all persons suspected of being likely to oppose their party actively
at the ensuing elections throughout the country. Thousands of people
were actually seized and hurried off to jail, to be confined there
till the danger was past; and many of them, on the jails becoming too
full to contain them all, were hurried to a seaport town and put on
board ships sailing to Manilla, or, by hundreds at a time, sent out
on a voyage of four months' duration, to reconsider their political
opinions, and then to find their road home as they best might.

These people were captured in all situations of time and place, and
were not allowed to communicate with their friends while in prison
in Spain, which must have given rise to at least as much distress
and privation among as many persons as the numbers of those seized,
for very many of them were people with families entirely dependent
upon them for support.

About a thousand of these _deportados_ reached Manilla in 1848-9, and
being entirely destitute of all resources or means of subsistence, they
had to be taken care of by the Colonial Government, who allowed them
some rice and water every day, and had, finally, to charter vessels
to re-ship them for the Peninsula. One of them was an Irishman, who
having entered the Spanish service when a lad, had reached the rank
of Colonel; his father was a general officer and K.C.B. of our own
army, who, I believe, had married a Spanish lady, and after his death,
his family had become resident in Spain.

The bad accommodation of a crowded ship, together with the want
of change of clothes, which he was not allowed to procure from
his friends, and the general filthiness of the people with whom he
was obliged to be cooped up during the long voyage, acted on him so
severely that it caused his death a very short time after his arrival
at Manilla. Thus the poor fellow fell a sacrifice to this abominable
stretch of arbitrary power, and dying destitute, was buried there,
after having been maintained decently in a hotel during the remainder
of his existence, at the expense of his countrymen then at Manilla.

When acts so atrocious as these can be done with impunity in any
European country by a powerful minister of the crown, we may form some
idea of its advance in the arts of self-government and the security
of its people.

This young man was very far from being the only person who fell a
victim to these acts, as many died from causes similar to those which
deprived him of life; and his case is only mentioned to give some
idea of the lengths men will proceed to when no checks are placed
on the Government machine, to prevent its bursting, and damaging
thousands. These abuses are so shameful, that they are scarcely
credible in Britain; but they are easily capable of corroboration
by inquiry and a little knowledge of Spain, where very frequently
caprice is the only law in existence, or at least is the only one acted
upon. I might multiply instances, but this is doubtless sufficient.

The orders of the Court at Madrid are not always laws in their
colonies, for every now and then the most imperative commands come
out from Spain which are refused obedience to at Manilla, where it
is openly asserted that the home government gives orders in favour
of importunate suitors, without the least expectation that they will
be acted upon by those to whom they are addressed; granting them,
in fact, merely to get rid of troublesome people who might annoy them
at home if their demands were refused.


People are generally seen to most advantage in their own houses;
and nowhere, I think, does any one appear to play the host better
than an average specimen of a Spanish gentleman under his own roof.

Notwithstanding a great deal of ceremony and the customary exaggerated
polite expressions used to every stranger, there is so much innate
hospitality in the national character that it is not to be mistaken,
and is perhaps one of their best and greatest virtues as individuals.

The modes of expression usual on occasions such as that of a first
visit to a house appear rather strange to any one born under a colder
sun than that of old Castile, and the first time that one is told,
on taking leave of his host at a place he has been visiting for the
first time, that the house, and every thing and person in it, are
his, or at his disposal, he is apt to be puzzled by the exaggeration
of the speech which contains such an unlimited offer, should he
be ignorant that it is quite a usual expression. Of course it means
nothing more than were any one to say or subscribe himself in English,
"I am your obedient servant," which he may be very far from feeling,
and may be constantly in the habit of using to his inferiors, and
even to people paid or employed by himself.

Some years ago an eccentric man, when this expression was used to him,
was known occasionally to interpret the words in their literal sense,
and in more than one instance he had the credit of having adroitly made
his court to a lady in that manner. He would watch for an opportunity,
or give a turn to the conversation, which would afford him a chance
of expressing admiration of some ornament she wore at the time, when
the fair owner would, as a matter of course, say that it was at his
disposal. Much to her surprise, the offer would be accepted, and the
swain would walk off with the ornament he had praised. However, next
day he always returned it in person; and to soothe her irritation,
which must have been excited by such conduct, he took the opportunity
of presenting her with some other ornament, or complimentary gift of
some description. This, if done as an atonement and peace-offering,
would probably be accepted, and the way was paved for an entrance into
her good graces, which he might have been quite unable to obtain by
any more direct means.

Frankness or openness of manner is considered by the Spaniards to be
the most desirable point of good breeding; and when any one possesses
that quality, he is pretty sure to be well received by them.

It is the custom at Manilla for any respectably-dressed European
passing by a house where music and dancing are going on, to be
permitted to join the party, although he may be a perfect stranger
to every one there; and should any one do so, after having made his
bow to the master of the house, and said some words, of course about
the liberty he was taking, and his fondness for music and dancing,
&c., he is always welcomed by him, and is at perfect liberty to ask
any lady present to dance; nor is she likely to refuse him, as her
doing so would scarcely be considered well bred.

This degree of freedom is not, however, at all times acted on in
the houses of the natives of Spain, or of any European foreigners,
as any one going so unceremoniously into these might not meet with
so cordial a reception as he would do from the rich Mestizos, who,
when they give such _fêtes_ on feast days, are in general well pleased
to receive Europeans, although perfect strangers, in their houses.

These very free and unceremonious manners, among people who have
such a reputation for the love of ceremony in all forms, are strange
enough, for the same custom prevails in Spain, although to a more
limited extent.

Some years ago a British merchant, resident at Manilla, was very
much blamed by his countrymen for not conforming to the customs of
the country in this respect. He broke through them in this manner;--

After the China war, a part of the expedition visited Manilla,
including some of the principal officers both of the army and navy,
who had just been so gallantly distinguishing themselves in that
country. On their arrival at Manilla, the houses of their countrymen
to whom they went provided with introductions were in a great measure
thrown open to them; and of course, as their hospitable entertainers
wished to show them something of the people and the place, a good
deal of gaiety was got up to amuse them. Among others the gentleman
in question gave a ball to General Lord Saltoun and the Admiral,
including, of course, most of the other officers of the expedition. The
party was a large one, and included nearly all the British residents
there, together with his Spanish acquaintances.

Hearing the sounds of music and dancing in the street, a stranger
entered the house and walked up stairs; and unperceived, I believe,
by the landlord, entered the ball-room, where he engaged a Spanish
lady to dance,--the girl whom he asked chancing to be the daughter of
a military officer of rank, and a particular friend of the giver of
the party. On leading her up to her place, the stranger was remarked,
and recognised by some one present, who asked his host if he knew
who the person was; but he, on looking at him, merely said that he
did not, and was passing on without more notice or thought about
him. Just at the moment, some one wishing to quiz him, said to the
host, who was a man of hasty temper and feelings,--"So, D----, you
have got my tailor to meet your guests," pointing, at the same time,
towards the stranger whom he had just been observing.

Of course, Mr. D---- was angry at the liberty taken by such a person
in joining his party, and probably afraid of the laugh it would give
rise to; for he walked up to the tailor, and asked him in a most angry
manner by whose invitation he came there, and then, without waiting
for any reply, catching his coat-collar, walked with him to the top of
the stairs, and kicked him down. The man complained to the governor,
and the consequence was that Mr. D---- was fined a considerable amount,
and for some time banished to a place at a short distance from Manilla,
which he was forbidden to enter. As he was a merchant, and of course
had his business to attend to, this was a most severe punishment,
which, by the influence of the Consul, however, was subsequently
rescinded, and he was allowed to return to town.

In giving entertainments in honour of their saints, great sums of
money are frequently spent by the richer class of Mestizos and Indians,
every one appearing to vie with his neighbour, as to who shall be most
splendid in his saint's honour; and even among nearly the whole of
the poor people there is always some little extravagance gone into on
these occasions: some time previous to the feast taking place, part of
their earnings are carefully set apart for the feast-night's enjoyment.

At many of their _fiestas_, besides the devotional exercises, there is
a great deal of amusement going on, the Mestiza girls being frequently
good-looking, and nearly all of them addicted to dancing; many of
them are passionately fond of waltzes, and dance them remarkably
well--better, I think, than any women I have elsewhere seen in a
private room.

Their dress, which is well adapted to the climate, is, when worn by
a good-looking girl, particularly neat.

It consists of a little shirt, generally made of piña cloth, with wide
short sleeves: it is worn loose, and, quite unbound to the figure in
any way, reaches to the waist, round which the _saya_ or petticoat
is girt, it being generally made of silk, checked or striped, of gay
colours, of _husè_ cloth, or of cotton cloth. Within doors, these
compose their dress, no stockings being worn, but their well-formed
feet, inserted in slight slippers without heels, and embroidered with
gold and silver lace, lose nothing in beauty from the want of them.

Out of doors, another piece of dress called the _sapiz_, composed of
dark blue silk or cotton cloth, slightly striped with narrow white
stripes, is usually worn over the saya.

No bonnets or hats of any sort are worn by them, their long and
beautiful hair being considered a sufficient protection to the head,
which they arrange in something like the European fashion, it being
fastened by a comb, or some gold ornament in a knot at the back of
the head.

On going out of doors, a handkerchief is often thrown over the head,
should the sun be strong, or an umbrella or parasol is carried as a
protection against it.

A similar dress, made of coarser and cheaper materials, is the usual
costume of all the native women.

The men, both native and Mestizo, wear trousers fastened round the
waist by a cord or tape, the fabric being sometimes silk of country
manufacture, for their gala dresses, or of cotton cloth striped and
coloured, for every-day use.

The shirt, which is worn outside the trousers, that is to say, the
tails hanging loose above the trousers, and reaching to just below the
hips, is generally made of piña cloth, or, among the poorest people,
of blue or white cotton cloth. When of piña cloth, the pattern is
generally of blue or other coloured stripes with flowers, &c. worked
on them, and it is a very handsome and gay piece of dress. When worn
outside the trousers, it is much cooler than when stuffed into them
in the European manner. A hat and slippers, or sandals of native
manufacture, complete their dress, and the only difference of costume
between the rich and poor consists in the greater or less value of
the materials which compose it. No coat or jacket is worn, but many
of the men, and nearly all the women, wear a rosary of beads or gold
round their necks; and frequently a gold cross, suspended by a chain
of the same metal, rests between the bosoms of the fair. Many of them
also wear charms, which having been blessed by the priest, are supposed
to be faithful guardians, and to preserve the wearer from all evil.


The honours paid to the saints by the celebration of their feast-days
are nearly altogether practised by the Mestizo and Indian population,
the richer or upper classes of Spaniards being for the most part too
careless on such occasions, except when their turn comes to dance at
the _fêtes_, or to eat the supper set out by their Mestizo neighbours
on these anniversaries; and certainly, if their piety be judged by
the alacrity usually displayed on such occasions, they will stand
very forward in the race out of purgatory. For, strange to say, the
modern Spaniards--at least those who come to the Philippines--are
as little superstitious or priest-ridden as the people of any
nation in Europe. Probably this is a symptom of their return to a
more moderate degree of faith than they used to evince prior to the
French Revolution, which has altered the tone of opinion and manners
throughout the world. And after the severity and rigid observance of
all the church high-days and holydays formerly prevalent among them,
the tide of opinion appears to have run into the opposite extreme.

I have frequently been astonished at discovering the extent to which
infidel notions are current among my Spanish acquaintances; their
prevailing opinions on the subject being, that the priests and some
of the tenets of the Catholic church are behind the age, and as such,
are to some extent unworthy of the serious attention of well-informed
people of the present day, and that those things are only suitable for
women and children. _Es cosa de mugeres_, is the usual expression,
should the subject be mentioned; and as regards the priests, the
laity very generally fancy that they must be watched carefully, as
they are certain to assume importance should an opportunity offer for
thrusting their noses into any affair they can, military or civil--it
matters not which to these ambitious men.

Among the native population, however, high church opinions, or a
notion that virtue is inherent in the walls of the church and the
priestly office, is very common, so that whatever the _padre_ says
is looked upon as indisputable by them. But I cannot say that any
rational systems of religion, or feelings not associated so much with
the _padre's_ office and dress, and with the stone and lime of the
church, as with the more pure and immaterial subjects of religious
belief, exist among them, or influence their conduct. Frequently one
sees instances of this, which place their feelings in the grossest
and worst light. For example, the first act of a courtesan in the
morning is generally to repair to the church, and after, as a matter
of course, having said her prayers, to pass the time in any species
of debauchery or immorality her lovers may wish. I state this fact,
to give some idea of the extent of superstition and of priestly
influence over their conduct, which shows how powerfully mere habits
and custom may influence our manners without improving our minds,
when we are brought up in a formal routine of habits of respect for we
don't know well what; for they have no further acquaintance with the
principles of religious belief than the habit of crossing themselves
before figures of the Virgin and the crucifixion.

For even these women, infamous though they be, seldom omit the
observance of such practices, and are in general as punctual in
repeating diurnally the formal prayer which has been taught them in
childhood, as any Christian can be, whenever the hour of _oraçion_
is come, which is notified to all the population by the tolling of
the church bells.

However, Manilla appears not to be quite singular as to these matters;
for it has been frequently stated by visitors to the states of the
Church, that nine months after the great religious festival of the
Carnival there, a much greater number of illegitimate children are
born than during other seasons of the year.

This statement, which I have seen mentioned as a statistical fact,
is probably attributable to the idleness of the people, ignorant and
uninstructed as to any higher devotional feelings than those which
custom teaches; although, doubtless, religious admonition, having
a tendency to unloose the mind, and withdraw it from its customary
objects of interest, may induce these softer emotions, and among
people in whom the animal passions preponderate over those of the
mind, or of a spiritual nature, may frequently lead to conduct of
this loose description.

Perhaps, also, the sense of satisfaction after having gone through the
ceremony of attending church, and of having performed the humble duty
which all are taught to practise there, disposes the people to this
license, for they carry away no new idea with them from the sacred
house. The formal exercise there being gone through by rote, without
exciting new feelings, or touching new chords in their hearts, may
cause them to break away from strictness, and give a rein to their
passions after the exercise of their religious duties.

The Indians are people who, being bred up with a regard to observances
which retain no hold over their minds--at least, over the reason
which God has endowed them with--in order to judge for themselves,
think religious observances derive their importance only from custom;
but having been trained up with little regard to the sterner and
self-denying mental duties or instruction usually held up to our
admiration in Britain and other Protestant countries, they can scarcely
be expected to practise them. In addition to this, the heat of the
climate probably disposes them this way; as in all countries where
the _dolce far niente_ is most agreeable to them, or is generally
practised by the inhabitants, those feelings are likely to prevail
in a greater degree than where active habits are more congenial to
the people and the temperature of the climate.


The habits of the Spanish residents at Manilla are exceedingly
indolent. As persons in the government service form the great
proportion of the white population, a sketch of the habits of one
of them may not be uninteresting;--say those of an average officer
of the Hacienda, for instance. He usually gets out of bed about six,
or a little after, to enjoy the cool air of the morning, and sip his
chocolate, with the aid of _broas_, without which he could scarcely
manage to get through the day; he then dresses, and drives to his
office, where he remains till twelve o'clock, which hour finishes
his official duties for the day. While in his office the nature
of his work is not very arduous, and does not appear to call into
play any powers of the mind, as it appears to consist only in his
remaining for about four hours in a cool and large room, generally
seated at a table or desk, overlooking a number of native writers,
occupied in making out and filling up forms which are required by
the existing regulations for the government service. The Spaniard,
however, has nothing to do with all that, only occasionally exerting
himself so far as to sign his name, or merely to dash his rubrica,
without taking the trouble to sign his name, to the papers presented
to him by these native copyists; and should you enter his office,
he generally appears to be just awaking from a nap, as he opens his
eyes, and rouses himself to salute a visitor.

At noon the public offices are closed, and he drives home to dine about
one or two o'clock, after which he generally sleeps till about five,
for nearly all of the Spanish residents take a long siesta. About
that time of the day, however, he is awakened to dress and prepare
for the _paseo_ on the Calyada, and for the _tertulia_ after it, at
the house of some acquaintance; or if he should by any chance happen
to be without acquaintance, to saunter through the Chinamen's shops,
admiring walking-canes, cravats, or waistcoat-pieces; and while
so engaged, he is pretty sure to meet some companion for a gossip,
or other amusement. After this he sets off to sup at home, and to
sleep till another day comes round, when the same routine must be
gone through.

It would be hard to conjecture a mode of passing or sauntering through
life with less apparent object than many of them have. Books are scarce
and expensive, and are in little demand by most of the residents,
even if they were worth reading, and cheaper, and more procurable
than they now are; the library--if the term may be applied to their
collection--of such people, generally only comprising one or two plays,
and perhaps a novel--sometimes also Don Quixote's adventures, which,
with a volume of poetry, is about the average amount of learning and
amusement on their book-shelves. But should the owner be a military
man, he probably has, in addition to these, some Spanish standard
book, equivalent to our "Dundas's Principles," or "Regulations for
the Cavalry."

Smoking, sleeping, and eating, are the labours of their days, and
in all of these they are adepts. Their prevalent taste, however, as
regards cookery, is not suitable to a British palate, as the favourite
accompaniment of garlic is commonly used in such a quantity by their
cooks, that they are very apt to spoil a dinner for a foreigner's
eating, unless they are checked or cautioned with regard to the use
of it.

Their usual drink is wine of different kinds, which they take out of
a glass or tumbler, as we would beer or water: the quantity consumed
is moderate enough, about a pint being a usual allowance--and that
is frequently mixed with about an equal quantity of water. Sherry,
claret, priorato, pajarete, manzanilla, malaga, and muscatel, are the
sorts most in request, all of them being of ordinary quality, to the
taste of any one accustomed to drink good wine at home, from which the
wines procurable here are as different as possible, and especially the
sherry. But in that resides a mystery known best to the wine-merchants,
who doctor up the wine consumed in Great Britain to suit the taste of
those who buy it from them. Strange to say, even to this, a Spanish
colony, there is not sent out a single pipe of wine, such as any one
accustomed to drink the British _composition_ would call good sherry.

Claret, or _vino tinto_, is very generally used in preference to
tea or coffee at breakfast, but at that early time of the day it is
mixed with a large proportion of water. This meal, however, is not a
general one in the Philippines, as the custom of taking chocolate in
the morning destroys all appetite for it, and the early dinner hour
of the Spaniards in general, does not render it essential.

The want of interesting occupation, and the heat of the sun, preventing
out-of-door exercise during the day, has doubtless originated these
indolent customs, which have given rise to many bad habits, and the
low scale of morality prevailing among them.

A large proportion of them being bachelors, are in the habit of
selecting a mistress as a companion with whom they may forget the
dullness, and shake off the apathy of their aimless existence; a very
large proportion, in fact, nearly all of them, being in the habit of
choosing such a household companion from among the Creole, Mestiza,
or native girls, but generally from the last two races.

The native girls have the reputation of proving more faithful to
their lovers than the other two, as they look upon such a connection
in the light of a marriage, and consider themselves guilty of no
immorality during its continuance. When a native beauty forms such
a connection with a white man, her relations do not sunder all the
former ties existing between her and them, by casting her off, but
on the contrary are, as frequently as not, highly pleased at it,
viewing the affair in the light of a fortunate marriage for her.

These feelings, however, are not universal, for some of the richer
class of Indians would be highly displeased with a female relation
forming such a connection.

Among the Indians themselves this arrangement frequently takes place,
as very many of the poorest people are unable to save money enough to
pay their marriage fees, and in the event of a couple living together
without having had the ceremony performed previously, they regard
themselves, and are considered by their neighbours, as not the less
man and wife. As an instance of the extent to which this prevails among
them, I may mention a circumstance which struck me much at the time:--

Being near the cathedral at Manilla one evening in April last, I
entered an open door of the edifice and wandered into a room attached
to it, where several people were in waiting, and among them several
women with children to be baptized. I stopped to witness the ceremony,
and had the curiosity to look into the register where their names were
enrolled; in that book, two of them were described as illegitimate
children, and the third was the only one born in matrimony.

Although the custom does not prevail to anything like the extent
of two-thirds of the population, still it is a very frequent one,
and proves among other things, that the sort of religion prevailing
among the people is only that of forms, possessing no sufficient hold
over their minds to regulate their conduct.

Compare their religious ideas with those of the old Scottish
covenanters, or English puritans, and how different are the effects
of faith; but perhaps they are not more dissimilar than the natures
of the two races are. For there is no race in the world with all the
good qualities of the Celtic breed crossed by the Saxon, and that
again by the Norman; for depend upon it, blood tells in every human
being--aye, and as much in men as in dogs or horses.

But, unfortunately for ourselves, men pay less attention to the innate
qualities and virtues of blood and pedigree, when selecting a mate for
themselves, than they do when their dogs or horses are in question,
as then no trouble is spared to trace out and scrutinise the qualities
of _their_ sires, and to breed only from a good stock.

By pedigree, of course not the worldly station of men is meant, but
the history of their lives and reputations, as good and useful men of
their time. Of necessity both parents affect the character of their
offspring, and so we frequently see a great and good man leaving
behind him none in his family capable of supplying his place. Now,
how is this? Why, it comes from the mistake he has made in selecting
his mate, for if he had been more cautious in that respect the produce
would have been equal to the promise.

How often do we see wise men with silly wives and tall men with short
wives. The only wonder is, that the offspring of such couples are
not worse than they are.


The intercourse between the Spaniards and many of the foreigners
residing at Manilla is not very great, as the British here,
as everywhere else, appear to prefer associating with their own
countrymen to frequenting the houses of their Spanish friends,
even although quite sure of a cordial reception there. The time
for visiting is in the evening, when there are numbers of impromptu
conversaziones--or tertulias, as they are called--of which the Dons
are very fond, and in which very many of their evenings are passed.

Any one having a few Spanish acquaintances is pretty sure to number
among them some persons who, from their own character, or that of
some member of their family, such as a pretty and pleasant wife,
or a handsome daughter, has generally many visitors at his house,
perhaps six, ten, or a dozen of an evening, who call there without
any preconcerted plan, and sit down to play a round game at cards
or gossip with each other for an hour. Should there be ladies of the
party, music and dancing are probably the amusements for an hour or
two; you may, of course, escape and go on to the house of some one
else should the party turn out to be dull, which, however, is very
seldom the case when Spaniards are the company, as every one appears
to exert himself to amuse and be amused to the best of his power.

The time for evening visits is any time after seven o'clock, for till
about that hour nearly all the white population are enjoying the cool
air on the Calyada, or on some of the other drives, all of which are
crowded with carriages from about half-past five till that time of
the evening.

Some of these equipages are handsome enough, and are almost universally
horsed by a pair of the country ponies, there being only one or two
people who turn out with a pair of Sydney horses, and very few who
drive a single-horse vehicle, although it is met with now and then. The
only persons allowed to drive four horses in their carriages are the
Governor and the Archbishop: this regulation is frequently grumbled at
by the Spanish Jehus, and one gentleman, the colonel of a regiment,
having applied to the government for permission to indulge his taste
in this respect by driving a four-in-hand, was refused it, so he had
to content himself with turning out with only three in his drag. With
that number of quadrupeds, however, he did a good deal to frighten and
amuse the world, apparently wishing to break his neck, in which he very
nearly succeeded on more than one occasion; Spanish accomplishments
in driving being by no means equal to those general at home.

A young Spaniard who fills an important office connected with the
commerce of Manilla, a situation he is said to owe more to the frailty
of his mother, a fair lady at the court of the late King of Spain,
whom he exactly resembles in appearance, temper, and manners, than
to any qualifications especially pointing him out for the post, used
frequently to assert his royal blood by turning out a neat barouche
and pair, accompanied by two outriders, and certainly he looked much
smarter and better appointed than either of the authorities driving
four horses.

The expense of keeping horses is very small, so that nearly all,
except the very poorest people, keep carriages, which in that climate
are considered more as necessaries of life than as luxuries, and to a
certain extent really are so; for the sun most effectually prevents
Europeans walking to any distance during the heat of the day, and
should any one attempt doing so, a month of it is about time enough
seriously to injure or perhaps to kill him. About sunset everybody is
most glad to escape from the impure air of the town and the crowded
narrow streets, to inhale the fresh breeze from the bay on the Calyada,
which is the most frequented drive.

Formerly all the ladies turned out to drive without bonnets or
coverings of any sort on the head, but bowled along, seated in open
carriages, in about the same style of evening dress they would appear
in at a tertulia or the theatre, or, in fact, at a ball-room. They
were in the habit of spreading a sort of gum, which washed easily
off, over the hair after it had been dressed, in order to keep out
the dust, &c.; but within the last two years several bonnets have
made their appearance in the carriages at the drive, and I fear
their general use will supersede the former fashion, which from its
simplicity allowed their most striking beauties of eyes, hair, &c.,
to be seen in a most charming manner.

Many of the Creole girls have very handsome countenances, and there
are not a few who would be remarked upon as fine women by the side of
any European beauty: but they are generally seen to most advantage in
the evening, as their chief attraction does not consist in freshness
of complexion so much as in fine features, which are often full of
character and lighted up by eyes as brilliant as they are soft. Their
figures are good, and their feet and ankles quite unexceptionable,
being generally very much more neatly turned than those of my
handsomest countrywomen.

As dress is a study which has a good deal of their attention, they
appear to understand it pretty well, but show a marked fondness for gay
colours, as no doubt their pale complexions require their aid more than
when ruddy health is upon their cheeks. In the forenoon the skin of a
Creole or Spanish beauty appears to be rather too pale to please the
general taste; and sometimes their colour degenerates into sallowness,
which I fancy may proceed from their fondness for chocolate, that being
very largely consumed by all of them. This, and the want of exercise,
communicated a somewhat bilious look to their appearance.

Many ladies, especially those from the northern provinces of Spain,
have sometimes the beautiful white skins and the ruddy freshness of
complexion so much admired in my countrywomen; but, unfortunately,
that colour is not very lasting, as the first season they pass in
the Philippines is generally sufficient to blanch their bloom, but
it is very often succeeded by a soft and delicate-looking paleness,
which is perhaps not a whit less dangerous to amatory bachelors than
the more brilliant colours which preceded it.

Although lively and talkative enough, Spanish women seldom shine in
conversation, which perhaps is more owing to the narrow and defective
education they too often have in youth than to any natural want of
the quickness and tact to talk well.

Their manners are peculiarly soft and pleasing, and their lively
ingenuousness is extremely seductive. Their accomplished management
of the fan has made it peculiarly their own weapon, and it has been
converted into an important auxiliary to their natural good looks,
both in attack and defence. There are few things more striking to a
stranger than to see the ladies use it at the casino, when a number
of them are together, and while there is no want of men to admire the
graceful movement of the hand. Mere children are constantly seen using
it. It is a ludicrous thing to watch one of these little creatures
going through a set of flirting motions with a fan, should you look
at her, copying no doubt the motions or play with it from those of
some grown-up sister or gay mamma.

Foreign ladies seldom or never attain the same degree of dexterity
and ease in the use of their fans, the climate they were born in not
requiring that it should be placed in their hands at an early age.

The dress of Spanish ladies is becoming every day more like the
French modes, although some elderly people still continue to use the
country dress, which, from its coolness, is much more comfortable than
the European habit; but it is rapidly going out, and young Spanish
ladies never appear to wear it, as formerly they frequently did,
within doors and in the country.

The mantilla is very rarely seen, except perhaps in the morning,
when some fair penitent goes or returns from one of the churches,
all of which are thrown open at a very early hour in the morning, at
or before daylight, to give the people an opportunity of going there
unostentatiously and unnoticed, to say their prayers and get home
again before any one, but those on an errand similar to their own,
is likely to meet them in the streets.

Nearly all the women, after reaching thirty years of age, get stout
or fall off in flesh and become very thin, for there apparently is
very little medium between the two degrees, as nearly all the old
women one sees are either very fat or very thin. Of the two sorts
the fat retain their good looks the longest; for after attaining a
certain age, the thin women are seldom anything but atrociously ugly,
probably caused by the climate more than anything else, as those
Europeans who enjoy good health at Manilla appear to become stout
in that climate, while those who get thin seldom appear to be well,
and are unable to stand a lengthened residence there.

In youth, however, their natural elasticity of character prevents
delicate girls getting sick, if moderate care be taken of them, and
they are generally rather more slender figures than English girls,
until reaching about twenty-five, when they begin to get fat or to
become thin; at that age they look very matronly.

_Apropos des dames._ Even in these degenerate days, Spanish blood
is as hot and Castilian gentlemen are as gallant as any of those of
former times. Not long ago the following circumstance happened at
the casino:--Don Camilo de T----, a natural son of the late King of
Spain, after dancing with a female acquaintance, rejoined a group
of acquaintances, who were standing together in a knot, criticising
the appearance of their several fair friends, when just as he joined
them some one happened to say to another that the lady he had just
been dancing with appeared to have padded her bosom. On hearing this,
Don Camilo took the speaker rather by surprise, by calling out "It
is a lie," in a tone loud enough to be heard by all near him, and by
saying that as he had just been dancing with that lady, he knew that
it was not so, and must resent the remark as a personal affront. A
duel took place in consequence, in which the gallant was wounded
in the sword arm, which, by letting out a little of his hot blood,
may probably prevent a recurrence of such extreme devotion to his
fair acquaintances.


As a body, such Spanish gentlemen as I have been acquainted with,
appeared to be quite as remarkable for good breeding as they usually
have the credit of being. They generally have a great appearance of
candour or frankness of manner, which, although it is for the most
part more studied than natural, is prepossessing, and makes them
pleasant companions.

Here, however, I am afraid my praise must stop, because I have seen
among a great number of them a good deal of dissimulation, or,
to speak more plainly, of bad faith,--with regard to which their
modes of thinking are very different from those prevailing at home;
and among their mercantile people especially, they often appear to
imitate, or unconsciously to act upon a smart Yankee trader's modes
of getting the best of a bargain, being very frequently rather too
unscrupulous in their representations, when it appears to them that
it is for their interest to be so.

To give an idea of their opinions about the subject of buying and
selling, I will tell the reader a story. A lad, the son of a high
government officer, sold an unsound horse to a companion as a sound
one, which, on being discovered by the purchaser, of course made him
very indignant, and he demanded his money back, complaining at the same
time to the boy's father, who passes for a person of high character
and good sense, about the scurvy trick his son had played him. "Well,"
said this respectable old gentleman, "I am glad to see that the lad
is so sharp; for, if he could get the better of you so well, he will
make a capital merchant, and be able to cheat the Chinamen!"

Without exaggeration this is a good deal the system on which the
Spaniards carry on business. They always appear to be trying to take
advantage of a purchaser, and if successful have very complaisant
consciences; but should they themselves be taken in, or have
the worst of a bargain, their virtuous horror and indignation on
discovering it know no bounds. There is very little, or almost none,
of that mutual confidence existing between them which exists between
British merchants, and which is so necessary in large transactions,
or in carrying on an extensive business, as they do.

The large number of government _empleados_ residing at Manilla makes
an important addition to the society of the place, as, from being idle
men to a great extent, they seek how to amuse and be amused, and are
cultivators of the society of the English, whose dinner tables are
probably the chief causes of the intercourse which exists between them.

The entire white population in Manilla amounts to about 5,000, a large
proportion of them being officers, sergeants, and corporals of the
troops stationed either within the town, or in the immediate vicinity.

All the officers are not, however, persons of European descent, as
occasionally a black may be seen in an officer's uniform, and very
frequently is to be found wearing a sergeant's or corporal's coat. But
the natives promoted to the rank of commissioned officers are not many,
and on the whole it is probably better for the army that few of them
should be so, as were it a common occurrence, or were they allowed to
rise to high rank, or to occupy important places, beyond a doubt the
_morale_ of the troops would suffer; for when those men do rise from
the ranks, they are not considered on an equality by their European
brother officers, nor in fact do they consider themselves to be so,
and have little or no intercourse with them, beyond the routine of
their military duties.

The appearance of the troops is good on the whole; but they appeared
to me to be wanting in precision of movement, being by no means
equal or similar to some of our best Sepoy soldiers. It is clear
that frequently they have not been precisely drilled into all their
attempted evolutions. The men, as individuals, are well and powerfully
formed, although they are rather deficient in stature and soldierly
appearance; they are naturally bold, and when lately tried against the
Sooloos, evinced no want of resolution to follow, when their officers
would lead them on. I have seen several of them suffer death with an
admirable and even heroic composure, such as any man might envy when
his last hour comes. It is not an unfrequent thing to see soldiers
shot at Manilla for some misdemeanours, and I have not heard of one of
them dying a poltroon; certainly, all those I have ever seen suffer,
met their doom with the utmost calmness.

The cavalry force, for the purposes of actual conflict, is about the
most inefficient branch of the military establishment, being mounted
on the ponies of the country, which stand on an average about twelve
hands. But as irregulars they might be of some use. It always appeared
to me that a single well-mounted squadron of our heavy dragoons could,
without any difficulty, ride down the entire regiment. The Government
is aware of the inactive state of the horses, their attention having
been called thereto by my friend Captain de la O----, an officer of
the force, who, in conjunction with the colonel of the regiment, has
for some time past been occupied in investigations, and in preparing
estimates of the probable expense of an attempt to improve the breed
of horses by crossing them with Arab stallions, which it has for some
time been in contemplation to send for to cover the country mares.

It would probably be necessary for Government, in order to accomplish
this successfully, to adopt a plan similar to that followed at the East
India Company's breeding stables in Bengal, and should the project be
followed out and properly managed, there can be no doubt but that it
will be of the most essential importance to the government service,
and a boon to the country.

The horses of the Philippines are small, but for their inches
uncommonly powerful, and sometimes fast. They do not appear to have
any distinguishing peculiarity, except perhaps that the head of most
of them is rather too large, and very rarely indeed is that feature
quite perfect in any of the horses one meets with. At Manilla, and
for a considerable distance round it, no mares are allowed to be used,
which secures a higher and better looking horse in the neighbourhood
of the capital than is met with in the interior of the country;
none of them are geldings, and of course they are stronger and more
playful in consequence.

But to return to the service and the officers of it whom one meets in
society. They are not fond of being sent to the colony, and although
with about double the amount of pay they would receive at home,
most of them would infinitely prefer remaining in Spain.

After a term of service abroad they get a step in rank, which appears
to be the main attraction to those who come to Manilla. Many of them
are not very well educated men, and are therefore rather inferior to
my countrymen of the same profession in that respect.

A considerable proportion of them, perhaps an equal ratio to those
of our army, are gentlemen, or persons of good birth and family
connections. They are in general, however, poor, or at all events not
over burdened with the good things of this life, and like soldiers
of all nations and times, some of them have a certain notoriety for
outrunning the constable, or for spending all that they can, which
is generally merely their pay. Soon after reaching Manilla, I was
accidentally thrown a good deal into their society, from chancing to
meet with Don Francisco Caro, a pleasant and lively young lieutenant,
at the house of my Spanish teacher, where he was as eager to learn
English as I was to be able to speak good Spanish. We became intimate,
and agreed to visit each other, he to talk in English to me, and I
to him in Spanish,--a practice which very soon enabled us to pick
up the languages, and saved a world of trouble in getting up tasks
for a teacher, whom we were soon able to do without. The fact of my
going frequently to his house, and taking part in the conversation of
himself and the many friends with whom he made me acquainted, gave me
a considerable facility in talking the language, from having gained
a knowledge of it in this way in place of from a pedantic teacher,
whose purisms were quite thrown away on one whose wish it was to
speak it fluently, although it might be at some sacrifice of elegance.

Here let me record my regret at the manner in which this old companion
and friend met his untimely fate, which is not the less regretted
because it proceeded from his own strong sense of duty and habitual
gallantry of spirit--for this poor fellow was a true Spaniard in all
his best qualities. Having been ordered into the provinces with a
detachment on the very disagreeable service of hunting up a band of
_tulisanes_, or robbers, the necessary exposure to the sun on such an
expedition operated so severely on his constitution as to produce a
very high fever; yet even in this state he would not succumb to it, but
persisted in marching for several days at the head of his men, although
they, on perceiving his condition, had several times endeavoured to
persuade him to make use of a litter which they had framed for the
purpose, and wished to carry him in. But he would not remain in it
even when they almost forced him to use it, and would take no repose
until after having accomplished his duty. In this he was successful,
as he surprised and destroyed the robber band,--but the effort cost
him his life, for he died solely from the effects of the unnatural
exertion which he had undergone while the fever was raging within him.

Your many amiable and good qualities yet live, Francisco, in the fond
memories of former friends, although you are no longer among them; and
your heroic death, while it chastens grief, has added another memento,
and a laurel leaf to the wreath your brave Castilian ancestors left
behind them, bequeathed to the care of one who knew so well how to
value and protect it, and to add to its honour.


The Church is under the regulation of an Archbishop and four
Bishops. The present Archbishop of Manilla, whose reputation for piety
and good feeling towards all men stands very high, is an old soldier,
who, after serving his king when a young man as lieutenant of cavalry
for several years, changed his master, and assuming the habit of a
priest, devoted himself to religion for the remainder of his life.

There are about 500 parochial curacies throughout the islands under
him in the four bishoprics, 167 of the curacies being situated in his
own see; and several literary, charitable, and pious institutions at
Manilla look up to him as their patron and head; among others may be
mentioned the University of Santo Tomas, having chairs for students of
Latin, logic, metaphysics, moral philosophy, canon law, theology, &c.

As a body, the ministers of religion in the Philippines are not
apparently so well educated a class as those of Great Britain,
even in the education of the schools, and are possessed of less
general information, of course, from the want of any periodical
literature equal to that which we have, from whose sources much of
the information, and some of the apparent learning of my countrymen
are derived, at little cost of time or expense.

However, many of the Spanish _padres_ are men of general and varied
attainments, such as would adorn any church or station in life; but
the greater number of them can scarcely claim so much, as, although
they are all respectably educated, their attention for many years
of their life has been directed chiefly to the prosecution of such
studies as would influence their advancement in the Church, such as
the canon law, church history, theology, &c., on a knowledge of which
their consideration for accomplishments among themselves principally
depends, I believe.

Most of the priests I have been in contact with, appeared to be
thoroughly convinced of, and faithful to their religion in its purity;
and as a body, appear to be about as sincere and pious a class as
clergymen at home.

Occasionally, however, you meet with startling exceptions to this
rule, which astonish any one accustomed to see the high regard to
outward decency observed by the same cloth at home; for instance,
it would be considered most reprehensible at home, for any clergyman
to keep a mistress; and if the fact became known, would occasion his
instant dismissal from his cure, and his expulsion from the Church.

This is not so, however, in the Philippines, and may be seen at
any time, especially among the Mestizo and native Indian priests,
whose education is worse, and their ideas of religion much more
vague, incorrect, and superstitious than those of the Spaniards;
and sometimes, in the country parishes, an Indian or Mestizo _padre_
is found openly living in the _convento_ or parsonage-house with his
mistress and natural children. But frequently, in cases where a sense
of decency prevents them doing this openly, one occasionally meets
in their houses young half-caste children, who pass for the family
of some brother or sister, although these had never any existence,
and there is in reality little or no doubt as to the priest himself
being their father.

This state of things, however, is not the general state of the Church,
although it may but too frequently be met with; and is not considered
nearly so reprehensible as it would be, were they at liberty to marry,
as Protestant clergymen are. In many cases its existence can scarcely
fail to be known to their bishops, by whom however it appears to be
winked at; and is not considered by the laity as being particularly
scandalous, their notions on the subject being somewhat indefinite.

Within a very short distance of Manilla, I have been in a convento
where the priest, his mistress, and family all lived together, the
padre being a Mestizo. On the village feast-day, one of the party
with whom I was in the country, hired some jugglers who had come down
from Bengal to act their wonderful tricks in the theatre at Manilla,
and sent them out to Mariquina on the feast-day, there to amuse the
people, and to please the padre, as he knew it would do, he being an
old acquaintance of his. Accordingly, in the afternoon they exhibited
to an immense crowd of natives, just before the open church-door. A
platform had been quickly erected for their accommodation, from which
they were exhibiting their tricks to the intense astonishment of the
Indians, most of whom had never seen anything of the sort before;
and in the evening, the padre having asked leave for the jugglers
to come to the convento, gave a great party to all the Spaniards,
or white men, who were then in the pueblo, in order to watch their
tricks more closely than could be done at a public exhibition.

Several Spanish ladies were present, and among them, quite as a matter
of course, was the mistress of the priest. One or two of the ladies
present were wives of high officials at Manilla, and all of them were
persons of the best character and standing, yet they did not appear in
the least discomposed by her presence, although none of them paid her
any attention, or noticed her as the lady of the house; in fact, she
appeared to be regarded by them as a sort of privileged housekeeper
more than in any other light, although they were perfectly aware
of the irregularity of her life. This may give some idea of their
modes of thinking of such affairs, for all of them present perfectly
understood the relation in which the spiritual adviser of so large
a population as that of Mariquina stood to her.

Both the priest and she were elderly people, and their intercourse
has, I understood, been of long standing; and during the course of it
several children have been born. But the most wonderful thing appears
to be, how such a man could direct the worship of his parishioners,
or lay before them the scripture tenets of his and their faith,
while openly violating it before their eyes. But the same thing has
taken place in Europe not unfrequently, and quite as openly, without
exciting excessive scandal in many places.

There is an immense deal more of immorality among the clergy of
all denominations and countries than would be believed. Alas, for
human nature!


The site of Manilla is low-lying and level, and as the country in
the vicinity of the capital is of the same nature, being covered by
far stretching paddy fields, it presents few picturesque attractions,
in order to enjoy which, and the verdure, freshness, and variety of
an undulating landscape, excursions are frequently made to various
places at some short distance from the town, and during some period
of each year, most of the foreign merchants have latterly got into
the plan of renting houses within driving distance, and of spending
most of the dry season in them, going and returning frequently, or
generally daily, to their counting-houses, so long as the roads are
passable. The village of Mariquina, about seven miles from Manilla,
is the most favourite place of resort, although the road to it is
very bad, but it presents the attractions of very good pure air and
water, and a bright landscape. Those persons who are not fond of horse
exercise, make use of American light spider-carriages, drawn by a pair
of ponies, as that sort of vehicle is found to be the only conveyance
capable of standing the ruts and jolting over these country paths,
which would to a certainty break the springs of any other description
of carriage I have ever seen.

Owing to their great lightness and strength, these spider-carriages
are favourite conveyances here, and these qualities render them by
much the most suitable description for the country.

In the neighbourhood of Mariquina, the country is in many respects
picturesque and fine; a more lovely _coup d'oeil_ is seldom seen,
than that which may be witnessed from the road at the top of the hill
just before beginning the descent leading past the old Jesuit Convent,
a partly ruinous building, now known by the name of the Hacienda;
from that point, looking down on the valleys which burst on the view
at once, especially at the season when they are waving with the ripe
and yellow grain, or clothed in a beautiful coat of green,--on the
fine river, peacefully winding through them, on the splendid old trees
covered with green and luxuriant foliage, which are interspersed and
dot the scene, across to the distant hills, clothed in all the glories
of a tropical sunset or sunrise, and varied by the many tints of light
and shade of brilliant colours, it often is a sight truly worthy of
being witnessed for its glowing beauty.

At Mariquina, there is a well, the water of which has the reputation
of curing many sorts of disease, more especially those of the skin,
and many are the sufferers who visit it in the hope that bathing in
the trough into which the spring drops, may cure their ailments. The
water is slightly tepid and not disagreeable to drink, being tasteless,
and is recommended for diseases of the kidneys and stomach, by the
Manilla doctors.

Some miles beyond Mariquina, there is a most curious cave, of great
extent, at the village of San Mateo, which is well worthy of a visit
by the curious. Shortly after entering it, the height of the cavern
rises to about fifty feet, although it varies continually,--so much
so, that at some places there is scarcely height enough for a man
to sit upright. The formations within are of a singular character,
resembling sometimes immense icicles pendant from the roof to within
a few feet of the floor, or in some places rising from the ground
like ever-growing pyramids, as from the dropping water they are
continually increasing. These pillars of stalactite are extremely hard
and difficult to splinter, even after repeated blows with a hammer,
some of them being beautifully milk white, while others appear rather
discoloured from some cause. Several of the columns hanging from the
roof may measure about a yard or more in circumference, their forms
being sometimes most curious and fantastic, one stalk expanding as
it descended, looked not unlike a gigantic leaf springing from its
slender arm.

From the main cave there are several openings diverging and leading
to chambers similar to the main room, by some openings at the sides
of which the dropping water is drained off.

The temperature within the cavern was 77°, and without 86°, being a
very considerable change, even in the cool of the evening, on coming
out of it, just after sunset. I am afraid to give an estimate as to
the extent of this immense cave, it requires, however, five or six
hours to partially see its curiosities, and of course would take far
more time to investigate it properly. The only living creatures met
within it, appear to be bats, which are not very numerous. Should a
sportsman visit the place for several days, his gun will generally
procure him some venison and wild pig to feast upon, or to present
to the village priest, or to forward to his Mariquina or Manilla
acquaintances. At Boroboso, also, some distance from Mariquina, he
is sure of finding similar game, and in greater quantity than at San
Mateo, where it is too much poached.

The great want he will experience is that of trained dogs, those
used by the Indians being nearly useless, as after alarming the game
by their noise, they can't hunt it with any thing like spirit. Some
few Kangaroo dogs, however, brought from Sydney, have been eagerly
purchased by the Indian sportsmen, and are said to be an immense
improvement on those of the country, although I have never seen their
performances in the field; from their speed and strength, however,
they appear more than a match for the deer of the islands, which are
small-sized and greatly inferior in strength to those of the Highlands
of Scotland.

The race of dogs formerly known as Manilla bloodhounds has become quite
extinct, although some descendants of a half-bred progeny still remain,
being a cross between them and the street curs. Although they possess
some of the fierce and savage qualities of the old hound, it is in
a much inferior degree to that of the genuine breed, whose size and
appearance was very much finer than any of the mongrels now to be seen.

The old breed were so fierce as to be absolutely unsafe when at
liberty, and always required to be chained up. Several years ago two
fine dogs of the old breed were procured with considerable trouble,
and at some expense sent to England, to a gentleman fond of dogs.

He gave orders to keep them at all times on the chain, during which
they behaved so well, that a groom, going out to air a horse one
morning, unloosed the chain of one of them, and took him along
with him.

The dog remained quiet enough till happening to meet another man,
also airing a pair of skittish horses,--the capering of the horses,
or something else, roused the brute's savage nature, and he sprang
on one of them like a tiger, fastening on his flank, and sucking
his blood so greedily that all the two men could do did not make the
savage beast quit his hold, till gorged with the blood of the victim.

The horse was spoiled for ever, or, I believe, died from the
hemorrhage, and as he chanced to be a valuable one, which, of course,
the owner of the dog had to pay for, he was so disgusted at having to
do so, that he made both of them be shot at once, in order to prevent
any possibility of the recurrence of such an accident.

The only other dog at Manilla besides the worthless street cur, is a
sort of ladies' poodle, with long and silky white hairs; their fine
coats only making them favorites, as they are good for nothing else
than women's pets.

The smaller these are, when full grown, the more they are esteemed;
their white hair should be entirely free from any spots of black or
brown, these being generally the mark of a mongrel breed.

They are so delicate, that few of them can stand a sea-voyage,
and all those I have ever sent away from Manilla, to any distance,
have died before reaching their destination. A well-bred dog of this
breed of middling size, is about as large as a full grown tom-cat,
or a little bigger.

It has always appeared to me a most curious and inexplicable fact,
that when good dogs are sent out from home to a hot climate such as
this, they invariably are found to deteriorate to an uncommon extent,
the heat causing them to lose their spirit, and also their scent. But,
in fact, the animal in perfection, or, as he has been truly called
at home, "the most intelligent of beasts, and the companion of man,"
is only found in some places of Europe to be such.

In all tropical countries he is no longer so, becoming, even should
a good breed be introduced there from Europe, very much inferior in a
few generations in all respects to what we have him in Great Britain,
where they appear to be found in the greatest perfection.

In hot climates the dog has not the same strength or swiftness, nor
is he of equal courage, sincerity, and gentleness of character which
peculiarly distinguish him from all other animals at home. Among
orientals he is no longer treated in the same manner as he is in
Europe, nor in fact does his character, as it exists among them,
deserve equal kindness to that usually shown this faithful animal
in Britain; but in Asia he is driven from their households by the
Mohammedans and Hindoos alike, being regarded by them all as useless,
and a pest.

In China, he is fattened for the table, and the flesh of dogs is
as much liked by them as mutton is by us, being exposed for sale by
their butchers and in their cook-shops.

At Canton, I have seen the hind quarters of dogs hanging up in the
most prominent parts of their shops exposed for sale.

They are considered in China as a most dainty food, and are consumed
by both the rich and the poor.

The breeds common in that country are apparently peculiar to itself,
and they are apparently objects of more attention to their owners
than elsewhere in Asia, the Celestials perhaps having an eye to their
tender haunches, which bad treatment would toughen and spoil. They do
not appear to be of greater sagacity than the other tropical breeds,
although more bulky and stronger-looking than most of the other sorts
I have seen.


All strangers coming to Manilla should endeavour to make an excursion
to the great inland lake, or Laguna de Bay, as it is likely well to
repay the inconvenience one has to stand in such an excursion from
exposure to the sun, &c. The lake is of very considerable extent,
measuring, I think, about twenty-eight miles at its greatest length,
by about twenty-two at its extreme breadth; it is formed by an
amphitheatre of mountains, the various streams from which feed it;
and its opening or outlet forms the origin of the river Pasig, which,
bathing the walls of the fortress of Santiago and the capital of the
Philippines, flows into the arm of the sea called Manilla Bay.

About Christmastide there are many visitors to the lake, as from the
then cooler season the necessary exposure to the heat of a midday sun
in a slightly-covered boat is comparatively innocuous, and much less
disagreeable than it would prove at any other time of the year.

Several foreigners are in the habit of making an annual excursion
there from Manilla to spend these holidays, during which there is no
other amusement in town than church-going and procession-staring.

Having made arrangements to visit the lake either by starting from
Manilla in a large Pasig banca or prow, which although more tedious
than driving to the village of Guadaloupe, near Pasig, and then taking
the water, is, I think, the better plan of the two, as the river
scenery is well worth seeing, and there are no inconveniences such
as are inseparable from that of changing conveyances at Guadaloupe,
&c. When I started, my companion, who luckily happened to be an
experienced man in such affairs, having at different times of his
life roamed through the backwoods of Canada, and over the plains of
Australia, recommended the water conveyance for the whole distance,
as we were not pushed for time; and the excursion turned out to be one
of the pleasantest I have ever been engaged in, from the satisfactory
nature of his arrangements and his own hilarity and good-natured
usefulness; for of course he had not knocked about so much without
acquiring some _savoir faire_, so desirable in a companion during
such an excursion.

On Christmas eve we went together to a large dancing party or ball,
given by an old and rich Mestizo, at whose house we kept up dancing
and enjoying ourselves till about midnight; shortly before which all
the men started, in company with the ladies, to the parish church of
San Sebastian, there to hear a midnight mass, and welcome in the sacred
anniversary by saying our prayers. The spectacle was rather a fine one;
and on looking at the devout up-turned features of my fair companion,
when kneeling at her devotions, I could scarcely believe that she was
the good-natured, lively Mestiza girl I had been flirting with not
five minutes before; but after half an hour's worship, which, to do
them justice, was apparently of the most sincere and heartfelt kind,
the fair penitents returned to the supper room with a number of the
heretics, and afterwards, notwithstanding all their prayers, danced
with us, being quite as lively and as full of flirting as before their
visit to church. We stopped till about three o'clock in the morning,
when, being thoroughly tired of the heated rooms, my companion and I
resolved to enter the boat which had been engaged for the occasion,
and in which clothes, provender, &c., had previously been embarked,
and left under charge of a servant, Fernando, at a landing-place
from the river, near the house where we had been invited to pass the
evening. Taking the precaution to eat a hearty supper, to keep out
the night air, on arriving at the boat, and wrapping ourselves up in
our blankets, we both very speedily began to enjoy the rest necessary
for next day's exertions; and having previously secured our crew of
five picked men to pull, we were rapidly approaching the Laguna when
we awoke, and daylight had just rested on their oars next morning;
after breakfast, and a bath in the cool and delicious water of the
river above Pasig, we quickly passed by the pateros or villages for
breeding ducks, situated among the swamps at the outlets of the lake,
and the beginning of the river.

Several of these duck villages can scarcely be said to be situated on
_terra firma_, as many of the _nipa_ or attap-houses are founded on
the supporting trunks of trees growing out of the sedgy swamp. The
houses have a small lower platform of bamboo on two sides, for a
cooking-place and for landing from a boat, below and around being trees
or bamboos growing out of the water. Many of these clumps of bamboo,
some of which attain a great height, occasionally, perhaps, as much as
150 feet, are from their numbers a peculiar feature in the landscape
of the Philippines, and form some of the most beautiful objects of
luxuriant vegetation that can be imagined for a landscape. They are
found growing wild, very grand and fresh-looking in all parts of
the country, and are of many varieties, some of which any one may be
acquainted with who takes the trouble to consult the good old Padre
Blanco's book on the _flora de Filipiñas_.

At the pateros, near the entrance to the Laguna, the people breed large
flocks of ducks to supply the Manilla market, to the exclusion of all
other employment except, perhaps, catching and drying enough fish to
season their rice, which most of them purchase, and very few of them
grow. These Indians, although few in number, are to a considerable
extent isolated from the people of the country, from what cause I
know not, but they very rarely associate or intermarry except with
each other. The ducks they breed for the market are well trained,
being perfectly obedient to the call of their different masters,
and on hearing his signal come quickly sailing back, should they have
gone too far away. They get fat on the fish and tender sedgy grass,
and when placed on the dinner-table are very good eating.

After entering the lake, which is studded with wooded islets, the
largest of which is named Talim, the gun is called into requisition,
as the immense flocks of wild duck breeding here afford a constant
sport, and the advantages of their acquisition are not likely to be
overlooked either by the _gourmand_ or the hungry tourist. They are,
however, rather wild, and the best mode of shooting them appears
to be to dress in a blue cotton shirt and trousers like an Indian,
and paddle off as near the flock as they will permit; and then for a
chance among them. If there is more than one person in the grass-boat,
which is a very small and unhooded banca, which the natives use for
carrying small quantities of grass for horses, &c., the ducks are
apt to take the alarm, although I have sometimes been successful in
getting near them with an Indian paddling the boat.

Besides the ducks there are several other kinds of wild fowl,
and on coasting round the shores of Talim, an alligator basking
in the sun, frequently offers a mark for a ball, which, however,
seldom proves fatal. I struck one on the scales without producing
any apparent damage, the distance being probably about thirty yards,
and he merely shook himself a little and tumbled into the water from
off the rock he had been sleeping on, without seeming much startled
or to be in the least wounded. They are said to reach an immense age,
and the most incredible stories are told, and apparently believed,
by the natives themselves of their traditional longevity.

On Talim some deer and pigs may now and then be seen, although it
is too much frequented and disturbed to be at all a sure cover for
them; my companion shot a very beautiful variety of the hawk on the
island. After enjoying the hospitality of M. Vidie, an old French
planter at Jalajala, we set off in the direction of Tanay, whence we
had heard good reports of the game.

During a strong monsoon there is sometimes a heavy swell on the
water of the Laguna, and occasionally boats are swamped or upset,
so that frequently when we used to go out in our Pasig banca it was
against the will of our boatmen; but like true and stubborn Britons,
we always insisted upon having our own way, although the boatmen, who
certainly knew most about it, used to predict that we should all be
swamped to a certainty, but a well-trimmed and moderately well-handled
boat can go through any sea, and it is generally from want of care that
accidents occur. On one occasion in Manilla Bay, I have been swamped
solely from that cause, and the fright of a companion, whose alarm
induced the catastrophe by diverting the men's attention. However,
as an American whaler was luckily near and saw our situation, they
lowered a whale-boat and picked us up.

At the lake, in stormy weather, we used to go out with two men
steering the boat, each with a powerful paddle, and the remainder
of the crew managing the sail. Sometimes we got half full of water,
which it was the duty of the boy Fernando to bale out, but when he got
seasick and tired, we both set to to keep her free. On one occasion
of the sort, my chum Adam, taking pity on the forlorn condition of
the puking Fernando, recommended to him frequent sips from a bottle
of brandy, to keep away the retching; the hint was not thrown away,
and the lad lay down in the bottom of the boat, looking as miserable
as possible, and quite sick, utterly forgetful or unconscious of the
soiled condition of the splendid piña shirt which he wore at the time;
although in his hours of ease it commonly attracted a large proportion
of his regard and self-complacency. After many sips, apparently, the
brandy produced the desired effect, as my follower ceased to project
his mouth, every now and then, over the side of the banca, but had
sunk into a sound sleep, caused, we imagined, by the exhaustion and
lassitude subsequent to sea-sickness; and so he remained till our
approaching Tanay, when the sail was lowered, and he roused up and
left to bring our luggage up to the Casa Real, or townhouse, where
there is always a chamber and bedstead for strangers. For that place
we started, leaving him to follow.

After waiting some time impatiently, we were rather surprised to
see two of the boatmen marching up with Fernando, who gave tokens of
extreme lassitude and unsteadiness of gait, showing at times, when
he raised his drooping head, an attempt to shake off his conductors,
who were on these little manifestations reinforced by two of their
companions, who followed them, bearing our portmanteaus; and at length
the procession would move on again. After some difficulty they got
him into the Casa Real, where one of the men, spreading a mat upon
the floor, laid him down on it, staring wildly about him. After
contemplating him for a few seconds, he turned to me, and, inverting
the mouth of an empty bottle, to prove satisfactorily that it was
empty of the _vieux cognac_, which was marked on the label, laid it
down beside him, saying, "Es muy boracho, Senor, pero es valiente."

And so resulted the cure of sea-sickness by brandy, of which the lad
had taken such a dose as to shake him severely, although a strong
young fellow, for several days after it; in fact, we both became
afraid of him, and vowed never again to recommend the medicine,
except in quantities less than a bottle at a time.


Adam W---- having on a former shooting expedition been at Tanay,
had at the time made the acquaintance of some of the townspeople,
who had shown him all the attentions in their power; so that soon
after our arrival, having dressed and refreshed at the Casa Real,
we sallied out together to call on several of his old acquaintances,
hoping to obtain from some of them such information and assistance
as would help us discovering the whereabouts of a good huntsman and
guide, in order that we might avail ourselves of his local knowledge
in selecting the best district of the neighbourhood for sport.

On entering the house of the Fiel of Tobacco, we were most hospitably
received and warmly invited to take quarters there during our residence
in Tanay; and as the offer was much too good to be refused, even
had it been less warmly backed by the unequivocal demonstrations
of welcome than those which they evinced, it was at once accepted,
with not the less good-will because there was only the Casa Real
to sleep in had we chosen to refuse it, which assuredly no one who
had the fear of bugs, fleas, or musquitoes before his eyes would do,
these animals being of the utmost size and activity in every one of
the Casas Reales I have ever slept in.

After some conversation with our host, who was rather a fine-looking
Spanish Mestizo, as to our plans, &c., he most good-naturedly set
off to seek a huntsman whom he recommended as a guide, leaving us in
the meantime to the society of his wife--a strapping native beauty,
although somewhat swarthy, full of good nature and the gossip of the
place. From her, Adam soon learned all about his former acquaintances,
and among others of the Capitan Tomas, his buxom wife, and pretty
daughter, who we were told was considered the beauty of the town.

After their names had been mentioned with that addition, he got
rather impatient all of a sudden for a stroll about the town; so we
started together, after paying a visit to our portmanteaus and the
still insensible Fernando, at the town-house, where my friend armed
himself with a bottle of eau de Cologne, a box of which I found that
he carried about with him for distribution among such native beauties
as he was ambitious of standing well with, for they were sure to like
this perfume, which his experience of the country taught him was seldom
procurable in such out-of-the-way places, and to a dead certainty
always procured him favour in the eyes of the unsophisticated fair,
whom he taught how to use it.

For this it was that he had hinted something about thieves and the
state of Fernando, and proposed looking in to see if the portmanteaus
were still safe at the Casa Real, so I resolved to be revenged
for the double dealing of his proposal upon seeing the top of the
Cologne bottle peeping out from his shooting-jacket pocket. I watched
a chance, and snatched it away without being noticed, determined that
the half-caste beauty whose praises he was so eloquent in during our
promenade, should not have him to thank it for at all events.

We reached the house, and were well received by the Capitan, who
pressed us to stop with him, and when he found we were engaged, invited
us to pass next day with him, which, as the beauty was looking her very
best, there was great risk of our doing, in preference to prosecuting
our pig-shooting scheme, as had been originally intended. Poor Adam was
evidently smitten by her attractions. After talking with these good
people for some time, I observed that his attention was engrossed
in watching Rita's movements, when, as the Capitan, his wife, and
myself were all standing at an open window, looking at the flowers in
his garden, and talking away, and their daughter, occupied in some
household duty, was leaving the sala, Adam, who had been watching
like a lynx for such an opportunity, seized it on the moment, and
managed to slip away from us, and get out of the room after her, in
the hopes of being able to snatch a kiss or something of the sort,
and to present the scented water, which he had not missed from his
pocket, although as he slipped away in all the agitation of pursuit,
I saw first one hand and then the other slipped into the pockets of
the coat where it should have been; but he was so much engaged in
getting out of the room quickly and silently, that he did not miss
it. Reaching the open door just as she had gone out, when about two
paces beyond it, he popped his head over her shoulder unobserved, and
stole a kiss; I heard the smack, then a rustle, and then a titter,
during which Adam was searching his pockets for the missing bottle,
which of course he did not find there; and when he said something
or other about the kiss, he foolishly, in his search for it, told
her that he had lost so very desirable a present; upon which, as he
afterwards told me, the beauty looked saucy, and very plainly did
not believe a word about it, but fancied he had invented the story to
excuse the kiss, and pretended to get a little angry with the liberty
taken with her blooming cheek; so she walked off, and left him quite
at a loss to account for its disappearance.

Before leaving, I took an opportunity of presenting the missing bottle
at a time when the owner of it was not by, and fancied, from the blush
which gave additional beauty to her cheek as I did so, that with the
natural quickness of a woman and a beauty, she had read the stratagem
played off on poor Adam; so she frankly offered me the same reward,
by presenting her blooming lips to be kissed, even by so very recent
an acquaintance.

On making arrangements for a shooting party, it is quite necessary to
hire beaters to drive the game, which there would be little chance
otherwise of sighting, without undergoing more walking than most
people find pleasant under a tropical sun.

Having had the precaution to bring our own saddles with us, some
miserable-looking ponies were procured, and started with a guide at
an early hour in the morning, along a path formed for the most part,
up and down thickly wooded hills, the road being sometimes a dry
watercourse, or mountain stream.

However, we got over the ground, passing through a beautiful country,
and arrived at the meet after a four hours' ride, the place appointed
being a hut belonging to the huntsman, and surrounded by three paddy
fields, which he tilled, with his family, but did not live there,
except at planting and reaping time, or for about six weeks of the
year, from fear of the tulisanes, who, he said, frequented this
wild and uninhabited neighbourhood. This is a frequent effect of the
bad police of the Philippines, as much of the country that might be
most advantageously cultivated, is abandoned to the jungle, solely
from fear of these robbers, who sometimes add to their plundering
propensities crimes of a more atrocious dye.

After some good sport with deer and pigs, which constituted the supper
of ourselves and all the beaters, night was very welcome, and seldom,
indeed, did either of us enjoy repose more than in this hut, although
through the holes in the grass walls of it the wind was whistling,
and near us the beaters were noisily carousing, miscellaneously,
upon sherry, cognac, and beer, it mattered not which to them, for we
had presented some bottles of each, in order to celebrate the good
day's sport.

Next morning we heard of a wild cimmarone (or buffalo) having been
seen in the neighbourhood some days previously, and endeavoured to
find out his whereabouts, but none of the scouts could get a trace of
him. Although these splendid animals are occasionally found in the
country, they are not very common, and their reputation for savage
ferocity is so great, that few of the Indians like to shoot them,
because, if merely wounded without being disabled, they are certain
to charge the hunter, which is more than Oriental nerves are fond of.

Monkeys chattering in the trees are very common; but I never shot
any of them, having, in truth, an antipathy to kill a brute with a
shape so nearly human.

Near this end of the lake few Europeans ever go, as it is quite out
of the beaten track, which leads them in an opposite direction, to
look down the crater of a volcano, generally simmering, but seldom
boiling over to such an extent as to spout lava to any distance.

Calamba and Calawan are also places they usually go to see; at
the latter of which, there is a cotton-spinning mill, the property
of a Mestizo, who dresses like a Spaniard, and no doubt wishes to
be considered such. The machinery employed is of Belgian or French
make, and of a very simple construction, and far from being equal to
the sort now used at home for the purpose; but is considered by its
owner to be the only sort that would answer well there, as it can be
kept in order, and even, I believe, put into repair on occasion by a
native blacksmith, who acts as engineer, which could not, of course,
be the case were machinery of a finer and more complex and elaborate
construction employed, as that would render a staff of good European
workmen essential to keep it in order and good repair, and their pay
in this climate, would run away with all the profits of the adventure.

The yarn produced is of the coarser descriptions, and is only saleable
to the native weavers of cotton cloth, by the excessive duty put on
grey cotton twist of British manufacture, which is 40 per cent. on a
high _ad valorem_ valuation if imported by a Spanish ship, and 50 per
cent. if by any foreign vessel, amounting virtually to a prohibition
on its importation.

At the village of Los Baños, on the shores of the laguna, there are
some hot springs, flowing into baths cut out of the natural rock.

The temperature of the water as it issues from the rock is sufficient
to boil an egg; but not having a thermometer, we were unable to
ascertain it more exactly. As it mixes with the cool water of the
laguna, however, the heat decreases, and at sunrise on a cool morning
forms just there a very pleasant bath. The baths, from which the place
is named, having for long been little frequented by invalids, are now
in a semi-ruinous state. In cases of debility they are said to be most
beneficial, and the old Manilla doctor, Don Lorenzo Negrao, whose long
experience of the country and of the diseases incidental to it is most
valuable, in such cases sometimes recommends his patients to try these
baths for some peculiar diseases, and once recommended them to me.

The great mistake of our doctors in India is dosing their patients
with calomel, which, although necessary in some cases, where it is the
only medicine powerful enough to arrest the rapid strides with which
disease advances in tropical countries, is too often had recourse to,
when simples would be just as effective. And this mistake of theirs is
equalled, in bad effects only, by the practice of the Spanish doctors,
who will never administer calomel at all, even in the most urgent
cases, as they prefer trusting altogether to simple remedies for a
cure, and if a patient dies who has had calomel administered to him,
do not hesitate to tell the practitioner who gave it that the medicine
killed him.

Within the tropics lengthened residence is the most essential
qualification in a medical attendant, as although old men may not be
so well up to the latest improvements of the science as those fresh
from college, yet they have from practice found out the best way of
treating tropical diseases, to which the treatment applicable in a
London, Edinburgh, or Paris hospital in similar cases, would be quite
out of place when practised in so different a climate as the tropics,
where the symptoms vary and succeed each other with ten times the
rapidity they do in Europe.


Before leaving Manilla on a lengthened country excursion, it is always
desirable to procure introductions to the priests of the district you
are going to visit, which may be effected with very little difficulty
by almost any of your Spanish acquaintances. As although they are
in general a most hospitable class of men, and usually invite any
respectable looking European whom chance may throw in their way, to
sleep at the convento if he be passing the night at their village,
yet without an introduction one remains always a stranger to them,
and sees nothing of their usual habits or modes of life.

Sometimes their good-nature is put to a trial by the eccentricities
of their British guests, and some odd incidents happen. A good story
is told of one of the former British merchants of the place, who
having taken it into his head to make an excursion, before starting
provided himself with letters of recommendation from the Archbishop
of Manilla, to whom he paid court by loans of newspapers, addressed
to the parish priests, and set off with these in his pocket, finding
them of the greatest service in insuring a welcome wherever he went,
being described therein in the most favourable colours, by the high
church dignitary.

One day, after a long and fatiguing ride, he arrived, about two in the
afternoon, in a very ravenous state, at a convent or parsonage. On
ascending the stairs of the convento, the first thing which met the
eyes of the hungry traveller was a table neatly arranged for the
padre's dinner, who, he was informed by the servants, would be back
in about an hour to dine. An hour still--why it seemed to be a century
since he had broken his fast; however, he waited for what appeared to a
hungry man to be a long time, but in reality was probably ten minutes,
when, losing all patience at the non-appearance of the priest, whose
house he had so coolly taken possession of, he told the boys to put
something to eat on the table, and they, apparently mistaking his
meaning, in a trice served up the good priest's half-cooked dinner,
which, without the delay of asking any questions, he proceeded to
devour. In a very short space of time he had cleared away the best
part of it, and was beginning to relax in his exertions, as the good
effects of a hearty meal began to mollify his craving stomach, in
fact he was just beginning to attack the last relic of a fat capon,
which formed the main battle of the dishes set out before him, when
a heavy footstep was heard on the stairs, and in another instant the
gaunt figure of the priest himself stood before the empty plates on the
dinner table, and the unknown and unexpected guest, whose jaws were at
the moment occupied in masticating the last morsel of the fat fowl,
which the father had ordered for himself, and looking forward to it
had caused him to take a lengthened promenade, in order to promote
appetite. Imagine the scene--but whether the good padre's momentary
wrath, and then utter astonishment and indignation, or the guest's
embarrassment, were greatest--or the most ludicrous, it would be hard
to determine. For some time they merely looked at each other, without
speaking--the priest, probably, because he could not articulate--and
his guest, perhaps, because his mouth was full--till the absurdity of
the whole affair apparently striking them both at once, they mutually
broke out into laughter, the violence of which threatened to convulse
them. From this, however, the padre was the first to recover, when the
intruder, mastering his muscles, regained his countenance so far as
to be able to mutter something in the shape of an apology, in which,
probably, the word "starvation" was the only one intelligible; after
it had been good-humouredly received, and the priest had welcomed the
strange guest, the Archbishop's letter was produced as his credentials,
but not till then. And afterwards they passed the evening together in
the old convento, which, as the evening advanced, rang to many a merry
laugh and jest about the affair in which both had figured so awkwardly.

The caprices of all the visitors to the country are not, however,
so harmless; it is not long since a party of young men, headed by one
notorious for his love of fun, and what are called practical jokes,
chartered a _chatta_, or covered cargo boat, of from 25 to 30 tons,
and having put two carronades on board of her, set sail for the laguna,
and while there amused themselves by bearing down, after nightfall,
on the villages and towns on its banks, and bombarding them with the
guns, taking care, however, not to do harm or to kill any one, either
by not shooting the guns, or if there was a ball in one of them, by
aiming it a little over the houses, so as not to damage them. On the
noise made by the guns being heard, and the flash seen so close to them
in the dark nights, the whole male population of the place would turn
out in haste to repel the attack of this supposed band of tulisanes,
arming themselves with any sort of weapon, and getting the women and
children out of harm's way by sending them off--and probably an urgent
despatch would be forwarded by the gobernadorcillo of the village to
the governor of the province, if he lived within some few miles of
him, requesting assistance--or detailing the flight of the robbers,
who, on seeing the determination and force of the villagers prepared
to defend their hearths, had not ventured to attempt landing, but had
sailed away without having been able to do any damage to the pueblo.

These midnight bombardments were repeated so frequently as to lead the
local authorities to make great efforts to put down the daring troop
of robbers who bearded them at their very doors at the town of Santa
Cruz, near which the Governor lives, and kept the country people,
who had begun to talk about them, in a state of constant alarm.

Notwithstanding all their efforts to discover the hiding-place of the
band, nothing could be found out about them, no one ever imagining
that the party of gentlemen in the chatta could be at all mixed up
with them--in fact, the well-intentioned alcalde of the province,
hearing that such a party was visiting the lake, sent off a _ministro_
to give them information about the desperate band of tulisanes who
were lurking in the neighbourhood, and advised them to be upon their
guard against an attack; for which attention they of course thanked
him, and assured the envoy that it was for that reason only they had
provided themselves with the two formidable looking pieces of ordnance
which he saw in the boat.

They were not found out to have been representing the parts of the
supposed tulisanes, till, on their return to Manilla, where people
had heard of the disturbances in the province of the Laguna by these
robbers, and were talking about it, the story somehow got wind, and,
when it was known who had caused so much trouble, of course there
was a general laugh at the local authorities.

Lucky enough it was, however, that the affair rested there, as all
of the party might have suffered severely for their amusement and
fondness for carronading. It only caused the government to increase
their strictness in giving passports to the country, which now were
only conceded on the pleas of urgent business, or of ill health when
that was backed by a medical certificate; the alcalde also became
more strict in seeing that all travellers through the province were
provided with these documents.


In the course of these excursions to the country, the native Indians,
with a stray half-breed, generally of the China Mestizo race, are
nearly the only people met with, as few Europeans are settled in the
provinces, except in the provincial capitals, or near the alcalde,
whose dependents they generally are. Should a stranger be able to
speak to the natives in their own language, he has a much better
opportunity of becoming acquainted with their character, habits,
and feelings, than if he is merely able to speak Spanish, a language
which only a very small proportion of them understand in the country,
although most of those in the neighbourhood of Manilla can speak
it after a fashion. For although the law makes it requisite for the
Capitan of every pueblo to be able to speak as well as to read and
write Spanish, yet this is not always the case, as I have frequently
met with these officials, more especially in out-of-the-way places,
who did not understand it.

Nearly the whole, certainly above three-fourths of the population, make
use of the Tagala or Tagaloc language, which, so far as I am aware,
is quite peculiar to these islands, having little or no similarity
to Malayee, so that it does not appear to have been derived from a
Malay root, although some few Malay words have been engrafted on it,
probably from the circumstance of that language being made use of
in the province of Bisayas, which is the only place in the islands
where it is spoken.

In Pampanga province, the natives speak a distinct language, differing
entirely from Tagaloc, quite as much as Welsh does from English,
although many of the Pampangans, on growing up, find it useful to know
how to speak the Tagaloc, which most of them understand a little of.

The _Negritos_, who are found in some parts of the islands, are a
peculiar race, with features exactly resembling the African negro,
although in general smaller made men, but formed with all the
characteristics of the African. They also use a distinct language,
and have very little intercourse with either of the other races--many
tribes of them living, even up to this day, independent of, and
unsubdued by, the Spaniards, whose active missionaries have however
of late years been making every effort to reduce them to allegiance
to the government of Manilla, as well as to the religion of the cross.

These good men have penetrated, where soldiers dare not enter with
arms in their hands, and in their case, truly, the sword has given
place to the gown, with good effects to all concerned in the reduction
of these wild Indians to the Roman Catholic faith, and the arts of
civilized life; for many hundreds of them, nay, I believe thousands,
are now peaceful cultivators of the soil, which, these good fathers
have taught them how to till, instead of living, as they formerly did,
at warfare with mankind, and solely on the produce of the chase.

How these differences of race and language have arisen, it is probably
impossible now to discover, at least I have never heard any one of
the many theories on the subject, for they are nothing more than
speculations, which could sustain all the requirements necessary to
account for their existence in their present state.

In the character of the native Indians there are very many good points,
although they have long had a bad name, from their characters and
descriptions coming from the Spanish mouths, who are too indolent
to investigate it beyond their households, or at the most beyond
their city walls; as very few, indeed, of all the Spaniards I met
with have ever been in the country any distance from Manilla, except
those whose duty it has been to proceed to a distance, as an alcalde
of the province, or as an officer of the troops scattered through
the islands,--very many of whom remain at home in the residency or
in their quarters, smoking or drinking chocolate, and bewailing their
hard fates, which have condemned them to live so far away from Manilla,
from the theatre, and from society. They come and go without knowing,
or caring to know, anything about the people around them, except when
a feast-day comes, when they are always ready enough to visit their
houses, dance with the beauties, and consume their suppers.

The most noticeable traits in the Philippine Indians appear to be
their hospitality, good-nature, and _bonhommie_ which very many
of them have. Their tempers are quick; but, like all of that sort,
after effervescing, soon subside into quiet again.

Very frequently have I been invited to enter their houses in the
country, when loitering about during the heat of the sun, under
the protection of an immense and thick sombrero which prevented me
suffering much from the exposure; and on going into one of them,
after the host or hostess had accommodated me with a seat on the
_banco_ of bamboo, a cigarillo, or the _buyo_, which is universally
chewed by them, and composed of the betel nut and lime spread over an
envelope of leaf, such as nearly all Asiatics use, has been offered
by the handsome, though swarthy, hands of the hostess or of a grown-up
daughter: or, if their rice was cooking at the time, often have I been
invited to share it, and have sometimes so made a most excellent and
hearty meal, using the natural aid of the fingers in place of a spoon,
or other of the customary aids for eating. After eating they always
wash their hands and mouths, so cleanly are their habits.

So long as any white man behaves properly towards them, and treats
them as human beings should be treated, their character will evince
many good points; but should they be beaten or abused without a
cause, or for something that they do not understand, as they but too
frequently are when composing the crews of ships, the masters of which
are seldom able to speak to them in their own language or in Spanish:
who can blame them if the knife is drawn from its sheath, and their
own arm avenges the maltreatment of some brutal shipmaster or his
mates for the wrong they have suffered at their hands? In all I have
seen or had to do with them they have never appeared as aggressors,
and it has only been when the white men, despising their dark skins,
have ventured on unjustifiable conduct, that I have heard of their
hands being raised to revenge it.

When they know that they are in the wrong, however, should the
harshest measures be used towards them, I have never known or heard
of their having had recourse to the knife, and I have frequently seen
them suffer very severe bodily chastisement for very slight causes
of offence.

They are easily kept in order by gentleness, but have spirit enough to
resent ill-treatment if undeserved. Not long ago an instance of the
kind happened to a person who has the character of being a violent
and irascible man. He one day fell into a passion about something
or other, and fastened his ill-nature and passion on an inoffensive
servant who chanced to be near him at the time, and ended some abuse
by ordering the man to go into a room, where he followed him, and after
locking the door and putting the key into his pocket, took up a riding
switch and began to flog the servant, who bore it for a while, until,
losing his temper completely, he seized his master by the throat,
and, taking the whip from him, administered with it quite as much
castigation as he had himself received.

Their general character is that of a good-natured and merry people,
strongly disposed to enjoy the present, and caring little for the

So far as regards personal strength and mental activity or power,
they are much superior to any of the Javanese or Malays I have seen
in Java, or at Batavia and Singapore. But, to our modes of thinking,
the greatest defect in their character is their indolence and dislike
to any bodily exertion, which are the effects of the sun under which
they live; but their native maxims and their habits, although we
may disapprove of them now-a-days, when everything goes by steam,
might be dignified by a great poet's verse into the truest and best
philosophy; for does he not sing,--

            Otium bello furiosa Thrace,
            Otium Medi pharetra decori
            Grosphe, non gemmis, neque purpura venale, nec auro.

            Vivitur parvo bene, cui paternum
            Splendat in mensâ tenui salinum;
            Nec leves somnos timor aut Cupido
                     Sordidus aufert.

            Lætus in præsens animus, quod ultra est
            Oderit curare, et amara lento
            Temperet risu, &c.----Hor. II. xvi.


At Manilla a labourer's pay is a quarter of a dollar a-day, or a little
more than a shilling, which is enough to keep him supplied with food
of as good quality and quantity as he needs to eat for about two or
three days, so that if a labourer or coolie, who has only himself to
support, work two days out of the seven, he has enough to supply all
his necessities, and can enjoy what is to him a high degree of pleasure
and amusement,--the training of a cock for the cockpit, sleeping
a long siesta, gossiping with his neighbour, and chewing _buyos_,
or smoking cigarillos, quite at his ease, during the rest of the time.

They have all a strong dislike to settling down to any employment
demanding the exercise of much bodily exertion, even when it is well
remunerated; and the consequence is, that the extreme difficulty of
procuring labour forms the greatest drawback there is to a planter
settling in the Philippines, and not unfrequently causes the one or two
people who have now got plantations there on a small scale, to suffer
the utmost inconvenience in the management of their estates; and this
operates to so great an extent, as virtually to prevent any one but a
very bold and speculative man investing money in sugar plantations,
or otherwise locking it up in agriculture. Government has long been
sensible of this, and the present Captain-General has issued an order,
containing a permission for persons engaging in plantations to import
Chinese labourers, to whom, if actually engaged in tilling the soil,
are conceded certain privileges which they have not hitherto enjoyed,
being subject to less tribute than what is paid by the rest of their
countrymen who are engaged in other avocations.

This decree had been lying ready for years in the desks of the
Government officials, no Governor till recently having had the courage
to publish an order so greatly in advance of their general policy. As
it is, this is one of the greatest steps they have ever taken in
the right direction; and I trust it may be attended with the best
effects, although some of the restrictions on the China labourers
may tell against it; and I fear that the large outlay necessary to
import labour from China, while they have a supply, although it is
a very uncertain one, at their doors, without incurring the expense
and risk of doing so, may hinder the success of the scheme.

There are very few people in the colony who are possessed of the
capital necessary to start a plantation on a large scale. And the
existing laws prevent or check foreigners doing so, unless they
get married to a Spanish or native woman, which, from their general
character, few British would like to do; or by abjuring their religion,
and getting naturalized, which is a measure equally or more repugnant
to the human breast, unless self-interest is the beacon which directs
the path, or is the motive for doing so.

However, should plantations on a large scale ever be carried on
in these islands with an equal degree of facility, science, care,
and attention, and with the improved machinery now employed in sugar
estates in Jamaica and elsewhere, there can be little doubt that the
productions of the islands will be greatly increased, and it will do
good so far; but whether it would tend to improve the condition, or
increase the comforts of the people, now so independent of care for
a livelihood, appears to be more than doubtful; in other respects,
it would do them good, by stimulating their energies.

At present there are no large plantations on the islands, although
two or three of small size exist, none of which are understood to be
sufficiently remunerating to offer any inducement to invest money in
a similar manner.

At Jalajala, M. Vidie, an hospitable old Frenchman, has an estate;
but I understand that the most unceasing efforts, and the greatest
economy, care, and attention, have been necessary to make it answer,
both on his part and on that of its former owner, an Anglo-American,
and a person of great ingenuity, who got so much disgusted with the
incessant battle he had to fight with the soil, and those who tilled
it, that after overcoming the greatest difficulties, he sold the
estate, and was glad to be quit of it.

The whole of the productions of the islands are raised by the poor
Indian cultivators, each from his own small patch of land, which they
till with very simple, though efficient implements of agriculture.

With the existing high prices of labour, there is, however, probably
nearly as much surplus produce available for exportation as there
would be for years to come, under the system of large plantations and
dear labour. Because the present occupiers of the land--employing
no hired labour, but only directing the industry of the farmer and
that of his family, to the small patch on which they were born, and,
of course, have some affection for--are certain to expend far more
labour on their own land, and to bring it to a much higher degree of
cultivation, than it would suit the purpose of a large planter to do;
who, like the Australian or Canadian colonist, would probably find it
most for his interest to cultivate a large surface of land imperfectly,
as under high wages of labour, and comparatively cheap land, it would
be likely to yield him a better return than if he cultivated only a
small surface of ground highly.

For this seems to be the only policy, where the elements to be combined
are dear labour and cheap land; just as when they are dear land and
cheap labour, the contrary would be the case, as it is in Britain.

Now, when I call a quarter of a dollar per diem a high rate of labour,
I may be misunderstood if it is not stated that this rate, when paid
to the slow and careless Indian labourer, is fully equivalent to
three times that sum to a white or British labourer working at home;
as an able-bodied man at home would do about three times as much work,
and would perform it in a highly superior manner.

These reasons make me loath to see the present system of small holdings
changed, which would sever old and respectable ties, and would force
the present independent Indian cottage-farmer to seek employment from
the extensive cultivator, and, without getting more work out of him
in the course of a year, would lower him in self-respect, and in the
many virtues which that teaches, without deriving any correspondent
advantage to society.

In a tropical climate the elements of society are varied, and
quite different from those of a country with a climate like that of
Great Britain. A native Indian, under a tropical sun, could scarcely
support a system of really _hard_ labour for six days of the week for
any length of time; and their indolent habits are, in some degree,
necessary to their existence, perhaps as much as his night's rest
is to the British labourer; for without days of relaxation to supply
the stamina which they have lost during exposure to the sun and hard
labour under it, it is my decided opinion that the men so exposed,
and exhausted, would, after a very few years, knock themselves up,
and become unfit to work, thereby rendering themselves an unproductive
class, and burdens on their friends and on society.

The present cultivators, who show a high degree of intelligence
in many of their operations, in cultivating their staple, rice,
for example, actually expend more labour on their land, and work
much more constantly than any hirelings would do; as at Jalajala,
out of upwards of a hundred labourers in the village who had no other
employment or source of revenue but their labour, not above a third
of the able-bodied men mustered in the fields when the labours of
the day began in the morning; and I understood from the owner of the
estate, that under no circumstances could he prevail on the whole
body of labourers to muster, nor, so long as their rice lasts, will
they work; it is only when that fails, and they will starve if they
do not exert themselves, that they will undergo hard labour in the
fields under the broiling sun.


Very few of the native Indians or Mestizos are possessed of much
wealth, according to British ideas of the term, although there are some
of the latter class who are considered among themselves as very well
off, if their savings amount to from five to twenty thousand dollars;
and when they reach fifty thousand dollars, they are looked upon as
rich capitalists.

In Manilla, there are one or two of these Mestizo traders whose
fortunes amount to more than this; but such occurances are rare,
and are seldom heard of. Many of these amounts have been collected
together by their possessors by their engaging in a sort of usurious
money-lending or banking business with the poverty-struck cultivators
of the soil, by advancing seed to many of them for their paddy fields,
and making the hard condition of exacting in return about one half
of the produce of the ensuing crop. But perhaps these money-lenders
are, to a certain extent, necessary to supply the wants of an
improvident and careless race, these habits being besetting sins of
the Indian character; yet there can be little doubt that the money
acquired by such a usurious repayment of the sums advanced, does
an immense deal of harm, and lessens the natural independence of
the Indians who are so unfortunate as to fall into the clutches of
the money-lender. Should a poor Indian, the possessor of a patch of
paddy-land capable of producing very little more than is required to
feed his family, once run short of seed, he has a very hard battle to
fight with the soil before he is able to get that debt cleared off,
should his neighbours be too poor to assist him, as he must then have
recourse to the usurer. For although, through his greater efforts and
improved cultivation, he may produce much more paddy than his land
had done before, yet he is seldom able to save enough for seed from
the moiety of the produce which his appetite restricted to live upon,
as the other half must go to repay the usurer who advanced him seed,
or money to purchase it.

I have seldom heard of Europeans engaging in this business, for which
their nature and habits are much less suitable than those Mestizo
capitalists who devote themselves to the traffic.

These debts are frequently contracted by the Indians in emulating the
splendour of some richer neighbour on their patron saint's feast-day,
when, in proportion to their means, an immense deal of extravagant
expenditure usually takes place; but, with the exception of the
cockpit, all their other expenses are very slight and thrifty.

Their houses are mostly composed of attap, or nipa grass, on a bamboo
framework fixed on and supported by several strong wooden posts,
generally the trunks of trees, sunk deep enough in the ground to
render them capable of resisting the violent gales of wind common
over all the islands during particular months of the year. In the
villages some of the richer natives have wooden houses--that is to
say, the framework of the part of the house dwelt in is of wood,
being generally supported by a stone wall which composes the bodega,
&c., underneath.

Their furniture is generally made from the bamboo, and from this most
useful plant several of their household utensils are also formed;
all these are of the simplest description, but amply sufficient to
supply their wants.

A crucifix, and the portraits of several saints, are universally
found attached to the walls, and before these they are at all seasons
accustomed devoutly to repeat their morning and evening orisons--all
the family kneeling while the mother recites the prayer.

At nearly all houses in the country a large mortar scooped out of the
trunk of some tree is found, being the instrument employed to free
their paddy from the husk, and convert it into rice. This operation
appears to rank among those household duties which fall to the wife's
share to perform. The pestle is sometimes of considerable weight;
and when it is so, is worked by two women at once.

In their field operations the buffalo is the only animal employed,
and is probably the only one domesticated possessing the requisite
strength to perform the work, as the country oxen and horses are much
too small; and although more active, are too weak to drag the plough
through the flooded paddy fields in which they would get entangled and
sink, sometimes to their middles; but through land in this state the
bulky buffalo delights to wade, and, although slowly, creeps along,
and forces himself through.

In the towns the buffalo is still employed in carts and light work,
for which it is not so well suited as the active-paced horses or oxen
of the country would be, and they no doubt will in time be adopted
for these purposes.

In the country the horses are only used for the saddle, and for
conveying small packages of goods from one country shopkeeper to
another, as the roads they have to traverse are such as to preclude
any use of conveyances upon wheels.


Throughout the islands there is a part of every village set apart for
the market-place, where in the early morning, and after sunset in the
evening, the utmost activity in buying and selling prevails. At all of
these places rice, fish, and butcher meat (generally, but not always),
fruit, and merchandise of the most suitable sorts to supply the wants
of the people who are likely to purchase it, are exposed for sale. It
is a curious scene to walk through such a place for the first time,
especially after sunset, when the red glare of the torches or lamps
shows to perfection the sparkling eyes, swarthy features, and long
hair, which, waving about over the foreheads of the men, gives them a
wildness of look, which their sombre dress, consisting of a dark blue
shirt and trousers, having nothing to attract the attention from the
sparkle of their eyes, makes all the more striking.

In Santa Cruz market-place at Manilla, between the hours of six and
eight in the morning and evening, an immense crowd collect to supply
their household wants, and innumerable are the articles displayed
in the shops;--here the cochineal of Java, there the sago of Borneo,
or the earthenware of China. In the Bamboo Islands the more perishable
commodities are exposed for sale; and fish being the principal article
of the natives' food (and also a favourite one of the white men),
is found exposed for sale in large quantities. But all so offered
is dead, even when the vendor is a Chinaman, although in his native
country great quantities of it are hawked about the streets by the
sellers carrying them alive, in water, so that the purchaser is
certain always to have this food fresh and untainted by keeping;
for even a few hours is sufficient to spoil it in this climate.

The market is well supplied with all descriptions of fish caught in
the Pasig or the bay, most of which are well tasted; the fishermen of
the villages in the neighbourhood being the principal suppliers. A
small sort is found in the river very much resembling white-bait in
taste. Shrimps are also consumed in large quantities. After the rains
there may generally be procured, by those who like them, frogs, which
are taken from the ditch round the walls in great numbers, and are
then fat, and in good condition for eating, making a very favourite
curry of some of the Europeans, their flesh being very tender.

The natives principally eat fish, but there is besides a large quantity
of beef and pork consumed by them, which are always procurable,
except on Fridays, when some little difficulty may be experienced in
procuring flesh, as there is only enough killed on the morning of
that day to supply the wants of the invalids. The country-fed pork
is seldom or never seen at the tables of Europeans, these animals
being too frequently allowed to feed in a most disgusting manner;
and many pigs may at any time be seen in the suburbs of the town
where the Indians dwell roaming about the streets, and efficiently
performing the duties of scavengers, by removing the filth and garbage
from many of these remote streets.

But notwithstanding their knowing, and in fact daily seeing, this
gross and disgusting mode of feeding, it is the most universal and
favourite food of the Chinese at Manilla, and is also a favourite
with the Indians.

The continued use of pork so fed not unfrequently produces a skin
disease called sarnas, something resembling itch.

Fowls, turkeys, and ducks, both tame and wild, are at all times
procurable, the supplies of the latter being from the Laguna. Geese
are seldom or never exposed for sale, but are sometimes sent from
China to private persons merely for their own consumption.

It is a curious thing that geese will not produce eggs, or sit upon
them to hatch their young, at Manilla; and it is also a sufficiently
odd circumstance, that turkeys die in a short time after reaching
Singapore, where they are sometimes sent to private individuals for
domestic use, although they thrive very well both in the Philippines
and in Java. At Singapore, however, after being a few days ashore,
some of them are attacked by a peculiar sickness, apparently giddiness
of the head, which invariably ends in death in a few minutes after
the commencement of the attack. All these birds are subject to it at
that place, if allowed to go about too long before being seized upon
by the cook.

The principal food of the Indians being rice, it is found exposed for
sale, in large and small quantities, in the bazaars, where nearly all
the kinds of fruits of the season may also be found. The catalogue
of fruits grown in the islands is a long one, but among those most
commonly seen may be reckoned plantains of all kinds, of which
there are an immense variety; mangoes, which are remarkably good,
and superior to any species grown in the East, excepting those of
Bombay, to which they are equal; the custard-apple, the pine-apple,
seldom equal to those of Batavia or Singapore; limes, and oranges,
not very good, and greatly inferior to those of China, from whence
some are imported by the trading Spanish vessels constantly running
between the two places; melons of different kinds, of middling quality;
cucumbers, pumpkins, jackfruit, lanzones, and many other sorts.

The best gardens, or those from which Manilla is chiefly supplied with
fruit, are in the vicinity of Cavite, from which place the country
people bring it every morning, the carriers being generally young
women, who, from the steadiness requisite to balance the fruit-baskets
on their heads, acquire a good walk, somewhat at the expense of their
necks, however.

The most common sorts of vegetables exposed for sale appear to be the
sweet potatoes, yams, and lettuce; and green pea-pods are sometimes
to be had, but the latter are seldom good.

The temperature induces such a rapid vegetation as to injure their
taste, as it prevents their ripening, for, after attaining a certain
growth, the sun dries up the pod in a very few days, to prevent which
they are pulled very early, when the pea is so small and delicate,
being barely formed, that the cooks usually serve up both pods and
peas together at table, after having minced them into small pieces
with a knife, being unable to separate them properly.

The common potatoe is imported from China, and from the Australian
colonies. Those from Van Diemen's Land are the best; the sorts received
from China are usually watery and small, being greatly inferior to
those sent up from Australia.

In the fair monsoon, the Chinamen sometimes get supplies of apples,
pears, cabbage, &c., from Shanghai, and these are considered as
great delicacies.

There are many other fruits and vegetables procurable at Manilla,
but those mentioned are the sorts usually met with.


The population of the islands is very uncertain, for although the
Government makes the census _apparently_ with some exactness, a very
little knowledge of the country is sufficient to show that they do not
do so in reality, but that this resembles all their other statistical
information, and cannot be depended upon, although it is useful in
leading to an approximation.

Their data are made up from the revenue derived from a capitation
tax, which is so much per head for all grown up persons; but as it
is the interest of all who may be called upon to pay it to keep out
of the way during the period of its collection, many of them do so
without much difficulty, more especially in the remote districts,
where their facilities for concealment are much greater than in the
neighbourhood of Manilla, or of the provincial capitals, where the
alcaldes reside; so that those actually liable to it are very much
greater than the payers of the tax. I estimate the population at a
little under five million souls, the great bulk of whom are engaged
in agricultural pursuits.

Great numbers of people are also employed as fishermen, artizans
of all sorts, and as manufacturers of cloth fabrics of various
descriptions. In addition to the people so gaining a livelihood
by their industry, there are scattered throughout the islands many
Indians, without any occupation, and apparently altogether dependent
on the fruit of the plaintain-tree for subsistence, and indulging
all their natural laziness and indolence of disposition by its aid,
preferring to subsist on the fruit of this most productive plant,
which they can do, from its being always procurable and at all times
of the year in season, without an effort towards its cultivation,
to undertaking the labour and attention necessary to grow rice.

Some of these people are hunters, occasionally going out to the
wilds in pursuit of game, which must alternate beneficially with
their vegetable diet.

As an article of food, however, the plantain does not appear to be so
nutritive or strength-supporting as rice; at least, those persons who
are principally dependent on it for food appear less robust looking
than the rice-fed population. This, however, may not be entirely owing
to that cause, but may be attributable in some degree to their lazy
habits, which, by preventing them taking much exercise or bodily
exertion, renders the muscles of their bodies less developed than
those of the other Indians whose harder work keeps their frames in
a proper state of health.

In person, the native Indians are a good deal slighter and shorter
than Europeans, but are, on the average, taller and stouter than the
Malays, many of them having that broad make of shoulders and lustiness
of limb which indicate personal strength.

Their countenances are in general open and pleasing, and would
be handsome, but for their smallness of nose, which is the worst
feature in the native physiognomy; however, when that feature is
well shaped, as it frequently is, their faces are decidedly handsome
and good-looking.

These remarks apply to both sexes; a number of the women are very
beautiful, for although their skin is dusky, the ruddiness of their
blood shows through it on the cheek, producing a very beautiful
colour, and their dark, lustrous eyes are in general more lit up with
intelligence and vivacity of expression, than those of any Indians
I have seen elsewhere.

A very pleasant trait, to my taste, is the nearly universal frankness
and candid look that nature has stamped upon their features, which,
when accompanied by the softness of manner common to all Asiatics,
is particularly gratifying in the fairer part of creation.

Their figures are well shaped, being perfectly straight and graceful,
and nearly all of them have the small foot and hand, which may be
regarded as a symbol of unmixed blood when very small and well shaped;
as although the Mestizas gain from their European progenitor a greater
fairness of skin, they generally retain the marks of it in their
larger bones, and their hands and feet are seldom so well shaped as
those of the pure-bred Indian, even although the Spaniards are noted
for possessing these points in equal or greater perfection than the
people of other European countries.

The bath is a great luxury among the natives, and of all country-born
people, who appear to be fully as fond of the water as ducks are,
and never look so well pleased as when they are paddling about in it,
for nearly all the women can swim.

It used to be a very favourite sport to make up a bathing party of
ladies, who, dressed in their long gowns, bathed with their male
friends equipped in parjamas, or in short bathing trousers, without
hesitation, swimming about in a retired part of the river for a long
time, generally stopping at least an hour in the water, on leaving
which, and dressing, all reunited to breakfast, or amuse themselves
in some way, with dancing or music. These parties, however, are now
seldom heard of, as the late arrivals from Spain have been so many as
to be able to take the lead, and give a tone to the society of Manilla,
and are now in the midst of revolutionizing the old habits and customs
of the place, certainly not at all for the better, as they have yet
to learn that what is suitable in Europe is not so in the tropics.

Fondness for gay dress is universal, and the _ninas_ take considerable
pains to understand the subject, and to adorn their natural good looks
to the most advantage by the selection of the most appropriate colours.

Their hair is one of the most remarkable beauties in the native and
Mestiza women, being very much longer, and of a finer gloss, than
that of any Europeans.

The staple and most favourite food of the people is rice seasoned
by sun-dried or salted fish, if they should be unable to procure
it fresh, which is, however, seldom the case, as the rivers in the
country abound with many different sorts, and all of them appear to
be very good and well tasted.

And not only do the rivers abound with fish, but great numbers of
_dalag_ are found in the flooded paddy fields during and subsequent
to the rainy season, when they are soaked with water. How this fish,
which is not very good to eat, being tasteless and insipid, comes
there, is a curious problem, as it is often killed in paddy grounds at
a great distance from any stream, out of which it could come during
an overflow. I am not quite certain whether this fish is ever killed
in a stream or not, or whether it is only found in the paddy fields.

I do not recollect of its once being caught in a river, although
the natives kill the fish in the ditches and paddy fields in large
quantities, either by shooting them with shot, as they flounder in
the fields, or by pursuing and capturing them, and knocking them down
with a stick.

In fact, I suspect the _dalag_ to be an intermediary between the
reptile and the fish, although not naturalist enough to investigate
the subject in a proper manner.


Many of my readers may chance to be aware that the whole group of
Philippine islands was mortgaged to Great Britain for payment of the
ransom agreed upon at the time of our conquest of them nearly a century
ago; and as up till this time neither the money nor the interest on
it has been obtainable, as it probably never will be, they are, at
this, or any other time, virtually our property, should the British
Government foreclose the mortgage and demand payment. This, even at
present, when the kingdom is groaning under extreme pressure for the
necessary funds annually squeezed out of it, would not be thought a
prudent course, even by the ultra-economical politicians who are so
lavish of displaying their crude projects of retrenchment on neatly
ruled-off paper.

There is no doubt, however, that the cash is never likely to be
forthcoming from the Spaniards, and, under these circumstances, it
surely would be worth the attention of Her Majesty's Government, more
especially as they profess free-trade ideas, to make this state of
things the basis of a request, or even of a _claim_, on the Spanish
Government, for obtaining some liberal concessions in favour of
their countrymen, and the rest of the world, carrying on commercial
intercourse with the Philippines, which is now limited to Manilla;
all foreigners being prohibited from engaging in the country trade,
or from owning property in lands, houses, or ships in the Philippines.

Of course, the Spaniards themselves suffer for the illiberality
of this policy, as there can be no doubt that, were it more free,
and less burdened with restrictions of all sorts than it now is,
it would be attended with the best effects to their own treasury,
as well as be for the general welfare of the islands.

This is what they cannot yet comprehend; but it would not be difficult
to make them understand it, if the employé who undertook the task
understood it himself, and possessed knowledge enough of the character
of the people he had to deal with. Any request, if made in a proper
tone, by our Government, would draw attention to the subject at Madrid,
and some good might be done, even were it only of partial advantage,
as for many years to come they are not likely to step boldly out into
the subject.

At Zamboanga, opposite Zooloo, there already exists a custom-house
and other government offices for the regulation of their own trade
with these islands. But no foreigners are allowed to reside at
Zamboanga. Surely the permission for them to do so is worthy the
attention of a government which has established and is supporting,
at considerable expense, the colony of Labuan for the object not
only of extending our trade and the use of the products of our
manufacturing population, but also with the more generous and noble
idea of civilizing the people in its neighbourhood by their influence,
and of teaching them the blessings that flow from industry and peace.

The appointment of Sir James Brooke as Governor of Labuan was in every
respect a wise proceeding, as it affords a philanthropist a very wide
field on which to exert his influence. Unfortunately, however, for him,
a number of well-informed people, residing in the neighbourhood of the
spot where his philanthropic exertions are said to have taken place,
deny their having had any existence; but, on the contrary, accuse
that gentleman, through the columns of a Singapore newspaper, of the
worst motives and conduct: in short, he is accused in that newspaper
of murdering innocent natives in great numbers by falsely representing
them to be pirates, to serve his own purposes and gratify his Sarawak
subjects' dislike of them; the naval officers, whose services had
been placed at his disposal to put down piracy, being misled by him.

I am not sufficiently acquainted with all the facts of the case to
say with what truth this accusation is made, although, I believe,
so grave a charge has never been contradicted by him, or by his
friends authorized to do so in his name, and to state the true facts
of the case to the public. But, as far as Labuan is concerned, those
people who are best qualified to judge appear to be of opinion that,
although it should have a fair trial for some years longer, it will
never become a place of much commercial importance.

There is little doubt that were foreigners allowed to settle at
Zamboango, where Zooloo, Mindanao, and the entire southern coasts
of the Philippines would be open to their enterprise, it would be
productive of the most beneficial effects, not merely to our merchants
and manufacturers, but to the cause of civilization throughout all
these barbarous countries, and would probably be found much more
effective in putting an end to the existing state of piracy and
kidnapping, which are now carried on to some extent, than any warlike
means which have hitherto been employed to suppress them.

There are many other objects of a commercial nature worth
the consideration of an enlightened government, such as the
disproportionate protective duties in favour of their national
shipping and the produce of Spain; and some degree of toleration to
the religious opinions of foreigners residing at Manilla might also
be obtained; so far, at least, as to permit their having a piece
of consecrated ground for burying their dead, if no more should be
granted; at present they are not permitted to place the remains of
a Protestant within the limits of consecrated ground; but have to
bury them in a field where Chinamen, who retained their country's
faith till the end of their lives, are laid, and where swine are
continually going about routing up the soil, at the imminent hazard
of disturbing recently interred bodies.

Liberty for foreigners to settle in the country for the purposes of
trade or agriculture, and to hold property, might be obtained without
much difficulty, were it properly explained, and shown that their
doing so would benefit the Spaniards as much as themselves.

Under the existing laws their inability to hold property prevents
those foreigners who, after passing many years in the country, have
become as it were almost native, and where they have contracted ties
and formed connexions which few men would like to break, from settling
down in it for the remainder of their lives. As they have no means of
investing their gains with security, though they have probably reached
an age when the cares of business press heavily on relaxed energies,
and they are disposed to sit down quietly, and enjoy themselves in
the country where they are naturalized in every thing but in the eye
of the law--all the interest which good citizens, holding pecuniary
investments, naturally take in the well-being of the country, is
withdrawn from them. No wonder, then, that they are careless about the
domestic improvement of the Philippines, or of their progress in those
arts which fill the treasuries of rulers, and make subjects happy.


The laws do not appear to be bad in themselves, but the dilatoriness
with which they are administered has the effect of rendering them as
baneful to those living under them as if they were radically bad;
the delays and accidents inseparable from the mode of conducting
legal business are very vexatious, and frequently from its cost it
is quite inefficient for its purposes of justice. However, Spain and
its colonies are not singular in that respect, as there is one great
and flourishing country which I could name, where the same defects
exist, although, thank God, in a less degree than they do either
in the colony of Spain, or in that country itself; so the less said
about the mote in our brother's eye, the better for those who have
at this moment a beam in the organ of their own judicial executive.

In conducting a _pleito_ at Manilla, all is done by writing; first,
the charge is made out and filed; then comes an answer to the charge;
then a counter-answer is put in, and that again is replied to; and
so on they go for any length of time, determined by the weight of
the purses of the respective contending parties, till, if no more
is to be said, or if one or both of them gets tired of the expense,
and the case is decided, the other, if he be a rich man, can refer the
whole affair to Spain, where the same pleadings have to be again gone
through, and all the vexation and expense re-incurred, besides that the
decision of the case may with a little management be protracted for any
indefinite length of time. This is not worse than what happens at home,
and is similar to some of our Scotch cases in former times, when for a
century or more one case would be agitated to gratify family dislike
or prejudice. That no one may think I exaggerate, it may be as well
to mention a case which is still undecided at this moment, and which
originated about 1731, between the lairds of Kilantringan and Miltonise
in Galloway, although near kinsmen, namesakes, and neighbours.

There are few things more dreaded by the Spaniards themselves than
a lawsuit with one another. Many of them, however, are glad of the
chance it gives them to be revenged on people with whom they are not
upon good terms. So vile is the whole law and practice relating to
the testamentary disposal of property, and to such lengths have the
abuses in this particular branch of it gone, that it has become a
proverb among Spaniards to say that a wise man would prefer being
a trustee on an estate, to being heir to it; and several people at
Manilla are well known to be living on their gains from executorships,
&c., having no other means of support. These persons, although their
incomes are almost universally known to be so derived, are not in
the least shunned as dishonest people, but are looked upon as being
perfectly entitled to feather their own nests in place of performing
their duty, as we should understand it to be in Britain.

The police laws and regulations are also badly administered, being
very shameful to the Government which permits things to go on under the
same loose system as before. Were there a more numerous and efficient
police force scattered over the country, none of the Spaniards would be
afraid, as many of them now actually are, to live out of town, or to
make distant excursions to the country, from fear of the _tulisanes_,
or robber-bands, which are scattered about in various places, and are
found pursuing their avocations in the neighbourhood of the capital,
although not so boldly as they did a few years since. These robbers
plunder the country in bands perfectly organized, and bodies of them
are generally existing within a few miles of Manilla,--the wilds and
forests of the Laguna being favourite haunts, as well as the shores of
the Bay of Manilla, from which they can come by night, without leaving
a trace of the direction they have taken, in bodies of ten and twenty
men at a time, in a large banca. They have apparently some friends
in Manilla, who plan out their enterprises, send them intelligence,
and direct their attacks; so that every now and then they are heard
of as having gutted some rich native or Mestizo's house in the suburbs
of Manilla, after which they generally manage to get away clear before
the alguacils come up.

The houses of Europeans are also occasionally attacked, although much
less boldly within the last year or two; yet it is the custom for
people to retire to bed, even in the heart of the town without the
walls, with pistols, a sword, or some other weapon within reach. That
these people do immense damage there is no doubt, as they not only
plunder the country people of buffaloes and horses, but rifle their
houses, if no better prey is to be had, to such an extent, that
the natives are afraid to live at any distance from each other in
many parts of the country, solely through fear of them. From this
cause, patches of fine paddy land in out-of-the-way districts are
left uncultivated, or are hurriedly ploughed and sown by adventurous
persons, who after doing so retire into the nearest village to live,
till the time comes to reap as much of the paddy as the deer and
numerous wild pigs have left untouched.

The punishments of these bad characters are severe enough when justice
chances to get hold of them; and, should their crimes be atrocious,
they occasionally suffer death. Sometimes they are _garroted_, which
is done in this way. After being seated at the place of execution,
with the back towards a high post of wood, the culprit's neck is
encircled by an iron collar attached to the post, and capable of
compression by a powerful screw passing through the post, which, on
the signal being made, the executioner turns, and the victim is choked
in a second. The practice is much less disgusting than hanging, as
no effects are visible to an on-looker beyond the convulsive movement
of a frame loaded with heavy irons to prevent a severe and disgusting
struggle with departing life.

A good many of the _tulisanes_ are soldiers who, after committing some
peccadillo, feared its discovery and punishment, and flying to the
wilds have joined or organised a troop from among the bad characters
in the neighbourhood of their hiding-place.

These executions are not unfrequent at Manilla. One morning, when
riding near the usual place of execution on the sea-beach, I saw six
deserters, who had composed a band of atrocious robbers, suffer death
from the muskets of their former comrades; those who were not killed
at once, having an end put to their existence by the pistols of a
serjeant, who stepped close up to them before discharging the piece.

Truly it was a sad sight to see their former comrades degraded into
executioners. The number of women who had collected to witness the
last act of this tragedy was very great, very much outnumbering the
men present. But they were principally composed of the most worthless
class of females; yet on many of them the example appeared to make
a considerable impression.

I have no doubt, whatever the present popular mawkish
sentimental-mongers may write to the contrary, that these exhibitions,
when happening rarely, tend, in a great measure, to restrain the
passions of the evil-disposed, although some of them may think it
bold, among their hardened associates, to turn the spectacle into a
farce. I firmly believe that no human being can in cold blood look upon
another's death by violent means without being forced to think about
it for some time, greater or less, according to his or her temperament.

For minor offences criminals are sometimes flogged through the
town. They are mounted on horseback, with their legs manacled or
bound under the horse's belly, and a portion of their punishment is
administered at several of the most public places in the town, by
an executioner dressed in red, and with a veil over his face. Thus,
supposing a thief sentenced to receive a hundred lashes or blows,
they would most probably be administered by twenty at a time, in five
different places throughout the capital, proclamation being made at
each place, previous to the punishment, of the offence and of the name
of the offender, who is dressed in the ordinary mode, with a shirt and
pair of trousers, and exposed to the full view of the attending crowd.

Confinement in the jail at night, with labour in irons on the public
roads during the day, is also a usual punishment; criminals being
generally linked in pairs by a chain round the leg of each, and
taken out, under a guard, to work on the streets or roads at Manilla,
Cavite, or Zamboanga, at sunrise, and led back to jail at sunset. But
as they are not forced by the soldiers to work much harder than they
like, they take care not to injure themselves by overtasking their
powers of labour, and are not apparently much discontented with their
condition, from which I have seldom or never heard of their attempting
to escape, although neither their food nor their lodgings in jail
are very enticing; the former being bad black-looking rice and water,
and the jail generally swarming with vermin.

They appear to prefer the partial liberty of getting out of jail, and
of working in the streets in chains, to the monotony of a residence
within the walls of the prison, and the sedentary labour they might
be forced to pursue there.


Among the amusements of the Indians the greatest is cock-fighting,
for which they have a passion; and nearly every native throughout
the islands gratifies this taste by keeping a fighting cock, which
may be seen carried about with him perched on an arm or a shoulder,
in all the pride of a favourite of its master.

During Sundays and feast-days, when no work is allowed to be done,
nearly the half of the native population, if able to muster a few
rials, repair to the village cockpit, to arrange some match for their
favorite fowl, on which they will sometimes stake large amounts,
or to see the sport of their neighbours.

The privilege of opening a cockpit is an important source of revenue
to the Government, which farms it out to the highest bidder, who, I
believe, has the power to stop fighting for money at any place within
the limits of his district other than the privileged arena, for an
admission to which he exacts a small charge from each person, which is
the mode of reimbursing himself for the amount paid to the Government.

This place is generally a large house, constructed of _cana_, wattled
like a coarse basket, and surrounded by a high paling of the same
description, which forms a sort of court-yard, where the cocks are
kept waiting their turns to come upon the stage, should their owners
have succeeded in arranging a satisfactory match. Passing across
the yard, the door of the house, within which the matches come off,
stands open: after entering and ascending the steps, the arena is
before us, surrounded by seats sloping down from the wall towards it,
so that every one may be able distinctly to witness the event.

After the owners of the contending cocks have walked into the ring
and displayed them, each armed with a long and sharp steel spur, many
critical opinions are expressed by the Indians; and the judgments
of the old men, who are keen upon the sport, are worth hearing by
a visitor.

The spectators having viewed the birds carefully, the bets are
made, by calling one of the men who are constantly walking round
the outside of the arena, for the purpose of arranging the amounts
of bets ventured on either of the birds. Giving him the money with
which you back your opinion, he generally quickly finds, or may at
the moment hold in his hand, the money ventured by some one else on
the other cock, and apprises you of the arrangement. But should your
cock chance to be a favourite, and the broker be unable to arrange an
equal bet against the other, he tells you so before the set-to begins,
and returns your money if you are not disposed to give odds.

In general the conflict does not last long: in from about two to
five minutes after the set-to, one or other of the birds is pretty
sure to be either killed, or so badly wounded by the steel spur as
to show he has had enough of it, and to give in. Until this happens,
the utmost quietness is maintained by the people, and their intense
interest is only shown by their outstretched necks and eager looks,
as well as by their muttered exclamations at the various stages of the
fight; at the end of which, of course, the gainers are noisy, and in
high spirits at pocketing the money, which is heard clinking all round.

The amount of money staked on the issue is never very large; at least,
I have not seen more than eighty or a hundred dollars staked in any
cockpit, and the usual bet is an ounce of gold, or nearly four pounds.

Chance, in a great measure, appears to decide the event; as an early
blow with the sharp spur is quite sufficient to cripple the bird which
receives it so much as to determine the fate of the battle. Quickness
and game no doubt tell to some extent, but not very much. Of course,
the breeding of cocks engages a good deal of attention by those
interested in the amusement; but with the details of it I am not

Many of the Indians, however, appear to be more fond of a good cock,
and to display more anxiety about it, than would be shown by them
to their wives and children, who are not objects of nearly so much

Although extravagantly fond of all games of chance, none of them
appears to be so captivating as the cockpit, which ranks as their chief
passion. Of games at cards, the principal one is _monte_, the playing
of which is sometimes carried on to a great extent, which has caused
such distress that the law has wisely endeavoured to stop the evil,
by enacting severe fines and punishment against those caught playing
at it. Houses suspected of carrying it on, are at all times subject
to a visit from the alguacils, all the people found in them being
carried off to jail.

But notwithstanding these measures, it is found impossible to put
gambling down entirely, and some of the alcaldes, knowing the inutility
of attempting to do so, habitually give private instructions to their
policemen not to hunt for people playing _monte_, and not to molest
them if found doing so. Tresilla, tresiete, &c., are names of other
games at cards commonly played at Manilla.

Billiards is also a favourite game of the Indians, whose play differs
in some particulars from ours, and from the usual Spanish game, which
is also dissimilar to ours. Tables are scattered throughout the town,
entirely for the use of the native population, some of whom show
considerable dexterity.

Although bull-baiting used many years since to be an amusement here,
it is never heard of now, having quite gone out of fashion. Neither
are the bull-fights, as managed in Spain, practised here, probably
from the effects of the climate on the men, who would not much relish
a combat with one of the small, but spirited and powerfully shaped
bulls of the country.

The considerable number of officers of the troops, and other government
_empleados_, are acquisitions to the society of the place; for being
principally half occupied people, they are almost obliged to have
recourse to amusements to kill the time, which would otherwise hang
very heavy on their hands; and principally to their exertions must
we attribute the means of enjoyment, such as they are, which are now
available here.

There is a subscription ball-room, where assemblies are held three
times a-month; at one of which there is only dancing; at another,
performances by the amateurs of vocal and instrumental music. Some
of them, having a taste that way, do wonders for amateurs; and after
the concert, there is dancing.

At the third monthly assembly, there is a farce or play of some sort
acted by amateurs; and as the Spanish genius inclines to the buskin
and the sock, they acquit themselves very well.

To this _sociedad de recreo_, or casino, there are many subscribers,
including the Governor and his family, if he has any, and all the
considerable people of the place, who for many years kept out those
of lower caste than themselves by the ballot, which is the mode of
electing candidates, who must be introduced by two members. However,
at last the funds of the society got so low, that the admission
of many new members was requisite to bolster up the concern with
their entrance-money and monthly contributions, and, of course, a
much more indiscriminate set were admitted, than formerly used to go
there, which caused one or two people to absent themselves from the
assemblies for some time, as no one, of course, chooses to introduce
his daughters among people he does not wish to associate with. On
the whole, however, the place has benefited by the new people; that
is to say, it is more gay than before they came, which is the chief
consideration to one careless of the precise social degree of any
handsome and pleasant girl whom he may meet at the place.

All the ladies sit together; and the men, who dare not, apparently,
trust themselves so close to their brilliant and beautiful eyes,
as we fancy we can do with impunity in Britain, promenade up and
down the ball-room, or in one of the large ante-rooms contiguous to
it. No doubt their tindery and inflammable temperaments, whenever
love-making is concerned, has something to do with this arrangement;
as, if a young male acquaintance of any damsel took a seat beside her,
it would be certain to attract the papa or chaperon, to the spot, to
see what was going on, as their most likely subject of conversation
would have a strong leaning towards a flirtation, or downright
love-making, at which nearly all the Spaniards are great adepts;
the flowery expressions of their language being peculiarly suitable
for such sentimental recreations.

Besides the principal theatre, where Spaniards are the actors,
there are two native theatres, where plays are represented in the
Tagalog language, and written to suit their ideas of the drama; the
subjects represented being principally tragedies connected with their
historical traditions, and of their fathers' earliest connections
with their European conquerors.

But their mode of representing these subjects is scarcely suitable
to any one's taste but their own, as the amount of vociferation,
and drawling singing of the women who take a part in the pieces,
are very disagreeable, and the noise and quantity of fighting with
which they are always interlarded, is tiresome. Yet, strange to say,
they themselves are much interested while listening to these absurd

The Spanish theatre is generally opened twice a-week, and one or two
of the performers act very creditably. The national passion is for
dramatic amusements; and the house, which is a large one, is usually
well filled.


A misconception appears to exist as to the state of society at Manilla,
people at a distance for the most part labouring under the erroneous
impression that it remains stationary, and is today as much behind
the rest of the world as it was thirty years ago; and that it can
support no newspaper or other publication. Now, during my residence
at Manilla, there have been various periodicals published daily,
bi-weekly, and weekly; but at the end of last year (1850), these had
all given place to one daily newspaper, called the _Diario de Manilla_,
which being more carefully conducted than any of its predecessors,
still continues to enjoy its popularity.

It is under the direction of an editor, who being in his youth trained
up to commercial pursuits, and having spent some years of his life in
Great Britain in order to conduct the business of his Spanish friends,
has insensibly acquired ideas during his residence there which are,
no doubt, more exact and unprejudiced than those of the bulk of his
countrymen, so that he understands the duties of a journalist, and
manages his paper better than these things were formerly done. Of
course, however, he must study not to trespass on the existing
regulations of the censor, if he would avoid the scissors of that
officer, whose duties are, to prevent any statement obnoxious to the
powers that be from seeing the light. This, of course, is a great check
to the spread of information, especially of a political character;
and articles written and printed, have frequently to be suppressed
in the succeeding impressions of the paper. The power is sometimes
exercised when there is very little occasion for the interference of
authority, and, of course, must very materially interfere with the
mode of conducting an efficient newspaper.

To give the censor time to examine its contents, the _Diario_ is
printed the afternoon preceding its publication, and is issued every
day except Monday, thus leaving the printers free from work and at
liberty on Sunday.

The _Diario_ has a large circulation in Manilla and the different
provinces of the islands, besides having agents at Madrid, Cadiz,
and Paris; it is also obtainable in the Havana, at Hongkong, and
at Singapore.

The subscription is one dollar a month, which is moderate enough;
and advertisements are inserted in its columns without charge.

Once a week it includes a list of the shipping in the harbour, and
also of the arrivals and departures, and reports every morning the
arrivals and cargoes of any vessels that have come in on the previous
day from the provinces. It also publishes a weekly price-current of
the produce of the country.

A well-conducted periodical of this nature is of great importance in a
commercial point of view, not only from the advertisements circulated
by its means throughout the Philippines, but from the variety of
facts and information which the country alcaldes address to the
Manilla Government, in which they are required to give a list of the
prices-current for the various articles of produce grown in their
different provinces; a regulation which, of course, tends to keep
the trade on a sound footing, and to prevent reckless speculation,
which the want of market information usually induces.

The _Diario_ is delivered at the houses of Manilla subscribers at about
daylight every morning, so that they may make themselves masters of
its contents while sipping their chocolate, before engaging in the
business of the day. This is no slight luxury, I assure the reader,
and it is not at all diminished by the place being so remote from
the sound of Bow-bells and the region of Cockaigne, although it is
true that the contents of the paper are not composed of exciting
parliamentary reports, or of leading articles equal in talent to
those of the _Times_ or _Morning Chronicle_.

The mail bags are carried to the provinces by mounted couriers, and
the north post, arriving at Manilla every Friday morning, brings
communications from the important provinces of Bulacan, Bataan,
Zambales, Pampanga, Nueva Eciga, Pangasinan, Ilocos (North and South),
Abra, and Cagayan; and is despatched from the capital to all these
districts every Monday at noon.

The south post, embracing the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro,
the islands of Masbate and Ticao, Camarines (North and South), Albay,
Samars, and Leyte, reaches Manilla every Tuesday morning, and is
despatched from it in return every Wednesday at noon. To the arsenal of
Cavite there is a daily post, excepting on Sundays; and to the islands
of Visayas, the Marianas, and Batanes, the correspondence is forwarded
by the first ships bound for any of those places, as they are obliged
to give notice to the postmaster two days before starting for them.

It would be difficult to over-estimate the advantages of this line
of postal communication, which affords the native traders in remote
places the best facilities for the prosecution of their trade in the
various articles of commerce produced in the districts where they live.

There are, of course, several things which might be improved in the
administration of the post-office, as is the case in every country,
without bringing Spain and her colonies in question; but, no doubt,
these will be found out by-and-by, and an alteration for the better
will take place.

The press of Manilla is much more active than is commonly supposed,
as, besides the _Diario_, there are several other periodicals printed
in the place. Among them may be mentioned the _Guia de Forasteros_,
and an _Almanac_, which is printed at the College of Santo Tomas,
being entirely got up and sold by the priests of that institution,
the proceeds being devoted to charitable purposes.

Various religious and polemical works also emanate at different
times from the press, all of them neatly and well printed, nay,
highly creditable to the Indian compositors who execute them.

I have frequently seen it stated in books, the authors of which should
have been better informed, that no periodical publications exist at
Manilla. Certainly there is much less appetite there for such things,
than is exhibited among my own countrymen, whose birthright it is to
grumble at the conduct of authorities, and to show up delinquencies
with the most unsparing zeal, neither of which would be quite safe
to attempt at Manilla, although it is so in Great Britain, and all
her colonies and dependencies.


Through ignorance and a misconception of the nature of the country,
many people are in the habit of adducing the scantiness of manufactures
among the Indians, as an evidence of their backwardness in civilization
and the arts which it teaches.

But this is not so in reality, for if our readers reflect on the
subject a short time, it can scarcely fail to occur to them, that
the fertility of the soil, and the abundance of primary materials,
even of those made use of in the manufactories, is the true reason
why they neglect manufactures, and turn all their attention to growing
the raw produce, from which spring the materials for conducting them.

It is this cause which makes the Americans send their cotton-wool to
Manchester, to be there, at some thousands of miles from the place
of its growth, made into cloth--and the shepherds of Australia to
send their wool to Yorkshire for a like purpose.

This appears paradoxical, but it is true. A day's labour on a fertile
tropical soil is better recompensed when it is directed to grow cotton,
than it would be, were the same labour applied to weaving the wool
into cloth; for although this climate is suitable for the growth of
cotton in the fields, it does not at all follow that it is so for
weaving cloth, as has been proved to be the case in the United States.

In that country, where manufacturing industry has so much energy
of character in those carrying it on to back it up, and to secure a
satisfactory result, it appears very strange that we should be able
to beat them in the manufacture of their own produce.

But although many efforts have repeatedly been made by speculative
and sanguine men to weave all the descriptions of cotton cloth made
in Great Britain by the power-loom, they have never been able to
do so in the United States. Even when they have actually carried
machinery and men from Manchester to work it, across the Atlantic,
the produce of the looms has been of a different quality of cloth
to that which the same cotton yarn would have produced by the same
machinery in Great Britain. This can only be accounted for, I believe,
by estimating the effects of climate. The moisture of the atmosphere,
the difference of water, and other causes, have been assigned as
the cause of this very remarkable circumstance, and perhaps some,
or all of them, have their share in producing it.

In the Philippines, the natural shrewdness of the people, who show
considerable aptitude in the arts which experience has taught them
will pay them best, is demonstrated by the neatness of execution
which characterises many of their handiworks, demanding no small
portion of skill, care, and perseverance; the elaborate execution
of the gold ornaments worn by the women frequently exhibiting signs,
in a very high degree, of skilful and neat workmanship.

I have seen chains, &c., of native make, quite as beautifully and as
curiously worked as any I have seen in China, where those ornaments
are made in more perfection than the European gold or silversmiths
have as yet been able to attain.

But probably the piña cloth manufactured in the Philippines, is the
best known of all the native productions, and it is a very notable
instance of their advance in the manufacturing arts.

There is perhaps no more curious, beautiful, and delicate specimen of
manufactures produced in any country. It varies in price according to
texture and quality, ladies' dresses of it costing as low as twenty
dollars for a bastard sort of cloth, and as high as fifteen hundred
dollars for a finely-worked dress. The common coarse sort used by the
natives for making shirts costs them from four to ten dollars a shirt.

The colour of the coarser sorts is not, however, good; and the high
price of the finer descriptions prevents its becoming generally a
lady's dress; and the inferior sorts are not much prized, chiefly
because of the yellowish tinge of the white cloth. The fabric is
exceedingly strong, and, I have been informed, rather improves in
colour after every successive washing.

Piña handkerchiefs and scarfs are in very general use by the Manilla
ladies, although they are rather expensive; the price of the former,
when of good quality, being from about five to ten pounds sterling
each, while for a scarf of average quality and colour about thirty
pounds is paid. The coarser descriptions can be had for much less
money than the sums mentioned; and the finest qualities would cost
from three to four times more than the amounts I have set down.

Besides the piña there is also a sort of cloth made by the natives
called jusè (pronounced husè), or siriamaio, which makes very beautiful
dresses for ladies. It is manufactured from a thread obtained from
the fibres of a particular sort of plantain tree, which is slightly
mixed with pine-apple thread; and the fabric produced from both of
these is very beautiful, being fine and transparent, and looking,
to the unaccustomed eye, finer than the ordinary sort of piña cloth.

It can be made of any pattern, and is generally striped or checked
with coloured threads of silk mingled with the other two descriptions.

The manufacture of both these articles is carried on to a small extent
in the immediate neighbourhood of Manilla; but in the provinces of
Yloylo and Camarines the best jusè is produced, the price of which is
very much lower than piña, as a lady's dress of it may be got at from
seven to twenty dollars; and for the latter amount a very handsome
one would be obtained.

In addition to these manufactures, which the natives have appropriated
and made their own, from the greater facilities found in the
Philippines than in other places less adapted by nature for their
prosecution, the Government has been at some pains to force them
to engage in the manufacture of cotton yarn and cloth by imposing
high duties on those descriptions of foreign manufactured goods
most suitable for the native dress, either from their partiality to
particular colours, or from other causes.

And for this reason solely a number of kambayas of blue and white
checks are made in the country by the native hand-loom, these colours
being in general favourite ones of the Indians; the custom-house
duty on such goods, and on other favourite colours, being 15 and 25
per cent., according to the flag of the vessel importing them; the
Spaniards guarding their own shipping, and securing to it a monopoly
of the carrying trade by that difference of the import duty. Should
these goods come from Madras, which is their native country, the duty
charged on them is 20 and even 30 per cent.

Although these rates of duty may be considered high enough, they
are in reality very much more than that per-centage, because the
duty is charged by the authorities on a very high fixed valuation,
or on the _ad valorem_ principle, which actually is equivalent to
increasing the rates of duty, were that only charged upon the actual
market price. Since the beginning of this year (1851), however,
I understand some changes have been made in the tariff by altering
the valuations of goods.

Kambayas are used as sayas, or outer petticoats, by the native or
Mestiza girls, and are generally made of cotton cloth, although,
of late, jusè and silk sayas appear to be more generally worn than
they used to be.

Tapiz of silk and cotton is also manufactured in the country. This
piece of dress is used as a sort of shawl, and is wrapped tightly
round the loins and waist, above the saya, being generally a black
or dark blue ground, with narrow white stripes upon it, which, when
the garment is worn, encircles the body.

The great advantage which the natives have over foreign manufacturers
of these coloured cloths consists not so much in the duty, although
that is an immense protection, as in the quickness with which they
are able to meet the changes of taste in the patterns and designs
of such fancy goods. For it is evident that before designs of new
styles can reach Great Britain, and the goods be manufactured there,
and shipped off to Manilla, many months must elapse, during which the
native manufacturers have been supplying the market with these new and
approved styles of goods, and of course reaping all the advantages of
an active demand, exceeding the supply, by the high prices obtainable
for the new designs. For the market of Manilla varies as much, and
the tastes of the people are as inconstant and capricious with regard
to their dress, as the natives of almost any country can be.

It will scarcely be believed, that in this remote quarter of Asia,
many of the natives of the country are as much _petits maîtres_ in
their own way, as a gallant of the Tuileries or of St. James's. It
would astonish most people to see some of these poor-looking Indians,
or Mestizos, wearing a jewel of the value of four or five hundred
dollars in the breast of their shirts, or in a ring on their fingers.

No doubt some of them prefer keeping their money in this way, as it is
easily transportable, and is always about their persons, to leaving
their dollars or gold ounces concealed somewhere about their houses,
from which they may frequently be obliged to be absent. Though, as
it is a common custom for the natives to have a piece of bamboo in
which to deposit their ready-money, and as there is so much bamboo
work about the house, of course it is not very difficult for them
to select one piece, which from its being out of the way, and rather
unapproachable, renders it a secure deposit for their hoards.

Towels, napkins, and table-cloths, are also manufactured by them, from
the cotton of the country, and Governor Enrile taught some of their
weavers how to make canvas from cotton. It is now very extensively
used by the native shipping, and bears the name of the distinguished
and philanthropic individual who taught them how to make it, being
known by the name of _Lona de Enrile_, which name may it long bear,
and remain as the most honourable memento any governor could leave
behind him, of his beneficent and wise interest in the affairs and
administration of an important colony.

At several places in Luzon, and in Cebu, &c., the natives make
a species of cloth from the plantain-tree, known by the names of
_Medrinaque_ and _Guiara_ cloths. The former description is in the
greatest consumption, being stouter and more valuable than the other
sort, and is mostly all bought up by the natives themselves, although
a small portion of it is also exported.

The bulk of all the _Medrinaque_ exported goes to the United States,
to the extent of about 30,000 pieces annually; and sometimes as much
as double that quantity is sent, although last year there were only
about 23,000 pieces purchased for that market, a large quantity having
gone to Europe, which is a novel feature of the trade in the article.

Although the silkworm is bred to some small extent in the country,
the silk manufacture is not extensively carried on, as the market can
so easily and quickly be supplied from China with any description of
goods in demand. Some articles of dress are, however, successfully
made by the Indians, to oppose the China silks in the market, such
as tapiz for the women, and panjamas for the men.

In various parts of the country, the manufacture of earthenware is
pursued to a small extent. It is generally of a very coarse description
for cooking purposes, water-jugs, &c., and does not interfere with
the sale of the finer China ware, with which the natives are supplied
for most of their household purposes by the Chinese dealers in the
article, that of China make being very much finer than any they have
as yet produced in the country.

In the colours and patterns of their dresses the natives are great
dandies; the women, as usual, being more particular in those affairs
than the men. Very seldom, indeed, does a native Indian or Mestiza
beauty sport the same saya for two gala days consecutively. And a
very large proportion of their earnings are spent in self-adornment,
their _tanpipes_, or wardrobes, being very well supplied with clothes,
all of them of different patterns. Blue and purple appear to be the
colours most admired, because, although the tastes and caprices of the
people may vary in an infinite degree as to the patterns or styles of
their dresses, they do not differ much in their choice of the colours
which compose them. A dark complexioned beauty is never improved
by a yellow dress; and any woman at all old or ugly looks hideous
indeed when dressed in that colour. Apparently the Government were
not ignorant of this when they imposed a heavy duty on blue, purple,
or white articles of dress, and allowed yellow and other colours
disliked by the natives to come into the country on the payment of a
less duty. They have even gone the length of allowing yellow cotton
twist of foreign manufacture to be imported duty free.

Truly this was very cunning of them--this apparent liberality to
a foreign nation, ignorant that the colour would scarcely ever be
used. Its affected moderation would most certainly tend to stop any
complaints which might be made about the high duties imposed on our
manufactures imported into the colony.

But perhaps the authorities had some design on the native beauties,
when they held out such an inducement for them to wear unbecoming
dresses. Who can say if the official who drew the scheme up had not
a wife, jealous of the influence of some dark Indian beauty, to whom
she thus held out the inducement of cheap dress, to disarm the power
of her charms! Or, it may be, as the priests are at the bottom of
most things in Spain, who can tell but their influence was exerted
to get this law passed in the pious hope of inducing those feelings
of self-abasement and humility which the sense of being ugly, or even
plain-looking, generally induces among the fair?


Besides those already mentioned, there are several other branches of
manufacture successfully pursued in different places throughout the
country, although none of them are very extensive.

Among others, that of hat-making may be mentioned. It is practised
principally at a village called Balignat, in the province of Bulacan;
and is also carried on to a smaller extent in Pangasinan, Camarines,
and Yloylo.

The hats are made from the cane, the fibres of which, employed in
their construction, very much resemble the materials of those made at
Leghorn, of straw. They are made both black and white, and are used
almost universally by the native population, at times when the heat
of the sun does not require the _salacod_ as a protection to the
head. These are made of cane also, but are much thicker, heavier,
and wider, and are shaped like a flat cone, so that the rays of the
sunbeams are deflected from it, in place of being concentrated on
the brain, as they are by the shape of the European hat.

A large number of Balignat hats are exported to the Australian
colonies, and to China and Singapore, as well as a few to the United

Cigar cases, or covers, are made to a small extent in the neighbourhood
of Manilla, and most of the patterns used for them are pretty,
gay-looking affairs. The fineness of these pouches or cases varies
to an almost infinite extent, and so does the price they sell at.

The mats on which the natives all sleep are largely manufactured, and
employ a great number of people, as everybody throughout the island
uses one or more of them. Some of those made in Laguna province are
finer and better finished than any others I have seen elsewhere. They
are plain or coloured, and of all patterns, and could be manufactured
to any degree of fineness, according to the price promised to the

Ropemaking is extensively carried on; the best cordage manufactured
in the islands being made from the fibres of the plantain-tree,
which is known in commerce by the name of Manilla hemp.

At Santa Mesa, in the neighbourhood of Manilla, the rope is spun up
by the aid of steam and good machinery, established there for the
purpose, and still carried on by an old shipmaster, who produces by
far the best rope of all that is made. It is also manufactured in
several other places by the common hand-spun process, but from being
unequally twisted when made by the hand, it is very much inferior to
what has been subjected in its manufacture to the uniform steadiness
of pull which the regularity of the steam machinery occasions, all of
which is consequently much more suited to stand a heavy strain, from
being twisted by it. The price of this rope is altogether dependent
on the price of hemp, as the value of the labour employed seldom
or never varies, although the raw material of which it is composed
constantly does; the usual addition made to the current price of hemp
being four dollars a pecul of 140 lbs. English, for the machine-made
rope, generally known as "Keating's patent cordage," supposing the
material so spun to be converted into an assorted lot of from one to
six-inch cordage.

The hemp employed in the manufacture of the patent cordage is generally
selected for its length of fibre, and lightness or whiteness of
colour; and when whale-lines are made, only the very finest lots of
hemp procurable at the time are used; but the charge for spinning
them is increased to six dollars a pecul, the extra labour being
so considerable, that even with the additional charge, the maker,
Mr. Keating, informed me that he was much better recompensed by the
larger sizes of the rope he spun than by these.

Bale or wool lashing is also made to a small extent for shipment to
Sydney, &c.; the quality of the hemp used in making it being of an
inferior description, and of a brownish colour. As it is very much
more loosely twisted than any other descriptions of rope made here,
the charge for spinning it is reduced to two dollars per pecul, and
the cost of it will be that amount added to the price of hemp at the
time of its manufacture.

The hand-spun rope never sells so well as that made by machinery,
and is usually obtainable at from one to two dollars per pecul less
than the latter, according as it is well or ill spun.

The export of rope varies from about 9,000 to 15,000 peculs annually;
by much the largest quantity usually going to the United States,
although there are considerable shipments to the Australian colonies,
China, Singapore, and Europe. A large quantity of it is also taken
by vessels visiting the port, for their own use.

The manufacture is encouraged by its freedom from any export duty,
to which hemp exported in an unmanufactured state is subject, to the
extent of 2 per cent.

Besides this cordage, there is another sort of rope made at the Islan
de Negros, from a dark-coloured plant,--a description of rush,--which
is found growing there in abundance; and as it is not damaged by
exposure to the influence of water, it is very extensively used by
the native coasting-vessels of small size for cables, for which it
is found to answer very well.

Soap is made to a small extent at Quiapo, in Manilla; and is, I
understand, shipped to Sooloo and Singapore for sale. But it is not
consumed to any great extent in the Philippines, except for washing
clothes, &c., the natives preferring to employ a red-coloured root,
called _gogo_, for their own personal ablutions.

This root may be said to be a sort of natural soap, as it serves the
same purposes. After being steeped in water for a few minutes, if the
water be violently agitated, or if the _gogo_ be rubbed between the
hands in the water, a white foam is produced, which exactly resembles
soap bubbles, and assists the purification of the skin even better
than soap does, being assisted by the fibres of the root, which are
usually made to do the duty of a flesh-brush in the bath. When using
it, however, it should not be allowed to get into the eyes, as any
water impregnated with its bubbles, will inflame them very severely.

So far as I recollect, those that I have quoted are the most important
articles manufactured in the country, and they are more numerous and
important, considering the state of society in Manilla, than might be
looked for. They well exemplify the ingenuity of the people, which is
very much more lively than that of any other Oriental nation within
the limits of the Indian Archipelago.

Although cigars may be considered as manufacture, I propose classing
them with tobacco, which will be found in the list of the agricultural
produce of the islands.


The import trade of Manilla is almost entirely in the hands of the
British merchants established there, so far as the great staple
articles of manufactured goods are concerned; although a quantity
is regularly furnished to supply the demands of the market by the
Chinese, whose earthenware, iron cooking utensils, silks, cloths, and
curiosities, are very plentiful at Manilla, and are indeed obtainable
over all the country without much difficulty.

Among the produce of our looms, especially those of Manchester and
Glasgow, which are at all times saleable here, may be mentioned
shirtings, both white and grey, long-cloths, domestics, drills,
cambrics, jaconets, twills, white and printed, bobbinet, gimp lace,
cotton velvet, sewing thread, cotton twist of certain colours,
principally Turkey red, Turkey red cloth, prints of various sorts,
chiefly Bengal stripes, furniture prints, and Turkey red chintz prints,
kambayas, and ginghams, which being cheaper, are gradually taking
the place of kambayas; indigo blue checks, imitation piña cloth,
blue and striped chambrays, grandrills, trouser stuffs of various
sorts, chiefly of cotton, and mixed cotton and wool; handkerchiefs
of many descriptions, known as Kambaya handkerchiefs, Turkey red
bandanas, fancy printed, light ground checked handkerchiefs, Scotch
cambric handkerchiefs, &c.; broad-cloth, cubicoes, lastings, orleans,
gambroons, long ells, camlets, carriage lace, both broad and narrow,
canvas, cordage, iron, lead, spelter, steel, cutlery, ironmongery,
earthenware, glassware, umbrellas and parasols of cotton and silk,
&c., as well as India beer, which, though last mentioned, is not the
common sort of beer, nor the least profitable or pleasant of them all.

It may be well to mention here, that the provincial traders generally
arrive at Manilla in the month of November, soon after the rains have
ceased, although they sometimes do not make their appearance till
December, when they set about making their purchases, and returning to
their places of abode as quickly as possible, to sell the merchandize
they take with them. If they are successful, and drive a prosperous
trade, which is regulated by a variety of accidents, the principal
features affecting it being probably the success of the rice crop,
they then write to their agents in Manilla to continue purchases of the
goods which they find to be of the most saleable descriptions in their
different districts, so that it is not until they have ascertained the
temper of the market, during the sale of their first lots, that their
largest purchases begin to be made, through their agents at Manilla,
who, from this circumstance, usually do their most extensive business
during the months of February, March, and April; and, in consequence,
these months may be considered as the best seasons of the year for
the sale of piece goods in that market.

The rainy season commencing in June, puts a stop to the activity
of trade, which usually goes on until its near approach. For
although there is a demand throughout the year for plain cottons,
and similar articles of general use, the trade in coloured goods is
almost suspended during the continuance of wet weather, and as the
traffic in kambayas, ginghams, handkerchiefs and all other coloured
and fancy goods, is by very much the most important description of
trade carried on at Manilla, the commerce of the place languishes
considerably during the continuance of the rainy season.

The goods imported from the Peninsula are of very small value,
consisting principally of wines, olive oil, and eatables of various
descriptions; for wherever a Spaniard lives, he would be quite unhappy
without his _garbanzos_ or _frijoles_.

From Germany and France also various descriptions of manufactures are
sent, such as cutlery, toys, glass, furniture, pictures, &c., &c., in
fine, an endless catalogue of small wares of that description. Having
never seen any complete statement of the quantity, value, or proper
description of the merchandise imported into the Manilla market,
on which I should be inclined to place any reliance, owing to the
absolute impossibility of collecting correct statistical information
of the sort at that place, I do not presume to furnish such to the
reader, even with that explanation.

The goods imported from Liverpool or Glasgow, from which very large
quantities of coloured goods are sent here, are always shipped in
Spanish vessels at a very high rate of freight, being generally
about double what British ships would be glad to take them for, did
not the differential duties in favour of the Spanish flag put all
this carrying business beyond their reach. A very large--in fact,
probably by much the greatest--quantity of goods, is in consequence
of this navigation law, carried by British shipping from our seaports
at home to Singapore and Hong Kong, where, after having to stand
several charges for coolie hire, landing, storing, and warehouse rent,
till such time as a disengaged Spanish vessel for Manilla makes her
appearance, and the number of goods at either of these intermediate
ports accumulates in sufficient quantity to form a cargo to load her,
they have to remain of course at a considerable loss, not only of
the interest of money locked up in them, but besides the new charges
for freight, insurance, &c., which must be incurred upon them, when
transhipped to the place of their destination.

In order further to protect their own shipping against the competition
of other countries, they hold out the inducement to merchants exporting
manufactures to Manilla, to embark them in a Spanish ship in Europe,
by making the duties less on the goods so imported, to those merely
brought from a short distance from our settlements in the neighbourhood
of Manilla. The following are the rates:--

When coming in a Spanish vessel direct from Europe, they pay 7
per cent.

When coming from Singapore, their voyages to that place and back again,
occupying about three months, including the time the vessel is in
that port,--as although the monsoon is fair one way, it is certain
to be opposed to the ship on the other, except just at the time of
its turning,--goods from it pay 8 per cent.

When coming from Hong Kong, to and from which place the monsoons are
equally favourable at all times of the year, and the usual average
voyage of Spanish ships is about ten days either going or coming,
they pay 9 per cent.

These regulations are hard enough on our shipowners, whose vessels,
going over to Manilla to load cargo there for all parts of the world,
seldom or never can procure any freight to that place; or if they do,
it is only to a very insignificant amount, only consisting of something
which the owner is in a hurry for, and is willing to pay the large
differential duty upon, to get it quickly, which of course is a case
of very rare occurrence. But to prevent the frequent occurrence of
this, any foreign ship bringing no more than even one small package
of inward cargo, is required to pay heavier port charges than she
would do if coming in without it.


Besides the sale of foreign manufactures and merchandise in the
Philippines, there exists a great outlet for it in the islands of
Sooloo and Mindanao, although in the present state of society in
those islands, where the insecurity of life and property is very
great, the natural advantages of these countries have not been at all
adequately developed. In front of Zamboanga, the last town towards
the south which recognizes the authority of the Government of Manilla,
is situated the island of Sooloo, which, although not of great size,
is the centre of an active trade during certain months of every year,
as great numbers of the natives of the neighbouring islands frequent
it at those seasons, in order to dispose of the produce of their
fisheries or to sell the slaves whom they have kidnapped or captured
during their piratical cruizes and attacks on their neighbours, if
at war with them, as some of them usually are with each other. From
Manilla some small vessels are annually fitted out for the trade,
which is nearly altogether in the hands of the Chinese dealers,
as no persons except themselves would stand the bad treatment they
are subjected to by the authorities of the place; the character of
the Celestial people leading them to suffer any amount of bad usage
provided they are paid for it, or can make money by it, which they
somehow manage to do, even in Sooloo, although they are exposed to
the almost unlimited plunder and extortion of the Sultan and Datos, or
native chiefs, who, on the least occasion, or pretext for it, capture
and enslave or confine them, only allowing these unfortunates to
regain their very unstable liberty by presents or extortionate bribes.

The vessels engaged in the trade, being brigs or schooners, commonly
start from Manilla in March or April for Antique, Yloylo, or other
places, where they can complete a Sooloo cargo, after doing which they
steer for Zamboanga, to report their cargoes and provide themselves
with passports at the custom-house there, should they not have done
so at Manilla.

It is, however, only within these few years that these facilities have
been given to those engaged in the trade, as formerly the colonial
ships were forbidden, under a heavy penalty, to touch at any place
in the Philippines after clearing out for Sooloo from Manilla. In
spite of this law, however, few of those engaged in the trade had
virtue sufficient to obey it, and pass these places by, when it was
so very much to their interest to complete their cargoes there, which
they could not do elsewhere nearly so advantageously. And the only
consequence of this absurd old prohibition against their doing so,
was to involve many of them in long-pending and expensive lawsuits,
which have often ruined prosperous men.

Besides those _wise_ regulations, there existed some other forms
equally sensible. For instance, the traders of Bisayao province, who
send several small craft to Sooloo, which they are close to, were
compelled to make a tedious voyage to Manilla against the monsoon,
in order that they might report their cargo for Sooloo and get out
passes, after which they had to return all the way back again, and
at length were at liberty to steer for Sooloo.

However, these foolish restrictions were at length put a stop to, and
the trade encouraged, by the Government establishing a custom-house at
Zamboanga, where there is at all times a considerable military force.

The Sultan appears to be the most powerful nobleman in the country,
rather than the sovereign monarch of it. For although the chiefs of
the islands, or Datos, usually acquiesce in appearance to his will,
they do so more from fear of his power at the moment than with any
idea of his legitimate authority, and in effect they very seldom
comply with his decrees.

The entire people are slaves owned by the Sultan and these Datos,
who exercise over the unfortunate wretches the worst species of
tyrannical power; for as these nobles or _reguli_ are subject to
no law but there own caprice, if any slave displeases his master,
he can, without the slightest fear of having to give any account
of the circumstance to a living soul, draw his kris, and murder the
slave. Of course by so doing, however, he impoverishes himself, as he
loses the market price of the day for a slave; or should he murder a
slave belonging to some one else, a Dato is only expected to pay the
amount he was considered worth by his master, or to give another one
of his own in exchange for him.

But, notwithstanding all the insecurity of life and property, the
Chinese annually resort to Sooloo in pursuit of gain, and occasionally
as many as eight small vessels are seen there at a time, during the
busy seasons, for trade, just after the changes of the monsoon.

Some of these Chinamen marry and remain in the country, although
every now and then some of them are obliged to flee from it to
the Philippines, where the Spanish flag protects them against their
tyrannical and barbarous pillagers; for as there is no law to appeal to
as a protection against the chiefs, they are quite at their mercy. The
Datos themselves decide their quarrels and disputes with each other,
by arming and assembling all their slaves and those of their friends
who are willing to help them, and fight it out; but should their
disputes run very high, or the feud last for any length of time,
some powerful Dato, or the Sultan himself, interferes, and decides
it finally by obliging both parties to keep the peace.

The footing on which the trade is carried on with Sooloo is rather a
strange one; although regulations have at various times been arranged
between the Spanish government and that court, by which, although
the Sultan has formally promised to give his guarantee that all goods
sold by the traders from the Philippines to the Datos shall be paid
for, yet there are very few of the traders at Manilla who consider
the pledge of his Highness as of much importance, as it is usually
only redeemed when his own particular interest requires it. He is,
in truth, generally absolutely unable to make the nobles fulfil
their contracts, they being as a body very much more powerful than
he is. There being little or no money in Sooloo, the trade carried
on by the Chinese supercargos of the ships frequenting the port is
principally transacted by barter, they giving their manufactures
for the produce of their fishery, &c., and for edible birds'-nests,
tortoise-shell, beche de mer, mother-of-pearl shell, wax, gold-dust,
pearls, &c.

The profits of those engaged in this trade are very variable, for
although their goods are all disposed of apparently at enormous prices,
yet there are so many of them delivered to powerful chiefs, or to the
Sultan, as presents, or sold to these dignitaries without the traders
ever being able to get paid for them, that in reality the profit of
the voyage may he scanty enough, although, were the guarantee of the
prince to the Manilla government fulfilled, they might he very large
if the prices at which they had been sold were actually paid to them.

If the debts of the Datos are not paid off at once they are allowed to
stand over for another year, at which distance of time they are very
seldom recoverable, good memories being very seldom met with there.

When the result of an adventure is good, the traders look upon these
presents and bad debts as necessary expenses incurred to conciliate
the authorities of the place, without whose good-will they would be
quite unable to prosecute the trade, and in this sort of commerce the
Chinese are adepts, although no Europeans could manage it, or would
carry it on while upon such a footing.

The ships most suited for the trade are small vessels, of about 200
tons, and their cargoes consist of an infinite variety of goods, each
lot being generally of small value. The invoices of a cargo usually
cover many pages of paper, and it is no easy matter to make them up
without the assistance of intelligent Chinese, who have themselves
been engaged in the traffic, and are well acquainted with the place
and the people to be dealt with.

Some of the principal cotton manufactures sent to that market from
Manilla consist of chintz prints, jaconets and mulls, white shirtings,
cambrics, bandana, kambaya, and other descriptions of handkerchiefs;
also, iron and hardware, glassware, coarse China earthenware, silk,
cloths, copper work, &c.

Ships are in the habit of touching at some port of the Philippines,
generally the Island of Panay, there to load and fill up with
rice, sugar, tobacco, oil, and several other articles in small
quantities. Rice is generally taken from its being always in demand
by the Sooloomen, whose habits and feelings little suit them for its
production, even when the nature of the country admits of its being
grown. The Chinese usually take down a large quantity of a kind of
cloth made in their own country, which habit has substituted for money,
a piece of it of the usual size being always reckoned as a dollar.

The Sooloomen pay for their purchases in various articles, of which the
edible birds'-nests are the most valuable. They are classified by the
traders as of two sorts: white, and feathered; of which, the first sort
is the most valuable, being generally worth about its weight in silver,
or if very good, a little more; but should its colour tend to a red
or darkish tinge, it is depreciated in value and is not worth so much.

The feathered sort, called so because the edible substance, of which
the Chinamen make soup, is covered by the birds' down and feathers,
is very much lower in price than the white kind, being worth nearly
two dollars a pound, or I believe it is generally roughly taken as
being only about one-tenth part as valuable as the white.

Tortoise-shell they collect and sell at very high prices, the bulk of
it going over to supply the China market with that article, a small
quantity only being annually sent to Europe.

Bêche de mer, or tripang, is a sort of fish or sea-slug, found on the
coral reefs, &c., of the neighbourhood, which, when cured and dried,
is generally shaped something like a cucumber.

It is minced down into a sort of thick soup by the Chinese, who
are extremely fond of it,--and indeed with some reason, as when well
cooked by a Chinaman, who understands the culinary art, the tripang is
a capital dish, and is rather a favourite among many of the Europeans
at Manilla.

There are thirty-three different varieties enumerated by the Chinese
traders and others skilled in its classification; for being brought to
Manilla in large quantities for that purpose, for the China market,
it has become a peculiar business of itself by the dealers in it,
and varies in price, according to quality, from fifteen to thirty
dollars per pecul of 140 lbs. English.

The slug, when dried, is an ugly looking, dirty brown-coloured
substance, very hard and rigid until softened by water and a very
lengthened process of cookery, after which it becomes soft and

Sometimes the slugs are found nearly two feet in length, but they are
generally very much smaller, and perhaps about eight inches might be
the usual size of those I have seen, their shape, as before mentioned,
strongly resembling a cucumber. After being taken by the fisherman
they are gutted, and then cured by exposure to the rays of the sun,
after which they are smoked--over a fire, I believe--when the curing
process is completed.

Shark fins, and the muscles of deer, are also exposed for sale by
the Sooloo people to their Chinese visitors, by whom they are eagerly
purchased for their countrymen's cookery, both of these articles being
very favourite delicacies. The first I have never tasted, although
the flesh of a shark, if cut from some particular parts of his body,
is far from being bad or unsavoury, if dressed by a China cook. As
for the sinews of deer, they are very good, and occasionally met
with at Manilla on the tables of Europeans who enjoy the reputation
of having good palates.

Mother-of-pearl shell is so well known in Europe, that it is quite
unnecessary to remark upon it, more than that those coming from Sooloo
are by much the finest and largest shells of any hitherto known in
commerce, being superior to those coming from the Persian Gulf.

Pearls are also brought from Sooloo, but they are seldom of any great
size or value.

Gold is brought to Manilla from the same place, both in dust and in
small bars, but not in any great quantity.

The ships engaged in this trade are generally absent about six months
from Manilla, which they leave in March or April, and return to, after
coasting about and disposing of all their cargoes, in September or
October; no new voyages being undertaken by them until the following

During June and July, the most active trade is said to be carried on,
as the number of traders annually frequenting the island from those
in the neighbourhood, is much greater than at other times.

Besides the trade with Sooloo, a ship is absent nearly every year
to Ternate, and other places of the Moluccas, where they usually
manage to get their goods ashore, without paying the heavy duties
which the Dutch have imposed upon them. The months of December or
January being the usual time for starting for the Moluccas, these
traders generally begin the busy season at Manilla by the purchase of
grey shirtings and domestics, by adding which to goods very similar
to those suited for Sooloo, they are enabled to have two strings to
their bow, should the prices in the Moluccas be low; as they can,
in that case, stand over to Sooloo in June, when they are usually
able to dispose of their investments.


The insolence of the Sooloo men has at various times drawn down on
them the wrath of the Spanish authorities, who, in 1848, and also
shortly after I left Manilla, towards the end of 1850, were making
arrangements for punishing them, as they afterwards did, with some
severity, about the beginning of this year.

The Datos, and their families, are like the old Danes, or Norsemen,
born to be seamen; and the barbarous state of their native country
preventing the establishment of a mercantile marine, their energies
have marked out a scheme of warlike adventure on the sea, to succeed
in which their natural quickness and duplicity of character eminently
qualify them.

A young Sooloo chief, whose ambitious or restless temper will not
permit him to remain an idle man at home, where his passions for
cruelty and voluptuous excess could scarcely fail to ruin him in
a few years--surrounded as he is there by slavish dependents, and
fearless of any higher power, whose authority might act as a check
on his temper, or force him to control his passions--finds that the
activity of his mind and body demand more scope for excitement than
exists at home; and having a bias for the sea, he becomes a pirate
chief, and scours the neighbouring waters in search of honour as well
as gain. Under proper influences these men might be taught to divert
their roving propensities into more peaceful channels. Fitting out
large and fast-sailing proas, manned by their slaves, and officered
by kinsmen, their warlike excursions take a wide range, and on some
occasions their audacity has led them up even to the Bay of Manilla,
landing on the shores of which, they have plundered the people,
and carried off some of them to increase the number of their slaves,
who constitute their principal wealth and power--daring to do this
when so near as to be almost under the very walls of the capital,
on which waves the banner of Castile.

On the coasts of the provinces these predatory inroads were not
uncommon, till General Claveria, in the beginning of 1848, determined
to punish them severely, and to intimidate them so signally, as to
prevent any repetition of these offences. Accordingly, having secretly
fitted out an expedition from Manilla on the 13th February, 1848, the
steamer on board of which the Governor himself was, anchored between
the islands of Parol and Balanguinguy. Next day the transports arrived,
and on that and the following day they reconnoitred the islands,
and did all the damage they could, by way of reprisal, demolishing
several piers, and destroying a large quantity of paddy which they
discovered concealed in a cave in a retired place.

At daybreak, on the 16th February, the troops were disembarked before
Balanguinguy under cover of a fire from the ships, and after a little
resistance from the Sooloo men--who were excessively frightened by
the appearance of the steamers, whose facility of movement they were
quite unprepared for--the fort, consisting of bamboo, was taken by
escalade after a brave resistance. The attacking force, consisting
of about 4000 men, behaved with great coolness and decision, when
exposed to the enemy's fire and missiles of all sorts, such as arrows,
javelins, &c. About eighty of the defenders of the place were slain,
many of them with the desperate bravery--or ferocity if you will--of
men who neither would give or accept of quarter, having first stabbed
their wives, children, and useless old men and women. On seeing
the success of the Spaniards, they formed themselves into a band,
nearly all of whom perished on the points of the soldiers' bayonets,
fighting bravely to the last; when the few survivors, seeing their
companions dead and dying around them, with all the desperation of
pirates, threw themselves from the walls, which were lofty, preferring
certain death to the chance of falling into the hands of their enemies
alive. Fourteen pieces of artillery were found within the place,
which was destroyed, and preparations were made and acted upon for
attacking the forts of Sipac and Sungap, both of which were successful.

The Governor, General Claveria, gained at the time a good deal
of reputation from his soldierly management of the forces at his
disposal; and when the news reached Spain, he was created the _Conde_
of Manilla, &c.

On his return from this expedition, a great deal of absurd parade
was, as is usual with the Spaniards, prepared to welcome him; and the
General was forced to march under triumphal arches, &c., all of them
bearing the most glowing inscriptions to the conqueror of the three
bamboo forts from a race of barbarians, most of whom were unprovided
with better arms than bows and arrows, spears, &c.; for although they
had some small cannon, they could not make a proper use of them. Truly
it was a pity to see the good deeds of the Balanguinguy expedition
burlesqued by these ridiculous pageants.

The lesson then taught the Sooloo chiefs did not, however, linger long
in their memories; for their old habits of piracy, and kidnapping
people for slaves, were resumed almost so soon as the Spaniards
returned to Manilla.

In 1850, Don Antonio de Urbistondo, Marques de la Solana, came out to
Manilla as Governor of the Philippines. He was a man whose whole life
had been passed in the camp, but his reputation had been gained during
the civil wars in Spain, where he fought for legitimacy by the side of
Don Carlos against the present queen. Nor did he give up the cause in
which he had drawn his sword, until Don Carlos himself lost heart and
forsook it, after which Don Antonio took advantage of the clemency of
the queen, and swore allegiance to her as his sovereign. His talents
as a soldier, although they had been displayed against herself,
were rewarded by a marquisate, and afterwards by the government of
the Philippines. A person of his character and military education was,
of course, a most unlikely one tamely to permit an insult to be offered
to the Spanish flag, or an outrage to be perpetrated in the Philippines
by the Sooloomen; accordingly, when an instance occurred near the end
of last year, prompt satisfaction was immediately demanded from the
Sultan and Datos, who, as usual, accused some of their neighbours,
with whom they were at variance at the time, of being the authors of
it; and invited the Spaniards to seek reparation from them sword in
hand. Accordingly an expedition was fitted out, and, with the Governor
at its head, sailed for Sooloo in order to awe them, by the alacrity
and force which the occasion at once called forth, and to establish
a new treaty which would prevent the recurrence of such acts, and the
necessity for such expeditions; and it was proposed to punish with no
light hand those Tonquiles and others of the Samales whom the Sultan
had accused as the perpetrators of the late aggression.

However, on reaching the principal fort of the Sultan Mahomet Pulalon,
he found that the Sooloomen would have no communication with him,
and that they even threatened the envoys sent among them; and at last,
some guns were, I believe, fired on one of the ships. Immediately after
this, measures of retaliation were arranged, and were acted upon at
once; the place off which the fleet was, being attacked and taken,
and all the forts and villages in the neighbourhood burnt within
forty-eight hours after the Spanish flag had been insulted. After
this severe lesson the Sultan and Datos fled, leaving in the hands of
the Spaniards eight bamboo forts and one hundred and thirty pieces of
artillery, besides several other warlike stores. All this took place
very recently, no longer ago than on the last day of February of this
year (1851). General Urbistondo published to his troops a general
complimentary order, dated from the fortified residence of one of
the most powerful Datos; and on the 1st of March the Spaniards were
in possession of the principal fort of the Sultan. The particulars
of this expedition I cannot give, having left Manilla shortly before
the preparations for it began, although, I believe, it consisted of
three war-steamers and some transports, who carried about 4000 men
down to Sooloo.

The loss of the Spaniards in the whole affair was 34 men killed,
with 84 wounded. A very unpleasant circumstance to the army was
connected with this expedition. Two field-officers, both of them acting
lieutenant-colonels of separate regiments, showed the white feather
at the moment of danger; for which, I believe, they have since been
cashiered, and not shot, as they might have been, had their chief
not been as merciful as he is brave.

Although this chastisement to the Sooloo men has been severe, it is
unlikely to restrain the chiefs from their predatory expeditions, at
least for any length of time; as under the present state of things
prevailing among them, they have no other objects to exhaust their
idleness and energetic characters upon, than piratical adventure. But
were commerce and its emoluments displayed before them, from some
place in the vicinity of Zamboanga, or from that place itself, the
civilizing influence which the arts of peace always engender would so
pervade their minds in a very few years, that their habits would be
changed, and the blessings of education, religion, and peace, might
be expected to civilize and elevate their minds. Their energies and
seamanship would then be in requisition as the navigators of all
the Archipelago, and to carry in their native vessels the produce
of the fertile inland districts of Mindanao, and of Northern Borneo,
to the great mart which Zamboanga would become, should it fortunately
be made an open port of trade for the people of all nations.


The coasting trade, which is a very important nursery for the marine
of the Philippines, is carried on exclusively by the national vessels,
no foreign ships being allowed to engage in it.

Manilla, being the only port open to the foreign merchants, is the
grand emporium or centre to which nearly all the productions of the
islands are brought, which regulation gives employment to an infinite
number of colonial shipping, in carrying them to that market. Every
day there are several arrivals from the various sea-ports of the
different districts of the islands, of brigs, schooners, pontines,
galeras, caracoas, and pancos, all of them being curious specimens
of every variety of ship-building, from the black and low snake-like
schooner, or handsome brig, to the most rude description of vessel
built. Where iron nails are scarce and expensive, some of these are
fastened together apparently in a manner the most unsatisfactory
possible for their crews or passengers, should they have to encounter
a gale of wind during their voyages.

Nearly the whole of the coasting trade is in the hands of the Indians,
or Mestizos of Chinese descent, called _Sangleys_, although several
Spaniards and European Mestizos at Manilla also own a better class of
ships than those described, constantly engaged in going and returning
from the provinces.

Still, from some cause or other, they do not appear to carry the on
trade so successfully as the provincial shipowners, most of whom have
only one or two small vessels, which they keep constantly running
between their native place and Manilla, and whose sole business
it is, after despatching either of them, to purchase up from the
cultivators of the soil, such small lots of their produce as are
cheap at the time, such as sugar, rice, &c., which they are able to
do at greatly lower terms, when buying them by little at a time, than
it would be possible for the agent of a merchant in Manilla to do,
whose operations it would probably be necessary should be conducted
upon a more extensive and quicker scale, and whose knowledge of the
district and of the vendors could seldom be equal to that of a native
Sangley, or Indian born among them.

In consequence of all the produce being originally purchased by small
lots at a time, it is of very variable quality; and on a cargo of
Muscovado sugar, for instance, being purchased from one of these
traders by a foreign merchant of Manilla, for exportation, it is
perfectly essential to open the whole of the bags in which it has
come up to Manilla from the provinces, and to empty their contents
into one great heap, which causes it to get well mingled together,
and ensures the requisite regularity of sample, after which it has
to be rebagged and shipped off to the foreign vessels that may be
waiting to receive it in the bay.

Of course the expense of all this is very considerable, for not
only is there all the labour and cost of bags, &c., incurred twice,
but there is the freight and insurance by the province vessel, which
has brought it up to Manilla, to be added to the natural cost of the
sugar at the place of its growth and manufacture.

All these restrictions on trade affect the quantity of sugar sold
by the native planters, and in a very material degree depress the
agricultural activity of the people, who suffer from them. But probably
there are no greater sufferers from such restrictive regulations than
the Government which so ignorantly sustains or has imposed them. So
little anxious have they been to encourage the trade, that formerly,
at various times, they very nearly all but ruined it, by imposing
import duties on all the produce of the provinces that came to
Manilla from them, for sale. This, added to the export duties at
the time of its shipment to foreign markets, so much increased the
cost of those articles in Manilla, that the foreign merchants there,
finding they could procure similar merchandise at other places for less
money, of course would not buy it; and the native traders, finding
their produce unsaleable except at losing prices, could not make any
further purchases from the native agriculturists, which caused so much
distress in the country, that the provinces got into a high state of
disaffection on several occasions, from the same cause; upon seeing
which the Government were wise enough to repeal their restrictive
laws, and allow the free interchange of commodities between all the
provinces of the Philippines.

For instead, as was supposed, of its falling upon the exporting foreign
merchants, and on those who bought their cargoes of Manilla produce
from them at the port of discharge, the tax fell upon the native
agriculturists, inasmuch as they had to reduce the former prices of
all their produce which paid the tax, and to equalise them to the
rates at which similar merchandise was procurable in other markets,
where no tax of the sort existed;--and this, of course, compelled the
cultivators of these articles in the Philippines to sell the produce
of their farms for less money than they formerly obtained for the same
goods. By so doing, it was equivalent to reducing the former wages of
their labour, or of the produce of their land--the effects of which
were speedily felt and comprehended by them, although some of the
officials, who imposed it, might scoff at the causes they assigned,
and reiterate their crude and erroneous notions of political economy,
to prove that it could not affect them, but must be paid by the great
merchants, or by the consumers of their produce in Europe. They quite
forgot that these could be supplied with the same things from other
places, where they were not subjected to the tax, and of course were
procurable cheaper.

Owners of vessels suitable for the coasting trade, who reside
in Manilla, have one advantage over the provincial ship-builders;
namely, that when the government service gives employment to shipping,
they are in a better position for offering for it, than persons at
a distance from the capital can be.

The freight of tobacco, for instance, gives a good deal of employment
to ships, and as government rates are in general rather better than
any charters obtainable from private merchants, the procuring of
a government contract for carrying any of the articles which they
monopolize, of which the above-mentioned is one, is an object of some
competition. These freights are usually settled by tenders, sealed and
delivered to an officer appointed to receive them, by the Yntendente,
or officer at the head of the Finance Department. I was acquainted
with a gentleman, who, having several idle vessels suitable for
this carrying trade, was of course most anxious to get the contract,
to give employment to his ships; and having found out who the other
contractors for it were, and all of them happening to be cautious
men, not likely to offer for it at a losing price, he resolved to
play a bold game, and made his tender for the conveyance of it out
in some such words as these: "I offer freight for the tobacco, at
one _cuarto_ less than any body else will take it at," and signed
his name; a _cuarto_ being the very smallest copper coin current at
Manilla. Of course he got the contract; which--as he anticipated from
knowing the men who offered for it--turned out to be a very good one;
and, as the Yntendente of the time was an intimate friend of his,
he ran little risk of being taken advantage of, by a lower sum being
named to him as the lowest tender than what was actually the case.

Nearly all the tobacco collected in Cagayan is yearly brought to
Manilla during the north-east monsoon. The contracts for this purpose
generally embrace a term of three or four years, during which the rate
paid by Government to the person who engages to bring all the bales
(or cases) of it which they may require at one fixed freight, never
fluctuates, even although the amount shipped by them is very much in
excess of the usual quantity, and he may be forced to charter vessels
from his neighbours at a much higher rate than the Government pay him,
in order to fulfil the conditions of his contract. Considerable care
is requisite in loading this tobacco, as, should there be a mistake
made even of one bale, the contractor is forced to account for it to
Government at the price they sell it at, which is about three times
as much as they pay for it; and this regulation is no doubt found to
be very requisite, in order to prevent fraud.

After the tobacco has been manufactured into cigars, the contractor
has to deliver it at various stations throughout the islands, these
places being generally the head-quarters of the fiscal or _estanco_
department of the different maritime provinces from which the other are
supplied. Besides the coasting trade from the provinces to Manilla,
and that in the government service, there is a trade carried on
by various provinces between themselves, such as conveying rice or
paddy from the grain-districts to other provinces where less of it
is grown, from the attention of the natives being directed to some
other agricultural produce more suitable than paddy to their soil and
climate, as from Antique to Mindora or Zamboanga, or from the island
of Samar to that of Negros, or to Mesamis. Thus in the hemp provinces,
little paddy is planted, as it is more profitable for them to make
hemp, or to weave Sinamais cloths, &c., than to do so. This commerce,
however, is not of any great extent; the principal--indeed the only
great--market of the country being Manilla, where traders from all
parts of the Archipelago meet to buy and sell.

It has been mentioned elsewhere that foreign men, as well as foreign
ships, are at present excluded from engaging in the provincial trade;
which is about as illiberal and unwise an act as any country could
be guilty of, and should be changed, not for the benefit of foreign
traders, but for the good of the country.

In connexion with the province trade, the naval school ought to be
mentioned, as it is a most useful institution, where arithmetic,
geometry, and navigation are taught gratuitously, at an expense to
Government of nearly 2,400 dollars a-year.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce is also President of the
school, and the members of that body have the privilege of admitting
the pupils--a right which I believe they exercise liberally. At this
place, boys are very well trained up in the scientific and theoretical
part of their profession; but unfortunately, from some cause or other,
their education afterwards as practical seamen does not keep pace with
it, and they generally are as much behind our British or American
shipmasters in all relating to the sea, as can be well conceived,
although they are not unfrequently superior to them, and at least
are equal, in their theoretical attainments.

At this school, many of the Creoles and Mestizos of Manilla have
shown to the world that they did not want the ability to learn,
when they had good masters to instruct them; but good heads and
hands are seldom found together. In fact, I rather think that the
lads educated here are taught too much (if that be possible), and
by being so, have their ideas raised above their stations; for many
of them are, by a great deal, much more like gentlemen than a number
of the merchant skippers or mates in our British ships, whose horny
fists and tar-stained dress make few pretensions to outward gentility.

Among the province-trading vessels lying at anchor in Manilla
river, there are at all times to be seen some curious specimens of
ship-building, few of them being insurable.

Some of these coasters, although nearly all shaped in the European
style, have almost the whole of their rigging constructed of ropes
made from the bamboo, and are fitted with anchors made from ebony
or some other heavy wood, having occasionally a large piece of stone
fastened to them, to insure their sinking. The cables to which they
are attached are generally of a black rush, like sedge, or of bamboo;
but in the event of a gale, I should say that their crews had great
need never to embark in these frail shells, except when well assured
of being at peace with God and man.

In ordinary years these vessels are laid up for several months every
season, as it would most probably be certain destruction for any of
them to attempt proceeding to sea from October till December.

Although a large proportion of the colonial-built vessels are bad,
still there are a few constructed in the country which would be
considered fine ships in any part of the world.

When a good vessel is built there, the first voyage she makes is
usually to Spain, if she can get a freight; and after discharging
her cargo, her next voyage is to a British port, in order that she
may be fitted with copper bolts and iron work, under the inspection
of Lloyd's surveyor; after which her character is established, and
she is classed A 1 ship for a term of years.

But notwithstanding these ships being placed in Lloyd's books,
the insurance offices can seldom be persuaded to accept of risks
even in first-class vessels, when their crews are Spaniards, on
the same favourable terms at which risks are freely taken on good
British ships. They almost invariably demand an increased premium,
and occasionally decline risks by them altogether.

Now, although bad management sometimes occurs on board of Spanish
ships, our own are not exempt from it; and I believe that prejudice
causes them to refuse the insurance as much as anything else.

The Dons have got a bad name as seamen, and very true is the elegant
proverb, "Give a dog a bad name, and hang him."


Nearly the whole of the produce of the Philippines is exported from
Manilla by the foreign merchants resident there, none of the Spaniards
being engaged in commerce to anything like the same extent as the
foreigners are; the few British and the two American houses doing
an immensely greater amount of business than the whole transactions
of all the Spanish merchants, numerous though they be. The trade of
my countrymen consists principally in selling cotton manufactured
goods, and in purchasing the produce of the islands for export;
while the business of the Americans, who sell few goods, consists
almost entirely in purchasing produce for the markets of the United
States, and elsewhere. The Chinese are also large importers of their
country's manufactures, curiosities, and nick-knacks, and also very
considerable exporters.

The statistical data embodied in the following tables will inform the
reader pretty exactly of the amount of exports from the Philippines,
with the exception of the single article of rice, immense quantities
of which are carried over to China by Spanish ships, which load it
at the districts where it is grown; for as the Government charge no
export duty on its exportation in ships bearing the national flag,
they are allowed to depart from the general rule of all vessels being
obliged to load at Manilla while shipping cargo for foreign ports,
if they are merely taking rice on board, and nothing else.

It is right, however, to inform the reader, that although the subjoined
table may approach very nearly to the truth in most respects, as it
has been gradually and very carefully collected by the largest British
mercantile establishment at Manilla, the nature of whose business
requires that they should be as well acquainted with all facts such
as the table embraces, as from the nature of existing circumstances
there it is possible to be, yet at that place there is at all times a
greater or less degree of difficulty in obtaining correct statistical
information of the trade; and this is considerably increased by the
Government not choosing to communicate the particulars they collect
at the Custom-house, erroneous though they be.

In an underhand way, however, these particulars can be obtained from
some of the Indian copyists employed in that establishment, if they
are paid for it; and, in fact, they are in the habit of communicating a
note of the different cargoes of ships coming in, or going away loaded,
to some of the merchants. Yet these notes are nearly always more or
less erroneous, from various causes. To obviate these inconveniences,
several of the principal export merchants are in the habit of mutually
furnishing each other with a correct statement of the various cargoes
they ship; but still, as there are many exporters besides themselves,
some degree of error must pervade even their carefully-gleaned
information. But there is one thing to be borne in mind, that the
following table is most likely to be considerably under the truth,
and certainly is not over it.

                     General Statement of Exports from Manilla during 1850.

               |  To    |  To the |  To the  |  To     |   To    |    To    |  To   |
               | Great  |Continent|Australian| China.  |Singapore|California|United |
               |Britain.|   of    | Colonies |         | Batavia,| and the  |States.| Total
               |        | Europe. |          |         |& Bombay.| Pacific. |       |
Sugar          | 146,926|  50,830 |  142,359 |   --    |  12,749 |  29,144  | 77,919|459,927 peculs.
Hemp           |  16,073|   5,568 |     --   |   --    |     544 |    --    |102,184|124,367   "
Cordage        |      96|     476 |    3,753 |  1,732  |     680 |   2,137  |    210|  9,084   "
Cigars         |  10,319|  11,867 |   12,561 |  9,262  |  26,859 |   1,707  |    914| 73,439 mil.
Leaf Tobacco   |    --  |  42,629 |     --   |   --    |    --   |    --    |   --  | 42,629 quintals
Sapan-wood     |  37,068|  14,436 |     --   | 18,942  |  17,337 |    --    |  9,015| 96,798 arrobas.
Coffee         |     165|   9,670 |    1,481 |    100  |     250 |   1,072  |  2,063| 14,801 peculs
Indigo         |     259|     213 |     --   |uncertain|    --   |    --    |  3,753|  4,225 quintals
Hides          |   3,340|     213 |     --   |  1,069  |    --   |    --    |   --  |  4,622 peculs.
Hide Cuttings  |    --  |    --   |     --   |    536  |    --   |    --    |  2,419|  2,955   "
Mother-of-pearl|        |         |          |         |         |          |       |
  Shell        |     820|     338 |     --   |   --    |     260 |    --    |     74|  1,492   "
Tortoise-shell |   2,081|     580 |     --   |    555  |   1,912 |    --    |    469|  5,597 catties.
Rice           |    --  |   6,576 |     --   |uncertain|    --   |   1,467  |   --  |Uncertain.
Beche de Mer   |    --  |    --   |     --   |  4,348  |    --   |    --    |   --  |  4,348 peculs.
Gold Dust      |    --  |    --   |     --   |  5,068  |    --   |    --    |   --  |  5,068 taels.
Camagon, or    |        |         |          |         |         |          |       |
  Ebony-wood   |     235|   1,213 |     --   |    794  |    --   |    --    |   --  |  2,242 peculs.
Grass-cloth    |     175|  13,252 |     --   |    500  |    --   |     650  | 22,975| 37,552 pieces.
Hats           |    --  |    --   |    9,400 |  5,115  |   9,115 |     500  | 25,870| 50,000 hats.

The quantity of rice and paddy shipped to China from the provinces
cannot be ascertained with any degree of exactness; what goes from
Manilla is very small, because, before arriving there, it has, by its
transport expenses, added to the price at which it is obtainable in
the districts where it is produced, which, of course, prevents its
being shipped from the capital. At a guess, however, I should suppose
that about a million cavans, each of which, one with another, weighs
about a China pecul, or 133 1/3 lbs, is an average yearly export,
should the Government not prohibit the article from being exported
for a longer period than usual, which is annually regulated by the
scarcity or abundance of food in the country.

From the preceding table, the reader will observe that the exports
of 1850, when compared with those of 1847, of which the following is
a statement, have increased in some respects, and fallen off in others.

                             Statement of Exports from Manilla during 1850.

               |  To    | To the  |To the |  To the   |  To the  |   To    |    To    |  To    |
               | Great  |Continent|United | Pacific   |Australian| China.  |Singapore.|Batavia.|
               |Britain.|   of    |States.|   and     |Colonies. |         |          |        | Total
               |        | Europe. |       |California.|          |         |          |        |
Sugar          |104,246 |  18,755 | 92,149|   4,150   | 174,777  |   --    |     --   |   --   |394,077 peculs.
Hemp           | 16,592 |   2,438 | 98,440|    --     |    --    |    300  |    1,888 |   --   |119,658   "
Cordage        |     20 |     546 |  7,038|     404   |   4,430  |    825  |    1,425 |   --   | 14,688   "
Indigo         |     58 |      78 |  2,166|    --     |    --    |    149  |      118 |   --   |  2,569 quintals
Sapan-wood     | 12,055 |  11,960 | 28,891|    --     |     160  |  5,210  |   18,814 |  1,817 | 78,907 peculs.
Hides          |  1,366 |     183 |  1,821|    --     |    --    |  2,389  |     --   |   --   |  5,759   "
Hide Cuttings  |   --   |    --   |  1,893|    --     |    --    |   --    |     --   |   --   |  1,893   "
Gold Dust      |   --   |    --   |   --  |   3,970   |    --    |   --    |     --   |   --   |  3,970 taels.
Coffee         |   --   |   9,244 |    395|    --     |   4,267  |   --    |     --   |   --   | 13,906 peculs.
Rice           | 23,760 |   4,520 |   --  |     300   |     772  |uncertain|     875  |   --   |Uncertain.
Paddy          |  1,870 |  13,978 |   --  |    --     |    --    |uncertain|    --    |   --   |Ditto.
Cigars         | 16,010 |  11,176 |   548 |     787   |   9,674  |  6,706  |  19,169  |  5,943 | 70,013 mil.
Leaf Tobacco   |  5,440 | 115,016 |   --  |    --     |    --    |   --    |   5,280  |   --   |125,733 arrobas.
Mother-of-Pearl|        |         |       |           |          |         |          |        |
Shell          |    708 |      92 |   --  |    --     |    --    |     16  |    --    |   --   |    816 peculs.
Grass-cloth    |   --   |    --   | 56,171|    --     |    --    |   --    |    --    |   --   | 56,171 pieces.
Hats           |   --   |    --   |  1,600|    --     |  10,932  |   --    |   5,560  |   --   | 18,092 hats.

The quantity of hemp shipped during the years 1848 and 1849, was
greater than the quantity indicated in either of these tables, but
as the increased export was principally caused by speculation in
the United States, the average annual export may probably not be
greater than the amount set down in the table of 1850, although,
in the previous year, about 30,000 peculs more were shipped.

Of the exports to the continent of Europe only a small proportion
goes to Spain, probably not exceeding a third part of the quantities
set down in the table for the continent.

Bremen, Hamburg, and Antwerp, are the three towns in the north
with which most business is done, and Bordeaux and Havre de Grâce,
are nearly the only places to which the other exports are shipped
for Europe, exclusive of the ports of Cadiz, Malaga, and Bilboa,
in the Peninsula.

Having furnished the preceding tables of the amount of the exports
from the only outlet for foreign trade with the islands, excepting in
rice to China, as before mentioned, the reader may be able to form
some opinion of their veracity and value. And as it may be of some
service, I shall give a short sketch of each of the most important
of the articles there set down, premising it with a memorandum of the
weights and measures now in use through the islands. The pecul is equal
to 140 lbs. English, or 137 1/2 lbs. Spanish; the Spanish lb. being
two per cent. heavier than the standard British lb. The quintal is
102 lbs. English, and the arroba 25 1/2 lbs. English. The cavan is a
measure of the capacity of 5,998 cubic inches, and is subdivided into
25 quintas. The Spanish yard, or vara, is eight per cent. shorter
than the British yard, by which latter all the cotton and other
manufactures are sold by the merchants importing them, although the
shopkeepers who purchase them retail everything by the Spanish yard.


It is not my intention, even were it in my power, which it is not,
to attempt an exact and complete description of all the productions
of the group of islands composing the Philippines, to which nature
has with no niggardly hand dispensed great territorial and maritime
wealth. And as the limits of this work prevent much expansion, I will
confine the following observations to an outline of the principal
articles produced in the country, beginning the catalogue with the
most important of them all, namely, rice.

The cultivation of paddy, or rice, here, as all over Asia, exercises
by far the greatest amount of agricultural labour, being their most
extensive article of cultivation, as it forms the usual food of the
people, and is, as the Spaniards truly call it, _El pau de los Indios_;
a good or bad crop of it, influencing them just as much as potatoes
do the Irish, or as the wheat crops do in bread-consuming countries.

In September and October, when, in consequence of the heavy previous
rains since the beginning of the wet season, the parched land is
so buried as generally about that time to present the appearance of
one vast marsh, it is ploughed lightly, after which the husbandman
transplants the grain from the nurseries in which he had previously
deposited it, in order to undergo there the first stages of vegetation.

In December, or in January, the grain is ready for the sickle, and in
general repays his cares and labour by the most abundant harvest. There
is no culture more easy and simple; nor any which gives such positive
good results in less time, as only four months pass between the times
of sowing and reaping the rice crop.

In some places the mode of reaping differs from the customs of
others. At some places they merely cut the ears from off the stalks,
which are allowed to remain on the fields to decay, and fertilize
the soil as a manure; and in other provinces the straw is all reaped,
and bound in the same way as wheat is at home, being then piled up in
ricks and stacks to dry in the sun, after which the grain is separated
by the treading of ponies, the horses of the country, upon it, or by
other means, when the grain is again cleared of another outer husk,
by being thrown into a mortar, generally formed out of the trunk of
some large tree, where the men, women, and children of the farm are
occupied in pounding it with a heavy wooden pestle, which removes the
husk, but leaves the grain still covered by a delicate skin. When
in this state it is known as pinagua; but after that is taken off,
the rice is clean.

For blowing away the chaff from the grain, they employ an implement
worked by a handle and a wheel in a box, which is very similar to
the old-fashioned fanners used in Scotland by the smaller farmers
for the same purpose.

In the neighbourhood of Manilla, there is a steam-mill for the purpose
of cleaning rice; and there are several machines worked by horse-power
throughout the country. But although there are many facilities for the
employment of water-power for the same purpose, I am not acquainted
with any mill moved on that principle.

The qualities of rice produced in the different provinces, varies a
good deal in quality. That of Ylocos is the heaviest, a cavan of it
weighing about 140 lbs. English, while Camarines rice weighs only about
132 lbs., and some of the other provinces not over 126 lbs. per cavan.

Although in all the provinces rice is grown to a considerable extent,
yet those which produce it best, and in greatest abundance, and form
what may be called granaries for the others, which are not so suitable
for that cultivation, may be considered to be Ylocos, Pangasinan,
Bulacan, Capiz, Camarines, and Antique.

It is best to ship rice in dry weather; and should it be destined
for Europe, or any other distant market, it should leave by the
fair monsoon, in order that the voyage may be as short as possible,
to ensure which, all orders for rice purchases for the European
markets should reach Manilla in December or January, as the new crop
just begins to arrive about the end of that month. It takes about
a month to clean a cargo at the steam-mill, and after March, the
fair monsoon for homeward-bound ships cannot much be depended upon;
and were the vessel to make a long passage, the cargo would probably
be excessively damaged by weevils, by which it is very frequently
attacked. Ylocos rice is considered to be the best for a long voyage,
as it keeps better than that grown in other provinces.

The price of white rice is rarely below two dollars per pecul, or
above two and a half dollars per pecul, bagged and ready for shipment.

A hundred cavans of ordinary province rice will usually produce 85
per cent. of clean white, and about 10 per cent. of broken rice,
which can be sold at about half the price of the ordinary quality:
the remaining 5 per cent. is wasted in cleaning.

Rice exported by a Spanish ship, goes free; but if exported by any
foreign ship, even when it is sent to a Spanish colony, it pays 3
1/2 per cent. export duty, and when sent to a foreign country by a
foreign ship, it pays an export duty of 4 1/2 per cent. In order to
be more explicit, it may be well to give a _pro formâ_ invoice of rice.

5,000 peculs of white rice, bought ready for shipment
  at the mill, at $2-1/4 per pecul                          $11,250 00

Charges :--

  Export duty on valuation, which can generally
    be managed to be got at a good deal under
    the market price; say at $1-1/2 per pecul,
    at 4-1/2 per cent.                               $337 50
  Boat and coolie hire, shipping                     200 00
                                                                537 50
                                                            $11,787 50

Commission for purchasing and shipping,
  &c., at 5 per cent.                                           589 37
                                                            $12,376 87

This  is about equal to its price if purchased and cleaned in another
manner; for instance:--

1,000 cavans province rice, costing, say, 10-1/2
  rials per cavan, =                                         $1,312 50

  will generally produce 85 per cent. clean white
  rice, fit for shipping, and 10 per cent. broken
  rice, which can be sold at about 5-1/4 rials
  per cavan, =                                                   65 62

  thus 150 cavans (equal to about 820 peculs) will           ---------
  cost                                                       $1,246 88

Add the expenses of receiving on board the native
  boats, measuring there, landing, re=measuring,
  cleaning, bags and bagging, averaging from about
  70 to 80 cents. per pecul of cleaned rice, say at
  75 cents, =                                                   615 00
                                                             $1,861 88

or equal to $2-27/100 per pecul for clean white rice, ready for

_Sugar._--Although the cane is cultivated to a greater or less
extent throughout all the islands, there are four descriptions of
sugar well known in commerce, grown in the Philippines, and these
come respectively from the districts of Pampanga, Pangasinan, Cebu,
and Saal, after which districts they are named; and the growth of
other places producing similar sugars to any of these descriptions,
usually passes under one of these names in the market, although Yloylo
is sometimes, though rarely, distinguished as a separate quality. The
mills employed for expressing the juice from the cane are nearly all
of stone; and firewood is usually employed to boil the sugar; for
although they have for some years introduced the plan of employing
the refuse of the cane for that purpose, it is not yet very general.

A large quantity of the Muscovado sugar made in the country, resembling
the descriptions produced in the provinces of Pampanga and Pangasinan,
is brought to Manilla for sale, in large conical earthern jars, called
_pilones_, each of which weighs a pecul. The Chinese or Mestizos who
are engaged in the purifying of sugar are the purchasers of these lots,
and most of them are in the habit of sending an agent through the
country, with orders to buy up as much of such sugar as they require
to keep their establishments at work. They are in the habit of paying
these travellers a rial, which at Manilla is the eighth part of a
dollar, for every pilone he purchases on their account at the limits
they give him. When enough has been collected in one neighbourhood
to load a casco or other province boat, it is despatched to their
camarine at Manilla, where after being taken from the original pilone,
if it has come from Pampanga, it is mixed up together, and placed in
another one, with an opening at the conical part, which is placed over
a jar into which the molasses distilling from it gradually drop, when
the colour of the sugar from being brown becomes of a greyish tinge.

At the top of the pilone, so placed with the cone turned down, a
layer of clay is spread over the sugar, as it has the property of
attracting all the impurities to itself; so that the parts of the
sugar in the pilone next to the clay are certain to be of the whitest
and best colour, whilst the sugar at the bottom, or next the opening
of the cone, is the darkest and most valueless, until it has had its
turn of the clay; for when the Chinamen perceive that the top part of
the sugar in the pilone or earthen jar has attained a certain degree
of whiteness, they separate the white from the darker coloured, and
the greyish tinged sugar from the dark brown coloured portion at the
foot of the jar; and after exposing the white and greyish coloured
to the sun, they are packed up, while the dark brown portion, after
being mixed with that of a similar colour, is again consigned to the
pilone to be clayed.

Besides clay, some portions of the stem of the plantain-tree are
said to have the power of extracting the impurities from sugar, and
in some districts are said to be preferred to clay for that purpose,
being chopped up in small pieces, and spread over it.

The unclayed descriptions of sugar are generally procurable at
Manilla by the end of February, when the new crop commences to come
in; and clayed, or the new crop, is seldom ready for delivery before
the middle of March.

The entire crop is all ready for export by the end of April, although
the market is seldom cleared of it till the January of the ensuing
year, when the sugar clayers being anxious to close their accounts
of the past crop, and wind up all that remains in their camarines,
in order to be ready for the new season's operations, are sometimes
willing to make a reduction in the nominal price of the day, in order
to effect that purpose. But as the grain of sugar does not improve
by keeping, especially when it has to stand the moistness of the
atmosphere during the preceding wet season, such sugar, if bought at
that time, is seldom equal in grain to the produce of the new crop,
although its colour may be preferable.

Pangasinan sugar is of a beautiful white colour, but with a very
inferior grain: it loses much in the sun-dryings, and is generally,
I believe, mixed with the clayed Pampanga sugar, to give the latter
a colour, although all the dealers deny doing it themselves, but are
ready enough to believe, if told that their neighbours are in the
habit of mixing both Cebu and it, in their pilones,--the first for
the sake of cheapness, and the other for a colour. Pampanga sugar is
of a brownish tinge, and when of good quality, of a strong grain. It
possesses a very much greater quantity of saccharine matter than any
other description of sugar I am acquainted with, and is consequently
a favourite of the refiners at home and in Sweden. Taal and Cebu
descriptions are never clayed separately, although, as before
mentioned, the latter, on account of its cheapness, is occasionally
mixed with Pampanga for claying.

They are principally in demand for the Australian colonies, where Taal
is generally preferred to Cebu (or Zebu), from its possessing more
saccharine matter than the latter. Taal is generally so moist that
it always loses considerably in weight, sometimes to the extent of
about 10 per cent., and even more;--it is a strong sweet sugar. Cebu
seldom loses so much as Taal, generally not more than 3 per cent. on
a voyage of about two months' duration.

All sugar is sold to the export merchants by the pecul of 140
lbs. English, and it is either paid for at the time of its delivery,
or if a contract is made for a large quantity with a clayer, or other
dealer, it is often necessary to advance a portion of the price to
enable him to execute the order, and the merchants often do this long
before a pecul of sugar is received from him, or any security given
in return. This system prevails not only in sugar, but in all other
articles of the agricultural produce of the islands, in the sale of
which no credit is given to the purchaser.

Sugar pays an export duty of 3 per cent. It should never be weighed
except upon a hot dry day, as if there is the least moisture in the
air it absorbs it, and adds considerably to its weight.

In connection with sugar, it may be stated, that some very good rum is
made at Manilla, although very little is exported. It is a monopoly
of the Government, who farm it out to one of the sugar clayers at
Manilla. Molasses are never shipped, but are used in Manilla for
mixing with the water given to the horses to drink, most of them
refusing to taste it unless so sweetened.

Hemp is produced from the bark of a species of the plantain-tree,
forests of which are found growing wild in some provinces of the
Philippines. The operation of making it is simple enough, the most
important of the process apparently being the separation of the
fibres from each other by an iron instrument, resembling a comb
for the hair. After drying in the sun, and undergoing several other
processes, with the minutiæ of which I am unacquainted, it is made
up into bales, weighing 280 lbs. each, and in that state is shipped
for Manilla, where, after being picked more or less white, which is
dependent entirely upon the purposes it is intended to serve, and the
markets it has to be sent to, it is again pressed into bales of the
same weight as before, although of much less bulk, and is exported,
the greater quantity of it going to the United States of America,
as the export tables will show.

The best hemp is of a long and fine white fibre, very well dried, and
of a silky gloss. The dark coloured is not so well liked, and if too
bad for exportation, is generally made up into ropes for the colonial
shipping, or sent down to Singapore for transhipment to Calcutta,
where it is employed for the same purpose.

The best hemp comes from Sorsogon and Leyte, and some of the Cebu
is also very good. Albay, Camarines, Samar, Bisayas, and some other
districts, are those from which it principally comes.

The freight on hemp shipped by American vessels to the United States,
is reckoned at the rate of 40 cubic feet, or four bales of 10 feet
each, to the ton; but when shipped to Great Britain, the freight is
generally calculated at the ton of 20 cwt., or 2,240 lbs. avoirdupois.

Annexed is a table of calculations of what it will cost if put on board
a ship in Manilla Bay, including all charges, and 5 per cent. paid
to an agent there for purchasing it, &c.

              | If bought |        |        |        |        |        |        |
              | at $5 per |        |        |        |        |        |        |
              |   pecul   |        |        |        |        |        |        |
    At the    |would cost,|   At   |   At   |   At   |   At   |   At   |   At   |   At
   exchange   |  free on  | $5-1/4 | $5-1/2 | $5-3/4 |   $6   | $6-1/4 | $6-1/2 |   $7
      of      |   board   |        |        |        |        |        |        |
s. d.         |  £  s. d. |£  s. d.|£  s. d.|£  s. d.|£  s. d.|£  s. d.|£  s. d.|£  s. d.
4  1     per $| 19   0  6 |19 17  8|20 11  5|21 12  1|22 10  5|23  6  3|24  5  4|26  0  3}
4  1-1/2  "   | 19   4  5 |20  1  9|20 19  8|21 16  5|22 15  0|23 11  0|24 10  5|25  5  6}Per
4  2      "   | 19   8  3 |20  5 10|21  3 11|22  0  9|22 19  6|23 15  9|24 15  3|26 10  0}
4  2-1/2  "   | 19  12  2 |20  9 11|21  8  2|22  5  2|23  4  2|24  0  6|25  0  2|26 16  2}ton
4  3      "   | 19  16  0 |20 13 11|21 12  4|22  9  7|23  8  9|24  5  4|25  5  1|27  1  6}
4  3-1/2  "   | 19  19 11 |20 18  0|21 16  8|22 14  0|23 13  4|24 10  1|25 10  1|27  6  9}of
4  4      "   | 20   3 10 |21  2  1|22  0 10|22 18  5|23 18  0|24 14 10|25 15  0|27 12  1}
4  4-1/2  "   | 20   7  8 |21  6  1|22  5  1|23  2 10|24  2  6|24 19  7|26  0  0|27 17  5}20
4  5      "   | 20  11  7 |21 10  2|22  9  4|23  7  3|24  7  2|25  4  4|26  5  0|28  2  9}
4  5-1/2  "   | 20  15  6 |21 14  3|22 13  7|23 11  8|24 11  9|25  9  1|26  9 11|28  8  0}cwt.
4  6      "   | 20  19  4 |21 18  3|22 17 10|23 16  0|24 16  4|25 13 10|26 14 10|28 13  4}

To understand this table, suppose an agent in Manilla purchases a
quantity of hemp for a merchant in London, at 5 dollars per pecul, the
cost of packing, shipping, and the 5 per cent. commission for buying,
&c., will make it cost, when put on board ship in Manilla Bay, 20_l._
19_s._ 4_d._ per ton, if drawn for at the exchange of 4_s._ 6_d._
to the dollar. On its arrival at London, the freight, insurance, &c.,
added to this, will be its actual cost laid down there.

_Tobacco._--The best tobacco produced in the Philippines is grown
in the Island of Luzon or Luconia, where it is monopolized by the
Government, to whom it furnishes an important revenue. From the
province of Cagayan, where the greater part of it is grown, the
best quality comes, and that leaf, being much stronger than any
grown elsewhere, is generally used as the envelope to wrap round
the inferior descriptions of tobacco employed in the manufacture of
cheroots. Most of the other descriptions used for them come from the
district of Gapan, in Pampanga province, and the two sorts combined
are said to produce pleasanter cigars than either separately could
do,--the Cagayan leaf being too strong to be used alone, and the
Gapan leaf too mild for the ordinary taste.

In the mountains of Ylocos and Pangasinan, some of the native Indians
inhabiting them grow quantities of tobacco, which they sell to the
traders of the neighbourhood. In these mountains the Indians are still
free, and retain their old pagan religion, unsubdued either by the
Spanish soldiery, or by the more salutary and effective warfare waged
against them by the priests, who labour assiduously to convert them
to Christianity. Being mountaineers, and leading the unsettled and
roving life of huntsmen, subsisting by the produce of the chase and
the plaintain-tree, very little is known about them at Manilla beyond
the fact of their existence, although the well-directed energies
of several enthusiastic missionaries, who have as yet only found
an entrance among them, are likely to civilize and ameliorate their
condition somewhat, and to supply this information. Notwithstanding
that the mounted police force, scattered over the country, are
particularly attentive to hunt out all illicit growth of tobacco,
and to put a stop to it by the severest punishments when it is
discovered; they have not as yet been, nor in fact are likely to be,
at all successful in doing so efficiently, so long as the Government
continue to make the enormous profit they at present do from its sale,
after it has been made by them into cheroots, or brought to Manilla
and sold in the leaf for export. In Bisayas the quality of the leaf
is so inferior in strength and appearance to that produced in Luzon,
that the Government have not thought it worth while to appropriate
the produce of the islands to themselves by a monopoly.

There are several extensive manufactories of cigars carried on by
the Government at and near Manilla, the most extensive being in the
capital, although those at Malabone and Cavite also employ a great
number of people in rolling them up.

In making cheroots women only are employed, the number of those so
engaged in the factory at Manilla being generally about 4000. Besides
these, a large body of men are employed at another place in the
composition of cigarillos, or small cigars, kept together by
an envelope of white paper in place of tobacco; these being the
description most smoked by the Indians.

The flavour of Manilla cheroots is peculiar to themselves, being quite
different from that made of any other sort of tobacco; the greatest
characteristic probably being its slightly soporific tendency, which
has caused many persons, in the habit of using it, to imagine that
opium is employed in the preparatory treatment of the tobacco, which,
however, is not the case.

The cigars are made up by the hands of women in large rooms of the
factory, each of them containing from 800 to 1000 souls. These are all
seated, or squatted, Indian-like, on their haunches, upon the floor,
round tables, at each of which there is an old woman presiding to keep
the young ones in order, about a dozen of them being the complement of
a table. All of them are supplied with a certain weight of tobacco,
of the first, second, or third qualities used in composing a cigar,
and are obliged to account for a proportionate number of cheroots,
the weight and size of which are by these means kept equal.

As they use stones for beating out the leaf on the wooden tables,
before which they are seated, the noise produced by them while making
them up is deafening, and generally sufficient to make no one desirous
of protracting a visit to the place. The workers are well recompensed
by the Government, as very many of them earn from six to ten dollars
a month for their labour, and as that amount is amply sufficient to
provide them with all their comforts, and to leave a large balance for
their expenses in dress, &c., they are seldom very constant labourers,
and never enter the factory on Sundays, or, at least, on as great an
annual number of feast-days as there are Sundays in a year.

During the years of 1848 and 49, the Government were not in the habit
of selling leaf-tobacco for export, but they have again resumed the
practice of 1847, which, however, is likely to be stopped soon again;
how soon, it is impossible to say--probably just when the caprice of
the director of tobacco inclines him, as he is an influential person,
generally, in his own department.

The denominations of cheroots were changed in January, 1848; when the
description formerly known as Thirds was and still is called Seconds,
and the manufacture of a new sort known as Firsts was begun.

The weights of new cigars when sent out of the factory are as
follow:--Firsts 1500, Seconds 3000, Thirds 4000 to the arroba; the
weight of the arroba when issued by Government from the factory being
actually 1 pound 9 ounces over the current weight,--this allowance
being made to meet the loss of weight which cigars always experience
during a long sea-voyage, which, although it diminishes their bulk,
is said materially to improve their flavour. All cigars for the use
of the country-people are made in the Havana shape, and are prohibited
being exported, probably from their desire to keep the name of Manilla
cheroots up to its proper status, as the Havana-shaped cigars are
seldom equal in flavour to those made for exportation.

A large quantity of the Havana-shaped are made and used in the
country by smugglers, who sell them at one-half the price charged by
the Government, and some of these are occasionally sent from Manilla
by stealth. But they are seldom so good as those of the Government
make, although that occasionally deteriorates to an alarming degree,
so that every now and then very bad cheroots are exported. Of course,
when they are smoked and disliked no one uses them, and they become
unsaleable, so that when Government finds that there are few or no
purchasers, and that their stock is accumulating, they are obliged to
use a better class tobacco in their manufacture, upon which people
begin to buy from them again. However, this uncertainty as to their
_at all times_ producing good cigars, has a most detrimental effect
upon themselves, and this alone prevents their consumption from being
very much greater than it now is, if one uniformly good quality of
tobacco were always used and the bad descriptions sold.

The rates at which Government sell cigars are fixed, being 14 dollars
per 1000 for Firsts, 8 dollars for Seconds, and 6 3/4 dollars for
Thirds; although, if the purchasers will take off more than the
stocks existing in their warehouses, the prices may be regulated by
the eagerness of the buyers, from the cigars being sold at public
auction, which, however, very seldom happens. Purchasers have no
power to secure the good quality of the cigars they buy, as on an
application being made to the director of the renta for a quantity,
he merely fills up a printed order for their delivery, and after the
money has been paid for them, but not till then, they are delivered
by the warehouse-keepers at random, as it is not allowed to select for
delivery any of the cigars under their charge, which are consequently
never seen by the purchaser until after the completion of the bargain,
when if the quality is bad he has no remedy for it, as they will not be
received back again by the Government or the money for them returned.

_Indigo._--The quantity produced is very small; that exported to the
United States being the bulk of the crop, although large quantities
of liquid indigo are also annually sent to China in casks; but I have
not been able to ascertain its amount with any degree of precision. It
is of an inferior quality to the solid dye, and sells for considerably
less money.

The dye coming from the provinces of Laguna and Pangasinan is generally
of superior quality to that produced in Ylocos and elsewhere, their
relative prices being about forty-five dollars per quintal for the
first two descriptions, and twenty-eight dollars for the other sorts
of first, second, and third qualities in proportions.

The cultivation of the plant is very precarious, as it is liable
to damage from a variety of causes; it will die if too much water
collects round it, or if too little is given to it. It generally
is grown on a dry soil, having a slight decline, to carry off the
rain. To extract the dye from the plant, the usual process is to
place it in large vessels containing lime and water, and then to
bruise it with a wooden pestle; after which, when the water becomes
still, the colouring matter will sink to the bottom of the vessel,
when the water and the plants are drained off, and the matter, which
by that time has acquired the consistency of paste, is exposed to the
air to dry upon mats: as it becomes more dry it is divided by lines
into small quadrangular pieces, and is broken up.

To secure a good quality of indigo, great attention must be paid to
the clearness of the water, and the proper mixture and quantity of
the lime, as too much or too little is equally pernicious; also the
time during which the bruising takes place, which, it appears, is a
matter of very nice judgment, as it is usual to explain or account
for the cause of the bad quality of a lot by saying that the planter
has beat it for too long or too short a time, and that he did not
know exactly when to stop.

This article is very liable to adulteration, at which both native and
Chinese dealers are so peculiarly expert, that purchasers trusting
solely to their own knowledge are very liable to be deceived by them.

The blues of the country are much brighter than any of the British or
continental dyes, and are in consequence much preferred by the natives.

_Cotton_.--Cotton is only grown in a very small quantity, principally
in Ylocos and Batangas provinces. Some of it is sent to China, but
the major part of the crop is used in the country. It is seldom or
never well cleaned, the rude machines employed for doing so being
usually worked by the hand or foot, very imperfectly and slowly,
cleaning only a small quantity of the wool in a day.

_Cocoa-nut oil_.--Cocoa-nut oil is made in the province of Laguna
and in Bisayas. That coming from the Laguna is of the best quality,
and generally sells for a good deal more than the Bisayas oil,
which does not give so good a light, and has a worse smell than the
other. The manufacturing processes employed in producing it are very
rude in both of these districts, although that followed in Laguna
is the better of the two; but both are bad. It has been proposed,
however, to remedy this by establishing proper machinery at Manilla
for carrying on its production on a large scale, as is done in Ceylon.

The chief difficulty of exporting the article appears to be the want
of knowledge of the proper means of seasoning the tanks in which
it is shipped. These have not as yet been well made at Manilla; and
some merchants have been in the habit of getting their empty tanks
from Batavia, as they are usually better made there than they are
procurable in Manilla. The best mode of seasoning them appears to be,
to fill them all with oil, and to place them in the sun, after being
well coopered, above a large vat or other receptacle to catch all the
oil which may leak out of them; and after they have stood for some
time in this way, the pores of the wood get filled up by the oil,
which prevents further leakage.

When filled with water, as has been the practice for some time past
at Manilla, on the oil being shipped, the effect, as has been found,
is to increase its leakage over what the casks lose when they have not
been filled with water, but left altogether alone, as water expands the
wood, while oil causes it to shrink. By attention to the preparation of
the casks at Colombo in Ceylon in this manner, they are able to send
home oil in old beer casks, &c., which, of course, enables them to
avoid a great deal of unnecessary expense. Perhaps a small quantity
of boiling hot oil poured into a cask, which should then be rolled
about so that the oil might wet every part of it, would cause it to
shrink more speedily than by exposing it to the sun for about six
weeks. I am not aware, however, of this having ever been tried.

Cocoa is grown among plaintain-trees, which afford it some shade,
and protect it from the excessive slow heat, which kills it.

Although the growth of cocoa is at present very small, did any one take
the trouble to bestow the necessary care and attention it demands, the
crop might be very greatly augmented. The best is now grown in Cebu,
although, from Samar, Misamis, and Batangas, the Manilla market is
also supplied, but it is only saleable at about twenty-three dollars
per pecul, while the Cebu grown fetches about twenty-seven dollars
per pecul.

Very little is exported, and the chocolate made in Manilla is nearly
all consumed there. Supplies occasionally come from Guayaquil of a
quality very similar to that of Cebu.

All the efforts hitherto made to send cocoa to Spain, without
its deteriorating in quality, by getting spotted, &c., have been

_Coffee._--Although there have been efforts made at various times to
promote this valuable branch of agricultural industry, by holding out
to the natives rewards in money for a certain number of plants in a
state of bearing, it has not as yet had the effect of greatly promoting
its growth. Tayabas and Laguna are provinces from which most of it
comes to Manilla, but this it does by very small lots at a time, and
generally uncleaned, which the provincial traders have to do here. The
quality of most of that grown at these places is fully equal to that
of Java, from which, however, it differs a good deal in flavour. The
French, who take off the bulk of the crop, are fonder of its peculiar
taste than most other people, and prefer it to other descriptions.

Pepper is grown to a very limited extent in Tayabas, and is all
consumed in the country, although in former years some has been
exported from that province.

Opium could be grown in the greatest perfection in several places
of the Philippines, where the white poppy abounds in the utmost
luxuriance; but Government do not choose to permit its growth and
manufacture, except in the immediate vicinity of Manilla, although I
believe there is a permission to do so there, where, however, there
is no soil suitable for the growth of the plant. There are many
places, also, which would subject the planters of it to the nearly
unlimited control of the police, whose interference alone would be
so vexatious and unpleasant as to deter any one from attempting its
growth, even did the stringent regulations laid down with reference
to it not do so; such as exactly counting the number of plants, and
being forced to deposit all the drug in the custom-house for export,
for the permission to do which twenty-five per cent. would have to be
paid to the Government. These regulations are a virtual prohibition
to engage in its cultivation, as no prudent man is at all likely to
embark his capital in such an enterprise while they exist.

In consequence of the heavy duty imposed upon opium, to discourage its
importation, the greater portion of the drug consumed in the country
is smuggled into it by the masters of the Spanish trading-vessels
from China or Singapore.

Government farm out the privilege of supplying the market with opium
to the highest bidder, who seldom, however, imports many chests for
its consumption; but what he does sell is usually at a very large
advance on the prices paid for it in another market.

How much better were it for the Government to attempt to regulate the
trade of this article instead of doing all in their power to suppress
it, in which they can never be successful, so long as Chinamen and
their descendants remain with the tastes that now belong to them. Can
there be any prohibition against the introduction of opium more strong
than that of the Chinese Government? and are there any more useless,
or any laws more openly evaded? It is impossible to extirpate the
taste, but it would be easy to regulate and in some degree control it;
and these are the proper and legitimate aims of a Government.

Under proper management and increased facilities for the planter to
rear opium, the Philippines, merely from their situation, would rule
the China market for the drug, which would employ multitudes of people
in its growth and manufacture, and be a source of immense wealth to
the country.

Some one will object that it is an immoral trade, which caters to
the worst passions of the nature of the Chinese. Let it be proved so;
let us see something more than mere prejudice; let it be shown to be
worse than the conduct of the farmer, at home, who raises and sells
barley to make whiskey; or of the distiller, who makes it; or of
the West Indian, who produces rum from his estate, as both of these
stimulants increase the evil passions in men while swayed by them,
to a much greater extent than opium.

Smoking tobacco does no good to the person who practises it; it is
a vice, although those addicted to it may call it one of the lesser
sins. But would it be just or wise to prohibit the growth of tobacco,
because smoking it may not be a virtue?

To attempt stopping the use of opium is no wiser, and just as futile,
in China, as King Jamie's foolish decrees against tobacco proved to
be in Britain.

Wheat is grown in the provinces of Ylocos, Tayabas, and the Laguna,
but is seldom or never more than enough to supply the wants of the
European population, none of it being exported; and the import of
foreign wheat is prohibited, although it is frequently conceded to
the bakers, on their memorialising the Governor, and showing that
the prices at the time of their doing so are excessively high.

Although sulphur can scarcely be ranked in the same category with the
preceding articles of commerce, I set it down here, as a considerable
quantity is annually shipped to China. It is brought from the vicinity
of the volcanoes in Bisayas: the best is said to come from Leyte,
which is worth about one and a quarter dollar per pecul. Residents
at Manilla usually immerse a large block, weighing about two peculs,
in the wells from which their drinking water is taken, just as the
rainy season commences, and it is found to have a most salutary effect
upon the water impregnated with it, causing less liability to those
who drink it, to suffer dysentery from its use.

Cowries, the shells of a small snail, are found on the shores
of several islands, and are shipped as an article of commerce to
Singapore, &c., where they are, I believe, purchased by the Siam
and Calcutta traders, as they serve for money in several of the
countries of Asia. Those found on Sibuyan island, in Capiz province,
are considered the best, being the smallest and stoutest. They are
sold by the cavan, weighing nearly a pecul, if of good quality,
at about two dollars per cavan.

Pitch, or tar, is brought from Tayabas to Manilla, in boxes or baskets,
and is employed, I believe, principally by the shipwrights there,
in the prosecution of their business. Some of the natives also use
it for making torches, it being cheaper than oil.

Betel-nut, or areca, is, as is well known, used nearly all over
Asia, all the natives of which are excessively fond of the taste
the mastication of it produces in their mouths. The prepared leaf is
called a _buyo_ in the Philippines, when it is spread over with lime,
and a morsel of betel-nut enclosed in it. Immense quantities of it are
consumed in the islands and in China, and in former times, I believe,
it formed a branch of the excise revenue.

_Hides._--The quantity of buffalo hides shipped to China and Europe
is considerable. Those exported to China are sometimes shipped without
being salted, although it is necessary that all those sent on so long
a voyage as it is to Europe should undergo that process. Buffalo hide
cuttings are generally prepared for shipment by being immersed in
lime-water, from which they are withdrawn perfectly white and coated
with lime.

Buffalo hides weigh about 21 lbs. a-piece, and cow, only about the
half of that. Deer hides are also sometimes, though rarely, cured
and exported.

The beef of the buffalo, cow, and deer, is cured for the China
market, by being salted and allowed to dry in the sun: it is then
called _sapa_.

Tamarinds, which are called sampaloc by the natives, are seldom
exported for sale.

The woods of the country are various and valuable; but, perhaps,
the best known for its useful properties, is the Sapan dye-wood,
called sibocao. It comes from various provinces; but principally from
Yloylo and Pangasinan.

Good wood is stout, straight, well-coloured, and with no appearance
or trace of water having been used to heighten it, which may be
easily detected on a careful inspection, although the unwary have on
several occasions been known to have purchased, and shipped home to
Britain, quantities of the common firewood in place of it, as after
being wetted, it acquires the colour of Sapan-wood, sufficiently to
deceive an ignorant or careless purchaser.

Nearly all of the straight wood is sent to Europe, and the roots to
China and Calcutta, where they are said to be quite as well liked
as straight wood, and beyond a doubt they produce more dye than
the latter.

The mountains of the Philippines are clothed with numberless varieties
of woods of almost every description of Oriental timber; but the
markets of Europe being so distant, and the cost of freight to them so
enormous, very few are sent there, except, perhaps, ebony and molave,
although several beautiful descriptions of wood are employed by the
cabinet-makers of the country and those of China, some of which are
of superior beauty to anything I have ever seen at home when made up
into furniture.

The ebony principally comes from Cagayan and Camarines, the wood from
which is perfectly dark, and as good as any I know of. The Cagayan
wood is very beautiful, being marked by broad black and white, or
black and yellow stripes; it takes a polish very well, and forms a
peculiarly fine timber for the cabinet-makers to exercise their skill
upon, its rays producing magnificent tables, &c.

Molave is a wood of great solidity, and of incredibly lasting
properties; and it resists, better than all others, exposure to
the weather. It is said to become petrified when immersed for some
time in water, and in fact it appears to be nearly as lasting and
incorruptible as stone itself. It is employed for nearly all purposes,
and large quantities of it are shipped to China.

Narra is a common description of red wood, somewhat resembling
mahogany, which occasions it to be largely used in cabinet-making. From
the lower parts of this tree I have seen a table exceeding two yards
square, cut out, in one piece.

Tindal wood resembles narra, but has a higher colour than the latter,
which, however, gets sobered, and becomes darker by age.

Alintatas is of a beautiful yellow colour.

Malatapay is also yellow, or rather coffee-coloured, and is well
veined for ornament.

Lanete is a white wood, and is made use of for a variety of purposes.

All the preceding woods are capable of being made into furniture of a
very handsome and valuable description, and were they better known in
Europe, would be largely employed for that purpose, as people would
be willing to purchase them for their beauty, even at the high prices
which the distance and expense of transit would occasion.

Among the common useful woods for ship-building and other purposes,
may be mentioned the banaba and mangachapuy: the latter does not
stand water well, however.

Yacal, for beams and joists of houses, &c., and a tall, straight
wood, called _Palo Maria_, is valuable for supplying spars, &c.,
to the shipping of the colony.

Baticulin, for cutting up into boards or deals.

Dungo unites strength and solidity to an immense size.

Teak is found in Zamboanga, and its value is too well known to require
any remark upon it.

Ypil is brought to Manilla from Yloylo, and being a very lasting and
hard timber, is of the greatest value, and is applied to a variety
of uses.

These are some of the many species of woods abounding in the country,
whose number and value are yearly increasing as they become better
known to the foreign timber merchants of China and elsewhere. The
China market alone would take off greatly increased supplies, were
they allowed to ship the timber from the ports next to where the
woodman's axe had felled the tree, in place of forcing it to bear
all the heavy charges which its transport to Manilla in the first
instance now subjects it to.

The investigations of Don Rafael Arenao have been of great service
to me in forming a list of these; and for several other particulars
scattered throughout the preceding pages I have to thank him.


The money current in the Philippines consists of Spanish and South
American dollar pieces principally, although no two of them have
precisely the same weight in silver. Thus the Chilian dollar of 1833
had 456·24 grains of pure metal, while that of the Rio de la Plata
has only 441·24 grains of silver.

Nearly all the Mexican dollars differ in their quantity of pure silver;
for example, that of the coinage of 1832 had only 442·80, while that
of 1833 had 451·20 grains of pure metal. The old Spanish dollar has
445·08 grains of pure silver, and the half dollar 222·48 grains;
while the Bolivian half dollar has only 168·60 grains of pure silver;
and the Bolivian quarter-dollar piece has only 84·84 grains of pure
silver; while the standard Spanish quarter-piece contains 111·24
grains of unalloyed silver.

The golden doubloon, weighing an ounce, is worth sixteen dollars in
Manilla, although it usually sells for considerably less in China.

Both of these coins are subdivided into halves and quarter-pieces,
and the dollar is divided into eight reals, one of which is
equal to two and a half reals of the vellon money current in the
Peninsula; and the Manilla real is represented by a copper currency
of seventeen cuartos. In calculations, however, the real is divided
into twelve parts by an imaginary coin called grains; so that by
$3. 2. 6. would be understood three dollars, two reals, and a half
real, or three dollars and five-sixteenth parts of a dollar.

The copper money in circulation is so scanty, as to be perfectly
inadequate for the purpose; and at the time of my leaving Manilla,
the usual charge for exchanging a dollar for copper money was a
quartillo, or the quarter of a real, worth about a penny halfpenny
of English money.

In consequence of this scarcity, the natives are in the habit of
employing cigars as money, to represent the smaller coins; and all
over the Philippines a cigar is actually the most important circulating
medium, each representing a cuarto.

At various times the scarcity of copper coins has given rise to
extensive forgeries of them, and caused a considerable depreciation
in their actual value, the false coinage being all of spurious metal.

The gold which is found at Pictas, in Misamis, and at Mambalao,
Paracala, and Surigao, is consumed in the country in ornaments, &c.,
and some of it is sent also to China. The amount annually produced
at these places is very uncertain; and the quantity exported to China
is probably a good deal more than the amount set down in the tabular
statement, it being a thing of so very easy export, that I should
suppose at least an equal number of taels are sent there privately,
to what appears in the table to have passed the Custom-house.

Its value in Manilla varies, according to quality, at from twenty
dollars a tael down to fourteen for the inferior sorts.


After travelling so far together, the reader will permit me to direct
his attention to the geographical position and natural advantages of
the Philippines, which are unequalled by any other islands in the whole
eastern Archipelago. Their vicinity to the immensely populous empire
of China is in itself enough to render them a most flourishing colony.

The Spanish and local governments are alive to the importance of this,
and appear desirous to encourage trade to a limited extent, but are
apparently anxious to hold the reins of it, and to regulate it as they
deem best for themselves, or at any time to put a stop to it entirely.

The evils arising from the changeable elements given birth to by
their interference it is difficult to over-estimate, as from the
ignorance, which prevails through all classes, of the first elements
of a commonwealth, and from their capricious notions of government, and
want of knowledge of the advantages of liberality and of the facilities
given to the prosecution of commerce, few persons of prudence care
to expose their capital very extensively to the chances of trade.

At present the Philippines want some infusion of foreign capital
and energy into the veins and local arteries of the country, which,
backed by the enlightened application of science, would cause these
islands to emerge from the obscurity now surrounding them, and force
them to assume the important position for which nature has apparently
destined them.

This will not come to pass until the present opinions of the Government
and people are considerably changed with reference to their commercial
legislation, or until all government interference in affairs of that
nature is left off, so far as the interests of the revenue will permit,
when the people will be insensibly but wisely taught by experience
to rely upon themselves alone.

The principles of commerce, and the wealth of nations, as laid
down by Adam Smith in his great work, which is almost deserving of
immortality for the truths it tells mankind, are as true and as sure
in practice as they are in theory; and should the wisdom and truth
of his investigations ever be applied to the commercial regulations
of these islands, it is difficult to foretell the destiny that may
ultimately await them.

It appears to me to be as unwise to attempt to restrain the course of
nature and its fruits, aided by the energies of man to develop or to
use them, as it would be to bind down the mind of a man of genius,
or of a poet, in order to prevent their operation, or to hinder the
great conceptions of their muse, or the scientific research which a
bright genius renders serviceable to his fellow mortals, from ever
seeing the light. No one will defend the justice or wisdom of the
time which forbade Galileo to publish, or even himself to believe in,
his great discoveries; but is that more unjust than the policy of
rulers, who shut up from the beings whom God has created to use them,
the fruits of our common mother, the earth?

It is equally absurd to prevent and to prohibit in either case;
but notwithstanding this, the passions and prejudices of mankind are
violent enough to permit of the one, although they would by no means
suffer the other. Wisdom and passion can seldom or never accompany
each other.

Philanthropy will ultimately banish from our codes all such regulations
as tend to check the fruitfulness of the soil and its use by man,
who has been endowed with reason in order that he may assist the
operations of nature. The constant and unrestricted use of the bounties
of nature does not lead to their abuse; the contrary is the fact,
for it is only when our appetites are excited by the obstacles to
their attainment that they become excessively indulged and depraved.

The illiberality of the Government places the existing position of
foreigners in rather an equivocal position, for they are only there
upon sufferance; and in the event of any disturbance, such as happened
at Manilla in 1820, or of a war between the two nations, what would
become of the foreigners or of their property?

It has already been shown to the world that our fellow-subjects at
Manilla in 1820, might be murdered in the streets like dogs, and no
retribution be demanded by their Government; and to this day their
personal liberty and property can at any time be endangered by the
caprice of the Governor or of his subordinates.

In 1848, an alcalde laid hold of a number of British subjects,
and threw them suddenly into prison, because he happened one day to
discover that the time for their permission to remain in the country
had years ago expired, which all of them had been led to expect it was
quite unnecessary to have renewed so long as they remained quiet and
well-conducted members of the community. As the alcalde did not know
very well what to do with them when he had got them into the jail,
he kept them there for a few days till he had smoked a good deal,
and thought a little about them, and then he told the jailor to let
them out again.

Our trade with China would be materially improved by the attention
of Her Majesty's Foreign Secretary being directed to the position
of the Philippines in connection with our own interests with them,
and with the great empire adjoining them. Besides, it is a shame to
ourselves that such things should exist in the colony, not only of
a friendly European power, but of one so much indebted, as Spain is,
to the valour of our arms for her independence, and to our liberality
for possessing this colony at all.

                            THE END.

                  PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SON,
 London Gazette Office, St. Martin's Lane; and Orchard Street,

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